FEW musicians – in fact, few Australians – have seen more of Australia than Lee Kernaghan.
The country music star has lost count of the gigs he’s played in clubs, pubs, theatres and outdoor venues over more than 25 years.
So when he nominates one gig as being the most memorable of his career, you know it’s a doozy.
“I remember doing a show in Yaraka, in western Queensland: population 30,” Kernaghan said.
The year was 1998. It was Kernaghan’s first ‘Pass the Hat Around’ tour, and the gig was to be a fundraiser for the local bush medical clinic.
“I think I might have been overly ambitious thinking that we could draw a crowd in a place that is just so remote,” he said.
“At 6.30pm, just before the sun went down, there was about 50 people there, and it looked like being a total disaster.
“And then we noticed dust clouds to the north, south, east and west.”
But it was no weather phenomenon.
“It was the people who had been on the road for hours, on their way to Yaraka to show their support and pass the hat around,” Kernaghan said.
“Three thousand people turned up to that little town that night and we raised $100,000 for the clinic.
“That one will stay with me for life.”
Kernaghan is currently on tour celebrating 25 years of moments like that.
Officially, it’s a tour to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of his Outback Club album.
The Boys From the Bush 25th Anniversary Tour is now into its second year, and Kernaghan has announced the final dates which include a gig at Doyalson-Wyee RSL Club on Sunday, November 18.
“It’s very much a greatest hits tour, it’s a celebration of 25 years of country, and it will also be the annual general meeting of the Outback Club,” Kernaghan said.
Kernaghan has 38 No 1 songs to call on, so fans can expect to hear everything from Boys From The Bush, Hat Town, Flying With The King, Australian Boy and The Outback Club to Listen to the Radio, Dirt, Drive On and Spirit of the Anzacs.
Wolfe Brothers are the support act, and they will start at 8.30pm. Tickets cost $54.90.