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Cowboys In Cyberspace - November 2001

"What's The Password?"

LEE KERNAGHAN There are some things on the World Wide Web that you just can't unlock, unless you have the right key. For instance, although there is an abundance of things for everyone to see and do at the LEE KERNAGHAN Web site, there is a special section reserved just for the Official Outback Club Members. Armed with their membership number and a password from the Members Magazine, they can enter the inner sanctum and find rare and unreleased music tracks, videos, a Message Board and lots of other goodies.

One of those members is 14-year-old Ashleigh Judge, a year 9 student at Singleton High School. You may already know that she had a special guest over for dinner - Lee himself - courtesy of the Nine Network's 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' TV show. A fan since she went to her first LK concert at only 8 years old, Ashleigh has a 'shrine' devoted to Lee in her bedroom. Imagine her glee at having him over for an Aussie BBQ. Well, you don't have to imagine if you just visit the LK Web site, because you can see highlights of the show, plus behind the scenes photos and stories from Ashleigh and her neighbour.

There are plenty of other new and updated sites for you to check out this month. Here are just some of them:
NB: some portions of this column have been repeated from last month to preserve continuity with the printed version in Capital News!

Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys are vintage musos playing vintage songs on vintage gear. Their Web site is full of style and wit that accurately portrays what that are all about - tearin' it up on the Lost Highway.

Australian singer-songwriter Simon Bruce has opened shows for Tommy Emmanuel, here and in America. His current CD was produced by Tommy in Nashville, with Simon on vocals, guitar and harmonica, Tommy on drums, guitar and bass, and Keith Urban on backing vocals. He was sixteen at the time! Check out Simon's Web site and see what the future holds for this young talent.

The SADDLE UPCLUB network is a popular country music circuit bringing you great shows around the country. At their new Web site, you can find your nearest venue and check which artists are coming your way.

The Internet is a great place to find information on new and emerging artists. Although She Makes Me is the debut album for STEVEN ANTHONY, you can discover all about him, plus preview the songs and lyrics for the entire album at his Web site.

If you want to see outstanding graphic design style, surf on over to Lonestar's Web site. Get into their elevator, press the buttons, and be transported to the different 'floors' of the site. Cool. In the words of their U.S. chart-topping album, I'm Already There.

The Folk Den is a part of Roger McGuinn's Web site where he uses '...the medium of the World Wide Web to continue the tradition of the folk process, that is the telling of stories, and singing of songs, passed on from one generation to another by word of mouth'. Every month a 'new' folk song is uploaded as a Global Community Service, and you can trace many Country roots in these tunes. McGuinn has now expanded the concept one step further; armed with a computer, a microphone and digital recording software, he travelled around and rerecorded 18 of the songs as duets with several legends of the folk genre. Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Judy Collins and many more performers join him on the CD 'Treasures From The Folk Den'. Technology meets tradition, indeed!



Ace Fender with a TIARA
Sydney performer and songwriter Ace Fender passed away in hospital on the morning of Saturday September 29th, from heart-related problems. Ace would have turned 55 on the 3rd of October.

Ace was an accomplished songwriter: his songs had been recorded by Lucky Grills, Jade Hurley (Don't Ask Me To Stay) and amongst his most popular compositions was Rock 'N Roll In A Cowboy Hat (recorded by Slim Dusty on the Country Way Of Life album).

Ace won the 2001 TIARA Songwriting award with I Can't Bring Myself To Leave You For Real, and he had previously won this Award in 1998 for In A Moment.

As a performer, Ace led the Misty Mountain Showband who received nominations for both ACE and MO awards. The band was originally known as Blue Misty, the backing band for Ivy Somerfield. Ace and the band continued after Ivy's premature death in 1991. Ace also worked as a duo with Linda Miller with whom he had just released a new CD, Friend and Partner.

As well as performing and songwriting, Ace and his wife, Maggie Smith ran the ACE Recording Studios, where many independent artists cut their albums and where he also taught several music students and encouraged young talent. Maggie is herself known as a manager of artists and a much-beloved identity of the Country Music scene.

Bert Newton paid special tribute to Ace on his TV show, on the Monday after Ace's passing, and Jade Hurley then dedicated a song to him. At Ace's funeral in Liverpool, Sydney, over 400 people filled the All Saints Catholic Church. As well as his family, there were fans, line-dancers, club managers and agents, and many artists and musicians whose lives had been touched by Ace Fender.

If you want to share the location of an interesting site you've seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me.

Don't forget to listen out for cyberBob each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country, 4AAA (98.9 FM in Brisbane) and Barbara Morison on 2SER (107.3 FM in Sydney). Until next time, happy surfing.



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