I’ve been such a slacker, but I have good excuses … No, really! And I just wish I had more time to write on this blog. I’m making a special effort today, though, because I’m so incredibly excited about Harmony James’s album Tailwind, which has become an immediate favourite. It starts out sounding like a ‘normal’ country album – there are the usual guitars and fiddles. The songwriting is not complex – the themes aren’t new – but there is just something there that makes this album superior. It’s probably got something to do with Harmony’s voice: mature, both sharp and warm, direct and honest. She expresses emotion and enunciates clearly, and they’re both underrated traits in singers. It was her voice that first hooked me when I went to her Myspace page, and even though the album didn’t grab me immediately, by the third rotation I was hooked.

Tailwind also offers a lot of value for money – 15 tracks plus a bonus, the wistful, lovely ‘Call of the Currawong’. The title track is a standout – and the winner of the Country division in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition – although the album is lousy with standout tracks.

According to her website, Harmony doesn’t yet have solo shows at Tamworth 2010. Hopefully that will change.