Benny Allen spreads bluegrass joy with Lady Luck and Me

In a time when we look to music for joy, Benny Allen’s new single has it in swagfuls, delivered in chart-topping banjo-laden foot-stomping bluegrass banger, Lady Luck and Me.

Benny’s new single debuted at No. 2 on release day, September 4, on the iTunes Country Songs Chart and the iTunes All Genres Songs top 40 Chart.

Anyone who’s come across the Melbourne singer-songwriter will know that Benny exudes positivity and a global pandemic and ensuing lockdown was not going to quash his creativity. He recorded the vocals for his last single, the Battle of Point Nepean, and this new track, remotely with producer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Carpenter in the producer’s chair putting the musical touches to them.

“I really wanted to put something out that was upbeat and positive,” Benny said.

“I generally put out positive songs, although what I tend to write comes out as sad songs and my daughter often asks why are my songs so sad? So, I had this idea of doing Lady Luck and Me as a bluegrass song.”

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Aaron D’Arcy gets a Better Day with chart success

In these often dark times of COVID-19 and parts of the country in lockdown, Melbourne singer-songwriter Aaron D’Arcy is having a Better Day with his new single charting at No. 3 this morning, August 28, on release.

Better Day is a rock-edged country song that has a positive outlook on sometimes challenging situations that has charted at No. 3 on the iTunes Country Songs Chart and No. 35 on the All Genres chart.

Written with Cam Muncey of iconic Australian rock band, Jet, Better Day is a fitting song for the current situation with Victorians forced to stay home, and the news full of doom and gloom.

“With a little bit of positivity, you can look at it and think it’s alright,” Aaron said.

“The positives I’ve tried to take away from COVID is that I get a break from things, I’m doing odd jobs around the house, taking a breath and spending more time with the family.”

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Happy Australia Day aims to educate for stronger future

Golden Guitar winning singer-songwriter Luke O’Shea has always felt a responsibility to educate as well entertain – and his latest single, Happy Australia Day, links both his passions and is bound to get people talking.

Happy Australia Day, released today, August 19, attempts to link both Australia’s Indigenous and European histories by highlighting 9 significant indigenous activists and simply telling an old story from a fresh perspective.

Luke collaborated with fellow award-winning artist, Kevin Bennett, a proud Kamilaroi man, on this new single, which they hope will strike a raw nerve and inspire fellow Australians to learn more about our tumultuous past, it’s remarkable people and just why January 26 can be seen as such a divisive day.

“It’s pretty well known that for the last 30 years I have danced between two careers – one a touring singer-songwriter and the second – a high school teacher,” he said.

“The subjects I teach, music, art, religion, history and geography have always influenced and inspired me and my music – and the opportunity to share that passion and the insights gained to students and audiences around Australia – has truly given me a blessed life.”

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Lindsay Ell offers healing and inspiration with new album, Heart Theory

A major health scare and opening up about sexual assault as a teenager makes for a moving album for singer-songwriter and guitar shredder Lindsay Ell.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more personal, heart-wrenching, and inspiring album than Heart Theory, released today, August 14.

Working through the seven stages of grief, this is a concept album best consumed from start to finish, rather than in bites.

“I was about halfway through writing this record when I realised I was writing these songs in the order of how I was feeling them,” Lindsay said.

“As human beings on the planet we go through transformation in our lives and I thought how cool would it be to write a record in order of the seven stages of grief.”

The singer-songwriter who knows how to shred a guitar with the best of them, works through grief from shock to denial and all the way down to acceptance, and opens up to her listeners as they travel the journey with her.

“I want to inspire them to go through this with me because I feel like the past three years, and particularly the last year, has been transformative for me,” Lindsay said.

“I had a massive health scare and finally wanting to talk about my story as a little girl, I’ve gotten to know myself – we always think we do, but we get to know ourselves deeper and deeper as we get older and there is such a beautiful quality in that.”

The Canadian artist, who now calls Nashville home, opened up about her rape at 13 years old, while visiting Youth For Tomorrow to launch their music program.

“I sat down with 12 other little girls and I told them my story and I heard them tell their stories,” she said.

“These are stories that are so horrific. This happens far more in our society than we want to realise and by not talking about it, we are allowing that shame and guilt to continue, but we can help each other heal and become strong through talking about it.”

Lindsay Ell at CMC Rocks 2019. Photo: Rebecca Gracie
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Adam Brand releases inspirational album, Speed of Life

If, like many of us, you’ve followed or been part of Adam Brand’s career over the past 20-odd years, you’ll know he’s always true to himself as an artist, and his latest album, Speed of Life, takes this even further.

This down-to-earth approach has won over thousands of supporters and this week Speed of Life sits at No. 1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart and No. 6 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

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Rory Ellis finds his Inner Outlaw

This is a voice that is up there with the very best of them, including the US greats. It aches of life and love, history and memory” – Mike Brady AM.

Rory Ellis unleashes his Inner Outlaw on Friday, October 18 with the release of his ninth studio album.

