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 - June 2005

"Fiddle Me This..."

Virtual Violins in cyberspace.

This month we have not one, but four Celebrity Surfers - the four fine-fingered folk of the FIDDLERS FESTIVAL!


First up, the band's musical director MARCUS HOLDEN: "My favourite website is GEORGE WASHINGMACHINE's, mainly because it's linked to a museum of old washing machines. (George will be there soon!) It's got early models by Maytag, Westinghouse...everything including handwringers, mangles, drying racks...they all look like instruments of torture, but of course it's the cleanest site on the net!"


Next, the wildly diverse ANDREW CLERMONT: "Because some things in life simply bring a contented smile to the being, check out the desktop wallpaper at MANDOLIN CAFÉ, in particular the last one - Biblical clarity to the role of the Mandolin!"


The irrepressible MARK OATS: "Nowadays with the speed of technology overriding everything, and making it possible for people to work from home, I find that some of the simple pleasures have been lost. So when I find the time in my busy day I like to relax and unwind with the following website..."


The last word goes to the lady of the group, CLARE O'MEARA: "One of my favourite sites to visit right now is for the movie 'A Mighty Wind', which makes me laugh for days and reminds me of all the reasons why, never to take ourselves seriously in this business."

Learn more about the FIDDLERS FESTIVAL at their own site, including news of their 'Playing Australia' tour this month and the Blog of Marcus in Ireland last month, playing and visiting the musical store, owned and run by ex-Pat Australian musician Stuart Cowell, now in beautiful Kinvara, County Galway.

barbed wire
barbed wire


DVD cover


Previously released here on video, it is good to see this series (seven volumes so far) released on DVD. All feature live concerts filmed in the mid-eighties on location at The Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House in the complex known as Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida. Volume One is the only one that contains a whole concert by a single artist, Merle Haggard, while the others compile several songs each from various artists grouped in to themes, such as Kings (George Jones, Charlie Rich, Tom T. Hall etc) and Queens (Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson, Dottie West etc).

Merle Haggard and The Strangers with Bonnie Owens are captured here before an enthusiastic crowd, gathered around the stage in true barroom style. The obvious hits are here (Okie From Muskogee, Today I Started Loving You Again, Mama Tried) plus some great Western Swing numbers (Corrina Corrina, Take Me Back To Tulsa) and fiddle numbers. Indeed, The Strangers had grown to be a large enough band by then to evoke the spirit of Bob Wills. Hag's long-serving guitarist Roy Nichols is absent, but his sound also rings through the music, especially in Merle's own guitar solos.

Due to the limited number of filmed performances available by Merle Haggard and many of the artists in this series, they will be a welcome addition to the DVD library of many fans.

MRA Entertainment D0390
80 Mins plus extras




Bob talked to Barbara Morison, Sat 4th June @ 5.45am on 2SER 107.3 FM about this Cowboys In Cyberspace column plus Canterbury Country.
LISTEN in listen with Windows Media PlayerWindows Media™ or listen with RealAudioReal Audio™
Courtesy of Radio 2SER 107.3 FM in Sydney

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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