Tag: Interviews

Kristy Cox releases new album No Headlights

unnamed-6Originally from South Australia, bluegrass artist Kristy Cox has made her home in Nashville for the past few years, originally with a songwriting deal. She has continued to write songs, and has also continued to release music while returning to Australia for the Tamworth Country Music Festival and tours, and winning Golden Guitar awards.

Cox’s sixth album, No Headlights, was released at the end of February, and she managed to fit in the recording around another very important commitment in her life.

‘We did the band tracks when I was 40 weeks pregnant,’ says Cox. ‘A week before [second child] Ryman was born. I didn’t even know if I was going to get into the studio to do them, to be honest. Jerry [Salley, the album’s producer] was all teed up to sing the guide tracks just in case I couldn’t get in there.

‘Ryman was six or seven weeks old [during recording] and you definitely have to retrain those muscles. It’s like not going to the gym and then trying to run a run a mile. Hang on, no, you need baby steps into it. And I didn’t give myself as many baby steps as I probably should have, so I definitely made it a lot harder on myself.

‘But I was just so excited, I wanted to get in there and get the album done,’ she says, laughing. ‘I said, “Right, baby’s out – album time!”‘

Jerry Salley has been Cox’s producer for all six of Cox’s albums. She says of him, ‘Jerry does a really good job of getting the best out of me. I don’t think I would be the artist that I am today without him, that’s for sure. He challenges me. He knows what I’m capable of more than what I know what I’m capable of. So he will throw me songs and say you need to do this, or he’ll say, “You need to sing a trill”, and I’ll say, “I can’t do that.” And there’s been times where I’ve literally walked out of the studio in tears because he’s said, “You need to do it”, and I’ve said, “I can’t do that.” “Yes, you can.” “No, I can’t.”

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Interview: Cassidy Rae Gaiter

CassidyRaeGaiter HiResPromo2020ACassidy Rae Gaiter could be described as a singer-songwriter but she is also a dancer, experienced musical theatre performer, and holder of a Bachelor of Music. She released her debut EP in 2017, and now released a new song, ‘Boy Like That’.

Originally from Adelaide, Gaiter moved to Sydney to study; she returned to her home city recently just before making another big move – to Nashville. This move is, she says, ‘daunting for sure. Moving anywhere [is]. Moving to Sydney for me was scary because I didn’t really know anyone, but I went and that ended up being like the best time of my life. So I’m trying to go into this with that same mindset because this is all I’ve ever wanted, so it’ll be great.’

The road to Nashville, however, is paved with Gaiter’s extensive musical achievements. She started performing at a very young age, although she can’t remember exactly what her first performance was.

‘It would have been probably Adelaide’s version of a talent showcase or something at school,’ she says. ‘I would have been so small, probably six or seven, and I probably sang something Shania Twain or maybe “My Heart Will Go On”, Celine Dion, which is so weird for a seven-year-old!

‘I can’t pinpoint it because I’ve known nothing else apart from singing. I’ve always done it and always been doing it.’

Although her parents aren’t musical – ‘I don’t know where I got it from,’ she says with a laugh, ‘maybe a great-great-great-grandparent down the line’ – they have been ‘super supportive, which has been amazing because this career is not easy and there’s a lot of ifs and buts and what-ifs that go along with it. So I’m very grateful that they have just let me do it.’

Gaiter says that the key to her full-body immersion in a musical life is that ‘I just like performing. The stage is where I feel completely at home and completely myself, even if I’m playing someone else on stage, which is a little bit weird. But I do love it. It’s just what I feel like I’ve been called to do. And I can’t see myself doing anything else.’

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Andrew Farriss AM on what makes a ‘Good Momma Bad’

Andrew-Farriss-Good-Momma-BadAt the start of this year Andrew Farriss was preparing to release a new single and play at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Then right in the middle of that festival came the announcement that he’s now Andrew Farriss AM – that is, he’s been made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts. And while no one who knows anything about Farriss’s career as a member of and songwriter for INXS, as a producer for other artists and many other music-related roles besides, could dispute that he’s worthy of this honour, when asked about it laughs and says, ‘I was trying to work out at first what the “AM” meant. I thought it might’ve meant “average musician”!’

In all seriousness, though, Farris says, ‘I’m really, really thrilled and happy for my family too. I really dedicate the times and years that I spent running around previously and now. I’m doing the things I’ve done and they put up with me.’

He’s also very pleased ‘to see the other artists who also received that recognition, it was great for them … On a bigger scale it’s great to see Australia recognising its musicians and artists and creative people because in the world we live in today, those sorts of great artistic pursuits tend to travel around the world, especially in the internet era we’re in. So for Aussies to show that they’re proud of their Aussies is good for Australia, in my opinion.’

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Shane Nicholson heads for Tamworth with a new single and a packed schedule

Picture 1Shane Nicholson is known as a songwriter and singer with many exceptional albums to his credit; over the past few years he’s also established himself as a producer in great demand, and as a mentor of up-and-coming country music talent. He is a fixture at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, appearing on the following dates:

Monday 20 January – Friends of Goonga’s Girls – West Tamworth Leagues Club
Wednesday 22 January – The Pub
Thursday 23 January – The Press (Dwayne Picklegun Show)
Friday 24 January – RUOK Show – West Tamworth Leagues Club

Ahead of the festival he released a new single, ‘The High Price of Surviving’, co-written with young Queensland songwriter Leyon Milner. It’s another great song amongst many in his catalogue, which begs the question: is he capable of writing a bad song?

