“Stranger walking, rolled up next to me/ lit up a cigarette, downed a shot of Tennessee / hair black, slicked back, six tatts I could see/ he's the trouble I always seem to find/ he's no good, he's all mine.” - He's The Trouble - Christie Lamb-Jonathan Sora-English-Marcum Stewart-Mike Britt.

Kirkham chanteuse Christie Lamb emulated fellow Sydney singer Melinda Schneider when she flew to the biggest song-writing mecca in the music world - Nashville.

She hooked up the progeny of a moonshiner to write for her debut album All She Wrote.

Lamb joined North Carolina moonshiner's son Skip Black in a famed fermented finishing school.

It was a decade after latter day Doris Day celebrant Schneider wrote memorable songs with Florida moonshiner's daughter and Aussie 2013 tourist Elizabeth Cook.

Lamb fuels lachrymose lava in Love Me Tonight with Black who penned the title track and sibling song What I Love About Love with Brian Maher.

Maher wrote Justin Moore hit Small Town U.S.A . - and is the son of veteran producer-hit writer Brent Maher.

So it's a fertile font Lamb sups from an album on which she co-wrote five of the 11 songs.

But let's not ham it up by drawing a small-goods link with Black who also penned Craig Morgan's new single Still a Little Chicken Left on That Bone and Eden Edge's debut Top 20 hit Amen .

I'm sure the writing sessions would have been an eye opener for Lamb if she delved into his liquid lineage like he did in a recent interview about his shining rural roots.

“Well my daddy ran shine and my mom washed clothes for all the local upper class,” Black revealed.

“We lived in a plywood house on the outer edge of the county line. My daddy found an old piano string in the junkyard one day when he was out looking for food. He brought it home and we nailed it to the front porch post and I noticed you could get some cool sounds out of it.”

It's not the same background as multi-instrumentalist Lamb who hails from near where English migrants John and Elizabeth Macarthur pioneered Merino sheep in the 1790s and exported the wool back to England from their Camden Park property while helping fuel the Rum Rebellion .

In more recent times Lamb and peers may have even sung for their supper at the famed El Caballo Blanco that opened as a Spanish dancing horse theme park in the 1970s where Macarthur's Merinos once roamed.

Unlike the plethora of pop puppets swinging from strings in our suburbia, cities and reality TV she hooked up with some roads scholars from the school of hard knocks in Nashville .

She decamped Western Sydney University as a Bachelor Of Music student to write with vastly different mentors and tutors.

It was a far cry from her previous pen pals Jay Collie and Jasper Somerville-Collie who helped out on her indie EP after she graduated from the acclaimed Campbelltown High School music program that led to her four-year degree.

The 2012 Tamworth Star Maker finalist penned a brace of songs during a sojourn, just five months later, with Music City songsmiths.

Christie, now 21, also played singing sailor Jimmy Buffett's famed Margaritaville bar on Lower Broadway with Geelong born Adam Harvey and expatriate Australian duo O'Shea.


“He ain't no saint, sleeps in on Sundays/ calls girls baby, never asks their names/ done crime, small crimes, his record's far from clean.” - He's The Trouble - Christie Lamb-Jonathan Sora-English-Marcum Stuart-Mike Britt.

So maybe it's not surprising Christie delivers a salient whiskey warning here in Black tune All She Wrote where the abused woman leaves her boozed out beau.

But the wounded women in Lamb's songs never seem to fully recover.

She punctuates Love Me Tonight and What I Love About Love with another spirits soaked lament He's The Trouble .

The macho male lead is not the type the singer's character is likely to take home to meet mum.


Maybe if he lived further north in Sydney 's Wild West that problem may never arise - chaps with tatts are fertile fodder for gun toting gangsters and bikeless bikies who ride the ice and speed range.

But that's fertile fodder for social comment songs for a later album.

Here Lamb forgoes alcohol and ignites her fag igniter to burn up old memories of ruptured romances in Pass Me A Lighter that she penned with three partners.


“We never saw it coming/ love's a runaway train/ we could have started running/ but we looked the other way.” - Perfect Crime - Christie Lamb-Jonathan Sora-English-Robert Ellis Orrall.

So who else are Christie's new partners in rhyme?

Well, she found chart topping collaborator Robert Ellis Orrall in a well-worn learning curve for artists fleeing song challenged confines of Australian commercial radio and TV.

Massachusetts born Orrall, 59, had a 10 album solo and duet career as Orrall & Wright after scoring his first Top 40 single I Couldn't Say No with Carlene Carter whom we also feature in The Diary this week.

He wrote many hits for artists diverse as Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift, Ashton Shepherd, Shenandoah , Martina McBride, Michael Peterson and recent CMC Rocks The Hunter guests Clay Walker and Love & Theft .

His production clients included Swift, singing actress Lindsay Lohan and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

In 2002 Orrall and his two sons, Jake and Jamin of Jeff The Brotherhood, formed indie label Infinity Cat Recordings boasting fictitious indie rock group Monkey Bowl featuring Orrall as Bob Something .

In 2004 they scored infamy for Orrall song Al Gore that features a cameo by Tennessean Gore.

Meanwhile back to Christie whose album was produced by Brisbane based session serf Andrew Cochrane and shoots for a more country rock edge than current country pop fads.

She wrote Perfect Crime - an up-tempo song that features a runaway train as the metaphor for stolen love - with Orrall and Jonathan Sora-English.

It's radio friendly and perfect vehicle, so to speak, for Lamb's ascent to success that began with her assertive album entrée Broken Record , penned by prolific West Virginia singer-songwriter Rachel Proctor, now 39, and Matthew West.

The duo also collaborated on Something In The Way - another hook heavy up-tempo tune that enables Lamb to stretch her notes.


“He's got a tattoo on his right arm/ of a lasso round a bleeding heart/ last seen in a back road dive/ killing me with his blue eyes.” - Manhunt - Christie Lamb-Jonathan Sora-English-Bill De Luigi-Dustin James.

It's not clear if Lamb or her co-writers have a penchant for men with tattoos but the wanted male in Manhunt has also blown his wages or dole money on ink.

That's a most distinctive visual target - not just for trigger happy cop sharp shooters but for a woman who wants to bring her beau's “lips to justice.”

Lamb leaves the posse at home for her trip to a more blissful and nostalgia laced Wild West like Toby Keith, in Wish You Were A Cowboy where romance drenched sunsets replace lead sandwiches from the barrels of bandits guns.

It's no surprise the writers - Blair Morgan, Heather Morgan and Troy Verges - are regular chart climbers for their mainstream clients.

Lamb continues with a booze chaser in her fitting finale - Watered Down Whiskey from the pen of Bonnie Baker and Jonathan Cain.

Yes, former Journey, Bad English and Babys singer Cain, now 64, is the same bloke who wrote Jimmy Barnes hit Working Class Man that enjoyed a country gallop by rootsy country singer Lacy J Dalton.

Lamb is young and glamorous enough to illustrate her music with vivid videos that connect with the all-important youth market that is helping the genre invade suburbia without radio support.

She cites Texans Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves and The Pistol Annies among her musical mentors.

They write most of their own tunes so that's a lethal launch pad for longevity.

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