When I was growing up my parents listened to a lot of country music! Dad was one of those guys that would buy the box set off the TV and get one free! He listened to a lot of the older more traditional country music from America like Billie Jo Spears, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Mum listened to more modern Australian country like Lee Kernaghan and Gina Jeffreys. So together they had all kinds of different country covered! Every year on boxing day our family would drive from Bendigo to Adelaide for a holiday, with Dad testing out his new 10 disc country box set on the 8 hour drive! My mum used to sing and play guitar on stage with her best friend Jenny up in the Mallee. When she had us four kids she learnt the banjo to play for us and encouraged us to sing along to nursery rimes. My Nanna (Mum's Mum) was a music teacher and has always had a really old pianola piano in her lounge room. Whenever Nan's brother Bill would visit he'd sit down at the piano and play honky tonk style. I just loved it! Ever since I was tall enough to reach the keys on the piano I wanted to play. Although I was classically trained I just loved the way a country song would tell and story. I loved the sound, the twang guitar and the fiddle. Country music artists are real people who will stop for a chat and say G'day, always friendly and fun! I loved every aspect of the industry the more I became a part of it. Shania Twain was a big influence when I was growing up, I wanted to be just like her. My first 3 albums I was ever given were Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. I guess my parents were my biggest influence with Mum being a country singer earlier on and both parents loving country music. It's funny because my next sister down grew up on the same music and she plays the harp and sings classical!
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