A Happy Life
 

by Susan Jarvis

M
elissa Bajric has waited eight years to record her latest album, DIAMONDS & WINE - and the final product is nothing like she expected it to be.

 

 


A lot has changed in that time - I've travelled a lot, performed all over Australia, and done a lot of songwriting," Melissa said.

"And my music has evolved a lot - mostly because of what has happened in my live show. It now has a much more contemporary feel, with a lot of different sounds and influences. And it has been those things that have ultimately driven the new album."

Melissa initially went into the studio with Lindsay Butler to record Diamonds & Wine, but it became clear that the original album concept had changed radically.

"We got to the stage where we were looking at two totally different albums - a more traditional one, which is something I still love and want to continue with, and a much more contemporary one," she said. "In the end, Lindsay and I decided to keep working on the traditional project together, but that I should find a new producer for Diamonds & Wine.

Lindsay Waddington had been my musical director for the live shows for some time, and he really understood what I was looking for, and what the music needed. He was the obvious choice as producer, so he came on board, and it has worked out exceptionally well."

Diamonds & Wine is Melissa's third solo album - she recorded her debut release, Believe In Me, at the age of 16 and the critically acclaimed Small Town Girl when she was 21. In between, she recorded a bush ballad album, Drovin' All Over, with Bob Easter and Graham Rodger.

At the age of 30, Melissa says her priorities over the past decade have been living her life and honing her live performances. Her Melissa Bajric Show tours extensively, and features a five-piece band, visual effects and guest performers. Melissa's parents - who have been part of the show since the beginning - still work behind the scenes.

"We've worked very hard to build the show, but I've also had so many opportunities to follow my dreams - which has included getting married, and travelling extensively all over the world," Melissa said.

"I think being so happy, and living the life I want to live, has taken my songwriting to a new place, and it has certainly made me want to write even more. When you're happy in life, you want to put that spark back into your music. I think that has given my songs a little extra bounce, and I really like the sound it's created."

Melissa says she wanted the new album to reflect the happy place she's in - to be uplifting and positive. "There are a few sad moments, which is part of life, but overall it's an album that makes you feel good," she said.

The first single, When I'm With You, captures that feeling perfectly. it's a song about those moments when everything feels just right. And It's True- a song about knowing when you've met the right person - expresses a similar sentiment.

The bubbly, bouncy Life Is Short is also full of positive energy. It's a sweet, uplifting song and Melissa says she loved the message and feel of the song as soon as she heard it.

The songs on Diamonds & Wine - both Melissa's own compositions and some carefully selected tracks by other writers - are all wonderful, and Melissa does them justice with her warm, sweet voice complete with a breathtaking catch that lifts her above the pack. A highlight is the wonderful Back To My Boots - a song about loving city life, but needing to head to the bush from time to time, and reconnect with small town life.

There's an autobiographical element to Rock Star as well, and there are few people who wouldn't relate to those childhood dreams of becoming a star [even those of us with no talent!].

"I was one of those kids who adored singing, and I want that feeling and that spark to stay in my music. I hope I never lose it," Melissa said. But it takes drive as well as a spark to build your career, and Do Or Die reflects on giving your all to realise a dream.

There are a couple of quite different songs on this album. One is I Knew It, Melissa's first ever co-write [with Lindsay Waddington]. The song has a wonderful Spanish, Tex-Mex influence and creates a magical mood. The wonderful I Can't Turn Around also spins a wonderful emotional tale, one that's reflected in the music as much as the lyrics.

But there is a sad note on the album. Neil's Song was written for Lindsay Waddington's father-in-law and Melissa's Bass player Neil Buttsworth, who passed away from cancer. Melissa still performs without a bass player in his honour. "I am bad at goodbyes, and this song is my way to express my feelings. You have to accept what life brings, but I still feel this loss very deeply," she said.

Other tracks on Diamonds & Wine include the delightful Too Many Tequilas - another opportunity for Melissa to inhabit a very different character - and It's Not For You - a song about taking a distressing experience and dealing with it as every songwriter should: by making it into a song.

The album's production is superb, with a who's who of Australia's musicians brought in to add their unique touches.

Diamonds & Wine was launched at the Capitol Theatre during this year's Tamworth festival. It is already being extremely well received, and is attracting a lot of attention from overseas, with sales and airplay increasing each week.

"My last album opened a lot of doors for me, and I'm hoping this one will take that much further. I'm very excited about what the next 12 months has in store," Melissa said.

