DIARY - 26 FEBRUARY 2008 - TAMARA STEWART
STEWART 2005 INTERVIEW
TAMARA STEWART DRIVES NORTH
drunk in New York City on the sounds of integrity/ I got mad when I realised
that you don't know what you are gonna do with me" - Girl In The
Band - Tamara Stewart-Bob Theile.
back in the halcyon days when country music reigned on local commercial
radio singing actor Marty Robbins visited Goulburn Valley town, Mooroopna.
Robbins by-passed the major cities and played a two day country music
festival in the heart of the Victorian citrus and dairy belt on November
2 and 3, 1974.
The visit was such a huge success the Arizona born stock car driving
star returned in 1977 for a national tour with pioneer progressive
country band Saltbush.
tours in Mooroopna a baby girl entered the world on a parallel path to
a country-singing career.
even born when Marty played in Mooroopna," Tamara Stewart, then 30,
told Nu Country TV.
Well, was it possible that Stewart, one of three sisters, was blessed
with Marty party genes by being conceived during his visit by her proud
"I've never thought of that," laughed Stewart who began singing
at five when known as Tammy Sloper.
But, like Robbins - born Martin David Robinson - she adopted a different
Unlike Robbins, who went to God at 57 on December 8, 1982 after a heart
attack, this singer is energised.
She is blooming after her birth in the fertile dairy-music belt that that
produced artists diverse as Hawking Brothers, late Kevin Shegog's band
Gold Toppers and latter day Shepparton starlet Briana Lee.
GOULBURN VALLEY TO OUTBACK
even a hero on the silver screen/ gets to rest between the scenes/ you've
kept our engines going/ keep our wheels in motion." Drive - Tamara
But soon as Tamara turned 21 she hit the highway north to the big smoke
of Sydney and earned her stripes as a roads scholar in the outback beer
and wine mines with veteran bush troubadour Brian Young's show.
"We played missions, settlements and towns where local residents
came out in force," Stewart fondly recalled of a circuit that was
finishing school for peers including Troy Cassar-Daley and Beccy Cole.
"We learned to connect with audiences who travelled hundreds of miles
to enjoy the music.
It was a valuable learning process in reality."
Reality - as in contrast to fabricated fashion fuelled reality TV.
Stewart also explored the eastern seaboard by living in locales diverse
as Byron Bay, the Central NSW coast for seven years until 2005 and now
She wrote 12 of 14 songs - including the powerful social comment title
track of her 2001 debut disc The Way The World Is.
only co-writes were with album producer Rod McCormack and Rick Price.
This earned her an APRA funded songwriting sojourn in the U.S. and
U.K. enabling her to hone her creative skills.
Stewart earned healthy royalties from writing eight songs for prolific
award winner Beccy Cole's 2003 album Little Victories.
Tamara teamed with Nashville tunesmith Angela Kaset whose songs are
published by expatriate Australasians Barry and Jewel Coburn.
also wrote with Kostas - the former Montana writer whose songs have been
hits for Dwight Yoakam, Mavericks and Patty Loveless.
serendipity the Goulburn Valley gal became the envy of peers during a
sojourn in music mecca Nashville when she spent a day with revered stone
country songwriter Harlan Howard, who died less than a year later at 72.
"I was having lunch with Stewart Harris after a writing session and
I just mentioned I would love to meet Harlan," Tamara recalled.
"Stewart picked up his phone, dialled a number and said he had a
writer with him who wanted to meet him. Harlan said come on over so we
did. It was Halloween."
Howard didn't need Halloween as an excuse for a drink but the trio celebrated
Harris, a prolific hit writer, was one of many tunesmiths with whom Tamara
They included Jerry Salley and Jim McBride who penned her embryonic single
But that was then and this is now.
She has hooked up with an eclectic mix of writers from different genres
and chanced her writing and vocals by morphing into a broader based roots
artist on her 2005 self- titled album.
IN THE BAND
want a little left of centre baby/ but you keep on walking that line/
it's a sad situation when every creation is dependent on company time."
- Girl In The Band.
penned the satiric Girl In The Band with Bob Theile in Los
Angeles after doing a little field research on the mean streets of
New York City.
"Yes, I did get drunk in New York in the interests of accurate
research," Stewart confessed.
"But it's also a social comment on the public perception of girls
who sing in bands."
She wrote ruptured romance song Stolen with Jess Cates, whose
songs have been cut by Backstreet Boys, Blue County and Clay Aiken,
and Try with St Louis raised Ted Bruner of the band Colony.
she produced the album with Price at his Neutral Bay studio their only
collaboration is James - a vivid eulogy to James Taylor.
Stewart plays acoustic guitar with Price on guitar, bass, drums, mandolin,
dobro and piano with session players guesting on horns, strings, organ,
cello and accordion.
She also weaves the imagery of new environs into the evocative Military
Road - a song inspired by Price.
Equally powerful is anthemic All Woman and the poignant Song
Girl - a reflection of the artist's struggle to retain country fans
who believe she has gone pop and rock fans who think she sounds too country
for their citified tastes.
"Poor little song girl, she's paid to lose/ if it's criminal I'll
do my time, living a life of rhyme."
since released her self produced independent third album Love Laughter
Lessons and we'll feature her video clips on Nu Country TV and a review
The singer wrote all except one of the tracks.
"Producing this album has been an amazing experience," Stewart
"I needed to re-acquaint myself with what I do. I have had to nurture
these songs from conception and it has been a joy getting the guys in
to play on the album and to be the one in the drivers seat."
Those musicians include bassist Ian Lees, drummer fiancé Bradley
Bergen, organist, pianist and accordion player Mark O'Connor and Michel
Rose on pedal steel, dobro and mandolin.
The album was launched at the Regent Theatre in Tamworth on January 25
It included Stewart's collaboration with Nashville writer Angela Stewart
on Company Of Strangers and guest vocals by Camille Te Nahu and
French on Joni Mitchell epic Both Sides Now.
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