May 6, 2019 10:12 pm
In 2012, two paths converged when New Zealand born Matthew McNeilly met Kempsey girl, Amelia Richards in Tamworth. Their musical passions aligned at the CMAA Academy, resulting in the formation of the contemporary country music duo NeillyRich. With diverse musical inspirations from Lyall Lovett to Keith Urban, these two artists combine to form a unique flavor of Country Music grounded in tradition, but embracing a polished, modern, Nashvillestyled sound. The pair are also dedicated songwriters. Hailing from the birthplace of the iconic Slim Dusty, Amelia has always had a focused approach to storytelling through music in the vein of some of the pioneers of the Australian industry. To Matt and Amelia, authenticity and musician-ship are the most important facets of their performance. Both can carry a song on lead vocals with ease, but it is the long-studied harmonies that make this duo stand out in a crowd. As well as singing the duo play a range of instruments. Amelia plays rhythm guitar and mandolin, while Matt is often referred to as a “gun” guitar player from fans who witness his prowess. He also plays drums, bass and harmonica to round out this act’s almostcomplete musical range. Their capabilities as musicians have already been acknowledged by Tomkins Guitars who offered the pair endorsement in 2015. Through to January 2016, the partnership between these two emerging artists has resulted in the release of one recording, as well as three singles that have all seen chart success. This success was highlighted by the single Sure Feels Good To Me which reached the top of charts around the nation. The year 2017 saw the release of NeillyRich’s next record ‘Here Now Forever’ through Maven Records and Sony Music Australia. The album exceeded expectations by reaching number four on both the ARIA Australian Country Album Chart as well as the iTunes Australian Country Album Chart. The success of the album release led to bookings on both the Norfolk Island and Broadbeach Country Music Festivals, as well as support slots on tour with Travis Collins, Amber Lawrence, The Viper Creek Band and a return to Kirsty Lee Akers’ tour schedule. Come 2018 the pair have started the year with a bang by signing their first full license deal with boutique label Social Family Records that will see them head to Nashville to work with grammywinning producer Jamie Tate in October. The only way is up for this determined duo.