By Rebecca Belt
THE 1990s produced some of the absolute best country artists around, particularly when it comes to the US. Among the artists at the forefront of this amazing decade of country was Ty Herndon and now he’s coming to Australia for the first time. Not only is he coming to Australia, but Tamworth is firmly in his sights.
Ty plays West Tamworth League Club on Sunday, May 7 from 7.30pm.
“I know that Australia loves country music and I’ve never played in Australia before, so I’m just looking forward to people seeing my show and meeting super cool people,” he said.
He’s made sure that he and partner, Matthew, have time to soak up as much of Australia as they can, as well as work, so he’s got the Golden Guitar firmly on his radar and said he hoped to visit some children in hospital as he does in the US.
The trip to Australia came about after discussions with his publicist.
“She said there were some people interested in Australia and before she even got the sentence out of her mouth, I said yes,” Ty said.
“It’s been on my bucket list for many years and I’m old friends with Keith Urban.”
The Nashville artist said Tamworth music fans were in for a fun show.
“There will be all the hits and all the new stuff,” Ty said.
“We just love being funny, making you cry and make you laugh the next minute. When we play clubs here in America, the line dancers are crazy with the songs, so that’s always fun to watch.”
Ty’s latest album, House On Fire, is the first time he’s released an album since coming out publicly as a gay man and said there were many emotional times in writing and performing these songs.
“It’s so amazing to sit down and write authentically about your story,” he said.
“It’s the first time I’ve been totally authentic and I can’t imagine I would ever do it any differently. It’s very emotional performing this record, but it’s awesome and, as a Ty Herndon record, I’m obviously having a lot of fun as well.”
The singer-songwriter said, by not speaking the truth about his life, he didn’t feel he was helping anyone change theirs.
“Every time there is change on the planet, it starts with a conversation,” he said.
Ty said it was important to him to tell children who, like him, know they are different to their friends and family and feel like outsiders in their church, that God is love and that life is about living an honest and good life.
“I want them to know they’re not broken and they’re made perfectly the way they are,” he said.
“It’s something I wish someone had told me.”
The singer of hits including Living In A Moment, Holding On To A Woman Letting Go, and Steam, said he’d done a lot of healing before and during writing House On Fire and was in “a really good place now”.
“I did have to take a lot of pauses throughout the writing process because it’s hard reliving some of this stuff,” Ty said.
“But once the record came out, I was hearing all these amazing fans say this happened to them too.”
Ty said attitudes around the planet were changing about sexuality, so country music was starting to see that there is more than one story, too.
“If any kid comes to me and says I’m different and I want to be in country music, I always say to that kid that you have to be the best songwriter, singer and person you can be first and foremost,” he said.
“We all have roadblocks and we have to learn to get around them. Earning your career is not easy and you have to work hard for it no matter what because if it was easy, everybody would do it.”
Ty said he and Matthew were looking forward to seeing as much of Australia as possible while they were here.
“It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we both love architecture, so we’ll be seeing as much as we can,” he said.
A photo in front of the Big Golden Guitar is at the top of the list.