Sounds of success for Geraldton country rockers Henry and Ranahl
For regional musicians, getting to the point where you can charge an entry fee to your gigs is a big milestone.
Recording an album is even bigger.
Country rock duo Henry Skeen and Ranahl Jimbidie are staring down the barrel of both.
The Kimberley pair moved to Geraldton at the start of 2021, looking to take their music “to the next level”. They’ve busied themselves touring all over the Mid West, making a name in country venues from Meekatharra to Carnamah.
Gaining popularity in their new home caught the attention of Barefoot Bands, a volunteer group started by sound engineer Brenton Meynell and Karnivool lead guitarist Drew Goddard.
The Goldfields outfit, based out of the old Coolgardie railway station, recently signed a deal with Henry and Ranahl to produce their debut album.
“We’ve got maybe 32 original songs lined up,” Henry said.
“At the moment we’re just laying down garage tracks and getting it all sorted, ready for the professional recording.”
The brothers wrote their first tune together in 2011 in their hometown Fitzroy Crossing, inspired by the life story of their father. It was achieved with the help of local singer-songwriter Patrick Davies, who the duo described as a “local legend”.
Fitzroy Xpress bassist and Midwest Music Development Program co-ordinator Daron Keogh was an inspiration to Henry and Ranahl growing up and now manages the band.
“We grew up around original music and that gave us the push to be who we want to be and write our own original music,” Ranahl said.
The early help pushed Henry to study music at TAFE, which opened the door to his first major performance.
“My lecturer was Bel Skinner; she was a nominee for ARIA teacher of the year award. She actually got me a gig down in Perth for WAMfest 2018. Playing right at Yagan Square, estimated 40,000 people just walking around. Coming from a small town straight into that opened my eyes up,” he said.
Henry and Ranahl will play their next shows at the Gascoyne Hotel, Carnarvon, on December 17 and 18. Despite the success they’ve already seen, Henry said they’ll “never stop getting nervous.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails