An Interview with Natalie Pearson

Natalie Pearson has been making a name for herself in the country music scene. Her album Long Time Running, released early last year, debuted at #2 on the Australian Country iTunes Chart and received the award for Best Country in the 2016 MusicOz Australian Independent Music Awards.

Congratulations on the success you’ve had with your album, Long Time Running. I was listening to it this morning and I couldn’t help but notice it has strong themes of love and romanticism. Was that an intentional decision you made before you began recording or merely a lucky coincidence?

I didn’t write all [the songs] at the same time; they were [written] over a really long space of time. So that’s what I was going through over a space of a few years. It was up and down. That turmoil and then the exciting love thing, and finding the wrong guy. It wasn’t a decision that I made to make them all about love, that’s what I was going through.

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An Interview with Paddy McHugh

Brisbane-based Paddy McHugh‘s music and songwriting is raw, honest and authentic. His latest album City Bound Trains, depicts tales of a life in Australia and touches on many topics of interest – indigenous culture, same-sex marriage, equality and more.

You toured and released your second album, City Bound Trains back in October. What was the response like to those shows?

Fantastic! It was good to get out with a full band; I hadn’t done that in quite awhile. We had a great response to the shows particularly as the album had a bit more time to be heard, get out there and get a bit of love. It sort of grew and by the end of it, we finished up here in Brisbane, which is my hometown, we had a fantastic show. It was really great to be on the road and with a full band.

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An Interview with Casey Barnes

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It feels like only yesterday I was talking to Australian country-pop, singer/songwriter Casey Barnes about his latest release – but here we are again. His latest single, the catchy Keep Me Coming Back was written with MSquared Productions’ Michael Payter and Michael Delorenza; the team behind his two previous hit singles – Just Like Magic and The Way We Ride. We spoke about the new music, performing at the Gympie Music Muster and celebrating his wedding anniversary.

“The Way We Ride” and “Keep Me Coming Back” have been released within months of each other, which is quite a short time between singles. Do you have a favourite between the two?

It’s funny; I use my kids as a barometer [and my daughters] both like Keep Me Coming Back because it crosses over a little more from Country into Pop. I love both! I love performing The Way We Ride but I think Keep Me Coming Back might have that crossover sound a little more than the other. We played both of those songs up in Gympie at the Muster and that was incredible! Keep Me Coming Back [has] just been added to the iTunes Hot Tracks chart in America, which I’ve never done before – which is absolutely huge!

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An Interview with Casey Donovan

Earlier this year, 2004 Australian Idol winner, Casey Donovan survived the jungle in I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Now she’s released her crowd-funded EP, Off the Grid & Somewhere in Between and its singles Lonely (her first in seven years) and The Villain, and is later set to tour this October.

What can you tell me about the new EP, Off the Grid & Somewhere in Between?

I used Kickstarter, so it was crowd-funded to cover recording costs. It has been such a great experience. The whole reason and premise behind crowd funding was to see if people really wanted to hear my music. I love writing original music and I was doing so many cover gigs that I was like, “Why can’t I sing my stuff?” (laughs)

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An Interview with Liam Bryant

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Although traits more so than talent are inherited through genetics, it’s fascinating how similar family member’s generations apart express themselves.  Like his Grandfather, Liam Bryant began writing poetry when he was 12 years old in the school playground. Little did he know that 17 years later he would discover a collection of his Grandfather’s poems, put one to a piece of his music and name an album after it.

Your lyrics are very thought-provoking. Do you tend to write the poetry first, then create the melody?

This changes for each song, but most of my songwriting happens from building a melody on top of a written chord or note progression, with the lyrics then being written to the melody.

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An Interview with Damien Leith

There seems to be a running joke between Irish-born, singer-songwriter, Damien Leith and I, because whenever we chat, it’s due to one of his shows being brought back by popular demand. This time around he revisits his cabaret, The Parting Glass – An Irish Journey.

“It’s my favourite show of anything I do! I treat it like a trip to Ireland – you come to the show, forget about the world for two hours, and get involved in what’s going on in this Irish setting. It’s not like a musical. [There’s] clear separation between the acting and the band parts.”

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An Interview with Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence

For the first time, country music singer/songwriters Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence have collaborated on their debut seven-track EP, Our Backyard. Friends since 2004, when they met at the College of Country Music (now Academy of Country Music), it’s been eight years since the duo hit the road together. With cemented solo careers and album releases, Amber and Travis agree that now was the best time to combine their talents.

Your collaborative seven-track EP, Our Backyard is out this week. How did the idea for the EP and the tour of the same name come about?

Amber: We’re touring together for the second half of this year [so] it was our manager who said, “Why don’t you guys do an album together to support the tour?”

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