Sunburnt Country Music

Interviews with Australian country music artists

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  • 15. Kayla Mahon on new single 'Little Man' and album plans

    Kayla Mahon is an artist from Gore on the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand who was the winner of the coveted 2000 and 2008 New Zealand Overall Gold Guitar Award. She was also one half of country music duo The Heartleys, releasing two albums. Last year she released the single ‘Love’s Got a Witness’ and now she has a new song, ‘Little Man’, both of them taken from her forthcoming album.'I hope this song encourages listeners to embrace motherhood, with all the challenges and moments you wouldn’t change the world for,' Mahon says, 'and soak up the love that children give, and the qualities that children constantly display for us. This is a song that reminds us to cherish every moment.'Mahon and I spoke about the song, and her upcoming album, about balancing motherhood with art, and the music she's producing with her daughter and seven nieces. She has created a life that is rich in meaning and music, and it was so interesting to find out about it.For more about Kayla Mahon: to 'Little Man' on Apple MusicListen to 'Little Man' on SpotifyFollow Sunburnt Country Music on InstagramFollow Sunburnt Country Music on Facebook Sunburnt Country Music website 

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  • 14. Mackenzie Lee on new single 'Let My Love Drown'

    Mackenzie Lee is an artist from the Hunter Valley of New South Wales who last year attended the Junior Academy of Country Music. She has released two EPs, one self-titled and the other entitled Sometimes I Wonder, and now has a new single, 'Let My Love Drown'.Lee was also the winner of the inaugural Macca's Golden Gig Talent Quest at the 2022 Tamworth Country Music Festival and the 2023 ICMA Patti McKinnon Encouragement Award and Today's Country 94one 'Brand New Star' award.At only 17 years of age Lee has already been a highly productive artist, with the talent and drive to go further - so there's more to come from this up-and-coming singer-songwriter, as I found out during our recent chat.For more about Mackenzie Lee: to 'Let My Love Drown' on Apple MusicListen to 'Let My Love Drown' on Spotify
  • 13. Courtney Keil is All About You

    Courtney Keil is an artist from the Central Coast of New South Wales who released her debut album, The Good Kind, last year and who has just had an action-packed Tamworth Country Music Festival. She has a brand new single, ‘All About You’, which is It is another toe-tapper to add to the collection of Courtney Keil ear worms along with ‘Hummingbird’ and ‘I Just Wanna Hold You’. 'We set out to write an anthemic, feel-good song,' says Keil of 'All About You'. 'As songwriters it’s often naturally easier to write slower heartbreak songs so we wanted to focus on the love I have in my life and how it makes me feel.'Keil was award Best Female Vocal at the People's Choice Awards in Tamworth, and she has some exciting shows coming up.For more about Courtney Keil: to 'All About You' on Apple MusicListen to 'All About You' on SpotifyFollow Sunburnt Country Music on InstagramFollow Sunburnt Country Music on Facebook Sunburnt Country Music website 
  • 12. Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham and their golden Birdsong

    Felicity Urquhart has recorded several albums and EPs as a solo artist and as a member of Bennett Bowtell and Urquhart, winning 13 Golden Guitars along the way. She was also the host of Saturday Night Country for several years. Josh Cunningham is a founding member of The Waifs, who have released 10 albums over three decades and won multiple ARIA awards. Together Felicity and Josh released the album The Song Club in 2021 and last year they released Birdsong, which has just won three Golden Guitar awards, including Traditional Country Album of the Year. This pairing is a rare one: two individuals who are exceptional at what they do joining to create something that is different and in which they revel. On stage it is clear how much they love performing together; that regard for each other is evident in their recorded music as well. They write, sing, play and perform from the heart, straight to the hearts of their audience, and thus it is that their particular birdsong takes flight.For more about Felicity Urquhart: more about Josh Cunningham: to Birdsong on Apple MusicListen to Birdsong on SpotifyFollow Sunburnt Country Music on InstagramFollow Sunburnt Country Music on Facebook Sunburnt Country Music website 
  • 11. Matt Joe Gow on new album The Woodshed Sessions

