The Wolverines is an Australian Country Rock Band formed in 1994 from Tamworth, New South Wales[1] by Darcy Leyear (guitar & vocals), John Clinton (drums & vocals), and Gizz Butt (keyboard and vocals).

The Wolverines
Background information
GenresCountry, Country rock
Years active1994–2012
LabelsOne Stop Country, ACMEC
MembersDarcy Leyear, John Clinton and Gizz Butt


Known by some as "The Bad Boys of Country,"[2] The Wolverines started in Australia in 1994 and said an encyclopaedia's description of a wolverine being "a short- snouted, blunt-headed, long- haired, heavy-set, nocturnal, eat- anything, almost-extinct animal viewed by some people as a pest." was the inspiration for their name[3] Some of their songs have crass and sexual lyrics while others are heartfelt tributes. One of their hit songs, "65 Roses" written by Lee J. Collier, tells the story of a small boy who could not pronounce Cystic Fibrosis, the condition which afflicted his sister and his entire family. The original version of the song is a 3/4 country waltz format, The Wolverines changed the song into a 4/4 country rock version to suit the bands style. Lee J. Collier has 100% copyright on both versions. The Wolverines recorded their version of Lee J. Collier's song to raise awareness and research funds for CF with a percentage of all sales being donated to the association.[1] They have performed at shows and festivals throughout Australia and the world, including 40,000 at the Gympie Muster, 10,000 kids at Tamworth Kids Charity Concert, participated in the Australian April Middle East Tour de Force in 2007[4] & 2008[5] and played for American Marines in Okinawa, Japan.[2]

“The band has such an amazing ability to bond with their audience. Their tongue in cheek humour and dedication to make music fun really connects them to their fan base." One Stop Country manager, Katania Young[1]

Fund RaisingEdit

Sail For KidsEdit

In July 2003, The Wolverines sailed from Sydney to Whitsundays, stopping and playing at 14 ports, including Airlie Beach & Hamilton Island,[1] along the way in their "The Wolverines Sail for CF Kids" tour, sponsored by LJ Hooker, fundraising for cystic fibrosis research.[2] They concluded the tour having raised more than $35,000 and leaving it with the communities in which they had performed.[1]

In 2007, The Wolverines repeated their "Wolverines Sail for Kids" from Sydney, up the coast to Cairns, ending at Silkwood in Far North Queensland. They anticipated stopping and playing at "all ports in between" to raise awareness and funds for less fortunate children along the coast. Starting on Friday, 6 July 2007 at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, they sailed a 52-foot Beneteau North. Before each gig they gave a few disadvantaged children the opportunity to sail. At each stop, The Wolverines conducted a short auction to raise funds for a needy child or a local children's charity. One item regularly for auction was a signed, limited edition canvas print.[1] They've also participated in the Tamworth Kids Charity Concert and Cystic Fibrosis Ball.[2]


French TV recorded two stories in 2005 & 2006[2]


  • Tamworth Festival[2]
  • Gympie Muster[2]
  • Canowindra Balloon Festival[2]
  • Easter Bike Races at Bathurst[2]
  • Harley Owners Group & Ulysses National rallies[2]
  • Hogsbreath and Hamilton Island Sailing Regattas[2]
  • Australian & NZ Casinos[2]
  • World Hereford Conference[2]
  • NZ Gold Guitar Awards in New Zealand[2]
  • Road Transport Workers Hall of Fame NT[2]
  • Fraser Island Fishing Comp[2]
  • Narooma Blues Festival[2]
  • Boyup Brook Festival[1]
  • Wrest Point and Country Club Casino[1]
  • Headlined the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards held in Gore. Attended by the Prime Minister of NZ and Mayor of Gore who bestowed the honour of presenting them with the keys to the city.[1]


Full Studio albumsEdit

  • Party Album (1994)[2]
  • Gonna Ride All Night Long (1 January 1996)[6] on ABC Music Label[7]
  • Feel the Need to Ride (1999-01-01)[6] on ABC Music Label[7]
  • Wolverines & Roses (2002), released by ACMEC[7] Distributed by One Stop Country[1] Has the tracks 65 Roses and I Had A Dream.[7]
  • Good Times (2006), Produced by Louie Shelton, at Gold Coast Studios, released by ACMEC Records, and distributed by One Stop Country. It is a twelve track album featuring tracks Up & Done Died, This Tattoo, The Man I Used To See, The Ballad of Young Bobby Dale, and the Bundy Haze (written by Dale Juner)[1]
  • Occasional Course Language (2008)[2]
  • Making Tracks (April 2004) Released by ACMEC[7] Distributed by One Stop Country[1] Includes the tracks: That's The Price Of Love, Living On The Right Side Of Town, Simply Walk Away, The Greatest Lie Ever Told and the cheeky Don't Look Now (Mama's Got Her Boobs Out)[7]
  • Good Ol' Boys (2011-06-03)[6]
  • The Very Best of the Wolverines CD & DVD (2011)[6]


  • 65 Roses (September 2001),[7] on the ACMEC label (owned by Wolverine booking agents Arthur and Pat Laing).[1] Sold more than 35,000 copies going gold in both Australia and New Zealand.


  • 'A Little Bit of Country' (2004)[2]


  • ARIA Gold Record: “65 Roses” & No1 in NZ[7]
  • ACMLA Peoples' Choice Award: Best Group x 2, Best Album & Best Song
  • CMAA Gold Guitar: Best Vocal Group or Duo
  • Australian Entertainment 'MO" Awards: Best Country Group x4
  • National CM Awards: Best Group x4 and Best Independent Release
  • ACE Award – Best Country Group. (Aust Club Entertainment) x4
  • Golden Guitar for the song Good Times[1]
  • ARIA Gold Record for the song Good Times[1]
  • 3 x ACE Awards for the song Good Times[1]
  • 4 x MO Awards for the song Good Times (2004)[1]

Group of The Year for 'Angel Eyes' written by Matt Shelton, from the album Good Times, produced by Louie Shelton[1]


  • ANGEL EYES was #1
  • UP & DONE DIED was #8 on the Top 30 Country Tracks chart in 2007[1]

Australian Country Music People’s Choice AwardsEdit

Nominated for Best Album, Best Group or Duo, Best Heritage Song with THE BALLAD OF YOUNG BOBBY DALE (written by Brenda-Lee Heathcote) and Best Song for their first single ANGEL EYES (written by Tim Shelton) in 2007[1]

Victorian & National Country Music AwardsEdit

Finalists for Group & The Trailblazers Heritage Award (2007)[1]


External linksEdit