It's always hard to walk in your parent's footsteps, especially when the parent belongs to the category of an icon. But Anne Kirkpatrick, daughter of Australia's country music legend Slim Dusty and his equally renowned wife Joy McKean, has traced her parents' path with a steady stride, in the process carving for herself a unique identity.

Anne was born in Granville, a suburb of Sydney, on July 4, 1952. Tagging along with her parents on the tour circuit from the age of 2, she had the ultimate insider's view of life in show business. Like her father, her career started when she was 10 years old as part of the travelling Slim Dusty Show. Until she was 11, her life was a carny's life, spent under the carnival tent, and her neighbors people who swallowed razor blades, jugglers and clowns. She helped her parents setting up to 24 sets a day at shows in Australia's capital cities, and rural ones as well. She looks at the Showman's Guild, of which her father was a lifetime member, as “family”. Then, having outgrown her correspondence courses, she was sent off to school.

Starting with her first album “Down Home” which was released in 1974 while she was still studying at the university, her career was one upward rung after another towards country music fame. To date, Kirkpatrick has released thirteen albums earning for her awards and accolades. Along the way, she won 6 Golden Guitars at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and several Mo Awards, given to artists for their achievements in live entertainment. In 1991, she won the ARIA Award for Best Country Album for “Out of the Blue”, besting top stars like Keith Urban, Graeme Connors and John Williamson. She recently became the 39th artist to be included in the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown, of which her father was one of the earliest members.

Even with her deep roots in country music, Kirkpatrick has cast her talent net farther afield. Fondly referred to as the “godmother of Australian new country”, her songs have blended traditional country with country rock and bluegrass, inspired by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Gram Parsons. In the 70's she formed the Anne Kirkpatrick Band, making the rounds of inner city pubs. She recorded some tracks for a series of children's albums leading to her signing up with ABC Country where her first album for the label featured songs giving traditional country her unique contemporary feel.

Her 2001 album “Travelling Still...Always Will” was Anne's tribute to her parents. It featured a number of duets with her father, and some solo tracks from both of them. This was the last album in which father and daughter would collaborate because Slim Dusty passed away in 2003.

The torch that Slim Dusty lit has not only passed on to Anne. In 1993, her album “Game of Love” featured tracks with her brother David and her 2006 release of “Showman's Daughter” had contributions from her son, James Arneman, insuring their reputation as the First Family of Australian country music.

Anne Kirkpatrick