Dobe NEWTON (1996)
1971 - A group of
university students gathered to share their love of traditional
music, little did they realise that they were establishing a
Having established residencies
pubs, the band’s attention quickly turned to
where two of their great influences - Fairport Convention and
Planxty were leading a folk revival.
1974 - Took off to try their
luck. The next 8-10 years were split between extensive tours at
‘home’, and 5 European tours from the band’s base in
Their debut LP ‘The Shearers’ Dream’ reached No.1 on the Melody
Maker Folk Chart. The combination of traditional instruments,
electric guitar and bass and the unique percussive drive of the
lagerphone, meant they rocked like no other folk band!
Late 70s and early to mid 80s
saw the band’s self-promoted Bush Dance Spectaculars attract
2-3,000 people to Town Halls and major venues throughout
The impact of this dance phenomenon saw a single from their
(Gold) ‘Dance Album’ reach the No. 14 on
leading commercial Pop/Rock station!
With the addition of drums in
1980, the Bushies entered musical territory previously
The band released two Australian Song Books and two
dance books and albums which - to this day, hold sales records.
No Aussie school could do without them.
1981 – “Adopted” by country music fans. Golden Guitar
for Instrumental of the Year with “Flying Pieman”.
1983 – Mo Awards for Country
Group of the Year.
1986 - Mo Awards for Country
Group of the Year.
1988 - Mo Awards for Country
Group of the Year.
The band’s constant search and reputation for musical
excellence saw them attract some of Australia’s best - drummers
Robby Ross (Goanna) and Freddie Strauks (Skyhooks), guitar
legends Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Housden (Little River Band), Tim
Gaze (Ariel, Rose Tattoo) and bassist Pete Farndon who went on
to international fame with The Pretenders.
1995 - After decades of relentless touring, the band
decided to take a break from the road. The national broadcaster
- ABC, marked the occasion with a 1-hour TV special “The Last
Dance”. The band continued to record and performs at major
festivals and events.
1996 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame.
In 2007, the band realised a
long-held dream, travelling to Nashville
for the Australian Festival. The combination of Australian songs
and subject matter and Celtic-influenced music proved just as
popular with Americans as it had with European fans 30 years
Dobe Newton - the man in the crazy custom made suits
confesses to always being a singing ‘dag’ who the late 1960’s
Dobe was saved from his university studies and real life plans
to be a lawyer by a bunch of Irish folkies who introduced him to
the Dubliners. He was handed a lagerphone and a tin whistle, and
bush music nestled in his bones.
In 1972 Dobe joined The Original Bushwhackers and
Bullockies Bush Band, The band quickly established ‘legendary’
pub residencies in Melbourne’s inner north, and soon turned
their attention to the folk revival that was sweeping Europe,
led by English folk/rock bands Steeleye Span, Fairport
Convention and The Albion Band, all featuring the cream of
traditional players in new and exciting electric music
Five European tours over the
next seven years, which saw the band establish a significant
reputation and fan base as energetic, skilful interpreters of a
unique Antipodean version of the Anglo Celtic tradition. The
musical influences encountered and the lessons learned from a
decade of touring, had made Dobe determined to establish the
Bushies at the forefront of Australia’s
contemporary music acts.
After more than a decade of
life spent almost entirely touring Australia
Dobe’s thoughts turned to home and hearth – more particularly,
to the matter of raising a family.
conferences, seminars and organising gigs in WA and Victoria
reignited the passion for education, and Dobe accepted an offer
to join the teaching staff offering
first TAFE course in Music Business.
Dobe’s commitment to the
growth of Australian Music saw him as a member of the CMAA Board
and Executive for 10 years, to the planning and establishment,
and development of the
of Country Music.
Remember the target ads in the 90’s with that home-grown
voice? Dobe’s voiced the multi-award winning TV and radio ad for
sixteen years and can still be heard being ‘friendly’, ‘sincere’
and proudly Australian for a variety of products and causes.
Dobe continues to do what he loves best - belting the
hell out of the lagerphone more than anything else he can think
of – well, just about anything!
Award for Album of the Year with “The Best Songs and Stories of