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Cowboys In Cybersp@ce - September 2000

"Something In The Airwaves"

Even if you are not connected to Internet, you will have read about people listening to Internet Radio, watching videos and downloading music from the World Wide Web. A quick reality check will show that while we are on the brink of some very magical innovations, we are not quite there yet. Although Australians are up there amongst the highest Internet users per capita, we have been slow to embrace some of the services that are generically known as Broadband. Simply put, these are Cable and Satellite Internet and the only just available ADSL connections. They are termed Broadband because of the wider bandwidth used and the speed at which the information is carried. This contrasts to the slow speed of a typical 56k modem dial-up connection. Squeezing rich content through such narrow bandwidth has caused many users to dub the Internet the World Wide Wait. Sure, you can listen to radio stations from around the world, but if the Internet traffic is heavy, the congestion will cause your sound to stop and start - not much fun in the middle of your favourite song. A better option is to listen to pre-recorded shows that have been archived and that are more likely to be delivered without interruptions. A collection of shows can be found at the TwangTownUSA Web site, and amongst these American shows you will find some International content, including our very own "Big Al" Field presenting his Country Homestead program from Triple U FM at Nowra.

Research has shown that the incidence of listening to the 'regular' radio has actually increased in the wake of Internet browsing. This is partly because visiting Web pages is largely a silent activity, and also because, in Brisbane for instance, you'll get much better sound quality listening to Belinda Miller on your normal radio while you surf over to check out the new 4AAA –FM Web site. The two technologies can work hand in hand as well. On Saturday night you can listen to John Nutting's 'Saturday Night Country' show on your local ABC station, or if you are overseas listen to it via the Web. At the same time you can chat with other Country Music fans in the Telstra Country Chat Room who are listening to the show from all points of the world. A truly interactive global experience! Listening to the ABC or Western Sydney's Country Music FM Radio Station 'COOL Country Radio', will usually get you a steadier 'stream' of music than some of the 'live' overseas stations.

Video quality on the Web can be even more variable. Many Web designers will choose to create a slideshow of quality still pictures rather than attempt full motion video. Another option is for the video file to be downloaded to your own computer where it will then run without interruption. That's what I did each week during August, when the American presented five video guitar lessons with Keith Urban. Noting that his guitar prowess has brought Keith to the attention of the likes of Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks, they offered an insight into some of Keith's best licks and tricks. The files are quite large, so put a bit of time aside for the download, but the quality of the video, and Keith's instruction is excellent.

Live at the Cyber Ranch: - On the full-moon evening of May 18th, Brooks and Dunn and their band loaded up their equipment and instruments into Ronnie Dunn's barn in rural Nashville and recorded their performance live - both audio and video. Every month, the Platinum-selling, multi-award-winning duo will feature one of the 14 songs they recorded on their website. Exactly which songs did Brooks and Dunn cut? It's a secret! Check out Check out their website for each month's feature.

Pre-eminent Australian outlaw band, the Dead Livers, returned to the recording studio after 18 years, and the result is the excellent 'Reaching For The Western Sky' album. Lead singer Marty Atchinson still captures the voice of the common man in his lyrics and delivery, in a way that few others have, with the notable exception of Paul Kelly. The CD cover manages to contain a lot of photos, but there are many more to be found at the Dead Livers Web site.
Dale Watson and AudreyPhotos are also the order of the day over at the Reckless Records Web site, including Audrey and Dale Watson recording 'Jackson'. Audrey has been wowing live audiences with the songs from her new solo release 'The Fallen', and now she's getting rave reviews as well. The American 'Miles of Music' online magazine recently featured a great article on Audrey and her career, written by Sophie Best. Audrey was a guest at the very first 'Canterbury Country' show that has become a successful monthly showcase of Country artists at Sydney's Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club. The show has a Web page that has become a photo album of the performers, including Brooke McClymont, Brent Parlane, Tamara Stewart, Brendan Marolla, The Feral Swing Katz and many others. Popular duo Carter & Carter have just released their debut album 'Dance Away the Night', and at their new Web site they have a pictorial diary of their recording. Producer Herm Kovac and all the musicians who played on the album are featured in photos taken at the Ramrod recording studio sessions.

Pat Drummond and Dobe Newton The Galston Country Music Festival will be held on Sunday 10th September, at Fagan Park in Galston on the northern rural fringe of Sydney. At Pat Drummond's site you can find a detailed schedule for this year's show which features The Sparnetts, Greg Champion, Craig Giles, Pat Drummond and Karen Lynne, Tracy Coster, Reel Matilda and many more. There are photos of the Festival from previous years too, no doubt soon to be updated with the latest pictures.

Pictured left: Pat Drummond and Dobe Newton model the latest in headgear at the CMAA Achiever Awards 2000.

You've read the book, you've played the CD, and you've even watched the movie. Previously at the Buried Country Web site you could explore the extraordinary story of Aboriginal country music. There were excellent essays on Jimmy Little and Lionel Rose, the foreword by Paul Kelly and the author himself, Clinton Walker talking about the book. As well as details of the film and book, there were also lyrics from some of the songs featured on the album. (Links removed - site extinct!)

Congratulations to two Country Music sites that are finalists in the ONYA! Awards 2000, that were Webcast, live from The Basement in Sydney on August 19th. CMT made the finals of the Most Popular Australian Music Video Network or Program site category, and Lee Kernaghan's 'Pass The Hat Around' in the Most Popular Australian Online Music Event or Webcast category.

4AAA-FM logo Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country, 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane).
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Until next month, happy surfing.


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