 

 


                                                 Capital News  May 2014  Vol 39 No 5


 

 


countryjukebox.de

JUKEBOX WORLD

(English Translation)

 

 


The new CD of Country Singer/Songwriter MELISSA BAJRIC offers enough characteristics of her previous recordings, yet a lot has changed.

From the Small Town Girl (the title of her last album published in 2009), a young woman has emerged; the young artist having become an established and respected player in the Australian Country Music scene.

Even with her strong ties to traditional music, she can no longer be contained by that categorisation. And that's a good thing, because her songs are honest and moving, and in a voice and style unique to Melissa Bajric.

 

 


For the new album she turned to a new producer, Lindsay Waddington, and together they also wrote the very catchy "I Knew It". In short: Diamonds & Wine is a beautiful work of one who knows what she is doing.

                                   Country Jukebox, Germany - March 2014


 


 

Click to open the original page containing this review

 

 

PREVIEW OF EPISODE 7 - SERIES 18

 
 

MELISSA BAJRIC BIG CITY HOTEL

 

Hunter Valley cowgirl Melissa Barjic headed south to the big Sydney smoke to film the video for Big City Hotel.

She didn't indulge in the aerobics of pole dancing - it was more like a slow dance with a bottle of brandy.

Then Melissa boot scooted to room 304 on the 21st floor.

Melissa, 27, was raised in a small village in the Hunter Valley vineyard belt.

The song is off her fourth album Diamonds And Wine, produced by Lindsay Butler.

Further info - www.melissabajric.com

 
 

Dave's Diary             NU Country TV 14th July 2012

 
   

 

Click to open the original page containing this review

 

 

PREVIEW OF EPISODE 1 - SERIES 16

 
 

MELISSA BAJRIC DARKEST HOURS

Melissa Bajric, 27, returns with her single When The Darkest Hours Pass.

Melissa was raised in a small village in the Hunter Valley vineyard belt. "Ross Wood always seems to be able to find the perfect location to film our clips and the house where we filmed When the Darkest Hours Pass was another of these," Melissa told Nu Country.

"It was an empty house on the Central Coast of NSW, only used for short stays. The people in the clip were actors Ross picked especially for this song and they did such an amazing job. I wasn't there when the actors were filmed and saw their work for the first time when Ross sent me the finished clip. The actors made the sad story of the song so real."

The song is off a new album produced by Lindsay Butler.

Further info - www.melissabajric.com

 

 

 

Dave's Diary             NU Country TV 6th June 2011

 
   

 

Click to open the original page containing this review

 

 

PREVIEW OF EPISODE 13 - SERIES 15

 
 


SILVER WINGS FLY AGAIN

Hunter Valley singer Melissa Bajric and Lindsay Waddington have kept the traditional country flame burning their colourful careers.

Melissa, 26 and raised in a vineyard village, returns to Nu Country with debutante Waddington in their revamp of Merle Haggard classic Silver Wings.

Waddington produced the song for a new album - the latest in a career that started in 2001 with her Drover Music debut disc Believe In Me.
 
 

Prolific video clip director Ross Wood filmed it at Camden airport south of Sydney where sheep roamed the plains in days of yore.

Some was also filmed at Mascot aerodrome where big silver birds replace the joy flight siblings.

The light planes in the video are all still operational and a vivid portrayal of the aircraft that inspired the song by Haggard, 74, who also exhibits his love of trains.

Melissa shares geographical roots with 2007 Starmaker winner and 2008 best new talent Golden Guitars winner Kristy Lee Akers, now 20.

Both singers earned their stripes in talent quest in towns in the former coalfields and way beyond.

In 2003, with Bob Easter and Graham Rodger, she released duets album Drovin' All Over.

All Melissa's albums have been produced by multi award winning music producer Lindsay Butler.

Further info - www.melissabajric.com

This is the first video for the six-time Queensland country musician of the year Waddington who established Kross Kut Records on the Gold Coast in 2003.

Waddington released his third album True Blue in 2010 and has produced 40 albums for other artists.

He also used a string section in Silver Wings

Further info - www.lindsaywaddington.com

Dave's Diary             NU Country TV 28th February 2011

 

 


countryjukebox.de

JUKEBOX WORLD

(English Translation)

 

 


In a rural environment where the waters run clear, and breeding youthful innocence; a small village in the vineyard region of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales was the place of birth and growing up of singer and songwriter Melissa Bajric.

