“Once upon a time, people did something all their life, it defined them. These days people don’t have a tendency to do that, most people will change jobs in as short a space of time as 18 months, it’s quite remarkable. I don’t criticise that, but it’s not who I am.”
For Graeme Connors, his music is his life. With more than 40 years in the industry, over a dozen Golden Guitar Awards, an Aria Award and 18 studio albums, Connors is committed to this form of storytelling, likening it to music giants Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, who were both born into the business and died in the business.
“To me, there’s something honourable in that. You ride the storms. You have periods in which you are riding the top of the wave, then you’re at the bottom of the wave for a couple of years, and then you’re back on that saddle. Before you know it, all of a sudden people are discovering you again. That’s the joy of a long-term career – the fact that you come and you go,” Connors says.
“A lot of people don’t like that, but I personally think that it’s very humbling and it also makes you a stronger person. You write from a perspective of timelessness, because you just don’t know which song will bring you back into the limelight again.”
With a massive catalogue of songs spanning across genres from folk and pop, to contemporary and most recognisably country, Connors writes from his own experiences and ideas, creating cinematic-style stories through his lyrics.
“Most songs are lyric oriented, they’re storytelling, they’re about ideas. There’s always going to be a bit of vicarious experience. You see someone going through something and you can identify with it and those emotions, but they’ll be common to you as well for you to write about it. I always say there’s a bit of me in every song I’ve written. How much of that only I know.”
It is clear Connors is an optimist, and one with no plans of slowing down as he prepares to embark on his 60 Summers Tour, inspired by his 2016 album 60 Summers: The Ultimate Collection which celebrates his 60 years on the planet.
“Believe me I still feel somewhere in my thirties. This is a two CD set of songs, 37 songs in total with some new songs, some fan favourites and the hits. It’s a really easy tour to take on the road because you have all your repertoire there in the discs. So you just basically choose any of those 37 songs and you know the audience are going to be well and truly across it.”
The double album is a tribute to the iconic singer-songwriters career, with it reaching No.1 on the Aria Country Album chart and debuting at No.11 on the Aria Pop Charts, allowing Connors to continue reaching new career milestones and new markets. By the sounds of it, this album won’t be the last from Connors either, with a promise to be releasing new tracks within the next few months, continuing riding the wave of this life-long career.
“I love what I do, love my work and each song is one of those tickets in that lottery, you don’t know where it will lead you, so just hang on and go along for the ride. Look out Willie Nelson.”
When & Where: Capital Theatre, Bendigo – Mach 25 & Geelong Drama Theatre, Geelong – March 26
Written by Talia Rinaldo