James Blundell (singer)

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James Blundell
Man signing autograph
Background information
Born (1964-12-08) 8 December 1964 (age 49)
Origin Stanthorpe, Australia
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer/songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active c. 1987–
Labels EMI
ABC
Compass Brothers
Website jamesblundell.com.au

James Blundell (born 8 December 1964) is an Australian country music singer. Born in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Blundell first rose to prominence after being named "best new talent" at the 1987 Country Music Awards of Australia. He has since released several albums in both Australia and the United States, with his most successful album This Road (released in 1992) selling more than 145,000 copies in Australia. Blundell was an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in Queensland at the 2013 federal election, running for Katter's Australian Party.

Early life and music career[edit]

Blundell was born in Queensland town of Stanthorpe, and was brought up on a sheep and cattle station near the town. As an adult he worked as a station hand across various locations in northern Australia. After a back injury sustained while working on a farm in Papua New Guinea he turned to music.[1][2] and he subsequently won a Golden Guitar Award as the "best new talent" of 1987.[3][4] Blundell released his eponymous first album in 1989, which was followed by "Hand It Down", which was released in the United States in 1990 following its success in Australia. His next albums were This Road and Touch of Water. This Road, which sold more than 145,000 copies in Australia, included the hit "Way Out West", a collaboration with James Reyne which went to #2 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[5] Blundell's first works reflected his background as a jackaroo and his love of that lifestyle.[1]

Although his next albums were less successful commercially, Blundell continued to play regularly at folk and country music festivals around Australia. In 1997, Blundell featured in a Qantas commercial, singing "I Still Call Australia Home",[5] and in the lead-up to the 1999 Australian republic referendum, Blundell recorded the official song for the "No" campaign, despite being in favour of a republic.[6][7][8] In 2003 Blundell garnered media attention for his song "Postcards From Saigon" and speaking out against the war in Iraq.[9]

Politics[edit]

In June 2013, Blundell was selected as Katter's Australian Party's lead Senate candidate[10][11] for Queensland in the 2013 federal election.[12] This was largely at the urging of Bob Katter, the party's founder and only federal member of parliament. Blundell had previously been approached to stand in elections by the Liberal National Party (LNP), but declined.[13] His selection was controversial within the party, in part because he had not been a party member before his candidacy was announced, and contributed to a former vice-president, Kevin Brown, resigning his membership.[14] Some of Blundell's political positions have been controversial within the party, notably his support for same-sex marriage and the abolition of penalty rates.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Blundell has been married twice—firstly to Louise, a former manager, and secondly to Lidia, with whom he had two sons.[17] He left his second wife in August 2007 for Jesse Curran, a singer who he had met at one of his concerts, and he and Curran have since had a child together.[18][13] In May 2010, Blundell filed for bankruptcy, having gone into debt attempting to finance his albums, as well as having lost money on the sale of an investment property the previous year.[5][19] The bankruptcy was discharged in April 2013—had it not been, he would have ineligible to stand as a candidate for election.[12] Blundell's brother, Peter Blundell, is the current mayor of the Southern Downs Region, which includes Stanthorpe.[20]

Discography[edit]

Further information: James Blundell discography
  • Gidgee Bug Pub Song (single), 1987
  • James Blundell, 1989
  • Hand It Down, 1990
  • This Road, 1992
  • Touch of Water, 1993
  • Earth & Sea, 1995
  • Amsterdam Breakfast, 1999
  • I Shall Be Released: The Very Best Of James Blundell, 2001
  • Deluge, 2005
  • Ring Around The Moon, 2007[21]
  • Portrait Of A Man, 2008[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sweeney, Barbara (April 2009). "My Country Childhood - James Blundell Singer". Country Style. pp. 32–34. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Atkinson, Ann; Linsay Knight; Margaret McPhee (1996). The Dictionary of Performing Arts in Australia. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin. p. 34. ISBN 1-86373-898-3. 
  3. ^ Mangan, John (21 April 1989). "What's On Music - Singles". The Age (Google News Archive). p. 10. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Jarvis, Sue (29 January 1989). "Two golden guitars for singer". Sydney Morning Herald (Google News Archive). Retrieved 1 February 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Bankrupt James Blundell back with his folks"The Sunday Telegraph. Published 30 May 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  6. ^ Campbell, Duncan (3 November 1999). "Digger's final push to keep the Queen". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Ad campaigns won't make referendum voting easier". AM (ABC Radio). 11 October 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "'No' campaign accused of sexist advert". The World Today (ABC Radio). 11 October 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Jarvis, Susan (February 2005). "WEATHERING THE STORM". Capital News. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Senate - Queensland, Antony Green's Election Guide, ABC News Online, accessed 30 August 2013
  11. ^ James Blundell, Carl, Katter's Australian Party, 17 July 2013, accessed 30 August 2013
  12. ^ a b Jason Tin (2013). "Country music star James Blundell signs up for Bob Katter's party"The Courier-Mail. Published 2 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  13. ^ a b Jamie Walker (2013). "Country star gives Katter something to sing about"The Australian. Published 3 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  14. ^ Jason Tin (2013). "Katter's Australian Party members slam Senate preselection of country star James Blundell"The Courier-Mail. Published 3 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Clive Palmer, Bob Katter discuss all things great and small"The Australian. Published 26 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  16. ^ Des Houghton (2013). "Bob Katter's tolerance of star Senate candidate James Blundell's views on gay unions sparks member exodus"The Courier-Mail. Published 10 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Ex's pals hit back at James Blundell over Idol Jesse Curran". Daily Telegraph. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  18. ^ Reines, Ros (26 August 2007). "James Blundell leaves wife for Jesse Curran". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "James Blundell caught out in investment property slump"The Daily Telegraph. Published 24 March 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  20. ^ "With Senate in sight, Katter’s man sings to small business"The Australian Financial Review. Published 17 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  21. ^ "discography - albums". James Blundell Official Website. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  22. ^ "James Blundell". Compass Brothers Records. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2010.