Ronni Rae Rivers
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Ronni Rae Rivers

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
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" Ronni’s music is pure country, but with a contemporary edge, and her talent on the fiddle adds a whole lot of class. Notice Me is an exceptional first album, and indicates that this young lady has a huge future."

Susan Jarvis
March 2005

- Susan Jarvis/Rural Press

"The Rebel In Her"

Susan Jarvis

Sometimes RONNI RAE RIVERS’ name is abbreviated to ‘the three Rs’. But there’s a fourth ‘R’ that perfectly sums up this dynamic young singer: it stand for Rebel.

Give Ronni Rae a challenge, and she’ll rush to meet it. Perhaps that’s why she chose to ignore an easy ride to the top on the US country scene to do it the hard way back in Australia.
Ronni Rae grew up partly in Australia and partly in the United States. Her father is Texan, and her mum comes from Perth. She spend her university hears in new Orleans, and had the opportunity to perform with some major names in the United States, including AARON NEVILLE and the NEVILLE BROTHERS.
“I was offered a recording contract in Nashville when I was 11, but my mum said I was way too young. And as I got older, my father, who’s part of the US music industry, could have helped me with a lot of his connections, but I knew I had to do it my way. That’s why I came back to Australia,” Ronni said.
Over the past couple of years, Ronni Rae Rivers has set about doing just that. She released her debut EP, Bridging The Gap, in 2003, then headed to Tamworth in January 2004 to attend the College of Country Music.
She was also selected as a grant finalist for the 2005 TOYOTA STAR MAKER QUEST, giving many fans their first taste of her sassy style and obvious talent.
Since then, Ronni Rae has added a few more notches to her belt, taking out the Best Female Artist and Heritage Songwriter of the Year at the Western Australian Country Music Awards and being named the eighth Most Played Country Artist on Worldwide Playlists.
Now she’s released her first album, Notice Me. Like Bridging The Gap, it was produced by respected Perth songwriter and musician MARK DONOHOE (who has co-written four tracks with Ronni for this album).
Notice Me will be launched in Perth this month, before Ronni Rae packs her bags and heads across the continent to try her luck on the Sydney music scene.
The album offers a new, deeper, more reflective side of Ronni Rae Rivers – one she says captures who she really is.
“When I write, I see the whole story in my head. My music is very narrative, and very country,” Ronni said.
“I guess some of the songs on the album are a bit out there – a little confronting. I’d recorded some happy, light songs, but I prefer music to make me think, to take me to a deeper place.”
Consequently, Notice Me includes songs about some of the darker parts of life – about someone who’s missing, about a disabled boy named Timmy who takes matters into his own hands, and about the danger and uncertainty faced each day by emergency services workers.
“Been Through This Before was inspired by a story on the TV news about the tragic loss of life of those who constantly risk everything for us – firefighters, the police, SES workers. Every day those people leave for work knowing there’s a very real chance they won’t come home,” Ronni said.
“And Janine, Care Of The Stars is even more personal. I’ve experienced the sense of loss and uncertainty when someone you love goes missing. There is simply no closure.”
The album also explores aspects of love which are often overlooked. The title track, Notice Me, focuses on the desperation that comes from feeling invisible in a relationship, while Now You’re Gone is a song about the flood of memories that unexpectedly return after finding a note or a photograph from the past.
Ronni’s last single, Just When I Needed You Most, captivated her when she first heart it as an adult.
“It gets such a good response when I sing it live that I decided to release it as a single,” she said.
It’s quite a contrast from her latest single Rodeo Romeo, which was co-written at the College of Country Music with LYN BOWTELL. It’s a bright, strong, sassy song – as is the catchy He’s Mine.
The album also features a new version of Happy New Year, a popular live favourite from Ronni’s first EP, and two Nashville covers, Trouble At The Door and If Promises Were Gold.
Although Ronni hesitated about calling the new album Notice Me, she says the title now seems very appropriate.
“This album is meant to let people know exactly who I am. All my musical influences have been blended together, and I’m taking a risk by putting some very personal music out there.”
Perhaps we could add a fifth’R’ to Ronni Rae’s name: ‘Risktaker’. It’s a punt that’s sure to pay off for this dynamic, talented and determined performer.

