The Stetson Family Interview

Nadine Budge The Stetson Family Interview

By Big Al Weekley for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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The Stetson Family walk the line between alt-country and bluegrass with their free-wheeling, spirited songs, awash with soaring harmonies. Described in American Songwriter Magazine as “champions of fresh bluegrass but with a bedraggled soul of rock and roots,” the band takes their audience on a journey down life’s crooked highway.

With their last album ‘True North’ further establishing the band internationally, breaking out of Australia onto US Roots/Americana charts, the band garnered stellar reviews in the UK, Italy Czechoslovakia, Uruguay and everywhere in between. Nominated for Best Duo/Group at the Victorian and National Country Music Awards in 2016, they have appeared at numerous festivals around the country including Out On the Weekend (VIC), National Folk Festival (ACT), Cygnet Folk Festival (TAS), Nannup (WA), Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass (NSW), Gympie Muster (QLD) and received an invitation to perform in the USA at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

They are regulars on the Melbourne music scene, the national festival circuit and everything in between, and their festival harmony workshops are inspiring and often culminate with participants joining them onstage.

In 2013 their compilation album, O Winding River, hit mainstream charts in the U.S.A, spending time in the #1 spot on the Top 50 Bluegrass/Folk albums, Global Radio Indicator Chart, Alternate Roots Chart (#11) & Roots Music Report Chart (#43) amongst others. Lead singer/ songwriter, Nadine Budge, was also invited and performed in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Songwriter Showcase for the International Bluegrass Music Association Festival in 2012.

Long-time friends Nad Budge, John Bartholomeusz and Colin Swan started playing music together in a synth-pop band during the mid 80s, supporting the likes of The Eurythmics, The Monkees and John Farnham. They eventually swapped their synths (and mullets) for proper instruments and, in 2008, teamed up with John’s childhood buddy from the valley, Andy Carswell (My Friend the Chocolate Cake), and Luke Richardson, the guy who worked in the hardware store across the road from Nad. So began The Stetson Family!

The band has gathered a strong following ever since, and have received great reviews for their first two albums, Hey Sister Mary, Where’d You Get That Gun (2009) and The Devil in His Sunday Best (2011), which Rhythms Magazine described as “a landmark Australian roots album”. They were nominated in two categories (Best Group and Best Bluegrass Song) at the Victorian and National Country Music Awards, and they’ve had songs included on ABC Felicity Urquhart‘s Favourites of 2012 album and in the SBS TV documentary, Last Chance Saloon.

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