The Buried Country mob all started trickling in to Darwin today ahead of our show on Thursday night, August 9, to open this year’s festival there. Buried Country will appear, for free, at the Santos Opening Night Concert at the Darwin Amphitheatre, starting at 7pm.
It is a special event for the festival and the week will be a special one for Buried Country too, with cast-member Roger Knox lined up to be inducted into the NIMA’s Hall of Fame at the Awards’ ceremony at the Amphitheatre on Saturday night, August 11.
For Buried Country’s Leah Flanagan, the gig is a homecoming, and she is relishing showing off her beautiful new baby boy Tuco to family and friends. Leah’s rendition of Bob Randall’s “Brown Skin Baby” is always one of the show’s highlights, and will have further resonance in Darwin where Randall first unveiled the song around sixty years ago in the late 1960s.
In the absence of cast regular Franny Peters-Little, the Darwin show will also boasti a special guest, Eleanor Dixon. Elly likely needs little introduction especially to Territorians, with her esteemed work over the years with Rayella, her band with her father Ray Dixon, and her band Kardajala Kirri-Darra, who’ve lately set the Australian music scene on its ear. With Buried Country, Eleanor will put her own spin on one of the songs that Franny usually sings in the show, her father Jimmy Little’s “Blacktracker,” and she will sing one of her own songs, which – we hope! – the band is rehearsing as we speak.
For Roger Knox, to be inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame, is only fitting if not overdue. But then the late Auriel Andrew still wants to be acknowledged in such a way too, and the ARIA Hall of Fame has a lot of catching up to do. Roger is a living legend and he has been a lynch-pin in the Buried Country stageshow since its inception a few years ago. Even for all the duress that such full-scale touring can impose on especially elders, his commitment and deep soul has never wavered. Roger will join other such Hall of Famers as Ali Mills, Jimmy Little, Seaman Dan, Archie Roach, Vic Simms and Kutcha Edwards, and on the night he will perform a few songs alongside other showcase performances by 2018 NIMA nominees like the Baker Boys, Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers with Alan Pigram, Alice Skye and others. He will then, later this year, be the subject of an exhibition at the new Australian Music Vault at the Arts Centre in Melbourne, which will display artefacts and show films from his 40-year long career. A national tour with Jon Langford is also in the offing.
Meantime, if you’re in Darwin, we hope to see you at Thursday’s show, which will have local legend Ali Mills performing a welcome to country. Very excitingly too the new Buried Country vinyl LP edition will be on sale at the merch table! Mary or Ruby will look after you. From all the BC mob, we give Roger a big hug and just look forward to even more years of great music yet ahead of us…