While most will know the Kalesti Butler for her bush ballads and traditional sound, over recent years Kalesti has wanted to explore the wider musical genre. When asked about her upcoming release, Kalesti says, “I love a challenge and achieving my dreams, I will be stepping out of my comfort zone. I’ll be flying.”
Working with Robert Mackay from Pacific International Music on her upcoming album, has only reinforced Kalesti’s decision to add to her musical range. Kalesti has fellow artist Michael Bryers to thank for suggesting recording at the award-winning studio during a discussion at the 2015 Mildura Country Music Festival.
After only the first meeting between artist and producer, Kalesti was thrilled to learn they had similar views about the industry, song choice, the direction and the kind of album she wanted to create. They quickly got to work on what would become her 2nd album “Airborne”, which was released at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“Airborne” introduces eleven tracks – Kalesti has written the majority with help from her mum Val, Roger Corbett, Cathy Dobson, Anita Ree, Felicity Urquhart and the remainder balanced out by Bob Wilson, Rain Perry, Lola Brinton, Kevin Bennett and Luke O’Shea.
Kalesti attended the 2015 DAG Sheep Station Singers Songwriters Retreat where she wrote ‘Ride Cowboy’ with Felicity Urquhart. This track was inspired by her dad who had cancer and was quite ill at the time. Sadly he passed away while Kalesti was on her way to the 2016 Tamworth Country Music Festival. Speaking on the phone when Kalesti was at a half-way pit stop, she had no idea “have fun in Tamworth” would be some of his final words.
‘You’re Not The One’ is another album track written at the Songwriters Retreat. Roger Corbett and Kathy Dobson lend their songwriting skills to this searching-for-love tune. Having recently gone through a separation from an eight year relationship, Kalesti was testing the waters and starting to go on dates in the hope of meeting that someone special.
‘Fly High’ – another collaboration by Kalesti and her mum Val, is a tribute to her uncle Eddie (Val’s brother) and her cousin Sandy. Father and son were working up in the Gulf maintaining roads and machinery that is used to fix the roads. Eddie would fly himself and his son in and out of the Gulf, as air travel is more efficient due to the distance to these remote areas. During a routine inspection trip in September 2013, Eddie and Sandy were killed when their plane crashed on take-off.
‘Airborne’ one of the tracks that Kalesti didn’t have a hand in writing, is from the pen of American folk-rock singer songwriter Rain Perry. After listening to the song on the advice of her producer, Kalesti was in tears. An instant connection to the lyrics, knowing she would enjoy singing the song and making it her own, ensured it was included on the track listing.
When asked about her musical influences, Kalesti lists some of country music’s legends including Slim Dusty, Sara Storer, Tom T Hall, Charlie Pride, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Marty Stuart, George Jones, Terri Clark, and Graeme Connors. A little closer to home, Kalesti also cites her mum Val Butler, her Uncle Eddie and her Grandparent’s Cecie and Patsy, as musical inspirations.
The album title track will also be released as the first single on March 13th via CRS publicity. As such, it would be much appreciated if you could include this track when choosing music from the album for radio airplay.
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