Corey Legge9 months ago
At just 26 Corey Legge is already a seasoned performer. Having clocked hundreds of shows with his band, The Swamp Stompers and now touring consistently as a solo performer, Legge is no stranger to the road. The country and folk singer songwriter started his solo career when he wrote a song called ‘Look To The Sky’ that marked a change in direction and paved the path to this year’s debut album, ‘Driving Out of Eden’.
As Corey was demoing the songs he’d written for the album, he won the Young Regional Artist Scholarship from the NSW government, which allowed him to travel to New Zealand and record with producer Ben Edwards. Corey handpicked Edwards because of his work with alt-country singer Julia Jacklin, an artist who he says inspired him in his early years.
“When I made the decision to start writing the solo album I made a conscious effort to listen to artists who I thought were a little bit similar, who’d taken a path I’d like to emulate a little bit.”
Like Jacklin, Corey hails from a rural part of NSW and identifies strongly with the countryside. Though he recently moved to Wollongong, which he describes as ‘a nice compromise’, he is definitely a country boy at heart.
“Growing up in the country has shown itself in my writing. I’m a massive fan of the blues, which historically comes out of regional areas. My music has a lot of space and is pretty stripped back, no frills or over-the-top lyrics. What you see is what you get.”
He has also finds inspiration from Celtic folk music, and his record incorporates such elements as banjo and mandolin and tribal drumming.
He says, “The Irish songs always struck a chord with me, I love the melodies and the way that the stories were told so that they sounds so epic. I incorporate that into my own music by trying to add instruments that are used in Celtic music into my own music, and still make it modern.”
Corey is matter of fact about the working balance required to pursue a musical dream. Although he experimented early on with being a full-time musician, he now has a day job as a teacher and finds that works for him.
“It means that when you play music it’s kind of an escape, you can be more creative and enjoy it a lot more when you know your bills are paid. You don’t have to force yourself to do bad gigs to pay the bills. So you can focus on accepting the good gigs and putting the energy into those.”
Years of playing late night rollicking shows with The Swamp Stompers and more intimate shows with his solo work have given him hard-won experience.
“If I didn’t do the pubs scene for 10 years I wouldn’t be anywhere near the performer or songwriter that I am now. It’s certainly shaped me as a musician and battle-hardened me as a booking agent and manager.”
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