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‘Sisters in Country’: Jodi Vaughan and Aly Cook – Down Under Girls!

Sisters In Country

When Australian-born New Zealand Country Music Legend Jodi Vaughan met Aly Cook, a Kiwi songwriting songstress and music promoter, around Vaughan’s first visit to Tamworth Country Music Festival, it forged a musical partnership and terrific friendship that has grown from strength to strength.

Aly Cook has become more well known in Australia than in New Zealand, though that is changing. In veteran New Zealand Music writer Graham Reid’s review of Aly Cook’s ARIA and NZ album Charting 3rd album release Caught In The Middle, Reid wrote:

‘If we let her go, the Australians will claim her as their own. And that would be a real shame. She’s ours and one of the best in the broad territory of country-soul, country-rock and … whatever she turns her hand to, in fact.’

With Covid arriving, this meant Cook’s wings were clipped from her several trips a year to Australia. Every year she would perform everything from Festivals to the Sydney Opera House and she had promoted a rash of number of #1 hit airplay singles and an ARIA charting album. This would finally mean more orientation to working in New Zealand in the short term.

The irony is that her musical partner in ‘Sisters in Country’, the Legendary Jodi Vaughan, did the opposite. And though a very different musical journey, the Balmain born and Shellharbour raised, 4’11” dynamo country singer arrived from Australia to have New Zealand scoop her up and call her their own.

Jodi ended up signing to a major record company with 10 Studio albums under her belt, including the platinum duet album ‘Fair Weather friends’ with New Zealand Country music legend Brendan Dugan. This was the name she became synonymous with, as the New Zealand public saw them weekly, singing duets on a TV show.

Jodi Vaughan became a household name in New Zealand as did a handful of other artists with weekly appearances on ‘That’s Country’, a New Zealand programme that dominated the television in the days of only one TV channel and no internet. It was 2nd only to the news in popularity and ratings. Hence anyone who appeared on that show regularly was forged in the hearts and minds of Country music fans throughout New Zealand.

So that was years ago. Today Jodi is an independent country artist like Aly Cook having enjoyed #1 airplay hits in Australia including play of her songs on ABC Country. Prolifically writing now in her 70s Jodi Vaughan has penned 7 of the 8 tracks on this debut ‘Sisters in Country’ album with Aly Cook, now in her 60s, and enjoying creating the rich harmonies and vocal arrangements.

The album contains 4 tracks that have been released as singles that all hit the Top10 in the country song top 40 Australian Airplay Chart. Two tracks, ‘Hey Jolene’ and ‘That’s What We Do’ took the #1 position. They have produced this album together and release the CD album in this New Zealand Music Month.

Sisters in Country continue to write, record and perform together even though Aly Cook’s days are consumed right now as the promoter of the NZ Highwaymen (NZ Music Legends Brendan Dugan, Eddie Low, Gray Bartlett and Dennis Marsh) as she plans to head off on the 20 date tour of New Zealand in June/July, but not before Sisters in Country, with their guest sister Wendy Thornton, head off to the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival, performing May 10th to May 12th to celebrate the release of ‘Down Under Girls!

The CD is available for mail order in Australia on Key2store, and in New Zealand on Tasman Records.

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