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Cowboys In Cybersp@ce - December 1999

By Bob Howe © 1999

"Rudolph the Red-Eyed Surfer"

giftboxHave you collected your special Christmas present? For all you cyber-cowboys and cowgirls who use a Windows 95/98 PC, CLICK HERE to download your very own FREE Australian Country Music screensaver program. Ho, ho, and furthermore, ho!

Let's look back at some of the best Web sites I've seen this year. I don't believe it is any coincidence that two of the best sites belong to American acts who are currently visitors to our shores. Both Reba and the Dixie Chicks obviously have management that quite rightly sees the market potential of touring Australia. That same forward thinking must also value the power of the Internet. It can be used to increase exposure of the artists and their music, and cultivate personal contact with the fan base.So Good Together - CD cover Both and are similar sites, although Fly- CD cover Reba's is more on the chic stylish side, and has a greater amount of content. Of timely interest, prior to her Australian concerts, is a current feature interview with Brian Leedham, Reba's production coordinator. Hear Leedham explain what it takes to stage a mammoth production like Reba's show. By the time this goes to print, there will also doubtless be all the inside info on Reba's new album, 'So Good Together'. The Dixie Chicks site leans more towards the fun and flashy direction. There are lots of humorous audio and visual metaphors based on the title of their current album 'FLY'. There is plenty to explore, and their Guest Book reveals comments from a number of Australian fans who were anxiously awaiting their arrival.

Reba's tour dates were found at Michael Coppel Presents, and for the Dixie Chicks - The Frontier Touring Co.

STOP PRESS FOR REBA FANS ON AOL:- You were able in 1999 to view Reba's Diary with exclusive photos from Australia on AOL. In addition to the diary, Reba did interact with fans in a special AOL chat event from Australia.

Dixie Chicks concert ticketSTOP PRESS: Chicks Kick Ass in SydneyWide Open Spaces CD cover
Not since the Garth Brooks phenomenon swept through town, has Sydney seen a crowd this excited. The Dixie Chicks, the world's top-selling Country group, blitzed the Capitol Theatre with their high energy concert. They are loud, brash, fun and most of all, stone COUNTRY. No pop music hiding behind a token pedal steel guitar. No rock and roll standing in front of a cactus stage prop. This is the real deal. Three Country girls playing bluegrass banjo, dobro and fiddle, and harmonising like angels. The crowd, predominantly young Country fans, showed their love of the genre by starting the night with a rousing welcome for local opening act Troy Cassar-Daley. In a town that is notorious for its usual apathy towards support acts, this audience was the opposite. They sang along with everything from Troy's current Country number one single, 'They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore', to his musical tribute to Slim Dusty. Then the Dixie Chicks burst onto the stage, showing the form that has won them every award going, from two Grammys to their recent triple win at this year's CMA Awards. With solid backing by five tasteful musicians, the Chicks, Natalie Maines, Martie Seidel and Emily Robison, shone brightly with their instrumental prowess and three-part harmonies. Natalie singing, stomping the stage and twirling like a Whirling Dervish, while sisters Martie and Emily picked and bowed up a storm. The Dixie Chicks' first album 'Wide Open Spaces' has become the biggest selling album ever by a country duo or group - racking up some 6 million sales. Their second album, Fly, looks like following suit with the success of its first single 'Ready To Run' which was featured on the soundtrack of the film 'Runaway Bride'. Promoters Frontier Touring and CMT are to be applauded for bringing such a hot act to our shores. Country Music needs to appeal to a younger audience to survive, and its future looks safe in the hands of The Dixie Chicks.    - Bob Howe

Keith Urban took time out from being guest guitarist on the Dixie Chicks album, to chat with Keith talked for nearly half an hour, and performed "But For The Grace of God" live in the studio. He also 'chatted' with fans on another day, and at the time continued deliver an array of great of Country material via their Website and an interesting theory on Chris Gaines! I bet Keith has checked out their new Guitar World section. There was info on Vintage Guitars and even on-line Country Guitar lessons!

If you want even more guitar lessons to get yourself ready for the Tamworth Festival, or if you just want to see what is technically possible on a Web site, don't miss Riff Interactive Live Internet Guitar Lessons. If you are lucky enough to be on-line at the right time, you can chat with the Celebrity teachers during the lesson. All the interactive examples given, can be slowed down (in real time) to suit your own pace. Simply stunning technology! Country pickers should check their archives for a lesson with my hero Albert Lee, and his hero the legendary Hank Garland. Hank played on hits by Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Reeves, Patti Page, Webb Pierce and literally hundreds of others.

And now for our regular round-up of news
and newly found sites: -

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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