1. The First Record I Bought
Slim Dusty, Live At Wagga Wagga. I saved my money for this record and wanted it so bad – an uncle of mine had it the week it came out and when I heard Slim and Joy singing I had to have it. I loved the feel of the songs being live, I felt as though I was actually in the audience.
2. The Last Record I Bought
I was getting a new phone at JB Hi-Fi and I heard the new Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong album playing, Foreverly – an album covering the Everly Brothers tunes – and I loved the way it sounded; it sounded like a ’50s recording and I’m a sucker for retro!
3. The First Thing I Recorded
My first recordings my mum helped pay for were in Nimbin at a studio called Bush Tracks. Dave and Ruth were there then, and it was a magical experience for me as I was very young – 16 or 17. I haven’t heard the songs for a long time and have no plans to dig them out, for very good reason!
4. The Last Thing I Recorded
The last thing I recorded was The Great Country Song Book with my mate Adam Harvey. It was recorded with an amazing bunch of players/friends and we had a ball in the studio. Adam and I thought we had done a really self-indulgent album and said, “Well, at least our families will buy it!” It’s what we all grew up with [and] it went on to sell nearly 70,000 albums so far. That totally blew us away, and to do it with a good mate was even more special.
5. The Record That Changed My Life
There are two: Merle Haggard, Let Me Tell You About A Song, and Goanna, Spirit Of Place. Merle was like my adopted father who would look after me when times got tough… as soon as the needle hit the record I would feel safe and relieved to hear his voice. Spirit Of Place gave a young kid, who didn’t know where he fitted in, a home. Goanna sang about indigenous issues and related to me so much I wore that record out. I still visit both these albums time to time – they are still a well of inspiration for me.
The Great Country Song Book out now through Liberation/Sony