COWBOYS IN CYBERSPACE – March 1998

Each month guitar picker and Webmaster BOB HOWE covers a different topic, as well as bringing you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet. You can surf your way from month to month, or why not bookmark the main index for the complete contents!

CYBER COWBOYCowboys In Cybersp@ce - March 1998 CYBER COWBOY

By Bob Howe © 1998

"Bookmarks and Favourites"

The World Wide Web is as big as it sounds and it's very easy to get lost there. Have you ever tried to go back to an interesting Web site for a second look but can't remember the address? Our tip for the month is to learn how to bookmark a page and how to manage the information you gather. The first step is easy. Let's say you're visiting the "Cowboys In Cybersp@ce" site and you haven't got the time to explore all the links we've provided for you. If you're using "Netscape Navigator" as your browser, just look at the tool-bar at the top of the screen click on the Bookmarks icon. The keyboard shortcut for this procedure is to hold down the "CTRL" key and then press the letter "D". If you are using Internet Explorer, Microsoft refers to bookmarks as "Favorites" (American spelling) and the keyboard shortcut is hold down the "ALT" key and then press the letter "A". Hitting the "ENTER" key will confirm the "Add to Favorites" action. Now you can re-visit the site easily. If your list grows too big you can organise your bookmarks into conveniently named folders just like you do with all your computer files. If you find a favourite page has moved you can mark it's new location and delete the old reference. For instance, many early visitors to "Cowboys in Cybersp@ce" may have bookmarked the first month's column but we now have an "index" page that makes it more convenient to locate which month's article you wish to explore on-line. Time to update that bookmark!

photo of Bob & Dale Watson That's enough technical chatter for now or you may turn in to a mouse-potato like me! Onward to the new Country Music sites we've found this month. After seeing the blistering performances of Texan Dale Watson in Tamworth it was interesting to check out his "Hardcore Country" Web site. This is Dale's official site and it includes everything you wanted to know about him plus links to two more pages created by Dale Watson fans Lisa Baldridge and Ann Marie Michaels. On his Australian tour Dale was performing songs from all of his albums including the latest, Good Luck 'N" Good Truckin'. If your ever on the C.B. Radio in Texas, break for "The Troubadour" and you might find him! After playing an Australian-made Tomkins guitar at the Tomkins Guitar Showcase, Dale was so impressed he took a "Diamondtina II" model back to Texas. Not only a sweet sounding instrument but a work of art as well!

(Pictured: "CyberBob" & the "Troubadour" unplugged in Tamworth)


Tomkins Guitars Showcase photo

Click
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(Left to Right:-) Bob Howe (Diamondtina II), Dale Watson (Diamondtina II with acoustic chamber), Allan Tomkins (Rockmaster II bass), Keith Glass (Rockmaster Peizo - solid body electric/acoustic) - Photo by John Elliott

At the Tomkins show, which featured the cream of Australian Country Music pickers, we met a man with a confusingly similar name, Allan J. Tompkins. Allan runs Limberlost Services and at their Web site you can order the "Australian Country Festival Personalities" card set. There are fifty collector cards in the first set featuring colour photos and biographies of some very familiar faces. One new face to the Tamworth scene this year was Megan Elliott, The Independent Performers Organiser from MEAA (Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance). Performers can check out how to protect their rights and much more by visiting the MEAA Web site. Megan was spotted at more shows in Tamworth than just about anyone else, no doubt due to her trusty pushbike!

A major success story from Tamworth this year was Kate Ballantyne winning the Starmaker award. Kate is part of the Newcastle based band Fandango and they have a very well designed site that contains profiles of all the members of the band. Lyrics, Tour Dates and News are just some of the options available to Fandango fans. Also starring at Tamworth were the Sensitive New Age Cowpersons. If you didn't get enough of Texus T. Tex, Kid Simpson, Calamity Jim, and Stan Pede, take a look at their Web site.

Back in Sydney we were fortunate enough to be part of a handful of people invited to the offices of BMG Australia to witness a very special and intimate performance by Sherrié Austin. Accompanied only by co-writer and producer Will Rambeaux, Sherrié showcased several numbers from her debut album "Words". In the afternoon sun on the office balcony, she delighted the small audience (and some very lucky neighbours) with her outstanding voice and songs. Sherrié can be found on the Internet at the marvellously named "twangthis.com" site, also home to BlackHawk. This chart-topping trio are flying high on the success of their current album "Love & Gravity".

There is another place besides "Cowboys In Cybersp@ce" where Country Music and the Internet collide. If you listen to Radio 2AM16 you may have found your Country Music interrupted by the Kim Komando Show (Mon-Thurs 11am). Equal parts Computer savvy and talk-back "attitude", Kim (the self-styled "Digital goddess - capital D, small g") imparts technical knowledge and advice. Well worth a listen!

Across the Atlantic you could check out the places where they still salute the confederate flag. No, not Texas..... the Country Music Clubs of Great Britain! "Saradon" publish a gig guide for Country Music Clubs, Line Dance Clubs and Country and Western Clubs in the West Midlands, UK and surrounding areas which is updated daily. For those of you into the American Civil War re-enactment scene they also host a few pages for the Harpers Ferry Magazine.

An addition to last months column about musical instruments on the World Wide Web; don't overlook Accordions 'n Folk , a music shop in Sydney where you can find new and 2nd hand accordions and concertinas and other folk instruments, and where repairs on those instruments are carried out.


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.

photo of Belinda Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller (pictured left, in the Outside Broadcast van at Tamworth in January) of Murri Country , 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane).

Until next month, happy surfing.

 

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