Harvest Guide pumped to play at Mingenew Midwest Expo

Shannon VerhagenThe West Australian
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Ken McCartney, Sam Gevers and Murray McCartney from Guide Harvest.
Camera IconKen McCartney, Sam Gevers and Murray McCartney from Guide Harvest. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

A passion for farming, footy and classic country tunes has seen the formation of this year’s McIntosh and Son Mingenew Midwest Expo headline act, Harvest Guide.

And the Mid West trio are “pumped” to be taking to the stage in the community close to home. It all started about 18 months ago, when the State went into lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation.

Brothers Murray and Ken McCartney — who have farming roots in Mingenew and Chapman Valley — used the time to get their guitars out and play a few tunes.

“It started out as a bit of a COVID project when we were in lockdown last year, just getting the guitars out and brushing up on our skills,” Murray said.

Good friend Sam Gevers leant his voice to the jam sessions, and the trio formed their country, classic pub rock band Harvest Guide.

“From there it’s just got bigger,” Murray said. “A friend of ours was running one of the bars in Geraldton and they got us to play a show around Christmas time.

Since then it’s just got busier than I would’ve imagined, playing all over regional WA as far south as Esperance and as far north as Binnu.

So almost the whole grain growing region which is great. It’s been a lot of fun.”

It is the first time Murray and Sam have taken their musical talents to the stage, with Ken bringing the experience.

“I’ve been playing music and in bands since I was 15, but this is the first time I’ve been in a country music band,” Ken said. “So it’s been good to learn a new style.”

All work in agriculture — Sam and Ken in grain marketing and Murray in agricultural chemicals — in Geraldton and have a passion for rural WA.

They are also keen on footy, with Murray coaching Ken and Sam in the local Brigades Hawks Football Club’s B-grade side.

Murray McCartney, Sam Gevers and Ken McCartney from Guide Harvest.
Camera IconMurray McCartney, Sam Gevers and Ken McCartney from Guide Harvest. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

After playing their first show in December they have taken their sound right across regional WA including Perenjori, Dongara and Cervantes.

“Getting to play in those small towns, it’s really cool to play in some of those places which sometimes other musical acts may pass up,” Ken said.

“I think it’s important in those rural communities to have something different in town.”

The upcoming Expo — which they will also be attending in a professional capacity as part of their roles in the agricultural industry — is set to be one of their biggest shows yet and a highlight of their musical careers. “We’re bloody pumped for the expo,” Sam said.

“It was cancelled last year so we’re hopeful it will be a big crowd and people will get into it.”

Sam, who hails from Fremantle originally but moved to Geraldton two years ago after getting a taste for country life in Kununurra a few years back, said the trio would be playing pub favourites that everyone would know and love.

For the McCartney brothers — whose family farmed in Mingenew back when they were kids — it holds a special connection.

“I’ve been to almost every Expo since I can remember,” Murray said.

“My family was farming in Mingenew when I was a little kid and it’s going to be a different experience going there from a different perspective. And it’s going to be good to be playing for a lot of our mates.”

Harvest Guide will take to the Expo Bar on Wednesday, August 11, from 6-9.30pm.

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