By Luke Voogt
Jayne Denham has found a trucking good music niche as the rockin’ poster girl for big rig drivers across Australia and the world.
Her truck-themed tunes propelled her to stardom in the industry and earned her invites to shows in Texas, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.
“Every album I’ve had two or three trucking songs on it,” she told the Indy.
“The American market heard about what I was doing and they’ve invited me to the biggest truck shows in the country. It’s been quite a ride.”
Denham is about to hit the road for the Taste of Tamworth tour, which comes to Gateway Hotel on 20 July.
“I’m looking forward to getting back and seeing some new faces,” she said.
The show features fellow Australian country music stars like Lyn Bowtell and The Weeping Willows.
It also includes husband and wife Merelyn and David Carter, who spoke to the Indy last year about surviving cancer, car crashes and Black Saturday bushfires.
Denham looked forward to joining the national tour a third time.
“It’s the only time I say yes to shows without my band because it really does give people of a taste of what Tamworth Country Music Festival is like,” she said.
Denham grew up with a mum and grandmother who sung and a dad who played classic country like John Denver, Alabama and Johnny Cash most mornings.
“But I was more into Chisel and The Divinyls,” she said.
“When I left school I was like, ‘nah I’m gonna be a rockstar’.”
While Denham found her niche in trucks her first major commercial success came from writing Chick Ute, which reached second on a European country chart.
The track was an ode to women doing up the classic Aussie vehicle, she explained.
“It was literally because I used to watch girls drive around the Blue Mountains in utes.”
Denham was still working part time as a hairdresser when a customer suggested she write a song about their truck driver cousin Jude.
“I wrote things like ‘Queen of the road’ and totally embellished it,” she said.
But then she met Jude.
“She ended up looking exactly like Sandra Bullock and she drove this incredible Kenworth,” she said.
“She’s this beautiful, feminine, stunning girl but this is what she does for a living and she’s brilliant at her job.”
Fellow Aussie country rocker Travis Sinclair encouraged her to keep the truck theme going and it paid off.
“I was (singing and song-writing) more for the love of it and now I’m doing it for a living,’ she said.
Denham was set to release a new album including single Black Coffee and White Lines, which had “blown up” on Spotifty, she said.
“I haven’t even released it as a single and it’s already up to 200,000 streams.”
She was keen to see the Gateway carpark full of utes and trucks and get the party started.
“They’re my fans!” she said.
“I could jump on a table and start singing. Hopefully I’ll get them up dancing or at least get them tapping their feat.”