Top coun­try star to head­line fes­ti­val

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE -

One of New Zealand’s top coun­try stars Jody Direen will be the head­line per­former at next Jan­uary’s Wairarapa Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at Tauherenikau Race­course.

Direen, who has been de­scribed as The Queen of Coun­try will bring her fresh, con­tem­po­rary take on coun­try mu­sic to the fam­ily-friendly three-day fes­ti­val be­ing held from Fri­day, Jan­uary 12 to Sun­day Jan­uary 14.

Event or­gan­iser Matthew Sherry is thrilled to have Direen head­line the fes­ti­val and says the au­di­ence will be in for an evening of pure en­ter­tain­ment.

‘‘Jody has been wow­ing au­di­ences for the last five years with her mod­ern take on coun­try mu­sic and her stage pres­ence is amazing,’’ Sherry said.

‘‘To have her per­form along­side other top kiwi mu­si­cians who bring their tra­di­tional take on coun­try mu­sic will be mar­vel­lous. To­gether they will en­ter­tain fes­ti­val-go­ers at Tauherenikau with a range of coun­try mu­sic styles and help cre­ate a week­end to re­mem­ber.’’

Direen was born in Mos­giel, raised in Wanaka and first took up play­ing guitar at the age of nine, after be­ing in­tro­duced to it by her grand­mother. She has since gone on to have an ex­cit­ing ca­reer in New Zealand, Aus­tralia and the United States after sign­ing with ma­jor record la­bel, ABC Mu­sic. Her cur­rent al­bum Shake Up won a Tui Award for Best Coun­try Al­bum at the 2017 NZ Coun­try Mu­sic Awards and in 2015 she was won Coun­try Mu­sic Fe­male Artist of the Year as well as Best Vo­cal­ist of the Year.

She says her con­tem­po­rary take on coun­try mu­sic is some- thing new to New Zealand and she hopes she can help change Ki­wis at­ti­tude to coun­try mu­sic.

‘‘I think some New Zealan­ders still have a stereo­typ­i­cal view of coun­try mu­sic shaped by the greats like Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers.

‘‘I see my­self as part of a new wave com­ing through glob­ally with my own songs and per­for­mances hav­ing a more pop and rock in­flu­ence,’’ she said.

‘‘I en­cour­age peo­ple who are new to this style to come along to the Wairarapa Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val and lis­ten as I am sure they will love it. My per­for­mance will be high en­ergy, with a few in­ti­mate acous­tic guitar tracks, but with the sup­port of my band I will rev it up so peo­ple can get up and dance and have an amazing night.’’

Direen’s head­lin­ing per­for­mance will be in the evening on Satur­day, Jan­uary 13.

Jody Direen will head­line the 2018 Wairarapa Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Jan­uary.

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