- Rural Press Australia

"Going With The Flow"

COUNTRY UPDATE – March 2005 Issue
Ronni Rae Rivers – Going With The Flow
By Bob Anthony Jnr

Talent, chart, good looks and a new album – what more could a female country artist want?
“How about a job?”
That’s the situation Western Australian Ronni Rae Rivers found herself in February when she decided to make the big move east.
It’s not that she has had enough of Perth, it’s just that there’s a whole new market just waiting in the east and Ronni Rae is determined to make her mark.
She has already done that through festivals such as Mildura and at this year’s annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, not to mention the impact of her hit single and video clip, ‘Just When I Needed You Most’.
“I really love the west but the market there is only so big and there are only so many gigs available. In the eastern States, the opportunities are much greater,” Ronni Rae said.
With her new album, Notice Me, Ronni Rae has taken the bold step of resigning her regular job in sales and marketing for a hair care company. She has packed her things and is looking to base herself initially in Sydney.
For many people, travelling from one side of the country to the other is a huge step.
Ronni Rae isn’t too worried about finding work, especially if the response to her new material in Tamworth was anything to gauge.
“Tamworth was a great buzz,” she laughed.
“I had many people coming up to me and saying hello because they recognised me from the video clip on CMC.
“It was the same in Mildura last year. I even had some popele say they had driven hours to see me perform.
“It’s quite funny people initially thought I was American and were pleasantly surprised to find out I wasn’t.
“I can’t help but be overwhelmed by how much the clip has boosted my profile.
“I think it’s because you are ‘in people’s lounge rooms’ and they somehow feel like they know and trust you – it’s a wonderful feeling.”
Ronni said the single had been a good precursor to the album release. It was a bonus to have a song which people knew and had done so well on the charts.
She said fans were looking for the song on the album and curious to hear more.
“It’s like being a door-to-door salesman, once you get your foot in the door, you have a good chance of selling something,’ she said.
“If you have a song people know well, you have a good chance of selling them the rest of the album.”
Apart from her chart success with the song, Ronni Rae was also keen to build a reputation for providing a good show for her audiences.
“It’s important for me to provide a point of difference from other female artists in the market,” she said.
“It’s very competitive and you have to be able to put on a good show, I learned that in Western Australia.
“The fans over there are a funny lot, you really have to work hard to win them over but once you do, they are yours.
“I intend to do the same in the east, be known as someone who can express a song as well as give the people an experience.”
Ronni Rae has teamed up with Mark Donohoe to deliver an album which features eight songs which she either wrote or co-wrote, touching on a number of subjects few females artists would dare to broach.
“As an independent artist, I wanted to take this album to a new level for me so I said to Mark ‘Let’s just go for it’ even though he had reservations about some subject matter in some of the songs,” she laughed.
Love lost, life, small town taboos, even bitchiness are among the topics Ronni Rae tackles.
“There are songs on the album which tell some pretty powerful stories and will take people by surprise but that’s what they are intended to do,” she said.
“’Timmy’ is one such song and I know people will either love it or hate it but whenever I play it, the audience listens to the lyrics which is very satisfying for me.
“We kept this album under wraps until it was completed so we wouldn’t be swayed by our emotions – hearing what people said – ‘I like that’ or ‘I don’t like that’.”
It’s the development of her songwriting skills which is another aspect of her career Ronni Rae wants to develop with the move.
“I played in a songwriters-in-the-round at Tamworth and it was one of the best experiences for me as a performer because it was all stripped down, just a guitar. You explain the song and the story behind and then sing it,” Ronni Rae said.
“I hadn’t done anything like that before and it tested me as a performer but I really enjoyed it.”
It seems being tested in one way or another is something which this talented West Australia is getting used to.
Ronni Rae Rivers is an artist on the move literally and musically and with the determination to succeed.

