Troy Cassar-Daly and his gift of music.
Troy Cassar-Daly and his gift of music.

Country veteran marks greatest hits with intimate tour

GOLD and Tweed Coast audiences get front-row seats as Troy Cassar-Daley launches his new Greatest Hits album and Australia-wide acoustic tour on Friday, October 19 - the very night of his concert at Twin Towns.

The double CD and 2019 tour will mark 30 years in the industry, as well as Troy's 50th birthday - and he's bringing daughter Jem along when he officially hits the road.

"How proud as a dad can you be to be able to take your daughter on tour with you and experience this wonderful country?" Troy marvelled to Seniors News as he started on the publicity trail.

While he's confident his audience will "embrace" Jess, the Country Hall of Famer admitted to a few nerves on his own side, not having done an acoustic tour for about 20 years.

"I've always had the crutch of a band to lean on, but this is just me on a guitar ...," he said.

"I'm excited because this is the epitome of being a storyteller, and for audiences it won't get more intimate than this ... but I have to work three times as hard to make it good!"

Not that he says he's ever really seen what he does as work "... it's not a proper job - it's a privilege".

Troy said the 42-track album was "bookended with two new singles", and traced what has been "a wonderful musical adventure and journey".

It's a journey that has taken him from his very first single, Proud Young Man, written as a teenager, to his latest single, Wouldn't Change a Thing.

The latter was Troy's closing comment to Seniors Newspapers when we spoke last year as he looked back on his life after writing his autobiography and album, Things I Carry Around.

The single by the same name has also made Troy's Greatest Hits list, which includes his 31 career No.1s and nine crowd favourites, including Bird on a Wire and V8 Town.

"Every time I hear that song it takes me back to doing laps late into the night with my mates in my car around Prince St in Grafton," Troy states in the liner notes - and what could be more 'country' than that?

"I'm a big believer in you've got to know where you've come from to know where you're going," he said.

There are stacks of interesting little details in those notes, and Troy promises more in person, about how songs came about, inspired by "good reverb" in a motel bathroom or scribbled as a poem on a serviette.

In Sing About This Country, he recalls he and Colin Buchanan "throwing instruments across the table" as they wrote, and you might be surprised how many songs he has written with the man he calls "a true master of lyrics", Paul Kelly.

"It's part of the mystery of songwriting - some you have to fight with for months and some just fall into your hands, and you've got to have sense enough to have your hands out to catch them," Troy said.

Shadows on the Hill, the second new song on the album, he said, was just such a gift - it "simply fell out of the sky" after a family gathering, laughing, crying and sharing stories together.

While the album includes a number of duos with some of the biggest names in the business, including Paul Kelly, Slim Dusty, Kasey Chambers and Jimmy Barnes, Troy said he's kept pretty well grounded by his immediate family and his "beautiful big indigenous family in Grafton".

They are happy to let him know that to them he's just "the same old Troy, and you can leave the Country singer hat at the door".

For more, go to troycassardaley.com.au and for tickets to the Gold/Tweed Coast concert ($39, featuring 2017 Golden Guitar and CMC new artist winner Fanny Lumsden while Jem finishes Year 12) go to twintowns.com.au or phone 1800014014.


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