Down Under Beats #12
The Australian Independent Country Music Awards Finalists for 2017 were announced yesterday. They have an awards ceremony in Mildura in Victoria as part of the Mildura Country Music Festival. I have mentioned most of the nominees at one stage or another during the last 11 weeks on Down Under Beats. Here are the nominations. ItI
It is a really informal evening, with lots of great music. I attended last year and I had the honour of sitting next to Doug Bruce and his family. Doug was nominated last year in several categories. It would have been hard to nominate this year, with so many great albums and singles around.
Gretta Ziller – Gretta is one of the most loveable Alt. Country Music Artists in Australia. On a previous Down Under Beats, I featured Slaughterhouse Blues which was the first single off her debut album which is about to be released. Gretta previously released an EP but this is her first album. Her new single, is being released today. Gretta’s style is very folky, very bluesy and a little on the darkside. She has appeared with the likes of The Weeping Willows, Lachlan Bryan, Andrew Swift and many others. She has an interesting musical and cultural background. I can’t wait for the new album.
Tori Forsyth – Tori has been brought to us by the wonderful Aleyce Simmonds, and her first EP, Black Bird was amazing. Another of the Alt. Country variety, Tori’s bluesy, folky, vocals suit her songs that are moody but easy to listen to. She has been collaborating with Aleyce on tours and songs. Tori has new music coming out soon. If it is anything like her first EP, then it should be a beauty.
Tyson Lucas – Tyson Lucas is still at school. At 17, he is kicking some big goals. He has released two singles with an EP coming out in January. Tyson songs, so far, have been very much about his family and his life. He is more in the traditional country music frame, with a fresh coat of paint. His lyrics are very thoughtful and well considered. His voice is strong and his approach is very easy. He’s a young cowboy who is very well seated on his horse for the future.
Jen Mize – I have mentioned Jen a few times on here and featured her song with Duncan ‘Forget Her’ which has done very well for her – a great song. She is one of our best imports, from Vegas. Whether she is singing ‘down in the swamp’ music or ‘blues in a dimly lit bar’ music, or absolute torch and twang, she always sings three chords and the truth, which is the name of her radio show in Brisbane. I recently wrote an article on CountryAs about Jen and also there is a review there of her album. We are so glad that she married an Aussie and that she is now one of us.
Kora Naughton – Kora just turned 16 this last week. Yesterday was nominated for an Indie Award at Mildura for her first single, Wrong. This young kid has obviously been listening to Kasey Chambers, she has that sound in a fresh guise. I have heard her being interviewed and she has such a broad taste in music and such a vision for someone so young. Given the correct guidance and advice, Kora could be a big star.....if she wants to be. She has a good family behind her who seem to be taking care of her properly, so that is a good start. Her songwriting is appropriate for her age and yet you can hear some maturity in there. Watch this space.
The big announcement:
We have all been given warning this week that there will be a big announcement in the Australian Music World on Monday. I am not sure what it is or who it involves but it has captured the imagination of many fans and musicians. I’ll let you know when I know!
The changing views in country songs:
We have a spot on our radio show where Dave King rings in and plays a classic from the archives that usually has a story to it. Yesterday, he played an old Chad Morgan song called Model Husbands. Now, this song probably wouldn’t be recorded today because of its politically incorrect lyrics. Chad is basically a comedian who is quite a character and a bit of a legend in Australia. He is still singing and making people laugh in his winter years. I am sure that Chad didn’t mean any offence about the lyrics, it would just not sit well with today’s views. Chad may get away with it, because he is a national treasure and he is not a serious musician, he’s a comedian.
When I look back at a lot of country songs and countryish songs over the years, I know that they would be controversial in today’s world. That doesn’t mean to say that folks don’t write and sing songs that are a little bit edgy and topical. I think that with the Bob Dylan-like folk element in country now that the subjects can still be controversial but on point. Alt. Country or Americana has brought about a maturity in music and it covers a lot of issues and subjects in life. Sometimes, it does them in a subtle way, other times, in an in your face way, but it is a lot different to the old school way of thinking and in many ways, thank God for that. I think that there are artists who still have a tongue in cheek way of saying something....but not quite like Chad would have done it.
The new music is coming....albums are about to be released and festival season will be in full swing.
Hold on to your hats.
Until next time,