Bendigo musician John Lingard might have missed out on first prize in the Road to Discovery talent search, but his trip to Tamworth last week wasn’t wasted.
After his performance Lingard received a very flattering compliment from one of Australia’s leading country artists.
“Kasey Chambers came up to me afterwards and said it was really good, and she whispered that I was her and (her husband) Shane’s favourite,” Lingard said. “I didn’t tell anyone that at the time of course, but humbly I’m quite proud of that now.”
The modest 25-year-old said making industry contacts like Chambers was the best part of the Road to Discovery experience.
All of the finalists received mentoring from Ella Hooper, a musical idol of Lingard’s.
“It was just a joy to be a part of it all and the actual event was mind-blowing,” he said. “The band was world class and it was amazing to be on stage with them because they played so well.
“And I played well too, which was great because normally I’m never happy with how I sound.”
The finalists performed to an audience of about 900 at Australia’s biggest country music festival.
“It was the biggest crowd I have played my original songs to,” Lingard said. “I kept thinking I was going to forget the lyrics, so I must have read my song ten time before I went on stage, but I was fine on stage I felt really relaxed.”
Lingard said he wasn’t bitter about losing out to Melbourne singer Gena Bruce. “Every performer deserved something, because everybody who was performing did so well,” he said.