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To discover what makes rising country star Harmony James tick, all you have to do is take a journey through her music. She leaves a trail of tantalising clues and evocative images that provide an insight into her past and personality. Tailwind, her debut album of ???09, was surrounded by a slew of accolades: breakthrough awards from VCMA and APRA, Golden Guitar nominations for Best Female Artist and Best Album, eight Top Ten songs on the National Country Music Charts and first prize (for the title track) in the country division of Nashville???s International Songwriting Competition. Harmony???s remarkable back story as a church-born, outback-bred voice comes into its own with her second album Handfuls Of Sky. And Harmony has plenty of inspiration to draw on, with a life story straight out of a classic country song.
Born in Melbourne to a Baptist preacher, as one of 12 children, she had an unusually sheltered childhood, home schooled and relatively isolated from other kids. Growing up in Cairns, she discovered the writings of western novelist Louis L???Amour and traditional country music - both of which had a huge influence on the direction her life would take. ???When I was a teenager, I loved reading those old western novels, and that was the dream I chased as an adult. It???s still very much part of who I am,??? she said. At the age of 14 she changed her name on a whim to Harmony, and as soon as she was old enough she headed off on her own western adventure, working all over outback Queensland where she ran a stock camp, before completing a degree in agriculture, specialising in beef cattle, then heading even further west - this time to the Northern Territory???s Barkly Tableland. The release of Tailwind fast-tracked her name onto country radio playlists and national tour posters alongside such stellar new fans as Kasey Chambers, Sara Storer, Troy Cassar-Daley and the McClymonts. ???I see Handfuls Of Sky as a record of emergence from one period of my life to the next,??? Harmony says. ???I feel like I???m displaying a lot. There are a lot of tracks which are basically me in a nutshell, though I don???t know how many people will recognise that.???
Harmony has firmly established herself as a talented and skilled songwriter, creating fresh music rich in insight, humour and with loads of appeal. She is one of the finest vocalists of her generation, both in terms of sheer vocal quality and her ability to interpret all the nuances and emotions of a song.
Number Of Pages: 40
Published: 1st March 2012
Dimensions (cm): 30.5 x 23.0