Country crowds will turn out to see live performances in rain, hail or shine. That was the case for the Sunny Cowgirls who launched their latest album at a muddy Deni Ute Muster. Celeste Clabburn chatted to NATALIE HOLMES.
Fresh from launching their latest album “Here We Go” at the recent Deni Ute Muster, Celeste and Sophie Clabburn aka the Sunny Cowgirls have hit the road in their trusty ute to entertain a few more country crowds.
In the next few months, the girls will travel across the country to visit small towns far and wide.
With 25 tour dates scheduled, they have the engine running and are eagerly looking forward to what’s ahead.
“it will keep us busy but a lot of our fans are from small towns so it’s good to get out there,” Celeste said.
“We know what it’s like to grow up in a small town as we’re from Dunkeld in Victoria. It’s good to have something to do on the weekend.”
Such as visiting Deniliquin, home of the famous ute muster.
“It was a huge weekend,” Celeste says.
“We launched the new album there on Friday night. It was very muddy as they’d had a lot of rain but that didn’t stop everyone.
“It’s one of the biggest festivals of the year, so crowds are there, rain, hail or shine. They don’t care what the weather is like.”
Celeste said that it was nice to be among friends for the first airing of their latest offering.
“There were so many people and so much support. For us it was the first time playing songs from the new album.”
There weren’t any hiccups and Celeste said the audience reacted favourably to the new songs.
“We’ve got a really good band behind us and they all do their homework. It was really fun.
“The song “Cowboy” from the album has been out for six months now so the fans already knew that one.”
The sisters compiled their eighth studio album with help from a few famous friends.
It was produced by Matt Fell and features guest artists Pete Drummond, Glen Hannah and Shane Nicholson.
“They are world class musicians so we were lucky to have them. We always have a good time, it’s inspiring, but this was extra-special. Matt as a producer is incredible and hugely talented. And Glen Hannah is one of my favourite people.”
Celeste said the pair enjoy recording sessions immensely, and working with high class people makes it even more pleasurable. It also expands their own musical abilities.
“Soph and I love being in the studio. It’s our most favourite part of the job – creating music and giving a life to the songs you have written. You get inspired by these guys, it makes it an absolute pleasure. Their standard is so high that it really makes you lift your game. We also learned a few tricks from them.”
Concerts would have to come a close second on their list, by the way that Celeste describes hearing fans sing along with their songs when they perform.
“It’s awesome, it’s really cool, particularly because we’ve written all our songs and what we do comes from a personal place.”
The siblings have come a long way since their first album in 2005 but at the same time, they like to hark back to their musical beginnings.
‘It cemented us in the industry so we wanted to make this album like our first one. Over the years, we have experimented a bit but we wanted this to have a classic sound.”
Celeste says that she and Sophie usually agree on their musical direction, which has perhaps contributed to their longevity.
“We were on the same page. Normally we don’t fight anyway, we always agree on the music. If we do fight, it would be over clothes or the contents of the fridge,” she laughed.
“The two of us usually agree and fight with our manager and then we win because it’s two against one.”
After almost 12 years in the industry, the Sunny Cowgirls seem to be going from strength to strength.
“It makes us feel really old,” she said. “But it’s a really good feeling to know that we have been able to sustain our relationship and keep our audience close. We are pretty proud of ourselves, it’s been a huge achievement.”
As well as getting on like a house on fire, the pair are very open about having goals and reaching them.
“We’ve always got a clear idea of what we want to do and who we want to work with. We are good at coming up with ideas and making them happen.”
They also inspire and motivate one another.
“It would have been a lot harder doing this by yourself, if I didn’t have Soph to back me up and make it happen,” said Celeste.
Their upcoming road trip gives them lots of time together and a chance to belt out a few tunes in the ute. Being on the road can be really tiring but just as in other ways, the sisters support one another.
“We try to eat healthily and not drink too much although we have a few beers now and then. We also try to get as much sleep as we can. We’re both good at lifting each other up if we’re feeling a bit tired.”
They don’t have a driver and make the most of hanging out and having a good time.
“We drive ourselves. It’s good fun, we always have lots of fun together and we’ve got lots of songs to play.”
The Sunny Cowgirls’ driving playlist includes John Mayer, The Eagles and the latest Amber Lawrence and Troy Cassar-Daley releases.
“It’s good to see what everyone else is doing,” Celeste said.
In the next couple of years, she hopes they just ‘keep doing what we’re doing.’
“Just keep making music, go with the flow.”
- The Sunny Cowgirls will perform at Dubbo RSL on November 5.