Jackie Dee

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JACKIE DEE – CONTEMPLATING LIFE

‘Contemplating Life’ is the new single from Helensburgh NSW based artist Jackie Dee. The philosophical track comes from the artist’s own pen and she tells us, “We are all touched, moved, angered by the things we hear about in the news each day and it’s easy to despair. I wanted this song to have universal meaning, reaching all of us who sit and ponder the current state of our planet and society but at the same time the song encourages optimism and at its core it’s about the importance of our relationships”.

The single has been bought to life for the small screen by Josh Favaloro of The Filmery – check it out HERE

‘Contemplating Life’ is the first single to be released from Jackie’s third album, “Six String Heart” – her most personable album to date. Juggling her time as a family therapist and a singer-songwriter, this new release sees Jackie fearless in tackling the tougher topics including domestic violence and mental illness. Produced by the award-winning Matt Fell, the album will be released 17 February to follow an official single launch and album preview show at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Described as sometimes a little ‘Country Belle’ and sometimes a little ‘Rock Chick’, the mum of two describes her style as coastal country (living where the bush meets the sea) sung with a voice that has been likened to Faith Hill and Mollie McClymont. It was late 2007, whilst penning songs for her alt/country duo Dee-tour when Jackie decided to try her luck at a regional song competition. Judge Colin Buchanan awarded her first prize for her song ‘A Few Wrong Turns’, a song about making those big important mistakes in life that teach us the most.

Jackie released her debut EP “Tide” in 2010 and in 2011 the track that awarded Jackie first prize was also featured on ABC Music’s ‘Country 4 Mum’ compilation. With Matt Fell once again in the producer’s chair, 2013 saw the release of her second studio album. The aptly titled “Doors & Windows” gives us an intimate view of the sensitive relationship this artist has with lyrics and melody, heart and mind. Two tracks from this release made the APRA Top 30 finalist list (country genre) in the 2013 APRA Professional Development Awards and Jackie received nominations in the Music Oz Awards that same year.

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El Cosgrove

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EL COSGROVE – ‘THE UNFAMILIAR’ 

El Cosgrove is a self-confessed red-headed, boot-wearing, alt-country singer-songwriter. The 2016 CMAA Academy Of Country Music graduate has drawn upon her upbringing in rural Queensland and other life experiences for her debut single, ‘The Unfamiliar’.

This track is all about El’s love of travelling and experiencing rural life on the road. Always feeling a sense of calm and belonging whilst driving and experiencing places off the beaten track, El believes this is most likely influenced by her upbringing on a farm near Dalby, in the Queensland Darling Downs. El remembers, “Some of my earliest memories are driving between our farms with my family doing the many necessary jobs including carting machinery or moving and feeding cattle.”

After meeting producer Matt Fell, when he was a guest speaker during her time at the academy earlier this year, El knew she’d found the perfect person to bring her music to life. Once they had arranged to work together El flew down to Sydney and lived in Love Hz studios for one whirlwind week in which the EP was produced. Matt playing various instruments, Glen Hannah on guitars and Josh Schuberth on percussion.

Australia’s country music capital will always be special to El – it’s here she was privileged to have co-written songs with both Kasey Chambers and Ashleigh Dallas, share the stage with the likes of Catherine Britt, Lyn Bowtell, Kevin Bennett, Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett (The Bushwackers), Karl Brodie and fellow academy students, as well as having the opportunity to work with Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds and more. The debut EP “Guitars And Cigars” features five original songs and will be released during the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

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Sally-Anne Whitten

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SALLY-ANNE WHITTEN ‘THE LIFE YOU LEFT BEHIND’ 

It’s been over three years since the last musical offering from Sally-Anne Whitten, so the release of ‘The Life You Left Behind’ comes with much anticipation. The Tamworth born & raised artist draws on tragic personal experience for this track that she began writing a couple of years ago.

A routine trip to the supermarket trigged an emotional outpouring that lead to the realisation of how deep and difficult grief really is. Sally-Anne wondered if we ever really get of the loss of a loved one and wondered why, as non-permanent beings we seem to struggle with the concept of death so much. The artist muses, “It never gets any easier- time doesn’t help, and I thought as a child that being an adult would make it easier to cope. Sadly, it’s much harder. I had trouble finishing the song, I didn’t want it to be a sad morose piece, so I shelved it for a while”.

Following the very unexpected sudden loss of her much-loved 19 year old nephew last year, Sally-Anne found the inspiration to finish what she’d started.  She presses that it’s not meant to be a sad song – a musing of just how hard and fickle grief can really be. Over the years, she has come to know that there’s no escaping it, we just have to learn to ride the waves as they come. Another important realisation is that we were lucky to have these people in our lives in the first place.

