COUNTRY IN SOUL OF BRITT
When she was 11, Catherine Britt saw Bill Chambers perform. She went up to him and shyly made a request, to play a song by country great Jimmie Rodgers.
Chambers was impressed, since Rodgers died in 1933, more than 50 years before Britt was born.
Chambers became Britt’s long-time mentor, producing or co-producing her first five albums and helping Britt emerge as one of Australia’s most popular country singersongwriters.
But for album Boneshaker, released last month, Chambers suggested it was time for her to explore elsewhere. The album was recorded with American producer Ryan Hadlock at his Bear Creek studio outside Seattle, where he recorded The Lumineers album (and mega hit Ho Hey) and Australian Vance Joy’s debut album smash, Dream Your Life Away. Was Britt nervous? You bet. “I was afraid it could be awful, so I was over-prepared. Needlessly, because Ryan turned out to be everything I wanted for this record and I worked with the best of the best of Seattle musicians, the studio backing bands of The Lumineers and Vance Joy combined.”
A number of songs on Boneshaker have a philosophical streak, reflecting on the nature of life in the public eye. The Way That It Goes is about celebrities who crash and burn and the artists who live with always being judged.
“That’s one of my favourites,” she says.
“I was really proud of it when I finished it because it totally said what I wanted to say. It’s the way society is. We are so quick to judge and point out someone’s faults. That can be so harsh at times.
“You have to let it go and accept you can’t be perfect, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s OK.’’
Catherine Britt will perform at Broadbeach.