- Country Update magazine-Australia

"All About The Journey"

Fred Davidson

It isn’t every Australian artist that can talk about growing up in a Texan household where country music legends would drop by, but RONNI RAE RIVERS has had a rather fascinating life growing up.
Ronni was born in NSW, raised between Houston Texas and Australia; she then went to University in New Orleans, Louisiana where she cut her musical teeth. “I was so inspired by the musical and cultural history of New Orleans – not to mention the incredible food – it allowed me to merge my traditional country roots with the soulful bluesy sound of the Deep South – hence creating my musical style,” Ronni said.
As a child, she gave impromptu concerts for anyone that would listen, and luckily for her, some of those people included WILLIE NELSON and WAYLON JENINGS, who were friends of her father. “I never thought of those guys any differently than my parents’ other friends. Music and musicians were just always around our house. Of course, now I realize how vital those times were in forming my musical direction,” Ronni said.
“Conversely, mum’s a Perth girl who wasn’t familiar with my Dad’s musical tastes when they met. She had no idea about the greats like MERLE HAGGARD and HANK WILLIAMS, instead she was into OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN, ROLLING STONES, and THE EASYBEATS: so as you can imagine, I had these two musical worlds colliding in my subconscious, which is why I am a little bit honky tonk, a whole lot of traditional country ballads with a sprinkling of bluesy southern rock.”
After graduating University, her father’s side of the family wanted her to stay in the USA to pursue her music. However, Ronni decided that she wanted to establish her musical career back home in Australia.
“When I came home to Australia I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I had to start from scratch with no contacts, no help and no expectations. I didn’t know anyone involved in country music in WA. It appeared the scene in Perth was more about Pub rock cover bands. Understandably, I started to get a little disheartened wondering if I had made the right decision in coming home, and then I sent to the Raffles Hotel one Friday night where I saw a band playing called MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. After watching this band several times, I was introduced to MARK DONOHOE, their bass player, and the sole songwriter of the group. We decided to have a writing session together, and probably because our writing styles were so opposite, it really worked. From that event my debut EP, Bridging The Gap, was made.”
This year has been full speed ahead for Ronni; in January, she graducated from the College of Country Music in Tamworth, and went on to be a Frand Finalist in Toyota Starmaker. She then returned to Perth to be named WA Songwriter of the Year and WA Female Vocalist of the Year, and scored a finals berth in the Australian Country Recording Awards (ACRAs) for Australian New Talent Album of the Year. Recently she has been in the studio working on new material which has already resulted in the hit single Just When I Needed You Most.
“This year has been unreal. I have met so many amazing people. Career wise, I feel that I am on track and, more importantly, I take a great sense of self-satisfaction in the fact that I have worked really hard to get to this point. As the saying goes,” It’s not about the destination, it’s all about the journey.”
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- Country Music Capital News

"Beautiful Blend of Country Influences"

By Rebecca Gracie
CD rating 8.5/10

This West Australian country singer is a girl to look out for with her debut album, Notice Me – and we are! Ronni Rae Rivers is a multi-instrumentalist and a clear vocalist, which she demonstrates well on this album. The album is not lacking in talented musicians, boasting the likes of pedal steel whiz Lucky Oceans, multi-instrumentalist and former member of Slim Dusty’s Travelling Country band Ian Simpson and is produced by Magnificent Seven member and well-known icon on the Western Australian music scene Mark “The Don” Donohoe.
Ronni blends her Australian and Texan heritage well on this debut offering and the tracks demonstrate how her career has progressed since attending the Country Music College in 2004.
Fans of Ronni Rae will notice that all songs written by Ronni have her trademark optimism, although there are a share of sad songs here as well, but most tracks will have you dancing and singing along. There are also plenty of story songs. Highlights for me would be the very personal Janine, Care Of The Stars and Timmy but there are no filler tracks to be found. Go out and get this one.
- Northen Daily Leader Newspaper-April 2005

