Happy homecoming for Troy Cassar-Daley
ONE of Australian country music's finest singer-songwriters, Troy Cassar-Daley is headed back to the region as part of his NSW North Coast tour.
Raised in Grafton, the tour will be a sort of homecoming for the award-winning artist.
Cassar-Daley said he couldn't wait to play in Ballina in November.
"I'm going back home! I love the area - Ballina's a special spot for me," he said.
He said he'll of course be spending some time in Grafton while he was up this way.
"I normally drop in for the day, have a cup of tea with mum. It'll be nice to see her again."
Cassar-Daley is a proud member of the Bundjalung nation and said he couldn't wait to get back to the land he loves to much.
"I get a real flutter in my heart when I see Mt Warning," he said.
He's got family all around the area, from Lismore to Casino, so he always loves coming back here, he said.
He's said before that if it weren't for the love and support he received during his formative musical years on the North Coast, he would not be where he is now.
"That's no word of a lie," Cassar-Daley said.
"The local people have been so good to me."
As a successful artist who began as a youngster - he played his first Tamworth Country Music Festival at age 11 ("that seems like an eternity ago, but I tell you it was an amazing experience," he said) - Cassar-Daley now sees it as his duty to support younger artists.
He always finds young local acts to fill his support act slots in each of the towns he goes to, and he said he couldn't wait to find some "great young kids" to play the Ballina show.
"I'm 45 now, I just think it's time to reinvest time in our younger generation," he said.
"I'm hoping that younger people can see there's people out there willing to support them.
"I get afraid that people in the younger generation are just sitting there waiting for an opportunity to come by - I think you've actually got to run out and grab it by the throat."
It's shaping up to be a busy 2015 for Cassar-Daley.
Before he comes on his North Coast tour, he will be recording a new album in Nashville, which will be ready for release in March.
He can't wait to release some new music, he said.