"There's a rumour goin' around that it's lookin' like splitsville between us/ but all that talk's just talk/ so don't you believe it." - We're Makin' Up - Jeffrey Steele-Al Anderson.

Perth born country star Adam Brand took a punt when he took a year off from touring to deal with the storms of life that have destroyed lesser mortals.

And when he woke one mild winter morning in the tranquil beauty of his latter day home in southern Queensland his luck had changed.

Brand's belated fourth album Get Loud had debuted at #16 on the ARIA rock charts in a swirling sea of rap, dance, pop pap, reality TV driven fads and hits and memories.

Even on its second week on the charts it remained Top 30 - despite only receiving airplay on ABC and community radio.

But it was the surrogate radio medium of TV that ensured a high profile for the singer raised in Geelong and Colac.

"Yes, that was a nice surprise," Brand told Nu Country TV on the eve of a national tour to promote a disc firmly aimed at the rural heartland that differentiates little between rock country.

"There was hardly any TV advertising because of the Olympics. There was TV tour ads in the regional areas. Our main advertising starts later. But I did a lot of TV shows such as Bert Newton. It had been a long time since my previous album came out. It could go two ways - either the audience had forgotten who I was or they were waiting for it. It worked well. Country has a long shelf life. Maybe the tide is turning."

Brand kicks off his national tour in Victoria and Tasmania - the island state was one of his retreats when his second marriage fell apart between albums.

So don't ask Adam to sing his award winning divorce song Good Things In Life.

Brand wrote the song as therapy after break-up of his first marriage to his childhood sweetheart in Perth.

You can also pass on Every Man Likes You - a song he wrote about the healing heart of second wife Anne-Marie who made the trek from Perth to Sydney in their ute when he launched his career in 1997.


"Well pack a bag with some simple things/ cause you won't need much/ just a pair of faded jeans.' - Just Drive - Adam Brand-Michael Carr

Brand shaved his head, donned a beanie and headed into the wilds of Tasmania and the outback for three months when his second marriage fell apart.

"I haven't been able to perform it," Brand says of Good Things In Life.

"I need to let time go past, it's too painful. It's something that I don't want to dig up. I guess it's because of where I was when wrote that song, it's just not right now."

The singer, now 35, used his three-month plus solo outback sojourn as post marital therapy.

"I didn't feel like talking to anyone and discussing it," says Brand who had known Anne Marie for 11 years.

"I wanted to go away, do my own thing and do my grieving about it on my own. I was completely on my own. It was the cheapest three months I've had in my life, and yes, the cheapest therapy. I had spent a lot of time touring over five or six years so it was also a time for winding down to prevent burn out. It was quite a life transition from my career as a dental technician, It was time to step off the stage, every stage."

Although Brand took his guitar in his Falcon XR8 ute he wasn't able to harvest hay from his heartbreak.

"I think it was more for me the liberation and clearing my mind sort of trip," says Brand.

"It was a purging through solitude. The marriage was falling apart just before I left. I think it prepared me to work on the new album. I decided to record songs by other writers about the subject."

They included We're Making Up, This Time Of Year, Impossible To Do and Come On Home.

Brand, unlike many peers, didn't inflict his personal pain on listeners - instead he wrote a brace of up-tempo songs such as Get Loud, Just Drive, Senoritas and She's Country with fellow Compass Brothers artist Michael Carr


Brand experienced the majestic beauty of the west coast of Tasmania and the sparse solitude of the outback on a winter journey with the Gold Coast as his springboard.
"I went right down to Tasmania and then straight up the guts to Cooper Pedy, Alice Springs and Darwin. I did a circuit around Tasmania, down to Strahan, Zeehan and Queenstown then up the east coast. The west coast towns have got this nice old time feel.

Not so much a ghost town as in the past, that vibe, but more like a tourist area now. They're almost trendy in an old style. I camped in camping grounds. Down in Strahan I got a cray from a local fisherman and cooked it on the open fire. I then went up the east coast, places like Bicheno and St Helens. It was magnificent. It was pretty cold. I had my head shaved and was wearing a beanie most of the time. I was incognito - just a fellow driving a XR8 ute."

The singer, one time stock-car driver and dental technician, was also able to emulate the characters in his automobile songs in the heartland.

"Out in the outback where there was no speed limit I put cruise control on 180 and went up Stuart Highway," says Brand.

