Aug 23 2015
Aug 13 2015
Thursday 13th August 2015 was show #174 for Canterbury Country, now in its 16th year.
Entitled ‘HILLBILLY vs ROCKABILLY’, the night saw the crowd dance the night away to two great bands –
THE MIGHTY GUYS (Leon, Brian, Alan) and
THE HILLBILLY HEAVEN BAND (Bob, Allan, Terry, Tomi, Doug & Nicki).
Pictured left, lead guitarists Brian Dean and Bob Howe:
“Country music has rockabilly on its knees but not for long…Rockabilly is soon back on its feet and lives to fight another day! And the winner is…The Audience!”
(Photo and caption by Michael Parsons)
The Mighty Guys meet Hillbilly Heaven
L to R: ALLAN, TERRY, ALAN, NICKI, BOB, DOUG, LEON, TOMI, BRIAN (Photo by KVee)
Aug 11 2015
R.I.P. PEE WEE CLARK, ‘The Georgia Gentleman’ – a wonderful pedal steel guitar player and musician. Born in Macon, Georgia in 1930 and inducted into ‘The Australian Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame’ in 2012.
When I did my first professional recording session with Reg Lindsay in 1976, Pee Wee was on the steel guitar. He also played on my first record, ‘Prime Country’. Lots of memories of working with Pee Wee on stage and sharing the hotel room with him when we worked on the ‘Reg Lindsay’s Country Homestead’ TV show, flying to Brisbane to record two episodes every fortnight.
Pictured left and below, Pee Wee cheers me on at the end of my first solo TV feature, a rendition of Guitar Boogie, 19th April 1979.
Aug 9 2015
Vale AUDREY AULD who passed away on August 9th 2015 in California, aged 51. Born in Tasmania, Audrey was a great talent and had been living in California and Nashville for many years, creating and touring her unique music. I made sure she was on the very first Canterbury Country show over 15 years ago now, and she was always a welcome return visitor. We always had a good laugh whenever we saw her. She gave me two career highlights – singing Keiran Kane’s part with her when she sang the song ‘Harmony’ for us – and playing guitar with her in Nashville at the 2008 Tomkins Guitar Showcase. Treasured memories. Bless you Aud xx Our thoughts go out to her beloved husband Mez.
From the Audrey Auld Newsletter, June 2008:
“Loads of Aussies hit Nashville recently….listening to the Tomkins’ Aussie showcase…I was proud to hear the excellent country guitar of Bob Howe, shuffling the beejesus out of classic country songs, along with Alan Tomkins and Peter Figures.”
Aug 1 2015
New reviews for The Silver Collection:-
CD Review by FRANK IFIELD:-
If you were lucky enough to have been around in the 50s and 60s when instrumental hits were in vogue, topping the worldwide hit parades, then you will be as excited as I was on hearing the new album by BOB HOWE called ‘The Silver Collection’.
It features twenty five unbelievably good and uniquely crafted tracks. Each tune from beginning to end paints its own musical picture.
Wait till you hear track eight which is a song mostly attributed to myself as being my greatest hit; but Bob will surprise you all, as he did to me, with a most imaginative version of I Remember You I have heard. It is sheer magic…as too are his interpretations of The Shadows tunes – Wonderful Land and Apache.
His rendition of Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven had me reaching for handfuls of tissues while Maria Elena made me feel warm and fuzzy as if I were transported to some exotic locale. Runaway has always been a favourite of mine – and Bob’s interpretation makes me feel happy. Even though Del Shannon’s lyric is melancholy, the music brings a smile to my dial. Whiter Shade Of Bach is a great classic and shines brightly again in the hands of Bob’s fine musicianship; as do all the tracks on this exquisite album.
Thanks for this Bob; it has earned a permanent place as music for journeys in my car.
CD Review by GENE BRADLEY FISK:-
Now hear this …I have just received a copy of Bob Howe’s new CD album titled ‘The Silver Collection’ let me tell you it is a superb performance by this Guitar Aficionado, with his takes of guitar favourites and even a touch of the classics, not forgetting some you-beaut harmonica , and an eclectic vocal version of old Chuck’s Roll Over Beethoven… if your a budding guitarist or already a rock god , you should get a copy of this. I have been so moved that I have (with Bob’s permission) used two of his tracks as my opening and closing themes for my radio show OZ Country (Sunday Nights at 7pm). To capture this magic for your ears go to his website.
Jul 21 2015
Vale BUDDY EMMONS – (January 27, 1937 – July 21, 2015) -“The World’s Foremost Steel Guitarist”.
Photos from 7th June 1984: During my first trip to the USA, my friend DeWitt Scott (Scotty) kindly took me to Jeffran College in Hermitage, Tennessee. When we arrived, Buddy Emmons was in full flight, pausing only between tunes to munch on M&M’s. Scotty told me we were up next but Buddy had been playing all morning and was taking a well-deserved break.
So it was that Scotty (on his Rickenbacker ‘frying pan’) and myself (on borrowed guitar), took to the stage along with Jeff Newman on pedal steel and Bob Browning on vocals, to follow Buddy’s blistering performance. A memorable day for me. R.I.P Buddy.
|…Bob, Jeff Newman, Buddy (The Big ‘E’)…||…Bob, Scotty (DeWitt Scott), Jeff|
Jul 1 2015
Back in early 1992, I had the pleasure of playing guitar for VAL DOONICAN on his Australian and New Zealand tour – almost two dozen shows. Val was a wonderful talent and a kind and generous man. His lovely wife Lynn was there too and there was a party at Tweed Heads for Val’s 65th birthday with lots of ‘senior’ jokes at his expense which he took in good fun.
