Tamworth 2001

Well I made the big trip to Tamworth and you'll find it as no surprise that it was hot, in fact very hot.

I made the trip to attend Andrew Clermonts 'Slide Night' - An attempt to see other lap steel guitarists and I was not disappointed. I was hoping to see more acoustic performances but they were very rare with the majority being pedal steel guitarist. I've picked up a bit of taste for Texas Swing - must investigate further. Tom Swatzell advertised as the dobro-whiz from the USA was a rather imposing figure with his very low voice. There's no chance I can sing songs in the key he sings them in.

Me, Mrs Swatzell, Tom Swatzell and 'The Davidsons'

Andrew Clermont was very generous and invited me up a couple of times to play 'Dobro' always catching me just after I had bought a drink :) I was one of the six or so Dobro players in the 'Slide Night' on Saturday night. That was good fun and even managed to raise a few of patrons to 'dance in the aisles'. The Davidson Family never fail to surprise and seeing Lachlan playing a few tunes on the Dobro just adds another instrument to their already formidable swag of instruments. They have their fingers into everything!

Andrew runs a series of functions under the banner "Supper Club". If you want some variety make your way there - you will not be disappointed.

I was very impressed with Michel Rose, he sure plays a mean lap steel. Michel played a De Gruchy Dobro at the De Gruchy Showcase and a pedal steel with the Feral Swing Cats. The Ferals were very popular with the Tamworth patrons and finding a seat to watch them perform was almost an impossible task.

As seems to be the current trend at festivals there were no acoustic performances. The minimum gear requirement is a PA and an electronic drum machine. Without that you won't be heard - simple as that. Four years ago the Buskers were pretty loud, seems they are even louder this year.

While I was at the Bean Online waiting for a computer to become free, I took out my Dobro and played a few songs. One of the musicians that was packing up outside came in and had a listen and offered the comment - "Don't see too many people play that style!"