Tag: Australian music

Interview: Brook Chivell

Photo 11-5-17, 4 15 00 am.jpgQueensland-based artist Brook Chivell is such a dynamic performer that he keeps being invited to festivals around Australia. His energetic country rock style is paired with an incredibly impressive voice, so it’s no surprise that his fan base has been growing. Chivell recently released an album, Fearless Rider, although you won’t yet be able to find it on streaming services – you can, however, buy it at one of shows, including Tamworth Country Music Festival shows on Thursday 23 January at 7.00 p.m. at Moonshiners Bar with Natalie Pearson and Liam Brew, and Friday 24 January at 9.30 a.m. at the Hopscotch Café Songwriters in the Round. Brisbanites can also see Chivell with Andrew Swift, Jade Holland and Natalie Pearson on Saturday 15th February from 11.30 a.m. on the Riverfest Country Cruise.

Chivell has been involved in music since he was young – partly influenced by his parents’ taste in music.

‘My mum and dad’s record collection stops in about 1967, I reckon,’ he says with a laugh. ‘But on the upside it does include the Folsom Prison album and there’s quite a few Johnny Cash albums in there.

‘My favorite was always Buddy Holly. Dad was a big Buddy Holly fan. That’s why I play generally Fender guitars – but not always. But that was the initial spark. We had a keyboard at home and I used to muck around. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just was picking out tunes by ear. And as it turns out that was good training for me for later on. I did keyboards in high school as well.

‘I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 17, in study week of Year Twelve, which is probably not the ideal time to get obsessed with an instrument, but I did. I had a really old acoustic guitar that my parents had bought me – the strings were five centimetres off the frets. Or maybe not, maybe more like five millimetres! But it was a long way. One of the tuning pegs had fallen off so you had to tune all the other strings to that string. It was not ideal. But I literally played until my fingers bled. I was obsessed. And in my uni years I played guitar all the way through. Ten hours a day was nothing for me.’

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Interview: Will Day

Studio shotWill Day is one of the hardest-working artists in Australian country music, traversing the land each year, travelling tens of thousands of kilometres and playing all sorts of shows. He’s also heading to Wests Diggers at the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival, playing every night at 11.00 p.m. in the courtyard.

Day’s latest single is ‘Here to Party’, which he wrote with seasoned songwriter Matt Scullion. Day says that one of the things he loves about working with Scullion is that ‘he’s very thorough in his songwriting. If you’re going to write a song with Matt, whether it’s on Skype – and I’ve written one with him on Skype – or in Newcastle with him in person, he’s very thorough about his process and he never leaves a co-write unless the song is the best it can be.

‘I’ve written a couple of songs with Matt and he’ll call me a couple hours later – after we’ve just written for four or five hours – and say, “Hey, Will, I was having a shower and I was thinking about that bit, that line in that verse there, and I think we should change or do something.” So he’s very, very dedicated to the craft and it rubs off on me because you’re motivated to be a better writer, surrounding yourself with people like him.’

Day has also written with artists such as Troy Kemp, Col Finley and Allan Caswell. Co-writing started for him in about 2016. Then he went to the DAG Songwriters Retreat for the first time.

‘I’d done a little bit of co-writing before that,’ he says, ‘but not a lot. I wrote a song with Kevin Bennett, who was a tutor there, and ever since then I just had a real urge to co-write more. I love co-writing. It really kicks you up the backside because you go into a room or a Skype session and say, “All right, we’re going to write a song.” There’s no excuse not to finish it. When I’m so busy and gigging a lot and family, et cetera, finding time to write by myself can be hard. so I love that you’re thrown into that space. I met Allan through the retreat. And then I started touring with Col. We grew up together. And I met Troy through the country music scene. You meet people through the gig scene and then say, “Hey, we should write.”‘

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January playlist: Fanny Lumsden

In recent days and weeks parts of Australia have been destroyed by fires. Other parts are still threatened by those fires. One of those parts is the area where singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden lives. Lumsden and her family have evacuated, and in the midst of the oppressive atmosphere caused by the fires, and the fear and uncertainty, she has found time to buy supplies for people in her local town and to keep posting updates to social media, so that those of us who care about her – fans like me and many friends – know what’s going on.

Lumsden is one of the great chroniclers of Australian rural life. Her two albums, Small Town Big Shot and Real Class Act, are classics of country music. That would be reason alone to devote a playlist to her, but in acknowledgement of her bloody awful start to the year, and of the spirit, determination and resilience she has shown, this month’s Spotify playlist is all Lumsden all the time.

Please consider preordering her new album, Fallow: https://orcd.co/flfallow

Track listing:

  1. Bravest of Hearts
  2. Land of Gold
  3. Totem Tennis
  4. Rattle & Your Roll
  5. Sunstate
  6. Watershed
  7. Roll On
  8. Elastic Waistband
  9. Real Men Don’t Cry
  10. Peppercorn Tree
  11. Peed in the Pool
  12. These Days

Interview: Tom Curtain

Artwork_Were-Still_Tom-CurtainTom Curtain is a singer-songwriter who recently released his fourth album, We’re Still Here. He’s also an entertainer, horseman, entrepreneur and spokesman for rural health, living and working in outback Northern Territory. The Territory gives the context for a lot of his work but it’s not his home ground. He grew up in Kingaroy, Queensland, on a property with his parents and four brothers, arriving in the Territory twenty years ago to work on a cattle station. The Territory got into his blood, he says, and inspired him to write songs. He’s lived there ever since and is now renowned for the Katherine Outback Experience, a tourist attraction that had a slow genesis.

