TROY Cassar-Daley doesn't do anything by halves.
The country music veteran decided he needed an album to complement his new book, and ended up producing an 18-track whopper.
His 10th solo studio album Things I Carry Around is out today and his book of the same name will hit the shelves on Tuesday.
"I didn't intend to have that much on there, to tell you the truth," Daley tells APN.
"What I really wanted to do was just make a record that was a really good accompaniment to the book so that if you get tired of reading for a bit you can listen to some of the stories.
"Being the never-ending musician of course there had to be some musical component. My wife (Laurel) says 'oh you couldn't just do a book; you had to do an album as well'. It's the best way I express myself I guess."
From fishing with his grandparents to playing guitar with his father and his first broken heart, Daley reflects on his formative years on the album.
"You owe it to yourself to make sure you tell your story the best way you can," he says.
"I just really loved the process for the whole thing. I'm excited like it was for my first record."
Daley collaborated with Paul Kelly on the song Brighter Day, a haunting ballad about his Uncle Hoppy, a man perennially down on his luck.
"Talking about my uncle and how he had such a tragic life can be confronting, but he's a big part of my family's story," he says.
"You can't sugar coat things and I don't think people want to see some shiny story about my rise to fame."
But Kelly had some wise words for Daley about taking on a project as large as an autobiography.
"Paul warned me: 'If you are going to write a book you probably won't write a song for two years afterwards'," he says.
"I wasn't too excited hearing that."
Luckily for Daley's fans that wasn't the case. He admits Things I Carry Around can be melancholic at times but it also features upbeat songs like Smoked with Willie and Merle.
"The record company people all looked at each other when I told them about the drug smoking song," he laughs.
"When I was with my childhood hero, if I said no then I think it would have insulted him. It's a fun song and it took all of about 15 minutes to write.
"Listening to Merle (Haggard) growing up and then meeting him, and teaching Willie Nelson to play the didgeridoo, those are small parts of my story that I'm proud of."
Daley's Gympie Muster show this afternoon will feature a Q&A format where he shares anecdotes in between songs.
"It's a really different show and I'm really proud of that," he says.
"Plus it's an opportunity to revisit the place where I met my wife. If I can do Brighter Day with her on stage then that would be very special."
He will also perform in the event's closing show on Sunday night with mates Sara Storer, Adam Harvey and John Stone.
"Even though I played last year I said to (the Muster's program director) Jeff Chandler 'I don't care what capacity I come back up here, I need to be there for the 35th anniversary in some way'," he says.
"I would have even worked on the gate as a Gympie greeter."
Fans should catch one of his live shows while they can, as the father of two plans to take some time off next year.
"You won't see much of me next year," he says. "I'm looking forward to maybe 12 months out, ducking away with family, taking the kids camping, doing all the dad stuff. I want to get off the hamster wheel for a while."
Troy Cassar-Daley plays the Gympie Muster on Sunday at 2pm at the Grove and 5.30pm on the Main Stage.
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