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Interview: KRISTY COX

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With a baby due around Christmas, Kristy Cox will be heading to Tamworth with a four week old baby in her arms, hoping to win at least one Golden Guitar Award. Kristy has been nominated in three categories; Female Artist of the Year, Bluegrass Recording of the year for ‘One Heartbreak Away’ and  Alternate Country Album of the Year. Kristy said the nominations came as a bit of a shock but “it’s pretty cool.”

 

These nominations come on the back of being nominated at the IBMA Bluegrass awards, the biggest Bluegrass Awards in the world. At those awards Kristy was nominated for Female Vocalist of the year, Emerging artist of the year and Song of the year. “I didn’t expect to win. It was really nice on my first American release to be nominated.”

 

‘One Heartbreak Away’ was the first single from Kristy’s new album ‘Living for the Moment’, her first international album release. “I’m really proud of it. It’s probably my favourite album that I’ve done so far. I’m excited it’s getting recognition and people are enjoying it.”

 

This South Australian born singer is now living in Nashville. “Being in America you are definitely surrounded by the music constantly which is really nice. It definitely makes you put high goals on yourself and set yourself high standards. It’s nice to come home but it’s nice to be over there where you’re challenged daily.”

 

“It’s a different culture to Australia. It’s music 24/7 so I can’t complain and everybody down in the south is lovely. They’re all really supportive of you. It’s really nice. It is nice to come home though. Ideally I would like to spend a good chunk of the year in both places so that’s what we are working towards at the moment.”

 

Kristy is home, not just to give birth to her first baby, but to attend her 16th Tamworth Country Music Festival. “This is my sixteenth Tamworth, I think. I always look forward to it. It’s on my calendar every year. I don’t think I’ve missed one. This year I’m really looking forward to having Jerry Salley come back out from America. He has produced three of my albums and he is one of my favourite people in the world.”

 

I pointed out to Kristy that I had recently interviewed Travis List who also holds Jerry in high esteem. “He is certainly one of a kind. He is a fantastic songwriter, fantastic producer and a great artist in his own right. He is probably one of my favourite harmony singers. He is quite a talent that man.”

 

Bluegrass Comes To Tamworth is Kristy’s one show for the festival. “When Jerry said he was coming out I really wanted to put up this showcase of some of my favourite bluegrass artists in Australia. Basically it’s just an excuse for me to share the stage with some of my favourite people.” Playing with Kristy and Jerry are Peter Denahy, Karen Lynne and special guests. “Peter is known really in Australia for his comedy but he is one of the best fiddle players we’ve got and he’s a great songwriter and has written some fantastic bluegrass songs so he’s going to come down and showcase some of them. Karen Lynne, she’s probably one of the major female bluegrass acts; there aren’t many of us at all actually. She’s always been a huge supporter of me and I love what she does. I am looking forward to having those two and Jerry and me and we have some special guests coming on as well. It will be a good fun morning.”

 

The show is in the Capitol Theatre on Friday January 23rd at 10am. Kristy told me she is torn between the Capitol Theatre and The Town Hall as to which is her favourite venue but thinks the Capitol might just pip the Town Hall.

 

Most of the festivals Kristy has been to in the US have just one or two stages and run for just two to three days. She pointed out that Tamworth is quite individual. “The only festival that is similar to Tamworth, that I’ve been to in the US, is the CMA Fest, where there is music happening everywhere. I think Tamworth is quite unique in that way, where it has so many different venues and artists in one place.”

 

International recognition of the Tamworth Festival has increased since Tamworth became a sister city to Nashville in 2013. “You notice a lot more people over there (Nashville) are starting to hear about the festival (Tamworth) and trying to figure out how they can come to Australia to play. It’s good for Australia and good for Tamworth.”

 

Kristy will be back in the studio with Jerry in April to record her next album.  Kristy doesn’t play instruments on her recordings, stating that she tends to get the best in for that side of recording. “I can play guitar but I like to have the best doing it when it comes to recording. We do the album pretty much live. I jump in one booth to do the vocal track, the rest of the band are all playing at once. That way we don’t have any overdubs. It makes for a really live sound for the album.”

 

Our interview finished with a word of advice from Kristy “If you are going to Tamworth make sure you grab some tickets for my show if you are interested in coming because they are selling quickly so I can’t promise they’ll be any left when you get there.”

 

 

by Suzanne Bunker

Copyright © Suzanne Bunker 2014. All rights reserved

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