Tag: Australian music

Interview: Riley Catherall

image003.jpgRiley Catherall has already appeared on this site because of his outstanding singles, ‘Watered Down Man’ and ‘Robin’. He’s an emerging artist who is already a very well-developed musician and songwriter – when we spoke recently I asked about his long musical history and about his introduction to country music. Riley is appearing at the 2019 Tamworth Country Music Festival – dates after the interview.

You started playing guitar at the age of four – did your parents encourage you to start, or was it your own decision?

Dad taught himself guitar. Some of my earliest memories involve him playing guitar for me. Mum was a piano teacher. So I think there was a combination of influences there. Much like a lot of kids get thrown into guitar lessons – and myself being a teacher as well – you see kids who get guitar lessons where their parents have sort of forced them into it, and once they get a little bit of independence they stop doing it. But I was hooked on it enough to continue it. There was definitely good encouragement there with my family, which was fantastic.

Was there a reason why you weren’t put on a piano?

Not really. Because I was the first child I think Dad was super stoked to have a son – ‘This one’s mine, we’re gonna do guitar’ [laughs]. My younger sister plays piano. Maybe Mum got her turn [laughs].

Did you enjoy playing guitar as a child or were there times when you thought, I don’t want to do this – I want to go outside!

From a young age I’d go into show and tell at school and sing a song. I was that kid [laughs]. I always had this entertaining mindset. I went through the stage of learning classical guitar – that’s how I started. Then you discover rock ’n’ roll – you want to be a rock star – and Mum’s getting really worried because I’m playing ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ in my bedroom at eleven years of age. I’m always inspired by new things, with the change of the seasons, so it’s good that [guitar] is such a vast thing that you can be introduced to new things. Nothing really gets stale; nothing really gets repeated. There’s just so many different versions of it.

Can you remember which songs you used to play for show and tell?

I used to play a lot of bush ballads. ‘Tenterfield Saddler’, ‘Redback on the Toilet Seat’. There was a couple of Australian Classics CDs that we’d have in the car on repeat that I’d then go into school and sing. My nana loved Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ so I used to go in and sing all thirty verses of that [laughs].

Continue reading “Interview: Riley Catherall”

The Wolfe Brothers headline at The Albert Hotel during TCMF 2019

unnamedThere’s a fair bit of coverage of Tasmanian band the Wolfe Brothers on this site, and there’s a reason for that: they’re great. Complete professionals who put on amazing live shows and continue to evolve because they want to make the best music they can. It is always a pleasure to interview them, and this time I chatted Tom Wolfe about their headline show at The Albert on 23 January during the 2019 Tamworth Country Music Festival, and about yet another big year during 2018.

 

It’s been yet another year of underachievement for the Wolfe Brothers: five Golden Guitar nominations, an ARIA nomination and national tours. When are you guys going to start putting in some work?

That’s a great question! One of the things we’ve been really good at is a great work ethic and I don’t know whether that comes from our parents but we’ve always kept gigging, kept working, kept writing … and it’s really cool. It’s really nice to see all this hard work starting to pay off a bit, with these nominations – especially at the ARIAs, it was so nice to be there and be a part of that. It was really gratifying. It felt like we were doing the right things.

 

The ARIA nominations in that country music category were a good representation of Australian country music. I was really pleased to see Fanny Lumsden in there with you guys and the others.

Absolutely. One of my favourite country music albums of the year has been Fanny’s album [Real Class Act]. It’s a fantastic album. But you’re right: we’ve really grown in Australian country music and we’re now recognising that diversity is the key. And the key is also picking each other up instead of putting other people down. That’s how we really feel, and I feel like we’ve had a lot of support this year, so that’s been really, really nice.

 
Continue reading “The Wolfe Brothers headline at The Albert Hotel during TCMF 2019”

Single release: ‘Here We Go Again’ by Lizzie Steadman

unnamed (6).pngLizzie Steadman is a top 10 Grand Finalist in the upcoming 2019 Toyota Star Maker event, to be held during January’s Tamworth Country Music Festival. This won’t be far from home for Steadman, an Aboriginal singer-songwriter who grew up in a small country town near the country music capital. She was introduced to country music as a child, by her father, and taught herself to play guitar.

