Tania Kernaghan
Tania Kernaghan Contributed

Our country girl comes of age

THE last time country music star Tania Kernaghan was in the Clarence she was wearing her other hat, that of marriage celebrant.

After her Saturday night concert at the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster at Calliope last October, she woke up and performed a vow renewal, a ceremony she said she enjoyed immensely.

"Yes that was great. I think we ended up with about 25 couples that got involved in that. It was terrific."

Since then Tania said she has officiated another wedding, and, as it turns out, that ceremony has played an important role in her new music that she will be bringing to Grafton in July.

"I officiated Nick Wolfe's wedding (from Wolfe Brothers). I've known him for about 10 years and he asked me if I'd be his celebrant so I said yes to that. Then a few months later I called him up and asked him if we could get together to do some songwriting and thankfully he said yes too."

Tania and her songwriting sister Fiona headed down to Wolfe's hometown of Launceston in Tasmania and got to work.

"We literally sat around his kitchen table for three days with our guitars and laptops and wrote a bunch of new songs. I said to him these have come up great, do you reckon you could produce the tracks for me and he said yes again.

"So he's been saying yes to me for years now," Tania laughed.

One of those songs is Better Worn In, Tania's first single since her previous album All Australian Girl released in 2017.

Released just last week (June 7), the very personal song heralds a new direction and attitude for this darling of Australian country music.

"I turned 50 and my sister and I were having a chat about having a party and what a milestone it was and she said to me, 'Tan, you're like your best pair of boots that are worn in'," Tania recalls.

"We both laughed about it and I thought, you know, I just feel like I've started to get warmed up. I feel like now is a really great time in life. There's no sweating about things, trying to compare yourself or strive for greatness.

"You just feel good within yourself. That's how that song came about."

Tania said that feeling is something that only comes with age.

"You can't tell younger girls to not stress about things, or stop worrying. You just have to live that life, earn those life lines, have a few grey hairs, get a few battle scars. Then you can look back and see what really matters is inside, not what's outside.

"One of my great go-to women in the past has been Betty White from The Golden Girls. She's a much older woman but what shines with her is the beauty within and it comes out through her eyes. She was such a gorgeous beautiful human being. I think when we get in touch with who we are with our heart and soul that's what comes through and that's what beautiful is to me. It's not all the polishing and buffing."

Tania said the female friends she has in her life now are more important than ever.

"As I've become older my girlfriends have become more special and important in my life. I've got a handful of really good girlfriends I know I can count on through thick and thin. I think we all feel the same about each other, we're always there for one another."

The Golden Guitar winner said there were two more singles set for release later this year and a new album earmarked for sometime next year.

"Hopefully Nick's (Wolfe) still up for producing those tracks and weaving his magic.

"We're a comfortable fit and he's certainly brought a freshness to my sound but without losing touch with who I am and my traditional roots.

"I really feel like I've shed a new skin and a new musical chapter's about to unfold. I'm looking forward to sharing this with Grafton very soon."

Tania Kernaghan will be performing at the Grafton District Services Club on July 5. Tickets on sale at the club or via their website.

JOHN MOORHEAD: The editor with a library of knowledge

premium_icon JOHN MOORHEAD: The editor with a library of knowledge

His personal book collection had an intriguing hallmark

OUR SAY: DEX Clarence's constant companion

premium_icon OUR SAY: DEX Clarence's constant companion

Dex's longest serving current employee looks back