DIARY - 31 MARCH 2009 - ADAM BRAND INTERVIEW
BRAND - ENJOYS HELL OF A RIDE
to the sinners, here's to the saints/ here's to the people I'd like to
thank/ if we die tonight that'd be alright/ cos we had one hell of a ride."
- Hell Of A Ride - Adam Brand-Travis Meadows
Adam Brand needed inspiration for songwriting he went back to the
well - a hunting cabin owned by late legend Harlan Howard.
The cabin nestles outside Nashville in the shadows of the famed
Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Ironically the dry county was a fertile font for writing for Brand
and collaborators Travis Meadows and Mark Stephen Jones.
"We went to a log cabin in August last year for a week, just
near the old Jack Daniels distillery at Lynchburg," Brand,
39, told Nu Country TV.
"We drank a little during writing but that county is dry. Melanie
Howard - the widow of Harlan Howard - owns it. It's a holiday retreat.
The family go there - a classic American family cottage. On the
wall are stuffed large mouth bass - everything you would expect.
There are pictures of Harlan with fish he caught around the fireplace.
I took pictures on my mobile phone. If you can't write a song there
where can you write one."
weeklong sojourn - to fuel Brand's eighth album Hell Of A Ride
- was fruitful.
Of A Ride was one of the first we wrote," Brand revealed, "it
only took an hour. We were talking about my life being a hell of a ride
and Travis looked at me and said let's write that down.
Kissing The Phone also came pretty quick. It came from a phone
conversation Travis had with his wife. That came about pretty organically."
most of his disc, produced by Nashville hit maker Richard Landis, on two
trips to Guitar Town.
"I was first introduced to Richard by Steve Forde," Brand said.
"He went one step further and sent him some of my demos. We built
a relationship. We had meal and really hit it off musically. It happened
very quickly as well as he believed in the songs. It happened very organically.
I arrived there early in December. The first day in the studio was on
December 9 and I flew out of Nashville on January 7. That month also included
time off for Christmas and New Year. Richard organised top session players
- Paul Franklin on pedal steel and dobro, guitarist Brent Mason and others
including Steve Nathan and Jimmy Nichols."
was 5 foot 8 inches/ good with his hands/ left part of his childhood in
Vietnam." - That's A Man - Adam Brand-Michael Carr-Travis Meadows
wrote three other songs - That's A Man, Yesterday Was Beautiful
and Wondering - on a Nashville sojourn in January of 2008.
Those collaborations with Meadows featured a third writer - his Australian
peer Michael Carr.
That's A Man featured slices of life of Carr's dad Warren -
the legendary Johnny O'Keefe studio-TV musician and ABC-TV Play School
icon for 27 years - and Brand's father.
The song eulogises the life of a blue collar Vietnam veteran who passes
on wisdom to a son before he is laid to rest.
"It's not literal to the letter," confessed Brand, who has
won 12 Golden Guitars.
there are things in there that my dad said to me like don't throw the
first punch, don't drink too much. It's just passing down that fatherly
advice. My dad is still alive so I don't wish that one on him. While writing
the song we had all the timelines. This character has a couple of tattoos
on his arms and is really tough. My dad is in the car game, sells cars
and a spray painter. He's a salt of the earth Australian with a vegetable
garden out back. He goes fishing - a man's man. He didn't go to Vietnam
but was close to being conscripted. I was born in 1970 when he was 22."
granddaddy never went to church/ felt closer to God with his hands in
the dirt/ doing hard work, sun on his face/ sweat on his brow/ wind in
his hair." - Blue Sky Cathedral - Lunn-Jones.
Brand also found another narrative on a previous Nashville trip.
"It's an alternate look at faith," says Brand who spent his
early years at Colac and Wallington, near Geelong, with his mother and
stepfather - a pastor.
"It relates especially to Australians living on the land who don't
have to go to church to express their faith or whatever it is. It's a
beautiful story. I have always wanted to do a gospel album. I had this
song up my sleeve for a couple of years now. I had it before I recorded
Blame It On Eve. I tucked it away. Recording this album it seemed to fit.
I'm really glad we did - something I really love singing. I thought it
would have been snapped up by someone else before this. I felt chuffed
to find this song."
The writing by Brand and Meadows has attracted interest in the Nashville
"We had a couple of songs on hold in America for other artists,"
"But I'm not trying to jinx it by announcing whom."
It's a similar case to showcases for major record labels.
"I'm going back next week for a couple of little showcases in boardrooms,
not big ones," Brand said.
"I was asked to come back and sing for them. Richard Landis organised
BUSHFIRE BENEFIT CONCERT
and 2008 Australian of The Year Lee Kernaghan played a bushfire
concert at Traralgon on Sunday March 29.
Kernaghan, Brand, Noll Brothers and others performed at the Gippsland
Emergency Relief Concert.
And on Saturday April 4 Brand headlines a Whittlesea bushfire benefit
concert with fellow Golden Guitarist Catherine Britt.
Ross Buchanan, who lost a son and daughter in the fires, also performs
with his band Country Paydirt.
Former Nu Country FM DJ Leslie Avril and Nu Country TV host Mike
Brady are among other artists on the concert.
Brand visited Kinglake and Whittlesea after meeting local fans at
his Hobart concert on Black Saturday.
was doing a show in Hobart and had some people standing in the signing
line after the show from Whittlesea," Brand said.
came up and said 'we're flying back first thing in the morning."
They were not sure if their house was standing or not.
It spun me out. I went back in my room and watched the TV and thought
I've got to do something. I phoned Austar, Steve Forde and friends. I
thought this is terrible. Out of all that the concert started. I don't
know if they lost their house."
Brand volunteered his services away from the TV cameras.
"I spent four days at Whittlesea and Kinglake, just helping out unloading
trailers and trucks," Brand confessed.
"I didn't go there publicly. I just felt like I needed to do something,
just doing things like lifting boxes and having people crying in your
arms. It was terrible. They didn't know what to do. We need to be there
for them - not just now, but also in 6 months, 12 months."
ARIA Award winner Troy Cassar-Daley, Kernaghan and Noll played for volunteers
and survivors during the fires.
Meanwhile Brand is touring nationally to promote Hell Of A Ride
with concerts at Hallam Hotel on April 15 and York On Lilydale on April
Click Here for Tonkgirl's Gig Guide
for full details of Adam's tour and the Whittlesea festival.
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