Before being stomped on by a bull, country singer songwriter James Blundell had never considered turning his love of music into a career.
‘My whole family was musical, but it was never really considered an art form…it was just something you did because you enjoyed doing it. Until I was 21, I assumed I would spend my life working with horses and cattle because I love it – and then I got trampled by a bull and the only way I had to earn an income was to play music. It was absolute ruthless practicality that drove me to a career that would go for thirty years.’
James now juggles music with managing the family farm, on 5,000 acres in Queensland. He says his genuine link to the land has been a key to his career success, which has included being inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.
‘One of the things about people who live in the country is you can’t bullshit them, so the authenticity of being on the land is so important,’ James says.
His rural background has also helped him survive the emotional and financial ups and downs of being a professional musician.
‘There is so much of your life that is out of your control because of the seasons, the markets, drought and flood and fire and all the things you don’t see coming, so being able to handle those fluctuations has been a real blessing. It doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable, but it does mean you see it for what it is.’
James has been a regular fixture on the Victorian Seniors Festival program, and this year is looking forward to performing with his eldest son, Briar. ‘I have always had a good relationship with the older generation. They are a really attentive audience.’
Watch James' performance now.