Steadman has worked as a jillaroo on some of Northern Territory’s largest cattle stations, an aged care nurse at Mutitjulu (Uluru), as a nurse in Tamworth and now as a caseworker assisting disadvantaged youths. That rich and varied experience working with people is possibly the reason why Steadman’s songwriting and singing is so heartfelt, as can be heard on her new single, ‘Here We Go Again’. This is a song in a traditional country style and Steadman’s voice captivates from the first note, then takes the listener through deep emotions. It was written with Shane Nicholson at a songwriting retreat at the Dag Sheep Station in Nundle, NSW, and produced by Steve Newton in Tamworth’s Enrec Studios.

Steadman was awarded the Troy Cassar-Daley Indigenous Scholarship to attend the CMAA Academy of Country Music in January 2018 and she was was a finalist in the Indigenous women category for the ZONTA International Women’s Day Awards. ‘Here We Go Again’ shows you why she has been given such recognition – it is a glorious song, and Steadman is a major new talent.

Listen on:

Apple Music | Soundcloud | Spotify

lizziesteadman.com

Single release: ‘When Your Light Burns’ by Chloe Styler

unnamed (18).jpgQueensland singer-songwriter Chloe Styler went to her first country music concert at the age of five, and the experience of seeing Lee Kernaghan live was the first step on her path to becoming an artist. Even though she’s now inspired more by Kacey Musgraves and Joni Mitchell, Styler performed as an opening act for Kernaghan in several shows during 2017.

Prior to that, in 2015, Styler attended the Junior Course of the CMAA Academy of Country Music, then the Senior Course of the Academy in January 2017, where she developed her songwriting and performance skills. She was mentored by Kevin Bennett and did some songwriting with Fanny Lumsden and Stuie French. Around the same time she released her debut EP and performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

This year, Styler was a grand finalist in the 39th Annual Toyota Star Maker competition and performed on James Blundell, Troy Cassar Daley and Lee Kernaghan’s TCMF shows. During the festival she was awarded the TSA Songwriters Salute Award for ‘Contemporary Song of the Year’ for her original ‘Control’.

Now the Gold Coast resident has released a lovely new single, ‘When Your Light Burns’, which was written with Lumsden and produced by Matt Fell.

The song was inspired by a lighthouse that has been on an island in the Great Barrier Reef for over 150 years. Styler has spent family holidays on the island and says that the lighthouse ‘has been a constant throughout my life … [it] reminds me that although I can feel alone, lost and completely unsure of what to do next, it will always be there to guide me.’

Listen on:

Apple MusicSpotify

www.chloestyler.com

 

 

 

Album review: All the While by Little Georgia

unnamed (5)Little Georgia is an Australian duo comprised of Justin Carter and Ashleigh Mannix, and their sound comprises elements of folk, rock and some country. In searching for the right adjectives to describe their new album, All the While, the one that keeps coming up is ‘addictive’. ‘Hypnotic’ is also applicable, and not because the sound loops around but because there’s a beat and drive behind it that is both compelling and soothing.

Great music always requires a degree of alchemy – with eight notes in an octave, there has to be something indefinable that makes one song, one sound, different to another. In the case of Little Georgia, the alchemy is in the combination of Mannix and Carter. While singing alone they are perfectly find and dandy – more than that, even – but together there is magic. They’ve spent three years on the road, playing together around the world, so it’s likely not magic but solid work that has resulted in the ten wonderful songs on this album. It’s too easily, actually, to say that artists are ‘talented’ and ascribe their achievements to that – every time there is a production of high quality, it’s talent that’s brought them to a certain point but it’s always the work that takes them most of the way.

