“You have a light shining out of you… John… You have. It’s a gift, and it’s a sin not to use your gift, and you use it beautifully.”

“The excellent John O’Dea. We’re so proud of him, this bloke.”
– Peter Goers ABC Radio 14/09/2004


John’s music is Definitively Australian and sits somewhere between Traditional Australian country and folk. He is a storyteller through his music and loves every minute of it.

With eight excellent albums to his credit, “If Stones Could Talk”, “Old Rusty Ute”, “Storyteller”, “This Old Guitar”, “Flinders Ranges Magic”, “Happy Days”, “Under a Parachilna Sunset” and his latest release “A Dream And A Song”,  South Australian-based singer-songwriter John O’Dea has a wealth of material to draw on.

A natural performer, he released his first album of original songs in 2004. Since then, the now retired farmer makes his living teaching music to students, entertaining tourists and performing at festivals in all parts of Australia from his home base of Orroroo, South Australia.

His song “The Saddle”, became a Golden Guitar finalist when recorded by bush balladeer Matt Manning and won People Choice bush Ballad of the Year in 2009.

John has been a finalist several times in the Southern Stars Australian Independent Artist Awards at Mildura.

John has also won the APRA South Australian Country Song of the Year twice and has been a finalist several times.

John’s sixth album “Happy Days” album had good success with the first 2 single releases. “Fishing” peaked at number 2 and spent 27 weeks in the Country Tracks Top 40 charts, and his second single “Lost The Oldies” got to number 4. John was a finalist in the Heritage Song of the Year with “Son Of A Farmer” at the 2016 Southern Stars Awards

The “Patchwork Quilt” won the Songwriter award at the 2016 Gidgee Coal Awards and “Yesterday” won the Stan Coster Memorial Award in the comedy section in Feb 2017 at Bungendore Country Music Festival, both songs are from the Happy Days album.

In Tamworth 2019 John won The Gold Medallion Media Award for Bush Balladeer Of The Year SCW with his song, ”Back In Birdsville” from his seventh album Under a Parachilna Sunset.

Responses to John’s eighth album, “A Dream And A Song”, recorded at Stuie French’s Swingin’ Door Studio in Sydney New South Wales, have been very positive during his live gigs. This album, along with his others, are available for purchase online in his website’s store.

John continues to travel and build his fan base around Australia sharing his songs and stories.

The remainder of 2019 will see John on the road with festival appearances at the Camooweal Drover’s Camp Festival in August, Nanango and Mildura in September, Clarence Valley Country Muster near Grafton in October, and the Devil Muster at Smithton in Tasmania in February 2020.  

To find out more you can visit John’s website or email.        email st****@jo******.au




  1. Simon Vincent [85] on September 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t usually listen to Country music but happened to tune into the ABC c&w show from Port Pirie on Sat and was blown away by the songs I heard John singing. My wife and I have been to the Flinders several times excluding once at Quorn, and enjoyed it immensely. The last time we had two 12 y/o grand-children with us, and, after being at Coober Pedy we went to William Creek, then Maree, and south past the coal mine to Parachilna where we turned east to Blinman before going south to the Pound so I could picture the scene of your song.We had been restricted where we could get to as we only had a 2 wheel drive towing the caravan, but saw Lake Eyre South with water and also a magnificent dingo. The year was 2000, as when we got to Adelaide, the kids said we want to be home [Morwell Vic] in time to see the Olympic Torch relay, so we went from West Beach to Morwell in two days, stopping overnight at Kaniva. unfortunately my wife is no longer here but these great memories will last. We have always been country people, mainly in Gippsland which we think is pretty special too. I will order the CD.

  2. Dad ?????? on April 20, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Chilling out at the Prairie Hotel so enjoying your music and stories, stunning Flinders culture thanks.

  3. chris driscoll on October 6, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    your song homestead gate so true for my wife & i, shed some tears !.

  4. William and Patrcia Welsh on February 20, 2024 at 12:36 pm

    My wife, Patricia and I have just spent six days on Murray Queen with John providing our music and social content.
    To put it briefly,”WOW!” was ours and the eighty plus travellers comments.
    I recommend that you get his music and enjoy Aussie talent at its best.

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