"At night I drove off down tracks, maybe 5 or 10 kilometres and camped. I didn't see any dingoes but I heard a couple. I didn't force any writing. I set up the campfire and got the guitar out a few times. But for me it was more the liberation and clearing my mind sort of trip. I think it prepared me to work on the new album."


Brand chose his own CD collection ahead of radio for his driving soundscape.

"I was completely on my own," Brand recalled, "it was the cheapest three months I've had in my life and also the cheapest therapy. Each night I would fire up the camp oven and have a couple of chops and vegetables. Some times I drove in silence and others I listened to music from early Sun sessions of Elvis to real pumping stuff like AC-DC. I also played older country like Kristofferson and a bit of George Jones with newer stuff by Montgomery Gentry and Tim McGraw."

Brand started Just Drive - one of four new tunes penned with Carr - before his outback journey.

"I started that song earlier in the year before the trip," Brand revealed. "I finished it off after I came back, about three weeks later."

Brand and Carr also wrote the upbeat title track, the Tex Mex laced Senoritas and bush belle eulogy She's Country to add dynamics to the disc.

"I have met so many country girls in my travels who don't receive the recognition of their males," says Brand.

"They work on the family farms, perform the same duties as the blokes and stand toe to toe at the bar when they party after they finish work for the day."

Some of those bush belles also adorn Cowboy Tequila penned with his frequent Nashville co-writer Bob Regan.

And that risque rural craze was inspired by the Woody Harrelson movie Cowboy Way - not urban-fuelled Coyote Ugly.

"After concerts we go to the pub where young women drink Tequila," says Brand, "they lick salt off their necks, put lemons on their lips and shot glasses down their cleavage. This happens a lot out in the country. I thought I would write a song about that. I think it started in the Cowboy Way movie and seems to have caught on here."


"Well Farmer Thompson really knows how to grow 'em/ if you know what I mean/ he's been sittin' on the porch with his shot gun/ and he don't miss a thing." - Eighteen - Gary Young-Adam Brand.

Brand previously recorded the Wayne Burt penned Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons hit Beating Around The Bush.

But this time he chose another tune he heard on a live tape by Joe Camilleri's band.

Long time 3RRR-FM and popular Nu Country FM DJ Gary Young wrote Eighteen about rural belles who rang for him in his previous life with The Rondells and Daddy Cool.

But Brand edited the raunchy coming of age song immortalised by The Falcons.

"I toned the story line down a little," confessed Brand who named the farmer after his producer Graham Thompson in the new version.

"It's a song about young girl being protected by her farmer dad until she's 18. Gary's early version was risque. I thought it was timely to tone it down because of the current teenage sex in advertising debate. It's almost untimely to talk about it. The guy was sneaking out at night to see his girl friend who wasn't quite 18."

Brand also found Lifetime Friends on a visit to one time outback denizen Neil Murray's farm at Lake Bolac, north of Mortlake in the Western Victorian wheat and sheep belt.

"We worked on another song together but I chose this instead because it was a true song about the value of true friends," Brand said.

"You can not meet for a year and then pick up the phone and the threads."

Brand added Warrnambool reared stock car champ Max Dumsney's name to the Byron Hill penned tune Number 34.

And he included Food, Water, Shelter, Love - a tune featuring the writing talents of Rick Price, Melinda Schneider and Tamara Stewart.


The Brand-Carr title track Get Loud was inspired by the Grand Hotel at Winton in Queensland and features a cameo role by Perth publican Billy Rigg - publican of the Cottesloe Hotel in Perth.

Bur Brand filmed the video clip at Caragabal near Young, Grenfell, Harden and the Mean Fiddler Hotel at Windsor, west of Sydney.

He also plans a video for This Time Of Year - penned by Craig Wiseman with whom he wrote Every Man Loves You.

"There's no story board for that yet," says Brand whose touring band features acclaimed fiddler Mick Albeck - former spouse of Beccy Cole.


Eastbank Theatre, Shepparton, on September 3
Churchill Saloon - September 4,
Bairnsdale Secondary College Hall - September 5.
Horsham Town Hall - September 7
Bendigo Performing Arts Centre - September 8
Ballarat Regent Multiplex Cinemas - September 9
Colac RSL - September 10
Warrnambool Performing Arts Centre - September 11
Hamilton Performing Arts Centre - September 12.


Burnie Civic Centre - September 15.
Wrest Point Casino - September 16.
Launceston Country Club Resort - September 17 and 18.
Devonport Entertainment Centre - September 19

CLICK HERE for a previous feature on Adam from the Diary on December 2.

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