Ever wondered what a night at one of Australia’s most loved Country Music star’s bar would be like? Adam Harvey is kicking off his “Harvey’s Bar” tour, bringing the bar to the people for two hours of good music and good company …
Hi Adam. Give us a little background about yourself; when was it that you discovered your love of country music?
Well, I was brainwashed as a kid. When I grew up, my dad had a really big vinyl record collection, and he used to play country music day and night – everything from Johnny Cash to Slim Dusty. I remember I used to sit by Dad’s stereo and strum along to his old records. I just fell in love with the stories and the songs and ever since I was a little kid, all I ever wanted to do was be a country music singer.
It’s ironic now; both my kids love music, but they hate country music! My son likes rock and rap and all that stuff – he’s discovered this great new band called Guns n’ Roses – and my daughter wants to become an opera singer; she’s having classical singing lessons and she teases me and says that she’s going to be a real singer, unlike her father.
They’re great kids; I love them so much – the best thing ever. Sometimes it’s tough being away from them, but I know my wife really enjoys it when I go away; it gives her a bit of a rest! I just call in home every now and then and make sure the kids haven’t got a new dad! (Laughs.)
With an impressive career up your sleeve, what have been some of the biggest highlights over this time?
When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me about this place called the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville, and it was like the church, the home of country music. I’ve been lucky enough to go over there and sing at the Grand Ol’ Opry; it’s pretty hard to dop this. You walk out onto that stage in front of a huge big audience … it’s still the original stage. Elvis Presley stood there, Hank Williams started out there, Johnny Cash started out there on that stage. That was pretty special – to walk out and sing at the Opry.
Tell us about the creative process and inspiration behind your latest album. It was recorded at home in your bar?
Yeah, that’s right. I often put up photos of my bar on Facebook, and I had so many people say to me, “God, I’d love to spend a night with you in that bar of yours!” So I thought, “OK, why don’t I record an album in my bar and invite all the local yobbos and the neighbours in?”
It’s sort of like a live album, and that way when people play the album, they get a bit of an idea of what a night in my bar is all about. It was fantastic; we really enjoyed it. Had a hell of a lot of fun, and it’s one of the best nights they’ll never, ever remember!
It was really nice to record the album like that. It’s not perfect; I think a lot of music today is just so over produced and auto tuned within an inch of its life … There are a few little errors and mistakes, but I just wanted it to be real and give people an idea of what we do get up to in my bar!
You’re kicking off your “Harvey’s Bar tour”, stopping off in Armidale and Manning-Great Lakes. What are you looking forward to most about hitting the road?
Mate, I love to get on the road. The great thing about this show is we’ve had the replica bar built, a big back drop and everything made to an exact mirror image of my bar; we set it all up on stage every night and when people come to the show, they walk in and it’s just like they’re coming around to my backyard bar for a sing-along.
You’re also playing a special gig in Tamworth – tell us about that.
I’ve been doing that for quite a few years. We raise money for “Give Me 5 for Kids”; it’s something I’m really passionate about, so hopefully we can raise a stack more money there. All the money this year will go to the Children’s Ward at Tamworth Base Hospital.
How do you like to spend your down time?
Usually I’m running around with the kids, that’s the tough part, between getting them up and off to school and packing lunches and they’ve got things on every bloody afternoon! I love fishing and I love to play golf when I get the chance.
Catch Adam Harvey on his “Harvey’s Bar” tour at Club Forster on Thursday 14th July, 8pm.