Tuesday, 17 February 2015
With three studio albums, multiple No. 1 hits and a string of accolades to his name already, Travis has always put his youthful inspirations to impressive use. That said, 'Wired' is the Hunter Valley artist's most assured release yet, coupling classic country sounds with Travis' unique ear for a captivating rock tune.
The album features the lead single, "Curves."
To say music comes naturally to Claire Petrie might require some degree of genetic or scientific proof. But to say it flows naturally from her is as tangible as a blazing fire on the hearth: One listen and you’ll want to cozy up for more.
Country music fans will soon have the chance to listen. Claire records for Playback Records and just put the finishing touches on a brand new CD that showcases the full spectrum of her vocal versatility. She’s on a musical mission to bring passion and purpose to the musical genre she loves.
Claire can’t remember a time when music didn’t play an integral part in her life. She was born to musical parents who instilled a love of melody, harmony, rhythm and rhyme deep within her. “My mom was a classical pianist and my dad was very bluesy on the piano,” she remembers fondly. “They passed down their love of music to us.” Claire’s mom was also an accomplished drummer.
When she was 15, her parents formed a family band and took all six of their children on tour. That trial by fire exposure helped Claire hone her on-stage persona that now makes her a must-see performer.
It was also during that time of touring with her family that Claire crafted what has become her signature sound. She boasts an impressive vocal range that pushes the boundaries of both ends of the musical scale. From her soaring upper register to the rich, bluesy undercurrent of her lower range, Claire Petrie punctuates every song she sings with personality. She can belt out an up-tempo tune with a rare combination of power and precision. But it’s her uncanny control when she pours her soul into a ballad that holds the listener spellbound and on the edge of their seat. “I LOVE ballads,” Claire says with conviction. “They’re a huge part of Country music. I’m a words person and I connect with the message – the story – of a good ballad.”
That love for words comes across convincingly in Claire’s songwriting, too. She writes about real topics that affect people of every imaginable circumstance. She manages to marry sharp, carefully crafted lyrics with memorable melodies that’ll make you want to sing along. Her songwriting approach cuts to the core of a subject, never glossing over a point she needs to make. That rare style of lyrical genius is generally rooted in the soul of someone who embraces life with gusto and who has learned to celebrate both its triumphs and tragedies.
When you consider all that encompasses Country music, Claire’s genuine charm, warm wit and passion for people only enhances the genre.
Sunday, 1 February 2015
Tim Bradford is full of a forgotten brand of cowboy wisdom. And like certain proverbs of old, Bradford's wisdom isn't overly complicated but it is full of heart and easy to listen to. His full-length debut album, Drinking Alone, is an earnest account of many things, but primarily, as the title indicates, it concerns itself with failed romances and the consequences of heartbreak.
Bradford's pleasant croon is relatable for its endearing amicability and optimistic tone — a remarkable ability to sing the sad songs in a coltish fashion. Rural metaphors and sly storytelling make Bradford seem like a close friend confiding in you about the unfortunate events of the night before. Domestic dysfunction and mutual reliance is a topic often touched on for Bradford. Preaching on "Better Than Drinking Alone," Bradford discloses a Sabbath tradition wherein he and his lady "Bask in the glory of a church full of red neon lights, where the pulpits lined with bar stools, the organ is a jukebox, and the prayers are all led by George Jones." The portrait is clear: Bradford's lifestyle and women don't mix as well as rum and coke; that's a good thing for the listener, as his rural and city stories are entirely relatable.
As smooth as the whiskey sung about are Burke Carroll's lap steel on "Walk of Shame" and "Always Be Blue," John Showman's fiddle on "On the Line" and "Take You Back Again" and Will Meadows' mandolin break on "Run To the Pines." The music harmoniously connects with Bradford's themes by shadowing lonely and riotous conduct: sad sliding steel for dark ballroom lamentations and blistering Thorogood guitar for roadhouse brawls. Much like Merle Haggard's work (his song "The Bottle Let Me" is covered in this album), Drinking Alone will make you wish you could sing the country blues like a cowboy.