SOME of Australia’s best country performers have each chosen songs for a special CD, Send It Down Hughie 2, to raise funds to help drought-stricken farmers.
Although there have been good falls of rain in some areas, the pressure on farming families is still great with many in need of financial support just to survive.
Twenty-one artists and their labels have enthusiastically collaborated with Fairfax Media and Country Music Capital News magazine to produce this album.
All proceeds from sales will be delivered direct to farming families most in need through the volunteer services of Aussie Helpers, who have been supporting farmers for more than 12 years.
Supported by Toyota, CRT and Southern Cross Ten, this is a “must-have” CD for your car, truck, tractor or home. It features favourites like Spirit of the Bush from country music legend Lee Kernaghan, with help from his mates, Adam Brand and Steve Forde.
“I will always remember meeting a young farming family from a property near Horsham at a Spirit of the Bush drought relief concert back in 2007,” Kernaghan said.
“After four seasons in a row without being able to get a crop into the ground they were unable to hold out any longer and finally lost the farm the family had worked and called their home for generations.
“The long drought had sent this young farmer to hell and back and he quietly told me how he had suffered from depression as a result of losing everything they’d worked for over the years.
“It was an emotional experience, hearing their story and seeing the human face of drought that day but as we said our goodbyes, this young farmer looked me in the eye and said, ‘Lee, it’s been hard, mate, but I will never give up because my wife and my two little girls are depending on me’.
“So I shook the big fella’s hand, his grip was strong, and as I said goodbye to the family I knew that this was the Spirit of the Bush.”
Country music superstar Troy Cassar-Daley has chosen When A Small Town Dies for the CD because he wanted to share a sentiment about what small bush towns mean to him.
“I come from a small town and loved every minute of my life back in Grafton but as a kid we never understood the effects of industries closing down and how it affected our families,” Cassar-Daley said.
“One thing I did know was that when times got tough, people dug deep to help each other out.”
In choosing Built to Last, Adam Harvey says he wanted to pay tribute to farmers and farming communities because they’re the backbone of Australia.
“As a country music singer I spend most of my time touring through regional Australia and I often wonder how those hardworking people on the land keep going,” Harvey said.
The album also features the work of some of the queens of country music including Beccy Cole (Waitress), Kasey Chambers (Little Bird), The McClymonts (A Woman is a Flame), Kaylee Bell (Little Bit Small Town), Catherine Britt (Poorman’s Pride) and Felicity Urquhart (Give).
Urquhart said she felt privileged to give “just a little support back to our farmers who have supported me so much over the years”.
“Give is a song about saying thanks to those who look after everyone around them and often forget about themselves.”
And, of course, John Williamson will feature with his timeless classic, Galleries Of Pink Galahs, from his favourite album, Mallee Boy.
“I have a great empathy with farmers during a drought. In the 1960s we sold most of our sheep for skin value after hand feeding them at great expense,” Williamson said.
“That’s hard to take after working eight hours a day. People on the land actually produce food that creates money for people all along the chain to the market.
“Stocks and shares would not exist without such hardworking people. We will rue the day that farmers are not valued.”
The album also features the great works of Luke O’Shea, Bob Corbett, Luke Dickens, Roo Arcus, Dean Perrett, Jeff Brown, Graham Rodger, Kaylens Rain, Grant Richardson and Adam Eckersley Band.
Send It Down Hughie 2 is only $30 delivered to your home.
To order your copy and support our farmers visit www.senditdown.com.au
For more information about Aussie Helpers Ltd visit www.aussiehelpers.org.au
Another Country Music Capital News Project.