Australian Italian Club of Launceston hosts annual Country Music Festival at Prospect

Cash: Daniel Thompson of "Johnny Cash, The Concert" performs at the Australian Italian Club in Prospect on Sunday.
Cash: Daniel Thompson of "Johnny Cash, The Concert" performs at the Australian Italian Club in Prospect on Sunday.

There’s something about country music that gets people on their feet and onto the dance floor.

A large audience at the Australian Italian Club in Prospect on Sunday enjoyed the chance to dance, sing along and listen to some of Tasmania’s finest country musicians at the Launceston Country Music Festival.

Organiser Glenn Price, secretary general of the Tasmanian Country Music Foundation, said the annual festival welcomed a new big-name performer every year, with the Saturday devoted to clinics as an off-shoot of the Sunday festival.

This year Daniel Thompson, star of Johnny Cash, The Concert, was warmly received by patrons who danced their way through renditions of Cash’s most popular songs, including, of course, Walk the Line. 

Thompson will perform again in Launceston in August as part of the Johnny Cash tribute, featuring the iconic Folsom Prison album from start to finish, as well as other great hits from Cash’s career.

Price said the club was the only venue in Northern Tasmania that regularly offered country music on Sundays, with the festival a showcase of some of Tasmania’s biggest and newest names.

The festival began in 1989 and has brought many fine performers to Launceston over the years.

Hobart singer-songwriter Rachel Taylor was a major drawcard for this year’s festival, with her covers of Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt and more.

Other performers during the day included David Lee, Scott Haigh, Jim Titley and Tania Elliott, and Garry Pengelly.

When asked what it was about country music that brought people to their feet, Price said it was the sheer “danceability”.

“They like the danceable type music, [country] goes back for many years and there are so many songs they’re familiar with,” he said.

For further details on upcoming country music performances, visit the Australian Italian Club on Facebook.