Bridging the Gap
Ronni Rae Rivers-bio Country is cool when delivered by the talents of Ronni Rae Rivers. Born in Sydney, Australia to an Aussie Mum and Texan Dad, Ronni spent time between Australia and the USA during her formative years. Ronni's musical journey began at the tender age of three when she was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in front of the great James Brown. However, it was her Father's friendship with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and other country music luminaries in Texas that had the most impact upon Ronni's musical direction. At that early stage, no one was quite aware of how much those encounters would fuel Ronni's desire to write and perform country music. Since then, she has created her own unique musical identity by merging the freshness of Australian country music with the traditional roots and flavours of it's American counterpart. A graduate of the 2004 CMAA Australian College of Country Music, Ronni's fiddle, guitar and piano skills have enabled her to work locally and internationally. She has shared the stage with some of Australia's best known country music entertainers such as Bill Chambers, Kasey Chambers, Adam Brand, Beccy Cole, as well as internationally renowned Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers. 2003 saw the release of her debut EP, "Bridging The Gap", co-produced by Mark Donohoe (Magnificent Seven), receiving a terrific response, via her radio singles 'You Win...You Lose' and 'Happy New Year'. 2004 highlights include being awarded the 2004 Best WA Country Music Songwriter for her song 'Haven't Things Changed', crowned 2004 Best WA Country Music Female Artist, finalist in the Australian Country Recording Awards (ACRAs) for Australian New Talent Album Of The Year & a Grandfinalist in the 2004 Toyota Starmaker - she has sure made an impact. "...there's no doubt Ronni Rae Rivers will be a name to remember as one of the dynamic new breed of country artist emerging on the Australian scene", Bob Anthony Jnr, Country Update Her version of Randy Van Warmer's 1979 classic 'Just When I Needed You Most' achieved Top 10 chart success. A tender acoustic version of the original, allowing Ronni's strong yet sensitive vocals to shine through. "Ronni is a young West Australian with a great voice and a superb debut album", Steve Perry, St Marys Sound Centre "I have heard many versions of Just When I Needed You Most, which was written by my uncle Randy Van Warmer and I wanted to tell you that the rendition that you sing .... is one of the best renditions that I have heard." Michael Van Wormer, nephew of Randy Van Warmer In 2005 , Ronni exceeded her own expectations, by being named ASA (Australian Songwriters Association) Awards Country Songwriter Of The Year, Best WA Country Music Female Artist, a finalist in the TIARA Awards (Female Vocal), the Victorian & National Country Music Awards (New Talent) and the WAMi's(West Australian Music Industry Awards) (Country Act), but also receiving praise for her single 'Just When I Needed You Most' becoming a Top 10 Finalist for Female Vocal in the Golden Guitar Awards. The second single 'Rodeo Romeo', taken from her debut album 'Notice Me', became a Top 5 success, with the title track 'Notice Me' becoming her first #1 hit. Her star shined even further with a finalist nomination at the 2005 Golden Saddle Awards and by making the Top 50 Biggest Hits Country Tracks Top 30 and Saturday Night Country's Hottest 100 tracks for 2005. Now in 2006, she has won both the Contemporary section and the overall award for Northern Territory Country Songwriter of the Year and has been nominated again for the 2006 Golden Saddle Awards. Meanwhile her 4th single from "Notice Me", "It's Only Make Believe" has become her 4th consecutive Top 30 hit. Her sensitivity and strong emotions coupled with vibrant and individual songwriting ability, make Ronni the one to watch. ----------------- (Australian Country Music Listener's Association) Review - Written by Smoky Sheldrick. Bridging The Gap 'This is a great 7-track CD, independently released by Perth singer/songwriter Ronni Rae Rivers. 'Bridging The Gap' not only highlights Ronnie Rae's vocal ability it also show's her talents on fiddle, guitar and piano.All 7 tracks here are top quality and have the potential to be chart toppers. Mark Donohoe, from the very successful band Magnificent Seven, co-wrote this one with Ronni Rae. Stand out's here are track (1) 'Haven't Things Changed', track (2) the beautiful ballad 'Happy New-Year', track (3) the up tempo toe tapping 'Kickin This Heart Around', and track (6) 'You Win You Lose'. Well produced, mixed and presented with Great Vocals. --------------- Friday 28th November 2003 RONNI - RIDING RIVER OF DREAMS... Western Australian based artist Ronni Rae Rivers is on her way to Tamworth, after being announced as a Top 20 Finalist for the prestigious 2004 Toyota Star Maker Quest. The Mandurah local was selected from more than 100 hopefuls from all over Australia. Ronni is no stranger to the stage, starting her singing career at a young age. With an Australian mum and Texan dad, her formative years were spent between Australia and the USA. After completing schooling in Perth, she travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana to study music and drama at University. She has worked with greats such as Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers, And just to prove she's an emerging talent, she has also been invited to participate in the 2004 CMAA College of Country Music, for two weeks leading up to the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January. 'It's an honour to be selected from such an amazing pool of talent,' Ronni said. Her first single You Win...You Lose taken from her EP Bridging The Gap, has received a lot of support from radio and media. To coincide with the upcoming release of her second single Happy New Year, Ronni has begun filming her first video clip, just in time for the New Year celebrations. --------------- COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS - November 2003 - Working with MARK DONOHOE (of MAGNIFICENT SEVEN fame) as co-producer of her debut EP, independent WA country singer RONNI RAE RIVERS shows her musical diversity on Bridging The Gap. Being from Australian and Texan heritage prompted the title of RONNI RAE'S EP as she bridges the gap between her very country US and urban Australian backgrounds. 'The Australian country side of it is a little bit more folky and it's quite different from American country, where the American side is more the hoedown, honky tonk sound, so on the EP there is a mixture of both.' Highlighting RONNI RAE'S strong vocals and musicianship, the EP ranges from the reminiscing Haven't Things Changed to the contemporary feel of her first radio single You Win...You Lose to the aching Long Long Time. Ronni says it is a mix of everything she likes. The first single, You Win...You Lose is a crowd favourite and has 'attitude', which is a contrast to the next single to be released, Happy New Year as it is 'emotional, cry in your pretzels kind of stuff'. Ronni says her love for country music stems from the stories in the lyrics. 'It's like when people didn't have the influence of television and they would sit around the radio and you would create your own picture in your head. You listen to the words and it brings you into the song. You might never have been to a place that somebody is singing about but after you've heard the song, you feel like you have. You have lived a little piece of that life.' Studying music and drama at university in New Orleans, she has worked with the likes of AARON NEVILE and the NEVILLE BROTHERS who she says have shown her how she could come out of her comfort zone and push the barriers. 'It has changed the ways I would interpret songs, as I would stay within a safe zone, they take risks, so they've probably taught me to take a few more risks.' The new album for Ronni will be released early next year after the Tamworth Country Music Festival. 'We'll play those songs that are yet to be released and use the audience as a sounding board and see what people are responding to, that way we can see what the next single should be.' Ronni says she was impressed with the loyalty of country music fans that she witnessed during the 2003 Tamworth Festival, and she will be returning next year to get her name known on the East Coast. Rebecca Gracie.