Going back down the old tracks
TROY Cassar-Daley doesn't do anything by halves. The country music veteran decided he needed an album to complement his new book, and ended up producing an 18-track whopper. His 10th solo studio album Things I Carry Around was released on Friday and his book of the same name hit the shelves on Tuesday. "I didn't intend to have that much on there, to tell you the truth," Cassar-Daley told APN. "What I really wanted to do was just make a record that was a really good accompaniment to the book so that if you get tired of reading for a bit you can listen to some of the stories. "Being the never-ending musician of course there had to be some musical component. My wife (Laurel) says 'oh you couldn't just do a book; you had to do an album as well'. It's the best way I express myself I guess." Cassar-Daley collaborated with Paul Kelly on the song Brighter Day, a haunting ballad about his Uncle Hoppy, a man perennially down on his luck. "Talking about my uncle and how he had such a tragic life can be confronting, but he's a big part of my family's story," he said. "You can't sugar-coat things and I don't think people want to see some shiny story about my rise to fame." He admits Things I Carry Around can be melancholic at times but it also features upbeat songs like Smoked with Willie and Merle. "The record company people all looked at each other when I told them about the drug-smoking song," he laughed. "When I was with my childhood hero, if I said no then I think it would have insulted him. It's a fun song and it took all of about 15minutes to write. "Listening to Merle (Haggard) growing up and then meeting him, and teaching Willie Nelson to play the didgeridoo, those are small parts of my story that I'm proud of." Cassar-Daley will hit the stage along with many other artists at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music on Sunday, November 6.