Well-known Moree identity and poet Murray Hartin has just released his latest album to coincide with the 30th anniversary since his poetry career began at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
‘A Double Shot of Muz’ was released this week, 30 years since Hartin’s poetry career was born.
In 1987 Hartin was living in Tamworth and working as a representative for TNT when he happened to win a poetry competition at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“It happened by stumbling into a poetry competition that was described as pretty ordinary and I went along and somehow won the heat and ended up winning the final with a poem that I’d written that day about a gun fight between a koala and a possum,” Hartin said.
Exposure from the competition ended up leading to a sports journalism job with the Northern Daily Leader by the end of that year where Hartin stayed until 1996 before moving to Sydney to pursue poetry full-time.
Hartin’s poetry career took off with the poem ‘Turbulence’ about Alice Springs legend Billy Hays.
‘Turbulence’ is featured on the latest album, along with ‘Rain from Nowhere’ about the drought and depression which “touched a nerve with a lot of people and gained a lot of attention”.
The album also features a couple of poems based on local characters including ‘The Legend of Bobby McGee’ and ‘Keith Garvey’s L’Envoi’.
“Keith Garvey was a Pallamallawa legend who was a great mate of my dad’s and my cousin Brucey Cosh recited this poem at Dad’s funeral, so it’s my version of that,” Hartin said.
It’s a bit of a surprise package, you don’t get comfortable with it because I’ve mixed the serious stuff in so you laugh, you might cry, then you’ll laugh again.Murray Hartin
‘A Double Shot of Muz’ is in a way a ‘best of’ album, featuring two CDs – shot one and shot two – full of a collection of Hartin’s best pieces.
“I’ve done a number of CDs over the years but haven’t always been happy with them in their entirety so I’ve plucked a few out of there and a few new ones and a few classics,” Hartin said.
“It’s a real eclectic thing; there’s a bit of serious stuff, and a lot of fun.
“I don’t think there’s another CD out there like it. It’s got cross-sections of stuff and a few of my mates performing and me performing a few of my mates poems and then some new stuff that hasn’t been recorded before.
“It’s a bit of a surprise package, you don’t get comfortable with it because I’ve mixed the serious stuff in so you laugh, you might cry, then you’ll laugh again, and then finish it off with some tribute poems by some of my heroes, Patterson, C.J. Dennis and Henry Lawson.”
Hartin will be launching his album next week at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival where he’ll be performing seven exclusive one-man shows at the Tamworth Golf Club from Saturday, January 21 to Monday, January 23 and Wednesday, January 25 to Saturday January 28 at 7pm. Tickets are $20.
He will also be the MC for all the daytime events at Tamworth Town Hall.
‘A Double Shot of Muz’ is available from Tourism Moree, Sullivan’s Newsagency Moree, Balo Square Newsagency and a few other businesses in town.