Jillaroo Jess at the Gympie Muster 2013

Greetings, city slickers and country bumpkins!

My videos from the Gympie Muster have not yet been edited so I thought I would share a couple of pics from the event of your favourite redhead (me, obviously..) and Yas, the frontwoman of the band Playback. The two photos I’ve attached are of Yas and I on the McAlister Kemp truck which seats 12 people! I was lucky enough to interview Troy Kemp and Drew McAlister, and I sat in on an interview that Yas did with Adam Brand – who is a household name in Australia.

Hoping to have some videos up for you guys soon, stay tuned 🙂

The 12-seater beast that McAlister Kemp rolled up in.
The 12-seater beast that McAlister Kemp rolled up in.
Yas and Jillaroo Jess interview Adam Brand
Yas and Jillaroo Jess interview Adam Brand

From Harry-High-Pants to… (An Article I Wrote for The Noise Magazine)

When Google-Imaging ‘country and western pop culture’, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there is none. I found a picture of a person made to look like roast chicken, a close-up of Homer Simpson’s eye, a unicorn and other non-related images. It is at this point I realise that writing about the changes in country pop culture is going to be more difficult than I thought. I’ll break it down for you (wikka wikka wo-OWW).

If you look at old black and white photos of cowgirls and cowboys, you will notice a few differences. Yes, they still wore button up shirts and jeans, but the jeans were pulled up to their armpits. Even today, many people in the country community – even young people – choose to wear high-waisted jeans. This is generally how you siphon the legit country people from the rest. If you have ever tried riding a horse in hipster jeans you would understand. So it seems that changes in country and western wear are more subtle than other styles. There’s nothing dramatic like going from baggy pants with chains to jeggings (eww) in a decade. However, if you look at old photos of barrel racers (a horse sport) you will notice a huge change. From normal looking station women, to ones that look like their wardrobe has thrown up on them. There’s ‘bling’ everywhere- shirts that you need sunglasses to look at and buckles which were bought, not earned, that could double as dinner plates.

Country music now has a broader range of styles than it used to as well. Though it may have a little less of a tinny twang these days, they often still seem to sing about losing everything to their ex-wives. Yet you still can’t beat some of the older artists like Johnny Cash or Kenny Rogers. Even though Kenny is trying his best not to look like an ‘older artist’… Or maybe the wind just changed when he was doing an impression of a wax model, of himself. I don’t know. All I do know is that he should’ve played The Gambler at least 17 times more at the Gympie Muster last year.

Unlike the movies, country people don’t generally chew tobacco or sunflower seeds and then spit them a tin. Nor are they as dim-witted as often portrayed. Chances are they can out-math you – try counting hundreds of cattle at a time rushing through a gate, or planning materials for kilometres of fencing. So even though their culture may seem a little different to you, at the end of the day, country people are just normal people like you.

Myself and Bean (of ponderingsofabean.wordpress.com) being chased by 'The Gibbon'
Myself and Bean (of ponderingsofabean.wordpress.com) being chased by ‘The Gibbon’

Hostess with the mostess – JESS!

Ahh.. I love showtime. Is it the atmosphere? The dagwood dogs (I had 5 over the 3 days LOL)? Or drinks with friends at the Cattleman’s Bar? Probably a combination of them all. I am the Show Hostess of the largest regional show in QLD, and it’s GREAT FUN! This was the third year I’ve worked in this role, and in a nutshell it means I take care of the sponsors and dignitaries to ensure that they come back next year! I have learnt many things as the hostess, such as how to sash a cow with style, in STILETTOS!

This year I took my jackaroo’s ute in the ute competition. For those of you who don’t know what a ‘ute’ is, it’s Aussie slang for ‘utility’, I think Americans call them trucks, or pickups? Anyhoosers, I won ‘Best Feral Ute’. The sash and trophy are proudly displayed in my house. However, my jackaroo didn’t find it so amusing! In the machinery parade my driving skills didn’t impress the committee much though, but the crowd sure liked it! Vroom.. Vroom.. Vroom.. Schreeeeeeeeeeeeechhhhhhhh…

By the end of the 3 days, after rocking amazing outfits and heels, my feet were KILLING me! I could not wait to slip my jeans, boots and acubra on for the rodeo. Felt like walking on clouds. As much as I love dressing up, there’s nothing quite like pulling on my wranglers and ariats.

All in all, it was another great show, and I’m looking forward to next year 🙂

Say your goodbyes, crayfish!