Cowboys in Cyberspace

Cowboys in Cyberspace
Australia’s award-winning Internet Country Music resource (Est. 1997)

July 2009 – ku, TV and CMA

June 25th, 2009

keith urban In April, KEITH URBAN gave a rare glimpse into the creation of his animated music video for his latest radio hit Kiss A Girl via his own website and the site. It showed Keith and his band in front of a green screen performing the song – the first step in the creation of any visual that combines live action and animation. The full clip is now released and you can view it online.

Here’s hoping that the servers didn’t crash from the demand last week as tickets went on sale for Keith’s Australian shows in December. If you missed the story On The Road with Keith Urban from Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program showing him at the "happiest place he’s ever been" life-wise, you can watch the replay at

Back in February we alerted you to Intune @ Tamworth, who brought us online festival footage, vodcasts, gossip and what was happening at the Tamworth Festival. Now the best of their second year of broadcasts has been compiled and begins airing on NITV (National Indigenous Television) from Wednesday 15th July at 9:30pm.

CD cover RASCAL FLATTS recently used the US People’s Choice website to host its album-design contest. First, the band provided optional photos and design elements to aspiring designers, who then submitted potential covers. Then, the group chose a handful of favourites and let fans decide a winner. Chris Kubik, a senior graphic designer for Schumacher Electric Corp. and long-time Rascal Flatts fan, made the leap from managing artwork of battery chargers and jump starters to the cover of the superstar country trio’s new album. His design, which features the musicians sitting in high-back chairs with picture frames representing the group’s six albums behind them, won out from over 2,000 other submissions to become the cover of the album Unstoppable. Three other finalists had thumbnails of their designs inside the CD booklet. Expect to see a lot more fan interaction with musicians of all styles in the near future.

That was the publicity headline coming from Nashville last month. Amongst the featured technology available to country music fans this year was;

‘HotShots’, allowing fans at the CMA Music Fest to share all their photos with the world by emailing them to the website.

‘TAGs’, which meant fans could download info straight to their Blackberry, iPhone or other Smartphone to get the nightly line-up, shuttle routes, and other event schedules right on their mobile phone!

At the Microsoft booth inside the Exhibit Hall they could try out CMA Music Fest’s new Be This Close game. It was a virtual scavenger hunt with prizes and although the contest is over, you can still play the game online. You may need to download Microsoft’s new Silverlight add-on to your browser, but it is fairly small and quick.

And, bringing us back to where we started this month, check out the Desktop Wallpaper available from the festival, especially a great photo of KEITH URBAN and his guitar amongst the crowd.

Until next time, happy surfing!


June 1st, 2009

Rare videos on DVD – lost and found…

A collection of DVDs under the banner of Legends of the famous ‘Lippman + Rau Festivals’ may not ring any bells for the casual country music fan, but for those with a eye to the historic, a rough gem awaits! Horst Lippman and Fritz Rau were German club owners turned concert promoters in the sixties and as is the European way, DVD cover they celebrated and revered not only American music, but the entire art and culture that went with it. Their ventures included Jazz, Folk, Blues and Country. DVD 2 in the series, LEGENDS OF SPIRITUAL & GOSPEL AND FOLK & COUNTRY contains, three monochrome television specials made during various tours. The first two contain not just Gospel songs, but entire Church services, imported lock, stock and hallelujah, as they would have been performed in the African-American churches of the USA. The third program is the Festival of American Folk & Country Music 1966 with very rare recordings of the Stanley Brothers & Clinch Mountain Boys, New Lost City Ramblers, Roscoe Holcomb, Cousin Emmy and Cyp Landreneau. Tracy Schwarz of the New Lost City Ramblers hosts the show, apparently because he spoke some German, and although the set-design is quite elaborate for the era, the presentation is somewhat stilted. The music however is exceptional in its honesty and rawness, particularly Roscoe Holcomb who was the inspiration for the term ‘high, lonesome sound’. An Appalachian coal miner and farmer, he is to old-timey country, what Blind Willie Johnson is to the Blues. The Stanley Brothers numbers are poignant to watch when you realise that Carter Stanley would pass away later that year. Cyp Landreneau and his band perform unadulterated Cajun music with the older school line-up of accordion, fiddle and triangle! Cousin Emmy was known as the ‘the first hillbilly to own a Cadillac’ and her outrageous musical abilities and singing style endeared her to the folk-revival festivals and Hollywood alike. These videos have never been released before and are lovingly presented with a 56 page booklet that includes all the historical information and reminiscences from some of the participants.
Tropical Music, catalogue number 68.363, available in Australia via Planet Distribution. For more information and visit

CD cover Back in the early sixties, BOB DYLAN had a ‘message’ and he shouted it with a passion. By the release of his landmark country album Nashville Skyline in the late sixties, his unorthodox singing voice was often thought of, in commercial terms, as a shortcoming. His new album from, Together Through Life (Sony Music Entertainment Australia), continues on the flow of his most recent releases with a melodic style that suits his now more aged than ravaged voice. Parallels can be drawn with the final albums of another elder statesman, the late Johnny Cash or the latest from fellow troubadour Willie Nelson, who will be a guest artist on the forthcoming US tour of The Bob Dylan Show. The deluxe version of Together Through Life includes a DVD of ‘The Lost Interview’ with former manager Roy Silver, filmed for, but not used in the 2005 No Direction Home documentary. Fans are still hoping for rarer treasures to surface such as more of the footage of Dylan and Cash in the studio that was just hinted at in the documentary or the full album of duets the pair recorded in 1969. Still, on the new album country blues influences abound, banjo, steel and mandolins ring and the accordion of David Hidalgo from Los Lobos adds a distinct Tex-Mex flavour to the song This Dream Of You. Although Dylan quoted the lyrics of Dolly Parton’s Jolene in a recent interview, he claims the character in his song of the same name is “a different lady”. The album has been well received critically and while it may not attract legions of new converts, as Dylan himself has said, “I know my fans will like it. Other than that, I have no idea.”

Bob talked to Barbara Morison on 2SER 107.3 FM about this month’s column and more…

Until next time, happy surfing!