INTERVIEW: Aussie country music star speaks ahead of Brolga visit
When Australian country music legend John Williamson looks out over the crowd at his shows, he knows that for many, his songs have been a soundtrack at some of the most important moments in their lives.
Every week he gets emails from fans, telling him one of his songs was played at the funeral of a loved one, or at a wedding.
It's not unusual for him to spot someone in the front row with tears in their eyes.
On April 16, Mr Williamson will perform his new show, titled Winding Back: Celebrating 51 Years at Maryborough's Brolga Theatre.
He has been to the city many times and says it's one of his favourite towns along the east coast.
During the show, he'll be performing his much-loved favourites, as well as songs that were inspired by the great state of Queensland.
After taking 12 months off during COVID-19 restrictions, Mr Williamson has been back on the road for four weeks and is well and truly warmed up for the tour.
He was worried his voice would be rusty after having so long off, but he's found exercises taught by his daughter, an operatic singer, have helped.
When asked what inspired his songs, he said it was always Australia.
"I'm lucky enough to get around it all the time."
Mr Williamson was a wheat farmer who didn't know he could write a song until he penned Old Man Emu.
When that hit number one, he realised it was what he wanted to do full time.
He says the beauty of Australia inspires him including at his 180 acre property near the Gold Coast where he says he is still finding new things to discover.
The ancient sights in the Northern Territory and the cattle stations of the outback have also served him well.
When it comes to picking a favourite moment in his career, it's difficult.
He has performed at the Olympic Games, Bledisloe Cup the memorial for wildlife warrior Steve Irwin.
All these special moments have stuck with him over the years.
Now, back on tour, he knows many more are still ahead.
The Brolga Theatre show will start at 8pm.
Tickets cost $64 for adults, $59 for pensioners and $35 for children aged 12 and under.
To find out more, click here.