January 2015 - Tamworth Country Music Festival 


Leading traditional country music / bush ballad artist Dean Perrett shows once again why he holds the respect and admiration of fellow music peers and fans alike. Tamworth 2015 is just one more fantastic festival for Dean as he adds to his accolades; on Saturday the 17th, Dean was announced as an inductee into the Australian Country Music “Hands of Fame” in Tamworth. 

Following that at the Tamworth Songwriters Awards held on Tuesday 20th January, Dean won:-
  • The Bev Daniel Commemorative Award for Traditional Bush Ballad of the Year for the song “Coopers Creek”;
  • The Gospel Song of the Year with the song “The Light House”; and
  • The Alternative Country/Blues/Bluegrass Song of the Year with the song “Fear God”.

Next at Tamworth’s Grand Finale the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, Dean is nominated for 4 Golden Guitars, including:-
  • Vocal Collaboration of the Year for the song "My Country My Land" recorded as a duet with Troy Cassar-Daley;
  • Bush Ballad of the Year for the song "Bloodwood and Clover" written by Ian Quinn;
  • Heritage Song of the Year for the song "My Country My Land" recorded as a duet with Troy Cassar-Daley; and
  • Bluegrass Recording of the Year for the song "Oh Ye Must Be Born Again".
 

October 2014 

Article taken from Country Music Capital News - October 2014

Leading the Way
Written by Susan Jarvis for Country Music Capital News

 
 
Being an Australian Bush Balladeer carried a big responsibility –something Dean Perrett knows only too well.

“So much of the unknown and unrecorded history of our country is contained in bush ballads, so you have to get them right and also capture the spirit of the land”, Dean said.

Over the past 25 years, Dean’s played a vital part in contributing to the body of work that is Australia’s unique and very important musical heritage.  With 12 previous albums under his belt buckle, and a swag of awards for his music, he’s regarded as one of the leading exponents of the bush ballad style, and also as someone who’s not afraid to carry the genre into the next century, by combining innovation and enormous respect for the style.

With his latest album, I’m the Land, Dean has done just that:  the album features some very traditional bush ballads, yet it was recorded in Nashville.  After recording a number of successful albums in Australia with producer Stuie French, Dean says he thought long and hard about the decision to record Aussie Bush Ballads in America.

“The idea of doing it came to me while I was recording my last album, The Shelter of the Cross, which is a bluegrass gospel record.  Because I was after a really authentic bluegrass sound for that, I chose to record it in Nashville with producer Larry Marrs, and I was really pleased with the result,” Dean said.  “But it also got me thinking:  the players on the album have such respect for their traditional music, and I wondered how they’d approach Australian Bush music.  I was also trilled with Larry as a Producer and wanted to explore doing a bush ballad album with him.

“So I took the plunge – but I made sure I guided the whole process, by providing sounds and styles to all the musicians and to Larry, and explaining exactly the kind of sound and feel that I was after.”  In the end, though, Dean says it came down purely to feel.

“Those musicians just got what it was about, and really captured the spirit and feel of the music.  And when I talked to them about it, I realised that so much of the basis of our bush ballad style – not the lyrics, obviously, but the underlying style – comes from that traditional hillbilly music.”

I’m the Land is proof that the experiment worked – the album’s production is superb:  it’s simple, elegant and very classy, yet it embodies all that is authentic and honest about the bush ballad.  That’s helped, of course, by a collection of songs, written by Dean and a number of his musical mates.

The album’s title track, penned by Allan Caswell, has already taken Dean into the finals of this year’s Southern Stars Independent Country Music Awards in Mildura.  It’s a powerful and captivating song that Allan offered to Dean after he asked for a contribution to the album.

The land is also the subject of Dean’s duet with Troy Cassar-Daley, My Country My Land, which the pair wrote after Troy suggested a song that took two difference perspectives on connection to country.  “He suggested we write a song that explored that link from his Indigenous viewpoint, and from my perspective as a fourth-generation cattleman,” Dean said.  “We wrote it via email, and it came together really well.  Then I sang my vocal in Nashville and he did his in Brisbane – making music has changed a lot since I began recording 25 years ago!”

