Climate tales told in song

August 10, 2023 BY

Song launch: Marty McKenna and Rebecca Jane Howell are performing at Shiraz Republic on Sunday. Photo: SUPPLIED

CENTRAL Victorian folk duo Valley Road are launching their latest single, 1982, at Shiraz Republic at Cornella, north of Heathcote, on Sunday 13 August.

Redesdale farmer and songwriter Marty McKenna said the tune reflected stories of drought, fire, and other events that happened in 1982.

“Growing up in the southeastern part of Australia in a farming community, the extreme events of that particular year are talked about often and have become a kind of folklore,” he said.

“The fires, extreme dry and giant dust storms of that time still inform farming practices to this day.

“The collective memories of farming through the ’82 drought are vivid.”

McKenna grew up singing to the sheep on his family’s farm, while band mate Rebecca Jane Howell honed her skills as a member of the Australian Girls Choir.

The pair began performing together after Howell started an informal singing group at Kyneton in 2012, and they teamed up for a fundraiser.

Valley Road, along with Broken Creek Band who are also launching their new single, The Gathering Wool, is at Shiraz Republic on Sunday from 2pm.