The annual Tamworth Country Music Festival is the perfect time for a musician to showcase their wares, and this is exactly what songwriter Paula Standing has planned across the week she is in town. Following a year-long period of writing and recording, this will be the first time Paula has shared her new music with audiences and will give country fans a sneak peek ahead of her forthcoming single – Hiding Out In Tuscany – slated for release in March, and full length album, planned for May 2020. It is a daunting process sharing your post personal works on stage, but one that this eclectic songwriter is looking forward in January.
It’s hard to believe that Paula Standing only started recording her own material in 2013. A self-taught guitarist, she explored the world of ballads, with a dark underlay of emotion. With two full-length albums and two EPs under her belt, she has always explored different nuances of songwriting, delving deep into the heart of a matter and delivery tracks that strike a chord with listeners. Her new exploration sees Paula taking a new direction – co-writing the vast majority of tracks with well-known producer Rod McCormack, who also coincidentally recorded her forthcoming album, and fellow songwriter Lou Bradley.
This has been a turning point for Paula, a point where she is taking stock of her career and charging forth with full intent to seize every opportunity to get her music heard. The songwriting partnership with Rod and Lou also created additional co-writing connections with the likes of Gina Jeffreys, Ash Sheehan, Jacky McCormack and Toby Wells. It will be these tracks that Tamworth audiences will get to hear for the first time.
“I think the festival is a good place to stir up some interest for my 2020 releases,” says Paula. “I have a number of gigs around the city, including The Square Man Inn, The Sider Diner, City Bowling Club, the Family Zone Stage and The Post Office Hotel. These are all great venues to show off my original material.”
The new material – including the first forthcoming single Hiding Out In Tuscany – have an Americana feel and really cement Paula as a formidable singer-songwriter. It is the first time that she has created a full-length release with an album in mind and it was an exciting experience. The 10-track album brings together the diversity of Paula’s previous songwriting and hones it into a cohesive body of work.
“The ideal of writing especially for one album appealed to me as opposed to recording a collection of songs written over a period of months,” she says. “It meant the album would have an encompassing theme and be something people may want to listen to as one work. Rod had proposed that he, Lou and myself be the main writers, but offered to invite Gina Jeffreys and Max Jackson to sit in on a session. I was initially intending to just produce an EP, but with the three extra songs produced by Gina, Ash, Toby and Jacky, I decided to go for the whole album. The tracks are mostly quite personal and reflect where I have come from and where I am going. There is a murder ballad and one slightly bitter break-up song thrown into the mix to keep things interesting.”
For Paula, Tamworth Country Music Festival is the barometer of country music, and beyond. “Tamworth is where you find the right demographic for the Americana style,” she says. “People come to this festival because they love the music and they want to hear everything that is happening now.”
For a list of where to catch Paula Standing performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, visit her website. Paula’s forthcoming single Hiding Out In Tuscany is slated for release in March 2020.
For more information, please visit www.paulastanding.com