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True Blue Balladeer Continues to Sing Outback's Praises

True Blue Balladeer Continues to Sing Outback's Praises

Who: John Williamson
Where: Cessnock Supporters Club
Author: Michael Gadd
When: Friday March 23, 2001

A PERFORMER for 31 years, one thing true blue Aussie troubadour John Williamson is not worried about is running out of ideas.

A devotee of the Australian outback and country way of life, Williamson says he always kept his ears open when people were talking, particularly about Australian subjects.

'I'll only run out of ideas if I stay at home and don't talk to anyone,' Williamson said.

'I have run out of songs about my history, I've pretty much exhausted that avenue, but our land is so vast there are many subjects to explore.'

Williamson said he planned to go camping at the Gulf of Carpentaria and expected to return with a few more songs to add to his repertoire.

'You can't make a good story up,' he said.

'The simplicity of a camp fire song is what will last, Slim (Dusty) has proven that a good old Aussie yarn can have longevity.'

The man from Quambatook, in Victoria's Mallee region will bring his subtle, yet inspirational performance to the Hunter in the next week.

His show will include four new songs.

He will perform on Friday at Cessnock Rugby League Supporters Club, Saturday at Mingara Recreational Club, Tuesday at Muswellbrook Workers Club and Wednesday at Maitland City Bowling Club. Williamson has been asked by Sir Donald Bradman's family to perform at an Adelaide memorial service for the famous cricketer.

He will sing his Sir Don tribute during the service at St Peter's Cathedral on March 25.

The ballad, which appeared on his 1997 album Pipe Dream, was heard in Ray Martin's television interview with The Don, which was replayed recently on the Nine Network.

The date of the memorial service clashes with a concert that Williamson had planned for Club Nova Newcastle. That concert will be staged on April 27, with all tickets being transferable.

Williamson said his performances were theatrical but, at the same time, just like a camp fire singalong.

'It is not as much about music as it is about sentiment,' he said.

On stage, two huge rivergums stand tall in the background behind Williamson, who sits only with his guitar and a simple foot box.

The night sky sparkles to create the impression that you are actually out in the bush by a camp fire.

'I have had to work hard over the years to enhance my playing and while it isn't brilliant it certainly does the job,' he said.

'I had to have some sort of beat to accompany the guitar and the foot box makes a sound just as though you are tapping your boot on the veranda.

'You don't have a piano around a camp fire.'

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