A LIFETIME spent in shearing sheds, at local rodeos and living his best life in 'Gum Creek Country' is the inspiration behind a debut country music album from Orroroo and Carrieton identity Glyn Shackleford.
The red dirt of the Upper North runs through the veins of Glyn, whose name would be familiar to anyone who follows the SA rodeo circuit.
He was born a two-minute drive out of Orroroo and still resides in his childhood home.
During a colourful life, Glyn has been a sharefarmer, drover, farmhand, tractor driver and salesman, and has rode in horse race meetings and gymkhanas, but in shearing sheds and at local rodeo rings is where Glyn has made his name.
He has spent 45 years working in sheds in the Northern Flinders Ranges, Western Pastoral region, the South East, Mid North, and the North Eastern Pastoral district across to Broken Hill and Cobar, NSW.
He has spent many a weekend promoting, announcing and officiating at rodeos across SA and interstate and is the current secretary of the Carrieton rodeo, a role he takes great pride in.
He was inducted into the Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre Hall of Fame in 2018 and has been an avid spokesperson for the sport and the region during regular appearances on Peter Goers' ABC radio program.
So how did the knockabout shearer and rodeo identity come to release a music album?
"I guess I've sung all my life in some ways - around shearing sheds, around pubs and bars, at rodeos, around the campfire," Glyn said.
"Back in my kid days, people would get a Slim Dusty tape out, or not even need a tape, have a few drinks and you'd sing or someone would recite a poem. That's just what you did.
"I was singing in choirs at school from six years old and performing in plays so that's where my performing background comes back from."
While he has been singing and working on various songs for years - often about local tales and events involving shearing and rodeos - the help of a team of co-producers and musicians helped Glyn officially release a five-track album titled Gum Creek Country in March.
Songs include 'Carrieton Cheese', a track inspired by a shearer's preferred choice of salad at smoko, 'Our Rodeo' about the identities and allure of the Carrieton Rodeo, 'Herd of Hope', 'BBQ Shed' and 'The Big Hall'.
"It has cost a few bob, but has been a lot of fun and I'm trying to tell a bit of a story about local life and local events," Glyn said.
"It's been a good area to live, with wide open space and nice people."
The album's release has been met with great support from both locals and Glyn's many rodeo connections, with copies sent across Australia.
Glyn said the support of Sandi McMenamin, co-producer, musician and backing vocalist, Quentin Eyers, recording engineer, musician and backing vocalist, and composers Sam Gibb and Terry McCranor had been amazing and he was continuing to work on new tracks.
They include a collaborative song with Sam Gibb called 'Mayor of Willow Plains' as a tribute to late mate Trav McCourt.
"He was a great supporter of mine in rodeo, in life and in Carrieton," Glyn said.
While Glyn continues to work on his next album, Gum Creek Country is available at selected outlets in Carrieton, Orroroo, Peterborough, Hawker, Cradock, Wilmington, Melrose, Booleroo and Jamestown, and by postal order.
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