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Barry brings music to Blaze Aid

Barry brings music to Blaze Aid

Mr Barry Swan, Tanunda saw the heartache of the Pinery Fires when they joined the volunteer team of Blaze Aid, based at the Roseworthy Campus. 

Throughout his time volunteering, Barry was welcomed into the homes and lives of many farming families who had suffered during the fires. He helped the families by rebuilding or replacing the fences that were damaged in the blaze. 

“On my second day I went out, with many other volunteers, to do fencing in Freeling.

“We got straight into it,” he said.

Over the three months that he was involved, he met “so many amazing people,” who he either volunteered with or helped.

Barry explained his time with Blaze Aid as inspirational, encouraging him to compose music. 

“I was sitting in the Freeling paddocks and I had the tune in my head,” he said.

The song, that he named Blazin’ Away, became an anthem for the volunteer team.

With three week’s notice and no budget, Barry was asked to arrange a concert for Blaze Aid volunteers and the families that suffered in the fires.

Through a mutual friend Barry contacted Eric Bogal, Australian musician, asking whether he’d like to be involved. Eric replied, “Bazza, I’ll be there!”

Local businesses didn’t hesitate to help Barry put the concert together with the Barossa Music Centre lending the band a keyboard; Mark Berton assisting with outdoor lighting and porter-potties; Barossa Valley Sound and Vision provided stage lighting; Ahrens lending a semi-trailer for the stage and numerous others contributing.

“It was a great example of the Aussie spirit,” said Barry.

Barry also put together a band, with Neil Lambert on keyboard, ‘Flash’ Gordon Walters on drums, Peter Kroehn of Nuriootpa on bass and Barry as the vocalist. They called themselves The Flamin’ Band. 

The band formed only a week before the concert, coming together for one practice before the event.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.