Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole

From cross-dressing routines to close out a set – Beccy dressing up as Adam and vice versa – to stink bombs surreptitiously deposited under a microphone mid-song, Beccy Cole and Adam Harvey have always brought out the…best…in one another.

Almost 18 years after first hitting the road together while touring with Gina Jeffreys, and with a string of stand-alone duets and collaborations already to their credit, the pair finally joins forces for The Great Country Songbook Vol. II: a collection of 17 lovingly-rendered offerings lifted from the canonical golden age of country duets.

As Adam explains, getting Beccy on board for the album was all but a fait accompli.

“I did the album with Troy, the Great Country Songbook Vol. 1 [2013], and then I said, ‘Gee, it’d be great to do all the great male and female duets’. And Troy wouldn’t play the part of Dolly Parton or any of those female singers – I offered to buy him a blonde wig, but he wouldn’t be in it! So I thought, alright, who would be the perfect fit to do this with? Of course, I thought straight away of Bec. I think she’s Dolly Parton’s No. 1 fan, and she’s just so good to go on tour with. The songs came together really easily – we picked our favourite classic country duets and all agreed on the track-list. It was very painless and all very natural.”

Beccy, it seems, needed little encouragement.

“It was a whole lot of fun!” Beccy confirms. “We do laugh a lot when we’re around each other – it’s just like a couple of mates getting together, and we wanted to capture that, because that’s what people see when they come and catch us live.”

“My wife Kathy actually says we’re the male and female equivalent of one another,” Adam says. “I don’t know whether Beccy would think that was a problem or not!”

“It’s mostly a compliment,” Beccy chuckles.

I ask Beccy what it is that has allowed her famously fertile working relationship with Adam to endure across almost two decades on the road.

“I think we realised straight away that we’re very similar in a lot of ways,” Beccy explains. “In our approach to entertaining an audience, certainly: we both love to put on a show, and to ‘show off’, I suppose! We’re very alike in the way we always want to put the audience first and we always make sure they have a good time. And we’ve got a lot in common – shared interests: AFL footy, lots of good humour, the odd cold drink on a hot day!

“And we’ve always had a huge amount of respect for each other, which I think really helps in a partnership like this. It’s not about egos, it’s about putting the show on the road and giving the people a grand old time. It’s not about who’s going to be getting top billing. In fact, we’ve always been like that: I never want to follow him and he never wants to follow me so we have to go on together! It’s been very even, as far as that goes.”

As Adam continues, it’s been a uniquely rewarding musical marriage, of sorts.

…read the rest in Issue 84