Bush-rock is perhaps the only style of music that might be considered unique to Australia, unlike almost all other Australian music, which is directly influenced by or even imitative of US and UK trends. The style is a mixture of traditional Irish and Australian ballads, traditional folk dance music played on the usual rock musical instruments, with the addition of fiddle and accordion. The major proponents of this genre were the Bushwackers, themselves originally an all-acoustic band formed in 1971 playing folk dances and singing typical Australian bush ballads and poems.
The Bushwackers principal members during their heyday were Dobe Newton (vocals/lagerphone), Roger Corbett (bass, mandolin, harmonica, vocals), Jan Wozitsky (banjo, harmonica, vocals), Tommy Emmanuel (guitar) and Louis McManus (guitar, fiddle, mandolin). By the mid-70s the band had electrified and started playing the pubs, where they attracted the attention of the rock world, particularly with the 1981 album Faces In The Street, but the crossover took some years to complete. The Bushwackers toured the UK and continental Europe for several extended spells, and were popular with crowds at the summertime folk festivals. The band at various times attracted regular rock players as members, such as bass player Peter Farndon (the Pretenders) and drummer Freddie Strauks (Skyhooks) as well as some of Australias finest folk musicians. The band also published three books of their songs and dance tunes, which sold in large quantities. By the mid-80s the band had eased back to a part-time concern, with members choosing to spend more time with their families. In 1993, Corbett and Newton re-formed the Bushwackers on a more permanent basis, resuming a regular touring schedule and issuing new recordings.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.