THE SHORT STORY
Aria nominated singer songwriter and visual artist, Sherry Rich has been mixing up a powerful musical brew of roots, country, folk & rock since 1985, immersed in the Australian and US music landscape in bands Cactus Fever, Girl Monstar, Sherry Rich & the Grievous Angels, The Mudcakes, The Rich Family and The Grapes. Sherry lived in Nashville for ten years collaborating with many song-writing legends (Jim Lauderdale, Tammy Rogers, Amy Rigby, Buddy Miller, Walt Wilkins, Paul Kelly) Her songs have featured in US TV and movie soundtracks and been recorded by artists from Finland to Texas. Sherry’s 2014 album ‘Dakota Avenue’ created in Wilco’s Chicago loft studio with the late Jay Bennett was hailed “An Instant Roots-Pop Classic” by Michael Dwyer of Rolling Stone Magazine. New album ‘The Divine Crimson V’ is a country folk rock memoir featuring art and music entwined to honour the feminine creative journey.
THE LONG STORY
The daughter of Australian country folk singer Noelene Rich, Sherry grew up on Bribie Island in Queensland, from age seven joining her Mum onstage singing harmonies and playing ukulele. As a teen she played bass in her high school rock band ‘Obscure Alternatives’ which also featured some guy called Keith Urban. While attending the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Sherry and brother Rusty were inspired by their Mother’s country music collection and formed the country/rockabilly outfit ‘Cactus Fever,’ popular in the Brisbane underground music scene in the 1980s. In search of the bright lights they headed south to Melbourne with guitar cases full of dreams to work as the duo ‘Rusty and Sherry-Sue’. When Rusty joined a barbershop quartet, Sherry formed the infamous female garage-pop band ‘Girl Monstar’ with Anne McCue, Sue World and Damian Child in 1988. The band scored support spots for The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, Skid Row, The Divinyls, Poison, The Sunnyboys, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Hard Ons, The Celibate Rifles, The Lime Spiders and Skyhooks and produced two number 1 singles, the ARIA nominated 'Surfin' on a Wave of Love' and 'Joe Cool.' They released one album ‘Monstereo Delicioso’ and toured from 1988 to 1992. Girl Monstar said farewell at the first ‘Big Day Out’ in Melbourne sharing the stage with Iggy Pop.
Sherry’s next band ‘The Grievous Angels’, featuring guitarist /producer Steve Connolly, keyboardist Matt Heydon, bassist Doug Robertson and Steve Morrison on drums, gained a considerable reputation as a hard working country rock act. A song on the self titled EP (rubber records) about the death of Kurt Cobain ‘Beautiful Talented and Dead’ was widely played on radio and heralded her coming of age as a respected songwriter. In '96 she signed with BMG music publishing. Band members at this time included Steve 'Venom' Brown on drums, Shane Walsh and Nick Volk on bass and Nicky Del Ray and James McGinness on guitar,
On her first trip to the US in '97, Sherry met with members of alt country darlings ‘Wilco’ (Jay Bennett, john Stirratt and Ken Coomer) in Nashville and recorded the album ‘Sherry Rich and Courtesy Move’ featuring songs written with Paul Kelly, Michael Thomas and Garth Porter. She played showcases with Wilco members in Nashville, New York and the South by South West music conference in Austin Texas.
The following year she paired up with Australian guitar slinger Ashley Naylor on the critically applauded 'paisley underground' project ‘The Grapes’, toured Europe with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Rick Plant, then returning to live and work in Nashville TN for the next 10 years.
Sherry has been writing and performing in the US and Australia with a long list of superlative musicians including Jim Lauderdale, Amy Rigby, Tim Carroll, Will Kimbrough, Fred Eaglesmith, Tammy Rogers, Gwil Owen, Bob Di Piero, Shane O’Mara, Rosie Flores, Dan Brodie, Walt Wilkins and Buddy Miller.
Since returning to live in Melbourne in 2006 she has released three CD’s collaborating with her husband Rick as the acclaimed children’s music duo ‘The Mudcakes.’
In 2012 Sherry released a long awaited 'lost' album ‘Dakota Avenue’ produced and engineered by the late Jay Bennett in Wilco's Chicago loft studio 10 years previously. Featuring songs co-written with Bennett and US songwriters, the album was unanimously cited as her magnificent return by music journalists and received high praise as a “Roots Pop Classic” by Rolling Stone writer Michael Dwyer. It was nominated for the Age EG music awards in two categories and was awarded Radio Australia’s ‘Album of the Week.’ The Grapes released a new album ‘Western Sun’ in 2014 making the shortlist for the Australian Music Prize.
Sherry’s songs have featured in US TV and movie soundtracks and been recorded by other artists from Finland to Texas. In 2017 she completed a Creative Arts Industries Degree at Victoria University and is currently artist-in-residence for the Victoria University Music Department recording new musical works with accompanying visual art.