TAMI NEILSON : The Kitchen Table Sessions
By Steph Gray
Quite the country stirrer, Tami Neilson has found herself a sweet niche since making her home in New Zealand. Breakfast TV loves her, and the Canadian musician must have rattled some nanas as Amy Winehouse on Stars in their Eyes. That catchy Warehouse TV ad tune? “And I’m feeeeeling good.” Tami!
Born in 1977, Tami was likely touring Canada with family band The Neilsons in the ‘80s, bumping into the likes of Johnny Cash backstage and honing her stagecraft. Her debut album ‘Red Dirt Angel’ won best country album at the 2009 NZ Music Awards at around the same time this follow-up album was being polished. ‘The Kitchen Table Sessions’ was recorded around the fridge (just joking, it was the table) at brother Jay’s house during a trip home last summer. Also produced and engineered by Jay, the 16-song album features his banjo, mandolin, upright bass, strings and vocals. Five more Neilsons and a Burns with a fiddle joined in along the way to lay down dobra, harmonica and knee-slap tracks. My favourite songs are Tami and Jay’s cover of Hold On I’m Coming (Hayes/Porter), and the instrumental Daughter. Jangly-as covers of Slice of Heaven (Dobbin) and Too Many (Scribe) put me way out of my comfort zone but that’s not a bad thing.