 “They say we’ll meet again someday,

Maybe, I don’t know,

We’ll I’d like to think so, but until then,

I’ll nurse this heart of mine and try to make some sense of this life,

The life you left behind”

Sally-Anne Whitten, The Life you Left Behind – October 2016 

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Shea Fisher

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SHEA FISHER ‘TATTOO’ 

‘Tattoo’ is the new single from Shea Fisher. The follow-up to ‘Tough’ (which was released earlier this year) was co-written with fellow Aussie songwriter Phil Barton (Lee Brice, Sara Evans, The McClymonts).

At the time of writing the song, Shea recalls, “At this point in my life I was coming out of a relationship. Song writing has always been therapy for me and writing this song was a great way to be able to move on from that relationship. I know we have all been there before, dating someone and dealing with the struggle of forgetting about them and feeling like there is no way to remove that memory”.

The linked video clip was shot in Newcastle, NSW while Shea was on one her regular trips back home in Australia. The singer-songwriter divides her time between her home state of Queensland and her now adopted home of Texas USA with calf-roping champion husband Tyson Durfey and their two-week old daughter Praise. Shea was thrilled to work with Duncan Toombs and his creative team at The Filmery, “I loved being able to film this music video back home with another fellow Aussie and be able to release this video not only in Australia but in the US as well”. Video clip coming soon!

In between single releases, Shea has been busy performing shows during the US summer and finishing up her new album to be released in 2017. Once the album is released, Shea plans on heading home and performing at some of the bigger festivals.

 

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Nick Payne

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NICK PAYNE – ‘WHITE LINE FEVER’ 

‘White Line Fever’ is the new single from Nick Payne’s debut solo album “Rise Up Like A River”. Co-written with Benn Gunn a long time ago, this is a trucking song. Inspired by 70s trucker slang where you are hypnotised from prolonged night driving. Jy-Perry Banks from The Cruisin’ Deuces adds his musical magic on the pedal steel. This is the third single from the album, following ‘Rising River’ and ‘Old Sydney Town’.

“Rise Up Like A River”, features two “sides”. Side A is named Salvation Jane, and side B Paterson’s Curse. All the songs on side A are set in the present, and performed using contemporary instruments (drums, electric guitar, electric bass, electric piano, etc.). The songs on side B are set in the past, and played with traditional, acoustic instrumentation (acoustic guitar, double bass, banjo, fiddle, dobro, etc.)

Every song is part of a pair with the equivalent positioned song on the other side. That is, the first song on side A ‘White Line Fever’ is a pair with the first song on side B ‘Old Sydney Town’ (first single) and they share the theme of “hardship”. The themes across the songs are: hardship, revenge, death, repose, loss, and salvation.

When Nick first conceived the idea for the project he formed a group of “straight shooters” to guide, and encourage him. That group was Lyn Taylor (his musical and life partner, alongside Nick, Lyn is the lead singer of Sydney-based, bluegrass-inspired band Dear Orphans), Katie Brianna, and Karl Broadie. Karl, especially, provided enormous encouragement and direction to Nick. Nick’s only regret on completing the album is that he was unable to finish it before Karl’s passing from cancer earlier this year. The inside cover includes a dedication of the album to Karl “who without his inspiration this never would have happened. Farewell my beautiful brother”.

Nick’s songwriting is inspired by driving around the country and writing about places he’s visited. This album includes places such as the M1 North of Sydney, the beach north of Noosa, Kinchega National Park, the Cunningham Highway through Boonah and over Main Range National Park, the Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country, Loch Ard Gorge on the Great Ocean Road, et. al.

The house band for side A was current and former members of The Wildes and Dear Orphans were the house band for side B. Nick self-produced the album with Lyn Taylor coproducing side B. No songs were recorded in a studio – they were recorded in lounge rooms, and most of side A in a friend’s art studio in Melbourne. Songs were recorded “live”, with minimal overdubs of some instruments later. The aim was two-fold, firstly to create an energetic, and real sound, and secondly, to forge great performances from musicians all in the same room, listening to each other without headphones, and being able to look each other directly in the eye. Importantly, all of Nick’s vocals that you hear on the record were recorded in the room at the same time. None of Nick’s vocals have been recorded later or “fixed” in any way.

Aside from ‘White Line Fever’, the album includes co-writes with Karl Broadie ‘Enemy’, Katie Brianna ‘My Darling Kate’ (a duet with Katie), and Megan Cooper ‘Peace Tonight’. The photo on the single cover was taken at 6:30am one Sunday morning at the Willow Tree Truckstop about an hour south of Tamworth. The photo was taken by Lyn Taylor.

