Originally 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.”