Wendy Matthews' talent lauded through her collaboration with Oz music's greatest

Canadian born Wendy Matthews grew up listening to the eclectic collection of her parents '60s music.

Standing strong: Muti-award winning singer Wendy Matthews brings her considerable back catalogue of career hits to Laurieton United Services Club, March 2, 8pm.

Standing strong: Muti-award winning singer Wendy Matthews brings her considerable back catalogue of career hits to Laurieton United Services Club, March 2, 8pm.

"They liked all different types of music," she says. "My father brought a Joni Mitchell album into the house and that was it for me, I loved it."

She also credits her art teacher in grades 6 and 7 for playing records and talking about music during art class. "Music was never a school function. I never took any interest in playing, I was just a listener."

Her early influences were female songwriters. "Their poetry was amazing. Aretha Franklin, the prowess and joy of her voice. It's not so much the material, but they were all so different. Some were incredible poets, some wonderful singers, some gave us happy pop songs to clean your house by." 

Matthews started singing at age 15. "My brothers used to play music with their friends, so their were teenagers at the house, and I discovered I could sing. I used to sneak in the back of blues clubs and sing on the weekends." 

Using her gut as her guide, Matthews set off with two friends busking. She was just 16 years old, and never went back home.

"We found ourselves in Mexico, lived day to day. We had wonderful adventures for a year and then ended up in Los Angeles.

"I was living in a big house in Laurel Canyon, [Hollywood Hills] with a bunch of Aussies. They dragged me off to The Greek Theatre to see this 'Australian Eagles' band [Little River Band]."

That's when her friendship with lead singer Glenn Shorrock began. He invited her to come to Australia to join his solo tour at the end of '82. The rest, as they say, is history.

Matthews has amassed a swag of awards and multi-platinum albums since then, collaborating with a number of artists on their albums, and other projects along the way. It has always been about doing what she loves.

If new music she produces doesn't reach the same heights, she isn't phased. "These times aren't those times, it's totally different now. I'm proud and pleased I own my music at this stage; I'm a lot more hands on, in control, it's who I am, and that feels important. 

"The Welcome Fire [2013] is my favourite album, but it went unnoticed because I don't have a big PR company out there pushing. That's fine, because there's no expiry date, you can keep pushing it, it has longevity."

She is writing songs for a new album, but for this concert, fans can expect her classic hits, Token Angels, Let's Kiss, Woman's Gotta Have It, The Day You Went Away, Friday's Child, If Only I Could and more

"There will be a small handful of new songs from The Welcome Fire, but I am of the belief people come to hear the songs they love from you." 

Wendy Matthews Friday's Child
This story Eclectic performer sings her greatest hits first appeared on Port Macquarie News.

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