Majestic pop diva returns to Hydro

Wendy Matthews. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Wendy Matthews. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Alternative pop chanteuse Wendy Matthews will return to the most majestic live music venue in the Blue Mountains to play a special Australia Day show on January 26.

Her well known chart-toppers will be accompanied by a Hydro Majestic Hotel dinner showcase of fresh regional produce prepared by a talented international culinary team.

Matthews has a reputation as an artist par excellence with a sublime, expressive voice which takes audiences on an unhurried journey of clean melodies, infectious energy and simple grace through a variety of genres from jazz to blues, rock to gospel, soul to infectious pop and beautiful ballads.

Adept at reaching frenetic youth and mature audiences alike, she woos with a voice of superb emotive capacity yet void of sentimentality.

Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett summed up the seven-time ARIA award-winning Canadian-born songstress’ abilities: “Wendy’s voice is to the vocal chords what the Daintree is to the wilderness.’’

Matthews joined her first band as a teenager, busking her way across the USA to Los Angeles where she met Glenn Shorrock who invited her to tour with him in Australia in 1982.

She immediately became an in-demand session singer, appearing on many commercial jingles and backing vocals and became a semi-permanent member of The Models. She also sang on albums by Jimmy Barnes, Tim Finn, Richard Clapton and Icehouse.

In 1987, she collaborated with Kate Ceberano on the ABC-TV soundtrack for the series Stringer. You’ve Always Got the Blues was released the next year, reaching the top five national charts. She contributed to the Rockmelons and Peter Blakeley’s albums and helped form Absent Friends, singing on the hit I Don’t Wanna Be With Nobody But You and the album, Here’s Looking Up Your Address.

Her solo debut Émigré (Double Platinum) spawned hits Token Angels, Lets Kiss and Woman’s Gotta Have It and was followed by the Triple Platinum album Lily with the mega hit The Day You Went Away plus If Only I Could and Friday’s Child.

The Witness Tree and Ghosts albums followed, then her first Best Of….Stepping Stones, Beautiful View and Café Naturale.

In 2008 Matthews cut her first independent record on her Barking Bear label, She, a personal collection of favorite songs by women who had inspired her over the years including Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, EmmyLou Harris, Chrissie Hynde, Joni Mitchell, Buffy St Marie and Jane Siberry.

Escarpment Group guest services manager Meagan Iervasi said: “We’re very excited to welcome Wendy back to the Hydro, where her voice complements our beautiful venue with the right blend of majesty and sophistication. She continues the hotel’s tradition of showcasing exceptional musical talent, following in the footsteps of Dames Nellie Melba and Joan Sutherland, both divas of their ages.’’

The Wendy Matthews dinner show event will be held on January 26. Tickets: $150pp dinner and show, $55pp show only. Go to hydromajestic.com.au or phone 4782 6885 to book events, accommodation and dining.