'Dream come true' as Gladstone musicians head to Tamworth
TEMPERATURES are soaring in Tamworth but two Gladstone musicians are still keen to hit the streets and play music.
Country musicians Rob Hopkins, and Clyde Cameron will be busking in the main street along with hundreds of others in the main street of Tamworth during Australia's biggest country music festival.
"This is our fifth year at the festival and we have a permanent spot booked outside the River's store," Rob said.
"For three hours every morning we'll be there entertaining the crowds and from 9am onwards it's wall to wall people on the street.
"We have a lot of fun, and this year we'll be joined by NZ Golden Guitar winner Rhys Warner from Calliope and drummer Gordon Ferry and bass player Merv Underhill from Rockhampton."
Sprinkled among the passers-by are some famous country music artists.
"We've seen some of the big names walking along Peel St," Rob said.
"8 Ball Aitkens is a tonne of fun, Jason Carruthers came and sang a song with us.
"Adam Harvey we know quite well and he'll pop by and poke funny faces at us to try and put us off, and we do the same thing to him.
"Graham Rodgers will meet up with us there as well and I'll be performing with him on Monday night at the Community Hall."
For Rob playing at Tamworth is a dream come true.
"It's Australia's country music capital," he said.
"And the Tamworth Festival stayed true to country too.
"They tried to break away a couple of times and bring in rock n roll, but it didn't work.
"There's a bit of alternative music and some bluesy stuff which doesn't hurt.
"But we stick to playing the genuine, solid country music, most buskers are pure country."
There is one change they have noticed in recent years.
"Busking used to be quiet rewarding, but now most people don't carry coins," Rob said.
"You just about need a card reader if you want people to donate or sell CD's."
The only cloud on their horizon is a heat wave which is predicted to last throughout the festival.
"It's going to be over 40 degrees all week down there," Rob said.
"We've heard some people have packed up and headed home, but we'll push on.
"Where we busk is shaded, the little café up the road keeps us supplied with plenty of water.
"And this year our air-conditioned accommodation is only 200 metres from 'The Pub' which is Bill Chamber's pub, it's got a lot of refreshing drinks too."
To follow Rob and Clyde's 2019 Tamworth adventure go visit the Robert Hopkins Music Facebook page.