Our cover and lead story this issue are in tribute to an unsurpassed legend who has entertained and given us music for decades – for many of us throughout our lives if you’re a baby boomer like me. I clearly recall the outrage of the oldies when some ‘radical’ band broke into ‘Okie from Muscogee’ at the Rodeo Ball or similar occasion where they’d been “paid to play old time dance music – not this rot”…“next thing it will be the Beatles!” (And it was)

The only upside of the passing of Hag was the absolute celebration and inundation of people revising his catalogue of songs and videos of performances. The Country Update site had in excess of 20,000 hits each week with everyone enjoying and posting their favourites. Allegedly Merle had some 300 unreleased songs recorded in the vault.

Regardless of new music his old stuff never gets old for me.

The tragic and shocking loss of our friend Karl Broadie has devastated everyone who knew him and we extend our sincere condolences to his family. The support and benefit concerts to aid Karl have been incredible and a source of comfort in the strength of love and unity.

Don’t miss the Dag Sheep Station Concert for Karl at Nundle June 18th if you can make it. See poster in Countryline section.

House concerts are a recurring theme when I’m speaking to many artists and I was interested in how one might go about hosting them and exactly what the protocol is. So I asked Harmony James, who regularly arranges and performs them, if she’d write a piece to educate us all and she kindly agreed to do so. Then, speaking with Michael Waugh (whose outstanding album is seemingly glued to my sound system) he told me about his experiences with house concerts.

I hope it is an increasingly-evolving trend as it is rare to find an intimate and respectful environment to listen to music in its rawest form without all the bells and whistles. I look forward to hosting a gathering in the near future – seems like an appealing option for a Winter evening – and perhaps you have the space and desire to do so as well? Until next time, stay warm and snuggle up with a good read and some fabulous country music!

Cheers, Denise

Denise Torenbeek