Single release: ‘Breathing Water’ by Fiona Fields

unnamed (10).jpgFiona 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

www.fionafields.com

 

Interview: Sara Storer on Cruisin’ Country

StorerCruisin’ Country 8 is taking place in October this year, and features a cavalcade of Australian country music stars. I was fortunate to be able to interview a few of them, including the always delightful Sara Storer. A favourite with fans as well as other artists, she will no doubt be a popular act on the cruise. We spoke towards the end of June, while she was still on the road with The Sunny Cowgirls.

I’ve noticed, looking on your website, you’re doing quite a bit of touring with The Sunny Cowgirls at the moment. And have you toured with them before?

No touring as such. We have done a show together in Tamworth one year. We combined, and it was great fun then. And I’ve always got along with the Sunnies. We’ve done a duet – I don’t know what you call it – a tri-et – a collaboration, I should say, with the Sunnies. So we just thought it was about time. We both sing about similar things, the love of the land, and just thought it was about time we got together and did some shows together. And it’s been a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, but for me it’s just been wonderful to really sit down and listen to their songs, rather than just rushing through albums. When you hear a song over and over, you realise how some people’s writing – it’s just very, very clever. And that’s what I think I’ve got most out of touring with the Sunnies, so it’s been great.

I think that’s also part of the secret of performing a song over and over again. I know for people who aren’t performers, the idea of performing the same song night after night, year after year – you think, well, how do you do it? But I think it is what you say: when the songwriting is a certain way, there’s a lot to discover in that song any different way you hear it.

Absolutely. And some of their lines, you just go, wow, it’s just so clever. They’re very clever with their writing. And they’re the artists that I sit back and probably go, you know, I couldn’t have done that how they did it. To have written it like that. And it’s good, they’re inspiring. So I come away always inspired from the girls thinking – they write a lot of light-hearted, fun, pub songs, and I think sometimes that’s where I lack. And I try to find that bit of inner youth pub fun time inside me, and it never comes out, I don’t know why.

Continue reading “Interview: Sara Storer on Cruisin’ Country”

Interview: The Glorious North

TGN_TheWidow_cdsize_hi.jpgMelbourne band The Glorious North recently released their debut album, Welcome To The Glorious North, and have a new single out: ‘The Widow’, which is a twist on a murder ballad.

The band play regularly in Melbourne and have performed at festivals including Beer InCider Experience in Brisbane, Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Fat Yak BBQ Festival in Melbourne. Recently I spoke to singer/guitarist PJ.

 

Do you all have stage names?

No, we don’t. I mean my schoolyard nickname was PJ because I am Patrick James. So I use it as a slight degree of separation from my real life and The Glorious North life. Our guitarist you know as Tele Dee but that is not his real name. He has the real full onstage name.

 

I also like the fact you have made a distinction between real life and musical life. Your music isn’t integrated into your real life?

Well, it is to a very large degree but it does help with dislocating the responsibility of day jobs and fatherhood from drinking a lot of beer and carrying on onstage.

 

I like to do research before I do interviews but there is actually not a huge amount about your band that I could find – which is good, because it means I get to ask you questions like how did the band form? How do you all know each other and how long ago did you get together?

The nucleus of the band is myself and Tele, our guitarist, and we have been playing together for 20 years in and out of different outfits. We are kind of refugees from indie guitar rock, if you like. And then, as we have got a little bit older and wiser, we have moved increasingly towards more balanced-style songwriting and storytelling, which ended up where I began, really. I began as a little, little boy listening to country music. So we started playing as a duo and we were pouring out all these country songs and we, over a beer one day, said, ‘Let’s find another couple of people to play in a band.’

Continue reading “Interview: The Glorious North”

Interview: Brendon Chase on Elvis and Cruise N Groove

ElvisIt’s good to mix things up on a country music website – although, as Elvis Presley was a bluegrass performer at least some of the time, interviewing an Elvis performer is not mixing things too far.

