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Santos Opening Night Concert

Buried Country

Northern Territory / Australia

Long before Aboriginal painters, film-makers and dance companies were becoming household names, generations of Indigenous musicians were finding a voice in white Australia through country music.

When Clinton Walker began delving into this forgotten history, he could never have expected that the songs and stories he would uncover would go on to inform a book that went from instant cult classic to widely recognised masterpiece, and that a film and album would follow.

Now these same musical stories are brought to the stage in our Santos Opening Night Concert. Singers and songwriters from across the continent and across the generations, from iconic elders Roger Knox and L.J. Hill, legends Warren H. Williams and Buddy Knox, to younger artists like Leah Flanagan, Luke Peacock and James Henry, will be backed by an all-star house-band, the Backtrackers, in an opening night celebration to remember. A selection of Australian country music’s greatest hits, written by the likes of Bob Randall, Jimmy Little and Vic Simms, take centre stage complemented by a video-remix from the original Buried Country documentary and a production design based on artwork by famed Aboriginal painter the Blak Douglas for a Festival experience full of laughter and tears.

Darwin’s own Ali Mills will perform a Welcome to Country to get the night started, before a chorus of local community choirs sing a rousing tribute to the Territory’s Indigenous country traditions – including Kathy Mills’ ‘The Arafura Pearl’, a song regarded by many as Darwin’s anthem and one that is now officially registered as a Northern Territory social and cultural heritage icon.

Make a night of it by treating your taste buds to the delicious food served up onsite by Elijah’s Kitchen, Slide in and Bao, Pandalicous Dumplings and Trampoline Gelato, and enjoy beer, wine or soft drinks from the bar.

 ‘An emotional tribute to Aboriginal country music greats.’ THE AGE

‘The music is alive with heart and wit.’ SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Musical Director Brendan Gallagher
Performers Roger Knox, L.J. Hill, Warren H. Williams, Leah Flanagan, James Henry, Luke Peacock, Eleanor Dixon 

The Backtrackers
Brendan Gallagher  Guitar
Luke Peacock Keyboards 
Buddy Knox Guitar
Teangi Knox Bass
Jason Walker Pedal steel & Mandolin)
Jim Elliott Drums

Image Credit
Jon Langford

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