Lachlan Bryan has decided he likes Novocastrian alt-country artist Ben Leece. This is a good thing, given that the pair are travelling together on the Friends & Acquaintances Tour.
They met through their mutual booking agent who thought they would not only get on well, but complement one another on tour.
"We first met in Tamworth this year. We had already signed up to do this tour together before we actually met," Bryan told LIVE.
"I think the tour was called Friends or Acquaintances at the start because we weren't really sure if we were friends yet [laughs]. Fortunately we did hit it off. I really like his music, too, so that certainly helps as well."
Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes are releasing new single Take It Out On Me in the coming weeks before heading to the UK for Maverick Fest, an Americana music festival, and a tour of Europe. Their fifth studio album is due for release later this year. Last year's Some Girls (Quite) Like Country Music has been nominated for the 2019 Independent Country Album of the Year.
Bryan is a talented songwriter with his finger firmly on the alt-country and Americana pulse. He produces records for other artists to supplement his own recording and touring lifestyle.
"It'd be nice to just tour and play and write but most Australian musicians have to have some other kind of a day job," he said.
"Producing music is the most rewarding option for me. You learn a lot and it is a good way to ensure you're not resting on your laurels - you see other people coming through the ranks who are doing things differently, sometimes better, and I find that fires me up creatively."
Already this year he has toured the East Coast with acclaimed American singer-songwriter Hannah Aldridge, and the US in March in support of Nashville icon Amelia White. Touring the US was an eye-opener for Bryan as well as a bucket-list event. White, listening to his albums prior to their tour, posted on his Facebook page: "Why aren't you wildly famous?"
Bryan chuckles when reminded of the comment.
"It was such a nice thing to say. Coming from her that is a big deal because I respect her writing so much," he replied.
"I never thought I'd be touring with her. She has lived in East Nashville for nearly 20 years now and it's kind of like the cool kids in the older class at school. I felt a bit nervous and shy around her. But they were just so welcoming and kind to me."
He pauses and laughs again.
"I think she made that comment before the tour started and I haven't checked in with her to see if she still thinks that. Hopefully she does."