cyberBob Howe Each month guitar picker and Webmaster Bob Howe brings you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet.
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Cowboys In Cyberspace - May 2005

"...and Cowgirls too."

It's not always a man's world in cyberspace.

The breakthrough of THE SUNNY COWGIRLS will go down as legend: Jillaroos Sophie and Celeste Clabburn drive their ute across the Nullarbor and are 'discovered' at the College in Tamworth and signed to the Compass Bros. record label. They are pictured here, in Tamworth, meeting Golden Guitar winner JEDD HUGHES. It might be said that Even Cowgirls Get the Techno-Blues Sometimes (apologies to Rodney Crowell), but 'Soph & Less' are two happy girls as they head off on tour and they have kicked off their website with a diary entry that promises to keep us updated on their big adventure. Meanwhile, pop their new CD single Rousy's Life in your computer to watch the video clip of the girls in their element.


As their collective name WOMEN IN DOCS might suggest, no cowboy boots for Brisbane-based acoustic duo Chanel Lucas and Roz Pappalardo, but travelling shoes none the less. The opening tune on their EP, Times Like These, begins "...I'm going to Nashville, with my guitar..." and they have indeed recently returned from the USA and China, straight into a run of gigs in Queensland and NSW and they head to Canada in June for the NXNE Music Conference. Check their website for world tour photos.

It's on the road again for Louisiana singer-songwriter MARY GAUTHIER as well, as she returns home from Europe this month after supporting Willie Nelson and promoting her latest album. Mary heads off around the USA this month, opening shows for Canadian KATHLEEN EDWARDS. Mary's album, Mercy Now, contains a version of her own song I Drink, popularised here by Bill Chambers.

EMMYLOU HARRIS has worked with many diverse artists during her career which now spans more than 30 years. The only thing they really all have in common is an undoubted talent in their chosen genres. Now, Emmylou has lent her distinctive harmonies to I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning by BRIGHT EYES. The group is really a remarkable country music excursion by singer-songwriter Conor Oberst who records in various guises for Saddle Creek Records. Touted as the "new Bob Dylan" (excuse me, but the old one is still around!), Oberst has managed to offend as many people with his outrageous behaviour as he has won over with his emotionally charged lyrics. A punk in sheep's clothing, I'd say, but enjoyable nonetheless. You can make up your own mind.

barbed wire
barbed wire


DVD cover

The Nashville Sound

This feature movie was shot in 1969 at the Nashville Deejay Convention and the 44th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, which was still being staged at the Ryman Auditorium. A film crew comes in from New York and captures a real slice of Music City: everything from the fans and stars of the Opry to some hip recording sessions with Doug Kershaw and Charlie Daniels and industry wheeling and dealing with record mogul Shelby Singleton. Star cameos include Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Bill Monroe, Charlie Pride, Loretta Lynn and many more. The genuine informality of the Opry show is depicted, along with some great musical performances. On your second viewing, look under 'extras' and turn on the audio commentary by producer Ed Wilson for a non-technical description of the making of the film and insights into the era.

The real star of the film is Herbie Howell, a naive wannabe who arrives in his car, loaded with his one-man-band gear which, back then, consists of an early drum machine and a set of organ bass pedals. He lucks out, meeting the film crew by chance, who decide to make him a human interest story and subsequently open up some doors. This includes an introduction to Shelby Singleton who agrees to let Herbie audition, probably only to save face while the cameras are on. Herbie looks set for a dream-shattering fall until...well; you'll have to watch the movie!

Umbrella Entertainment DAVID0309
90 Mins plus extras

Until next time, happy surfing!

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
Barbara Morison
on 2SER (107.3 FM in Sydney and on the Web)
and listen for Big Bob from Bondi every Saturday night with
John Nutting on Saturday Night Country (your Local ABC Radio and the Web).



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