Country Writers’ Bloc 2012 | Hunter Valley

Mushroom Music ventured back to the Carriages Country House in Pokolbin in the beautiful Hunter Valley for another 5 days of genre-crossing collaborations during the second week of February 2012.

This year our very special songwriting guest was the incredible co-writing machine that is Americana singer/songwriter Kim Richey. Kim was in Australia playing at the Tamworth country music festival with Tenielle, Troy Cassar-Daley, James Blundell and Felicity Urquhart as well as various other dates with Kevin Bennett from The Flood. Kim has enjoyed tremendous success in the U.S. as a writer and co-writer of several major hit songs & has co-written with a host of Australian songwriters including Catherine Britt, Karl Broadie, Felicity Urquhart, Shane Nicholson, Tenielle and many more.

As in previous years we invited a number of folk/rock/pop/alt-country writers to come along and be a part of this event and meet songwriters that they would perhaps never otherwise cross paths with.

We’d like to thank the following songwriters for their contributions. A special thank-you also goes to our in-house Producer/Engineers Matt Fell and Michael Carpenter who played, recorded, and worked tirelessly to deliver 21 song demos with no fuss, total care and attention.

Contributing Writers:
Caitlin Harnett
Catherine Britt
Dan Parsons
Daniel Lee Kendall
Dom Mariani
Donna Dean
Felicity Urquhart
James Blundell
Kav Temperley
Kim Richey
Myles Mayo
Pip Norman
Sarah Humphreys

Ben Salter [ABC Music]
Jay O’Shea

… Here is what the participants had to say about the experience:

“Thank you very much Mushroom Music for inviting me to the 2012 Writers’ Bloc. It was an amazing and truly inspiring event like no other! Lodging in the gorgeous Hunter Valley, two fantastic producers ready in the onsite studio to turn our brand new songs into little records and a seriously talented and fun mix of songwriters to collaborate. All organised by the lovely Sarah Stewart and Bill Page. I loved every minute of it and the 7 songs I’m taking away from the trip. It doesn’t get any better.”

“I’ve rarely been more inspired to write songs than I was taking part in The Writers’ Bloc. Being surrounded by such talented songwriters, enthusiastic music lovers and to do it all in such a beautiful place is what I would call a perfect weekend.”

“What an incredible opportunity. As a songwriter there are only two things I want for; inspiration and creative surroundings. The Writers’ Bloc delivered that and more. I could not think of a better way to enjoy a co-writing experience than to be surrounded by nature and like-minded people. If only it went for 2 weeks!”

“It was a good chance to get to know some great people and share stories and wisdom and music. My soul felt lightened.”

“I really enjoyed the Writers’ Bloc. It was great meeting everyone and sharing ideas. I was pleased with how fast the songs came together, it’s the way I like to work. Glad to be involved.”

“It always amazes me to see what can come out of a team of writers locked up together in a beautiful place. The Hunter Valley is incredibly inspiring. Bill Page, at the heart of the retreat, is one of the “good guys”, who really is in it for the music. It was a total blast.”

“I feel spoilt again!! Thanks for an awesome couple of days. The new tunes are going round and round on repeat in my head, and I love it. Bill and Sarah, we love you and your passion for music. Such beautiful people to be around and I love that you kick our butts to write until sleep time. Old mates and new friends thanks for lighting the fire in me again.”

“The Writers’ Bloc was a beautiful experience for me, it opened me up as a songwriter and all the wonderful other people involved inspired me beyond words. It was such a productive and enjoyable couple of days.”

“Writers’ Bloc was an amazing opportunity, a highly memorable one. Thanks so much to Mushroom for the warm and enthusiastic invitation. Meeting such a talented bunch of writers, performers, engineers and producers was priceless. I left feeling really inspired and richer for it. Thanks Sarah and to Bill Page for having me be part of it all.”