JUST over a week ago, Brunswick Heads-based ‘coastal country’ singer-songwriter and mum of four sons, Kathryn Jones, was lapping up the spotlight at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, launching her second album ‘Yesterday’s News’.
It’s the first time Kathryn has been invited to play at Tamworth, which she describes as a ‘real privilege and confidence boost’, particularly since she returned to her music career just two years ago after a 14-year hiatus spent caring for her growing family.
As well as playing her own gigs at Tamworth, Kathryn was busy supporting the acclaimed Clelia Adams and the River Valley Express at three sold-out shows.
“It was a totally amazing experience. One minute I’m at home up to my armpits cooking and washing and the next thing I’m all hammed up in my hat and boots, band in tow strumming and singing my guts out to hundreds of people,” she said.
“It was an incredible buzz playing to so many people and receiving praise from high calibre country musicians was a definite highlight.”
The title of Kathryn’s new album, ‘Yesterday’s News’, was inspired by her extended break from singing and song-writing to focus on family life with husband Phil, Sebastian 16, Jasper 14, Oliver 11, Kasey-Joe 9 and lots of chooks.
“I’d long wondered how I was going to fit back into the music industry – which got me thinking about whether I was just going to be ‘yesterday’s news’?” she said.
“I’m sure other mums out there know how hard it is, after years of concentrating on your family, to have the guts to really get out there and put yourself on the line.
“Music is so much a part of me and who I am, I don’t see it as a choice – apart from family, music is really it for me.”
Kathryn’s focus and determination has paid off already. Her return to music saw her produce EP ‘Oh Brother Come Home’ in 2007 which won Best Lyrics at the 2009 Dolphin Awards.
‘Yesterday’s News’ is the next step for her musically and she has her fingers crossed for an invitation to play alongside other talented local musicians at the Bluesfest in April.
In the meantime, her schedule is filling up fast with gigs booked as far afield as Invacargill, in southern New Zealand.
“The big challenge though is juggling all of this and living with five males – it’s very intense,” she said.
The boys agree. With mum on the road, they have had to learn to do the cooking and cleaning and wash their own clothes.
And they each have a veggie patch to tend so they can sell produce to the local health food store and make some pocket money.
They say they are proud of their mum and the success of her new album and happy she is doing what she loves, and although she is away a lot they get on fine without her.
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