Renowned Aussie Country Music legend Graeme Connors makes his way back to the Mid North Coast this month to perform at the Laurieton Servicemens Club. A show not to be missed, as this 11 time Golden Guitar winner will be sure to wow audiences.
> You are returning to the Mid North Coast in May to perform at LUSC. What other venues will you be playing?
This is the beginning of my touring year, which commences with four shows. We will be doing Grafton, Lismore, Laurieton, and South West Rocks (at the SWR Country Club).
> When you come to Laurieton, do you get to spend much time in the area?
Yes, we do. I have very good friends who live in Port Macquarie, so after we finish the local show we will be coming to spend an extra day there. I have also been to the cinema in Laurieton – and I must say that they have some fabulous movies there. Whenever I am in town I always try to get a day off to go there or get around the region. So I do know the area quite well.
> After 30 years in the music industry, what have been the most memorable moments?
At the very beginning of my career we had a great time. I had Kris Kristofferson produce with me for my first record, which was pretty outstanding. Then after a reasonably quiet period, I released the Album ‘North’. I went from being virtually sidelined to Gold Record status in the space of a couple of months. North was a great record for me and won numerous accolades.
A far as high points goes, where do you go? Well, the performance at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games was important to me; the song I had written was the theme song for those games. There were 80,000 people in one place, and it had amazing energy.
> Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
The most recent song that I have had out is called Beach House and Blue Mountains – which is a tongue in cheek take on global warming. Essentially, things that are happening around me: the issues, the relationships … that’s always been the source of inspiration. The songs are a personal record of my life. Nothing really has changed in that regard from when I started. There are periods now where I can look back at what is some 14 CDs, and I can very clearly note where I was in my life due to the songs and the themes thereof.
>You have also done some DVDs and documentaries?
Yes. I have done a couple of DVDs, actually. One is of a live concert that we did called ‘Up Close’, and the other is an overview and features all of the film clips from over the many years and has a sort of documentary wound through it of how I got to here from there.
We also did the ‘Heart of Country’, which was a series that aired on the ABC. It took 6 or 7 different artists, where the whole principle was to show how location affects the creative spirit. A lot of my songs had a tropical influence, as I live on the tropical QLD coast. It is amazing to see who still remembers that series.
> What will audiences see at this year’s concert – are you doing anything new?
This is a concert that debuted in Tamworth called ‘Songs from the Homeland’; it is a journey through the Australian creative spirit in songwriting, so I actually quote from a few other writers alongside my own songs. It is a more of a theatrical show in a sense, than just “Here are my hit songs”.
> Who do you see as an up and coming country music artist?
It depends … how new is new? I immediately think of Felicity Urquart. To me, she is establishing her position and has a lot of talent and a long way ahead of her. I am always excited to get her new CDs.
> You have won 11 Golden Guitars, 2 APRA awards and a whole array of accolades over the years, including being inducted into the Tamworth Hall of Fame . What is next for Graeme Connors?
I have no idea! I would hope that my music continues to be relevant. If that means awards, so be it. If not, then so be it as well.
There will be a new album out soon, though and Beachhouse and Blue Mountains is one of the first tracks on that.
> What else keeps you busy other than your music?
We recently built a restaurant in my home town of Mackay – and music and good food and wine will all be part of that, as it is so much a part of our lives.
We bought the building and renovated it. We have a performance space in there, and I will be bring up artists whom I admire to perform, as well as doing a few select performances myself.
It is a fairly large project, and it has been one of those things that the whole family is involved in. My son is the chef, and he and his wife had a well established and successful corporate catering business for some years.
It seems like a logical conclusion to combine all of the things we can do within our family into one place. It is going to be a fabulous experience …
> What is the name of the restaurant?
> Thank you Graeme.
Graeme performs at Laurieton Services Club on Saturday May 23rd at 7.30. Call the club for tickets on 6559 9110.