"I've known hurt and pain/ seen things like I hope we never see again/ I've been bought and sold/ I've learnt not to believe most of what I've been told." Someone Else's Dream - Adam Harvey-Rod McCormack

Adam Harvey had no shortage of heroes to inspire seventh album I'm Doing Alright.

The six-time Golden Guitar winner, born in the Geelong suburb of Leopold, reached for the altruism of deceased lifesavers Fred Hollows and Victor Chang.

"I have great admiration for the late Fred Hollows and Victor Chang," Harvey, 32 and father of two sons, told Nu Country TV.

"They're inspirational people. We actually wrote Someone Else's Dream first, and then decided to build the whole album around it.

It's really important to be true to yourself. Let's face it, the people who change the world - people like Victor Chang and Fred Hollows - are those who are prepared to step out there on their own and do what they believe in, instead of following the pack."

Harvey spoke to Nu Country shortly after his CD on Sony-BMG and featuring eight original songs - topped ARIA country charts on debut.

The singer's co-writers included long time producer Rod McCormack on six songs, Phil Buckle, Rick Price, Ossie Clarke and Kev Bloody Wilson.

Harvey tried his hand at a little social comment after being frustrated by politicians hijacking his sons TV diet.

"After the kids watch Play School and cartoons the ABC goes to Parliament House and you see people who aren't doing anything much for anyone," Harvey quipped.

"It's like a kindergarten gone wrong in there. Then there are these other everyday people out there doing wonderful things. From then we decided to write all positive songs."

You can see the fruits of Harvey's labour in Victoria this weekend.

Harvey showcases his original songs at Rochford Winery in Yarra Valley on Saturday October 20 from 1 pm with country king Lee Kernaghan, Steve Forde, Michael Carr, Morgan Evans and Briana Lee.

Admission - $65 - Children under 12 free.

Bookings - www.rochfordwines.com
And on Sunday Harvey returns to his hometown and performs at the Ford Theatre at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.
Bookings (03) 52251200


"The genie in the bottom of the Jim Beam bottle/ made me do what I didn't want to do/ I made a wish with the genie but the genie was a meanie/ and he didn't make my dream come true." - Genie In The Bottle - Adam Harvey-Kevin B Wilson

Not on that bill is Kalgoorlie born sparkie-long time mock shock trooper Kev Bloody Wilson who toured the outback with traditional country pioneers Rick & Thel as a youngster.

That was before he turned his R Rated comedy into a rock solid gold mine on tours with former Asleep At The Wheel pedal steel guitarist and latter day ABC radio host Lucky Oceans as his co-pilot.

"Kev loves country music," family man Harvey revealed.

"He wanted me to be on the road with him in Ireland. He said it would be great fun. We went over and were driving through Tipperary when I told him I had this idea for a song. He joked 'it's a long way' and I said 'yeah that's been done.' I said the genie in the bottom of the Jim Beam bottle made me do it, what I didn't want to do. It came up really well. Kev's really proud of it. It took about half an hour - it just rolled out and wrote itself. He really wants to be recognised as a really serious country songwriter as opposed to the R rated stuff he's best known for. We toured over there for two weeks - both north and south. It's a beautiful place - he works solo with no band. I used to get up in the middle of his show and do songs like Beauty's In The Eye of The Beer Holder and The House That Jack Built - songs like that. I was surprised they loved it so much but country's roots come from Ireland."

Kev is no stranger to country music with guest hosting roles on Nu Country FM in our radio days and daughter T J Dennis releasing a brace of country CDS.

And, then there was the infamous concert at Kingston Rock in St Kilda in the eighties when I recognised a sweet young thang from the Vice Squad whose usual brief was to flash her briefs at trawling sex procurers in nearby streets in sting operations.

On this occasion I sprung her with male colleagues in the festive audience and Kev dedicated his show to "Policewoman Jenny Keene from the Vice Squad."

The importance of the occasion led to impotence when the slender brunette gendarme pushed the pause button - instead of play - on her concealed tape recorder in her hand bag and was caught short of evidence for the prosecution brief.
But I digress.


"50,000 summers gone, a gentle people came to understand/ they gathered food and then they moved on."

