Bluegrass queen Gleny Rae and Northern Territory country troubadour Kate Oliver join forces

TOE-TAPPING: Kate Oliver is bringing her honkytonk sounds from the Northern Territory to the Grand Junction.
TOE-TAPPING: Kate Oliver is bringing her honkytonk sounds from the Northern Territory to the Grand Junction.

THE meeting between Newcastle bluegrass queen Gleny Rae and Northern Territory country troubadour Kate Oliver in 1999 at the Adelaide River Country Music Talent Quest was a pivotal moment for both women.

As Rae explains, it was a meeting of two minds from the same musical heritage – and it will be on show in Maitland on Saturday.

“We have found an interest in country music that springs from the ’50s, like music with a rock’n’roll and swing influence,” Rae said. “Kate loves Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline and we both love that pure danceable rootsy country style.”

We have found an interest in country music that springs from the ‘50s, like music with a rock’n’roll and swing influence

Gleny Rae

That friendship has since blossomed into a fully-fledged tour, the Honkytonk Revival Show, which also features Sydney-based bluegrass band Rob Luckey & The Lucky Bastards. 

The Honkytonk Revival Show kicks off on Friday at the Stag and Hunter Hotel, before hitting Maitland’s Grand Junction Hotel on Saturday and travelling south to Melbourne.

The concert will showcase Oliver, Rae and Luckey’s various honkytonk originals and covers.

It’ll also launch Oliver’s album Big News In A Small Town, which was produced by Rae last year at Robbie Long’s Funky Lizard studio at Kotara. 

“It was bit of a geographical challenge, because Kate was travelling down from the Northern Territory,” Rae said. “She’d come down and do a session over a couple of days to work on the songs.

“So it’s got lots of Newcastle musicians and other touring musicians who are good friends of mine.”

PURE PUNK

LOVABLE punk larrikins Frenzal Rhomb will headline the second installment of Thrashville scheduled for January 20.

Thrashville is the newest and “slightly heavier” member of the Dashville music festival family focused on punk, hard rock and metal. 

Last January’s inaugural festival was headlined by The Cosmic Psychos and The Hard-Ons.

Frenzal Rhomb’s debut at Dashville will be part of the band’s regional summer tour for their latest album Hi-Vis High Tea. The four-piece emerged from the late ‘90s alternative scene with songs like Never Had So Much Fun nad Punch In The Face. Tickets go on sale 9am Friday.