Upcoming shows for Nick include the Nimbin Roots Festival and South Australia’s Fleurieu Folk Festival – sandwiched between these performances will be a first-time trip to USA’s music city Nashville. Highlight of the trip will be performing at the Sister City Jam on September 25th at the George Jones Museum as part of the Americana Music Festival.

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Angela Easson

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ANGELA EASSON – ‘LITTLE GIRL DREAMS’ 

‘Little Girl Dreams’ is the third single release from singer-songwriter Angela Easson’s debut album “Wanted”. Written from a child’s perspective, the Adelaide-based artist wanted the song to represent creation and imagination, like playing in a child’s world, where everything is seen through rose coloured glasses. Angela wanted to capture the innocence and oblivion from all the bad stuff that can happen in this world, essentially how children should live.

“She’s having little girl dreams, oh little girl dreams of flowers and horses with wings, when she wakes up, things aren’t what they seem, take me back to little girl dreams”, Angela Easson Little Girl Dreams, 2015

Angela’s own little girl dreams started off when she would sing along to the radio complete with plastic microphone. The little voice you hear at the end of the song is her daughter Chloe, both her and son Lachie appear in the soon-to-be-released video clip created by The Filmery.

The 2010 CMAA Country Music Academy graduate began singing at the age of 10 when she fell in love with country music after attending her first country music event in Mount Gambier, SA. Moving to Adelaide in 1997, she has worked with many South Australian musicians, branching into different genres including pop, jazz and blues. Angela is an active member in the community, including the lead vocalist for the Onkaparinga Big Band.

Angela’s natural song-writing abilities were celebrated in 2010 after winning the South Australian APRA Modern Country Song Of The Year and the South Australian APRA Overall Country Song of The Year with her song ‘Forget To Forget You’. The accolades keep coming as Angela is nominated in the “Most Popular Country Artist” category of the 2016 South Australian Music Awards, with the Top 5 finalists being announced in early October.

Recently returning to perform as part of ‘Country Gold’ at Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre alongside Amber Joy Poulton & Dave Prior, Angela is now gearing up for the Mildura Country Music Festival. And after a whopping 17 shows at the 2016 Tamworth Country Music Festival, she will return in 2017.

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Luella

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LUELLA – ‘CATHERINE’ 

‘Catherine’ is the first single from Luella’s new album “Around Me” to be released later this month. Recorded at Pacific International Music, it is a live studio album with five originals and five most requested live gig covers including ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’, ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ and ‘Hallelujah’.

‘Catherine’ was written about a friend of Luella’s, based on a scheme conjured up by her husband and the Brisbane-based singer-songwriter. Catherine’s husband wanted to immortalise his wife in song after 36 years of marriage. The song was kept a secret while it was written and recorded over five months. When the final product was ready, a plaque with the lyrics and a live performance of the song were presented to Catherine.

Luella was awarded the ‘Singer Universe Best Vocalist Of The Month’ with her last release, 2012’s ‘Not Thinking About You’. And previous single ‘Mother’s Love’ enjoyed 12 weeks on the Country Tracks chart. Since then Luella has continued to perform live at many events across Australia including the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Gympie Music Muster, Mud Bulls & Music and the Winton Outback Festival.

The artist who grew up in Collinsville, North Queensland, has been performing her style of country blues soul since the age of 13. She’s performed alongside James Blundell, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Lee Kernaghan and in 2000 she joined The Blue Heeler Band as front woman and continues to work with them today.

With her parents support since the early days of performing in the family backyard, Luella realises she was blessed when they would spend their hard earned money and spare time on getting her to gigs and competitions. Before leaving school she had already won two song-writing awards, many ‘battle of the bands’ and had a cabinet-full of trophies. Once she left school the big questions of how to pursue her musical dream living in a small town were answered; when she received a call from the legendary Brian Young to join his touring show.

Luella received her apprenticeship in country music while traveling around Australia, performing almost every single night over four months and 55,000 kilometres. She performed in pubs, clubs, festivals and many Indigenous communities. During tour breaks, Luella recorded her first album and had her first charting single at the age of 18.

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Kayla Mahon

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KAYLA MAHON – GET YOU BACK

New Zealand native, Kayla Mahon returns with new single, ‘Get You Back’. The track that will get you grooving was produced by Jay Tooke (Jody Direen) and Craig Wilson of Across The River Productions in Nashville.

