Kernaghan immortalises Muster performance

Lee Kernaghan performing live at the 21st Deni Ute Muster.

Country musician Lee Kernaghan has released an album in tribute to the Deni Ute Muster.

Live at the Deni Ute Muster is a 23 track album recorded when Kernaghan performed at the festival’s 21st anniversary in 2019. It was released on Friday.

Kernaghan played at the first Ute Muster back in 1998, and many times in between, and said revisiting the festival 21 years later was special to him.

“In 1998, the call came from the local Deniliquin community if I would go out there and be a part of that inaugural event,” he said.

“Around that time I’d released a song called She’s My Ute, and it went on to become a bit of an anthem.

“There was a major stage invasion and somebody left the grounds holding my guitar.

“I think at that point we all knew this was going to be something really special.”

Playing at the 21st Ute Muster was an experience he said he “would never forget”.

“The Deni Ute Muster, apart from being one of the most iconic Australian events, it’s always held a dear place in my heart.

“So there I was at the 21st anniversary on stage, and the atmosphere was absolutely electric.

“There were 20,000 ute loving fans who had gathered in this special part of the country and the party was on for young and old.”

The album showcases an array of tracks from across Kernaghan’s distinguished career, all performed live when he headlined the 21st anniversary event.

He says the opening song of the night crystallises the experience.

“What really blew me away was (the reaction to) the very first song, called Australian Boy.

"I walked out on stage - and pre-concert I knew this was such a big show - and the adrenaline was pumping. My heart rate was up and when I hit the stage, the audience started singing and it was so loud it nearly blew me off stage.“

He describes the atmosphere that night as “electric”.

The album has been released on CD and streaming services.

For those with iOS devices, subscribers on Apple Music will have a “really immersive audio experience”, due to the technology used to mix the album, according to Kernaghan.

Kernaghan credits his audience for inspiring the atmosphere behind the recording.

“But what I’d say is the 20,000 people that were there at that concert, it’s because of them that we played the way we played and we made the music that we did.

"That crowd brought something special to that recording - every time I listen to the album I feel like I need to share a few royalties or buy everyone a beer,“ he joked.

"I just wanted to pay tribute to the Deni community for their support for the event and the hard working committee and all the volunteers there, and congratulate them on creating one of the greatest events in the nation.

“I’m so proud that this album can now go out as a very special memory of the 21st anniversary of the Ute Muster.”

After a two year hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Deni Ute Muster will return to the Conargo plains on September 30 and October 1 this year.

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