LONGEVITY in any career comes only to those who are exceptional.
In the case of John Williamson he is just that, in the way he captures the Australian spirit, character and landscape with honesty, integrity and passion through his words and music.
During a career that has spanned almost 45 years and now delivering his 50th album, he has produced some of the greatest songs written about Australia and its people.
Galleries of Pink Galahs, Raining on the Rock, Cootamundra Wattle, Sir Don to name a few.
And not forgetting True Blue, the song that many consider should be our national anthem.
At the age of 68 you might think that John would rest on his vast catalogue of work, put his feet up and say that's enough. But not John.
On July 25, John Williamson will release his milestone 50th album, Honest People.
Co-produced with award-winning producer, Matt Fell, it is an album that showcases their joint quest for perfection in their craft, with each song soaring to reach its full potential.
As usual with Williamson, the album is full of songs about real people, places and moments.
Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry and others will simply make you feel proud of this great land and to be Australian.
The opening track, Heatwave, pounds with the shimmering heat of the Australian landscape under conditions only too familiar to us in summer.
John's childhood town of Quambatook is the inspiration for Honest People, the first single and title track.
It portrays the simple innocence of growing up in a small country town and the changes that have taken place in a tight-knit community.
But it also conveys John's concern for similar changes faced by 'progress' in many rural towns across Australia and the loss of a sense of community.
Girt By Sea is a rollicking song about this country, a play on words and places that will have audiences singing along in the chorus.
Tracks like Kings and Queens and It's All About Love show once again that Williamson is never shy to stand up for his beliefs or avoid controversial issues.
Then there are the beautiful, tender songs where you feel that, as a songwriter, Williamson can look right into your very soul.
What You Wish For is about his friend and fellow songwriter, Sara Storer, and the emotional tug of balancing career and family.
Song for Luke and Mel is about love cut tragically short, but is a reaffirming song to celebrate that love and hopefully to heal.
Keep Walking, despite coming from a very personal experience, will reach many who have struggled through difficult times or tragedy.
Its appeal is universal and once again it has a gentle, healing effect.
Clouds Over Tamworth, the final track, is a classic Williamson composition.
He unites the music scene with observations of the ever-changing landscape, probably overlooked by so many, but who will now see it through the eyes of this sensitive songwriter.
To coincide with the release of Honest People, Penguin Books will release John's autobiography Hey True Blue on July 23.
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