Playing at his third CMC Rocks Festival, Lifestyle Queensland caught up with Cassar-Daley to discuss all things country music, songwriting and his love for Barnesy.
Whether you love country music or loathe it, you can’t deny that you’ve jammed along to some of Troy Cassar-Daley’s greatest hits.
From a small town boy growing up in Grafton to busking at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Cassar-Daley’s career has seen him clean up numerous accolades – 4 ARIAs, 36 Golden Guitars and 2 APRA Country Song of the Year Awards, just to name a few.
However, his illustrious career has not dulled his enthusiasm for performing or making new music.
“I’m really, really privileged to play at CMC Rocks, I’ve got a great band together for it and because I’m on the Greatest Hits tour it’s going to be a pretty easy set to put together,” Cassar-Daley said.
“Songs I’ve recorded over the years will be part of the set, there’s a couple of new ones that I’ve never really aired before in front of anybody so that’s going to be pretty cool.”
Whilst Troy is excited to play the hits people have come to know and love over the years, there’s one special song he’s excited for fans to hear.
“There’s a song that’s going to be released on the Jimmy Barnes record and it’s not the sort of thing you expect from a country music act I know, but it’s something that just came out of the blue,” he said.
“I read both of his books that I really, really loved and I wrote a poem for him and when he rang looking for songs for a new record I told him I had this poem and he said well, turn it into a song and send it to me so I did.”
As a self-confessed Cold Chisel fan, Troy described this feat as a ‘career highlight’.
“I spent so many times sneaking in under age to see [Cold] Chisel because the town Don Walker comes from is my hometown, so when he came to town he was a hero… so now going from sneaking in underage to see one of my favourite Australian rock bands to getting a song on the lead singers album in May is something I don’t think I’ll ever top this year.”
Speaking of musicians Troy idolises and respects, the singer is more than excited to sing alongside other country music megastars and friends like Luke Combs and Kasey Chambers at this year’s CMC Rocks.
He will also be hosting a songwriting session during the festival with Combs and Thomas Rhett.
“It’ll be loads of fun and it’s just one of those things that will be a highlight other than playing a normal show,” Troy said.
“I urge people to get in early because the songwriting sessions get chock-a-block.. I don’t think I’ve seen any sort of event like this in America but in Australia we take a lot of pride in our songwriters.”
He hopes both the sessions and festival inspire more young Australian country talent, something Troy says is growing rapidly within our country.
He loves inspiring the next generation of country music listeners – particularly his daughter, who is currently on the road alongside him, ensuring he gets to soundcheck on time.
“They still love people like myself and Lee Kernaghan and John Williamson as much as they love all the new acts as well,” he said.
A Brissie boy of more than 30 years, Troy loves visiting our neighbouring city of Ipswich – even owning a farm in Fernvale.
“I’m actually coming back and playing a show later in the year [at the Civic Centre].. I love Ipswich because our farm is in Fernvale,” Cassar-Daley said.
“We know the town pretty intimately and I always love being able to come in.. it’s like a second home.”
Catch Troy Cassar-Daley at CMC Rocks on Saturday, the 16th of March between 4:50-5:50pm on the Rebel Stage. He is also performing at the Civic Centre in July (for tickets, visit www.ipswichciviccentre.com.au.)
Photos Courtesy of troycassardaley.com.au