Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Bendigo to Mackay, we love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Riley Catherall.
Born in Yass Valley, the alt country/Americana singer-songwriter now calls Melbourne home. In 2019, he released his breakthrough EP, which saw him play many major festivals (including the Maverick Americana Festival in the UK) and tour as support with Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes, Hannah Aldridge and the Northern Folk. He is set to release his debut full-length record this year, featuring singles Leave Me Out To Dry (which gathered over 50,000 Spotify streams in its first month of release) and his newest release Vacant Lot, for which he is touring throughout March and April with songstress Gretta Ziller.
To get to know Riley a little better, we’ve asked what he loves about his hometown, Yass Valley!
1. The middle of nowhere … sort of
I grew up in an area called the Yass Valley, NSW, about 30-40 minutes from Canberra City on a stretch of dirt called ‘Dog Trap Road’ – which really should be a point in itself cause it’s such a radical name. But although it has all the elements of a remote area, in truth, I was only a short bus ride away from school in Canberra – made bearable by a close-knit group of friends who would ride the “Bush-Bus” with me every morning and afternoon.
2. Wide-open spaces
Not only was our property the ‘Party Place’ in my teens, but I was also treated to all the perks of growing up rural, such as learning to drive at a super young age, bonfires, joining the RFS, getting your hands dirty and all without the hassle of keeping the noise down for the neighbours.
3. The Murrumbidgee
Two clicks from my front door and you were on the banks of the infamous Murrumbidgee river. I spent many weekends down there camping, fishing and getting lost when I was a teenager, and it has even been a focus in the music video for my single, Pray That I Won’t Be Long.
4. The Brindabellas
Our back garden overlooked a 180-degree view of the glow of Canberra on your left and the mesmerising Brindabella Ranges on your right. Whenever we would have parties, everyone would drag their swag out to sleep under the stars and watch the sun go down over the mountains.
5. Close to sand and snow
If, for some reason, the points above weren’t enough for you to stick around on the Dog Trap, we were only an hour and half from the coast and the same distance up the mountain to the snow in winter. That being said, I did move down to Melbourne 5 years ago, but I always feel most at home when I get back.
Follow Riley on his Facebook page here.
For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.