Musician brings Afghanistan experience to Goondiwindi

GOONDIWINDI  will be transported to the frontline in Afghanistan, when Australian diplomat turned singer-songwriter and author Fred Smith embarks on an epic tour across the state.

On Tuesday, May 2 2017 Fred will bring the dust, heat, frustration, fighting and camaraderie captured in his poignant and witty album Dust of Uruzgan to the Goondiwindi Civic Centre.

The tour will also include a number of lectures and book talks.

Fred was the first Australian diplomat sent to work in Uruzgan Province, southern Afghanistan, and the last to leave. In the words of Colonel Jason Blain speaking in an Australian Story feature about Fred:

“He’s actually walked in the same footsteps of those soldiers… He ate, he slept, he bathed, he worked, he lived with them and when soldiers died, he mourned with them.”

His Dust of Uruzgan performances, which combine storytelling, song and projected images by military photographers, is said to move audiences to tears and laughter. 

The title track has recently been covered by Australian country music icon Lee Kernaghan.

Fred’s talents as a raconteur, his wry humour and larrikin spirit, have prompted critics to label him, “an exceptional songwriter and certainly the equal of Bogle, Walker and Shuman.”

Fred’s performances will also give audience members a chance to understand the experiences of the 20,000 Australians who served in Afghanistan, many of whom live in Queensland, so they don’t have to walk the land as strangers like a generation of Vietnam veterans did.

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