As Matt Ward arrives in Tamworth for the 2019 festival, he is only months away from the release of his debut album.
But while he doesn’t have the album yet, which was recorded with top producer Matt Fell, we will get to hear some of the songs from the singer-songwriter’s first full album, which is titled Heartland and due to be released in May.
Ward started playing music in his late 20s, when a relationship break-up saw him start writing songs and matters of the heart is a theme of the album - hence the title.
His songs have also been inspired by his life, which has taken him from working in outback South Australia, to spending time in the USA annually for the last five years - where he has stayed with friends and played music in Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas.
Back home the emerging performer released an EP in 2016, but it was last year that he finally got to step into Love Hz Studio in inner western Sydney and record his debut album.
“I wanted to work with a good producer, and a well-known producer,” Ward said. “Someone who could bring these songs to life.
While he has a band he plays with back home in Adelaide, he headed to NSW and musicians such as guitarist Glen Hannah, Josh Schubert and Jy-Perry Banks as well as Fell himself, played on the album, which Ward described as a mix of Americana, Australian country and alt country.
The second single from the album, Back to the Country, dropped last week, and while Ward’s music has been labelled Americana, the latest single definitely has a country rock feel.
During the festival, Ward will be playing at Fan Zone at Sunday from 11am, and also has a couple of appearances at DAG Sheep Station, as well as The Welder’s Dog from 6pm on Thursday, January 24.
“On the Saturday night - Australia Day - I have a full band show at Nundle, at the Peel Inn,” Ward said.
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