Katelann Maree is a singer-songwriter from Miles, Queensland/Barunggam country who has just released her debut single, ‘Grandad’s Guitar’, taken from her forthcoming EP, Different Kind of High. The EP was produced by Catherine Britt and the single was co-written with Britt and Melody Moko. Katelann Maree has already notched up some great achievements, as a 2020 graduate of the Country Music Academy and winner of the Telstra Road to Tamworth, as well as supporting Britt on tour. Country music is, it could be said, in her blood: her grandfather Jimmy Grealy was know as ‘Chinchilla Slim’ and it is his guitar that is the subject of this song.
After Grealy died when Katelann Maree was seven years old, she was given his guitar and, as she says in the song, played it until her fingers bled. The song is a tribute to Grealy and to the power of heritage, and it is in no way maudlin – this is a tale of Katelann Maree being inspired by her forebear, not trying to compensate for him not being here any more. This direction is, perhaps, a result of the influence of Britt and Moko, both of whose lyrics indicate they are not fond of wallowing but, rather, of taking action. But the delivery is all Katelann Maree’s: you can hear the pride in her voice, and also hear a smile. This an uplifting song with the right amount of sentiment, and, because it’s a personal story, a great introduction to this exciting new artist.