SON OF THE SOIL: Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain. Photo: Stephanie Coombes
SON OF THE SOIL: Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain. Photo: Stephanie Coombes

Music, horses and working dogs

HORSE and working dog demonstrations will combine with music from a renowned country artist when Monto hosts a unique performance on Sunday.

Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain will bring his We’re Still Here tour to Monto Showgrounds as part of a 40-date tour which will cover more than 40,000km.

The show will comprise an hour-long demonstration with animals from the Katherine Outback Experience, followed by performances from Curtain and support act Chris Matthews.

We’re Still Here debuted as the top Australian country album on iTunes when it was released on November 15.

Curtain said the album’s title track was inspired by a previous tour through central Queensland.

“Everything was in drought,” he said.

“It was terrible. And then, weeks later coming back through, it was heartbreaking to see how the floods had decimated the land, the animals and affected the communities.

“I was very passionate about it and felt I had to get the message out there – these farmers and communities are facing all these hardships including droughts, floods and fires, and it is so soul-destroying, but they are supporting each other and bouncing back, one foot in front of the other.”

Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain.
Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain.

We’re Still Here sees the artist mixing deeper tracks and story songs with rocking numbers that will have fans taking to the dance floor, but the theme of celebrating Australia and our unique way of life flows throughout.

“Overall, I wanted to bring a smile to people listening to certain songs and inspire people out there battling to hold on and speak up in times of hardship,” Curtain said.

“I love storytelling and there’s a few good yarns in there as well.”

In addition to being entertaining, Curtain’s shows are also educational in training horses and

dogs for working life on the land. Being a show for all ages, it is a great opportunity for

communities to get together.

“People love the interaction with the animals and feel like they get extra value from the

training tips we share,” he said.

“It’s a very hands-on experience for the kids but also an important opportunity to bring the

community together and check in on one another.”

During the tour, Curtain will also take the time to visit schools on behalf of the anti-bullying charity Dolly’s Dream, named after 14-year-old “Dolly” Everett, who committed suicide after being the victim of cyber-bullying.

“I think the message really is getting out,” he said.

“We’ve met a lot of parents who have lost kids from bullying and suicide and they’ve come

up and hugged us after the shows and broken down.

“I never thought writing a song would have that impact, but a lot of teenage kids have also come up to me to say thanks and that it has inspired them and to help other kids out, it’s pretty amazing.”

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