The first volume of a compilation album featuring some of New Zealand's best country music talent, will be launched this month.
‘Best Kept Kiwi Secrets’ - the brainchild of Kiwi Country TV - showcases a range of local artists who continue to achieve success both at home, in Australia, and at an international level.
From distinguished country artists - Brendan Dugan, Jodi Vaughan and The Warratahs - to the current stars - Kaylee Bell, Jody Direen, and Liam Kennedy-Clark - it celebrates the very best that Kiwi country has to offer.
Kiwi Country TV spokesperson Aly Cook said New Zealand has a fantastic new generation of country artists who are very much ‘hidden talent’ in their own country.
With few outlets for recorded country music on commercial television and radio, it is often hard for the New Zealand public to hear the new and exciting music available.
"The reach of country music, from any country for that matter, to the New Zealand general public is not great," she says. "However, there is a growing grassroots country music industry that is producing new music that tells our stories. These artists are gaining chart status as they are being played heavily on community and commercial radio alike in Australia, as well as worldwide."
‘Best Kept Kiwi Secrets’ presents new young, independent country-pop artists from the south, including Kayla Mahon, Kelvin Cummings, along with those who have headed overseas, such as Jackie Bristow, now based in the USA, with her beautiful country ballad ‘Warrior Spirit’.
Add to this a duet with Opshop’s Jason Kerrison, and Ex Kiwi FM ‘s Fleur Jack, who now is Fleur Wood with husband Wesley Wood in a duo called The W Lovers, with their track ‘Old Town’.
‘Sunshine Good Times’ seems an appropriate single for duo NeillyRich, Blenheim’s Matthew McNeilly and his Australian wife Amelia McNeilly, who are based in Sydney, have been topping the ARIA charts and Australian Top 40 Country Tracks airplay Chart.
Another Aussie-based artist, Liam Kennedy-Clark, offers up the single ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’, and alt-country musician, Matt Joe Gow and Katya Harrop gift us with a stunning song, ‘Flowers in your Hair’. Kevin Greaves, who spent 15 years in Nashville, presents ‘Daddy’s Radio’ interpreting the story of his Kiwi country music pioneer father, the great Rusty Greaves who travelled from New Zealand to perform Nashville's Grand Old Opry 11 times.
New Zealand recording artist, Aly Cook, whose album ‘Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel’ saw five number #1s on the Australian Top 40 Country Tracks airplay Chart, delivers her hit song ‘Western Line', which features the familiar fiddle of Nik Brown of Warratahs' fame, and a guest vocal spot from Brendan Dugan, who also adds to the CD ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ written by Kiwi Songwriting Piano legend, Ritchie Pickett.
Husband and wife 2018 Tui nominees for New Zealand Country Artist of the Year 2018, Phil Doublet and Lana Doublet, provide a sample of their music with ‘Suitcase’ from Phil’s album ‘Strength, Love, Music & Light’ and ‘Drive-Bye’ from Lana’s album, ‘Beautiful Human’.
An offering with a difference is the swinging country of New Zealand cricket legend, John Wright, featuring one of his tales of international cricketing in the title track of his album, ‘Red Skies’.
The Sou’Westers’ combo of Aly Cook, Liam Ryan of the Narcs, and Dean Hetherington of the Coalrangers, also bring us the title track from their album ‘Going West’. Their alt-country style/RNB-vibe sits perfectly alongside newly-released Tony Lee, with the first single from his album of the same name, ‘So far from the Truth’. Newcomer Sharon Miller rounds out the album with country-rock track, ‘Kick my Boots Off.’
The album release is sponsored by Key 2 Artist Promotions, with the support of Creative New Zealand, and is available on iTunes as a bundle and direct via www.key2store.com
All proceeds from the sale of the CD, after royalty payments to the artists, goes back to keeping Kiwi Country TV going.
Kiwi Country TV is an independent non profit VOD Channel that features music videos, interviews and live performances from Kiwi Country Artists www.kiwicountry.tv which also has it’s episodes playing in the UK and across Europe on the www.keepitcountry.tv channel out on Freeview SKY and FREESAT.