Inner Outlaw is a collection of 12 tracks of pure Americana, with a touch of Waylonesque attitude that will make your heart sing and your mind wander. It’s dry, minimalist, sometimes appears to fall apart at the seams, but will leave you haunted with a resonance rarely found in modern production.

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Livin’ The Dream hits all the Wright notes

Singer-songwriter Kim Wright is Livin’ The Dream with his debut EP hitting the top of the charts on release.

Released on July 22, Wright’s EP Livin’ The Dream, charted at No. 2 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart and No. 28 on the iTunes All Genres Album Charts and is the realisation of a 20-year goal that began when he started writing songs in his early teens.

The title, Livin’ The Dream, is a motto Wright lives by and is more often than not what will come out of his mouth when you ask how he’s going.

“Every day above ground’s a good one and I believe you should live each day to its fullest,” he said.

“The collection of songs represents that theme in my world.”

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The Viper Creek Band unleashes Beautiful Destruction

Beautiful Destruction is music to the ears of The Viper Creek Band’s fans after waiting nearly three years for the new album.

​​Released ​today, March 1, Beautiful Destruction ​debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Albums Charts and No. 13 on the All Genre Albums Chart and ​sees the Newcastle outfit stretch their musical wings with songs that encompass their ever-growing influences, but still identifiable as The Viper Creek Band’s work.

“I’m just so excited to get it out because I can’t wait for people to hear it,” front man Damien Baguley said.

“It’s feels like forever since the last album (Just Press Play). The songs show off our different influences, but I still think it’s got The Viper Creek Band stamp on it and people are still going to dig it.”

The two singles from the album, Green Light and Australian Girls, have both charted in the top 5 on the iTunes Country Songs Chart and enjoyed extensive airplay with Green Light racking up 500,000 streams on Spotify.

Green Light has an infectious lyric with the premise being a guy asking a girl to take their relationship to the next level, while Australian Girls is an upbeat tribute to strong Australian women and the roles they play in life. With International Women’s Day just around the corner on March 8, Australian Girls is the perfect country music accompaniment.

Other highlights include Tired from the pens of Damien, Brennin Hunt and Skip Black, who also wrote Green Light. Tired has a John Mayer feel to it, while the Shane McAnally-penned Blue Jean Jacket is about lost love and reminiscing about a former flame.

Beautiful Destruction contains some slower ballads and songs reminiscent of not only John Mayer, but also The Eagles and touches of pop music.

Damien co-wrote four songs of the ten songs with Nashville writers as well as Australian artists including Travis Collins and Matt Scullion.

“I just hope listeners don’t want to skip any songs,” he said.

“I think every song has its place and that they want to listen to the whole thing because, as an album, there are a lot of different flavours.”

The singer-songwriter and lead singer is now looking forward to releasing Beautiful Destruction out into the world and hitting the road.

“We have revamped the live show around the album,” Damien said.

The Viper Creek Band will launch the album with a weekend packed with gigs starting in Muswellbrook RSL on Friday night,​ March 1,  the Sydney launch at Rooty Hill RSL on Saturday​, March 2​ before playing for their hometown audience at Edgeworth Bowling Club on Sunday​, March 3​.

​The full album is available on iTunes: https://apple.co/2VqxCbm

Little Man tells big story for country singer, Danny Phegan

THE best songs often come from hard times, and so is the case with chart-topping country artist, Danny Phegan’s new single, Little Man. Released today, November 9, Little Man came out of the stresses associated with the 2006 drought in southern NSW – the worst rainfall recorded for his home town of Walla Walla.

“I wrote this song in the years after that drought while putting in 8 kilometres of new water line. My son Bill was only a couple of years old and always wanted to be with me wherever I went, but he’d be asleep by the first gate,” Danny said.

“I was under a lot of pressure and I remember looking at him and thinking how I wished I could sleep so soundly. Most nights I’d fall asleep starring at the ceiling running sums through my head to get through another month. But I also knew someday he’d get his turn at life’s worries and I don’t want him to be in a hurry to get there.”

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Benny Allen not missing a beat with new single

TAMWORTH has witnessed the beginnings of many beautiful songs, and Benny Allen’s debut single, Day One Of Missing You, is no exception and this morning it has debuted at No. 19 on the iTunes Country Songs Chart.
Written with legendary singer-songwriter Allan Caswell in the Country Music Capital, the song came to Benny after an early morning trek to watch the sun rise over Tamworth at Oxley Lookout.
“It was one of those songs that started from nothing,” he said.
“I had just written the song The Lord Above on the drive up to Tamworth because my girlfriend’s dad was in a coma and we didn’t know if he was going to make it. When I sat down with Allan, I had nothing left in me, so he asked me what I’d done that morning and I’d got up and watched the sun rise over Tamworth at Oxley Lookout.
“We hadn’t had a fight or anything, but my girlfriend was going through a lot and I was 1400km away and I guess that was the emotional genesis of the song; feeling that isolation and separation from someone you love.”

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