Sherry Rich, Reckoned to be 'Musically Gifted'
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According to alt-country star, Sherry Rich,"[My mother] reckons my brothers and I are 'musically gifted' because she gave guitar lessons all the way through her pregnancies . . . Courtesy Move hmmm wild theory but certainly possible I guess."Sherry and Janene of Girl Monstar

Seems like Rich's mother, Noelene Rich, was correct after all. Sherry Rich, a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist, is making a music splash in her home country Australia as well as in the United States. She got her big start when she moved from her home on an island off the coast of Queensland to Melbourne. That's when she decided to start an all girl rock band, Girl Monstar, that quickly became popular.

Rich describes her experience with Girl Monstar as "great fun touring with girlfriends all over the country and receiving the wealth of press and notoriety that all-female bands attracted . . . " In the End, Rich says, the "freak show" element led her to pursue a solo career. Even before her big break she was on stage with her mother, who was one of the first country "girl singer/guitarist" in the sixties. "I sang from age 10, sometimes reluctantly as I was shy as a kid with mum." Rich also discussed growing up with her country star mother. "Mostly it helped me view singing and performing as a natural part of life, and mum taught me the ukelele and then the guitar early on. Rediscovering her country record collection after my punk rock/art school days led my brother, Rusty, and I to form our first alt-country band in 1985."

Rich's solo career took off when she released her debut album with backup band, Grievous Angels: Steve Connolly, Doug Lee Robertson, Steve Morrison, and Matt Heydon. An article that appeared in the magazine VK#1 states, "With 'New Country' music not all that prominent in Australia, the talented Sherry Rich is determined to change this somewhat stale situation."

With band Courtesy Move, a side project of Wilco's Jay Bennett, John Stirratt, and Ken Coomer, Rich also touched bases in the States. "My publisher from Australia was in the US and I asked him to keep an eye out for anyone in contact with Wilco, Son Volt, and the Jayhawks, my favorite bands at the time. Strangely enough he saw Courtesy Move playing with Jeff Black in Nashville, and told them about me. They expressed interest and we sent them demos. Luckily they were liked." Rich enjoyed recording with Courtesy Move and formed a "lasting musical relationship" with Bennett who contributed to Rich's upcoming album.

Other current projects of Rich's include a recording with singer Ashley Naylor from the band Even. "He shares my love of sixties classic pop. It was kind of by accident we started recording stuff together. It's just us playing, writing, and singing everything. It turned into a full length disc,The Grapes, to be released here in Australia in July-August. So we'll be putting a touring band together for that." Rich will be touring in France for two weeks in May, then heads back to Australia for The Grapes tour, and then to the US in September. Her next album for the States should be out by the end of this year.


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