Whistle Dixie Savvy Seven

With the recent release of debut album Blast Off combined with live performances kicking off most recently at the Burning Of The Barrel and Groundwater Country Music Festival, Newcastle trio Whistle Dixie have had a stellar 2019. Establishing themselves as one of Australia’s best up and coming collectives in the Country Music Scene in 2015, they have composed an organic and esteemed touring resume having played with fellow Australian artists such as Diesel, Karise Eden, Troy Cassar Daley and Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) just to name a few. With upcoming shows at the Gympie Music Muster and Deni Ute Muster, Whistle Dixie will be playing with the best and leaving crowds impressed right into the new year!

We’ve asked John (guitar, piano, banjo) to give us some insight into how he and the band have forged a career writing, recording and touring their music around Australia… He leaves his industry wisdom below!

1. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

Growing up my father would play early country and western music during road trips and I also had a brother who was obsessed with playing music from the 50s, I grew up listening to Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard. It was this early exposure to music that definitely inspired my own desire to pursue a career in music.

Mentors act as inspiration and guidance. Our essential Meet The Mentors course is a must for any artist or industry worker seeking to improve their practice! 

2. Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?

I think connecting with your audience plays a big part in getting to where you want to be as a band. Making great music is only the beginning, you really want to connect with the fans and make sure they always know how much you truly appreciate them. We love our fans and always get a kick when our audiences turn up to our shows.

3. How do you approach developing timelines for your career?

I think that planning and goal setting is an absolute crucial aspect of a career in music. When I first started Whistle Dixie, I set some specific and achievable goals for the band and gave some timeframes to make sure we were on the right track. I think it’s really important to periodically look at the plan and acknowledge what you’ve achieved, make new goals and make sure to enjoy the process.

Planning for the future is a music industry necessity! If you need some ideas on how to craft your own timeline look no further than Your Music Release Timeline

4. What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?

One of the best compliments Whistle Dixie ever received is that we are “different” we are proud of our individual sound and whilst this will never change, sometimes being different can make it difficult to fit into some typical venues. That said, the fans love our unique style and in the end that is all that matters.

5. What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?

One of the best lessons I’ve ever learned is personality is equally as important as talent. Anyone can learn a song, but you can’t change a personality, make sure you like the people you’re working with. Touring puts strain on all relationships and has been the downfall of many good bands. We are very blessed in Whistle Dixie to have a group of talented musicians who also really like each other. We often say we feel like a great big family and that is true. I think communication is absolutely vital.

Making sure your team is all on the same level is absolutely crucial, especially while on the road! Delve into our exclusive course on Touring Nationally and Internationally to give yourself the best chance of producing a successful tour!

6. How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?

Surround yourself with industry people who you can trust and ask lots of questions. It’s always good to have discussions about industry trends as it can save you a lot of waisted time and money.

7. How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?

The biggest audience you will play to is your online audience so we make sure that we always try and maintain a good social media presence.

If country is your thang, you can support Whistle Dixie by streaming their debut album!


Friday 23rd – Saturday 24th August: Gympie Music Muster – Gympie, QLD
Saturday 5th October: Deni Ute Muster – Deniliquin, NSW

Enjoyed reading this weeks Savvy Seven? Please feel free to dive deep into our previous artist features here.

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