Back when Buck Owens was a boy in Texas and before Merle Haggard’s family moved from Oklahoma you might wonder what went on in Bakersfield, California. But for decades from the 1950s it was a boom-town. Not just because of the oil or the fertile soils of the San Joaquin Valley, but because a sound was fashioned in the hands of Buck, Merle, Tommy Collins, Wynn Stewart and other émigrés from around the USA that has become synonymous with stripped back and hard country.
The Bakersfield Glee Club draws members from as far as Gippsland to Glen Waverley and backgrounds ranging from prog- rock to bluegrass – each inspired by this straight up style that has endured since the middle of the last century and today is one of few country-genres that is still unmistakably country. And like all good glee clubs their repertoire is diverse enough to include classics from town they draw their name, western swing, honky- tonk and an occasional jazz standard.
The formula is as old, tried and true. The line-up has everything they need and you want to hear – driving rhythm, soaring fiddle and pedal steel that will make you cry in your beer. Perhaps most importantly, over a number of years in Melbourne bars and other places, The Bakersfield Glee Club has paid their dues, gathering a following amongst the country hard core, the two-steppers and general roots-music fans.
Darren Maxfield – Vocals/Guitars, Greg Field – Fiddle/Vocals Seamus O’Sullivan – Pedal Steel, Justin Rudge – Bass Simon Edwards – Drums