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Natalie Howard: Self-Titled  
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Natalie Howard. Remember the name. She’s but one of a long and growing list of Australian female acts cutting a path into Nashville. Born in Queensland’s Redcliffe, between her song writing and performing and time at home on the Gold Coast (Brisbane, Australia) and on Music Row, the singer and songwriter has released her self-titled album (Go Grrrl Records).

The breathy songstress shares collaborative ink on all her 10 tracks. “Co-writing has been such a great gift,” says Howard. “I have learned so much and I have been blessed, inspired and encouraged.” Some of those inspirational writers include James Dean Hicks (he shares duet vocals on this album’s “The Long Night”) Brian Dean Maher, Terry McBride and Aussies Rick Price and Rod McCormack. 

She now joins Elton John’s favorite country singer, Catherine Britt, along with Kasey Chambers, Kate Russell and other Oz home-growns in the search for musical recognition in the hardest of cities –Nashville.

“When I arrived in Nashville, I didn’t really know a soul, at least not in the music industry. I spent one full year in Nashville the first time and since then, I have returned annually for different lengths of stay. Over this time I have developed friendships along the way with a lot of great songwriters and have been fortunate enough to write many songs with them. As an artist, I have only begun to emerge. I have predominately been a writer first but have since been encouraged to begin singing my own material,” tells Howard from her website.

Armed with a guitar case of local and American awards, including winner of the 2006 Country Song of the Year at the US Independent Music Awards, this former graphic artist has the needed voice and song writing chops to score. Her album cuts, “The Long Night” and “I Don’t Want To Live Like That” have both gained major recognition song writing attention, with Howard bagging a finalist’s spot at the US International Song Writing Competition.

Now with regular Nashville sojourns, a network of talented writers sharing ink, Howard lays claim to rewarding Oz and international airplay on her love-soaked, spirited fan and radio friendly album. Her publicity tells us she writes of her experiences from happiness to heartache, and a look at the song titles here, that’s the bases covered.

With a distinctly American sounding vocal package, Howard opens her pop and country set with “Is It Just Me”. On an album that sports fiddle and steel to keep within the genre specifics, the song is a winner, recently scoring high placement on the Australian country charts.

Another hit that’s happened on an album with several chart shots left in the chamber is “I Don’t Want To Live Like That”. The tune, the winner of Country Song of the Year in the US International Music Awards, lays female honesty bare in by confronting image and material reward, preferring instead, honest values and wholesome integrity. 

The rest of the album follows a well-worn route of lovers’ loss, female hurt and, eventually, recognition that love is an experience that strengthens the spirit. Listen for other standouts: “I Can’t,” “Are You For Real” and the hard truth of “You Never Knew Me”. 

She’s talented, proven by her host of music wins and awards. She writes revealing and honestly. And she sings of matters and emotions that are best understood by women, on an album sensitive new age guys just might like. It all adds up to an impressive debut for another Oz export. 

To purchase the CD online just click on the album cover.

1: Is It Just Me
2: I Can’t
3: Don’t Be That Way Baby
4:I Don’t Want To Live Like That
5:I Want To Get Out
6: Are You For Real
7: What Do You Want From Me
8: You Never Knew Me
9: Intoxicated 

10: The Long Night

Related Links:
Official Site  

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