Gleny Rae Virus Bio (Download bio)

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Gleny Rae emerged from the Western Plains of NSW when Jerry Reed had a number one song with When You’re Hot, You’re Hot. Her early years were spent learning essential skills such as skinning rabbits with one hand, cooking home-made sausages on a plough disk and riding horses under low hanging creek branches. The soundtrack to these activities was “country cheese” on AM radio and uplifting classical music taught by the water-skiing Catholic nun of Nyngan. Secondary education in Sydney and the subsequent discovery of FM radio opened up a thousand musical opportunities including several Associate diplomas on pianoforte and violin at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Despite the distraction of a degree in journalism, Gleny Rae followed her nomadic calling along the Highway of Roots Music. Troubadour status was achieved with the female country crossover duo, Toe Sucking Cowgirls, who tirelessly toured the recalcitrant corners of Australia, UK and Ireland, receiving TIARA award nominations, a variety of songwriting awards and national airplay. Armed with fiddle and squeezebox, Gleny Rae became a regular face at folk festivals, ute musters, outback events and a string of remote music-loving pubs. In 2006, she formed specialist western swing band Gleny Rae Virus and her Tamworth Playboys with an aim to put the swing back in country music.  The band’s first release Highrollin’ received national airplay and earned the band a top 5 finalist position in the Victorian Country Music Awards for Best Band.

The second full length release Beyond Horizontal sees the band stripped back to a trio featuring the delightful musicianship of Roy Payne (The Whiteliners, Don Walker) on guitar and lap steel, and Dougie Bull (The Lawnmowers, The Lairs) on double bass. The album toys with traditional forms of western swing, bluegrass, gypsy jazz and rockabilly, resulting in a collection of songs heavily influenced by the 40’s and 50’s Americana genres with a distinctly Australian narrative slant. Some of the tracks are recorded completely live, to give listeners a taste of the sparkling musicianship and feisty passion of a live performance by Gleny Rae Virus and her Tamworth Playboys.

In 2011, Gleny Rae Virus appeared in the influential SBS documentary Go Back To Where You Came From which earned her a whole new audience of fans for her humanitarian attitudes towards refugees. This June, she is one of the Ambassadors for the Refugee Council of Australia as they celebrate the positive contribution of refugees to our social fabric during Refugee Week (June 17 – 23).

2011 also saw Gleny Rae Virus and her Tamworth Playboys accept an invitation to perform at the Americana Music Association Showcase in Nashville Tennessee. The trio was overwhelmed at the opportunity to play to enthusiastic audiences in the iconic Station Inn, Nashville, and augmented their American visit with performances in Austin, New Orleans, Kansas and Arkansas. American audiences were enchanted by Gleny Rae’s humorous and honest songs, all delivered with fiery virtuosity and passion. The trio will return to the USA this October to continue their foray into the homelands of western swing and hillbilly music.

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