From a remote country where the desert meets the sea, Western Australia’s John Bennett has emerged as a singer/songwriter with an astounding ability to transport listeners to his home country and transcend cultural barriers. John has released his 2nd Album – Country is Calling- in late 2017. Singing of country and connection to community, the highly anticipated follow-up to his debut album is a celebration of John’s musical journey over the past 6 years as a singer/songwriter touring nationally and performing alongside many of Australia’s favourite artists and sharing his stunning ability to capture essence of the Kimberley, and the people of Bidyadanga.
John launched his debut self-titled album in 2010. Establishing a name as the “voice of the Kimberley”, the Bidyadanga man has written an album that sings to country and connects with the yearning in every person to nurture family and the environment. His debut album which features two time Grammy award winner, Lucky Oceans and also received 12 national music award nominations including awards for WA Indigenous Song of the Year for his track 'Wangkaja', APRA Song Writer of the Year and WA Country Music Independent Album of the Year 2013. Nominations for Male Artist of the Year at the 2011 & 2012 Deadly awards have listed John amongst the likes of Troy Cassar-Daley. John has featured at the opening of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the National Folk Festival in Canberra and AWME alongside multi-instrumentalist, David Hyams. John has toured with BighART and Tura New Music, and has appeared in a WaterCorp Promotion of the Shower Song, written by Kav Temperley and featuring the cream of WA artists (https://www.watercorporation.com.au/theshowersong). More recently John performed to a standing ovation at the 2018 National Folk Festival, currently has three nominations for the WA Music Song of the Year Awards and will feature at the 2018 WA State of the Art Festival in June 2018
Country is Calling features Fremantle based instrumentalists David Hyams and Lucky Oceans, who John met in the recording studio during the making of his first album, The three have been collaborating ever since - at festivals and for art and social change company bighARTs 'Murru' project in Roebourne which led to their opening the Melbourne festival in 2014, with an all star band.
The Kimberley is one of the most remote and awe-inspiring regions on the planet, known for its majestic landscape and the unique boab trees, some of which are over 1000 years old. John lives on the remote lands of Karrajarri country between the Indian Ocean and the Great Sandy Desert, a community where freshly caught food remains a staple and English is a second language among most of the population. The region now has a powerful voice in John, who speaks of the beauty of the land and sea that surround his community and the wonderful characters who populate it. His songs capture the heart and the soul of his people and their deep connection with the land. “I picked up a guitar at about 15 and kind of taught myself how to play and write music,” the modest, but accomplished, artist says. “We would practice music and singing on the verandah or while hunting for Wangkaja (mud crab).”
John’s songs offer a unique insight into his world: a journey into the remote and beautiful North-West of Australia. Songs full of yearning, to be home with his people and celebrations of the important people in his life.
Country is Calling is dedicated to the memory of John’s brother.