Beccy Cole is recognised as one of the benchmarks in the Australian country music industry. Since the mid-nineties the South Australian born singer-songwriter has become an inspiration and role model for a new generation of emerging country performers.
This award-winning performer has a dynamic personality, charisma, passion and a talent that has her albums and live shows ranked as some of the most popular in the country. Beccy is performing at Club Old Bar on April 17th.
How is 2009 shaping up for you?
It looks like it is going to be an exciting year.
The year has started off busier than ever; the concerts, songwriting and other things are keeping me very busy.
> You missed this year’s 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival …
Yes. I was baby sitting for Kasey Chambers and Adam Harvey. They had a full on program for a week, and as I did not record any new material last year and was not nominated, I volunteered for the job. It was great fun!
> You have won seven Golden Guitars and attended Tamworth for more than a decade. Did you miss the atmosphere and hype?
Of course you do, but it was not as bad as I thought. The kids kept me busy and I had daily contact, so I was up to date with the action.
> It is two years since you released your last album ‘Live At Lizzotte’s’, which was comprised of old material. Why did you decide on a live performed album?
The last album, Live at Lizzotte’s was the first time I had recorded a live album. It gave old and a new audiences the atmosphere we create. It also broke new ground for me, with a bonus DVD of 7 songs.
> Is there a new album on the way?
Yes; it is currently a work in progress. It will be all new material. I am still writing some of the material, and it will be out later this year.
> Your 4 albums contain lyrics based on an autobiographical journey and experiences. Your ability as a songwriter and storyteller has received a lot of well-deserved accolades. Do you have a special knack of painting a picture through your lyrics?
I have a chest full of memories and life experiences. Converting my experiences into lyrics has given me a great base to write from. I have plenty to say, and it is a great joy to write and sing songs that many in the audience can relate to. Audiences can relate to many of the lyrics – many have had similar journeys as we all go through life.
> Who were your mentors in the early days?
My mum; she is still performing. I had an insight into the industry from an early age. One of my first tours was with Slim Dusty; he was great to work with, and it was an experience I will never forget. It gave me confidence and an introduction to touring.
> You have toured overseas and were part of the Christmas entertainment entourage entertaining Australian troops in Iraq. This visit gave you an awareness of the political climate towards our involvement there …
Yes, there was some backlash. Some of my fans were not happy with my visit; they saw it as me supporting our involvement. I was there purely as an entertainer, not as a supporter or detractor of our troops being in Iraq. The soldiers, being away from home for long periods, need to have a taste of home. I enjoyed the experience.
They are there serving our country, which is part of joining the armed forces. We were not there to make a judgment, and our visit boosted morale.
> That visit saw you respond by writing a song called ‘Poster Girl’, which became a big hit and the number one country music video on television. That must have given you satisfaction?
It was written with plenty of passion, emotion, and highlights the moving experience I had in Iraq. Basically, it was my response … firstly expressing support for all of our soldiers serving our country around the world, and also my pride in being an Australian.
> Your career has been one of constant success and musical experiences. Do you do any mentoring?
Yes. I have been teaching at the College of Country Music at Tamworth. I have been lucky to be a judge at Starmaker too. Both roles have led to helping many emerging singers and musicians – particularly with songwriting.
I see myself in the youngsters; they love their music and have a terrific drive to succeed. Many have told me they see themselves in what I do, and if that is what inspires them, it makes me very happy.
The industry has been good to me, and I want to give something back. The youngsters are our future.
> Australia has an abundance of emerging talent, giving the country music industry a sound future. The music from these performers appears to be more sophisticated and is becoming more and more acceptable to a new generation …
Yes, the new sounds are exciting and are merging nicely with popular music. What is great is that it’s attracting a new, younger generation to country music.
> Your songwriting and the production of your 4 albums have been one of the benchmarks of this trend, with arrangements and styles leading the way in this new wave of music. Do you agree?
Oh, I do not know about that. I hope that I have contributed to where we are placed now. There are so many and I cannot name everyone; artists like Kasey Chambers, Adam Brand, Gina Jeffries and Adam Harvey, to name a few. We have so much talent in Australia.
I just do the best I can; I try to spend a lot of time finding the right songs and sounds. I hope I can keep contributing. What you hear is me; I am doing what I love, and i’m lucky enough to make people happy.
> Are your singing engagements affected by the current economic climate?
They can be, but you have to be flexible in tough times. We all do it tough in some ways; if you want to work you have to take the good times with the bad. Not everyone can afford to attend concerts in the current climate, so we try and make it as affordable as possible. Playing to a full house for less money is better than playing to a half full venue.
> What can we expect from your show?
We will start off with a solo set, and then the band will join me. We will be playing most of the favourites, along with a few new songs. The new songs also allow me to gauge audience reaction to the new material.
> Thank you Beccy. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.