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Pic by Kenny Thomas

Singer, songwriter and co-founder of legendary band America, Gerry Beckley knows a thing or two about writing a song. Along with his partner in rhyme Dewey Bunnell, America has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and presented us with countless classic singles such as Horse With No Name, Ventura Highway, Sandman, Sister Golden Hair, Tin Man, Lonely People, and so many more in a career spanning more than 50 years.

In between America tours and albums, Gerry has also released several solo albums, culminating in last year’s ‘Best of’ solo collection Keeping The Light On – The Best of Gerry Beckley. The prolific Beckley is never one to stand still and has recently released yet another solo album, Aurora.

Written and recorded during the pandemic in his new home studio in Sydney, Aurora features the same quality songcraft and instrumentation that has been a hallmark of Beckley’s career. It’s an evocative album, born out of the isolation of Australia’s lockdown period, reflecting on family and friendships and offering an appreciation of the times before covid when life was a little easier to navigate. There’s a warmth and comfort in this music that comes from those feelings and it’s clearly a recording which Gerry has dedicated a lot of time and love to. It also includes Tickets to the Past, a track featuring America band mate Dewey Bunnell, the first new recording from the pair for some time. Indys Gatho (Gatho being Australian slang for gathering!) is a beautiful, cinematic instrumental piece showcasing Gerry’s love of soundtracks. Tears, the album’s closer sees Beckley proudly wearing his Bee Gees influences on his sleeve. It’s an album to savour, one in which new layers and pleasures will emerge for the listener with each new spin.

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips caught up with Gerry Beckley once again via zoom to chat about the creation of his new solo album Aurora. Gerry also tells us about plans to release a 1975 America concert, recorded at the Hollywood Bowl, featuring George Martin conducting the LA Philharmonic. Plus he reveals that the band’s hit ‘Sandman’ was directly inspired by The Bee Gees “New York Mining Disaster’ strumming pattern. All this and more in our new interview.

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