AUSTRALIAN country music star Troy Cassar-Daley is heading out on tour to support a good cause.
As well as promoting his new album Home, Cassar-Daley is raising much-needed funds for the Rural Fire Service.
The majority of Home was written after the devastating floods in Queensland in 2009.
Cassar-Daley, 43, told the BDN that natural disasters were an important issue to him.
“Growing up, I was in the RFS at Gold Mill Creek and I know how hard it was to make ends meet,” he said.
“It’s also about putting back into the community.”
Cassar-Daley’s Home tour will see him head to Club Sapphire Merimbula on March 22 at 8pm – phone the club on 6495 1306 for more details.
Cassar-Daley has invited the local RFS to bring tins for gold coin donations at the door.
“I want to bring a bit of goodwill… I thought this was a good way to contribute,” he said.
“There will be a gold coin donation, guitar giveaway and dollars per ticket will go towards the RFS.
“It’s an important thing and people can leave with a grin on their face.”
In recent months, the Bega Valley has been affected by both floods and bushfires.
Cassar-Daley said while he hadn’t been to Merimbula for a while, he understood there had been lots of adversity.
He said it was important to visit regions recovering from weather damage.
“People will ask ‘what’s the point of going there’, but you have just got to go back there.
“The people who buy the tickets can help the people who have been affected.”
Cassar-Daley said he looked forward to performing on the Far South Coast, joking that he tried to keep the area a secret from other people.
“I don’t want to tell people about it because I’m frightened it might get overpopulated,” he said.
“It’s spectacular… the community spirit stays strong.”
Cassar-Daley heads to the coast after cleaning up at the annual CMAA Country Music Awards at Tamworth recently.
The veteran picked four Golden Guitars, the pinnacle of Australian country music, for album of the year, male artist of the year, APRA song of the year (Home) and single of the year (Country Is).
“I won four Golden Guitars, which is something I couldn’t have dreamed of – it still humbles me,” he said.
Cassar-Daley describes Home as an important release at this point in his career.
His eighth studio album, Home is a tribute to US country music star Alan Jackson, and Cassar-Daley called on Jackson’s support team to help him on the album.
Jackson is known for blending traditional honky tonk and mainstream country sounds, and has a career spanning more than 20 years.
“I am happy with the release [Home],” Cassar-Daley said.
“It’s been on my bucket list since I was nine years old to perform with Alan Jackson’s musicians.
“I was overwhelmed, but I finally got the balls to do it, and we went over and did the record.”
Cassar-Daley has been around the Australian music scene for 20 years, previously performing in bands in NSW city Grafton.
When asked what keeps him inspired, Cassar-Daley said he still has things to write about and has “that creative energy”.
“It’s still the thrill of plugging in that guitar amp… it’s the joy of providing music.”
Cameron's big opportunity
SUPPORTING Troy Cassar-Daley on his Home tour will be Merimbula’s own rising star Cameron Cusack.
Cusack, 20, grew up idolising the Australian country music icon and now has the opportunity to fulfil that dream by joining Cassar-Daley on the road.
In December, Cusack told the BDN that he was picked to be a support act on the Home tour.
Cusack said “Troy has been a mentor for the past couple of years” (BDN, 7/12/12).
“I look forward to playing some local shows and the tour with Troy, which will also bring me home to Merimbula,” Cusack said.
However, the feeling is also reciprocated by Cassar-Daley, who identified Cusack’s talent five years ago.
“I saw him performing and thought ‘wow, this kid has got a lot of potential',” Cassar-Daley said.
“He’s a humble kid and has a lot of humility, which I think is important.”
In the early stages of his own career, Cassar-Daley said he benefitted from the endorsement of Australian country music stars Slim Dusty and John Williamson.
Cassar-Daley said it was now his turn to guide the next crop of musicians.
“I am now an elder statesman of country music and I am some inspiration to the younger generation,” Cassar-Daley said.
“It’s important for kids like Cameron to get on the radar and I want to do whatever I can to help him on his way up.”