Singer’s southern return


While singer Jackie Bristow has been classified by Kiwi audiences as ‘country’ this isn’t how the Gore muso sees herself.

She admits there are country influences in her songs, but that’s not necessarily her style.

“If I got to Nashville I’m not country. Really it is more folk music; it is singer-songwriter – that’s how I see it.”

She’s been living in Los Angeles since 2005 and says it isn’t anything like you see in the movies.

Yes, it can be a challenge – but it is also full of great people, amazing artists and a thriving music scene, she says.

“There are a lot of people there – some who have made it, some who haven’t made it. There is also so much talent.”

Bristow is back in New Zealand for a 16-date solo tour and plays The Sherwood tonight.

She lived in Queenstown in the mid-90s and tells Mountain Scene it’s great to come home and play to a southern crowd.

The tour marks the release of fourth album Shot of Gold, a record she describes as a story.

Inspiration comes from those around her and she often writes tracks while observing relationships or day to day life. This time round she also uses personal life experiences – love, joy and struggles. Often a track will start off as a poem before she thinks of a melody and puts music to it.

One track on the album, Fallen Youth, is sure to bring goose bumps, if not tears. Bristow borrows words from an old poem by an unnamed ANZAC WW1 soldier found by a school friend in Gore public library.

“He popped in to see mum and dad when I was home touring and asked if I could write the music to it. We went to the Hokonui Hills; he wanted to set the environment for me to come up with the melody. He did a good job and I came up with that song.”

Not every song idea is a success. Long-term friend and record producer Mark Punch acts as a sounding board. He won’t sugar-coat his thoughts and lets Bristow know if it is up to scratch.

“I trust his opinion, good or bad. It is very constructive criticism.”

Jackie Bristow plays The Sherwood as part of her ‘Shot Of Gold’ Tour, tonight. Tickets $15