Shane Howard, who wrote Solid Rock, one of Australia’s best known songs, will play at Woodford Folk Festival.
Shane Howard, who wrote Solid Rock, one of Australia’s best known songs, will play at Woodford Folk Festival. Contributed

Shane back on sacred ground

YOU may not know his name, but you will remember his song, Solid Rock.

The man behind that '80s anthem is singer-songwriter, guitarist and author Shane Howard.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the tune by legendary Australian band, Goanna.

Solid Rock was one of the first songs to broach the injustice that Aboriginal people had suffered in Australia.

The song powerfully affected an entire generation.

And all these years later, it is still a favourite and widely recognised by people of all generations and heritage.

Howard said that could be attributed to the power of a good song that told a true story.

"I love that this song resonates through the generations," he said.

"It is flattering and a beautiful thing to think a boomerang you threw out there 30 years ago keeps returning.

"It is not a song about nothing. It tells a story. It is truthful and valid for this country."

He said he always tried to write music that reflected a fight for justice.

"Martin Luther King's quote says it well: 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'," Howard said.

The talented musician is heading back to the Coast to bring his truths and music to the festival he has played more times than he can count: the Woodford Folk Festival.

He said he remembered playing the concert when it was held in its original location at Maleny.

"I spend a lot of time in Woodford and at the Sunshine Coast. I love that part of the world. It is a very creative part of the world," he said.

Despite an illustrious musical career, Howard, who has "a mob of kids", is glad they won't follow in his musical footsteps.

He said he never sugar-coated how tough the music industry was to work in.

"I have a few musical kids," he said. "None are silly enough to take it on for a career, though."

Howard said people should expect a mixture of songs in his Woodford show, from old hits dating back to Goanna, to new tunes off his album The Other Side of the Rock.

He said he had done it all in the music industry and he would continue to try new things.

He has recorded close to a dozen solo albums.

He has written, produced, travelled and toured extensively, and worked with artists from all walks of life.

But, he says, there is still more to come.

"As a musician, you take your stories and you travel," Howard said.


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