“I roam the streets where we used to live/ and in my mind you're still there/ something takes me back to where memories burned/ and my heart waits for you there/ we tried to find some reason to explain/ but somehow one never came/ and I recall all the games we played/ that nobody won at all.” - I Roam The Streets - Vanessa Delaine.

Spare a prayer for West Wodonga belle Vanessa Delaine who should be blessed for celebrating her longevity by releasing a re-mastered CD version of her fourth album One Girl Band - 25 Years.

On arrival in Australia at 16 the expatriate Christchurch born singer-songwriter lived in Sydney and Melbourne before moving to Wodonga - south of Albury

But the latter-day twin city troubadour who lives due south of the Murray Dixon line off Highway 31 shares a geographical gulch with many peers.

The Covid-19 pandemic prevents Vanessa returning to her homeland to perform to promote her dual debut disc, replete with the three-track bonus CD.

And the music teacher is not permitted to drive north to Albury from her home in Wodonga.

“Yes, it has been crazy with the Albury/Wodonga border being closed,” Vanessa revealed as she promoted her disc that features Wendy Ford on backing vocals.

“I teach singing at a school 65 km south of Wodonga in Wangaratta, so I cannot get a permit or go over to Albury without isolating for 14 days.

“That is a bit of an obstacle because one of my kids had an appointment at the paediatrician last week and I had to get someone else to take him.”

But Checkpoint Charlie has not stopped radio exposure.

New single One Girl Band soared Top 40 Country Songs Australian Airplay chart and Tasmanian Country Top 40.

It also reached #2 in Europe indie country charts and #7 in USA indie country charts.

Vanessa also scores radio exposure in Albury despite her inability to cross the Murray.

“My partner is a radio presenter in Albury at 2REM 107.3FM and many of the presenters are coming from Wodonga,” Vanessa explained.

“He said you just can't guess what the traffic is going to be like at the checkpoint.”

The pandemic also impacted Vanessa's teaching and communication with her students.

“Yes, with Victoria being stage 3 we are stuck in remote learning. I'm only at both schools for a fraction of my usual time. Ordinarily, I would be teaching vocals at Wangaratta 2.5 days a week and Singing and Piano at Bandiana 2 days a week. The schools are Cathedral College , Wangaratta and Bandiana Primary School , Wodonga.

“I'm just supervising classes at Bandiana at the moment during remote learning - it's completely different to teaching 1 on 1. Thank goodness I'm not a teacher. But I'm managing to do singing over the internet with the students at Cathedral although it's not all of my usual ones.”


“I watched as the bus pulled out of Anaheim/ with saddened eyes and a heavy heart/ it had been six months since you'd broken the news to me/ and all the time I wanted you to change your mind.” - Anaheim - Vanessa Delaine-Lenore Bailey.

They are among the traumas faced by Vanessa and many peers in these turbulent times.

What about the songs that launched her recording career 25 years ago?

“It's been an amazing journey so far and given the love the songs are getting and the charting success of the first 2 singles How Can He Love You and One Girl Band,” Vanessa explained.

She recorded One Girl Band nine months after suffering a back injury at 24 in a car accident that stalled her career that now enjoys longevity.

“I have plenty of songs not yet recorded,” Vanessa revealed.

“I have an album in production with Michael Carpenter which is probably going to get completed next year sometime. I'm taking it super slow and not rushing it as having fun with my new album/current release.”

And album title track One Girl Band ?

“I wrote this song as theme song and even today it is still one of my favourites off the album,” says Vanessa who was awarded Top 5 female vocal at Tamworth 's National Talent Quest in 1996.

It was the only original song performed that year.

“I also have a video made in 1995 that is old but almost a one of a kind given its age and the imperfections make it even more interesting,” Vanessa explained.

Vanessa's musician dad loved the song so much he phoned everyone he knew to play it to them over the phone.

The album featured two songs co-written by her dad who died suddenly a week after they were recorded in 1995 and before the disc was finished.

The new CD was released on May 2 - 2020.

“It was actually Dad's 25th anniversary and this year instead of feeling sad I wanted to celebrate,” Vanessa proudly recalled.

“One day I might record some of his songs that I have in his old song book and I will honour him with that acknowledgement if I do that. But really this album needs to be focused on me and I just want people to enjoy the album for what it is; a great bunch of songs I recorded in Sydney with Glenn Langford.”

The singer also detailed her source of historic songs including Anaheim.

“I wrote Anaheim a couple of months after my Dad died,” Vanessa recalled of her mentor father.

“I was still feeling raw and decided I wanted to put the feelings of him being devastated that he was ripped out of my life in a song but in a new setting. I felt I'd already written enough I miss you songs. I wanted to write something contemporary and had been searching record stores for Australian female country music singers but there was not much there so I turned to Trisha Yearwood for my inspiration.

“The name Anaheim was a name I picked out of an Atlas and it sounded like a pretty place. I had no idea of the distance from Anaheim to Hollywood although on the map in the Atlas it looked like it was OK. I think the bus number was the bus I caught to work in Sydney but it didn't matter as it just had to sound like it belonged. Lenore Bailey was my housemate. I bounced the song off her while I was writing it and think she suggested changing verse two slightly so I added her as a song writer on APRA. Very generous of me but basically I wrote it.”

She reached back to childhood in Christchurch suburb Darfield for I Roam The Streets.

“I Roam The Streets was definitely not a search for an unmanned border crossing,” Vanessa quipped.

“It was written in my late teens. I was grappling with the mix of unhappy and happy moments I'd felt when we lived in Darfield. It felt like the song needed to be a little bit blurry so that it could be understood without saying too much. I think I was still learning how to articulate this with lyrics.”

That's a snapshot of the autobiographical One Girl Band birth.

What about future promotion of the album?

“We did a Facebook livestream album launch in May,” Vanessa explained.

“I'd love to do a tour of the album and see some of the country again. Especially NSW, Victoria , South Australia and maybe Tassie.”

CLICK HERE for Vanessa's third album Wild And Free CD feature in the Diary on November 20, 2017.

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