Hillbilly tunes in Eden

"We live near Port Douglas in North Queensland," Bryce said. "Well, that's where our home is, anyway. We've spent most of our time on the road since we formed four years ago."

And they don't travel alone. As well as forming the band, the husband and wife musical pair also created a daughter.

"Baby Goat is with us where ever we go. She's done over 400 gigs. She's one of those kids that sleeps in a guitar case backstage," Bryce said.

The Hillbillygoats are on their way to Tamworth Country Music Festival where they have a bunch of shows. But they're doing a show in Eden on the way. Bryce is keen to point out that band is not a country band or a bush band.

"We've been perceived as country but we describe ourselves as hillbilly roots and old time blues. We do a lot of old stuff - from 1710 up to the 1940s when bluegrass started." In one of their shows, Down from the Mountains, which was designed especially for festivals, the Goats tell the story of how Appalachian music developed. With immigrants from all the world settling in those US mountains, a new sort of music came about. Singing songs they brought with them from their native countries, Applachian music became a blend of Irish, Scottish and African rhythms. This mountain music has endured for hundreds of years, giving birth to what we now know as blues, bluegrass and country music along the way.

"But we also love to play uptempo, more modern stuff," Bryce said. "We bastardise rock and roll and make it bluegrass. We have a lot of fun."

The Hillbillygoats dress the part too, with hillbilly-themed clothes.

"Each show we're either in bib and brace or bright coloured shirts with straw hats."

At the Tamworth Country Music Festival the Hillbillygoats will team up with country music legend (and Kasey's dad) Bill Chambers.

"We did a tour recently with Bill up north. Country pubs and a hall gig. They were big shows. We had 450 people in the Lions Den Hotel near Cooktown. That's pretty amazing when you realise that only 38 people live in that part of the world," Bryce said. "We'll be playing with Bill at Tamworth. He plays country blues slide lap steel and a bunch of other guitars with us. We'll be a six-piece in Tamworth.

"We'll also have a full band for the Eden Creek Hall gig," Bryce said. "We'll start the show with the Down from the Mountains stuff, our history lesson, and then it's time to kick off your shoes and put your hoe down. We'll have a bones player too as well as a drummer."

So, what is a bones player?

"You hold two rib bones in each hand and flick them to the rhythm," Bryce answered. "It's a very old instrument. It was used before spoons. No-one is sure where it comes from.

"The Goats are a bit outrageous but family-friendly - we suit the very young to the very old. The biggest comment when we play is 'I don't normally like that sort of music but you guys are really good!'" Bryce said. "I think it's because we make people laugh. We set this band up because we know that people go out to have fun, to get away from their normal lives, and we play music to put a smile on their faces."

Eden Creek Hall doors open at 6.30pm; show starts at 7pm.

Entry is $10/5. BYO. There'll be sausage sizzle and supper available.

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