As the saying goes, you’d have to be living under a rock to not know about the devastating drought currently affecting large parts of Australia, with 100 per cent of New South Wales drought declared and other states also in desperate need of a drink. Now you can ‘Shout the Land a Drink’ with the new single by that time to be released on 27 August, from The Hay Balers.
The Hay Balers are the creation of Golden Guitar winner Matt Scullion, who wrote the song and has joined forces with Charles Alder from Rural Aid/Buy A Bale. The other Balers are his good friends Tania Kernaghan, Drew McAlister, Simply Bushed and James Blundell.
Produced by Shane Nicholson at Sound Hole studios, ‘Shout the Land a Drink’ was written by Scullion on a recent trip to Tamworth, where he was overwhelmed by the effects the drought was having on the community.
All profits from the sale of the song online will be donated back to the people who need it most: our farmers, who are an integral part of Australian life and the primary producers we depend on for wheat, beef, wool and a whole lot of other things.
PRE-ORDER SHOUT THE LAND A DRINK ON ITUNES NOW
AND HELP THE FARMERS
‘Blackwater’ is the new single from New South Wales singer-songwriter Blake O’Connor’s debut EP, which was released in June. It’s a dark, bluesy country song and when you hear it you will probably think you’re listening to quite a grown-up fella who has lived a bit of life. Well, you are not: O’Connor is in his late teens, even if his voice sounds like it has been spending years developing its depth and timbre.
However, O’Connor has already graduated from the CMAA Academy of Country Music and toured in support of Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley on their Queensland run, so while he’s young he has earned the experience that is so evident in this song. It’s his voice that will get you first, though, and if you like it on this track you may wish to see him play live – tour dates below, right after you’ve watched the video.
Blake O’Connor tour dates:
August 18 Brisbane Ekka
August 19 Brisbane Ekka
August 24 Crowbar Gympie Music Muster
August 31 Leadbelly Newtown *Guest of Brad Cox
October 20 Wingham Acoustic Festival
October 27 River Country Howdown Clarence Town
September 14 Gaol Break Old Dubbo Gaol
September 22 Panthers Tap Bar Port Macquarie
September 29 Bago Tavern Port Macquarie
Saturday November 3 Ballina CMF *Guest of Adam Brand
November 10 Tunes on the Turf Dunedoo
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If you’re taking the time to read about music, you’re probably a person a bit like me: music infuses most of your waking hours, and one song can take over your day to the point that it can make you feel happy, sad, or whatever it’s meant to do. You feel like there’s not enough time in the day, month, year, lifetime to listen to all the music you want to, and you worry that you’re going to miss a great song. You will also, from time to time, get a shiver up your spine (in a good way) when you listen to a song for the first time – and when that same song keeps causing the same response, you know that it’s not only a great song but it has another dimension to what’s going on – not a dimension you can name or even visit, but it’s just there, and you know you will keep going back to that song for years to come, not necessarily trying to figure out what it is but just to keep experiencing that magic.
That was my reaction to ‘Villains’ by New South Wales singer-songwriter Ben Leece. Now based in Newcastle, originally from Quirindi, Leece recorded the song during sessions with Shane Nicholson for an upcoming album. Leece’s voice is an instrument of mystery and wonder, leading the listener into a story and holding them there. It cracks and bends its way through the song, and never lets you off the hook. But it’s such a compelling place to be that you won’t mind – and, like me, you’ll probably keep going back for more.
Listen to ‘Villains’ on:
Soundcloud | Spotify | Apple Music
Fiona Fields is a singer-songwriter from Western Sydney who has recently released her second album, Old School – a fitting title given that she also works as a high school teacher! Her new single ‘Breathing Water’ is the heartbreaking story of a woman who has lost a child, and Fields’s independently produced video conveys the emotion of the song.
Watch the video for ‘Breathing Water’ below.
Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify
South Australian artist Beccy Cole is one country music’s greatest performers – and one of the funniest – as well as one of Australia’s most astute songwriters. A tour through her catalogue takes you from the sharp, hilarious ‘Lazy Bones’ and ‘Sorry I Asked’ to the touching ‘Gloria’s Roses’ and the sentimental ‘Blackwood Hill’. Beccy has ten Golden Guitars (including four for Female Artist of the Year) as well as multiple ARIA Top 10 Country and Top 40 Mainstream albums, a Top 10 DVD, three gold-certified releases, and more than a dozen #1 Australian country singles. She is a country music icon – and that is entirely because of the music she produces and the way she brings it to audiences.
Beccy’s last album was Sweet Rebecca in 2015; on 24 August this year she will release Lioness, and the title single is out now. It is classic Beccy in that she tells a great story and always feels like she’s singing directly to the listener; it is new Beccy in that it’s her first release since marrying long-time partner Libby O’Donovan, and Lioness is the first album produced 100 per cent by women, from the artist to the producer to the musicians.
Any new music from Beccy Cole is an occasion, and this song is no different.
Listen to the single on Spotify or Apple Music
Pre-order Lioness here
Montgomery Church is a New South Wales duo from the Snowy Mountains, comprised of Cielle Montgomery and James Church. Their new album In the Shadow of the Mountain is a glorious collection of songs, and from it they have released the single ‘Hot as Hell in Heaven’ , which tells the story of an ex-con finding that life on the outside is not so heavenly after all. It exemplifies the style and quality of the album and, therefore, provides a great introduction to this accomplished pair’s work.
Listen to ‘Hot as Hell in Heaven’ on Soundcloud.
Montgomery Church have toured extensively throughout Australia over the past two years, playing numerous sold out shows, house concerts and festivals including Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, National Folk Festival, Inland Sea of Sound Festival, Summer Hill Folk Festival, St Alban’s Folk Festival, Maleny Music Festival, Hill End Arts Festival, Escape ArtFEST, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, Cullulleraine Music Festival, The Great Alpine Pick, Peak Music Festival, as well as appearing at Woodford Folk Festival.
In the Shadow of the Mountain is out now.
Apple Music | iTunes | Amazon
I’ve been enjoying New Zealand singer-songwriter Jamie McDell’s album Extraordinary Girl so much that I haven’t wanted to stop listening long enough to write about it … which is why the premiere of the video of her new single, ‘Running Now’, has presented the opportunity for an excellent compromise (of sorts).
The album was recorded in Nashville in 2017. Says McDell: ‘Nashville was me getting out of my comfort zone and finding my way back to it. I like to write songs quickly and alone and quite frankly when I feel like it, and I think being away from home helped me get back to that headspace.
‘The listener is getting a sincerely true collection of stories that haven’t been tampered with since they were written. They are exactly what I felt like saying/singing at the time – raw, unpolished and deeply honest.’
McDell lives in Auckland and recently toured Australia with Busby Marou. If you missed her , however, start with ‘Running Now’, fall in love with her voice, her lyrics and her sound, then you’ll soon find yourself running to the album.
Extraordinary Girl is out now.
Apple Music | iTunes