Way out west is the life for Blundell
AFTER going through divorces, riches to bankruptcy and a run in politics, James Blundell has moved back to the family property near Stanthorpe and returned to music.
His new album shows a more edgy performance, coming from what he describes as a "chequered and colourful" career.
"I reckon it's impossible not to toughen up a bit," Blundell said.
"(Kris) Kristofferson is one of my favourite acts and I've tried to analyse what it is about him as an artist, a writer and a performer that I find so appealing. When you listen to Kristofferson there's absolutely no doubt that he knows what he is talking about and that can only come from losing a bit of skin now and then."
Growing up on a cattle and sheep property 30km west of Stanthorpe, he has faced the ups and downs of rural life and happy to be back home.
"We've hung on to it by the skin of our teeth through a series of droughts and crashing wool prices but it's one of those things; it's so similar to music, you do it because you love it and sometimes money is good and sometimes money is bad but the way of life stays the same and the freedom.
"It's always been my favourite part of the planet. I've been very privileged to have had a lot of travel over the years and I keep coming back to this spot."
In saying that, Blundell's first single Hills of Brisbane appeared an odd choice to showcase his new album.
"It's very much from a country boy's perspective because cities have always been a place I've visited to have fun. I've never really taken them seriously as a place to live.
"I ended up spending 25 years of my life living in Sydney and on one hand that cured me completely of ever wanting to live in one again. But on the other hand it was a great experience."
Born in Stanthorpe, Blundell went to boarding schools in Toowoomba and The Southport School.
"I've watched that whole area grow up. Ipswich has always intrigued me. I'm a bit of a fan of the satellite cities. I like Newcastle, I like Wollongong, I like Geelong and I like Ipswich. They're just a bit less frenetic. I've got some very good friends at Springfield and I've watched that middle bit grow up. I think it's a really interesting area."
James Blundell performs at the Ipswich Civic Centre next Saturday.