My Countrytown: Jess Ribeiro – Castlemaine, VIC

26 October 2021 | 1:42 pm | Mallory Arbour

To get to know shape-shifting musical enigma, Jess Ribeiro a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Castlemaine, Victoria.

Jess Ribeiro

Jess Ribeiro (Jess Ribeiro)

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Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Tamworth to Toowoomba to Noojee, we love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Jess Ribeiro.

Originally from Armidale in New South Wales, but now calling Castlemaine in Victoria home, Jess is a shape-shifting musical enigma. Her 2012 debut album, My Little River was an award-winning folk-country masterpiece while her second album (2015’s Kill It Yourself) was a slow-burning indie-noire masterpiece which left reviewers scrambling for superlatives.

Jess will play classic tracks and songs off her current album, LOVE HATE, as part of Play On Victoria – a series of events taking place across multiple outdoor stages throughout Ballarat, Warrnambool, Archies Creek, Avenel, Geelong, Halls Gap, Castlemaine and Bendigo, featuring an all-star line-up of local talent on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of October. But get in quick as some shows are already sold out and others are selling fast! Ticket info is available here.

To get to know Jess a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Castlemaine.

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Bush Tracks

In Castlemaine there are lots of bush tracks to walk along with beautiful tiny native flowers that pop up as the seasons change. I was lucky enough to see a spider orchard this year. 

Botanic Gardens

At the botanic gardens there’s a pair of powerful owls. This year, they had two owlets. Everyday people gather around to watch them sleep, guard their young and hunt. Powerful owls are the biggest owls in Australia. They’re hypnotizing. 

Cold Swimming

Cold swimming during winter at Golden Point (The Res) is becoming more popular. I took it up in winter to help with lockdown anxiety. It’s been life changing. 

Local Restaurant

The Taste of the Orient is a local yum cha restaurant that uses organic ingredients. I love it.  This place is very familial to me because my family are originally from Hong Kong and Yum Cha has been a big part of my family / food life. Hearing people speak Cantonese in the kitchen is a great comfort to me. If you go there, order off the dim sum and dumpling menu. 

The Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal is a beautiful venue for live music. I love playing in that hall. It’s got a standing area and seated area upstairs with old, studded leather seats to view performances. The stage is wooden with heavy curtains and is also used as a cinema. There’s a connecting restaurant and a beer garden outside. The Theatre does the best wood fired pizza in Australia. No sh*t. Pizza challenge on!

To keep up to date with Jess, follow her on Facebook here.

For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.

Image: Supplied