Thirty-plus years creating music, in 2019 Troy Cassar-Daly is celebrating all those years.
Tamworth, the place he first fell in love with the genre, his Greatest Hits album a reflection of every journey he’s embarked on, and bringing his 17-year-old daughter, Jem, out on tour with him as his opening act, Cassar-Daley gets to share all new experiences with her. “I’ll be playing tour guide and showing her where I get the privilege of going all year,” he says, “That makes me proud, but it also makes me proud that I still take music around, make it my living. I reckon I’m the luckiest person in the world because I love me job.”
Historically having such a strong connection with Tamworth, it’s only fitting Cassar-Daley should be reflecting with Forte on his career as the Tamworth Country Music Festival is happening around him – the area and activities spark not only a massive surge of nostalgia, but a great deal of pride. “When you put it like that, absolutely!” Cassar-Daley cries excitedly. “I still feel like a nervous kid [in Tamworth], it has that effect on me.
“It has a magic – and I’m not just saying that because I’m here – it really does!
“I took a family friend out a few nights ago, and I took a whole new pride in running around and showing him some of the things I know. God, we had a great old yarn! The town still has magic, it still has something that makes me feel like a big old family out here, but that’s probably just country music, hey!”
In Tamworth, Cassar-Daley found his tribe. Every time he’s in town, there’s something new to be shared. “The other night when I took that young fella out, we walked into a pub, a band playing on stage – it was the original Slim Dusty Band,” Cassar-Daley begins a tale.
“The fiddle player [Mike Kerin] who I’ve known a long time, got me up on stage – this is all very surreal for this young kid who says to me, ‘Do you do this all the time, just get up on the stage?’ I says, ‘Yeah!’
“You see someone you know and you mention their name, this stuff is real, it happens. That’s what sucked me into Tamworth in the first place, the love and comradery that everyone’s got. It’s a family, it really is.”
When & Where: GPAC, Geelong – February 7; St Brigid’s Church, Crossley – February 8 & Whittlesea Country Music Festival – February 9.
Written by Anna Rose