|Contact: Proud & True Artist Management
PO Box 5016
SOUTH TAMWORTH NSW 2340
''There's nothing like that moment where you look into a punter's eyes when you're singing a song and they're singing the song with you and you can see you've taken them from their normal daily life to this whole different world - they've come into your world.''
For Aussie country singer-songwriter Col Finley it's the feeling derived from this special musical connection with his audience that keeps him hungry for more and striving to constantly give his best.
''When I'm on the stage it really is my patch of paradise,'' Col says. ''My live show has been the biggest credit of my career. The albums that I've produced and put out there have been great and have showcased the songwriting, but I'm yet to let the nation know about what I do on stage.''
So after a string of four successful album releases, the most recent being 2010's sensational Paradise, Col has decided to focus attention on producing a live DVD and CD.
''We want to try and capture the energy of the live show and get that across on the DVD and the live album. And we want that to come out in the next 12 months.''
From album one, Before The Storm, to now, Col's music has shifted quite dramatically, from his self professed ''pub country'' stylings to a now somewhat smoother contemporary sound. It's a shift that's been winning him much in the way of industry and fan support.
''I guess it comes down to maturity - in the music industry as well as in me,'' says Col. ''I suppose changes in life, having the family... it grounds you a little more and you focus on the depth of the music and not just the song.''
Over the years Col has earned a loyal following, based not only on his live performances and recorded material, but his hard work ethic and authenticity, which is something he in turn admires about the very genre he has chosen as his own.
''I think country is the realism of life,'' he said. ''In country music you're telling a story about something that has happened to you or around you and you get a sense that it's real. No offence to the rock industry or the pop industry, but I don't get that from those styles of music. That's the reason I chose to do country music in the earlier days. I had a lot of opportunities to play in rock and pop bands and I couldn't do it because I didn't feel like I was telling my true story.''
While many of Col's stories are told via the words of his songs, some newcomers may benefit from hearing a little of his back story.
His first taste of Australia came at age 18 when he joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a Police Dog Handler. It was during this time that he also realised how deep his passion for songwriting truly was.
In 1994 he started touring with his first band, developing his own style of country music, which lyrically drew heavily from the heart and his real life experiences.
After gaining a publishing deal with ABC Music Publishing, Col's music found its way onto both the small screen, via television series including MDA, Real Sea Change and Getaway, as well as on cinema screens, via cult Australian horror film Wolf Creek.
It's no surprise that Col has notched up his share of awards, recurring festival appearances (including Tamworth, Mud Bulls & Music and Gympie) and has toured extensively overseas, including having played shows in Nashville, Texas and New Orleans. And as well as country chart success, Col's 2008 single, Get Your Country On, landed at number four on the ARIA Pop Charts - not a bad feat for an independent Australian country artist.
Col says that there is plenty to be excited about in 2011, starting with the live project and continuing with the exploration of several new opportunities which may just lead to him become a household name - more on that most certainly to follow later in the year.
For now though, touring, far and wide around Australia will be very much the case.
''It's going to be a year of people seeing Col Finley, not just hearing me,'' he said.
Keep watching this space!
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