Multi-award-winning artist and Australian native, Kristy Cox delivers her 2nd release for Pisgah Ridge Records, (an imprint of Crossroads Label Group), packed with emotional songs sung from the heart by this true vocal powerhouse. Produced by award winning Nashville-based songwriter Jerry Salley, Part of Me, features interesting arrangements that often take unexpected turns, with a unique mixture of veteran, award-winning players, all in support of Cox's amazing vocal performance.
With a string of Top 10 hits in Australia, Kristy was awarded the first ever Bluegrass Recording of the Year Golden Guitar in 2015 for her track "One Heartbreak Away" from her previous CD Living for the Moment (Pisgah Ridge 2013). She is also a winner of the Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year honors at the 2013 Australian Independent Country Music Awards. (www.kristycox.com)
Hallels: Kristy, thank you for doing this interview with us. Being an Australian myself, I am so glad to be able to acquaint myself with another fellow Aussie. Let's start with your own journey, how did discover your calling to be a singer?
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a singer. I first got on stage at the age of 11 and ever since there is no place I would rather be, I feel more like myself when I am on stage singing than I do anywhere. I never imagined it would take me the places it has, I just love to play my music to new people.
Hallels: Is the country/bluegrass music scene in Australia any different compared to the US?
Obviously due to the population the industry is a lot smaller in Australia, however the bluegrass scene especially is getting bigger and bigger every year. This brings with it a real sense of family between the artists's and fans. Australia also has its own style of Country Music in it's bush ballads and Alt Country (essentially Americana) scenes.
Hallels: Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your new album "Part of Me." Did you approach this album any differently from your previous album?
I wanted to do an album which would be full of songs I wanted to play live, this album was more about showing people who I am now, and not focusing as much on where I have come from, this gave us a final product that is more Bluegrass than anything else I have ever released, and I love it!
Hallels: On this record you have worked with producer Jerry Salley. Recently, we just published an interview with Jerry. What did he bring to the record that you really appreciate?
This is my forth album with Jerry in the producer saddle, I couldn't imagine recording without him. He truly has had a remarkable effect on my career and growing me as an artist, both stylistically and vocally. He pushes me, sometimes to the point of tears haha, to get the best out of me and to show me that I can do things I didn't know I could do.
Hallels: Let's talk about some of the songs on the album. "Young Love Never Grows Old," I believe, is your tribute to your parents. How did your parents inspire you to pen this song?
My parents are the classic childhood sweethearts. They started dating when my mum was just 14 and dad was 16, married young and had my sister and I all before my mum turned 21. At the time, even though it was more common back then, they were told that they were too young and it was never going to last. They have now been married for over 30 years, and they still make each other smile, help each other through all of life's challenges and have really shown me that true love does exist and if you want it to work, it will. They have done a lot for me over my career, especially in the early years, I wanted to give them something in return. This songs is my gift to them.
Hallels: My personal favorite song off the album is "Daddy Never Prays Anymore." What's the story behind your choice of this song?
This song was written and recorded by Chris Stapleton, who since I recorded this song has become a superstar. I heard him sing this song and just knew I had to record it. It is just so beautifully written and has so much emotion to it.
Hallels: "Another Weary Mile," I believe, is your new single. For our readers who have not heard it, what's the song about? And why are you excited about it?
It's bluegrass through and through and has all the attitude and energy that I love about a bluegrass song. It tells the story of how life on the road isn't always as fun as people think it is. This is very true, sometimes lots of travel can take it's toll on you. I just loved the melody, the feel, and the banjo!
Hallels: On quite a few of the songs you do mention about faith and prayer. Can you tell s a little bit about your faith journey?
I come from a family with mixed views on religion. My mothers side are a mix of Church of England and Jehovahs Witnesses. My fathers side have no real religious backgrounds to speak of. Growing up in Australia religion isn't as prominent in society as it is here in the USA. I didn't go to church every week, and like most Australians, weddings and funerals are about the only time we went to church. However I have faith, in what or whom I don't really know, I guess this is a journey I am on to find myself and my own beliefs. I have always thought that faith comes from within yourself and finding strength in what you know in your heart is right.