Country music poster girl Beccy Cole performs not only for die-hard country fans but to concert goers who just like beautiful music.
Nine time Golden Guitar winner Beccy Cole and her country music comrades will soon be mixing it with the slick and kitsch Broadbeach skyline, alongside music lovers who want to let a little bit of country into their soul. Described as one of the funniest women in music, the Broadbeach Country Music Festival has beckoned Beccy and her band to play songs from her recently released album Sweet Rebecca. Tiffany Mitchell spoke to Beccy Cole before her Saturday night performance to discuss the urban interest in country music, her new album, her CM friends and the ‘Beccy Cole’ take on merging music styles.
“I havealways come to the Gold Coast since I started touring 20 years ago to Seagulls and Twin Towns,” says Beccy. “There is a consistent audience in Queensland in particular – it doesn’t matter where you go – but yes the appeal for country music and the audiences have grown. I also think that country music by women has evolved – the subject matter has changed – it has gotten more honest, more interesting, daring and brave.”
Listening to Beccy Cole’s songs they never feel manufactured – this is evident on her latest album, Sweet Rebecca, herself describing song writing as “the more honest you are, the better song it’s going to be.” Asking her to nominate from the twelve songs, the song and stanzas she is most proud of, Beccy says, “I was motivated to write the album after the book Poster Girl. I was so keen to write songs. From the book came many personal ideas to write about – but I’m most proud of the title song Sweet Rebecca. No-one has called me Rebecca in so many years – compiling the book I came across a picture of myself aged seven I hadn’t seen before. It was like staring at another person. I saw that seven year old and the song was written, warning her of the life ahead of her.” Beccy quotes the lyrics from Sweet Rebecca; “I came across a photograph of me / looks about a hundred sins ago/ I could tell that girl a thing or two/ save about a thousand bad mistakes.” “There were also a thousand dreams to chase – and they keep increasing,” she says laughingly.
The close bond between country music women is well known and well documented in Australia, Beccy laughs, “It sounds cheesy but we are all in it together – we share the same interests – we are a minority. Kasey Chambers has been my best friend since I was a kid – we share the same kind of bond. Gina Jeffreys has been a close friend for twenty years, so has Golden Guitar winner Lyn Bowtell, and Catherine Britt with her health issues – we have been rallying around her. My great friend Kate Ceberano once said she really digs what we have – we all hang out with each other – I’m proud of that.”
When talking of her band accompanying her onstage on Saturday she proudly says, “It’s my regular touring band; Libby O’Donovan on piano, Mick Albeck on Fiddle, Ali Foster on Drums – I try and keep a gender balance, Sean Rudd on Bass – he’s been with me for fifteen years and played on my album Songs and Pictures. On this tour Brendan Radford plays guitar – as my regular guitarist Mickey Pye won the Star Maker competition and is now recording in Nashville!”
Blank poses this question to Beccy Cole; if she had to describe her sound with musical style slashes such as; indie/pop, indie/rock, country/blues – how would she re-label her country music sound? With typical Beccy Cole humour she laughs, “Country/split… country/fresh – you know as in white sliced bread!” She concludes, “There is so much under the heading of country music – let’s just leave it at that!”
Beccy Cole will perform at Broadbeach Country Music Festival on Saturday 20 June on the Surf Parade stage at 8.55pm. Check out the artist lineup and program.