After over 20 years of performing Elvis tunes, New Zealander Brendon Chase earned himself the title of ‘Australasia’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Act’ in 2017. He is one of the world’s premier Elvis performers – not to mention the busiest in New Zealand, by the sound of it – and he is appearing on Cruise N Groove, with the theme Elvis Meets the Legends. The 2018 Cruise N Groove music festival at sea departs from Sydney on 6 November and runs till the 13th. I spoke to Brendon recently.

 

How old you were when you discovered Elvis?
I would have been seven years old, I guess.

And was that because your parents were playing Elvis music?
No, it was the Elvis Aloha concert beamed around the world and I watched that in 1973.

Is that a distinct memory, seeing him for the first time?
Yes – it blew me away that he was such a cool dude and I thought I want to be cool like that one day.

So, given that you were so young and you get exposed to a lot of music over a lifetime was Elvis like your favourite artist as a child and a teenager?
Yeah, for sure. And probably Motown was my next, but Elvis is up there with the best of them.

Continue reading “Interview: Brendon Chase on Elvis and Cruise N Groove”

Video premiere: ‘Running Now’ by Jamie McDell

jamiemcdellI’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

www.jamiemcdell.co.nz

Interview: Tori Forsyth

image003Singer-songwriter Tori Forsyth has just released her debut album, Dawn of the Dark, but she was already a force in Australian country music, playing shows with other artists and clearly impressing established hands. The reasons for her rise are clear on the album, which is a rich work from an artist who is at the start of her career yet already accomplished. I interviewed Tori before the album’s release and she is now on tour.

I love the album. I have been listening to it a lot and it is one of those albums that you can’t put it on in the background which is great because it really demands attention but so it means I have a very good, deep listen to it and it is a really fantastic piece of work so congratulations.

Thank you so much.

I would like to start by asking about your musical education – what you grew up listening to.

I grew up listening to a lot of different music. My parents didn’t really have any specific type of music style that they only listened to. So I listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, Stevie Nicks’s solo work was a pretty big part of growing up. A lot of Melanie Safka, a bit of Jimmy Barnes. It was pretty eclectic.

Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks is fantastic pop music in terms of the song structures and the melodies. Are you interested in how pop works as much as any other genre?

Definitely. I think more so back then, kind of, pop music styles and sounds, more than what is considered pop at the moment – but, yes. I love how pop is structured, I love the catchy choruses and tag lines and all that sort of thing. So I definitely do have a place for pop in my playlist.

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Single release: ‘Be Mine’ by Casey Barnes

image1.jpegQueensland artist Casey Barnes has released a cracking new single, ‘Be Mine’ from his album The Good Life – for more on that you can read this interview from last year.

Barnes started 2018 as a finalist in the Golden Guitar Awards, then performed at the huge CMC Rocks event. He is set to perform at Groundwater Music Festival and Gympie Muster over the next few months, with other gigs in between – see below.

Watch the video for ‘Be Mine’:

Saturday 30th June 6pm
Gold Coast Suns v Collingwood
Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast QLD

Saturday 21st July 12pm
Mackay Wine & Food Day
Mackay, QLD

Friday July 27th to Sunday July 29th
Groundwater Country Music Festival
Gold Coast

Saturday 11th August 7.00pm
Newcastle Entertainment Centre, NSW
PBR Newcastle Invitational

Thursday 23rd August – Sunday 26th August
Gympie Music Muster (with Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Ian Moss, Travis Collins, Beccy Cole, The Wolfe Brothers and more)

Saturday 8th September and Sunday 9th September
RedFest, Redland Showgrounds, Cleveland QLD

Saturday 27th October 6.00pm
VDMfest, Biloela Showgrounds, (with Matty Cornell, Baylou and more)
Biloela QLD

Sunday 10th November 12.00pm
Kick The Dust Up Festival (with Christie Lamb, Baylou, Hurricane Fall and more)
Canberra ACT

Saturday 17th November 7.00pm
AELEC Arena, Tamworth NSW
Iron Cowboy PBR Australia

Saturday 24th November 7.00pm
Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, QLD
PBR National Finals

Saturday 1st December 7.00pm
Hisense Arena, Melbourne VIC
PBR Melbourne Invitational

Saturday 8th December 7.00pm
Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA
PBR Adelaide Invitational

 

Apple Music | iTunes | Amazon

www.caseybarnes.com.au