From stock camps to the stage for artist Maidie Dawson
Maidie Dawson cut her teeth on performing for the crowds at the famous Birdsville races and will now entertain on the Farm Gate stage this year at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
The 21-year-old supported country music star Tania Kernaghan during concerts at the Birdsville and Innamincka Hotels last year.
Maidie will perform at Henty on the Farm Gate stage during the Dreamfields program each day from noon to 1pm.
“At Henty, people will be able to hear songs off my EP plus a mix of good old country classics to get the toes tapping,’’ she said.
Maidie spent two years working as a station hand in the stock camps on the 526,000 ha Innamincka Station in South Australia, using horses and motorbikes to work 14,000 cattle.
“It was a great experience, learning how to drive trucks, fix machinery and be self sufficient – so many life skills,’’ she said.
When her singing talent was unearthed, she was asked to perform during the Innamincka and Birsdville races circuit.
Maidie had already had years of performing under her belt with twice being an entrant in the Telstra Road to Discovery in 2010 and 2012.
Intending to study an agricultural science degree, she was inspired to undertake nursing at La Trobe University by the Royal Flying Doctor Service visits to Innamincka Station.
“I hope to return to work on remote station communities as a nurse,’’ Maidie said.
Listing her music genre as alternative folk and country, she released her debut EP single, Running Home, in 2013 and is planning another new EP.
Maidie grew up on a farm in the Kiewa Valley in a family of six, with the household filled with laughter, music and singing.
“I’ve been singing since before I could talk and my fondest memories as a child was being in the back of the ute with my brothers and cousins singing songs as loud as we could while checking the cows or feeding out hay,’’ Maidie said.
She would often emulate her older sister and her band, singing covers from the 1970s and 80s.
“Coming from a large, extended family, any gathering was filled with so much laughter and fun. What I mostly remember is the music,’’ Maidie said.
“I grew up listening to a mix of country and rock ‘n roll, and that has been a strong song writing influence.’’
Maidie’s parents, Rowan Wallace and Terry Dawson, encouraged her talent by enrolling her in guitar lessons during primary school.
“Since I learnt those first few chords, I’ve been writing songs ever since.’’
She lists her music heroes as Emmy-Lou Harris, Gram Parson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin and Credence Clearwater Revival.