SHOW STOPPER: Adam Harvey brings the house down at the 2018 Murgon Music Muster
SHOW STOPPER: Adam Harvey brings the house down at the 2018 Murgon Music Muster Matt Collins

PODCAST: Risky move for country music star

HE HAS a pool room full of awards, half a million music sales and one of the most recognisable country music voices - Adam Harvey has done all there is to do in the world of country music. In this chat, Adam Harvey shares the big risk he took when he started in the industry, his less-than-ideal relationship with the late Slim Dusty and a couple of secrets about his good mate, Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson.

LISTEN: Click below for the full interview with Adam Harvey.

Matt Collins:

You're one of the most well-known country artists internationally, but it all started when you were only 10.

 

Adam Harvey:

Yeah, my aunty moved into a new unit in Geelong and the last tenants left an old guitar in one of the cupboards, so she bought it around to our place and she said she was going to throw it out unless we wanted it.

 

MC:

Did it have all its strings?

 

AH:

No, it had no strings on it. But I loved it. I took it down to the music shop and they put strings on it for me. I bought one of those chords books and I used to strum along to my dad's old Johnny Cash records.

 

MC:

A lot of artists start off coming from a musical family. Would you say you had that growing up?

 

AH:

No, Dad had a huge country music collection, but he was a terrible singer. Except when he got drunk and he thought he was a great singer. He used to sing at the top of his voice walking around the house. He though the was Elvis Presley.

 

MC:

When did you know you were on the track to becoming a country music star?

 

AH:

I remember I was working at the time, driving trucks and earthmoving equipment and working in the mines. The boss said to me, "Listen mate, you are having that much time off work. Either you get serious about this music thing you're into, or you get serious about your day job. But you can't do both".

 

MC:

Did you get to that point though? Were you sitting in the trucks thinking, "What am I doing here? I should be following my passion"?

 

AH:

Yeah, you sort of get comfortable, you know. A regular wage was coming in and my wife was pregnant with our son. But when my boss said that to me we finally pulled the pin and moved to Sydney.

 

MC:

What did your family and friends think about you moving to Sydney to chase your dreams?

 

AH:

I remember they said, "You guys are mad. You are giving up your job, your wife's pregnant and you're going to go off and be a country music singer. What the hell are you thinking?"

 

MC:

Did you think that? Was there an element of concern?

 

AH:

I was worried about it. But with friends like that, who needs enemies. But my wife was great. She said, "We'll give this a go. We'll move up to Sydney and if it doesn't work out I can always run away with Lee Kernaghan".

 

MC:

Someone who all artists hold in the highest regard is the late, great Slim Dusty. Did you have a lot of involvement with Slim?

 

AH:

To be honest, I am really good friends with his wife. I met Slim quite a few times, but he was a bit funny with me. He used to say to me, "How come you try to sing like a Yank? You need to be more Australian". And I would say, "What do you mean? Do you want all of us to sound like John Williamson?" So Slim and I used to butt heads a bit.

 

MC:

Tell me about your record deal with Warner Music.

 

AH:

I remember thinking, "How good is this? I can put my feet up now and watch the money roll in". But then I recorded an album with The Black Sorrows. It didn't go gold or platinum, it went crayon. Which is one up from tin foil. The record company said to me, "Well son, you've had your chance and you blew it," and they kicked me out onto the gutter. I had never been so ashamed.

LISTEN: Click below for the full interview with Adam Harvey