Troy Cassar-Daley - Friends Restaurant
Troy Cassar-Daley has come a long way from the twelve year old boy from Grafton busking on Peel St at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Even as he expands the boundaries of what he is capable of musically, as the diverse list of collaborators grows longer, as his swag of awards and size of his crowds has grown and grown, the innate integrity and charisma powering his music has always remained a steady true north. As he once sang, “I live the tales I tell”.
Throughout his thirty years of making music, Troy has been awarded numerous accolades including 4 ARIAs, 37 Golden Guitars, 2 APRA Country Song of the Year awards, 9 Deadlys (Australian Indigenous Artist Awards), 4 CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards plus 2 NIMAs. In 2017 Troy was honoured as the 50th inductee into the prestigious Australasian Roll Of Renown.
With numerous gold and platinum records, Troy has achieved a staggering 31 number 1 chart singles, all of which are collected on his new compilation album Greatest Hits – along with signature album tracks and two brand new TCD originals.
The forty two songs contained within Greatest Hits have been the soundtrack to the everyday triumphs, struggles and good times of Australians from the city to the outback. From the outreached hand of brotherhood in ‘Dream Out Loud’ to the quiet soulful strength of ‘Born to Survive’, the riff-driven joy of ‘Big Big Love’ and beyond, Troy captures the intimate emotions of the happiest and hardest moments in life. Like his songwriting heroes, Troy translates those emotions and experiences into elegantly simple and universally resonant lyrics, set to melodies that feel like old friends after a first listen.
Troy is known amongst his fans and his peers for his graciousness and generosity – when his family farm was decimated in the 2011 floods, his first thought was how he could volunteer his talents to raise money for other flood victims who had it even worse. Perhaps that empathy and spirit of mateship that also shines through all of Troy’s songs is part of what makes so many other acclaimed artists line up to collaborate with him. Two of our mightiest country voices, Kasey Chambers (‘Getaway Car’) and Adam Harvey (‘Lights On Hill’), blend with his sensitive tenor seamlessly. On ‘Biggest Disappointment’, you can hear the delight in Troy’s voice as he trades lines with his hero Slim Dusty.
Not only as revered as any country star in the nation, this collection is evidence of Troy’s status as a musician’s musician, sought out as a collaborator across all genres of Australian music. Rock legends like Jimmy Barnes (‘Bird On A Wire’), Paul Kelly (‘Wish I Was A Train’) and Shane Howard (‘River Boy’) are natural sparring partners, as is guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel on ‘Ramblin’ Man’. It’s also a testament to Troy’s skill as a vocal interpreter, as even classic songs from the worlds of rock and folk sound like Cassar-Daley originals when he gets ahold of them.
The two new recordings on Greatest Hits are a testament to Troy’s enduring vitality as a songwriter. The lead track and reflective ‘Wouldn’t Change A Thing’ is summed up by Troy best “I wanted to write something reflective about my life and others around me because that’s what songwriting is all about. I co-wrote this song with Greg Storer. Looking back over this catalogue of tunes I think of times when I doubted myself and my music, felt alone, then inspired, having a beer celebrating my first Golden Guitar or ARIA award and I think to myself “I wouldn’t change a thing”.”
Plus the earthy blues-meets-bluegrass slink of ‘Shadows On The Hill’ is eerie and indelible, and will be familiar to listeners already from the ABC television series ‘Mystery Road’.
The legends of Australian country music are stories built on regional touring, of artists working tirelessly to bring their music to the people it was written about. By the time Troy released his debut single ‘Dream Out Loud’ in 1994, he already had a decade of live performing under his belt. A proud member of the Bundjalung nation, raised in Grafton, he spent his teen years fronting country bands and winning talent quests, honing his live chops and building an honest rapport with audiences that would make him a beloved performer who plays packed out shows year in and year out.
When Troy released his first album Beyond the Dancing, it instantly heralded the arrival of a major talent. The record earned him his first ARIA and his first Golden Guitar, the first of many. Each of Troy’s ten studio albums has been distinct – from the layered dynamics of True Believer to the stripped back front porch feel of Long Way Home to the intimate Things I Carry Around.