“Wild & Free” the new album from New Zealand/Australian singer-songwriter Vanessa Delaine highlights the talents of herself & guitarist Michael Barnard. The duo also recorded the majority of tracks on Vanessa’s 2015 album “Runaway” and have been performing live together for over two years. A number of the tracks on “Runaway” were winners at the 2017 Akademia Music Awards, where excellence in music is recognised throughout the world. Awards included Best Country Song – ‘Runaway’, Best Country/Blues Song – ‘Long Gone’ and Best Blues Song – ‘Moon Blues’.
“Wild & Free”, a country-blues album features 12 original tracks and were all specifically penned by Vanessa for this release with the exception of ‘Good Advice’ – written in 1995. The album was born after the songstress walked out of an 18-year relationship. Vanessa recalls, “For the first time in years I was feeling renewed enthusiasm and passion for my life. I was enjoying the sense of newly found freedom and I wanted to express this in my music.”
The album was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Michael Carpenter of Sydney’s Love Hz Studios. Over the course of five days, 12 songs were recorded together with a music video. After hearing the final product, listeners would be none the wiser that Vanessa was battling the flu during the recording. Backing vocals were added to the outro of ‘Live For Today’ by none other than Ella Sunde & Tiahn Barnard, Vanessa and Michael’s daughters, respectively. Check out the music video here: http://bit.ly/VanessaLiveForToday
After those five days the album was left in the very capable hands of Michael Carpenter who then added drums, bass, banjo, dobro, keyboards to name just a few instruments to finish off the collection. Vanessa relished in the recording process, “Michael is a great producer, tweaking little aspects of the songs. He suggested we repeat a bridge here and there; and to rewrite certain lyrics and definitely took the songs to a whole new level. Michael certainly brought out the best guitar playing in Mike (Barnard) and the best vocals from me. It was an absolute pleasure recording with him.”
First single, ‘Rainy Day’, was penned on a scorching hot day when Vanessa was craving a bit of reprieve from the harsh Australian summer. A few days later, as she watched an amazing storm come through, ‘The Storm’ was written. ‘Wild Wind Blows’ is a song about being free to go where ever your heart leads you and it was intended to rock. ‘Wild Child’ is a classic reminiscing/love song and was a lot of fun to write. The last song to be written was ‘Live For Today’ which Vanessa wrote to cheer herself up and it captures the essence of how much we all crave freedom and wanting to be accepted for who we are.
Vanessa and her guitarist Michael met while she was teaching piano, singing and guitar at Baranduda (VIC) Community Centre when Mike’s son Callum started piano lessons. Mike would come along and play guitar during Callum’s lessons and on the third visit Vanessa asked if Mike was playing live for anyone… and the duo have been performing together ever since.
Born in New Zealand, to Australian parents, Vanessa spent most of her childhood in a small country town Darfield, on the outskirts of Christchurch. She has since lived in Hastings NZ, Auckland NZ, Sydney and Melbourne before moving to Wodonga VIC six years ago and recently becoming a legal Aussie.
Growing up with a musician father Vanessa was always around music. ‘It was a natural thing for me to sing and play guitar and write songs’ she says. Vanessa had some lessons during school on guitar, piano, violin and vocals and she also enjoyed being part of the choir, every school musical throughout her schooling life, and could be found performing at local Country Music Clubs every week and regularly getting up to sing with her Dad. By the age of 16 Vanessa was singing in pubs and was part of a small regional NSW tour with her Dad.
She really enjoyed playing in the local music scene in Sydney her early 20’s until a car accident resulting in a back injury at 24 briefly stalled her music career but with music as her motivation Vanessa was in the recording studio nine months later recording her debut EP “One Girl Band”. The EP features two tracks written by Vanessa’s father, who died suddenly a week after they were recorded. One of the EP tracks, ‘While The Music Plays’ was written when Vanessa returned from the funeral in Christchurch New Zealand. This track was the first single from the EP & launched at 1996 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The 1996 Tamworth Country Music Festival saw Vanessa come in the Top 5 for Female Vocal in Capital Country National Talent Quest where she the only entrant to perform an original song and finalist at The Tamworth Services Club. ’While The Music Plays’ was a finalist in The International Black Opal Song-writing Competition. Her EP ‘One Girl Band’ went on to win six song-writing awards from Music Festivals around Australasia including; NZ Gold Guitar Awards, Tamworth Songwriters Association Awards and Bundaberg Country Music Festival.
Feeling buoyed by the success of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Vanessa went on to do a ‘Certificate Of Contemporary Music Performance’ which covered performing and writing songs in Country, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Folk, Reggae and Funk genres and performed regularly in the Auckland music scene for quite a few years following this. Vanessa took a seven-year break, got married and had children. Vanessa credits her 40th birthday party for her return to music. Accompanied by her guitarist-neighbour she performed for her party guests and received countless compliments.
Vanessa is currently in planning mode with preparations for an album launch in Albury in November and a tour kicking off in January 2018 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. When asked about her upcoming release, Vanessa says, “I am so proud of the album and really delighted with the work we did in the studio; I think it’s my best work so far. I’m thrilled that we have captured the essence of every single song and think it will really be an album that people will love.”
“Wild & Free” is out now
First single, ‘Rainy Day’ was released in August, 2017
To download ‘Rainy Day’ CLICK HERE & use the PASSWORD: QhwPCR8Y
More singles at Amrap CLICK HERE
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