News that Australian country music stars Gina Jeffreys and Tania Kernaghan were to release a single together meant several things: first, that the single would be automatically top of a listening queue, because who wouldn’t want to hear those two sing together; second, that the pressure was actually on these two Golden Guitar winners because the song would have to be really good; and third, that if it was good it was going to be an immediate favourite for country music fans everywhere.
Well, listeners, it’s good. It is, in fact, delightful. These two women sound so happy to be recording together that their joy is clear, and that makes the song joyful to listen to. The title is a giveaway about the subject matter of the song, for these artists have known each other sing the beginning of their careers, so a bit of joy might have been expected, but Jeffreys and Kernaghan bring it with such a light touch – the sort that comes from long experience in delivering all sorts of songs – that it doesn’t feel like they’re forcing us to feel it with them.
‘My Old Friend’ was written by Jeffreys and Kernaghan along with the very talented Max Jackson and Jeffreys’s husband, Rod McCormack, who produced and recorded it. Says Jeffreys of the track, ‘”My Old Friend” is a song that really celebrates friendship, and how no amount of time or distance could ever make us not be mates. I think a lot of us are feeling this way having recently spent so much time apart.’
Kernaghan adds that the song is about ‘everlasting friendship, something Gina and I are very familiar with! As we were co-writing the song together, it soon became apparent that the lyrics were a reflection on the friendship we have shared for over 30 years now. Even though we live in different states, whenever we see each other, the lyrics in the song ring true – you haven’t changed at all, beautiful as ever, making this world better and better …’
If you’ve been missing friends due to lockdown – or just life as it happens – the song may make you feel wistful, but it will also engender that same feeling of appreciation and admiration that Jeffreys and Kernaghan clearly feel for each other. That, plus their evident skills as singers, will make it that fan favourite before the song has even finished.