All the While also benefits from the familiarity that is clearly between the two members of the band. Mannix and Carter know each other’s musical nooks and crannies well, which means they can push and pull the other into interesting and curious musical places. It makes for nicely complex songs with rich texture, plenty of emotion and lots of great detail. That’s what makes them addictive: with each listening there’s always the sense that there’s more to find, so you’ll return, and find more, and know there’s still more. What a lovely gift to offer listeners, and what a great foundation for, ideally, more recorded music to come.

All the While is out now.

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

littlegeorgiamusic.com

Interview: Brooke Lambert

image003.jpg

Queensland-based singer-songwriter Brooke Lambert has recently released the single ‘I Don’t Wanna Hate You’, after an EP last year and ahead of a new release in 2019. As I found when I spoke to her, she is passionate about country music, constantly creative and diversely talented. Brooke will appearing at the 2019 Tamworth Country Music Festival – dates below, after the interview.

You live on the Gold Coast and I’ve noticed that a few country music artists are moving there – there are a few on the Central Coast of New South Wales as well, but you come from the Central Coast originally and you’ve moved to Queensland.

I was born in Gosford but my mum and dad were driving up, literally moving from Sydney to the Gold Coast, so I didn’t have a choice. She pretty much popped me out on the way up. But in terms of everyone else, I know with Queensland and the Gold Coast, especially with the Groundwater Festival being so successful, country music is getting really big in Queensland now, which is why I think everyone’s heading up here. And, let’s face it, it’s a great place to live!

Are you finding that more venues are opening? Or are the venues that are there friendly to country music?

More in Brisbane, I’d say, than the Gold Coast. Everywhere I play people are pretty open, but I think in terms of a Saturday night out, people on the Gold Coast don’t really want to hear country music [laughs].

Groundwater seems to get bigger and bigger every year.

I think there are a lot of country music fans on the Gold Coast and there’s nowhere for them to go and see it, so when that festival’s here, because it’s a once-a-year thing, everyone really comes together.

I’ll now backtrack to when you were growing up – what did you grow up listening to and what had the most impact on you?

We got the Country Music Channel on Foxtel when I was a kid, and I always wanted to be on that channel. I don’t know what it was but country music, I just love it. I remember ‘I Hope You Dance’ by Leann Womack – I used to watch that video over and over again, so that was a huge influence. I listened to a lot of Keith Urban and Adam Brand, the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain – I just love it.

Continue reading “Interview: Brooke Lambert”

Interview: Fanny Lumsden

Fanny Lumsden_RMDC Promo-2[1].jpgOver the past few years there has emerged a singular artist in Australian country music, and her name is Fanny Lumsden. Fanny is a singer-songwriter from New South Wales but she’s also a connector of communities across our wide brown land, a conjurer of audiences in small outback towns and a multi-armed goddess holding her guitar in one hand, a record label in another, a microphone, a baby, award nominations, a production company and a multitude of other things. That is not to say that other artists aren’t doing this – Catherine Britt springs immediately to mind – but there’s only one Fanny Lumsden. As an observer and a fan, it is always fascinating to watch her work. And, as Fanny makes it clear in this interview, it’s not just her behind it all – but that doesn’t make her any less inspiring or interesting. That’s quite apart from the fact that she writes some of the best songs you’ll ever hear, available on her two albums Small Town Big Shot and Real Class Act. We spoke on the occasion of the release of her latest single, ‘Real Men Don’t Cry (War on Pride)’, and the extraordinary video that accompanies it, which you can watch below.

You are such an intrepid artist, you seemed to be on a plane to the US within a fortnight of having a baby – so how was your first tour with a plus one?

Well, it was way more complicated than I’d originally anticipated. I was a bit naïve, I think, and I’d booked all this stuff in before I had him, and then I thought, This is so hard![laughs]

I remember seeing you getting on a plane to Adelaide to play a show when he was very, very little.

He was three weeks at that point. It’s all been quite a steep learning curve – I take my hat off to all the parents out there because it’s way harder than I thought. But when you don’t have a choice you just do what you have to do.

Continue reading “Interview: Fanny Lumsden”