After a triumphant 2016 that saw her touring the US, Europe and Australia plus being nominated for both Emerging Artist and Female Vocalist of the Year with Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent, reaching #8 on the US Bluegrass Junction album chart for her last album Part of Me and # 2 position on the US Bluegrass radio charts with her song ‘Little White Whiskey Lies’ Kristy Cox is most certainly on a roll.
Kicking off 2017 winning Bluegrass Recording of the Year at the Golden Guitar Awards Kristy shortly afterwards signed a new record deal with America’s premier bluegrass label Mountain Fever Records to record her new album Ricochet available here for Tamworth festival, out Jan 19th.
I caught up with the lovely Kristy via Skype from her home outside of Nashville to talk all things Ricochet and her life in Nashville…she was actually in her car about to drive into the city to play a rare hometown gig.
Kristy, “It’s the quickest album (producer) Jerry Salley and I have done, it was really exciting, my new label Mountain Fever told me “we want the finished thing by the first of October” and this was mid June so it just kinda happened!”
I think you are developing a more unified sound and drifting more fully into the traditional bluegrass genre.
“I keep getting more traditional by the album. I think it’s the influence of playing the Bluegrass festivals over here.”
Unlike what fellow South Australian Kim Warner and his partner Carol Young did with The Greencards when they left Australia for the US, they drifted further from a traditional bluegrass approach to I guess what would be considered more Americana.
“I kinda did the opposite, I think I was always a little more contemporary, I was difficult to categorise, I confused people…is she a country singer or is she a bluegrass singer? Australia would call me a bluegrass singer and America would call me an acoustic country singer. For my first album here someone called me a country pop bluegrass singer…I don’t even know what that means!”
They probably didn’t either!
“I noticed this week with the new single coming out it simply said Kristy Cox bluegrasser from Australia… so I guess I’m there!”
So would that be the influence of producer Jerry Salley?
“Jerry is probably more country than I am….when we’re picking songs he’ll lean more towards the country songs than me. A lot of his 80’s/90’s hits were country songs but he can write just about anything, the guy’s incredible but we both try to make sure we’ve got a good mix, not just straight ahead bluegrass…..I’ll usually pick the soppy ballads.”
So what’s the soppy ballad for this album?
“That would be ‘A Bed This Cold’…which is a duet with Brandon Rickman.”
What a great voice!
“Yeah, he’s the lead singer for the Lonesome River Band, they are a huge bluegrass band here that’s been around for twenty years…actually just last night they got inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with Alan Jackson…..so to have him singing on the album was just fantastic! I was originally going to be doing it with Darryl Worley, he actually contacted me to do a duet but we couldn’t get the timing right and Brandon Rickman wrote the song with Jerry. He did a beautiful job particularly considering it was recorded an octave lower to suit Darryl.”
So how’s life there in Nashville? You’ve been there how long now?
“I’ve been here four years now and it’s great! I miss home…I miss Australia…I’m always going to be an Aussie!”
What do you miss?
As the torrent of laughter subsides I tell her, that’s definitely going in the article….you’ve dobbed yourself in there!
She composes herself and explains….
“I obviously miss my parents, I haven’t been home since January and I’m not planning to go home until next January so this is my longest time away – every other year I’ve been back touring, playing festivals etc. This year I’ve been too busy doing that here and my schedule with the new label etc. but I do miss home and I’ll always be an Australian, I miss the sarcasm, the food, decent coffee…lots of stuff!”
You sound like a busy girl?
“Well apart from music; I have a friend here and we are starting an Australian coffee company, so we’ve got the Espresso machine ready, and at the moment we’re distributing pies and sausage rolls, so I do get a taste of home!”
What? This is a commercial enterprise?
“Yeah when I’m not playing music this is what I do. It’s called Boomerang Australian Pies.
You’ve got a shop?
“No, we do home delivery.”
What a great idea, so how did you come up with that?
“Well they don’t have them here.”
But is there a demand?
“Right now we just share it on the Aussies in Nashville page and we get a bunch of orders every week, all the fellow Aussies that want a taste of home, its great!”
That’s such a cool idea, I love it, very enterprising!
“We’ve got a food van. A 1963 Airstream that we’ve decked out, and next year we’ll be taking it out on the road with me to all my festivals and selling pies and coffee when I’m not on stage!”
So are you turning the Americans on to it?
“Yeah we are! When you say ‘pie’ they automatically think apple pie, or apricot pie.”
Yeah, they don’t think meat pie do they – you can’t really get a meat pie there can you?
“Well you can now!!
…read the full story in Issue 87