"Jodie was a late night singer in an early morning café/ she waltzed slowly by the juke box until dawn broke her day/ Solo came to town with the rodeo, didn't plan to stay." - Jodie - Darcy LeYear-Dawson.

When expatriate Kiwi singer-songwriter Darcy LeYear arrived in Sydney he had a few similarities to Texan troubadour Billy Joe Shaver.

Darcy, who debuted in his dad's band on the north island of New Zealand, lost tops of two fingers in a saw mill accident when he was 17 but learned to play a mean guitar.
LeYear didn't emulate Shaver by marrying his wife Dawn three times but shared that marital inspiration for his writing.

The singer fronted Sydney progressive country groups 'Saloon' and the '2KWireless Band' with mechanical bulls in kicker bars such as 'Governor Bourke,' 'Lewisham,' North Annandale and Digger Revell's 'Cooperage.''

He recorded a brace of singles and an album for Powderworks which scored air play on 2KY and 3UZ.

LeYear also co-wrote 'Hillbillies Hate Change' - parody of Sydney country acts Reg Lindsay and Brian K Kelly.

Unfortunately, the day the song's history was revealed in a Sydney Daily Mirror TV story to publicise LeYear's performance on Simon Townsend's 'Wonderworld' show he was booked to open for Lindsay in Grafton.

Controversy also followed LeYear, now 56, when he formed 'The Wolverines' with drummer John Clinton and lead guitarist Chris Doyle in 1993.

Now, 10 years and three albums down the lost highway, the cowboy boogie band are still making headlines.

Their version of Lee J Collier's cystic fibrosis awareness song '65 Roses' won a gold guitar in Tamworth in 2002.

The song, which sold more than 33,000 copies, was dumped from ARIA charts after hitting #23 because employees of L J Hooker - sponsors of Australian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - had bulk bought copies to raise awareness with clients.

Collier wrote it on December 29, 2002, after L J Hooker marketing and promotions consultant Julia Loaney told him of a little boy whose parents told him his sister had cystic fibrosis.

"Why does she have 65 roses?" the boy asked innocently.

That evocative single, accompanied by a video, broke 'The Wolverines' on TV and ABC, regional and community radio.

The Wolverines earlier performed gigs in Texas and Tennessee country venues after cutting their 1996 ABC Music disc, 'Gonna Ride All Night Long,' in Nashville with producer Louis Shelton.

Song writing is a joint effort with a three way split of royalties from their debut and second album 'Feel The Need To Ride, to their latest disc 'Wolverines & Roses' on Canberra based ACMEC label.

The Wolverines, frequent visitors to Victoria, have one of the most diverse marketing and merchandise departments behind Kasey Chambers and the Kernaghans.


Catch The Wolverines and den mother Dawn LeYear when Nu Country TV director Peter Hosking films them at the 'John Barleycorn' in Johnson St, Collingwood, on Saturday June 28.

Other Victorian gigs include Warrnambool - June 18, Hamilton - June 19, Colac - June 20, Geelong - June 21, Ballarat - June 22, Bairnsdale - June 25, Morwell - June 26, Wonthaggi - June 27 and Lilydale International Resort - June 29.


When Red Rivers performs next month in French city Evian - European home of yuppie mineral water - he knows what his band won't be drinking.

"I don't think anyone in my band will be partaking Evian chasers with their booze," Rivers told Nu Country on the eve of his appetiser gig at the Cornish Arms, Brunswick, on June 26.

"Evian hosts a country music festival and is also birthplace of a couple of Saints."

Red's concert is being filmed by Nu Country TV director Peter Hosking for the eagerly awaited show which debuts on Channel 31 at 8 p m on Saturday October 4. The singer has recorded four albums in his six year recording career and will showcase tunes from his fifth album which he plans to record over summer.

That will be after his European tour - a trip followed by a Nashville sojourn. Rivers' tributaries will flow with local beers and spirits to ease culture clashes during a three week sequel to his 2000 European tour when the Twin Towers tumbled in New York and collateral damage spread throughout the Continent.

The hotshot guitarist performs the thriving roots music summer festival circuit including a major festival with 'The Blasters' and Teddy Morgan.

"We're doing the Pier festival with the original Blasters with Dave and Phil Alvin, it's the absolute original line-up," Rivers revealed.

"I can't wait as we're on the same stage on the same day. So is Teddy Morgan. We play in France, Belgium and there could be a couple of dates in Finland or Sweden."
Rivers quartet includes guitarist Lachlan Monaro, bassist Dave Harding and pedal steel player Garrett Costigan.

"Even in the blues stuff I have encouraged Garrett to move away from the rock and try to incorporate more of a roots country flavour."

Rivers has received widespread airplay in Europe and enjoyed interviews with the famed Dr Boogie.

Red and writing partner Carol Rohde have penned a brace of news songs that he is road testing for his fifth album which he plans to record in November or December.
But Rivers is unlikely to be performing any anti-cancer concerts here.

He is acting out the sentiments of his new song 'Love's Addiction.' "It's about smoking cigarettes," Rivers revealed, "after a period of 10 years I find myself taking up the terrible habit of smoking again. And I'm back on them, I thought I would have to write this song about it. I'm enjoying them more now than before I gave them up."
Rivers and Rohde have also written 'Whiskey Talk.' "It's the whiskey talking when you've got the loudest voice,' that's one of the lines out of the chorus," Red added, "how often when you get drunk people don't see the best side of you."

Other new songs include 'Lost And Found' and 'Juke Box Fool.' "That's about a decade of being a juke box fool dating back to my days with Don Walker in Catfish," says Red who plans to collaborate with the former Cold Chisel pianist who has a few extra curricular commitments at the moment.

"He's very busy, he's also going to Iran and France on a six week trip," says Rivers who also plans to visit Nashville and write and perform after his European tour.

Rivers, whose tongue is firmly planted in his cheek, has had his songs recorded by artists diverse as Mississippi born blues star Charlie Musselwhite and two trucking troubadours - Dale Watson from Texas and Adam Harvey from Geelong. Red's Cornish Arms show is being filmed by veteran actor Peter Hosking for Nu Country TV which debuts on Channel 31 at 8 p m on Saturday October 4.

Rivers also landed music in movies 'Australian Rules' and 'Mullet' in a career that began in North Queensland in the eighties.

'Australian Rules' featured Simon Westaway, Nathan Phillips, Luke Carroll, Lisa Flanagan and Tom Budge.

The title track of Rivers' fourth album 'Wishbone' features in a movie BBQ scene. "The story is based loosely on a book about a couple of young Aboriginal boys who got shot," Rivers recalled.

"It's a great movie. I don't normally say that because I've had some songs in movies that were not. I had a song in 'Mullet' which was a bit of a dog. I also had a song in a Colin Friels movie that was a real stiff. I went and saw a preview but can't remember the name. The music director Mick Harvey, from 'Bad Seeds,' approached my publisher. Hopefully there's a soundtrack. My sister went to see it and they really turned Wishbone up in this footy BBQ scene."

Rivers hopes to build on his following as a writer in Europe. "APRA had an approach from a Swedish publisher who wants to translate my lyrics into Swedish," Rivers, revealed, "it started with the song 'You've Got no Heart' (a duet I did with Anne Kirkpatrick)."

Rivers performs at the Cornish Arms, 163 Sydney Road, Brunswick, on Thursday June 26. Tickets are $10. Bookings - Phone - 93808322.

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