In the last 12 months I have watched with awe as my life has taken more than a few unexpected turns. I have reached some milestones, achieved some major goals, hurdled some obstacles and come out with the twinkle in my eye still intact. I hope you make it through to the bottom of this newsletter because that’s where the very best news of all is!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the year that was·here goes!

Australian Idol

In July 2004, I began a career in television, working on the hugely popular, Australian Idol. As the program’s Music Producer, I was able to employ up to 35 musicians a week which was so very satisfying. It is so important that our younger generation see live musicians at work. ..and what better place than the highest rating programme in Oz to get that job done!?!
I also loved watching the kids blossom – it really was high pressure stuff – they have a lot more than singing a song to contend with believe me!
So amidst begging the contestants for their song selections each week, sourcing lyrics and music, briefing arrangers and employing musicians (and that is just the half of it) there wasn’t much time for me to have a warble. I did however get to sing on a few of the backing tracks for the show with Erana Clark and Mark Williams – always a highlight to sing with 2 of my favourite singers.
‘Twas a massive and all-consuming job and I loved every minute – well almost! The crew are the best in the business so I was very lucky to get my start in TV with the people who could teach me the most.
So many great things have come to me as a direct result of this job.
I have been asked to come and join the team again for the next season and will be doing the Audition Tour as well as the show itself this time around.

On The Record

Producer, Sam Hawksley and I have been working on an album of folk/pop/blues tunes for some time now. When will we ever finish this Sam? (Totally my fault with my TV commitments). Gordon Rytmeister (drums), Bill Risby (keys, bass) and Matt Fell (bass) are in on the proceedings as well so far. My co-writers include Rachel Gaudry, Kere Buchanan, Bill Risby and, of course, Sam – cast of thousands! We are back in the studio now and are trying to finish before Idol hots up for another season. We have almost completed 8 songs.

My young friend Anthony Callea released his second single Rain a few weeks ago. For those of you who are unaware of who Anthony is, he was the runner-up on Australian Idol. Runner-up no more, Rain went straight to Number 1 – an excellent follow up to The Prayer – which is incidentally the highest selling single for an Australian artist EVER! But I digress! The B-side of the single is a song called Don’t Tell Me. If you were to purchase the single, there is a good chance that you will hear some familiar backing vocals on it · in Italian no less – bet you didn’t know I could do that! Neither did I! The song does not appear on his debut album so purchasing the single is the only way you will hear my foray into a foreign language!

On my birthday last year, I stood in a studio and sang with Doug Parkinson. What an honour to sing with such a great Aussie soul singer. His new album is due out soon and I will appear on at least one track.

The highly amusing Jeff Duff and his band, Duffo, released Ground Control to Frank Sinatra in July 2004. Imagine Frank Sinatra crooning David Bowie songs out in front of a rock band or David Bowie singing Ol’ Blue Eyes favourites with a jazz quartet·.crazy guys they are! I was lucky enough to be a part of the recording as well as subsequent live performances with the lovely Rachel Gaudry as The Duffettes. Rachel and I will be resurrecting our Duffette status again for a second album to be recorded this month.

Tony King and Kris Ralph from Making Whoopee released the amazingly soulful acoustic jazz folk blues album, Beautifully Mad. I was so glad to be part of the recording as well as some live performances in Sydney and Melbourne. Loved being a backing chick with the gorgeousness of Leyla Nassif and Genevieve Lemon! Being able to sing with these guys is such a gift.

Hayley Jensen was one of the talented young people to come out of Idol 2. She has the most divine voice and has expressed an interest in writing and recording her own album. I am very pleased to say that I will be working with her over the next few months to see what we can come up with.

Live Performances

Playing with my brand new band at The Thredbo Jazz Festival was an absolute highlight in May 2004. It was so fantastic to be able to perform to an audience that was so eager to hear live music! We must have had it together because I have been asked back again this year. This year I will be doing 3 shows with my band as well as a GOSPEL show, sharing the stage with Armondo Hurley and his band.

I made a flash visit to Melbourne in November 2004 to perform at The Famous Spiegeltent. If you ever get the chance to see any performance in this tent, please take the opportunity – it travels all over the world. The gig was magical and the sound production was the most perfect that I have ever experienced. Taking Bill Risby with me from Sydney, I was so excited to have the rest of the band made up with Melbourne players who I have admired for a very long time. A huge thank you to Darryn Farrugia (drums), Gavin Pearce (bass) and Ben Edgar (guitar). Darryn, I still want a copy of that recording!!! And hello to all of my new friends in Melbourne who came to the gig.

Erana Clark launched her new album back in November and I sang b.v.’s for her. And yes folks, I danced as well. Louise Perryman singing and dancing – real moves!!!

Talent Development

I was saying before how much I love watching new talent grow and prosper. So when I received a phone call from Robyn at The Talent Development Project to ask me to be a consultant I was absolutely chuffed. TDP is Australia’s most successful entertainment industry program and prepares young performers from NSW Public Schools for a career in the entertainment and music industry. Graduates include John Foreman, Paulini, Human Nature and Emma Pask to name a few. Erana Clark and I were the most recent consultants and spent half a day this week offering tips to the final 12 performers who sang for us who are due to graduate in August. Must say I felt a little bit like an Australian Idol Judge – hmm! Wish this program was around in my day·

Soul Patrol & Whisper My Name

Where would I be without Soul-Patrol? Whisper My Name continues to sell well all over the world via This is in no small way thanks to my dear friends at who tell anyone who will listen that I am their favourite blue-eyed soul singer. Soul Patrol really has put me on the map in soul music circles and I am now featured on many of the major soul music sites around the world. Incidentally, the internet radio program dedicated to Whisper My Name is consistently in the Top 40 on alongside such people as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Victor Wooten. The reviews on the album have been superb and continue to come in. In fact, the ones that mean the most are the ones that the people who BUY the cd write up on Truly the best reward is having soul music fans appreciate what I am doing – no songwriting award can beat that!

But by far the very best thing·.

“I wish that I could have a successful artist sing one of my songs on a major release”.
Wish granted on March 27, 2005.
I have had a lot of great things happen to me this past year but by far my absolute favourite moment was when I found out that When I Get There was to be included on Anthony Callea’s debut album. The album was a DOUBLE PLATINUM debut and went straight to Number One in all states, topping the Australian and Australasian ARIA charts. When I Get There was the result of a co-writing session with the delovely Vince Pizzinga. Not bad for a first go we reckon! Vince is a great songwriter/producer/arranger and I hope to be doing more with him soon. A huge thank you to Brooke McClymont who we dragged in to do an urgent vocal at the last minute late at night on the demo. There is a very long-winded story about how all this came to pass – when I get some time I will pop it up on this news page. But for now, I’m off to celebrate some more!

I knew you’d make it! See ya x

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