Another friend, Kedron Taylor, wrote the thought-provoking The Thought Has Crossed My Mind after Dean suggested the idea to him of a song about depression.  I’d been thinking about a song about depression for a while – it’s been tough in the bush and the rural suicide rate is really high”, Dean said.  “I have always admired Kedron’s ability to write about emotion, and he was really able to get inside the head of someone going through that suffering in a very powerful way”.

Dean’s always at his best when he’s singing about the country he loves and its rich history, and songs like Blood wood & Clover (written by Ian Quinn), Coopers Creek and Mobs Moving all capture the essence of Australia perfectly. 

There are also tributes to two of the greats of Australian country music, Buddy Williams and Slim Dusty.  “I wanted to do a song about Buddy to mark the 75th anniversary of his first recording, and Ian Quinn’s The Last Hillbilly Man was perfect – especially with the tag of Buddy’s Where the White Faced Cattle Roam,” Dean said.  “The Slim song was written by Virginia Coad.  I’d always avoided singing about Slim because there are so many songs out there, but this one was too good to pass up.  And the Title – Another Slim – works really well.  It might be another song about Slim, but there really will never be another Slim.  He was one of a kind.”

Other standout tracks on the album include a cover of the great Shel Silverstein song Ned Kelly, written in the 1970s for Waylon Jennings to sing in the Ned Kelly movie starring Mick Jagger, and the warm and heartfelt Outback Woman.  To provide some contrast, Dean’s teamed up with legendary bluegrass singer Paul Brewster for a killer version of the old country classic Amanda.

“This album has brought together so many of the things I’ve been wanting to do, and that seems appropriate, given that it marks my silver anniversary in the industry.  I’m really proud of the songs and the production, and it’s made me feel really inspired to keep going for another 25 years,” Dean said.

Dean has a hectic schedule for the rest of the year, with this month featuring the Mildura Festival, the Port Pirie Country Music Festival and the Slim Dusty Country Music Memoires Week Festival in Kempsey.

He recently launched the new album at the Gympie Muster, where it was received enthusiastically by his many fans.

Then it’s back to the farm to live the life he sings about for a while before heading off to the Tamworth Festival in January.  “I sometimes feel I have two full-time jobs, but they are both so much a part of me that I couldn’t imagine it being any other way.  Music’s so much a part of what I do, and my life on the land is so much a part of my music that I feel very privileged to have them both in my life”, Dean said.



 

August 2014 

Article taken from Country Update - Issue 74 (August 2014)

Dean Perrett Is The Land
Written by John Elliott for Country Update

 
Thirteen albums in twenty-five years have kept Dean Perrett a busy man.  But whenever I want to catch up with Dean to chat about his latest musical exploits I’m more likely to find him on the back of a horse mustering cattle on the family cattle property between Nanango then in a studio.

Dean’s not complaining.  “My work and life as a cattleman bears me in good stead for the art of writing Australian Bush Ballads”, he told me as he unloaded a deck full of cattle.  Dean sings and makes music in the traditional Australian Bush Ballad style so it came as a bit of a shook to his bush balladeer mates when Dean decided to record his latest album in Nashville.

Nick Erby, legendary country music broadcaster and historian, wasn’t all that surprised by Dean’s decision.  “The Bush Ballad scene in Australia is a key component of our music”, Nick told me earlier this year.  “For too long it was uninteresting and musically tired.  Then a few years ago came producers Stuie French and Michael Fix, who added a fresh feel, showing the potential of new ways of doing traditional music.  The Americans created the musical feel that became the bush ballad sound, so it’s not a bad thing for someone to explore what they can bring today to this important part of our music”.

I’ve heard the album and I absolutely love it.  It contains a great selection of songs, old and new, and it’s the best I’ve heard Dean sing.  The production sounds from producer Larry Marrs is respectful to what has gone before but is fresh and new at the same time.  Guthrie Trapp, on lead guitar, highly in demand around the studios as a session player and has toured with the likes of Patty Loveless, plays up a storm.  At times I think he is channelling Barry Thornton – the sound is so authentic to the bush ballad genre.

