Festival for the fair dinkum

Zeta Burns and Ian Hans met at a country music festival nearly 40 years ago, and are are repeat visitors at the Grafton Fairdinkum Country Music Festival. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Zeta Burns and Ian Hans met at a country music festival nearly 40 years ago, and are are repeat visitors at the Grafton Fairdinkum Country Music Festival. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

THE musicians playing at the fourth Grafton Fairdinkum Country Music Festival are just like the music they play.

No frills, honest, down to earth - fair dinkum.

Take Newcastle singer Bob Easter. He's one of the headline acts, but he's already been here for a few days filling in when there's a gap in the walk-ups, helping build the stage and helping out however he can.

From tomorrow night he will become one of the stars of the show, singing songs he penned himself, as well as covers of music by Stan Coster, Slim Dusty, Buddy Williams and Trevor Day.

The same could be said of Charmaine Pout, who proudly proclaims her 30-year career in the country music scene.

Back home in Forbes she is the Queen of the country airwaves on 97.9 Forbes Valley FM.

When she's not singing in Grafton she operates the sound desk, ensuring everyone sounds their best.

Her protege in Grafton is one half of the Len and Jeanne Connors partnership from Lake Boga in Victoria.

Charmaine has introduced Len to the mysteries of the sound desk and so far so good.

"I'm new to this caper," he said.

Former Junction Hill boy Noel Bridge has been here for three weeks waiting for the fun to start.

Zeta Burns and Ian Hands have been together for 40 years.

Zeta's love of country music is only her latest brush with the entertainment industry. Ian's passion, apart from Zeta, is writing the stories of the old time country singers and bush balladeers.

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