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Teens beat busking blues

CAPTIVATED AUDIENCE: Hundreds gather to watch Sam Cashman and Nick Jansen on the Buskers Stage at Bluesfest on Sunday. The boys won the busking competition and, with it, prizes and opportunities to give them a head-start in the industry.
CAPTIVATED AUDIENCE: Hundreds gather to watch Sam Cashman and Nick Jansen on the Buskers Stage at Bluesfest on Sunday. The boys won the busking competition and, with it, prizes and opportunities to give them a head-start in the industry.

IT MAY sound cliched, but there was one saying that came to mind when Nick Jansen and Sam Cashman were playing their guitars on stage at Bluesfest on Sunday.

Confucius once said: "Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life".

Nick and Sam, both 14, could be well on their way to a career in the music industry after winning the "grommet" section of the Bluesfest Busking Competition.

Sam's dad John Cashman said the pair certainly had what it took, coupled with a relaxed and realistic attitude and a love for music.

"Sam started playing guitar when he was 10, and you could see straight away that there was something there," Mr Cashman said. "Since then it has been a problem trying to get his guitar out of his hands."

Winning the competition has opened many doors for the boys: a three-day recording stint with Studios 301, the chance to meet musician Xavier Rudd in person, and a two-month mentorship program with Sam Cutler, just to name a few.

"Sam Cutler was the tour manager for the Rolling Stones, so it is quite a big deal," Mr Cashman said.

"It's all about making contacts and getting the boys out there."

Like most good things, the boys come from humble beginnings. Best mates since beginning high school in Maclean, they share a passion for classical guitar.

They played in Grafton on Jacaranda Thursday, and wowed the crowd at the Venetian Carnival.

Last Friday, after a series of online auditions and heats, the boys played on stage at the Byron Bay Beach Hotel. They won the title.

When asked if he could imagine his son in 10 years' time on stage, Mr Cashman replied: "That's what he'd like to do of course, but we'll just have to see what happens."

Topics:  blues festival, busking


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