The Bushwackers Band
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The Bushwackers Band

Northcote, Victoria, Australia | SELF

Northcote, Victoria, Australia | SELF
Band Country Folk


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""A truly memorable musical experience""

The Bushwackers - Melbourne Age

""I have NEVER seen an audience enjoy itself so much""

The Bushwackers - Sydney Morning Herald

""Musically brilliant - magnificent!""

The Bushwackers - Manchester Guardian

""THE Australian Band""

The Bushwackers - Rolling Stone Magazine

""Make most rock gigs look like funerals""

The Bushwackers - Sydney Daily Telegraph

""One of the world's great folk bands""

The Bushwackers - Dublin Evening Herald


The list's almost too long! But notable albums -
The Shearers' Dream (1974)
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Faces in The Street
Beneath The Southern Cross
The Bushwackers Dance Album
Down There For Dancing
Warrigal Morning (Bush Christmas)
The Bushwackers Collection
So Far - 1974-1994
Oz Rock Salute
No Nuts 'Til Monday
Australian Songbook
The Great Bushwackers - Vols I, II, III
The Very Best of The Bushwackers
The Lawson Project
Australian Songbook II
Live and Loud (DVD)
The Official Dance Album
Australian Songbook III

6 of the albums available on Amazon, iTunes. Numerous tracks streamed on, Rhapsody etc



When a group of Melbourne university students gathered to share their love of traditional music in 1971, little did they realise that they were establishing a musical 'institution'.
There had been 'bush bands' before, but none that captured the public's imagination to such an extent that they were able to turn professional.
Although they all had a deep interest in 'folk' music, they were also influenced by the experience of growing up surrounded by the music of the 60s. Having established a couple of residencies at Melbourne pubs, the band's attention quickly turned to Europe where two of their great influences - Fairport Convention and Planxty were leading a folk revival. They wanted to be part of the action, and in 1974 took off to try their luck. Little did they realise that they were also heading into the gathering storm that was the beginning of punk! But that's another story.

The next 8-10 years were split between extensive tours at 'home', and 5 European tours from the band's base in London. Their energy and musicianship made an instant impact - Melody Maker describing them as taking the UK folk scene "by storm". Numerous and extensive tours of the UK, Ireland, France, Holland and Germany established them as confirmed club and festival favourites - Cambridge, Rotterdam, Edinburgh ...., and their debut LP 'The Shearers' Dream' reached No.1 on the Melody Maker Folk Chart. The combination of traditional instruments, electric guitar and bass and the unique percussive drive of the lagerphone, meant they rocked like no other folk band!

During their home visits, the band began to explore and popularise the neglected area of bush dance.
The late 70s and early to mid 80s saw the band's self-promoted Bush Dance Spectaculars attract 2-3,000 people to Town Halls and major venues throughout Australia. The impact of this dance phenomenon saw a single from their (Gold) 'Dance Album' reach the No. 14 on Melbourne's leading commercial Pop/Rock station!

With the addition of drums in 1980, The Bushies entered musical territory previously unexplored in Australia. This was the decade of the 'pub rock' boom, and saw the band sharing stages (and holding their own) with the cream of Aussie rock - The Angels, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil ..... The band released two Australian Song Books and two dance books and albums which - to this day, hold sales records. No Aussie school could do without them.
This decade also saw the band 'adopted' by country music fans and, on their first visit (1981) to Australia's largest music event - the 10-day, 4,500 gig Tamworth Country Music Festival, the band was awarded it's highest honour - A Golden Guitar.
(They've returned every year, playing to sell-out crowds).

The band's constant search for musical excellence saw them attract some of Australia's best - drummers Robby Ross (Goanna) and Freddie Strauks (Skyhooks), guitar legends Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Housden (Little River Band), Tim Gaze (Ariel, Rose Tattoo) and bassist Pete Farndon who went on to international fame with The Pretenders.

After decades of relentless touring, in 1995 the band decided to take a break from the road. The national broadcaster - ABC, marked the occasion with a 1-hour TV special "The Last Dance". The band continued to record and perform at major festivals/events.
They've continued that policy to this day - always being in demand for their unique and powerful stage shows.

In 2007, the band realised a long-held dream, travelling to Nashville for the Australian Festival. The combination of Australian songs and subject matter and celtic-influenced music proved just as popular with American as it had with European fans 30 years earlier!

A top-line festival attraction, 2011 sees the band heading for its 'spiritual' home - the Tamworth Country Music Festival, where they will be inducted (together with ex-Bushies Tommy and Phil Emmanuel) into the Galaxy of Stars in recognition of their 40th anniversary. A record achievement for an Australian band, and one their justifiably proud of. (They won the Golden Guitar for 'Heritage Song of the Year').

In 2012, the band was again awarded the Heritage Song Golden Guitar for 'I Am Australian', co-written by Dobe Newton.

How many still-performing bands can boast 27 studio and live albums covering vinyl, cassette, CD and MP3 formats?!
Having released their 27th recording - the 'Official Dance Album', the Bushies want to tour the world again. Don't miss them and their new recording 'Songbook III'!