The likes of country music legends Dolly Parton, Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt and Loretta Lynn formed the background of Melinda Schneider’s childhood, and now, the six-time Golden Guitar winner will honour her idols when she takes the stage in the New England North West next month.
Returning to Tamworth and Armidale and coming to Narrabri for the first time in about eight years, Schneider will be performing the hits from her 2014 Great Women of Country album – which she recorded with Beccy Cole – in July.
Schneider said the album features 22 classic songs from a collection singers and songwriters who helped shape her music career.
“Dolly Parton has been a big influence over the years, Anne Murray, I used to listen to her a lot as a kid, Linda Ronstadt … there’s just so many great singers on this record and great songs, songs that you never tire of listening to,” she said.
The singer-songwriter is excited to return to the region, particularly Tamworth which she said in a way feels like coming home.
“I love touring in regional areas, I love the whole process of touring and going to different places, especially Tamworth and Armidale – I have lots of good friends that I catch up with whenever I’m there,” she said.
“I can’t wait for this little run.”
It’s a busy time for Schneider, who is currently writing for a new country album which she hopes will be released in time for next year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival.
She is also in the middle of touring her tribute to Doris Day show, as well as the Young at Heart show, celebrating the hits of Doris Day and Frank Sinatra, with Tom Burlinson.
“There’s lots of different things going on, but I like it that way,” she said.
Although Beccy Cole, who’s currently touring with Adam Harvey, won’t be joining her for the Great Women of Country concert, Schneider will instead share the stage with special guest, 2017 Toyota Star Maker, Rachael Fahim.
Fahim will join Schneider in a couple of duets from the album, as well as perform some of her originals.
Audiences can look forward to beautiful renditions of timeless hits such as Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand By Your Man’ and ‘D.I.V.O.R.C.E.’, Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Blue Bayou’, Emmylou Harris and Gram Parson’s ‘Love Hurts’, Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘9 to 5’, plus many more.
“People can expect to hear some amazing songs, have a few laughs, maybe a couple of tears – you’ve always got to do a few sad songs – and a lot of fun,” Schneider said.
“I definitely encourage the audience to sing along. It’ll be one big sing-along.”
The country star will perform at the Armidale Bowling Club at 7pm on Friday, July 7, Wests Tamworth at 2pm on Saturday, July 8 and the Crossing Theatre Narrabri at 2pm on Sunday, July 9.