Val told us that he always remembered his early days in Ireland, when the band would be given terrible ‘digs’ while the star of the show stayed at swanky hotels. He vowed back then he would never be like that and so it was; wherever he stayed, we stayed. It was my first trip to New Zealand and, thanks to Val, the band experience included the Hilton, the Regent, and many other fine accommodations.
I’ll never forget all those airport check-ins with his trademark ‘rocking chair’ being loaded as excess baggage. I hope St. Peter had a comfy rocker and an Aran jumper waiting for him.
Mar 27 2015
Bob has released a new CD for 2015 – THE SILVER COLLECTION.
It contains 10 newly-recorded instrumental tracks plus 15 bonus tracks revamped, remixed and remastered from previous albums that are no longer available.
The CD is available at Bob’s shows or by mail order.
Check it out here…
Mar 12 2015
Congratulations to my dear friend DONNA FISK, winner of the 2015 Frank Ifield International Spur Award.
The award was presented on 12th March 2015 at the Canterbury Country show in Sydney.
Here is Frank’s account of the night in his own words…
” What a fabulous time was had by all at The International Spur Award night at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL (who graciously co-sponsor the award). The atmosphere was electric and the packed house was full of friendly familiar smiling faces and unexpected surprises too, as we were graced by the presence of such Australian celebrities such as the legendary singers Col Joye and Ray Burgess.
The show kicked off with Bob Howe fronting the Hillbilly Heaven Band with their highly entertaining and professional performance, followed by multi-award winner from Victoria, Donna Fisk. Her presence lit up the room and her unique vocal style immediately captured every musical ear.
Next, the stage belonged to my 2010 Spur award winner, Johanna Hemara. I am always delighted when my conviction for each of my awardees becomes justified and once again Johanna proved worthy of my faith. Her yodelling is superb but the showstopper for me was her heartfelt rendition of Roy Orbison’s classic ‘Crying’ which features on her most recent CD called ‘I Yodel in my Dreams’. Except for Bob Howe and me, it was an all-girl show as the next artist was my 2009 winner, Nicki Gillis who is a regular co-host and singer on many of these monthly Canterbury Country shows. Nicki, with yearly tours to the UK and a plethora of European Country music top ten hits including a number one to her credit, has undoubtedly become our most successful Spur award winner and I regard her as a great role model for future aspiring young Australian talent.
Then I made my entrance on stage and spoke of how I was transported in my mind to the early 80’s. You see, in 1982 I came on one of my many tours of Australia and finished in Victoria. I rehearsed in Melbourne with a very impressive local Country band called ‘Hot Diggity’ and their lead singer was a dynamic young teenager named Donna Fisk. She is the daughter of well-known Australian Country Singer Gene Bradley Fisk and she had me captivated by the uniqueness of her voice from the very first time I saw her perform.
Again in 1984 I returned to tour ‘Down Under’ and found myself working again with the Hot Diggity Band at the Moomba Festival. I was to sing from a moving boat as it made its way down along the Yarra River. Trouble was, I could only hear myself sing intermittently as we passed the speakers on the shore line. The band leader was a young guitarist called Bob Howe who not only impressed me by his musicianship, but also his prowess as being totally unflappable in any crisis. I said “If ever you come to England give me a call and I will get you to work with me”. No sooner had I got back to the UK, Bob turned up and gave me a call. This was a moment that turned into not only a decade of touring together but also forged a lifelong friendship.
Now, many years later, I watched as Donna Fisk held the crowd in the palm of her hand, knowing that she was totally unaware that she was about to become the recipient of the 2015 International Spur Award. Sponsor of the trophy is the Rotary Club of Galston and their representative is Richard Young who had much to do with the running of ‘The Galston Country Music Festival’. He has been to many of these Award nights and offered his sincere congratulations on what he considered the best Spur Award show he had seen.
When I proclaimed Donna as the winner she was gobsmacked! However, she managed to compose herself and spoke in such glowing terms of me that in the end I was the one left speechless.
I was able to tell Donna and the audience that her song ‘Still In Love With You’ had just entered the European and the UK country music chart at number 39 after having only being released last week. ” – Frank Ifield
Jan 31 2015
January 2015 – Good news just in:
BOB has been nominated in the 2014 AUSTRALIAN CLUB ENTERTAINMENT (A.C.E.) AWARDS, for the first time in the VERSATILE VARIETY ARTIST OR GROUP category, alongside Amber Jade, Danny Elliott, Davin Griffith-Jones, Joey Fimmano and Liz Taylor.
BOB HOWE & HILLBILLY HEAVEN
are nominated again in the COUNTRY GROUP/BAND category of the
AUSTRALIAN CLUB ENTERTAINMENT (A.C.E.) AWARDS,
alongside Buckshot, McCauley’s Raiders, The Wolverines, Sunny Cowgirls and The McClymonts.
The 17th Annual Australian Club Entertainment (ACE) Awards night will be held on Wednesday 18 March 2015 at Blacktown Workers Club.
Jan 23 2015
Bob played several shows at the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival including 3 guest spots at the Tomkins Late-Night Honky-Tonk (Wests Legends Bar), 2 surprise appearances Darren Carr’s All Star Arvo (Sth Tamworth Bowlo), playing guitar for Wayne Horsburgh at Graham Rodger’s ‘International & Australian Award Winners Concert’ (Community Centre), leading the Allstars Band for ‘Country Music Cares Concert’ (Tamworth Town Hall) and co-hosting the Tomkins Guitar Showcase (Wests Blazes Showroom).