Australian Country Music is a funny old thing. To use the old cliché it’s a broad church, an uneasy coalition of the bush balladeers, talentless and tuneless Country Talent Club members, pop-rockers like Lee Kernaghan, bluegrass, rockabilly, real country, alt country and many more. Ask anyone who has tried to program a community radio station and had to arbitrate between the warring factions in country. As a side note, it's this balancing act that I admire John Nutting, Saturday Night Country for.
The sad part is that amidst all this it is often the artists with depth who get overlooked. Anne Kirkpatrick is a one example.
She has one of the best voices in country and a way of song delivery that puts her up with the best worldwide. She’s managed to steer through all the factions mentioned above to deliver the real thing, modern and of these times while respectfully nodding to the past and to her own past in particular.
I assume it hasn’t been an easy road, and maybe still isn’t easy, being the daughter of her father, Slim Dusty and her mother, Joy McKean. The place of women in the old school Australian country is little acknowledged and I’d guess most people don’t know that it was Joy McKean who wrote two of Slim’s greatest songs, Lights on the Hill (also recorded by Del McCoury) and When The Rain Tumbles Down in July. In Anne's song One Of A Kind she sings of her father and says: “He’d blow them all away when he’d hit the stage.”
Anne Kirkpatrick has recorded with Slim, played with Bill Chambers and performed songs by Cold Chisel member Don Walker, who also wrote songs for Slim.
I don’t know how good the program will be or if there will be enough music in her interview on Talking Heads - ABC Television, Monday 4th September at 6.30pm, but I do know I’ll be running the tape to catch it. Do yourself a favour.