With a brand new album about to be released and the natural nerves that come along with the anticipation and excitement of such a moment, one sure way to settle yourself is to pick up another big award just a few weeks before your launch night. And that's exactly what country star Olivia Douglas, 'the flower of Ferbane', did when she was honoured as the Best Midlands Artist at the Sunday World Country Music & Entertainment Awards last week for the second year in a row.
With her eagerly anticipated second album, 'Forever Country', set to be launched on a star-filled evening of song and dance in The Well, Moate on February 27, Olivia was surprised but delighted that her position within the country scene continues to win her new fans and recognition.
"It's such a lovely feeling when you hear your name announced as the recipient of any award, it really is. But at the same time, I'm always so shocked to hear my own name actually called out. I nearly need a dig in the ribs to remind me I have to actually go up and collect them! I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Not that I'm saying I think I'll be winning awards forever now [laughs], don't get me wrong! But for as long as I'm lucky enough to experience those kind of moments, they're not something I'll take for granted."
Olivia's new album is the follow-up to her debut collection, 'Another Heartache', which heralded her arrival onto the country scene a couple of years ago. It gave her a first ever number 1 hit, her version of the Bob Dylan track, 'Don't Think Twice.'
The album also features her current single, 'Back On My Mind', which has quickly become a firm favourite with radio and fans alike. And 'Forever Country' seems certain to continue Olivia's remarkable rise, with some who've been treated to advance listenings of other tracks featured on the album hailing its release saying, "it is as beautifully performed and produced a collection of traditional country music as I've heard in a long time", and "If anyone is wondering why Olivia has become such a highly thought of singer and respected musician on the country scene, this album will explain it all."
Olivia, who also pens a regular diary of her country music career for the digital magazine HEM Country, will be joined on her launch night by some of the biggest names in Irish country, including John Hogan, Robert Mizzell, Michael English, Gerry Guthrie, and Seamus Moore, as well as a host of dancing favourites like Simon Casey, Matt Leavy, and John Molloy. Midlands man Joe Rabbette, who is one of this year's contestants on the TG4 country music talent show Glor Tire will also be making a special appearance on the night.
'Forever Country' will launched in The Well, Moate, on February 27.