Right up front I can tell you I am not a big fan of country and western music.
I think this is a direct result of going on holidays to central Australia way back when I was a lad. My friend, who was driving me around in his beat up Toyota Land-cruiser, had a collection of country and western cassette tapes. And by collection I mean that he had 3 tapes.
Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rodgers and a best of compilation album, that if memory serves me consisted of 207 Willie Nelson tracks.
My friend had just broken up with his girlfriend before we left. He required a soundtrack to expunge his heartbreak. Thus, country music was on constant rotation 24/7. For the entire long, hot, corrugated trip.
Anyways, personal musicality trauma issues aside, today we found ourselves in the country music capital of Australia.
Tamworth (Pop 63,000) holds its huge country music festival every January (so I was safe from flashbacks).
Interestingly it was also the first town in Australia to use electric street lights back in 1888.
Perhaps even more interestingly, the word Budgerigar actually originates from the language of the Kamilaroi peoples who were the original inhabitants of the area.
We arrived around lunchtime and found ample space to park Ripley right next to the extensive central park area.
Lunch was a simple cheese and crackers affair washed down with plain water.
Afterwards we strolled up the main street. It was Sunday so much was closed, but we did get to sit down and have an excellent cup of coffee.
I must say, did not hear a single song from Kenny or Tammy or Willie being played the whole time we where there.
And just between you and me, turns out I don’t mind a little Casey Chambers to set the mood after all.