Harvey, like Wilson, has long followed his dreams into outback touring with his band - now a fertile song font.

So it was no surprise that a trip to Port Hedland with his band - featuring indigenous bassist Geoff Simpson - inspired his new song Walls.

"The whole idea started because in the past I was frightened to make many political statements for fear of upsetting people," Harvey confessed.

"Everyone has their own opinion - the last thing I want to do is upset someone who might say 'I like Adam Harvey but I'm not buying that album because he stands for this or he stands for that.' But I had a really good feeling about Walls. Sometimes you have these feelings inside you that need to be said. The Aboriginals originally had no walls - they roamed where they liked and then we arrived. I learn so much about their culture when we play out west."

And it was the Port Hedland festival that drove the message home for Harvey.

"When we play in Western Australia we always get a good roll-up of indigenous fans. We did a festival for the Ninji Ninji tribe up in Port Hedland that was great. It's not so much in the cities. But my bass player Geoff Simpson has been with me for 10 years.

He's Aboriginal - he grew up at Walgett in far western NSW. So we did a gig for the town of Walgett - he now lives in Wagga. We spend a lot of time in the car and he talks about his culture - he does a lot of work with the Aboriginal kids in trouble. He appears in court with them. Some people try to force their opinion down your throat but he's definitely not like that. With him you can have a really good conversation and get both sides. He works for the Water Board when he's not on the road with me and he does a lot of work with the kids who are in trouble. He keeps them out of trouble and out of bloody prison. Simmo goes to the court with them and represents them in court and takes them under his wing. Simmo has been with me for about 10 years and we're like family."


"Another time, another place/ a wall that separates east from west/ it took years before we could embrace/ the things we all knew were for the best." - Walls.

Harvey's touring - Canada, Ireland, the U.S. and China - also exposed him to other walls.

The singer performed in China in 2005 as a representative for Australian Country Music and Tamworth City Council.

He performed at the Chaoyang Pop Music Festival to an audience of over 300,000. The festival was held in the Chaoyang district of Beijing - a province of about three million of Beijing's population of 14 million.

Adam spent his day off on a bus trip to the Great Wall, learning to sing a favourite local song Nanewan with the tour guide during the half-day bus trip.

But the singer has no plans for a return to promote his CDS in the Chinese market.

"I'm unlikely to do a return tour there," Harvey confided.

"There's no record industry there. The illegal downloading is so bad. Your albums are on net before you release them. That's to the extreme - there is no way you can make a living there out of CD sales. I'm more likely to go back to show our kids around but there's only so much Chinese food you can eat."

But there was fertile fodder for song.

"Its sad when poverty is so bad and pollution just terrible and people trying to sell you their kids and stuff on the street," Harvey recalled.

"It was a great experience but it really was sad. We played at the festival four times in a week. I spoke the local lingo and learned to sing in Mandarin. The more you travel the more you appreciate living here - we've good it good at home."


"We're all living way too fast/ in a hurry going nowhere/ no candle burning at both ends ever lasts." - Way Too Fast - Adam Harvey-Rod McCormack

Not so good at home was a serious illness that almost claimed Harvey's dad Len, 62 and a rigger at Alcoa in Geelong for more than 20 years.

The Harvey patriarch spent three months in the Geelong Hospital intensive care ward after knee surgery led to septicaemia.

It was the week that Adam spent in hospital with Len that inspired Way Too Fast.

"Dad was really sick and spent about 3 months in intensive care," Harvey revealed.

"The doctors rang and said you should come down - we don't know whether or not he's going to pull out of it. I spent a week in hospital with him talking and he was telling me one of his biggest regrets was he wished he could have spent more time with us kids growing up. He said do me a favour - make sure you make the most of every day and not be in such of a hurry.

Everyone's in such a hurry but I don't know where in the hell we're gonna go - I think I'm about to find out."

Harvey said his father reflected on his short life after suffering an infection that shut down his organs and threatened to kill him.

But the Harvey patriarch recovered in time to celebrate his team's first premiership in 44 years.

"He pulled through - the old bugger," Harvey confided.

"He's OK now - fighting fit, back at work, going strong but it was a big three months out of his life."

Way Too Fast is a sibling song of sorts to the genetic wisdom of A Bigger Plan where the third writer is Rick Price.


