I sat, I watched, I tapped my toes, I sang along when I knew the words (and, let's be honest, even when I didn't). As I did these things, I judged. I wasn't even aware I was doing it but I guess it was always there in the back of mind.
"Do I enjoy this style of music? Are they singing in tune? Do their original lyrics speak to me? Are they original? Is this cover better than the original? Is there a reason I'm hearing Folsom Prison Blues for the millionth time today?"
As I judged the different voices, skills and styles I came to develop a better sense of what I enjoy in country music and what it takes for a performer to impress me. So, why am I telling you all this? I want you to understand how I picked my Top 3 from the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
I wanted to highlight artists that have incredible songwriting skills, can confidently play at least one instrument and have that indefinable quality or charisma that allows you to happily sit and watch them for hours on end.
She's the whole reason we even went to Tamworth in the first place. Fanny did NOT disappoint. I've written about her and the Thrillseekers before HERE and basically I've played her EP on repeat ever since I got it and am eagerly awaiting her debut album release this year!
The find of the Festival! We looked these guys up online after seeing them in the guide book and knew straight away we HAD to see them live. We saw them first at Fan Zone and were instantly blown away. I just love their sound! When Tia mentioned that the song she was about to sing was about a farm once owned by her Mum's family in Bombala (a little town really close to my own hometown) I knew we were onto a winner. That song, Lord's Hill, has been stuck in my head ever since (check it out in the video below). I can't wait to see what's to come from these two... I'll definitely be keeping up to date and keeping an ear out on Triple J where they have just started to be played.
We saw Missy at Shoppingworld and thought her covers sounded great. Then, she explained the story behind her latest single and I thought "wow, this sounds like my sister's life exactly". I was excited to hear the song before it even started but once it did I knew straight away that I had to pre-order 'Til I Figure It Out'. Missy was just all around amazing, I'd love to see her perform again and can't wait til her new EP is released.
I had to mention just one more act (though there were plenty more I truly enjoyed). Dozzi sang two of my favourite songs that totally encapsulate my America experience so they earned instant brownie points for covering Cruise and Chicken Fried (check out their Dozzi-fried version below).
These girls are funny, entertaining and ofcourse, SUPER MUSICALLY TALENTED!