News August 21, 2018

Jason Owen, Hay Balers, Gympie Muster: Country music sector swings support behind farmers

Jason Owen, Hay Balers, Gympie Muster: Country music sector swings support behind farmers

While the Glenn Wheatley/John Farnham massive fundraising concert in Tamworth is about to announce another major rock name, yesterday, Nine Network’s TODAY Show broadcast from Dubbo Showgrounds and kicked off their Farm Aid telethon.

As part of their ‘Fighting for our Farmers – Drought Relief Appeal’, the telethon raised a total of $7.5 million.

It included live performances from Adam Harvey, Shannon Noll, James Reyne, Wendy Matthews, Cameron Daddo and Jason Owen.

Owen yesterday had his charity single These Are The Times serviced to radio through Checked Label Services.

100% of profits from single sales go to charity group The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners to assist them in getting more trucks and feed for livestock back on the road.

Owen contacted the group’s inspirational founder Brendan Farrell to work in collaboration with the group that delivers donated hay to drought-affected farmers around Australia.

Growing up in the small rural community of Albert in Central NSW, 150km west of Dubbo, Owen has also donated 100% of profits from the Temora and Dubbo shows of his Jason Owen Sings John Denver Tour to the Hay Runners.

“My heart will always lie in the country and every dollar counts,” says Owen.

“It’s a very difficult time for a lot of people on the land and I’m proud to be a part of all the people helping to raise a dollar to help where it’s needed.”

Golden Guitar winner Matt Scullion and Charles Alder from Rural Aid/Buy A Bale have recorded a song Scullion had written called Shout The Land A Drink.

Scullion reached out good friends Tania Kernaghan, Drew McAlister, Simply Bushed and James Blundell who recorded the track as The Hay Balers.

It was produced by Shane Nicholson at Sound Hole Studios.

Shout The Land A Drink was written after a recent visit to country music capital Tamworth by Scullion who witnessed first hand the effects the drought was having on the community at large, not to mention the man on the land.

“We’re passionate about this song and what it represents,” he said.

“Hopefully Shout the Land A Drink can raise not only more awareness and desperately needed funds, but also the spirits of the folks doing it tough out there in one of the worst droughts in recent memory.”

The track can be pre-ordered on iTunes to help farmers HERE

The Gympie Muster (Thursday, August 23—Sunday 26) in Queensland is also set to make a difference.

Held in the Amamoor State Forest, the event was set up in 1982 by the Apex Club of Gympie to raise money for local community groups and has raised well over $15 million through the years.

The 2015 Gympie Muster attracted a crowd of over 23,000, with about 22,000 expected in 2018.

This year it plans to do more for local regional communities doing it tough.

The Muster has already donated 30 four-day festival tickets to Drought Aid to bring drought-affected landowners to the event, and will also shout them a feed at the Muster’s Biggest Ever Bloke’s Lunch hosted by 2018 charity partner Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia.

Muster spokesperson Lori Hoffmann said rural communities have been suffering in these dry times.

“Depression and isolation become more prevalent, spending in regional towns decreases and the knock-on effect is widely felt,” she said.

“Music festivals like the Muster help to alleviate some of that pain, by bringing like-minded people together for a mental break and giving them the chance to relax for a few days.

“They also help to draw money into our regional communities at a time when it’s needed most.”

75% of 2017 Muster-goers travelled from outside the region to attend, contributing to an overall economic impact of $6.20 million for Queensland, 83% of which was felt in the greater Gympie region.

“The Muster has always been about community coming together,” said Hoffmann. “And we are privileged to be able to continue that tradition in a meaningful way again this year.”

Highlights include Lee Kernaghan’s Friday night headliner, the inaugural Americana showcase, a talent search with a trip to Nashville as the prize, John Williamson and Beccy Cole launching their respective new albums, guitarists Ian Moss and Albert Lee part of the Vox Guitar Jam and a star-studded finale called Songs I Wish I’d Written.

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