Country boy goes unplugged


Cam Scott’s latest single is Prayin’ Rain, but he’ll be hoping for good weather ahead of his outdoor Queenstown gig.

In true farmer fashion he’s going to jump on the back of a ute – guitar in hand – and entertain crowds at the Hilux NZ Rural Games this weekend.

The country boy’s acoustic set will be an informal one, taking old favourites and mixing them with his own tunes.

Scott doesn’t have a preference for covers or originals. He reckons as long as you perform with passion crowds will appreciate you.

His latest songs are rock-inspired with lots of layers. It’s something that’s happening more and more in the industry.

“As I’ve progressed as an artist I’ve changed and I am excited about what is happening in country music.

“I used to be guilty of writing to a certain sound, but I think as you grow, you also know your strengths and eliminate any weaknesses.”

He was brought up on country music and thinks it’s a genre that crosses generational gaps, particularly with pop stars like Taylor Swift going mainstream.

“She has definitely made it more popular. People say, I don’t like country music – but a lot of them will own a Taylor Swift album, which is ultimately country.”

As an artist he’s enjoying making music videos, something that’s new to him, and has boosted his confidence.

It doesn’t take away from his love of writing. Scott reckons he’s not a typical muso – he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night with an urge to write down lyrics.

For him the melody usually comes first and the words follow.

“Maybe it’s because I like my sleep too much,” he laughs.

Scott’s relationship with Queenstown has changed over the years. He used to loathe it for being touristy and overhyped, and hated the crowded streets and rammed pubs.

That changed when he came to the resort to film. He realised Queenstowners are a passionate and friendly bunch.

Now he likes to get down as often as he can.

Jody Direen will also play the Games on Saturday. The Wanaka songstress has just been nominated for three CMC Australian Country Music Awards and will play a more traditional set.

Cam Scott plays Hilux New Zealand Rural Games, Queenstown Rec Ground, this Sunday, between 12noon and 2pm. Free entry. Jody Direen, Saturday, 12pm