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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An Interview with Shane Nicholson

Singer, songwriter and producer, Shane Nicholson has just released his new studio album, Love and Blood. Following that Americana-influenced, Country sound, it’s a follow up to the ARIA-award winning, Hell Breaks Loose released in 2015. About to kick off on a national tour, we sat down to discuss the process of writing the new album and the importance of creative isolation.

Your new album, Love And Blood, is released on July 28th. How were the feels leading up to its release?

I don’t think it’s changed since my very first album came out; it’s still that same feeling of excitement when something new comes out. It’s the product of a lot of man hours, time and work. It’s also a sense of relief – it’s like a purging. I can give it to the rest of the world and move on with my life (laughs). [Before it’s released] it’s just my album, but [once it’s released] it’ll be everybody’s. I love making records, but I’d do it anyway even if I wasn’t releasing them [so] it’s such a bonus people seem to enjoy them. As long as that’s happening, I’m happy to still keep making them.

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An Interview with Jon Stevens

Hot on the heels of his UK tour, Jon Stevens is hitting the road around Australia for a national tour to celebrate his latest album release, Starlight. The tour, which will see him rock into six states and territories, will also feature very special guest and Jon’s long-time friend Kate Ceberano. He has fronted some of the most legendary Aussie bands – Noiseworks, INXS and Dead Daisies.

You recently got back from touring in the United Kingdom. What was it like playing in London, especially as you were there when London was essentially in chaos?

We arrived three days before the [attack on London Bridge] – so it was all [going] awesome and then we got caught in the middle of London. We got stuck till about 5:00 a.m. in the morning – couldn’t get a cab, couldn’t get a car, you couldn’t get anything – they locked all of London down. It was a pretty scary evening actually. It was a ghost town. [We were] staying at Shepherd’s Bush, looking out the hotel window, then there’s Grenfell Tower on fire about four blocks away! Waking up that morning and opening the curtains; London was a bit strange this time around.

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An Interview with Drew McAlister

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Drew McAlister has long been recognised as one of the nation’s premier songwriters and performers. A singer from the age of 7, he’s worked as a commercial composer for TV and radio, performer, recording artist and songwriter.

As a teenager, he travelled the country with the cast of the Broadway hit, Jesus Christ Superstar, alongside John Farnham, Jon Stevens and Kate Ceberano in the principal roles. He later performed as part of Johnny Cash tribute show, Aussies Walk the Line and with various bands over the years. Originally being signed as a pop-soul artist with EMI, a trip to Nashville shifted his focus, steering him towards his home-grown roots in country.

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An Interview with Casey Barnes

Following the success of his last single, Just Like Magic off his 2016 release, Live As One; teetering on the edge of commercial pop and rock, with a blend of American, modern-country sound, Casey Barnes has once again teamed up with Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenzis from MSquared Productions with the equally catchy, follow-up single, The Way We Ride.

Your latest single, The Way We Ride was written and recorded with Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenza from MSquared Productions who you worked with on your previous single, Just Like Magic. Tell us about the new single.

The current album feels like it’s only been out for a short amount of time. Because that album included new songs [and] some tracks off my previous EP, I thought it was the right time to start moving forward and concentrating on brand new stuff. Because things worked so well with Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenzis from MSquared Productions, we decided to keep going in the same direction.

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The Broadbeach Country Music Festival Files – An Interview with Tom Wolfe from The Wolfe Brothers

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County music favourites, the Wolfe Brothers this week their latest single hit #1 on CMC coinciding with the one year anniversary release of their third studio album, This Crazy Life. Gearing up to grace the stage alongside over 25 acts during the July 28-30 free Broadbeach Country Music FestivalI caught up with Tom Wolfe to chat about new music, touring with Lee Kernaghan and all things Broadbeach.

Last time we spoke you were on the This Crazy Life mini festival tour (alongside Gord Bamford, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Christie Lamb, Craig Heath, Troy Kemp and Jody Direen). Is it safe to assume you guys are working on new material at the moment?

We are putting a lot of new stuff together. What we’re trying to do at the moment is find a new sound that takes it into 2017 and to the next level. We’re not going to rush – we did three albums and a live DVD in four years and a hell of a lot of touring! We want to take our time, make sure we’ve got the right songs and make it our best one yet. We’re going back to Nashville in July for another writing trip and I can foresee us going back into the studio and doing more demos. We don’t really know how to stop. Once we stop, we get too bored. We get a week off and we’re like, “Let’s do something!” (laughs)

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