The Bobkatz, songwriter Garry Koehler (left) and guitarist Robert Mackay.
The Bobkatz, songwriter Garry Koehler (left) and guitarist Robert Mackay.

Bobkatz take out Tamworth awards

THEY may have missed out on a coveted Golden Guitar but Hervey Bay musicians Robert Mackay and Garry Koehler walked away from Tamworth with two top awards.

The Bobkatz received Contemporary Song of the Year and Best Country Song of the Year for The Writer at the Tamworth Songwriters Awards last week.

“It is the first time any of my songs have won an award,” said a flattered Mr Koehler, before adding he enters the songs to raise the profile of the band and himself as a songwriter.

One of the band’s biggest honours at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival, Mr Koehler said, was to receive the awards from Slim Dusty’s wife and leading songwriter Joy McKean and her award-winning singer sister Heather.

Before accepting the awards, however, The Bobkatz were given more than a hint about their looming success.

“There was a bit of a muck up,” Mr Koehler laughed. “They were down to the last three categories and the category prior they announced my name and then said they had read the wrong card. It was a little weird.”

Mr Koehler said he did not even realise there was a song writing award for best country song, which recognised a winner from across all categories. He described it as a huge bonus and agreed the awards were a massive compliment to the band’s skills.

The Writer is from The Bobkatz CD of the same name; their song The Long Haul, on the same CD, was their entry for the Golden Guitar.

A day after arriving back from Tamworth Mr Koehler was in his writer’s room.

The festival inspired him, he said, and with such a long drive back he had plenty of time to think about new lyrics.



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