By Tania Phillips
Twenty-five years ago a young guy from Albury-Wodonga changed the face of Australian country music with a song and album inspired by growing up around the Riverina.
Almost overnight Lee Kenaghan went from playing local pubs and calling the bingo down the club to touring Australia.
The album was his Aria Award winning debut release Outback Club and the songs were inspired by growing up in the Riverina – many having their germination in his old bedroom back in Dallinger Road, Lavington including the one that became his first single and first hit – Boys From The Bush.
And now to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Boys From The Bush and Outback Club (which earned him the first three of his 36 Golden Guitars) Lee is hitting the road and Albury is one of his first stops.
The national tour, launched last week in Tamworth will see him travel all over Australia, both celebrating his first album and promoting the 25th anniversary album set for release in March and featuring duets with some of the other stars of Australian country music from Troy Cassar Daly and Kasey Chambers to The Wolfe brothers and his sister Tanya.
“It’s easier to say where we aren’t going,” he laughed.
“But to think it all began in Albury,” he said, explaining that he was pleased that it would be one of the early shows in the Australia-wide tour.
“Coming back to my home town for this 25th anniversary show is just super special and so exciting for me.
“There is so much history and heritage for me and my family.”
He said when they started working on the album, producer Garth Porter told him to mine the stories and experiences of growing up around Albury and his family heritage (his grandfather was a drover around the Riverina). It is a move that paid off for the 2008 Australian of the year.
Tickets are now on sale and are expected to go fast for the 25th Anniversary Show on Friday 21 April, at 8pm at the Albury Entertainment Centre.
Special guests: The Wolfe Brothers, Tania Kernaghan and Christie Lamb for more informationwww.alburyentertainmentcentre.com.au or (02) 6043 5610.