Since releasing her last single, ‘New Tricks’, Kayla has been keeping busy. She teamed up with Jenny Mitchell – New Zealand’s Got Talent Grand Finalist – to raise funds for the Cancer Society and then with our very own adopted Kaylee Bell, to benefit the local play centre. In March, Kayla added another honour to her collection, the Special Achievement Award from the annual Southland Music Entertainment Awards.

On June 1st, the one-time member of The Heartleys’, packed her bags and headed to Nashville for the CMA Fest. This invitation came about after winning the Horizon Award at the 2015 New Zealand Country Music Awards. Kayla performed at the CMA World GlobaLive event along with Troy Cassar-Daley, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Toyota Star Maker Karin Page.

Speaking to Kayla about this opportunity, she says, “Singing at the global live show was truly an experience I will never forget. A dream come true. I am also writing and recording over here and loving every minute”.

Not long after her return home, Kayla will head to Tamworth for Hats Off To Country and attend the Singer Songwriters Retreat at the DAG Sheep Station in nearby Nundle. This new material will form part of Kayla’s upcoming debut solo album.

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Kristy James

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KRISTY JAMES ‘ALL ALONE’

Kristy James is back with new single, ‘All Alone’ – the second single from her upcoming debut album and follow-up to ‘Friends Like You’. This single, was written 12 years ago and Kristy admits, at a time when she was feeling sorry for herself.

‘All Alone’ is the story of a girl who feels like she is hard done by, she is especially mad that she can’t move on while he can move on so easily. While Kristy sings, “you took everything from me, you’re the lucky one” her realisation of being alone cuts so deep that you feel the pain, the raw emotion and the pleading in every word.

The single has been given the video treatment by Matt Gill. Shot at Newcastle’s iconic ‘The Great Northern Hotel’, the building is 145 years old and has survived depressions, recessions, floods and earthquakes.

Making her start at the Steel City Country Music Club, Kristy’s music has since been featured on three ABC Music compilation discs. Her first EP “Nobody’s Gonna Make Me” debuted & peaked at #2 on the iTunes Top Country Albums Chart and her last single, ‘Friends Like You’ followed the welcomed tradition.

Kristy is currently rehearsing with her newly-formed permanent band preparing to take her new music on the road towards the end of the year.

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Nick Payne

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NICK PAYNE

‘Rising River’ is the follow-up single to ‘Old Sydney Town’ from Nick Payne, singer/songwriter/guitarist of Sydney folk/bluegrass act Dear Orphans. This track is the 2nd from Nick’s as yet to be named debut solo album.

‘Rising River’ is a murder ballad — or cautionary tale — about a man running from the police, and trying to find his ex-girlfriend to exact revenge on her.

Set in the 1860s, somewhere in the Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country, the protagonist has camped overnight at a river. It’s morning and he’s gearing up to keep riding, but the river is rising and he needs to hurry to cross over, so that he can achieve his revenge. Does he cross the river or does he shy away from his path, in which case he’ll be caught by the police? The song is ultimately about the making of choices.

The track was inspired by the huts of the Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country, where Nick has spent many Christmas/New Year’s holidays. Joining others, Nick and his friends maintain the huts in the Geehi/Swampy Plains area. A spaghetti western inspired video is planned for later in the year featuring Dan Stanley Freeman (bass – Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers) as the central character and Fanny Lumsden as the intended victim.

As with ‘Old Sydney Town’, ‘Rising River’ was recorded in the lounge room of the Dear Orphans dobro/mandolin player Jolyon Gray. Double bass, mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, and Nick’s vocals were recorded live in the same take, and all in the same room. Backing vocals, snare, and out of tune/honky tonk piano were added later. The tracks were recording this way to capture a sound that reflected and sounded like a real performance.

The piano was a gift from Nick’s mother when he was just 8 years old. It’s been out of tune for a very long time when Nick recently decided to try and tune it himself. It took a whole weekend, but he managed to get it close enough that it was perfect for this track.

Nick’s debut solo album has two sides – A and B. Side A features songs set in the present as played by himself with some current and former members of The Wildes. Side B features songs set in the past and played with traditional instrumentation by Dear Orphans and other friends.

Not only are the songs in the past and the present, each song on each side is a pair with the equivalent song on the other side, and those two songs have a common theme. For example, ‘Rising River’, a song of revenge, is song 2 on side B coupled with ‘Enemy’ song 2 on side A – a co-write with Karl Broadie that involves the main figure driving a semitrailer through his nemesis’ house.

The album, being produced by Nick and Lyn Taylor (Dear Orphans), is almost complete with 8 of the 12 tracks recorded with mixing and mastering by Glenn Santry at Heartbeat Studios.

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