Well the last year or so has been been both turbulent and/or exciting. It started off with the release of my latest album Brigalow Moon, my first in 25 years. I was elated when track #8 – The Wake, debuted at #35 on the Australian Music Chart, a chart that spans all genres. In April, I was stunned when I won Male Artist Of The Year at the Australian Celtic Music Awards when I submitted the aforementioned album and the track The Wake to these awards expecting nothing, as it was the first time I had ever nominated anything for a Celtic award – anywhere.
2019 Male Artist Of The Year at the Australian Celtic Music Awards
My mobile studio has started to pick up some great work. I recorded and produced Norma O’Hara Murphy‘s first full Celtic CD release called Bloodlines that has received critical reviews. It can be purchased from Norma’s website. I then recorded and produced an amazing album for singer/songwriter Brett Rostrun. He has written all the songs and can be bought by contacting Brett directly. Recently I recorded and produced a mini album (4 tracks) for Lightning Ridge based artist and tour driver Peter Driscoll. He also sells this album titled Hey Blondie by contacting him directly.
I was looking forwards to a great 2020, as my latest album Brigalow Moon won a slot in the TOP10 Australian Traditional Country Album listing at January’s annual Tamworth Country Music Festival 2020 in our Country Music Capital.
BRIGALOW MOON – TOP10 Australian Traditional Country Album
However, it started to get a little weird as we all know. I had noticed in late December that China had another new viral outbreak – it’s 3rd in as many years. Most people I talked to at the time thought nothing of it as the other infectious outbreaks were dealt with swiftly but it worried me. Why? Well China apparently and unusually had kept quiet for some weeks about this particular infection and when the World Health Organisation (WHO) became aware of it, China went into overdrive. It seemed out of context. However, my fears were magnified by late February as the growing concern of China and the WHO made the outbreak far from normal. With infected numbers and victims of this new virus growing exponentially in China, it wasn’t long before we started to see infected and victims globally.
By March 2020, a worldwide pandemic had been declared caused by the Novel Corona Virus 2019 or COVID19 as it had become internationally known. The spread was horrific and deaths climbed around the world. There was and is no known cure to date.
By late March, Australia’s Federal Government, echoing similar mandates in dozens of countries, declared a shut down of all non-essential services. An unprecedented step that caused the closure of cafe’s, restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars, theatres and all other non-essential places where people could congregate in numbers. They went further soon after in closing non-essential travel across state borders and internationally with airports and shipyards being affected. All of this putting over 5 million people out of work. A stay-at-home order was enforced and a mandatory 14 day isolation was put in place for all travellers and possible infected.
I’d like to say straight out that these measures put out us in front of the world on stopping the rise of infected and has saved many lives in the process.
It has affected all business, but none more than the entertainment industries. We have and will continue to suffer greatly because of COVID19 and until a cure is found, things can never go back to normal for any preforming artist.
On a personal note, I was about to debut a brand new show called Pixie’s Chicks – A Dixie Chicks Tribute Show that many people where involved in and had been working towards for months. On the Friday before the 1st Monday lockdown was announcement, I had travelled to far north QLD to do 3 shows over that weekend. On that next fateful Monday, I had booked into a motel to further rehearse Pixie’s Chicks for its debut at a big festival Bands On The Beach the next weekend. The Government then made its announcement on that Monday and by Wednesday the festival had been cancelled. My thoughts are with the other musicians involved and also the promoter of the event and the show who has lost thousands of dollars in the process.
I had no idea that by mid-April my world and the lives of thousands of artists would be in turmoil, many having to wait days in the queue’s at Centrelink offices around Australia in the hope of some financial aid.
To my fellow artists and musicians, I wish you all the best through this COVID19 horror and hope that you and your families survive to see what the entertainment landscape will look like when a cure is found and the lockdowns are lifted.
As for me, well I can only hope that the Gympie Muster will go ahead in late August as I was a major drawcard for that festival for 26 year in a row and then promptly shafted for the next few years but have been booked back for this year. Also I hope the Tamworth Country Music Festival is on in January 2021 but at this stage I have little hope.
All my love – Pixie XXXOOO