John Krsulja – or Johnny K, as he is known – is the owner of the DAG Sheep Station in Nundle, New South Wales. The DAG is well known by country music artists and fans as it hosts twice-yearly songwriting retreats that have produced many great collaborations and songs, and each year it is part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival program. No doubt one reason why Krsulja is able to create such a supportive and fertile creative environment for artists is because he’s one himself, with his second album, Burden of the Fool, due for release on 19 June.
The first single is ‘Black to Blue’, which Krsulja wrote shortly after the death of close mate and producer of his first album, Travellin’, Karl Broadie.
‘Karl and I often talked about the music industry and finding our place within the industry,’ says Krsulja. ‘Karl would share his thoughts, trials and tribulations, that eventually led him to give the advice of “your music is art, and if you aim to please everyone, then it’s just not art”.’
In the song Krsulja describes what it’s like to meet someone who shines light into your life, only to lose them and be lost to the dark.
‘It is the memory of love and loss that replaces the darkness and allows the light to return one’s black to blue,’ he says, and his rich singing voice handles the transition between emotions in such a way that the listener feels the light and the dark, as well as the sense that it’s better to move forwards with love rather than wallow in the past.
The track was recorded by Matt Fell and Glen Hannah at Love Hz in Sydney, with Hannah on acoustic guitar – then Hannah died four weeks later. So the track has become, for its creator, a tribute to both Broadie and Hannah, two much-loved artists.