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CYBER COWBOY Cowboys In Cybersp@ce - July 1998 CYBER COWBOY

By Bob Howe © 1998

"Independents Day"

The World Wide Web is an impartial forum. Search for a particular topic and you will find modest home pages listed right alongside of slick multi-national company efforts. The Web doesn't care if you have a major record deal and a limousine, or if you are selling home-made cassettes from your push bike! The information is there for anyone to access and evaluate.

Six Pack CD coverMany independent artists and record companies are looking to the Internet for extra exposure and promotion. Sydney-based band The Helldorados have built a concise site to promote their CD release "Six Pack". Rob Luckey, Leone Becker and Smithy, are joined by a trio of crack musicians moonlighting from Slim Dusty's band. Together they honky-tonk their way through six numbers, the likes of which have made the band popular with the inner-city crowds. Further south, two Melbourne fans, Richard & Rosemary Hawkins wrote to urge us to check out the Kerrigan La-Brooy site. They marvel at his openness and indeed, such personal detail in a performers biography is rare to find! You can sample music from his last album at his site.

Tasting the music is also on the agenda when you visit the Queens of Country Music page where Massive Records are featuring the duet version of "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" by Kitty Wells and Jean Stafford. Massive have new releases from several Country Music artists including the Dead Ringer Band, Sharyn Lee, and Kedron Taylor. Australian Independent Country Music is also the theme for the Mulga Music Catalogue which is continually expanding. Independent artists who have produced their own albums are featured here, and the Mulga Music site gives them valuable exposure. These artists are not normally available from music stores, and there is a huge selection to choose from at this site.

Joining forces with performers of a similar type or location often makes good logistical and financial sense for entertainers who want to be seen on the World Wide Web, without going as far as having their own dedicated Web site. Here in Australia ShowNet, the Australian Showbiz Directory includes several Country Music artists. Over in Los Angeles, "musicLA" groups together a number of musical artists from the City of Angels. Amongst them is Karen Tobin who previously released a critically acclaimed album with Atlantic/Nashville, produced by Keith Stegall. She now promotes her own product on the "Sunnyland" label and you can hear some of that music at "musicLA". A track from the CD "Karen Tobin and Crazy Hearts" is to be included in a compilation release from France with such artists as Steve Wariner, Victoria Shaw, Chris Wall and others. Karen told Cowboys In Cybersp@ce that she is honoured to be included with such fine writers and artists.

Another self styled "independent C&W artist" based in California is Rick Robledo. A genuine rodeo competitor who still rides and sings at rodeos today, Rick tells us that Texas music has been a big influence on his style. Whilst appearing at the Calgary Stampede in Canada, perhaps Rick has crossed paths with Tommy Hunter. "Canada's Country Gentleman", a nickname bestowed on him by his fans, is best known for his network TV show. The Tommy Hunter Show was a major force in Canadian television, and the production made history as the longest-running weekly show of its kind around the world! It was a vital showcase for novice artists, many of whom have gone on to major popularity in recent years, including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, the Judds, and Shania Twain.

Canada and the U.S. have also fallen for the charms of our very own Mary Schneider. Her album "Yodelling the Classics" has been a huge hit at home and abroad. Produced by the legendary Schneider Sisters and featuring the Sydney International Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Tommy Tycho, the album is now available locally on the ABC Music label.

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. 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). Until next month, happy surfing.

 

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