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 - April 2006


They came, they left, they promised to return...

"My mother thought up the name for my website...I just added the dot com..." quipped JOHN McEUEN during his recent visit to Australia. John McEuen and Felicity Urqhuart at the ABC's Saturday Night Country studioAlthough he was actually here in his role as producer of the play And In The End (The Death and Life of John Lennon), this founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band still found time to enthral locals with his banjo playing and chat on the radio. You can read hilarious stories from the road at his site plus see and hear his playing, including clips from the DVD Nitty Gritty Surround reviewed in this column - January 2004.

Pictured above: John McEuen and Felicity Urqhuart at the ABC Radio's Saturday Night Country studio. Listen to part of that show John McEuen with John Nutting, Felicity and Bob Howe...

Speaking of funny stories, REDD VOLKAERT amused guitar players and fans alike during his visit earlier in the year and you can enjoy the humorous biography at his site and marvel at the list of stars he has picked for. Not only Merle Haggard, but also everyone from Ray Price to George Jones and from Kenny Rogers to Dolly Parton! Browse the photo gallery for a peek at some of those legends that have shared his talents and check his schedule to see how busy it is for the best country guitarist in Austin...well just about anywhere really.

Redd Volkaert is pictured below courtesy of
Terry Phillpot - Eyeball Photographic Services and Tomkins Guitars


SARAH LEE GUTHRIE and JOHNNY IRION brought their music to Australia last month. They can sound like Johnny and June or Emmylou and Gram and yet they get put in the Alt. Country basket. If it looks like country and sounds like country, what's Alt. about it? While they work to forge their own identity, it is hard to overlook Sarah Lee's heritage (she's the granddaughter of icon Woody and the daughter of Arlo) and indeed, even the literary background in Johnny's family tree (his uncle is Thomas Steinbeck, son of author John Steinbeck). However, if you haven't heard them yet, let that be just an enticement to discover their own brand of artistry.

barbed wire
barbed wire


DVD cover


Yet another outstanding release from the Austin City Limits series - this time MERLE HAGGARD and The Strangers recorded live in 1985. Hag is in fine form, as he takes us through a selection of his hits (Mama Tried, introduced with a verse from Tulare Dust, Silver Wings) and songs from his latest album of the time, A Friend In California (The Okie From Muskogee's Coming Home, Thank You For Keeping My House). The band includes legendary guitarist Roy Nichols in one of his last recordings before he retired from the road. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys are also paid tribute with versions of Take Me Back To Tulsa and Ida Red.

Austin City Limits celebrates more than 30 years on US television this year. It has long been a favourite place for artists and that reflects in the performances that the audience gets to share. These days they cover 'roots music' from blues to rock, swing to country - always genuine talent, regardless of commercialism. These releases (also available on audio CD) are pure gold from their huge archive. This Merle Haggard show is an absolute gem right to the honky-tonk closer of I Think I'll Just Sit Here and Drink.

New West NW8018 (via Shock in Australia)
60 Mins


Bob talked to Barbara Morison on 2SER 107.3 FM about this month's column and more...

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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© 2006 Bob Howe - ShowNet