An Interview with Josh Setterfield

Josh Setterfield started his career in Brisbane-based pop-punk band, Call The Shots. When the group disbanded, he decided to go solo and embrace the new-sound of current country music. With his second country EP, From Dusk and its singles ‘Feelin’ Love’ and ‘Hometown’, and currently working on his third Til Dawn, the buzz around his name continues to soar.

Earlier this year, you performed at the annual ten-day Tamworth Country Music Festival. How was your Tamworth experience this year compared to when you were starting your transition into country music last year?

Tamworth was awesome compared to last year. Last year, I went there to find my feet. I went down to busk, but that’s all I had gig-wise. This year, I had a show almost every day, sometimes four times a day (laughs). I knew more people, fit in [and] obviously, coming from playing punk, it was a bit different coming into someone else’s scene but it seems to be going well (laughs).

Continue reading

An Interview with John Williamson

“True Blue” Australian country music legend, John Williamson has never been shy to voice his opinions on topical issues. His two latest singles are no exception or void of controversy: “Pigs On The River” expresses his anger towards irrigators on the Murray-Darling River and “Love Is The Word” about hatred in the world.

Back in October you performed on Crusin’ Country No7: Family Reunion – a specialised cruise perfect for country music fans and music fans alike. How did you find the whole experience?

It’s a lot of fun because it’s the one time a whole lot of country musicians and excellent players too, get together. At the end of the day, when there’s a bar open to anybody who wants to jump up and play, that’s a lot of fun. I only had to work my own show on one day so the rest of it was having a good time with some friends.

Continue reading

An Interview with Ben Portsmouth

In 2012, Ben Portsmouth won the Elvis Presley Enterprises ‘Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest’, the only artist from outside the USA to ever win this prestigious title since its inception in 2007. The English multi-talented musician, singer and songwriter will bring his World Tour to Australia in January next year.

You’re bringing your show to Australia in January. What can audiences expect from your upcoming tour?

I’m going to do everything Elvis over his career. I start off doing the Sun Studios [his recordings from between 1953 and 1955] where he started out, the movies, the 68’ Comeback [a television special]. That’s the first half of the show and I’ll change outfits accordingly [four or five]. Also I’m trying to tell a bit more of a story at the start, so I’ll be using audio snippets and visuals on the projector. The second half of the show will be Elvis like in concert in the 1970s and all the hits.

Continue reading

An Interview with Amber Lawrence

It’s been a busy year for country music singer and songwriter, Amber Lawrence. Not only has she just been nominated for a further six Golden Guitars for her collaboration Our Backyard with Travis Collins, she also managed to find time to release an 11-track original album titled Aussie Aussie Christmas.

Last month you released a new album called Aussie Aussie Christmas, a collection of new Christmas songs written for an Australian audience. Why create a Australian Christmas album instead of sticking with a more traditional Christmas album?

All the way, my career has been putting my personality into everything I do and I wouldn’t be able to do that by singing carols someone else has written. I wanted to share what I see as Christmas.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

An Interview with David Hobson

On October 31 the Bravo! Cruise of the Performing Arts 2017 cruise ship sets sail for the shores of Noumea and Isle of Pines. Performing on the seven night cruise is three tenor José Carreras, Marina Prior, Silvie Paladino and many more. I spoke with tenor, composer and performer, David Hobson about what people can expect from this exciting cruise.

On October 31st you set sail on Bravo! Cruise of the Performing Arts 2017 cruise ship. What can you tell me about it?  

It’s on this huge ship called the Radiance of the Seas – I think it’s the third time it’s been done – and it’s literally like a festival of music on the sea. It’s pretty amazing! If you’d asked me to do it 10 years ago, I would have said you were crazy, because it sounds like a really daggy event, but you’ve got this 1000-seat theatre with a full orchestra on board, where each night there’s either a fantastic opera or music theatre concert. I was gob smacked when we did it because my impression of cruising was like The Love Boat, back in the 70s, but it’s not like that at all!

Continue reading

An Interview with Casey Barnes


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!

Continue reading

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)

Continue reading

An Interview with Liam Bryant

[PLEASE NOTE We are currently upgrading our servers. You may notice issues with past entries and image files. These errors will be fixed when upgrades are complete. Thank you for your patience.]

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.

Continue reading