The pretty 24 year old is seen on the cover of her latest album, the title of which is aptly called "Small Town Girl". A first impression is confirmed by 12 predominantly excellent, wonderfully melodic and touching songs; presented in a marvelous and disciplined manner by the young Australian. These are done sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes dreamily, sometimes in sad ballad style; but always genuine and natural, perhaps even a little too so for some with less traditional tastes.

 


After her debut album Believe In Me (2001) and the popular duets album Drovin' All Over (recorded with the two Australian country music veterans Bob Easter and Graham Rodger in 2003), comes Melissa's third album Small Town Girl. Following her successes in her homeland, the award-winning singer released her first international single "Blue Mountain Melody" - a solid and relaxed, Pedal Steel, Fiddle, and Mandolin dominated country song that has captured the hearts now of country music fans from outside of "Down Under".

Besides the title track, and the light-hearted sounds of the flattering "Luckiest Girl", Bajric puts forward three more self-written compositions, "Morning Bird", "Listen To the Rain", and "Little Girl In Me"; on this her third album produced by master of country guitar Lindsay Butler.

The pace picks up with "Truck Drivin' Man", not the well known Terry Fell trucker classic of Dave Dudley, but a work of the Australian singer / songwriter Norma O'Hara Murphy. With the Red Lane and Melba Montgomery composition "Sunshine Rain", a tastefully unobtrusive number, the listener is instantly reminded of the post-war style songs of The Judds; and from the repertoire of the Louvin Brothers comes the sensitively sung, little known country ballad "Are You Wasting My Time".

Small Town Girl is an album, exactly catering to the tastes of country traditionalists who prefer the somewhat relaxed and quiet approach in their music. Melissa Bajric is not only talented and skillful, she has a beautiful voice, writes just as beautiful country songs, and puts her heart and soul into her music. What is currently missing though is a few crisp up-tempo pieces, with which to provide the essential alternation in her offering. A well-intentioned piece of advice that could soon be fulfilled, as we hear that a new album is already in production, and hopefully a release will follow in the not too distant future.
 
 
                                   Country Jukebox, Germany - January 2009


 

Click to open the original page containing this review

 

 

PREVIEW OF EPISODE 6 - SERIES 11

 
 

MELISSA BAJRIC

 
 


Hunter Valley chanteuse Melissa Bajric returns to Nu Country with the video for her song Too Long Between Drinks from her third album Small Town Girl.

Melissa, born in 1984, was raised in a small village near the vineyard regions of the Hunter Valley in NSW.

Her love for country music was ignited at five when she sang old time country songs at school talent quests while the rest of the bill was nursery rhymes.

Melissa honed her craft at country music festivals at Poley's Place on the Barrington, performing alongside her dad playing the guitar.

She performs at Poley's at most Easter and October long weekend hoedowns and cut her debut album Believe In Me in 2001.

In 2003 Melissa, Bob Easter and Graham Rodger released duets album Drovin' All Over.

Tamworth veteran Lindsay Butler had produced all of Melissa's albums.

During 2007 Melissa released first video clip, Luckiest Girl, directed by multi award winning video producer Ross Wood.

Melissa shares her NSW wine belt and coal mining roots with fellow singer Kirsty Lee Akers who released second CD Better Days at Tamworth in January.  

Dave's Diary             NU Country TV 9th January 2009

 

   

 


GETTING IT RIGHT - Melissa Bajric
by Bob Anthony Jnr
 

An understanding boss and a high level of enthusiasm are two factors which have allowed promising Maitland-based country music artist Melissa Bajric to fulfill her dreams.

With the release of her third album, Small Town Girl, Melissa has enjoyed growing recognition for her music, especially since picking up a TSA Award for the song, 'Little Girl In Me' from the album.

It is one of five own-compositions on Small Town Girl which was produced by Lindsay Butler for Drover Music.

It's been a very successful partnership, so much so that Melissa is currently working on material for her fourth album and is getting ready to go into the studio to record.

"I want this album to feature a lot more of myself and to do that, we intend to take our time "Since doing my first album when I was just 16, I've definitely learnt a lot and now really enjoy the recording process". "I like sitting in on every recoding session and I did that for the last album, because it's a reflection of me, but that takes up a lot of time."

Melissa happily admits her music is more on the traditional style of country music. "I grew up listening to traditional forms of country music thanks to my parents and that's what we recorded on my first album, Believe In Me, back in 2001." Melissa said.

"Since then I have still retained the traditional element but with each album, especially the last, I have started bringing in more contemporary sounds. It wasn't intended but I've found that is the case in the songs that I'm writing."

