CLOSE friends Natalie Henry and Catherine Britt were enjoying a drink together one evening last summer when talk inevitably turned to songwriting.
Henry was going through a relationship break-up, which she described as "the hardest one" she's experienced, and was finally emerging out the other side. The secret to her recovery, Henry explained to Britt, was "weed, wine and women".
"I said something about the things that get me through the night," Henry said. "And she said, 'that's a great idea for a song', so we just started to write through the night."
The result was the honky tonk single Weed, Wine and Women, the first track from Henry's forthcoming second album, due in September.
The single has already attracted high-profile praise. You Am I frontman Tim Rogers described the song as, "grand-honky-tonk writ, sung and played with all the trouble and charm that the best has," and alt-country heavyweight Shane Nicholson said, "from post to post, it doesn't get much more authentic and believable than this."
The album was recorded in February at Rocking Horse Studios in Byron Bay following a successful $15,000 crowd-funding campaign and was produced by Britt and Michael Muchow.
Henry is the quintessential late bloomer. At 34 in 2016 she and her ex-husband Brock Henry released their debut album Cold Love as The Wayward Henrys and in 2019 she released her maiden solo record, Apple & Pride.
Henry said album No.2 is closer to the sound she's been striving for.
"It's really great when an artist finds that," she said. "It takes a long time. Sometimes it takes 20 years to find the sound. I've been doing this six years and I feel like I've finally found my sound."
Henry launches Weed, Wine and Women at a secret show on May 28 in Newcastle.
NATALIE Henry will also be part of the returning Wollombi Music Festival on November 26 and 27.
After a year off due to COVID-19 in 2020 and a detour to Newcastle's The Station in 2019, the two-day exploration of roots, soul and blues music is returning to Wollombi's Laguna Hall.
Besides Henry, the first announcement also includes Shaun Kirk & The Swamp Stompers, Thirty Three Degrees and Two Tears In A Bucket.
YOU AM I SHOW
ROCK legends You Am I release their 11th studio album The Lives Of Others on May 14 and their passionate Novocastrian fan base won't have to wait long to hear the new material live.
Tim Rogers and the lads are returning to the Cambridge Hotel on May 28.
The Lives Of Others is the Berlin Chair hit-makers first album since 2015's Porridge and Hot Sauce and sees the band return stylistically to their early 2000s era of Dress Me Slowly and Deliverance.
You Am I's last Newcastle show was at the Foreshore on New Year's Eve 2019.
BAD//DREEMS are also back on the road after COVID-19 and are heading to the Cambridge on June 4.
The Adelaide pub rock revivalists haven't released any new material since their third album Doomsday Ballet in 2019, but plan to use their upcoming NSW and ACT tour as an opportunity to road test material they've written for the upcoming fourth record.