The back roads to Canberra and musical reunions

When we planned a 2,500 kms round trip to the National Folk Festival via the back roads to Canberra, it seemed like a monumental expedition. Now that we’re home again (via Dubbo and Goondiwindi), it seems a weak effort compared to the distances travelled by overseas guests including Manran (Scotland), Nancy Kerr and James Fagan (UK), April Verch (US), George Jackson (US) and Vila Navio (Portugal). For example, George Jackson committed himself to a 35,000…

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A few words about Christchurch and global grief

Last Friday’s massacre in Christchurch by a lone gunman was, as numerous people opined on Twitter, the per capita equivalent of New Zealand’s 9/11. The 50 people killed represent 3,000 fatalities in a similar attack in the US. That does give perspective to the overwhelming feelings of sorrow and confusion many of us felt last Friday and the global grief we have felt every day since. New Zealand rarely makes international headlines, unless it’s an…

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Songwriting Competitions And Radio Play

My first record producer once said of songwriting competitions – “The only competition I’m interested in is – can it get played on the radio.” His wise words came back to me in a week when I was reminded twice of my peripatetic career as a songwriter. One reminder was a quarterly royalty payment from APRA, derived from having five songs played on the radio in the quarter under review. The money rarely gets above…

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Friday on My Mind –Ring Christmas Bells And Other Carols

Tapestry choir leader Kim Kirkman usually introduces our version of Carol of the Bells by mentioning that it featured in the soundtrack of the 1990 movie, Home Alone. This brought back memories of the parlous times in 1990 when media baron Rupert Murdoch nearly went broke. Yes, he nearly did, back when News Ltd’s total debt was a scary $7.9 billion (this was 1990, remember). What saved Murdoch was an agreement between 146 banks that…

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