Cassar-Daley knew at an early age that music was his
passion. He always enjoyed listening particularly to
Country Music. For Troy, part of the growing up was
playing guitar with his mother who he nagged to play.
Later, he played in a school band and in pubs around his
area. These experiences built up a reputation for his music
to Troy getting his first music deal in 1993/1994, which he
feels was really important to his career;
really out looking for a deal so it was nice that I got that
deal. Things then just started to roll much quicker than I
thought from there, and that's all you need to do and so
that was the best step,” he says.
Since then, Troy has recorded with a range of musicians from
the late and great Slim Dusty to Australian Rock
legend Jimmy Barnes.
with Slim was like nothing else. I always dreamed of doing
it when I was a kid and you don’t think it will ever come
true. ….Organically it happened in a strange way. I rang
his office to ask permission to record a song [The Biggest
Disappointment] and he rang back personally to say he didn’t
mind if I record the song, but asked me how would you like
me to come and do a duet with you? I said ‘of course I
would love to.’ It ended up being the best afternoon. We sat
down and recorded the tune. We spent a lot of time talking
about catching bass and perch in our respective rivers where
we are from. Pretty interesting to sit with Slim Dusty and
talk about fishing with him…. We had a heap in common which
was great. It was the best time”.
sung with Jimmy Barnes, Troy recalls, “I felt pretty chuffed
to think Jimmy knew who I was, let alone record a song with
me! He loves Country Music…. A blessing to sing with Jimmy
Barnes. I said to Barnsey ‘I don’t want to pig dog you’,
[I] want to talk to you about an idea. I want to record a
duet. ‘You choose the song, he says’.”
listening to some of Johnny Cash’s old records, Troy came up
with the song, Bird on a Wire. He sent it to Jimmy
who loved the idea, so they recorded the song about a week
and a half later.
him about trying to get into a gig he was in at Grafton with
Chisel. I was underage. He laughed his head off. I
wasn’t drinking and the gig was as loud as ever. One of the
most memorable gigs I have been to in my life. I had to go
in. Greatest gig! All the footie players from South
Grafton Rebels allowed me to get in. Most of them related
to me! So they snuck me in through a window. Just
incredible! Sitting there listening to Barnsey getting into
October, 2007 at the Aria Awards, Troy won Best Country
Release. He gives some of the credit to a lucky charm given
to him by his young son, Clay, which Troy mentioned during
his acceptance speech.
“I am the
worst speech giver in the world and would much rather sing
songs than give speeches at awards,” Troy laughs. He recalls
how he got the lucky charm.
idea about the painted rock came from when Troy brought this
beautiful rock with a painting on it back from North
Queensland, which was given to Troy by a really important
aboriginal friend of his. Clay loved the sentiment of
someone passing a rock to someone and indicating ‘take this
and keep it in your heart’. My little guy [Clay] painted me
this rock and said ‘Dad this will bring you good luck’, so I
said ‘OK I will carry it with me to the Arias’. And it won
an Aria award. I was chuffed with that, and it brought me
luck. I was very happy”.
numerous ARIA and Tamworth Golden Guitar awards, as well
as receiving various nominations and other music industry awards,
the best award Troy says has been meeting his wife and having
children. Troy's wife is Radio 4KQ personality, Laurel Edwards.
“I just love
every minute of that and I love being a Dad. Best reward you will
ever get in your whole life”.
Troy is now
taking time-out to concentrate on writing songs, and no doubt enjoy
being with his family.
“I want to write
a really good record and want the time to do that. I need to
understand what path I am on and write the songs. The songs that
make me feel good and make other people feel good. I am ready to
go; I need about six months of that. I am right to go with that now,
and I am very excited about that”.
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Article and photos by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative
The Fred Hollows
organisation was inspired by the work of the late
Professor Fred Hollows who was an eye doctor and skilled
surgeon. By reducing the cost of cataract operations to as little as
$25, The Fred Hollows Foundation
has helped to restore the sight of more than one million people
Troy did a
charity show for the foundation seven years ago. “Good little cheap
eye operation. Pretty rare to find something as life changing as
that for that amount of money”, says Troy.