Kernaghan, Sebastian add Albury dates

The career of Albury’s Lee Kernaghan was saved by one songwriting session with Garth Porter.
The career of Albury’s Lee Kernaghan was saved by one songwriting session with Garth Porter.

TWO high-profile singers, one formerly from Albury, have announced Border shows.

Country star Lee Kernaghan and X-Factor judge and vocalist Guy Sebastian yesterday revealed details of Albury gigs.

Sebastian will also return to Wangaratta for two shows following a sell-out gig there last year.

For Kernaghan, 2008 Australian of the Year, returning to the city where he grew up rekindled memories of almost throwing in the towel on his career after a gig at Wodonga’s Carrier Arms Hotel when not a single punter turned up.

“Not even my mum,” he said.

Kernaghan said his confidence took a bit of a beating that night.

“Between that, and my accountant saying, ‘Lee, do you realise you’re not making any money out of music, in fact you’re going backwards — have you considered another way to earn a living?’,” Kernaghan said.

“That pretty well had me looking to finish it all up at the age of 26, 27.”

Kernaghan — “miraculously” — took a phone call from producer, songwriter and ex-Sherbet pop group member Garth Porter who convinced him to visit him in Sydney for a songwriting session “to see what happens”.

“But I said, ‘I’m finished up now, I’m not really doing any more’, and he said, ‘Just come up for one last try’, and that’s where Boys From The Bush and The Outback Club came from,” Kernaghan said.

Now, 22 years later, Kernaghan has sold more than two million records.

He now lives in south-east Queensland and is one of Australian country music’s biggest names.

The 48-year-old father of two will return to the Border for concerts to promote his new album, Beautiful Noise, on May 31 and June 1 at Albury’s Commercial Club where, in his mid-20s, he was a regular performer.

“I had a weekly residency there and among, other things, I’d call bingo — I’ve given away quite a few microwaves in my time,” Kernaghan said.

Since winning Australian Idol in 2003, Sebastian has notched six No.1 singles, most recently with Battle Scars.

Sebastian’s Get Along tour will spend May 12 and 13 at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre and May 14 at the Albury Entertainment Centre.

Man From Snowy River star Tom Burlinson, will bring his Now We’re Swingin’ show to the Commercial Club next Friday and ClubMulwala next Saturday.