Recording in a Nashville studio is an experience Matthew McNeilly-Woolley, one half of NeillyRich, will never forget.
The duo’s latest album was recorded pre-COVID-19 in the Nashville studio The Ruckus Room, with producer Jamie Tate, whose pedigree includes working with legends like Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, John Prine, Sheryl Crow and Marty Stuart. There was also a then up-and-coming singer by the name of Taylor Swift.
“It was just incredible,” said Matt.
“We took in our demos on our phones and they listened to them and put us in the studio recording. We were watching ourselves come to life, and I was so heartbroken when we finished and had to leave!
“We both enjoyed it so much, they were so welcoming, and we got on so well with the producer, Jamie. To have that vibe with someone lends to the experience which enhances your performance and the album itself.
“If you go there, to a studio with an open mind, and they’re doing something you don’t like, they want you to tell them because they want the best record they can, but it was really flawless,” he said.
The end result is their new album, Love Bender, which will be launched at Magoo’s Cafe and Bar on the Kingston Foreshore on Friday, 27 November at 6:00 pm.
Matt and Amelia McNeilly-Woolley met in Tamworth at the Academy of Country Music and were both solo singers in their own right.
“We became friends, then she came over to New Zealand to visit, and we thought we’d team up and join forces, so NeillyRich was born in 2013,” said Matt.
“We both sing, we both play guitar, I play a lot of the lead parts we’ve written with some really great songwriters.”
The new album is a collaboration with many other songwriters, friends and musicians.
“I love the collaboration side of songwriting. I’ve never put myself out there as a deep and meaningful songwriter, which sounds anti the norm, but I love to hang out with people who want to create something,” said Matt.
“It buzzes me out every time.
“I think that’s part of what NeillyRich is – it’s a collaboration with songwriters, artists and other musicians, the songwriting aspect of it is bigger than us. It’s definitely the fact that we share our ideas and bounce them off other people,” he said.
The album launch at Magoo’s is also a chance for Canberra to become better acquainted with the duo and their passion as performers.
“It’s going to be nice and intimate show. Amelia and I love having a good time with our audience. We’ll be playing all the new songs off the new album and a few of our older hits, and some favourites as well.”
It will be the first time the duo have played the popular Magoo’s Cafe and Bar and Matt says everyone can expect a great night.
“We’re super pumped, and it’s always great to play a new venue. It’s so nerve-wracking launching a new album, it’s like having a baby!”
Fans will be able to get hold of their new album, Love Bender, on CD the night of the show, or you can order it from the NeillyRich website. The album is also available by download. Tickets for the show at Magoo’s are free, but registrations via Eventbrite are essential.