I recently took a road trip to a little town half-way between Bathurst and Oberon called O'Connell. O'Connell is about two and half hours from Sydney and is an easy - and very scenic drive, including passing by the beautiful Lake Lyall.
It was the historic O'Connell Hotel's 150th anniversary, celebrated with a weekend of festivities that featured the Swamp Dawkins Hoedown Band hosting a night of bush dancing.
It was a wonderful night - it seemed like the whole community had come out to the bush dance! Swamp Dawkins played both traditional bush dance tunes for the called dances, interchanged with covers of great Australian classics.
The band is made up of passionate musicians who have each been playing for over 30 years - with over 100 years of experience collectively.
Michael Buining, on the lead guitar and vocals, has played in a few bands over the years, including the Outback Bushband, and is a self taught guitarist.
James Barton (the band's drummer) is probably a little more well-known for his time as the drummer for '1927' and has also guest starred with Outback in recent years.
Andrew Vallentine, on the bass, has dabbled in acting and composition with a repertoire of over 600 songs and has performed with some of Australia's finest musicians including Jellybean Jam and The Beatnix.
How did Swamp Dawkins get together?
Michael and Andrew have known each other since high school (that's about 30 years), while James and Michael have struck up a friendship in recent years over a common love of music and soccer.
How would you describe your music style?
Swamp Dawkins plays a combination of originals and covers done in a swampy style best described as a mix of country, western, Australiana, blues and rock.
The rhythms resonate from outback scenes, bush walks and rocking chairs – all the rhythms of life. When in hoedown mode, the dances originate from barns, squares, lines and the Australian bush – traditional dances with modern choreography.