large-format paperback, 368 pages, over 200 colour and B&W  illustrations

Long before Aboriginal creativity could be expressed freely across contemporary Australian culture, before ­Aboriginal artists, writers, performers and directors were widely acclaimed, it was country music that first gave the original Australians a voice in modern Australia.

It might seem an unlikely combination, but country has always offered a vehicle for the disposessed to tell their stories. Aboriginal country music has a rich history, from the great pioneer Jimmy Little through Vic Simms, Harry and Wilga Williams, Bobby McLeod, Bob Randall and Isaac Yamma to Roger Knox and Kev Carmody, Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter. These pivotal figures and many more are vividly captured in Clinton Walker’s magisterial and compelling account of this unique Australian tradition. 

Hailed on first publication in 2000 as “an act of restitution” (Rhythms), a work that “traces new pathways into the songlines of a hidden and resonant Australian musical history” (The Age), Buried Country draws on the author’s extensive research and in-person interviews. This expanded and updated edition is lavishly illustrated with rare photographs and memorabilia, and includes a full discography.

Finally Buried Country – and more importantly the artists it covers – are getting the wider attention they deserve. A new collection (available on double CD and iTunes) gathers the historical highlights and profiles new developments in Aboriginal country music, and a roadshow, featuring many of Buried Country’s stars performing a selection of its greatest hits, will have its premiere at the Playhouse in Newcastle on August 20, 2106, to be followed by two nights at the Melbourne Festival in October, with more dates planned for 2017. For details, check out the standalone site,

Review by Annette Hughes in The Newtown Review of Books