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Songbird . . . Nashville-based New Zealand singer-songwriter Jackie Bristow will perform at the Kaka nui Community Hall for the first time next Friday. [OCT 30]. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Playing by the sea has lured a Nashville-based songbird to Kakanui.

It was a suggestion from Oamaru friend Liz Heenan which led New Zealand-born Jackie Bristow to perform her first North Otago show in years, at the Kakanui Community Hall, next Friday.

“Liz showed me the place and it was just so beautiful,” Bristow said.

The Americana folksinger, who has been based in America for 15 years, will showcase new material, songs off her four albums, and share stories of her life in America and New Zealand.

“It should be a feel-good, inspiring night .. hopefully everyone will come out after the lockdowns, and come and see some music,” Bristow said.

In January, she returned home to New Zealand for a small tour, and to see her family, but then Covid-19 hit and she has been here ever since.

She had planned to be in Europe this year, but instead performed sold-out shows in Clyde and Winton, which gave her a “new burst of energy”.

“It’s been quite rejuvenating and really nice actually – it’s been really lovely to be back in New Zealand again.”

New Zealand was one of the only places in the world where music concerts could continue, and she counted herself lucky to be home.

After touring with Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak and Boz Scaggs during the past couple of years, Bristow decided it was finally time to record her fifth album.

Recording began in America last year, and despite the disruptions she was determined to finish it in New Zealand, thanks to a funding grant from Creative New Zealand.

She flew to Auckland to record vocals with Rikki Morris, and had musicians from Norway and San Francisco assisting with harmonies and music.

“Because everyone’s been in a lockdown, or high alert .. people have been doing it from their home studios.”

While it was a challenging experience, she was grateful to be supported by producer Mark Punch, who “pulled it all together from Nashville”.

“It’s been a really positive outcome, I feel quite lucky.”

The album, titled Outsider, would be mastered in the coming weeks and released next year.

★ Jackie Bristow at the Kakanui Community Hall, Friday, October 30. Doors open 7pm. Tickets are $25 and can be bought from the Kakanui Store.