Andrew Swift has released 3 ARIA #1 albums and garnered 3 CMAA Golden Guitar awards – most recently Male Artist of the Year 2023. Accolades have come thick and fast for lovable troubadour, Andrew Swift, since his foray into Country music some years ago.
As Swift stood on the Toyota Star Maker stage in 2017, before thousands of Tamworth festivalgoers and surrounded by his fellow top 10 finalists, he waited nervously for one name to be read the victor... It wasn’t his. But that balmy January night kickstarted the singer-songwriter’s illustrious career.
Adorned in tattoos, sporting a bushy beard and ball cap, he looks like someone who might be passionate about craft beer or 18-hour smoked brisket. But don’t let that rough exterior fool you. He’s not a BBQ pitmaster - although he can whip up some mean nachos – he’s a bonafide Country songsmith... and a real sweetheart.
He describes his music as “a gateway drug to Country music”, much like the Tamworth Country Music Festival was for him when he first arrived from Melbourne; a former pop-punk guitarist who’d been told he had “a bit of a Country vibe”. The undeniable sense of community between artists had him hooked. “Everybody knew each other and was so supportive. I hadn’t seen anything like that before,” he reminisces. “I fell in love with it and haven’t looked back.”
A year later his ARIA #1 debut album, Call Out For The Cavalry, cemented him as one of Australia’s most discerning storytellers. Its tales of Runaway Trains and Reckless Desires earned him a whopping 4 Golden Guitar nominations in 2019 – not bad for an upstart – from which he took home gongs for Alt Country Album of the Year and New Talent of the Year.
His sophomore effort, The Art of Letting Go, came three years later, after a signing with ABC and a whirlwind of touring alongside some of the genre’s biggest names - The Wolfe Brothers, Catherine Britt and Shannon Noll, to name a few. As a former seller and repairer of caravans – “I worked all sorts of jobs to support my musical dreams,” he chuckles – he was almost too keen to pack his life into a retro teardrop and hit the road.
The new record debuted again at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country chart and became the 5th highest selling Australian Country Music album in 2021. Hits like Head Full of Honey and Say The Word spun light-hearted stories of courtship and calamity through a sonic lens that pushed the boundaries of the genre.
In 2021 Swift was invited to host the Golden Guitar Awards alongside Catherine Britt and at the recent 2023 awards, took out the title of Male Artist of the Year - following two massive sold out shows during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Swift’s new album, Lightning Strikes and Neon Nights is his most daring yet. Produced by the incomparable Matt Fell (Troy Cassar-Daley, Fanny Lumsden), it mixes Swift’s signature grit with retro soundscapes and contemporary rhythms. Nostalgic tales of Young Lovers, reminiscing on The Good Old Days are what Swift refers to as “the lightning strikes”. While songs that detail Country music’s wilder side, like Cheap Liquor and Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em light up like neon nights.
Described as “... an Australian songwriting heavyweight - with a powerfully evocative voice to match” by Country Update, Swift is undoubtedly a force to reckoned with. Fitting to his image. But remember there’s much more to this man than meets the eye.
Despite his meteoric ascent he’s immensely passionate about helping those following in his footsteps. “If they can learn from my mistakes, I’m always happy to help,” he smiles. It’s this same compassion that earned him the mantle of official ambassador for Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox.
Swift is truly both sides of the coin; a wayward vagabond and a sweetheart. His songs brood on gut-wrenching heartache and revel in limitless joy. A master performer and one hell of a guy.
Listen to Andrew Swift
Andrew Swift on Spotify | Andrew Swift on Youtube | Andrew Swift on Apple Music
About the performance
When will Andrew Swift be performing?
What stage will Andrew Swift be on?
Tububa Stage, on Quay Street. Find the Tububa Stage on Google Maps.
How much are tickets?
Entry to the Rockhampton River Festival is FREE
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