Ballina RSL | Saturday 8pm | $40 VIP $75
Troy Cassar-Daly is without a doubt country music royalty. Fans are in for a treat when he presents an acoustic show of greatest hits along with the stories of his life as he traces his musical journey.
‘Music has always been my happy place,’ says Troy. ‘I am writing a song at the moment called I used to hide in a song, now I think it’s my place!’
Troy is a natural-born storyteller; it’s something he’s quite modest about.
‘I think we all have storytellers in our families, whether you are Indigenous or not. I have friends who are Irish who get on the grog who tell stories, and I tell stories; it’s a wonderful thing to keep alive!’
When Cassar-Daly tells a story it’s with a guitar and a crowd. The acoustic stripped-down shows offer an intimacy you don’t get with a band.
‘It’s the most exposed you can get as a performer. I remember what Tommy Emmanuel said years ago: “Don’t think you are giving less in an acoustic show. You are giving more of yourself.” I didn’t get that at the time; now I do. This show showcases the lyrics and where I sit with them.’
It seems unbelievable that a man with a trillion golden guitars could still doubt himself, but heading out solo did make him question whether the show was going to pack a punch. Troy was relieved to get feedback from a friend who saw him in Tamworth.
‘A good friend of mine sent her son and his family. He said he had been to all sorts of concerts. He said it was great seeing an artist at the height of his power; her email meant a lot; even her son in his 40s, not much younger than me – that he came away going wow, to see someone hold a crowd is pretty special.’
Tamworth awarded Cassar-Daly a golden guitar this year for his latest song Shadows. ‘We wanted to get this mate up on country. He had cancer. It was amazing. I was thinking about the stories my uncles told, the song was about the massacre. I kept repeating the stories in my head, and then I wrote them down. Shadows came from a campfire discussion of knowledge passed on to young fellas. Matthew was dying but he knows that he is part of it, part of passing down the story.’
Troy is passionate about using music to have these kind of conversations. ‘I have always found that the guitar was like an excalibur sword – the guitar has always brought people together.’
For this show and for his national tour he is joined by his daughter Jem Cassar-Daly. At just 17 years old she is an incredible singer and pianist. ‘I want her to travel with me and see this country and the people.’
Now that’s a pretty awesome gap year!
Troy Cassar-Daly is at the Ballina RSL on Saturday. Tix are on ballinarsl.com.au.