Dean recorded his bluegrass gospel album in Nashville in 2013 and he came home with a massive respect and awe of how the musicians approached their country and bluegrass music.  It got him thinking, “I had every confidence that we could achieve a top shelf bush ballad recording even though this genre of country music was not one they had played or tried before in Nashville.  The simple truth is the bush ballad is old traditional country and that is what gave myself and the musicians a lot in common when we went to work on the project.”

Producer Larry Marrs worked with Dean on his bluegrass gospel album after being introduced by the Davidson Brothers.  Larry has recorded and worked on the road for many years with great country acts such as George Jones and Marty Stuart.  Dean asked Larry to co-produce the bush ballad album with him.  It made sense, Larry with his musical and record production experience and team of Nashville’s best players to call on and Dean to keep the authenticity of the uniquely Australian genre where it should sit.

Larry put together the A team of musicians.  Bruce Watkins on acoustic guitar, who has played on all of Allan Jackson’s country albums as well as sessions for George Jones.  He also toured Australia twice as part of Dolly Parton’s Band.  Paul Franklin, who without question is regarded as the greatest pedal steel player in the world,  Paul has worked with most of the country greats and with rock band Dire Straits.  Charley McCoy played harmonica.  Charley is the harmonica player you hear on recordings by George Jones, Tom T Hall, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Simon and Garfunkel – if ever there was a big hit with harmonica you can bet it was Charley blowing that blues harp.  The fiddle player is Kenny Sears who is part of legendary western swing band the Time Jumpers and was the house fiddle player on the Grand Ole Opry for many years.  His smooth fiddle licks add something special to Dean’s album.  “I didn’t want to tamper with the sound of the bush ballad”, Larry Marrs told me.  “Dean was there all the way to guide me but he still had to trust that we could get the right feel.  I have been wanting to make an album like this for twenty years and it took a guy from Australia to bring the songs for us to do it”.

Dean couldn’t be happier with the album he brought back from Nashville.  “I consider I’m The Land my best album so far.  All the songs on it strike at the very heart of who I am.  My hope is that this album will find a special place not only in the hearts of my fans but also at the core of the Australian country music industry.  The bush ballad is unique and I hope this project goes a long way toward freshing the sound while still preserving the integrity of this great Australian music form.” 
I take one last photo of Dean under the impressive gateway to Bowenfels, the family cattle property between Nanango and Goomeri in the heart of the South Burnett region.  Dean, a fourth generation cattleman says he has to get back to helping his father Glen draft some cattle and get ready for a shipment of I’m The Land which he is expecting later in the week.

Luckily for Dean his father Glen doesn’t mind doing more than his share of the work when Dean hits the road to take his music to his ever-increasing legion of fans.  You can catch Dean September 12 to 14 at the Nanango Country Heritage Festival, Mildura Festival at the end of September and the Slim Dusty Music Memories Week Festival at the end of October.


 

23 November 2014 

Article taken from The Balladeers Bulletin

G’day friends and neighbours,

Well 2014 has galloped on past and disappeared in a cloud of dust, and although the year was a very dry year at home on our property “Bowenfels”, my musical year was full with good things and plenty of work. 

Once again I found myself back in the recording studio, which is something I love doing very much.  Producer Larry Marrs and myself set about recording a great new bunch of songs which became the album “I’m The Land”.  The album contains some great traditional and modern Bush Ballads and Australiana songs.

Making great quality country music is something my heart has to do to be happy and a part of me that seems to get stronger with each passing year.  I am amazed to look back and realise it is 25 years since I recorded that first album with my sister Kerri.  The roads my music has taken me down, the people I have met, the mates, fans and friends; have made it an interesting career for me, and there is only a few things that I would change if I could go back.

“I’m the Land” has been a milestone album for me.  I co-produced this album alongside Larry Marrs.  It was a real pleasure to write and record the song “My Country, My Land” with Troy Cassar-Daley, as well as working with the cream of country musicians the world has to offer.  The album is packed with great new Bush Ballads. 

I had a great time performing these new songs at festivals around Australia during Spring 2014 including; Gympie Muster, Nanango Muster, Bony Mountain, Texas Stampede, Mildura Country Music Festival, Port Pirie and Kempsey Slim Dusty Memories Week. 

Once again it was great to be awarded the Heritage Track of the Year Award at the Australian Independent Country Music Awards for the song “I’m The Land”.  Other exciting news is that I have been nominated for four Golden Guitars at the 2015 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia.  Fingers crossed for some success there!

