Each month guitar picker and Webmaster BOB HOWE brings 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! Join our mailing list below for notification of each new column.
A year is a long time in the world of computer technology, so on the first anniversary of the Cowboys In Cybersp@ce column I thought it would be a good idea to report on how things have developed in the last 12 months. Apart from the obvious increase in the quantity of Web sites that feature Country Music, how has the content changed?
One of the best examples is the Fan Fair site. We've all read about the performances by Gina Jeffreys, Shanley Del and Troy Cassar-Daley at the International Showcase in Nashville this year. Now you can see them for yourself at the Fan Fair WEBCAST page! Utilising the Real Video streaming technology, it is possible to watch and hear the show on your own computer. The Fan Fair site also includes a Virtual Tour of the Pam Tillis Tour Bus using RealSpace. Pam is currently on tour promoting her stunning new album "Everytime", and you can see how she travels in style (note the lap-top computer on the desk). The Live Picture Viewer allows you to scroll 360 degrees around inside the photo!
In order to view the Fan Fair WEBCAST, you will need the Real Player. Press this button to get the plug-in!
In order to "Tour the Pam Tillis Bus", you will need the LivePicture Viewer. Press this button to get the plug-in!
Over at the Twang This! site they have a new E-mail gimmick that I'm sure will prove popular with Country fans. Choose a sound sample from your favourite artist, attach it to an E-mail and send it to a friend. When our sample message arrived, one click produced a small box on the screen containing the album cover of BR5-49's new CD "Big Backyard Beat Show", and played 15 seconds of high quality sound from the track "Wild One" that we discussed last month.
Country Music radio has come to the Internet. Amongst the many stations available is Cool Country - Australia's First Online Country Music Radio Station. Even if you are out of transmitter range, keen music listeners can log onto their site and hear them broadcasting on the Web! At the U.S. site with a similar name, www.countrycool.com you will find interviews, music and more, including a two part interview with Gina Jeffreys. In Part One, Gina tells how she knew many Nashville musicians by name before she came to record in the U.S., won three "Golden Guitar Awards" in Australia, and tells the touching story behind the song, "That'll Be Me". In Part Two, Gina relates how she wanted to do a duet and found Billy Dean, and that "The Faint of Heart" was written using a fax. The interviews total forty minutes and include several of her songs.
The print medium also spills over into the Web. Leading UK magazine Country Music People now has a presence on the Internet. Find out what stories are in the latest issue, plus a "Stop Press" section and some handy links. The U.S. based CATTLE CALL EZINE is an "electronic magazine" (hence E-Zine) that boasts to be the "Premiere Purveyor of the Authentic West on the Internet". Amongst it's interesting contents you will find Dale Watson who returns in the first week of October to play the Esplanade Hotel and Rainbow Hotel II in Melbourne, the Great Southern Blues Festival in Narooma, the Warnervale Country Music Festival and finally The Basement in Sydney. Dale's Web site is a great resource for "Real Country" fans. Touring Australia before that in September is Steve Lowry, who is promoting his debut CD "Damned If You Do / Damned If You Don't". Plasticine.com hosts web pages for Australian visual artists, craftspeople, musicians, performers and writers. Plasticine Music is an Australian collective dedicated to all forms of the Arts. In the music section you can find popular Sydney band 50 Million Beers and listen to four sample tracks from their current album "No Cash Or Drugs". Kel-Anne Brandt is a self styled "pint-sized dynamo". She is currently wowing Sydney club audiences, and Kel-Anne also joins the World Wide Web this month. "JB Walker and the Cheap Whiskey Band" have been described as "The Most Famous Biker Band In America" by no less than David Allan Coe. As we went to press the band was headed for Bosnia on a U.S. Troop Tour!
"Pickers of the World, Unite!": Tomkins "Diamondtina II" guitar, even going so far as to re-record the guitar parts on his last CD with his new axe! Now the Japanese TV audience will have a chance to see our very own Allan Tomkins at work in a 3 minute documentary about to be screened in Tokyo and nationally after the evening news. A film crew shot Allan through the day making one of his guitars, and later that night took footage of Chris Haig playing one of the finished Tomkins basses. Meanwhile, in California, National Guitars continue to make fine resonator guitars. Brass, steel and wood body guitars, ukuleles and more, mechanically amplified with a hand spun aluminum speaker. Find out how the company started and how the instruments work at their Web site.
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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