Sunday, 16 February 2014

Talia Smith – The Voice Blind Audition

Ain’t she done good,  The Girl From The Backwards!
It’s a BIG FAT nod of approval for Heathrow country singer Talia Smith as she lifts off on the way to jet set rhinestone fame ...(hopefully)

Talia Smith (courtesy of The Sun Newspaper )
The Voice UK 2014 saw the return of country music to the show on Saturday February 15 , 2014 in the form of John Rafferty and Talia Smith.
Described as two "Wannabe" country singers in the BBC telecast segment they both performed on Episode 6 in the Blind Auditions.

First up was John Rafferty a 35-year old Belfast singer, who once, in his slimmer and youthful days was a Garth Brooks impersonator.
He sang John Denver's signature US #2 hit "Take Me Home, Country Roads" but none of the coaches reacted to his audition. remarked that John didn't impart the storyline with his performance - "It sounded like you were reading it". Tom Jones thought it "could of been more grittier" .

The public loved it and further evidence of the UK’s love for familiarity has pushed the song to #1 on UK iTunes Country Songs chart (Sunday 16 Feb). 

For the second time this week The Sun Newspaper ran another exclusive feature (Page 33), on Talia Smith this time with a headline MY BIG FAT GYPSY DREAM....Voice Star Talia longs for the US. 
The Sun Article
Click to ENLARGE
After another stormy affair, when nature, yet again, threw everything it had battering the South Coast of England on Valentine’s Night this was a welcome respite bringing a ray of sunshine to its readership! 

Ahead of her Voice debut performance Smith spoke of her passion for country music, a wish to move to Music City USA  whist remaining loyal to her roots –“You can take the girl out of the trailer but you can’t take the trailer out of the girl!”

So up next on the "Country & Western" Round 2 saw 31-year Romany wife and mum of three Talia to take to The Voice stage.
In the telecast she cautioned: 
"Not everyone's gonna like country music, you can't please everybody so as long as I can do the best I can, I'm OK with that"
You Can Call Me Tal: Voice Contestant Talia gives it her best shot 
singin’ Hell On Heels and She’s A Keeper!

Looking vibrant, vivacious and posed she launched into her take of the Pistol Annie's "Hell On Heels" which was the title cut single and ACM Superstar Women of Country >> taping in Vegas back on April 6, 2011 which introduced the female trio group, that comprises 4 time CMA Female Vocalist Miranda Lambert along with Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley.

The Voice audience reacted positively and immediately warmed to Talia, backed by a great sounding house band.
Sensing his interest in Talia it drew a "I love that" remark from Sir Tom Jones who was being encouraged by coaches, Ricky Wilson and pop princess Kylie Minogue (who was not going to be "Spinning Around"), to lasso in the lovely curvaceous Heathrow based country singer during her fab well-rounded audition. 

As she progressed Talia's mum Debbie, immediate family and Talia's country duo partner Kelly Lee (Travellin Rose) looked on anxiously backstage waiting to see if one of the coaches would Turn, turn , turn with Voice co-presenter Emma Willis reassuring them that there was still time left.
Kelly Lee (Travellin Rose) (L), Talia's mum Debbie (second from right)
and family look on nervously as Emma Willis (R) reassures

Just as Smith was finishing her blind auction Sir Tom was convinced, she had for him, pressed all the right buttons and rotated his chair to signify he was glad to be working with the singer/songwriter who was clearly thrilled by his belief.
Made Up My Mind: "There's Only One Tom Jones" - I Want You.
Talia hits all the right notes as Tom hits the button.

"What's your name luv" he asked.
"My name is Talia Smith" she replied.
Tom, who already had "a lot of girls" joining Team-Tom backed up his decision saying: "I loved that, I love country music and I love it when someone puts some drive into it and YOU did! So I couldn't help myself, I don't have anyone like you and I love what you did with that song"

Kylie Minogue making fun of his welcome predicament said: "You've got 99 problems, but a girl ain't one"    

Kaiser Chiefs lead singer and Voice coach Ricky Wilson - first referring to Tom said "He's got 99 problems but his pitch ain't one so he doesn't have to do one". Then offering some astute critique as to why he didn't turn around shared "Unfortunately for me it was YOU are British, but you were singing in an American accent, it was perfect, but for me that's not being true to yourself. I'm not saying to go and sing in a Yorkshire accent or ow't.

Responding Talia qualified with "I've grown up listening to country, my influences were Loretta Lynn so that's where the twang comes from"
Ricky: It was fantastic anyway"    

Kylie Minogue: "I'm really happy Tom turned" then "turning" herself to Tom asked "You had a country singer last season didn't you not?
Tom responded "Yes, Mike Ward"
Kylie: So you're in good hands" to which an excited Talia reacted "Yeah, I know!, Thank you!"
Brit Women Of Country unite: The gorgeous Emma Jade (Garbutt) the Doncaster based #C2C2014 Pop Up stage country  performer and Voice 2013 Team Tom contestant lends her support to the gorgeous Voice 2014 counterpart.

Talia now  proceeds to the Battle rounds, where Sir Tom will select two of his own team members to sing the same song together in front of the BBC studio audience. 
Good luck Talia - Go Tal It To The Mountains!

Those of a certain age will remember the early days of colour TV and American Western series Alias Smith and Jones which originally aired on ABC from 1971 to 1973 and was shown on BBC2. Well it seems that Smith and Jones is back on the BBC!

>> Watch Talia Smith singing 'Hell On Heels' by Pistol Annies in her Blind Audition. BBC A Review of Episode-6
Follow Talia on Twitter

Download the BBC’s brand new The Voice UK app for 2014 from iTunes! Play the ‘HomeCoach’ game, put yourself in the coach’s chair and decide whether or not YOU would turn for Talia. Plus re-watch ALL the performances from the show.

Music: The Pistol Annies track “Hell on Heels” is available on Amazon UK - - UK iTunes (As of Sunday evening February 16th “Hell On Heels has moved up to #44 on the iTunes UK Country Songs chart)

Travelin Rose’s Cinderella Dreaming is available to purchase on: Amazon - iTunes and CDBABY
>> Listen Travellin Rose OMG!! Spotify Webplayer link

Tom Jones was also swept off his feet by Mum-of-two Sally Barker who wowed the veteran, and on this occasion watery-filled eyed, singing star on 11th January 2014 (Episode 1, Blind Auditions).

Fans of Folk music will likely remember the Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire native and singer-songwriter known for her solo work and as a founding member of the Cajun, folk, blues and all-woman country outfit The Poozies.

As a Voice contestant she too has joined Team Tom following her delightful and tasteful blind audition singing a cover of Nina Simone’s 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'. 
In the past Sally has toured with and supported acts such as Fairport Convention.
Check out Sally's compilation album 'Another Train' (>> Title cut audio)  first released in January 2000, available on Amazon UK and iTunes

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