"Country Update Review-June 2005"

Former West Australian, Ronni Rae Rivers is in the fortunate position of being able to draw on a family heritage from both Australian and Texas. The musical influences of both can be heard loud and clear on her latest album, Notice Me.
Blessed with a great voice and looks to match, Ronni Rae has been able to show her versatility through the 12 tracks on the album, ranging from ballads to swing, a couple of great covers.
She has had a hand in writing and co-writing eight of the tracks. Ronni has a strong appreciation for the true nature of country, rather than opting for more contemporary “crossover” sounds which is refreshing and encouraging for Australian country music.
The album is one which you can sit back and savour.
She is particular strong in many of her slower songs such as the title track ‘Notice Me’, ‘Janine (Care Of The Stars)’, the tender ‘Trouble at The Door’, ‘If Promises Were Gold’ and ‘Been Through This Before’.
There are some easy listening numbers in her hit cover of ‘Just When I Needed You Most’, the provocative and challenging ‘Timmy’, her great version of the absolute classics, ‘It’s Only Make Believe’ and gentle ‘Happy New Year’.
Throw in the swing tempo of ‘Now You’re Gone’, and the current single, ‘Rodeo Romeo’ and Ronni Rae has delivered an album which will definitely win her plenty of fans
She is part of a new wave of Aussie talent hitting the market which means the future of country Downunder is in good hands.

- by Bob Anthony Jr

"Notice Me-CD Review-August 2005"

Independent Release
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

It’s very easy to become a Ronnie Rae Rivers fan, if her debut album “Notice Me” is anything to judge her by. So, having already fallen in love with her cool country sound, I will now attempt the difficult task of reviewing her CD from an unbiased point of view.

Ronni Rae Rivers is a gal who knows how to write and perform a good country tune. She sings, she fiddles and she plays keyboards, all with abundant talent. Her vocals are clear and expressive, and she has the ability to move from the spoken word through to soft ballads and on to up-tempo rockabilly with consummate ease. She also has the special ability of bringing the listener with her into each of the songs that she performs.

There’s a lot to like about this album. And the great thing is that it is not just for country music fans. The album is a stylish mix of self-penned songs and country covers and standards, all delivered in a modern, easy listening and accessible style. Just about everyone will get something from Ronni Rae’s smooth performance and the sheer delight of the music that she is playing.

The album is quite outstanding for a debut album, and the production by Mark Donohoe is first class. Whilst it is an independent release, it is a full studio production, not a home recording, and the quality of the studio production and the producer certainly show through. The musicians and the musicianship featured on the album are also excellent, and add immeasurably to the end product.

Three of the songs on the album won ASA Songwriting Awards in 2005, and three of the songs have also been released as singles, indicating the quality of the material. Ronni Rae wrote or had a hand in writing eight of the twelve tracks. Her main collaborator on the album is her producer, Mark Donohoe, who appears as co-writer on four of the songs.

Ronni Rae manages to achieve a contemporary country sound that pays homage to both the roots and the future of country music. Having travelled extensively throughout Australia and the USA, she has been able to adapt influences from both countries, to create her own “Ronnie Rae Rivers style”.

The album explores many of the perennial themes of country music: unrequited love, lost love, missing friends, heartaches, letdowns, revenge, infidelity, wrongdoers, cheaters, liars, man-stealers, women-chasers, unfaithfulness, small-town morals, absence and loneliness, broken hearts, broken dreams and broken promises. Ah country music, what would we do without it!

The album kicks off with the title track “Notice Me”, a song which rated sixth in the 2005 ASA Country Category Awards. “Notice Me” focuses on the feelings of being unnoticed and unappreciated in a relationship, and is another of the heart-aching themes that seem to inspire country artists. The track, which has been released as a single, is an engaging and solid start to the album.

