One woman mission to keep an industry alive
ONE passionate country music supporter has taken it upon herself to drive funding for musicians whose livelihoods have been threatened by Covid-19.
Hay producer Tracy Muller has started a Go Fund Me Page, 'Support our Australian Country Music Artists' in a bid to raise funds to distribute to country music artists struggling financially through Covid-19.
Through her business, CJ & TL Muller All Things Hay on Valentine Plains Road, Mrs Muller sponsors VDMFest and through that sponsorship she has developed some networks with musicians such as Casey Barnes.
"I told Casey Barnes I'd set the page up and he's excited about it because he's come to VDMFest this year again," Mrs Muller said.
"I've met all these artists and it's hard to see this is their living and now they have nothing with children and mortgages to look after.
"My feeling is we might lose artist's along the way it would be sad to lose any of our Australian ones especially with pay-TV canning the country music channels."
Since creating the page on March 14, only $50 has been donated towards a $30,000 target which Mrs Muller says is reasonable to spread among several artists.
"I wasn't sure if it would work or not because of everything we are going through and nobody has really gotten on board with it yet," Mrs Muller said.
"I'm hoping to leave it up until the restrictions really lift and see if people donate."
Thangool bush balladeer Ashley Cook said that he and other performers in the industry have had to resort to social media to appease the appetites of their fans.
"We've just been keeping our songs out there on Facebook and video clips to keep in touch with the fans," Mr Cook said.
"I see there's a lot of people doing up mic stuff live on Facebook.
"It's rough for everyone you still have to try and keep your practising up and look for new material.
"At the moment we are working on new songs, we were meant to record before they shut the borders."
Mr Cook said that there's an element of the unknown surrounding the long term popularity and following of the country music industry if people get accustomed to not hearing new music.
"I know a lot professional performers and recording studies are struggling because it's all shut up and more or less they say this year we just need to write off," Mr Cook said.
"There's still genuine followers still messaging all on Facebook it's just we aren't heading out to do any live shows.
"You can't beat live music really and we hope the fans will support it."