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The Salvo Country Band began in 1997. It was realised that The Salvation Army did not have a presence at the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival. Founding members Phil Butler and Chris Townsend were challenged to form a band and travel to Tamworth for the festival. Since then the band has returned each year. Busking on the main street of Tamworth from 6pm 'til midnight on the last Friday and Saturday nights of the festival, the band then provides a free concert and a free barbecue breakfast on Sunday morning. Playing a mix of secular and gospel songs they have a song for everyone.
The crowd that they play to on the street include many that place fold-up chairs in front of the band before they begin to play so they can get a prime spot. Numbering in the hundreds many of the crowd dance on the footpath in front of the band and to the side when there is not enough room.
Sunday morning sees approximately 200 people turning out for the free breakfast and free concert. Focusing on the gospel sees many coming forward for prayer.
The Salvo Country Band are also one of the regular worship bands at NRC. Proving that they can perform to an audience but can also lead a congregation in worship.
"Home Again", the bands first album featured a mix of gospel and some more secular songs. It was released in 2005 and was a great success. Featuring songs such as Cotton Fields and the bands sign off song, Daddy Sang Bass it's a great listen for anyone.
Their second album, "God on the Mountain" is a gospel album with 15 tracks that the band found to be the most influential. With classics such as The Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art and some more up-beat tunes like Child Forgiven, there's something on it for everyone.
The most requested album was in fact a Christmas album. The band bowed to public pressure and headed back into the recording studio/dairy to record their third record. Released in 2011 "Christmas in the Country" features 12 songs celebrating the Christmas season.