The boy from the bush is back in town.
Australian country music legend, Lee Kernaghan, brings his Backroad Nation tour to Canberra this month, celebrating his new album of the same name.
He tells Canberra Weekly his new album is a story of Australia.
“I’ve spent the last few years crisscrossing our great country, from the major cities to little country towns.
“Some people say it’s a lot about my earlier work, but there’s a new engine under the hood. It’s moved on musically, but at its heart is Australia,” he says.
The Backroad Nation album was about a year and a half in the making, and saw him collaborate with some of the world’s best country music songwriters.
“What I wanted to do was lift people up, and send out the good vibrations with this record. There’s been some difficult times of late with the floods up north and a lot of farms in drought.”
Kernaghan says the opportunity to take his show out on the road and cover the country is a privilege.
“These are big shows, big parties, big events and we want to put on a spectacle … We use big screens in our show, cameras, and really involve everybody into the show as much as we can.
“There’s a real feeling of connection, and I don’t think of the people who come out to these shows as fans; they’re not fans, they’re mates.”
Kernaghan has a strong connection to Canberra; a song off his new album, called Live to Ride, was inspired by a Remembrance Day he spent at the Australian War Memorial.
“Veterans and motorcycle groups had come from all across the nation for the ceremony … I was really inspired by their journey, and how many of them carry scars many others won’t see,” he says.
“I’ve never seen as many utes and four wheel drives in Canberra as I do at one of my shows; my fans really turn out and that’s something I love to see.”
Lee Kernaghan’s Backroad Nation tour stops off at the Canberra Theatre Centre on 14 September; leekernaghan.com