It's been a while, a long while, since we graced Tamworth stages so 2017 shaped up as being a manically busy week. 20 shows (which turned into 22) between Bec and I in 9 days! Crazy some may say but necessarily crazy.
The Tamworth country music festival is so unique. The whole town is alive with music, from the buskers along Peel St with their symphonic wrestling for air to the many venues supporting live music it becomes a melting pot, a crazy mixture of music for everyone. 800 venues, 2500 artists and 40,000 fans blend into one. There is nothing like it in this world.
We began the week with our first gig at the South Tamworth Bowling Club The Gypsy and the Storyteller together with our great band Brad, Penelope, Josh and Charley. From the first note it was like home. I smiled on the inside and out. It felt so good to sing a majority show of original material, in Tamworth with our full band. First moment of the festival was when John, an avid country music fan and show promoter came up. He asked to shake my hand. Of course I obliged. Then he said something that made me so proud. "I want to congratulate on your courage to play your own material, and hold the crowd for the whole show!" I can't even express how much this simple sentence meant. As an original artist you take a risk doing this very thing, then it works. It's who we are, "Just Us", I'd say.
So the festival begins in amazing fashion, then, it just keeps getting better and better.
Saturday began with our annual walk down Peel St, the bustle of the crowd and the sound of the melting of music of the many buskers competing for their slice of air space was a welcome back to Tamworth. Handing out flyers for the upcoming shows and just soaking up the atmosphere. We spotted ourselves flying high on light poles, ironically on Bridge St.
We performed on "Country Music Cocktails" to a packed house, what a great meet and greet show with the fans, it was a privilege to be invited on board. Then off to The Legends lounge at Wests Leagues Club.
It had been 9 years since I stood with my band on that stage but it still felt like home. Thanks Cal and all the team at Wests for inviting me back.
That night we began our first of 4 shows in the wonderful venue that was the Capitol Theatre.
The Tamworth Opry kicked things off. What an amazing concert, a sell out show at the Capitol Theatre and we got to sing our hearts out to an amazing response. "We Knew" knocked their socks off and we had so many new people discover our music. Thanks so much to the great people who run this show for inviting us on board. What a way to kick off our Capitol Theatre experience.
Nothing slowed down with a spot with our great friends David and Merilyn Carter on their Gospel show. I'm always inspired by these two beautiful people and what they bring to us all. We had a great Tamworth moment with the Carter and Carter "choir" in the dressing rooms when they sang along with me and Bec singing "If I Get to the Rainbow". Check the Video out.
Then Monday was another great Theatre show, "Great Country Love Songs" with Travis List and Kristy Cox. Working on these shows taught me so much. David, Merilyn, Travis and Kristy you are amazing and we are blessed to call you family and are blessed to learn from the best. Look out for Great Country Love songs to come you way in 2017.
My last Theatre show was a guest spot on Melissa Bajric's show. I've know Melissa since she was a young up and coming performer and to see what she has blossomed into was amazing. An ultimate professional. It was a joy to be able to stand on her stage. Another moment here, singing "The Ring" to a silent audience of 300+ in a theatre with amazing sound. Cherished memories.
That Tuesday was a hot one, I think I sweated more on many stages than ever before in my life. But it is what we do, from stage to stage, with little time in between but it's great. We had our second Gypsy and the Story Teller show that afternoon at the great South Tamworth Bowlo. Owen and the staff there are amazing and it was good to see a lot of the new faces that had discovered our music in the first few days pop up in the audience. Meg Doherty Joined us on stage for these two shows and after her stellar performance in Starmaker she wowed the audience once again. We also had two young fellas get up and sing, it's what Tamworth is about, giving opportunities to young singers who are chasing the dream. They were fantastic so thanks to Tyson Lucas and Kasey Kilsby
We had some great shows in the next few days for our sponsors Yamaha Music Australia and the wonderful Songwriters Sessions at the Tamworth Services club alongside the great fellas Rob and Gary from the Bobkatz.
The last Saturday was the early morning Cavalcade where the fans turn out in force to cheer us all on as we drove down the street. We were part of the NSW Rural fire service float which one its category so good times. Thanks to the Fireman himself, Dan Murphy for inviting us on board.
Saturday finished with Bec doing a show at Legends with a bunch of friends. Including this strange Scottish Country Singer "Merle Haggis", The wonderful Nicki Gillis.
Special thanks to Tania and Jo for being the best baby sitters. We couldn't have done all this without you.
So the sun sets on another wonderful Tamworth full of new experiences.
As we wandered into an Industry event we bumped into the beautiful Crosby Sisters. Kelly asked us what the heck we'd been up to, because all she's heard about all over Tamworth is Billy Bridge and Rebecca Lee Nye ........ Hmmmm Job Done :-)
And how blessed and i that I get to do all this with my beautiful best friend and the love of my life Rebecca Lee Nye
Stay Tuned for 2017 and beyond.