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2015.

Come along and catch one of our shows during the Tamworth Festival.  See you all there!
 
Kind Seasons,
Dean Perrett

26 May 2014 


New Album – “I’m The Land” due to be released in July 2014
 
Hello there friends,

I am very pleased to tell you I have been back in the recording studio working on a special album, my new Bush Ballad album, “I’m the Land”.

The album contains new original bush songs from my pen as well as some great new songs written by my friends Ian Quinn, Virginia Coad and Allan Caswell.

There are two special duets; Troy Cassar-Daley duets with me on an emotive song we have co-written titled “My Country, My Land” and I am also proud to have recorded a version of the great country classic “Amanda” with one of the great all time Bluegrass vocalists, Paul Brewster. 

There are also two special tribute songs to Buddy Williams and Slim Dusty. 

This album will be released in mid-July and I firmly believe this album contains some of my best music to date.

If you would like to pre-order a copy of the new album, please complete and post the attached printable Mail Order Form with your cheque or money order to the address provided.  CD’s of I’m The Land will be mailed to you as soon as they are available, which we expect will be in mid-July 2014.

Alternatively you can purchase the album as a CD or digital download once the album has been released in July 2014 from my Albums Page on this website with the option to pay by credit card or Paypal. 

Preview song samples of I'M THE LAND in the video below.

 

25 May 2014 


Article taken from The Balladeers Bulletin - July 2014 issue. 

G'day Everyone, 
Well the year so far has been an exciting one for me.
So it has been a case of pulling down the akubra and riding hard.
 
Once again I had a great time in Tamworth. Thank you so much to everyone who caught up at our own shows and purchased CD’s.
 
My highlight for Tamworth was to be asked along with my mate Jeff Brown, to sing “The Drovers Boy” in honour of Ted Egan’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Country Music Awards of Australia.  It truly was an honour to be invited to do.
 
I am also excited to tell you that my new Bush Ballad album “I’M THE LAND” is about to be released.  I am very proud of this collection of songs that I have written and received from other songwriters;  songs about different aspects of bush life and parts of our great country.
 
A feature for this album is an emotive song “MY COUNTRY, MY LAND” which I wrote and recorded with Troy Cassar-Daley.  This album was co-produced by Larry Marrs & myself.
 
I have written a lot of the songs on the project, but I am proud to have songs written by Allan Caswell, Ian Quinn, Virginia Coad Hermel and Kedron Taylor.
 
I am also looking forward to a run of festivals during the remainder of 2014, as well as our own various shows & concerts.
 
See you on the road and around the ridges!
 
Kind Seasons
Dean Perrett

 

1 November 2013 


Great News!

Dean was awarded “Heritage Track of the Year” at the Australian Independent Country Music Awards held in Mildura at the beginning of October 2013 with his version of a Slim Dusty classic “Where Country Is”.  This is the fourth occasion Dean has been presented with this award, once again proving Dean’s authenticity in this genre of music.
 
USA Trip

In July Dean travelled to Nashville, USA to record a Bluegrass Gospel Album, “The Shelter of the Cross”.   While in Nashville Dean took the opportunity to see some great country concerts at the historic Ryman Theatre and the Grand Ole Opry.
A big thrill for Dean while he was in Nashville was to be invited backstage at the Ryman Theatre.  “We were invited to spend time at sound check and during the show with Ricky Skagg’s band Kentucky Thunder”.
“Meeting Ricky Skaggs has been a high point in my musical journey so far.  He is a very humble inspirational artist”, Dean said.
  
Bluegrass Gospel Album - “The Shelter of the Cross”

This very special album of Bluegrass Gospel songs is Dean’s latest CD offering.  Recorded in Nashville and produced by Larry Marrs, this album features some great Bluegrass supremo’s.
The album consists of 13 bluegrass tracks, four from Dean’s own pen together with some great Bluegrass Gospel classics such as “When They Ring Those Golden Bells”, “Glory Bound Train”, River of Jordan” and “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies” to name a few.
To purchase the album, just go to the Albums Page on this website.  This album is available as a CD or digital download.



 
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