The songs and stories of possibly Australia’s most iconic country music singer will be showcased at the Roxy Theatre this February as part of the Slim Dusty tribute show ‘Dustier than Ever’.
The 90 minute performance which is presented with the permission of Joy McKean, Slim Dusty’s wife, has been performed over 100 times in the last five years. Chris Cook plays fast and furious guitar, highly polished bluegrass banjo and energetic country fiddle with his distinctive and inimitable style, infectious enthusiasm and extensive repertoire. This multi-instrumentalist and songwriter is accompanied by a very able doublebass player, Rob Renfrew, who also sings, and skilful drummer/percussionist James Cantwell.
Chris Cook believes the single most significant influence on his musical development is Slim Dusty. Everything musical about him is based on Slim Dusty’s ethics. He remembers hearing Slim’s music all of his life and he grew up playing and loving it. Chris saw Slim Dusty in concert about 10 times. He vividly remembers the first time when he was about 9 years old at Coffs Harbour Civic Centre. Chris has a collection of Slim Dusty records – 78 rpms, 45s, singles and LPs, including his 19 EPs, and owns all Slim’s albums on CD and is one of Slim Dusty’s greatest fans.
Chris Cook hasn’t got a favourite Slim Dusty song but he can sing a lot of them. Chris first met Slim Dusty in Coffs Harbour in 1977. They met up again at Mataranka in the Northern Territory about 20 years later and went fishing together on the Roper River. A firm friendship was established between them which remained strong for the last 12 years of Slim’s life.
Slim Dusty recorded three of Chris Cook’s songs – “When the Country’s Wet” on “Ringer from the Top End” in 1992; “Diggin’ a Hole in my Guitar” (which was the second highest rotation of country singles on FM radio in Australia at the time, and which was nominated for an APRA award, the presentation ceremony for which both Slim and Chris attended in 2000 ) on Slim’s album “99” in 1999.
The songs and music of ‘Dustier than Ever’ are accompanied by Chris’s encyclopaedic knowledge of Slim’s music and snippets from times he and Slim spent together. There is a devotion to, admiration of and love for the songs of Slim Dusty which this show captures. ‘Dustier than Ever’ is a show to be remembered.
‘Dustier than Ever’ will be performed at the Roxy Theatre Bingara on Friday 23rd February. For more information or phone or visit the Bingara Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6724 0066.
Date: Friday 23rd February
Tickets: Cabaret table seats $35, Rake seating $25, Concession $20