    Matt Joe Gow is a New Zealand-born Melbourne resident who has released four albums, the most recent of which was last year’s Between Tonight & Tomorrow, which won the Music Victoria award for Best Country Album, as did its predecessor, Break Rattle and Roll. Recently Joe Gow released a reprise version of the title song, and he’s also been collaborating with Kerryn Fields on a forthcoming album. However, in this new interview we talked about his new acoustic album, The Woodshed Sessions, recorded late last year, which he also produced, so we delve into the production aspects of the album as well as the songs and recording.It's the first acoustic album made by Joe Gow with his Dead Leaves bandmates Andrew Pollock and Katya Harris, and it was initially released as a video recording late last year. Joe Gow's albums tend to not put his voice at the forefront but there is nowhere else for it to be on this album, and that is to the listener's benefit - as much as we tend to laud the 'songwriter' part of singer-songwriter, the singing part is equally important and Joe Gow is a wonderful singer, with a warm tone that turns commanding when required and handles a range of emotions so that it's a proper partner for his lyrics.The Woodshed Sessions will be released on 9 February and can be preordered on BandcampMatt Joe Gow and the Dead Leaves play George Lane, St Kilda, Vic. on 10 February - ticketsFor more on Matt Joe Gow: to Matt Joe Gow on Apple MusicListen to Matt Joe Gow on SpotifyFollow Sunburnt Country Music on InstagramFollow Sunburnt Country Music on Facebook Sunburnt Country Music website 
  • 10. Al Carr and his Right Dereliction

    Hailing from Melbourne, Al Carr is an alt-country singer and songwriter with rock leanings who played in bands in Sydney in the 1990s before he relocated south in 2006 and started his solo career thereafter. He released a self-titled EP in 2013 then albums in 2017 and 2021. His latest album is The Right Dereliction.Says Carr of the album, 'Each song on this release is tinged with a sense of hopefulness whilst recounting stories, characters and personalities who are struggling through a moment in time,"explains Carr. "With this batch of songs I wanted to get inside the head of a character living through a small town drama and balance the lyrics almost like a confessional of sorts. The verses offering up the dilemma and the choruses providing the redemption.'Towards the end of 2023 I spoke to Carr about the album - there were a few wifi issues during this interview so it's taken me a little longer than usual to post it, plus if you watch the video of it you'll see me on screen for longer than usual as Zoom did not switch back to Carr. Therefore, you get to witness me practising 'neutral facial expression' as the wifi cut in and out.For more on Al Carr: to The Right Dereliction on Apple MusicListen to The Right Dereliction on SpotifyFollow Sunburnt Country Music on InstagramFollow Sunburnt Country Music on Facebook Sunburnt Country Music website 
  • 9. The Buckleys go Too Fast towards Tamworth

    The Buckleys are a band of siblings Sarah, Molly and Lachlan from northern New South Wales who released their debut album Daydream in 2020 and the EP Take it as it Comes in 2022. Last year they released the single ‘Wondering’ and this year ‘Too Fast’. Says Sarah of the song, 'we really wanted to put a fresh, new, country twist on those 1960s romantic bops. I’m so obsessed with that era in music, especially with melody. It’s influenced me in a lot of ways. "Too Fast" is about slowing down and enjoying the moment in a world where we're always so eager to move on to the next thing. It's about appreciating where you are right here and right now.'In addition to creating infectious, memorable recorded music to the world, The Buckleys are also one of the greatest live acts you could ever hope to see - it's always hard to put the experience of a gig into words because so much of it is about the moment, the energy and the dynamics in the room, but I've tried, and also tried to ask them to describe what they do when I spoke to them not long before they headed to the 2024 Tamworth Country Music Festival. Their sibling dynamic has something to do with it, but not all, and I hope you enjoy watching or listening to this talented trio talk about the music they make together.For more about The Buckleys: to The Buckleys on Apple MusicListen to The Buckleys on SpotifyFollow Sunburnt Country Music on InstagramFollow Sunburnt Country Music on Facebook Sunburnt Country Music website