We caught up with emerging country-pop artist, Maddy Andrews to find out what she loves about Gloucester, NSW.
Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Ballarat to Toowomba, Bendigo to Tamworth, 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 Maddy Andrews.
Growing up in Gloucester, NSW and exploring Australia, Europe, Asia and America including her favourite destination, Nashville, Maddy’s small town roots can’t halt her aspirations to be among the leading female voices in country music. Driven by a passion for all aspects of writing, creating and performing her original music – her eclectic sound reflects her country, folk and pop influences fused with the raw honesty in her lyrics.
Maddy has explored her sound and honed her storytelling which led her to create and release her 5-track debut EP, Crossroads, in early 2019 with a sold-out launch. That same year, Maddy was a runner up in a Warner Music Australia cover competition that required a video cover of singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin’s hit, Let Me Down Slowly.
The emerging country-pop artist recently released her newest single. Co-written with Jake Davey (who also produced the track), Memory I Can't Forget, features a focused and driven rhythm section complemented by vocal lines that romanticise the memories of your adolescence, and finding and losing love. Maddy will release her forthcoming second studio EP very soon.
We caught up with Maddy to find out what she loves about Gloucester, NSW.
From a young age, endless hours were spent at the family farm. Us kids would entertain ourselves making rapids in the river to ride on boogie boards, cutting through bamboo to make mud slides, riding around on peewee 50s and our pa’s quad (usually a little too fast for his liking), helping in the yards and loading cattle into the truck, even adding bricks to the seat of the tractor so the engine would start. From daybreak to the day’s end, our imaginations would run rampant making our own fun outdoors. It was a simple childhood; one I’ll cherish forever.
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Everyone knows everyone and it has always been a guaranteed support network. Gloucester people always rally together to support people in need, support a local event or in my case support my music. Whether that was my first and very shaky live performance or now when they buy tickets to a show or buy my CDs knowing they don’t have a CD player any more. They know they will listen to it online, but they also know the $10 for a CD supports me to record my next song or EP and that’s why they buy it. They want to see me succeed, to be chasing and achieving my dreams. I see the same faces at my shows, commenting on my posts, sharing my releases and sometimes I may not have met them, but often we share something, Gloucester is our hometown and that connects us.
I am and will always be so appreciative of the support the Gloucester community has given me and I only hope that I can give back to my hometown in my years to come.
One of the funniest and fondest memories I have of community support is a talent show that I was in the final round for in Sydney. There was a people’s choice award and all you had to do was text my name to this number. Unbeknownst to me, my sister sent a message to pretty much the entire Gloucester community saying, ‘Text Maddy to this number so she can Win People’s choice award for talent show’. The MC for the night announced they had never received so many entries in the history of the show and I’d won. My community always shows up.
I was always involved in something creative growing up. I was either singing in the mirror, making my parents watch a dance routine I had made up with my friends or starring my very own cooking show with my sister. Despite being a small town there was always opportunity to be creative. My parents have always worked hard to give me the opportunity to learn new skills. You don’t appreciate the time, money and effort it takes for a parent to support their child to learn a sport or go to dance lessons or learn a new instrument. As a kid you just think, I’d like to do that, but there are countless hours of their time and lots of money required to support any activity. I can see all of that now and know that those opportunities are a privilege to have had that I will always be grateful for.
In high school, I taught myself guitar on an old rusty steel string guitar my dad had, it was painful to say the least to learn my very first two chord song. I spent countless lunchtimes in the music room writing, practising and performing. My passion for music has sustained because I always have someone in my corner willing to be the honest critic, the passion booster and the unconditional support whenever I need it, I am extremely lucky. I write this looking at my guitars on the wall and my piano beside me, just waiting for a new song to be written.
Gloucester is a small country town, although it has peak periods there is always a serenity and calm that washes over me every time I come home. When I am walking through the main street, knowing the names and faces of the people passing me by, the shop owners asking how I’ve been and how they’ve been following my journey. It just makes me feel so connected back to the people and the town I grew up in. I don’t think you get that same experience in every town, but I certainly still have it.
I love watching a sunset over rolling hills, a fire stoked and pizza from the oven my mum and dad built on its way. Precious time with people that I love, in the town I love, spending time sharing stories and making memories to cherish. It is such a beautiful part of this world and if you haven’t been there, it is time for a weekend trip.
Most of my childhood memories don’t include a phone. I remember running from the bus into the house to ring my best-friend from the home phone to talk about our days and organise our next visit to each other’s house. (We had just spent the entire day together). I look back with hindsight and love that you just arranged to meet someone, somewhere at a certain time and somehow it just worked. I felt my generation was just on the cusp of the digital world consuming our childhoods and I feel so lucky. I love what technology gives us and the way it connects us all, but sometimes I do miss some of the simplicities of growing up and living without them.
Keep up to date with Maddy Andrews via her Facebook page here.
For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.