Multi award-winning country music stars Luke O’Shea and Lyn Bowtell head south this week for gigs as part of their ‘Love and Laughter Tour’. They've already sold out their Saturday show at Yarraville, Vic. With 26 Golden Guitar Awards between them, singer/songwriters Luke O’Shea and Lyn Bowtell have reunited to share their passion for song, live performance and touring this magnificent country of ours. Luke is my guest after 8am this morning to yarn about the Love and Laughter Tour.
Luke and Lyn share songs, stories and laughter, as they combine on stage to create a live music event even greater than the sum of its already impressive parts.
Luke and Lyn recently won three Golden Guitars between them at the 51st CMAA Golden Guitar Awards held in Tamworth in January. Luke won in the ‘Heritage Song of the Year’ and ‘Video of the Year’ categories for his latest single ‘South East Queensland’, from his upcoming Album ‘Next Best Thing’.
Lyn won ‘Contemporary Country Album of the Year’ for her latest release and ARIA Country #1 Album ’Wiser’. Luke O’Shea and Lyn Bowtell are thrilled to be touring and performing together again after Covid forced an unwelcome pause to their 2020 Tour!
In 1902, a lively young man - known to his mates as Mickey Brennan - started work on the Mount Kembla Coal Mine high on the stunning NSW South Coast escarpment, known to the local indigenous Dharawal people as ‘Jumbulla’ - a good place for hunting wallaby.
After just one week on the job, Mickey - seeing the complete disregard for safety and care for its workers - told his boss he was ‘out of there’ - and as he entered the mine for what was to be his last day - a large pocket of unventilated coal seam gas hit an exposed candle flame causing a devastating explosion that claimed 96 souls in, what is still to this day, Australia’s worst mining disaster.
More than 12 years on, we are still putting our hunger for coal, gas and ultimately ‘profit’ over the health and well-being of not just our miners and surrounding communities, but the entire planet.
Mickey Brennan’s body was the only one never recovered from the disaster but many witnesses claim his ghost still resides in the cellar of the local Mount Kembla Pub.
“There’s a lot we don’t know about the soul - sometimes it can’t move on until the truth’s been told!”
Hopefully this song ‘Hey Jumbulla (The Ghost of Mickey Brennan)’ allows Mickey to find some long overdue peace. The song was written by Luke O’Shea & Zane Banks after a conversation they had late one night about Zane’s great-great grandfather and uncles who were working inside the mine that day and miraculously survived the explosion.
“My mother's family lived on Mt Kembla for several generations dating back to the early Victorian period,” Zane said. “My great-grandmother, Agnes Perry (1899-2007) acquired many fascinating tales about the area, its history and local characters over the course of her long life.
“She was the last living person who was on Mt Kembla when the coal mine exploded on 31/7/1902 and one of the stories she told me - which left an impression - was the tragedy of Mickey Brennan and his ghost. “It's a tale which has been worthy of a song for over a century but was meeting Luke in 2022 in which I found the person to sing such a tune.”
This is the second single to be lifted from sixteen-time Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea’s highly anticipated new album, Next Best Thing, to be released later in the year.