Former Gunnedah musician Dan Murphy is riding a high after the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The singer-songwriter spent nine days gigging at a number of venues and picked up plenty of new fans along the way, including the “Honey Badger”, former Bachelor contestant Nick Cummins.
Murphy said his band was playing at the South Tamworth Bowling Club week when the Honey Badger walked in and caught the last song of the first set.
The former Wallabies’ player was in Tamworth promoting Iron Jack beer and had come to the club for a function. The pair got chatting during Murphy’s break then he hung around for a few more songs and had a photo together.
“He was loving the music … He didn’t want to leave. They were trying to drag him on to the function,” Murphy said.
“Nick was a lovely guy. He seemed really genuine and easy to talk to and down-to-earth.”
Murphy has spent plenty of time chatting to fans during the festival, with calls for a new album.
“I get a lot of people come up and ask ‘When are you bringing a new one out?’ They’re waiting on it,” Murphy said.
“Other people were coming up and saying they come to every one of our shows and some people who planned their day around our shows.
“With such an intense festival, with so much on, you can’t put a price on that … Any repeat offenders is pretty awesome.”
Murphy said his last gig at West Leagues was the “pinnacle” of the festival and the “perfect way to end it all”.
“The band was right in the zone. It was chockers. They just lapped up our music,” he said.
“I sold a heap of music [and] I had people coming up to me and saying we were the best thing they’d seen all week … That meant a lot to us.
“We were just so chuffed and we felt like we’d nailed it. Just knocked it out of the park.”
Murphy has been playing at the festival for more than 14 years but said “you never stop learning”.
“I’m learning stagecraft … The more you do it, the more comfortable you get,” he said.
“I’ve always been very critical of myself. It’s been hard for me to believe in my own music, my songwriting, [but] the guys in my band who I respect massively, they believe in my music, and the feedback from the crowd – people coming up on our breaks and saying how they love certain songs I’ve written. It’s a great feeling.
“It’s certainly got me fired up for the next album, which I’m doing this year.”