James Blundell (singer)

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James Blundell
Man signing autograph
Background information
Born (1964-12-08) 8 December 1964 (age 52)
Origin Stanthorpe, Australia
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer/songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active c. 1987–
Labels EMI
ABC
Compass Brothers
Revenge Records
Red Rebel Music
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. Blundell also won the 1987 Star Maker Quest. 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. He appeared on the 1990 compilation album Breaking Ground - New Directions in Country Music which was nominated for the 1991 ARIA Award for Best Country Album.[5] 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.[6] 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",[6] 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.[7][8][9] In 2003 Blundell garnered media attention for his song "Postcards From Saigon" and speaking out against the war in Iraq.[10] In November and December 2010 and the following February, Blundell performed in a musical theatre show, The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session, with Nick Barker, Dave Larkin, Ezra Lee and Doug Parkinson.[11][12][13]

Politics[edit]

In June 2013, Blundell was selected as Katter's Australian Party's lead Senate candidate[14][15] for Queensland in the 2013 federal election.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Blundell has been married twice—firstly to Louise, a former manager, and secondly to Lidia, with whom he had two sons.[21] 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 two children together.[22][17] 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.[6][23] The bankruptcy was discharged in April 2013—had it not been, he would have ineligible to stand as a candidate for election.[16]

Blundell's brother, Peter Blundell, is a former mayor of the Stanthorpe Shire and the Southern Downs Region.[24] Peter Blundell has since moved to Central Queensland where he resides in the coastal town of Yeppoon and is a radio presenter with Rockhampton community station 4YOU. Peter Blundell has also been preselected by the Liberal National Party of Queensland to contest the next Queensland state election in the Central Queensland seat of Keppel, in an attempt to defeat sitting Australian Labor Party state member Brittany Lauga.[25][26][27] James Blundell has displayed public support for his brother's political ambitions and has performed at campaign events for his brother.[28]

Discography[edit]

  • James Blundell, 1989
  • Hand It Down, 1990 (AUS: No. 50)
  • This Road, 1992 (AUS: No.4)
  • Touch of Water, 1993 (AUS: No.11)
  • Earth & Sea, 1995 (AUS: No.31)
  • Amsterdam Breakfast, 1999
  • I Shall Be Released: The Very Best of James Blundell, 2001
  • Deluge, 2005
  • Ring Around the Moon, 2007[29]
  • Essential, 2007
  • Portrait of a Man, 2008[30]
  • Woolshed Creek, 2011[29]
  • Come On In, 2015[29]
  • Campfire, 2017[29]

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. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "ARIA Awards Best Country Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c "Bankrupt James Blundell back with his folks" Archived 15 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine. – The Sunday Telegraph. Published 30 May 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  7. ^ Campbell, Duncan (3 November 1999). "Digger's final push to keep the Queen". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ad campaigns won't make referendum voting easier". AM. ABC Radio. 11 October 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "'No' campaign accused of sexist advert". The World Today. ABC Radio. 11 October 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Jarvis, Susan (February 2005). "WEATHERING THE STORM". Capital News. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session". Fox Media Marketing (Clive Fox Photography). Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Win Tweet Seats to the Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Sessions". 774 ABC Melbourne (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). 29 October 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Kary, David (22 February 2011). "The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session". Sydney Arts Guide. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Senate - Queensland Archived 4 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine., Antony Green's Election Guide, ABC News Online, Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  15. ^ James Blundell Archived 19 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Carl, Katter's Australian Party, 17 July 2013, Retrieved 30 August 2013
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ a b Jamie Walker (2013). "Country star gives Katter something to sing about" Archived 4 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. – The Australian. Published 3 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  18. ^ Jason Tin (2013). "Katter's Australian Party members slam Senate preselection of country star James Blundell" Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. – The Courier-Mail. Published 3 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Clive Palmer, Bob Katter discuss all things great and small" Archived 26 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. – The Australian. Published 26 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  20. ^ Des Houghton (2013). "Bob Katter's tolerance of star Senate candidate James Blundell's views on gay unions sparks member exodus" Archived 11 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. – The Courier-Mail. Published 10 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Ex's pals hit back at James Blundell over Idol Jesse Curran". Daily Telegraph. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  22. ^ Reines, Ros (26 August 2007). "James Blundell leaves wife for Jesse Curran". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  23. ^ "James Blundell caught out in investment property slump"The Daily Telegraph. Published 24 March 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  24. ^ "With Senate in sight, Katter’s man sings to small business"The Australian Financial Review. Published 17 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  25. ^ LNP for Keppel: Meet Peter Blundell, Liberal National Party of Queensland website. Accessed 25 October 2017.
  26. ^ Bowman, Trish LNP reveals shock candidate to take on Brittany Lauga, The Morning Bulletin, 19 July 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  27. ^ Bulloch, Shayla Keppel candidate rejects claims of a 1-term mayoral failure, The Chronicle, 27 July 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  28. ^ Details Facebook event: Tune In Yeppoon, Peter Blundell - LNP for Keppel Facebook page. Accessed 25 October 2017.
  29. ^ a b c d "discography - albums". James Blundell Official Website. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  30. ^ "James Blundell". Compass Brothers Records. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2010.