‘I was training horses in Katherine,’ he says, beginning the story, ‘and initially I was traveling all around the Northern Territory, for 10 years breaking in horses on cattle stations. A lot of contract work every two to three weeks, breaking in horses and moving on to another cattle station. And then I thought to have a family, it would be more stable if I was in one spot. So I bought a place five Ks out of Katherine and set up the horse-training business. I got a lot of cattle stations to send horses in. It wasn’t really the done thing – the horse breakers went to the cattle station – so it was a big thing to get them to send horses in. So I had to make a really good job on the horses.

‘It was going pretty well until 2011, then the live beef export ban hit and overnight all the budgets were cut on the cattle stations. I was doing about 150 horses a year. I had them all banked up and then overnight that was just cut.

‘I was married back then. I had two kids and it put a lot of pressure on my marriage, as [it did with] a lot of other marriages and relationships in the Katherine region. So eventually that busted up and my ex-wife went with the kids down to Perth and I stayed on. I had to give kids horse riding lessons. I sang at the caravan park four nights a week. I did a lot of horseshoeing all around the area just to try to make ends meet. From the caravan parks, these people said, “Look, Tom, can we come to see what you’re doing every day. Because you’re singing about it. We think it’d be really interesting.” So one old couple came and they said, “Mate, you’ve got to get this off the ground because this could be really a big tourist attraction.”‘

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A special single release: ‘Buy from the Bush’ by Greg Storer feat. Anna Clark

a3878924704_16.jpgBuy from the Bush is a campaign that started on social media and has become a sensation in very quick time. In an effort to support businesses in drought-affected (and now fire-affected) parts of Australia, #buyfromthebush on Facebook and Instagram gives all Australians the chance to do their Christmas shopping from places that not only need a hand but also have wonderful, beautiful, often unique pieces for sale.

Now country music favourite Greg Storer has written and recorded a song to support the campaign, and the song ‘Buy from the Bush’ features his vocals as well as those of Sydney singer Anna Clark. Each purchase of the song helps Buy from the Bush bring some cheer to country towns. And if you’re yet to buy your Christmas gifts, consider buying from the bush (I have).

Buy the single for $5 here:


See all the great bush businesses on Instagram: www.instagram.com/buyfromthebush
And Facebook: www.facebook.com/buyfromthebush

Find out more at www.buyfromthebush.com.au

Interview: Daisy Spratt

Daisy Spratt Choice 15A4297 copy.jpgDaisy Spratt is a singer-songwriter living in Melbourne who has been making a splash not just in her home town but in Nashville, where she usually visits twice a year, although she’s only made it there once this year. Each visit sounds like it is jam packed.

‘I do a lot of co-writes when I’m there,’ says Daisy. ‘This trip round [in July] I did quite a few co-writes. We wrote and recorded “Think Again Boy” while we were there as well. And a lot of meet-and-greets. Meetings and introducing yourself to lots of different people. They keep me busy while I’m there. And I did a photo shoot while I there as well. So we try to smash out as much as we can in one hit.’

‘Think Again Boy’ is Spratt’s new single, and she wrote it with Brandon Hood on her most recent trip – the same trip when she recorded it.

‘I wrote it during a time when I felt kind of underestimated and people underestimated me, I guess, as a muso,’ she explains, ‘and people are very quick to judge purely by looking at you. So we created this storyline about a girl at a bar and there’s a guy trying to hit on her and buy her a drink, but he doesn’t even know who she is. It’s a “Why would you buy her a drink and you just don’t even know her?” sort of thing. It’s a very female oriented song, trying to be sort of empowering – “you don’t know me, I can do my own thing, I can be here and being who I am without you trying to pretend that you know me”. So that was the idea behind it and then it ended up turning it to this really, really fun song.’

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Single release: ‘I’m Comin’ For Ya (Love)’ by The Buckleys

TheBuckleys_BLUE.jpgThe Buckleys are a trio of siblings from the northern rivers district of New South Wales. They’ve been going to the Tamworth Country Music Festival for years, first busking on Peel Street in 2011 when Molly was 9, Lachlan was 10 and Sarah Grace was 12. That was, in fact, when the band formed – the Buckley family was on holiday in the country music capital when the younger generation decided to start playing, and found themselves in the top ten of the busking competition without even knowing they’d entered.

Now aged 16, 18 and 19, they are managed by Chris Murphy (who also managed INXS) and signed to Petrol Records/Universal Music, they have been nominated for a Golden Guitar in the Best New Talent category,

Currently recording in Nashville, the band will be returning to Australia at the end of the year – and ahead of that they’re released the new single ‘I’m Comin’ For Ya (Love)’. The Buckleys have an irresistible country pop sound – that early experience on Peel Street seems to have honed their instincts for how to capture a listener’s attention and keep them entertained. Although they were unknowns just months ago, this kind of ‘overnight success’ always takes a lot of work – and the proof is there in the songs. And it’s not just themselves they write for: collectively the trio have written well over 100 songs. Sarah was awarded top 5 in the 2014 American Songwriting Awards teen section and the following year both Sarah and Molly were once again nominated for a prestigious ASA Award. One of Sarah’s songs, ‘Strawberry Footprints’, was recorded by Felicity Urquhart for her album Frozen Rabbit.


Listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify