I can't recall if I have said I'm a musician on this blog before. I probably have but when you get to my age memory gets messed up by years of alcohol abuse and record companies slamming the door on the back of your head. Some years ago due to the paralysis in my arm, I hung up my guitar, switched off the microphone and resolved to be content with my memories (however hazy they may be).
Enter stage left one seriously switched on guy. Personal development coach to some of the top exec's in the USA, he heard my music (live and recorded), realised I had movement back in my arm and dragged me kicking and screaming to a cafe in the West End of Brisbane.
"You can sing"
"You can write songs"
"You have a unique brand of Country"
Wait...I have what? My head rushed through all the years of recording and playing live to try and pinpoint the moment I did Country.
"I don't do Country. I hate Country." I protested. "I do light rock, the blues and occasionally stray into heavier rock but I don't do Country."
His laughter made me realise he was having none of it. He asked me there and then if I would write an album worth of songs in a year. Short of cash since the paralysis and short of facilities I told him they would have to be "Nebraska" type songs.
"Springsteen locked himself in a bedroom and recorded the album "Nebraska" on a cassette tape as demos - the songs had such a unique melancholy sound they were released with little professional sound intervention. I have a little portable recording unit. I'll do demos on it in my bedroom, but I aint going to a studio until I have a whole album worth of songs."
I wrote the first about a year ago. I played it to my closest friends and listened to my own brand of rock coming out of the speakers at me. The first friend piped up "Good Country song mate. You could do something with that."
"Good what? COUNTRY song?"
A second friend confirmed the opinion of the first.
I grabbed an old CD of mine with 4 tracks on it released as an extended single in Britain (and died a sudden death) and pushed it into the player. "What kind of music would you describe this as?"
They listened patiently.
"Country" They both agreed.
I wrote a second song and gave it a progression and tempo which were unmistakably 'Blues'.
I touted it around before getting an e-mail from an intermediary.
"Hey Rory, great song, heaps of potential. It's being looked at right now by **** ****** as a possible single"
I hadn't heard of him before so reached for Wikipedia - My heart sank 'A top Australian Country music artist'
"I don't do Country." I thought to myself. I looked at his profile again on Wikipedia and realised just how much money this guy must make. I fired off an email to the intermediary "Thanks John, let him know I've always loved Country and happy to write Country any day of the week. I have an extensive back catalogue of country songs if he wants to listen. He just needs to ask."