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Hats Off to Kernaghan

Hats Off to Kernaghan

Who: Lee Kernaghan
Where: Cardiff Panthers
When: Saturday June 13, 1998

WHEN LEE KERNAGHAN shot the video for his song GETTIN' GONE from his latest album HAT TOWN,his most important prop was a Ford 351GT for a scene filmed on location at a remote truck stop.

The song is one Kernaghan and his band will perform this Saturday night at the Cardiff Workers Club, and one which most Aussie blokes will be able to relate to.

In the song and the film clip, the central character sings about being stuck in a place that is just a 'dot on the road map'.

His only ticket to freedom 'is a 351 . . . with a cracked head out back on blocks'.

In the video the character is filmed 'eating dust' as a couple of hoons pull out of his truck stop.

But the irony of what happened in reality is not lost on Kernaghan, who emits a hoot as he relates the story.

'They've cranked it, and ripped out of this service station depot, and gone over the gutter and ripped the muffler off,' he says laughing.

Kernaghan can see the funny side because he has empathy for the bloke with the taste of dirt in his mouth.

It's the same empathy that has him coordinating a PASS THE HAT AROUND AUSTRALIA tour where he plans to perform in tiny towns 'dotted around Australia'.

'All the money raised on the nights will go back into the towns for a worthy project,' he says.

The gesture ties nicely into the title track from the HAT TOWN album.

'HAT TOWN is not about any one town but about a lot of towns in rural Australia where, when hard times fall on them or somebody in the town, the hat comes around and gets passed around and they look out for each other,' he said.

It sounds almost contrived but when you listen to the lyrics on HAT TOWN,and speak to Kernaghan, you begin to realise the bloke is fair dinkum.

'Country music is about Australia, our way of life, our culture,' he said.

'It's good singing about things people relate to, like circle work, and utes and old bush men and horses, and girls.'

There's a song called GOONDIWINDI MOON where the people of GOONDIWINDI just about lift the roof off the auditorium whenever Kernaghan plays it.

'They just went berserk, and that's the good thing about writing about little towns, because when you go there they make you want to go back,' he said.

'It creates a romance around the town. And for a long time people never wrote about their home towns, it was all about American towns and if it wasn't about America it was uncool or corny to sing about Australia.'

Kernaghan is often touted, alongside SLIM DUSTY and JOHN WILLIAMSON,as one of the Australians doing the most for getting Australian place names back into country music.

He acknowledges this with a little help from his friends such as COLIN BUCHANAN, who will be performing songs from his children's album this Sunday at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music from 2pm.

Buchanan's BEST OF THE BUSH FAMILY CONCERTis being held to raise awareness of the activities of the BUSH CHURCH AID SOCIETY.

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