Peel Street Tamworth
Brian's Hot Picks for Tamworth 2017

  • The Gina Timms Ladies of Country Show happens at Wests on the very first Friday, 20th at 8pm, free in the Legends bar. Guests include Sandra Humphries and Marie Hodson. Then on Saturday 21st it's Gina's Birthday Bash at 8pm. Further shows, later in the week at Wests and Diggers.

  • The Hired Hands Reunion. A Tamworth Institution for want of a better phrase. This year it's at 6pm on Sunday 22nd at the North Tamworth Bowling Club.

  • Travis List has gigs all over town this year. I suggest 4:30pm Thursday at the South Tamworth Bowlo. Wonderful American stuff, I can take hour after hour of this.

  • The Cruisin' Deuces. With a sound midway between rockabilly and honky-tonk this Sydney band knows what to do and has a big inner city following. Their web site proclaims "old-school honky-tonk, country, rockabilly & western swing". Ten appearances, including the Southgate Inn at 5:30 on Sunday 22nd. Recommended.

  • The Spindrifters. New to Tamworth this year, and quite unknown to country music fans. But Sydney-siders have been lapping up this band at The Basement once a month all of last year. The Spindrifters at the Capitol Theatre could be sensational, perhaps the best thing of the week. Only one show, Thursday 26th at 2:30pm, so spoil yourself with a ticket to a 9-piece band.

  • Tomkins Late Night Honky Tonk. The marathon is on again, nine nights straight from Saturday 21st through to Saturday 28th at 11pm plus Sunday 29th at 8pm. Redd Volkaert on guitar and Allan Tomkins on bass. Great guests appear around midnight, and here's the list of guests all in one place.

    Saturday 21st - Michelle Little and Anthony Taylor
    Sunday 22nd - Sandra Humphries and Alby Pool
    Monday 23rd - David and Paula
    Tuesday 24th - Dan Murphy and Jamie Agius
    Wednesday 25th - Stuie and Camille
    Thursday 26th - Neilly Rich and Bryen Willems
    Friday 27th - Sandra Humphries and Matt Pratt
    Saturday 28th - Nicki Gillis and Darren Carr
    Sunday 29th - Alby Pool and Doug Bruce

  • Marie Hodson. A very busy week with 17 appearances. Just great, she does American style honky-tonk and Patsy Cline songs. Try the Werris Creek Golf Club on Saturday 21st with Sandra Humphries from 7:30m. Otherwise the Cattleman Steakhouse or the South Tamworth Bowlo.

  • Honky Tonk Music at the Family Hotel. A welcome return to the Family Hotel at the 'Moonshiners' Honky Tonk Bar. Free on Sat 21st at 10pm and Sunday 22nd at 7pm. Otherwise $10 Wed-Thur-Fri-Sat at 10pm

  • Bryen and the Bayou Boogie Boys. A very Texas / Louisiana sound and quite traditional from Bryen Willems. For a change, try the Hog's Breath Cafe, Wed 25th at 11:30am or Sat 28th at 5:30pm. Or the Family Hotel, Sunday 22nd at 7pm.

  • Sandra Humphries Thirteen appearances and is recommended. Several free gigs at the South Tamworth Bowlo starting with Thursday 19th at 6pm. Plus she appears in two tribute concerts at Diggers, mainly doing Tammy Wynette songs.

  • Tomkins Guitar Showcase. A top gig in every way. It's in Legends at Wests, Thursday 26th at 8pm.

  • Bill Chambers Sessions. Good band with guests, special guests and special special guests. Bill is a master at the simple concept of "less is more". At The Pub, Monday to Friday at noon.

  • Lesley Avril. This is her 27th Tamworth and "upstairs at the Tudor" is what it's all about. Gutsy and intimate. You can't go past song lyrics like "I want a cowboy in my bed" and "There's a guy works down the chipshop swears he's Elvis." Two shows at the North Tamworth Bowlo and four shows at the Tudor from Wednesday till Saturday, all at 6pm. And don't forget the Cavalcade.

  • Christian Power and Lonesome Train. The boys are back this year, with nine shows at The Albert. Daily, either at 4pm or at 7:30pm. Rockabilly leaning towards country.

  • Wanita and Her Honky Tonk Bar Dwellers. This is full-on honky-tonk stuff, and Wanita is an undisputed name not to be trifled with. Only two shows this year - Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th at the Family Hotel at 7:30.

  • Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Up from Victoria, and a pleasure to listen to. Pedal Steel. All shows are at either Wests or Diggers. It's ten shows in ten days, but the times vary.

  • Stuie's Pickers Night. This is the best guitar pickers night of the whole festival, but it's usually so jam-packed that you can hardly get in the door. Tuesday 24th at 9pm at The Pub but be early. Stuie also has two top gigs at the South Tamworth Bowlo.

  • Graham Rodger and his wife Deidre at the Community Centre. A nice bloke and a top songwriter with a great turn of phrase. Nashville enthusiasts should stay right away, as this is Aussie music, with patriotic Aussie themes. Five concerts, all at the Community Centre. Greenies and lefties won't enjoy this because it's too genuine.

  • The Ashleigh Dallas Band. Eight gigs this year. I suggest West's Diggers on either Sunday 22nd at 6pm or Wednesday 25th at 7:30pm. If you are an aspiring young country singer, well this is how it's done.

  • Breakfasts. There are several to choose from, plus some bush poetry and comedy. See the daily programme for details. Have your Aussie breakfast cheaply. Peter Denahy and Darren Carr are both tops. Keep an eye open for Buddy Goode.

  • Bluegrass Music. There is quite a lot about but it's scattered. Firstly, Peter Denahy is known for his comedy songs, but he's a competent picker and worth a look. Next Kristy Cox is in town and has three appearances in shows at the Capitol Theatre. Andrew Clermont's Supper Club at the North Tamworth Bowlo has a fiddle night at 9pm Sat 21st and mandolin and ukulele night at 9pm on Sun 22nd, banjo on the Monday at 9pm, plus a bluegrass champions show at 6pm on Saturday 28th. There is a bluegrass concert at the Capitol Theatre, 10am Friday 27th and it includes the only Tamworth appearance by Karen Lynne. And of course, Stuie's Pickers night (see above) sure has a lot of pickin' too.

  • Western Swing. This is quite a narrow field of American country music, mainly from Texas. Many of the songs you will hear are standards, such as 'Roly Poly' and 'My Window Faces the South'. In the Tomkins Honky-Tonk at Wests, the guitarist Redd Volkaert usually sings a few western swing songs between 11pm and midnight. The Feral Swing Cats one concert only, 2pm at the North Tamworth Bowlo on Tuesday 24th. One concert only from The Spindrifters at the Capitol Theatre on Thur 26th at 2:30.

  • Paying Shows. Many big-name Aussie artists do appear in Tamworth but often there is just one paying show, so be quick. Plus some great "Tribute" shows where an artist (usually American) or a style of music (usually American) is presented. Think Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

This page was last updated on Wednesday, 18th January 2017.

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