Part of the function of country music is to tell stories about the country – living on the land, working the land, and loving that same land even when it doesn’t seem to love you back. In times of drought – and a lot of Australia is in the worst drought many of the inhabitants can remember – country music acts as a document of what’s going on and a reassurance to those going through the worst that they are not alone.
Singer-songwriter Tom Curtain – a Golden Guitar and Southern Star winner – lives near the town of Katherine, NT, and his latest song, ‘We’re Still Here’, is a moving record of the challenges but also the determination of those who make their life and living on the land, which lately has involved not only drought but catastrophic floods. While the Northern Territory has its own seasonal challenges related to the wet, dry, build-up and build-down, ‘We’re Still Here’ was inspired by Curtain’s tour through central and western Queensland in late 2018 and early 2019. He grew up near Kingaroy in Queensland, and now runs the Katherine Outback Experience, so he has an affinity with rural, regional and remote communities, and this powerful song comes from a place of deep empathy. It’s also the first single from Curtain’s next album, due for release in November.