Tamworth Country Music Capital News - May/June 2021 Volume 46 No 3

Page 22


Growing up surrounded by family and neighbours playing live music and singing was second nature for PAULA STANDING.


“Everything on it is personal, except for the one murder ballad and a song about a bitter break-up.” 22

hen Paula’s family moved from Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands just before she was born, music became an integral part of her life. Her mum who played piano and sang was her earliest and life-long inspiration. “The people in the community where we moved to had these parties that involved a lot of the town and usually went to the early hours of the morning,” she said. “It was second nature for people to be playing music and singing, so I thought everyone did it, but once I grew up, I realised it was quite a special thing.” Paula left home and studied music formally and performed on stage and sang in choirs, but it was not until the early 2000s that she got the urge to write her own songs. “At the time, I was doing a lot of driving around the city, so I spent a lot of time in traffic singing along to songs,” she said. “I got tired of singing along to other people’s songs and I started coming up with lyrics and melodies to beat boredom - that’s where it all started. I always thought that even though I sang and knew music, I was completely convinced that I didn’t know how to write a song and thought that only special people did it.” The now South Australian artist taught herself the guitar so she could write melodies and remember her original lyrics easier and that led to performing gigs where crowds began asking for CDs. Paula began with an album of cover songs, then started recording her original offerings before the



universe decided she should spend more time on her music career. “Work got in the way for a while but, a few years later, I was made redundant, and decided to concentrate on music, so I recorded more originals and I put out an album, but it didn’t go anywhere because I really didn’t know what I was doing.” A MusicSA music business course called Paula’s name and she enrolled. “That’s when I found out what a huge job it was and I started making more music and working with other musicians, got real guitar lessons and improved wherever I could and then went along to a few DAG Songwriters Retreats,” she said. At one of these retreats, Paula wrote a song with Jeremy Edwards and he invited her to perform it during a break at one of his gigs during the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival. “Lou Bradley was in the audience and heard me sing,” Paula said. “She had heard my EP that was out at the time and she suggested I needed a good producer. Lou sent Rod McCormack a copy of a song I had done and he was interested.” The rest is history, as Lou, Rod and Paula wrote together with Gina Jeffreys and Max Jackson and a group of Gina’s music students. “The music students came up with three brilliant songs and we’d come up with six, so I had nine songs at the end of the week. I was initially thinking of recording an EP but the songs were so good I wrote another song when I came home, then went back and recorded 10 songs for an album,” Paula said. The resulting album, The

More I Give, is an intensely intimate examination of the South Australian artist’s life. She revisits those raucous Saturday night parties of her childhood with I’d Go Back Again, pays tribute to her inspiration with Mother To Me, while My Heart Goes With You is dedicated to her children. “Everything on it is personal, except for the one murder ballad (Better Not To Know) and a song M AY/J U N E 2 0 2 1

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