Every week, ABC Country's Grass Roots program shines a light on the best independently released Australian country content. Selected from the hundreds of new tracks submitted, the one-hour program is now available on demand as well as premiering each Monday at 9pm on ABC Country, showing the health of Aussie country music across all its sub-genres. Here are four of this week's tracks you should have on your radar.
Head here to have a listen to this week’s full episode of Grass Roots.
Wade Forster – Rodeo Romeo
The boy from Winton, QLD is fresh off the heels of being crowned the 2024 Toyota Star Maker, with his first official single Rodeo Romeo. The emerging heartthrob says of the song, “Rodeo Romeo is a song I wrote about a cowboy and cowgirl who live on two different sides of Australia and still make their relationship work. When they see each other, the love is so strong that they dance and do everything together. I am an emotional person and when I see things like this it warms my heart, so this song is an ode to them.”
Wade Forster’s journey has only just begun. His passion for music and rodeo inspires his writing process and will continue to influence his continuation in both rodeo and the music industry.
Raechel Whitchurch – Back Where I Belong
Raechel Whitchurch is well-known for writing songs that beautifully encapsulate what it feels like to live in the country and this release is no exception. During 2021, while the world was in lockdown, Whitchurch and her husband (fellow musician Ben Whitchurch) made the decision to leave Sydney, where they had lived for over a decade, and move to Parkes in regional NSW. Back Where I Belong chronicles the story of what unfolded for Whitchurch during that time, and thematically it speaks of the struggles so many country people have when they move to the city – and eventually, what brings them home.
With the lyrics “I’m back, back where I belong, my family’s down the road, my neighbours call across the fence to give me food they’ve grown”, you can almost hear the relief in Whitchurch’s voice as she sings about all of the things she’d missed about living in the country. Whitchurch was recently named as one of the five finalists of this year’s APRA Professional Development Awards for Country/Americana – an award recognising talent in emerging songwriters. She has also announced the first shows on her Hillbilly Jam Night tour, along with a stint across NSW opening for Cold Chisel icon Ian Moss.
Cary Morin – Indian Hunters Return
Internationally acclaimed and a mesmerising live performer, Cary Morin’s soul-stirring voice and jaw-dropping fingerstyle guitar playing have captivated audiences for decades. Morin’s musical style has been characterized as roots-infused Native Americana with hints of bluegrass, folk, blues, and rock. Morin’s Native American indigenous ancestry is at the centre of his creative output, with his latest album Innocent Allies drawing from his lifelong fascination with the western artist Charles M. Russell.
Morin’s catalogue fuses the best of American roots music: blues, folk, soul, bluegrass, and the timeless and distinctive sounds of the rural countryside, from the Western Plains and Rocky Mountains to the rhythmic melting pot of the deep South. Indian Hunters Return lends from a piece of art from which the name was drawn.