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the wallaby’s background and ancestry made it almost inevitable that he would drift into musical performance. As a kid, family gatherings were occasions on which almost everyone was called on to recite, sing or play, and it was at these “hoolies” he learned songs, tunes and poems he still performs today: Barbara Allan, The Wild Colonial Boy,Weary Blues, Holy Dan and many more.

In Australia, he was often engaged for his solo, folkloric Australia Day presentations.

the wallaby discovered blues and what is now called “old-timey music” in his early teens, a discovery that set him on a musical path he has followed ever since—though he still gives performances in the Australian tradition. Performing while traveling widely throughout Australia and New Zealand, working at many jobs which further enriched his knowledge of lore and tradition, he is credited with influencing many younger musicians. Cited as being an influential figure during the “folk revival”, the Tasmania Folk Federation has called him a “living treasure”. In Australia, he has for many years performed, as Sweet Daddy Hambones, with his best friend, Chris Cruise, of Tasmania. Though the wallaby can be heard in several archival collections, it wasn’t until the 2000s, while living in Tasmania, that he made a CD of some of his songs.

In the 1980s,he was paid the ultimate compliment of being filmed and recorded for the archive of the Australian National Library by eminent folklorist, the late John Meredith. the wallaby’s collection of contemporary Aboriginal lore is in several institutions.

the wallaby plays guitar in several of its incarnations, ukulele, autoharp, accordion (poorly) and small pipes (worsely).

the wallaby has somewhat mellowed over the years but his voice, once described as “like gum-leaf smoke on gravel”, is as powerful as ever it was. It brings “incredible emotion” to tunes such as Scotch and Soda and Winin' Boy, and his playing is still as it was once described, that of an “incredibly accomplished instrumentalist”.

ask the wallaby to perform at your venue: you won’t be sorry.

Australian National Library

Tasmanian Folk Federation

AITSIS

and Google

Want to get the Mornin’ Blues?

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2009 Frank Povah
the little wallaby that could
all rights reserved

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