“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 O’Dea – Singer, Songwriter, Independent Artist

With Six excellent original albums to his credit, If Stones Could Talk, Old Rusty Ute, Storyteller, This Old Guitar, Flinders Ranges Magic and his Latest release Happy Days, South Australian-based singer-songwriter John O’Dea has a wealth of material to draw on.

He’s a natural performer, releasing 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 from his home base of Orroroo, to audiences in all parts of Australia.

He’s received the prestigious Frank Harding Award of Excellence at Barmera Country Music Festival twice (2005, 2006) and has featured in many song writing awards since.

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’s third album Storyteller gained him a finals nomination in Heritage Song Of The Year in the 2010 Southern Stars Australian Independent Artist Awards at Mildura for his song, Where The Outback Starts.

In 2010 John released a 5 track CD called “Choices”. These were songs written by John, inspired by the life of Saint Mary MacKillop Of The Cross.

His album, This Old Guitar, is an absolute gem and gained John finalist nominations in 3 categories in the 2013 Southern Stars Australian Independent Artist Awards.

Album of the Year – This Old Guitar, Heritage Song Of The Year – Next To Slim, Single of the Year – Next To Slim

John O is a crowd favourite at the Mildura Country Music Festival and a familiar face at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

In John’s words my performances consist of, songs I wrote and songs I wish I wrote so he is always taking you on a journey in life and music with his own songs and classic songs that shaped his journey.

In 2014 John released his album “Flinders Ranges Magic “which along with the title track is a collection of his songs which tells of life, times and some of the places you might encounter while exploring the Majestic Flinders Ranges of South Australia.

In August 2014 John won the APRA South Australian Country Song Of The Year with his song” Choppin’ Wood”. John had 5 songs in the top 6 so felt very satisfied.

Happy Days is the new album for John and became available in Jan 2016

Happy Days was recorded and produced by Stuie French at his Swinging Door Studio with his A team of musicians, Michel Rose, Chris Haigh, Scott Hills and Garry Steel.

John also has 2 tracks featuring Camille Te Nahu and Kevin Bennett on the album which he is very excited about.

Fishing which was the first single released from the Happy Days album has exceeded all expectations as it went to Number 1 on the Tasmanian Country Top 20 Chart and reached Number 2 on the Australian Country Top 40 Tracks which is compiled on radio airplay. The second single “Lost The Oldies went to number 1 in Tassie and peaked at number 4 on the Australian Country Top 40 Tracks so it all makes for Happy Days.

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. “Happy Days” is album number six and another chapter in his story.





  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.

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