"Business suits go well with new leather car seats/ and believing in all work and no play/ spending half your life in traffic jams on city streets/ chasing a dream while the real thing slips away." - I'm Doing Alright - Adam Harvey-Phil Buckle

Harvey's fame has grown so much during the last couple of years that the American CMA awarded him the Global Country Artist award last year.

Adam and other young peers attracted huge crowds when they represented Australia during the CMA Festival and other venues.

The singer, who performed at the Grand Ole Opry at Opryland on previous trips, also played the Opry's mother church - the historic Ryman Auditorium - this year.

Equally importantly he threw his hat in the ring by meeting bosses of the Nashville division of SONY-BMG.

Hopefully, he won't suffer the same fate of expatriate Newcastle novitiate who was dumped by the same label after releasing a quartet of singles from her two stillborn albums produced by hit writer and gun producer Keith Stegall, mentor Bill Chambers and Brett Beavers.

Beavers, producer of Dierks Bentley and a prolific writer, helmed the singer's second U.S. album but it's only single was rejected by radio.

"We went over and met the big guns from Sony - Joe Galante and company," Harvey said.

"American release depends on what they think of album and whether they want to re-record it over there. It's one of those things. Now I'm with Sony I've got much more chance in that market that when I was in ABC who don't have a label there. I want to go back to Canada, New Zealand and Ireland and tour. It will be a big help if Sony releases the album in those countries."


"Growing up, a little town/ trouble never out of view/ and always there to step in/ and you said that's just what friends do - You'd Do The Same For Me - Adam Harvey - Rod McCormack-Ossie Clark

Harvey's profile may be low on the corporate commercial radio chains here in his homeland but he's augmenting his TV and touring profile with another art form.

Renowned NSW artist Peter Smeeth - a finalist in numerous high-profile competitions including Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the Archibald Salon Des Refuses -honoured him with a portrait.

"It was something I wasn't really sure of at first he said trust me," Harvey confided.

"He put a couple of speakers behind the painting and mounted them into the painting.He had me playing acoustically and vocally so he heard what I sounded like.
That's the good news. But my kids didn't want it - no-one wants a picture of the old man hanging up at home. So it's in the local hall on the Central coast with a lot of other pictures. As much as mum would like it she hasn't made a bid to liberate it to home in Geelong."


Although Harvey and producer McCormack have written prolifically with songsmiths diverse as David Lee Murphy, Cornell Hurd and Kimmie Rhodes on their U.S. trips this time the originals were all penned here.

But Harvey covered former writing partner Billy Yates song Flowers that appeared on the singer's 1997 debut disc.

Yates, whose many hits included George Jones version of Choices, Walls Can Fall and I Don't Need You Rockin Chair, and fellow Texan George Strait's version of My Infinite Love, re-released the song on his new album Favourites.

"It was also covered by another singer but the album was never released," Harvey said of the song.

"I only had Billy's original version. I had it for five years. Billy and I are great friends - I have written songs with him."

Yates, 40, grew up in Southern Missouri near the Ozarks in Doniphan - a little town of 1,500 people.

He followed his barber father's tonsorial and musical career and moved to Nashville in 1987 as a songwriter.

Yates released his self-titled debut disc on indie label Almo before it went belly-up and he signed with Harvey's new label Sony who released two singles but no album.

Yates released 2001 album If I Could Go Back with strident songs Too Country And Proud of It in 2001 and Country in 2003 - both on his M.O.D. label - with bluegrass song Smokin' Grass.

Since then his M.O.D albums have been Anywhere But Nashville 2004, Harmony Man 2005 and Favourites - a 2006 compilation.

Harvey also covered Texan troubadour Guy Clark's vintage hit Heartbroke.

"I'm a huge fan of Guy,' Harvey said of the oft covered song that also featured on a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album.

"I liked Guy's original and I also heard Ricky Skaggs version."

Ironically, the title track entrée is reprised as the finale as a hidden song of sorts as Nothing Like A Party At The Harveys On A Saturday Night.

CLICK HERE for a previous feature on Adam from the Diary on February 6, 2005.
CLICK HERE for another feature on Adam from the Diary on January 14, 2002.

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