Lyn Bowtell is behind the wheel of one of many cars lining up for a COVID test as she chats about her new album.
The talented singer-songwriter is in good health, never fear. She is simply complying with Queensland Health orders so that she can visit her beloved mum, who lives across the border.
"I got here early but it seems everyone else had the same idea," Bowtell said, laughing.
"If I have to stop while they shove something up my nose, please forgive me."
Bowtell is a delight. Her personality had a chance to shine in her web-based video series Sisters in Song Sessions, where she teamed up with Tamworth singer-songwriter Logan Hoswell to interview some of the leading ladies of Australian country music.
Bowtell, of course, one of those leading ladies.
She is a nine-time Golden Guitar winner, Toyota Star Maker winner, MO award winner and is the artistic director of the CMAA Academy of Country Music.
She first came to prominence as a member of country-pop trio Bella and has since released solo albums Secret Songs in 2012, Heart Of Sorrow in 2014 and EP Calling You in 2017.
Her stunning voice turned all four judges' chairs on national television in season six of The Voice Australia.
She has been busy rehearsing songs from her new album Wiser, which is being previewed at the 2022 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Bowtell and her band will play the album from start to finish, live, at Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar on January 20 and at The Longyard Hotel on January 23.
Wiser, produced by Shane Nicholson, will be officially released in May.
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"We had a great time rehearsing this week," Bowtell told LIVE.
"It was good to blow out some cobwebs, to be honest, and play all these new songs.
"It's all very new and exciting and sounding amazing. I can't wait for Tamworth.
"A lot of the songs came from the COVID period and me having all these great ideas that needed to have some life put into them."
Last month she recorded a video clip for lead single I Won't Do That Again.
"It's been a while since I've done one and it was loads of fun," she said.
"The song is upbeat and I love it. It's a nod to myself to not forget, to not stand in the shadows and wait for the light. To put myself forward.
"There's a line in there about isolation - "isolation is a poisoned cup, drink it up like holy wine" - because for me being isolated was something I really needed.
"I needed to stop. My nervous system needed to chill.
"As scary as it was, the flip side of COVID and isolation was the feeling that because I couldn't actually do anything, what did I actually want to do?
"It was incredible to have that choice."
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