"This new album some things that are a bit different which I want to experiment with and that's an exciting challenge. Apart from what I have written, we have taken our time in sourcing other songs. I have also found songwriters whose work will suit what I am into, such as Norma O'Hara Murphy who has given me a great track and I can't wait to record it. I have also found a songwriter, Time Stanley, through the internet who is in Tennessee and he will have two tracks on the album.".

The album (the name is still under wraps) will again be recorded in Lindsay Butler's Tamworth studio where Melissa feels most comfortable. "I love it there, I think it has something to do with being in Tamworth, the country heritage and everything, and Lindsay has a great studio that I am very familiar with." Melissa said.

"We will be looking to release the album some time during next year but only when we are ready - we won't be rushing it.".

Check out Melissa Bajric through her wesite at www.melissabajric.com.
        Country Update  August 2008  Issue 50

 

 

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PREVIEW OF EPISODE 12 - SERIES 10

 
 

MELISSA BAJRIC - SMALL TOWN GIRL

 
 


Hunter Valley singer Melissa Bajric is well qualified to perform in the video for her song Luckiest Girl from her third album Small Town Girl.

Melissa, just 24, was raised in a small village in the Hunter Valley wine belt.

The singer shares geographical roots with 2007 Starmaker winner and 2008 best new talent Golden Guitars winner Kristy Lee Akers, now 20.

Both singers earned their stripes in talent quest in towns in the former coal fields and way beyond.

Melissa released her debut album Believe In Me in 2001.

And in 2003, with Bob Easter and Graham Rodger, she released popular duets album Drovin' All Over.

All of Melissa's albums have been produced by multi award winning music producer Lindsay Butler
.

Dave's Diary             NU Country TV 18th August 2008

 

Click to open the original page containing this review

 

 


 

 

SMALL TOWN GIRL

Melissa Bajric

 

 


O
ne of the great things about editing ACN is the fact  that I am pleasantly surprised when I hear an album that I’d missed out on or overlooked, and then discover some pure country magic – and Melissa’s album sits right smack bang in that wonderful category.

 

I’d pidgeon-holed Melissa (only through ignorance) as a young female bush balladeer, but SMALL TOWN GIRL is much, much more than that. This young singer has a unique vocal delivery that is as Country as can be. Her soft vibrato is as perfect as you remember hearing some of the genre’s classic female artists of the past possessing.

 

First up you can revel in the five beaut original Melissa tracks, the highlight of which is a toss up between Listen To The Rain or the title track – the current radio single getting lots of spins. You’ll find some spot on observations in the lyrics of her songs and you’re put on notice that here’s a songwriter worthy of your immediate attention.

 

Melissa then takes us on a poignant flashback with her worthy retelling of Joy McKean’s beautiful Wind-Up Gramophone before she revs up for a top gear version of Norma O’Hara Murphy’s Truck Driving Man.

 

There’s a definite Australian feel to this album – traditional, heartfelt and honest. One of the highlights is a great cut of the Louvin Brothers’ Are You Wasting My Time – also worthy of plenty of radio attention.

 

Lindsay Butler has done the production honours here and the LBS A-team are as tasty as ever – especially Lawrie Minson’s subtle harmonica cuts and Mark Moulynox’s pedal steel runs.

 

A self proclaimed bush ballad singer, Melissa is more than that, as this album showcases. She’s also well aware of where traditional country sits and thankfully she can deliver the goods.

 

Here’s small town girl with a big heart for Country Music – and isn’t that what we all want to hear?                      

 

Jon Wolfe             Australasian Country News 17th November 2006



 

Click to open the original page containing this review
SMALL TOWN GIRL

Deborah Minter

Bush Balladeers are supposed to be weather-beaten craggy old men… aren’t they?

Certainly not these days, with young MELISSA BAJRIC promoting a brand new image of fresh faced beauty to the genre, along with other handsome young faces such as AMOS MORRIS and ANITA REE. Melissa has become quite an accomplished writer as well, as her new album proves, with title track Small Town Girl just one of five of her own compositions of the twelve tracks.

Morning Bird is a sweet waltz-time track with an engaging yodelling refrain. Luckiest Girl is happy and upbeat. Listen To The Rain brings encouragement to rain-starved farmers. Little Girl In Me reminds us just how young this fresh talent still is. Melissa also has recorded several favourite classics, Truck Drivin’ Man, Are You Wasting My Time and Wind-Up Gramophone.

Her delicate vibrato is gentle and sweet to the ear - not weather-beaten or craggy or old at all!  

Drover DE008CD                Capital News June 2006 Vol 31 No 6

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