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Dave Kent's My Countrytown: Margaret River

June 3, 2024 - News

South West WA-based artist Dave Kent has just released his second single, 80 Proof, via independent country music label RTC Records.

A song that summons honky tonk shuffling energy, Kent worked on perfecting the timeless feeling of his latest song with collaborators Pete CullenBeth Heather, and Georgia Donachie.

With 80 Proof, Kent showcases effortless, rhythmic tales of experiencing a broken heart while covered in a beer-covered honky tonk.

Kent released his debut single, Country Music, back in February. Since its release, Country Music has already amassed 10,000 plays on streaming services. In 2024, Kent has grown his audience by performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Ute and Truck Muster, The Beerfarm Rodeo, and more.

To celebrate the release of his second single, he’s shared a My Countrytown feature with us, taking Countrytown readers on a journey over to his home of Margaret River.

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Dave Kent: My Countrytown – Margaret River

Wine

Margaret River is known for a couple of things and one of the big ones is wine. I first moved here with two of my best mates when we finished school. We moved here so we could surf every day, and to do that, we took a job labouring in vineyards, picking grapes, pruning, odd jobs – whatever they had going.

The owners took a liking to us and would send us off with a bottle of wine each day. That got me hooked, and Margaret River Cab Sav is like Mother’s Milk now. That began my wine journey, and when I moved back here from Melbourne in 2021, I spent the last few years working in the wine industry again – chucking hoses around, pumping wine and driving a forklift tipping tubs of grapes into the crusher.

For those just looking for a tipple, there are plenty of good joints to check out – Howard Park, Fermoy Estate and Lenton Brae, to name a few.

Surf

It was the waves that first attracted me to this region, and as a young grom, the prospect of being able to get a wave somewhere, no matter the conditions, was tantalising. I still remember a local taking me and my mates out to 6-foot guillotines in a 30-knot onshore and showing us what it was all about. The lump in the back of my wetty was palpable, but I kept coming back for more.

I still marvel when I’m sitting out in an epic line-up on a mid-week morning and there’s only a few locals out. There are some epic waves, and being a natural foot, I have a particular fondness for some of the beaches where you can get a right: Boodjidup, Redgate and Boranup, to name a few.

Caves

The hours in the wine industry can get a bit hectic when you’re trying to juggle a music career as well, so I now work as a tour guide at the caves in the region. The whole cape to cape region is situated above a massive slab of limestone, which makes for some beautiful and treacherous coastal scenery, but also some really spectacular underground views in some of the hundreds of caves dotting the region.

If you’re ever here, then don’t miss places like Jewel Cave, Lake Cave or Ngilgi Cave. Have a peek at the lighthouses, too, where I sometimes hang out above ground.

Live Music

Even though there are only a few thousand people living in the town, being a tourist region, summers and school holidays can absolutely pump with visitors, and while that can make getting a park down the shops tricky, it means the local music scene punches above its weight!

We’ve got some great little live music venues in the region, and I’m proud to have taken the stage at venues like The River, Settler’s Tavern, the now retired Clancy’s Dunsborough, crackin little small bar The Servo Taphouse, and recently at The Beerfarm Rodeo in front of 5,000 punters. I was like a kid in a candy shop… Kingswood (the band) headlined; you still have to pinch me!

Bush Walks

There are loads of walk and bike trails everywhere around town and the Capes region. You can walk the Cape to Cape Trail along spectacular cliffs one minute and through dense forest the next. While the whole thing takes about a week to do, you can easily do little sections on your days off, which makes a really nice cheap date with a bottle of wine looking over an untouched rocky bay watching the sunset!

80 Proof is out now.

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