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Cowboys In Cyberspace - September 2005


A lot has changed over the last eight years since this column began...

Back in September 1997, having a computer with a 4-gigabyte hard drive inside was considered to be pretty cool. Now, kids are wearing portable MP3 players around their necks that have a larger storage capacity! Windows 95 was a great breakthrough in how we interfaced with our personal machines, but now Microsoft no longer even supports that dusty old relic. It was a time when finding a Website about country music or your favourite artist was an exciting and sometimes challenging task, but now we expect to be able to find anything quickly and easily. JOHN WILLIAMSON

JOHN WILLIAMSON was one of the first artists we found on-line back then and his site is still growing and expanding, while his new album Chandelier of Stars tops the ARIA country chart. John was also one of the first to move from video clips to full length DVDs. Indeed, for a limited time the new album includes a bonus DVD featuring exclusive interview and performance footage.

The DVD had really taken hold over the past eight years to the point where video tape manufacturers are few and far between, much like cassette tapes since the advent of compact discs. It seems likely that legal downloads of music will eventually supersede some portions of that market too, if the multi-national companies concerned can ever agree on a business model that will truly take music merchandising into the current millennium.


Digital books have yet to really take hold (outside of Japan that is) because portable reading devices have never captured the public imagination, despite the advantages of storing books and documents electronically. When we looked at FRANK IFIELD on the Web eight years ago, he was still writing his autobiography. Now the first volume has been issued, I Remember Me -The First 25 Years, and can be purchased and downloaded from the publisher's site, but is also available in traditional paperback form. It covers his life and career from his early days of Australian country music up to the heady heights of worldwide success with I Remember You. With the aid of digital technology, a subtly remixed version of that very song has this year given Frank chart success in the U.K. once more.

So onward and upward we go, with computers and music players getting faster, better and smaller. Stay tuned for more exciting developments!

barbed wire
barbed wire


DVD cover


LYLE LOVETT has always been eclectic to say the least, so it is no surprise that this DVD refuses to sit neatly into any one genre. Filmed in 2003 for the American PBS live performance television show SOUNDSTAGE, this concert coincides with his album release of the time, Smile - Songs from the Movies. It begins firmly in a jazz mood with Blue Skies (from With Honors) and Straighten Up & Fly Right (from Dear God). The mood changes midway when Lyle is joined by RANDY NEWMAN for their duet You've Got A Friend In Me (from Toy Story) and a couple of solo songs by Randy, including Political Science ("...We'll save Australia, Don't want to hurt no kangaroo...").

Lyle returns for a non-movie country segment that features the sublime If I Had A Boat, a rollicking That's Right (You're Not From Texas) and another duet with Randy Newman, the jocular Long Tall Texan. Finally Lyle takes us to Church with the Large Band revved up, his regular vocal quartet in fine spiritual form and the heavenly trumpet of Mark Isham. Throughout the concert, marvel at piano-supremo and 8 times CMA Musician of the Year nominee, 7 times ACM Keyboardist of the Year winner Matt Rollings. Excellent camera work, superb sound quality and all kinds of Lyle!

MRA Entertainment D0590 - 81 Mins

Bob talked to Barbara Morison, Sat 3rd September @ 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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