‘Candy Moon’ unleashes the reckless exuberance of first love with this enthusiastic offering of rockabilly jazz and hillbilly swing. ‘Dance like no one’s watching’ has taken on a new meaning during the COVID-19 era, with dancefloors looking to be shut down for quite a while. The infectious rhythm and addictive beat of ‘Candy Moon’ will drive you to your feet in the safety and comfort of your own lounge room. Fire up the wireless as Watling & Bates deliver some howling nostalgia showcasing the elegant guitar stylings of producer Thor Phillips and masterful drumbeats of Marcus Schintler.
Watling & Bates are songwriters from Unumgar NSW, raconteurs of contemporary rural Australia and revivalists of the country’s past. Their unique brand of old-time gothic hillbilly honkytonk has taken them from country roads to city streets, performing in art galleries, metropolitan malls, pubs and clubs, majestic theatres, and country halls.
A total of ten songs from their debut EP ‘Before I Met You’ and first album ‘Small Town Tales’ were recognised as semi-finalists in the Tamworth Songwriters Association Salute awards from 2018-2020, with ‘In The Dead Of Night’ reaching the finals of the Country Blues category in 2019, and ‘Wondering About My Time’ making the finals of the Gospel/Spiritual category in 2020.
Their works placed in Top 30 categories of the Australian Songwriters Association National Songwriting Awards in 2019 (‘Barry & Adrienne’, ‘Such Is Life’) and 2020 (‘Small Town Tales’, ‘Wondering About My Time’), with Watling receiving a nomination for the prestigious Rudy Brandsma Award for ‘Boots Beside The Bed’ in 2019.
Their debut at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2020 included performances with Indie Country Music Australia (ICMA) at the South Tamworth Bowling Club, where they were nominated for Most Popular Independent Country Duo, Most Popular Video, and Most Popular Single for ‘Old Times’. They featured in the Tamworth Songwiters’ Association (TSA) Showcase at the Tamworth City Bowling Club, and performed on the Fanzone Stage.
Watling & Bates are keeping their engines running during COVID-19 at their home in Unumgar, where they are working on their second album with producer/guitarist Thor Phillips and drummer Marcus Schintler in Kyogle NSW, and enjoying remote collaboration with expatriate bluegrass mandolinist and guitarist Christopher Ridgway from Amesville Ohio USA.
The first single release from their upcoming album-in-production ‘Alice’ is the hillbilly swing classic ‘Candy Moon’, released in time for Valentine’s Day 2021.