SUNNY SWEENEY HEADLINES NU COUNTRY TV
Texan singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney headlines Nu Country TV on Saturday February 24 at 9 pm on Channel 31/ Digital 44.
Cronulla singer-songwriter and teacher Luke O'Shea returns to the show, repeated Monday at 3 pm, with outback stockman Tom Curtain.
Wodonga singer-songwriter Vanessa Delaine and guitarist Michael Barnard debut on the program filmed and edited by Laith Graham.
West Australian Jonny Taylor returns with a video directed by his wife and father.
Ohio farmer and barn builder Richard Lynch showcases a duet with prolific hit writer Billy Yates and Texan Kyle Park also returns to Behind Bars .
Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.
Further info - https://www.c31.org.au/
SUNNY DREAMS OF A BOTTLE AND COP BY HER BED
Texan Sunny Sweeney ignites her maternal desires with wry word play in autobiographical tune Bottle By My Bed from her fourth album Trophy.
Sunny, now 41, and police sergeant husband Jeff Helmer long tried to have a baby with fertility treatment but she suffered miscarriages.
Sweeney candidly addresses pain they endured in their baby quest in a video with intimate glimpses of them with brief shots of infants, young children and parents.
But Sweeney learned the song's real-life impact was one many people related to.
"Anybody that knows anything about my music knows I don't necessarily shy away from subjects," Sweeney revealed.
"Each record answers kind of a little question for the time in your life where you are. You write songs about a breakup, you record it and then it's out.
"Then it's still very much a part of you but it's a lot easier to talk about, a lot easier to deal with. I'm definitely affected by it. But I feel like it's easier than it was the first time I sang it because I didn't know what people were going to think. I thought people were going to think I lost my mind. Like, what the hell? Why would I write and sing a song about wanting a baby. That's absolutely like nothing I've ever done and nobody's going to understand. But the fact of the matter is that's where I am in my life and very thought-consuming process. It consumes you and hard to concentrate on other things. All your friends are having kids and that amplifies it."
Since recording and performing Bottle By My Bed live, Sweeney experienced impact on others who openly shared their personal stories with her.
"I went through all that shit by myself," Sunny explained.
"Not by myself but with my husband. I went through all of it without telling very many people at all. Maybe three people knew. Then the song started having a little bit of a life and I had friends, very, very close friends I speak to and hang out with all the time, going, 'Oh my God, let me tell you about my story.' We had never started the conversation because, especially as a woman, well, people in general don't necessarily want to talk about it because it makes you feel like there's something wrong with you."
Sweeney envies her Bottle By My Bed co-writer Lori McKenna, now 49 and a prolific hit writer, who has five children and released 11 albums.
Sunny recorded The Next Big Nothing, penned by late Tasmanian Audrey Auld, on 2006 debut CD Heartbreaker's Hall Of Fame.
LUKE AND TOM LIVE ON TERRITORY TIME
Luke O'Shea headed north to join Tom Curtain in their vivid video for Never-Never Land from Tom's third album Territory Time, released in November.
They perform in majestic scenes high above where Tom works outback in his back-yard.
Tom wrote Never-Never Land and Territory Time with the seven time Golden Guitarist during an O'Shea family outback trip.
Curtain hails from Kingaroy and first worked Northern Territory cattle stations as a stockman.
“I came out to the NT in 2001 and worked at Mount Sanford Station in the stock-camp, sleeping in a swag every night,” Curtain revealed.
“Something out here inspired me to write songs, so I would write them on the back of a horse and use the hoofs as a drum beat”.
He now trains horses and dogs and runs Katherine Outback Experience - scene of the rhyme.
“Travellers and visitors get very frustrated because there could be something broken on their caravans and have to wait, but it's a bit of a mindset up here that we're living on Territory Time ,” Tom explained.
“The whole song is about when I first came up here and I was always rushing around. An old bloke gave me some advice to chill the hell out and just embrace it. There are still a lot of hard working people, but every now and then Territory Time creeps in.”
“Those two are the main Territory songs I've written. The rest are about living in the bush, serious songs about true stories, and a few comedy songs.
Curtain met partner Annabel McLarty three years ago.
“I am really passionate about all the songs I write. It is really rewarding” Curtain explained.
“Annabel has been a big influence on getting me back into music. I was hitchhiking with this big saddle bag and finally a guy picked me up and took me back to his farm. I was on my way to see mates at a camp-draft and this guy said he would give me a lift there if I helped him out for a bit loading his car. A while later Annabel arrived, and I just thought wow. It was her dad who had picked me up and that's how we met.”
Annabel kept in touch and moved north, running the business side of Katherine Outback Experience .
“I pinch myself all the time. If someone had told me three years ago I would be living in the Territory with a horse breaker I would have laughed,” she said.
Curtain is inspired by Annabel and the territory.
“Long days mustering cattle, breaking-in horses and sleeping under the stars every night inspired me to write songs and I couldn't play guitar when I first came here, but started playing around campfires,” Curtain added.
“There is something out here that got into my system and Never-Never Land is about that different way of life, the extreme isolation and the people.”
