Almost five years since her latest offering, country artist Kirsty Lee Akers will release her new album Burn Baby Burn next week.
The Kurri-raised singer-songwriter, who turned 28 on Thursday, now spends about half of her time in Nashville – a place she calls “country music heaven”.
“It’s like the Tamworth festival, but 24/7,”Akers said.
“You can hear a live band at 10am on a Monday if you want to, there’s live music all day.”
She said it is an amazing experience to be in the hometown of her country music heroes, including her idol Dolly Parton.
“It’s a really creative town,” Akers said.
“Being surrounded by all of the amazing songwriters – they all live in Nashville, it’s a 9 to 5 job there,” Akers said.
After spending the best part of three years writing songs with some of the world’s best writers, including Trey Bruce (Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, Carrie Underwood) and Jerry Salley (Chris Stapleton, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Loretta Lynn), Akers had more than 100 songs to choose from for Burn Baby Burn.
She sought the help of family and friends when choosing the 11 songs that made the cut.
“It was tough to choose, you get attached to different songs,” she said.
Akers signed a contract with Maven Records and Sony Music Australia in 2015, and will be home for a while to promote the new album, before heading back to Nashville later in the year.
“I’m really excited about it (the album), it’s been a long time coming,” Akers said.
“I can’t wait to get it out there.”
Having toured all over Australia and the US, Akers loves coming home and performing in the local community where she got her start.
“Kurri will always be home to me; my home town has always been very supportive,” she said.
Burn Baby Burn will be released at Rooty Hill RSL on April 1 with local launches at The Greens – The Entrance on April 2 and East Cessnock Bowling Club on April 3.
Check out the first single, When I Miss You Most, on Youtube.
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