Kim Cheshire

With his new album "Looks Like Heaven" to be released on October 8th, Kim Cheshire's life long involvement in music comes together in his amazing new offering.    After 10 years of self-imposed radio silence, Australian Country legend Kim Cheshire is sings again.    With his 3rd solo effort, Cheshire creates  the most beautiful sounding record he’s made capturing  his voice spectacularly.   Containing an engagingly eclectic, what else would  true fans expect, set of contemporary Country songs with  harmonies and fiddles by Nashville guest players, blends perfectly with superb dobro,  acoustic guitar and  mandolin.

Kim’s unique talents as a writer, singer, communicator and inspirational artist has gained him great respect over his career.   His distinctive voice commanded on the radio and you were  mesmerized watching him at a gig.  Cheshire made everyone want to join a band!  Kim’s intelligent lyrics, vocal personality and soulful delivery always stirs those types of emotions .

Kim Cheshire penned his first songs for a school band called The Daize in Norfolk in 1965, chiefly inspired by Cliff Richard and the Shadows. Going pro in 1971 he moved to London with Nimbus, a band that morphed from early ’60s soul covers, via punishing tours of American air bases in Morocco, to knocking off  studio hits.  

By 1973 Nimbus was sharing the bill with Thin Lizzy, Budgie, Man and following in the wake of UK pub Rock pioneers Brinsley Schwartz.   A meeting with Dave Robinson,  future founder of new wave cornerstone, Stiff Records,  led to the recording of the bands debut album.  Nimbus was under the influence of American Country-Rock (Gram Parsons, Little Feat, Jackson Browne, CSN) on their sole album, "Halfway To Paradise", recorded in Wales with Brinsley in 1976.   Sadly, the punk revolution made such heartfelt roots endeavors unfashionable overnight and Nimbus split.

 

Kim  was disillusioned and unhappy with his first solo tracks but he’d also fallen under the spell of “real” Country music. With George Jones, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams ringing in his head, he left London for America’s west coast, via Mexico, in 1977.   The San Francisco scene nourished his craft and confidence as a songwriter. Ultimately, the uglier realities of the music business turned him off the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle.  It was love, not music, that led him to Mildura in country Victoria as the decade turned.   Picking grapes by day,  it wasn’t long before his ever-present  guitar and  the encouragement of others led him onto the country pub stage.

Following broader musical opportunities to Sydney, Kim found himself immersed in the thriving world of indie cinema. In 1983 he was music coordinator for Going Down.  With his wife, actress Anna Hruby, Kim helped produce and stage Broken Tales, an innovative mix of drama and live Rock music.  Broken Tales generated so much popular momentum it was restaged as Ha Ha Ha Performing Humans by the Belvoir Street Theatre for its premiere season in 1984.

Next, Kim turned his hand to management,  Ha Ha Ha, the band, spun out  with half a million dollars worth of LA production, videos, recording and publishing deals later, but Cheshire's patience with the hype and promise of the Pop industry ran thin.

Concept Mechanics, was his last gamble as a manager. But when a band called Love Darts was turned down by CBS in favour of Noiseworks in 1986,  “The guys came to me after and said ‘We’re sick of career music. We want to play for fun’,” Kim recalls. “They said ‘We want to play Country music, we’ve heard your songs, we want you to sing with us’. That got Kim back on track, doing what he loves, playing music. That band became The Danglin’ Brothers.”  After the band booked a gig at the Bondi Regis,  they were packing it to the rafters within three weeks.  Suddenly at the vanguard of a new Country resurgence, The Danglin’ Brothers toured with James Reyne, Paul Kelly and Wall of Voodoo.

Under the wing of major Sydney producer Mark Moffatt, the Danglin' Brothers  released a few rare tracks with ABC Records, and Kim made his first venture to Tamworth in 1986. There, some years later, an up-and-comer named Keith Urban would dedicate his first Golden Guitar to The Danglin’ Brothers, citing them as inspiration.

Five years later, Kim found himself the front man songwriter of an even more celebrated Australian roots-Country institution. The Wheel recorded their self-titled debut album with producer Garth Porter. Twice ARIA nominated, they won back-to-back Golden Guitars for Best Vocal Group in 1996 and ’97.

Nonetheless, Kim says, “I realized during that period I wasn’t cut out for mainstream Australian Country music. I decided I wanted to go back to the pubs so I put together a bunch of friends I called King Horse. That was the beginning of revitalizing my true musical spirit.”

"Rocking Horse To Mars" released in 2002 was the vindication of that spirit. Kim’s first solo album of 2004 was co-written with Kevin Bennett (The Flood) and recorded with friends and comrades including bassist/engineer Jeff McCormack, “on the smell of an oily rag and lots of good will.”

Cheshire's next album,  "Dead Man’s Shoes" came out in 2010, so it appears that every 8-10 years Cheshire has observed,  "I feel the need to share my personal thoughts with the world".   What he was really feeling was, "These things seem to be completely out of my hands. A year ago I had no intention of extending my public profile, I figured I’d had more than my fifteen minutes and now it was someone else’s turn. I was thoroughly ensconced in my beautiful rural homestead in the Northern Rivers of NSW, spending my time tending our extensive gardens and our loveable livestock, communing with nature and reflecting on the fortunate and somewhat privileged creative life that I seem to have been blessed with," stated Kim.  

When boarding the last flight out of England in March 2020, returning home after a visit to England to attend his mother’s funeral,  and trying to get his  head around the idea of two weeks of quarantine (thankfully with my wife at his sister in law’s place in Sydney) and what he might do with his time in isolation.   "A friend kindly dropped off a guitar for me and sure enough with no outdoor work, no animals to tend to, no fences to fix, I was right back into doing that other thing I love so much,  playing, singing and writing songs," Kim commented. 

" I really haven’t been writing much over the last ten years but after a lifetime making music, I always have a few unfinished songs rattling around in my head (some from years back, just percolating there) and I like to think the best ideas are the ones that eventually demand my attention. A song I’d started a few years ago with Kevin Bennett had recently resurfaced in my brain and not being at home with my computer I didn’t really have access to our lyrics, so I remembered what I could of the original and then wrote from there and finished it.  Now the reason I told you that story is because I actually think that this was probably the catalyst that set in motion what has become my new album, "Looks Like Heaven". I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it," Cheshire explained.  

“I haven’t always been out there playing gigs and making records but I’ve always written songs,” says Kim. “I write whether I have a project on hand or not. I consider myself a writer, someone who just wants to get stuff off my chest. So when it came time to record this record, I had quite a backlog…”

Whether he’s fronting the great band The Wheel, or performing solo, Kim Cheshire continues to be a true artist with integrity and an individual style that stands out in this day and age, where so many seem intent on sounding like everyone else.    Kim Cheshire defines the description of a unique, multi talented artiest and Country music lovers around the world will once again be mesmerized by his talents in "Looks Life Heaven".