“When they listen to it, I'm just trying to describe the scenery, wildlife, hardworking ringers on the cattle stations because the pastoral industry is a big sector up here. There are a lot of times where their backs are against the wall and they push on through, but you've just gotta keep trying. I also want to get more people up here to experience the Top End.”
Further info - https://www.katherineoutbackexperience.com.au/music/
VANESSA WILD AND FREE
Australasian singer-songwriter Vanessa Delaine and slide guitarist - blues harpist Michael Barnard, enlisted their daughters for her Live for Today video on her third album Wild & Free.
They met at Baranduda Community centre in Wodonga, south of Albury on the Murray River.
Delaine was born in New Zealand to Australian parents and spent most her childhood in small town Darfield on the fringes of Christchurch before living in Hastings and Auckland.
Vanessa later moved to Sydney and Melbourne before Wodonga.
She emulated New Zealand born 1990 Tamworth Star Maker talent quest winner and latter day superstar Keith Urban with her original While The Music Plays scoring in the 1996 Capital Country National Talent Quest.
Vanessa's tune was also a finalist in the international Black Opal Song-writing competition.
JONNY TAYLOR DIGS DIAMONDS
I actually had an album of material written and partially recorded a couple of years ago, and it clicked with me one day that those songs weren't going to do me proud
They'd come from my head, not my heart. And so I dug deep, scrapped those songs, and took my time to write and record a record that came straight from the heart and that makes me proud every time I listen to it. From the heart right now I want to thank those that have supported me or been part of my experience in any way, shape or form, to those that have given advice and shared experiences, and to those that have inspired me to keep moving forward. It's been a massive process for me, and has also impacted my wife Nicole hugely, and she's been there to support me every step of the way.”
Jonny and Nicole live on a small farm in the WA wheat belt.
KYLE PARK FINDS REDNECKS WITH PAYCHCECKS
Texan Kyle Park performs his humorous video for Rednecks With Paychecks that resembles an aquatic version of our Deni Ute Muster.
Rednecks With Paychecks is on Kyle's sixth album Roof Top Sessions , recorded in a house on the banks of Lake Travis in Austin.
“Recording in the house, the idea was to use the feeling of being in a house to go for an open feeling, something really big, with the drums very prevalent in the mix,” Park, 32, revealed.
“It wasn't about making a rockin' album as much as making an album where the music comes first.
“I think my voice makes The Blue Roof Sessions country. No one can say it's not me. But I'm changing too. The way I felt about music 10 years ago is not the way I feel now. I would have never put these songs on my first record. It would have been way too much of a risk. Now I'm more comfortable with who I am as a musician and a fan of music. It would be easy for me to keep making the same record over and over and just have fiddle and steel - a good, clean, nice traditional record. I'm not looking for shock factor, but I am looking to stand out amongst the crowd as far as pushing boundaries.”
Park showcased his videos Don't Forget Where You Come From and What Goes Around, Comes Around, Turn That Crown Upside Down, Long Distance Relationship and George Strait tribute Fit For the King on Nu Country .
Kyle was born in Austin and grew up north in small town Leander.
He often sang with Strait's Ace In The Hole band in college in San Marcos after starting on guitar at 14, writing his first song at 15 and debuting on KVET FM Austin at 17.
Park self-released first album, Big Time , in 2005 second album Anywhere in Texas in 2008, third album Make or Break Me in 2011 and Beggin' for More in 2013.
Further info - www.kylepark.com
RICHARD LYNCH AND BILLY YATES
Ohio barn builder and farmer Richard Lynch lures prolific hit writer Billy Yates to a honky tonk in their bucolic battle with the bottle.
They perform She Got Me Drinking Again from Lynch's second album A Better Place.
His latest Mending Fences includes Daddy's Words , In Over My Heart Again and social comment Country Music Isn't Country Anymore and Back In Love Again - a duet with bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent.
Lynch, 55, long mixed music and farming at his Lebanon ranch where he explored rodeos, love and music for 30 years before his debut 2013 album Last of A Dying Breed .
Missouri born Yates, 54, wrote big hits for major artists including George Jones and has released 12 albums.
Geelong born former truckie Adam Harvey covered Yates song Flowers on his 1997 debut disc.
Yates many hits included Jones version of Choices, Walls Can Fall and I Don't Need You Rockin Chair and Texan George Strait 's version of My Infinite Love.
He released 2001 album If I Could Go Back with strident songs Too Country And Proud of It in 2001 and 2003 disc Country on his M.O.D . label with bluegrass song Smokin' Grass .
Recent albums include Anywhere But Nashville , Harmony Man, Favourites, Bill's Barber Shop, Just Be You, Only One George Jones and These Old Walls in 2015.
Further info - https://www.richardlynchband.com/
Further info - http://www.billyyates.com/
HOW TO KEEP NU COUNTRY ON AIR
We need your support as we celebrate Nu Country TV's 34th series with Australian record companies and artists teaming to ensure our survival.
We have Blake Shelton's 12th CD If I'm Honest from Karen Black and Tony Midolo at Warner Music.
We also have other CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing membership.
They include singing actor Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley , Carrie Underwood, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and late larrikin legend A.P. Johnson.