Icon. Legend. Controversial. Rebel. These are just a few of the words used to identify the one and only James Blundell. There is so much enthusiasm and honesty in one person, which is what makes him one of the most instantly liked and recognised artists in Australian music.
James Blundell is hands down one of the most successful musicians to come out of Australia. He single-handedly shaped modern Australian country music by infusing his musical influences, lyrical insight, and his empathy for the average working man.
Back in 1992, James found mainstream success thanks to the smash hit single Way Out West, which was done with former Australian Crawl front man James Reyne. This track came #28 on the ARIA charts, before climbing all the way up to #2 just a month later. His platinum selling album, “This Road”, came in at #28 on the ARIA End of Year Albums Charts, above massive acts such as Madonna, AC/DC, and Roxette.
James was the first young Australian country singer, to sign a major record deal in Nashville, which has since been followed by Keith Urban, Catherine Britt and Kasey Chambers. As well as his own success, he has also written smash hits for Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty and Jimmy Little. Furthermore, he has received multiple CMAA Awards, double platinum, platinum and gold sales awards, and has been nominated multiple times for ARIA Awards, and won once.
His career was nothing short of phenomenal: with help from a chain of platinum albums and top 10 chart success. Like so many other artists, Blundell refused to be put into a musical box, and after numerous label meetings, he walked away from the music business. James went on a six year hiatus busking around Europe, and it was during this time that this hit songwriter became re-inspired and wrote new music, which were both lyrically and musically different. These new songs may not have been as popular as previous hits but were highly praised by critics. His 2005 comeback album “Deluge” proved that this singer still had plenty to offer, especially with hit song “Postcards From Saigon”, which was recognised with numerous awards.
In March 2012, James was announced as the inaugural inductee into the Country Music Channel Hall of Fame by long-time friend, Lee Kernaghan. The induction also included tributes from country stars Catherine Britt and Travis Collins whose renditions of classic Blundell songs further reinforced his influence on a generation of Australian performers. 2014 was a rebirth of many for James Blundell. He spent the year focusing on writing new material and began working with a new booking agent and record label to help plan for the next chapter of his career.
2017 marked Blundell’s 30th Anniversary in music and saw the launch of his fourteenth album, “Campfire”. The concept of the album was unearthing songs with great stories and telling them the way you would around a campfire. The songs have been stripped to their core, allowing the stories to breathe and the emotions take flight. Blundell brought together tracks recorded by Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, The Wallflowers, The Eagles, Cold Chisel, Bob Dylan, Paul Kelly and John Cougar Mellencamp. Other guests on the album also include The Wolfe Brothers, Anne Kirkpatrick, Tania Kernaghan, Paul Costa, Cameron Daddo, Hamish Davidson, Lawrie Minson and newcomers Jonny Taylor, Abigail Grace and Liam Kennedy-Clark.
Through his latest album, this Aussie legend delivers great songs in a simple, yet exciting way, to bring a touch of magic to those long, hot summer nights.
When & Where: The Royal Hotel Meredith, Meredith – March 18. Tickets via www.theroyalhotelmeredith.com.au.
Written by Chloe Cicero