WILLIAM ALEXANDER - 'RIDIN''
Dad was a guitar playing preacher, his mum a teacher at Pera Bore (a cornerstone community school in Bourke NSW) and music surrounded William Alexander in his formative years. While dad taught young William to sing harmonies in church and gifted him his first guitar by age seven, they differed on their musical heroes. William remembers, “Dad was real big on The Oils (Midnight Oil) whose politics I respected but I preferred the Elvis Presley records mum would listen to”.
The music that helped shape William Alexander the artist, can be credited to an older family friend. Recounting vivid childhood memories William says, “I can still recall sitting at his feet while he played songs on his 12 string guitar and told stories about Slim Dusty and Bob Dylan”.
Releasing the single ‘Ridin’’ was never intended; the original plan, until Australia was put into pandemic lockdown, was to record an album with his new band - a first for this solo performer. Along with the B side ‘Streets Of Forbes’ (a traditional folk song recounting the final days of bushranger Ben Hall – other artists to record the track include The Bushwackers, and Weddings, Parties, Anything), the new music was created when a couple of buddies, regrouped on one side of the border, for a bit of fun in a home recording studio.
As the recordings took place William decided he wanted to champion Australia’s first singing cowboy, Smoky Dawson. “As one of my favourites, I wanted to release one of his songs for personal and moral reasons. Personally, he is a big influence on me as a performer. Morally, I want to always advocate for the Australian landscape and way of life. I want to showcase Australia as a place of romance and inspiration for songs”.
As an artist William knows exactly who he is, he cut his teeth performing mainly traditional American and Australian material from the great folk and country songbooks. His love of the genres was all thanks to the songs by normal people about normal people.
William will always throwback to the greats that came before, but says “I also want the romance and lifestyle of Australia's bush, plains, mountains and deserts as well as the people that care for and work it to get the recognition they deserve”.
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