RISING TALENT: Singer-songwriter Chris Staff is reaping rewards in Australia’s country music scene.
RISING TALENT: Singer-songwriter Chris Staff is reaping rewards in Australia’s country music scene. CONTRIBUTED

Stage set for stardom

WINNING a Dolphin Award for the Country Song of the Year, Grafton-based singer-songwriter Chris Staff is pretty chuffed right now.

Recorded in Nashville Tennessee in May last year, Love, Friends and Family was recognised at the 2013 North Coast Music Industry Awards in Lismore earlier this month.

"The title of the song is self-explanatory," said Chris.

"It's the three most important things in not only my life, but everyone's.

"The inspiration came from an interesting family discussion and I just had to sit down and write the song."

Raised into a family of classic cars and music, Chris started learning guitar at 10 years old and was playing to crowds at 12.

Chris moved on to be a session and lead guitar player in the Australian country music scene, touring with artists like Travis Sinclair, Brooke McClymont, Sam McClymont and The Sunny Cowgirls.

He has also supported Wendy Mathews, Paul Kelly and Richard Clapton.

After releasing his debut solo album Different Road earlier this year at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Chris said it had been a rollercoaster ride.

He said performing and promoting his own music had been a new experience for him, and while being a solo artist was sometimes a challenge, he was looking forward to seeing his plans come to life.

A new single will be released to radio later this week.

Called The Road He Took, the song was written as a tribute to guitarist Barry Thornton, who died in 2002.

"Barry Thornton played guitar alongside Slim Dusty for many years," said Chris.

"When I was young, Barry nurtured and encouraged me. He got me on stage and I just wanted to say thanks for that."

Chris will perform his music in Moree, Inverell, Gunnedah and Tamworth in the next few weeks.



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