‘Well, I’ve certainly written a couple,’ he says with a laugh. ‘I try and hide them as much as possible and don’t let other people hear them. I certainly wouldn’t try and record them. There are always bad songs. What I’ve learned though is that the more time goes on, the more songs I write, the more albums I make, I don’t actually finish the bad ones any more. I used to. You’d have a pile of songs and then decide your favourite or the best ones for a record. It doesn’t really get to that point now. So if the song’s not working or if it’s not going to be great, I can seem to identify it earlier. And I don’t bother finishing it. So the last few records I’ve made, the only songs that are written and finished are the ones that actually are on the record.’

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Interview: Emily Barker

a3937616850_10Emily Barker is a hugely talented and accomplished singer and songwriter across a range of genres, including writing for film and TV. She’s originally from Western Australia; she’s been living in the United Kingdom for the past few years but has returned to home shores for a string of dates that includes appearances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, ahead of the release of her album Shadow Box at the end of this month:

Sunday 19 January – Fanzone – (2.40 p.m.)
Monday 20 January – Americana in the Park – Toyota Park – (7.00 p.m.)
Wednesday 22 January – Women’s Refugee Centre Fundraiser – Welder’s Dog (3.30 p.m. – 3.50 p.m.)
Wednesday 22 January – Welder’s Dog – Tamworth, NSW (5.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m.)

Emily’s Tamworth plans started when she had an invitation from a music industry contact who’s an artist manager she met in Nashville at the Americana Fest, who happens to be Fanny Lumsden’s manager.

‘Fanny and I are friends,’ Barker explains, ‘and our managers met and became friends. And since then we’ve had this nice communication going with us sort of helping with any questions on the UK and him helping with any questions on Australia, even though I’m Australian, obviously, [but] I’ve lived over there for such a long time. So he’s been really helpful and he’s one of the people who’s who does some of the organising and bookings and things like that. So he got an invite and sent my stuff around to a few people and then various other things came from that. I think we’re doing about four shows and the one that he was a part of was Americana in the Park.’

The other places she’ll be playing are mostly venues she’s played before, although there is a bigger plan behind the tour schedule.

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Copperline are taking their Rusty Fords to Tamworth

Copperline (118 of 175)Last year Blue Mountains band Copperline released their debut album, Rusty Fords and Weatherboards – and this year they make their debut as a band at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, playing:

Saturday 18 January – Post Office Hotel
Sunday 19 January – Tamworth City Bowling Club
Sunday 26 January – Toyota Fanzone Stage

It’s not the first Tamworth for singer and guitarist Brad Christmas, though.

‘I’ve been to Tamworth before and I’ve played with different projects,’ he says, ‘but this is the first time Copperline’s played at Tamworth. So we’re really excited about our Tamworth debut and sharing all these songs with the Tamworth crowd. I’m just really looking forward to seeing how people react. The biggest thrill about this whole project is that it’s such a long journey from when you write songs and record them to you actually getting out there and play them, so I love that moment when you first play a song and you see what people’s reactions are. And I’m looking forward to catching up with his friends who are playing and seeing their shows and just being part of it. Tamworth feels like a big family get-together.’

And even though ‘debut’ implies that the band is a relatively new entity, they’re not.

‘We’ve actually been been playing together for a long time – 10 or 15 years,’ says Christmas. ‘We’ve been in cover bands and event bands, and we’ve even got a little side project as a kids band that we do from time to time. For age we’d been talking about doing a new original country project. We were really waiting for the right time, till everyone could really throw themselves into it, writing and recording an album and touring. Last year ended up being the right time. We had a bunch of songs that we’ve been putting together over a number of years and we really wanted to work with Shane Nicholson, and we found a time that he was available and keen to get us up to the studio. So it all came together around that.’

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Interview: Camille Trail

2 of 7 - High Res.jpgQueensland singer-songwriter Camille Trail made quite an impact with her debut single, ‘Humming Chain’, released last year. Now she’s heading for her first visit to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, not just as a performer but as a spectator. She is, she says, ‘trying to block out all the expectations and just go there and enjoy it. I kind of put a lot of pressure on myself, so I’m just telling myself just enjoy it.’

Trail will be playing on these dates:

Saturday 18 January – The Albert Hotel (w/ Allison Forbes) – The Press (12 p.m.)
Wednesday 22 January – The Press (3 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
Friday 24 January – The Press (5 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
Sunday 26 January – The Press  (8 p.m. – 9 p.m.)

Trail first started playing music at the age of eight, when she began piano lessons. She grew up in a household that embraced music.

‘When I was little, every time I would wake up I’d always go out into lounge room and my dad would be sitting in the lounge room, stacks of CDs around him,’ she says. ‘Every morning those CDs were piled everywhere and it was always Fleetwood Mac and Creedence and all like the 60s to 80s music playing.’

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