True blue performer John Williamson heading back to Nelson Bay with new album, Butcherbird

TRUE BLUE: Australian music icon John Williamson will tour his new album Butcherbird to Nelson Bay in May.
TRUE BLUE: Australian music icon John Williamson will tour his new album Butcherbird to Nelson Bay in May.

Australian music icon John Williamson is celebrating the release of his 52nd album, Butcherbird, with a national tour of the same name.

During the next 18 months, Williamson will tour Butcherbird around the country, sharing his latest original compositions plus songs from his massive back catalogue of favourites from his 48 year career.

The tour, stopping in Nelson Bay in May, will see Williamson take his audience on a journey filled with humour, romance, environmental issues, travelling tunes and campfire stories – all woven together by the master storyteller’s songs.

“I’m still having fun touring,” Williamson said. “I guess I will keep going until 2020 – my 50th year in the industry.

“My new album Butcherbird has come up amazingly well, considering I didn’t plan or promise another of all new songs.

“For me, it’s all about entertainment, just like my concerts and I can’t wait to get on the road with this new tour.”

John Williamson in Tamworth for the 47th Tamworth Country Music Festival. Picture: AAP/Brendon Thorne)

John Williamson in Tamworth for the 47th Tamworth Country Music Festival. Picture: AAP/Brendon Thorne)

Responsible for creating some of Australia’s most iconic unofficial anthems of the country such as True Blue, Mallee Boy and Raining On The Rock, Williamson is ingrained in the Australian psyche.

He gives a voice to the “Aussie battler” while shining a light on issues affecting the Australian community.

Williamson once again took up the call to arms with Butcherbird, tackling timely social and environmental issues within Australia on his 52nd album.

Pigs On The River is a track that Williamson was inspired to write after watching a story on ABC investigative journalism program Four Corners about the Murray-Darling River System.

New songs such as Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone and Looking for a Story will strike a chord with the audience, Williamson said, balanced by the humour of songs such as When My Horse Came In and Simpson Desert.

Track Buddy and Slim pays tribute to the industry’s founders.

While the album does tackle some hot topics, Williamson said Butcherbird is “probably my most relaxed album ever”.

“I didn’t expect to write another 11 songs, but I can’t help myself,” he said.

“It’s a very honest and reflective album and it was quite a breeze to write.

“Perhaps this is because at this stage of my career I had a ‘what the hell, just do it’ attitude.

“It felt right. There’s a crazy song, a protest song and some reflections, underscored by my beautiful Numinbah Valley.”

As for the question as to why he called the album Butcherbird?

John Williamson poses with the Bush Ballad of the Year award during the 47th Tamworth Country Music Festival in Tamworth on January 26, 2019. Picture: AAP/Brendon Thorne

John Williamson poses with the Bush Ballad of the Year award during the 47th Tamworth Country Music Festival in Tamworth on January 26, 2019. Picture: AAP/Brendon Thorne

“Well, the Butcherbird is my favourite feathered singer,” Williamson said.

“They have been here longer than humans, yet their melodies are remarkably fresh.

“They are my mates in the garden and have inspired the first track, The Valley of His Dreams.”

See Williamson at Wests Nelson Bay Diggers on May 31.

Tickets to the show, on sale now from the club or online at www.westsnewcastle.com.au, cost $49 for members and $54 for guests.

Doors open at 7.15pm. The show begins at 8pm.

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