The second song is the one which won Ronnie Rae the top place in the 2005 ASA Country Category Awards, “Janine (Care of the Stars)”, a heartfelt, sad and beautiful country ballad that she performed so well on the 2005 Awards Night. This very personal song is about a missing person in the singer’s life, and the resulting feelings of loss and lack of closure that simply do not go away. The soulful, swaying steel guitar of Lucky Oceans adds to the mood.

Two country classics are featured on the album, the first one being the instantly familiar Randy Van Warmer song “Just When I Needed You Most”, and the second being the equally well-known Conway Twitty song “It’s Only Make Believe”. Ronni Rae’s softer version of “Just When I Needed You Most” was released as the first single from the album, to critical praise and chart success.

Two other covers featured on the album are “Trouble At The Door” and “If Promises Were Gold”. Both are excellent versions of these songs, and provide an opportunity for a more traditional country approach to the vocals, consistent with the style of the material.

Country music often tackles difficult subjects, and “Timmy” is one of those songs that you probably wouldn’t hear anywhere else. It is a confronting and challenging story about a mentally retarded boy who commits murder to avenge an attack on his sister, and who is not suspected of the crime because of his disability. It is a song that you either like or hate, not so much because of anything wrong with the music (which there isn’t), but just because of the subject material. Listening to “Timmy” reminds me a bit of the uneasy feeling that some people get when they hear the lyrics to Kenny Rogers “Coward of the County”: good song, but just a bit unsettling to listen to. However, judging by the positive reactions in concert, there are many people out there who love the song for what it is, and what it is meant to be.

Also on the subject of difficult topics, “Been Through This Before” is dedicated to Australia’s emergency services workers who risk their lives on a daily basis for us all, but go home each evening largely unacknowledged for their sacrifices.

There are two fine Rockabilly songs on the album, “He’s Mine” and “Rodeo Romeo”, the former of which placed fourth in the Blues/ Rockabilly category in the 2005 ASA Songwriting Awards, and the latter of which has been released as a single, and has performed well on the Country Music charts. Both feature some great guitar playing from Greg Bird, as does the jaunty “Now You’re Gone”.

“He’s Mine” is a standout performance, due to the combination of the excellent vocals and guitar work on the track. Ronni Rae is in her element here, vocalising strongly and passionately about a low-down, man-stealing, city floosie who comes to town with bad intentions, and causes havoc for the local female population. You quickly get the impression that despite this woman’s best (or worst) intentions, no-one is going to be taking Ronni Rae’s man.

Ronni Rae’s vocal control on “He’s Mine” is excellent, starting with a spoken introduction (which is not always an easy thing to do convincingly), to the rapid-fire chorus, and to the vocal inflexions that she adds along the way to emphasise her disdain for this woman (and which say almost as much as the words themselves). She delivers her lines with controlled venom and a touch of bitchiness, directed squarely at a wayward member of her own sex.

“Rodeo” and “Romeo” are two obvious words that I haven’t seen teamed up in a song title until now. The song “Rodeo Romeo” is another up-tempo rockabilly number about a gadabout cowboy, this time featuring some equally up-tempo fiddling by Ronni Rae. “Rodeo Romeo” has been released as the second single from the album and has also done well on the Country Music charts.

The final song, “Happy New Year” is a re-recording of the song that was featured on her debut EP. It is a sad lilting song of regret at being away from home when it mattered at Christmas, and losing your lover to someone else. The song is a beautiful, poignant, and bittersweet ending to a fine album.

Am I biased? Well if so, come and join the club. Ronnie Rae has definitely got the goods as an all-round performer, and with “Notice Me”, she is about to get noticed a whole lot more. This is an album well worth listening to, whether you are a country music fan or not.

Alan Gilmour
August 2005
- Australian Songwriter Magazine

""Notice Me" Radio review"

"What a brilliant debut album!!!...I only had to listen to it once to fall in love.Notice Me is an incredible album from start to finish....amazing debut album!"

Rob Russett
Radio Presenter
May 11, 2005 - Rob Russett-4CRM-Mackay,QLD

"National Australian Radio Review"

"I'm very honoured for the job that I have on radio when an album {Notice Me} like this one comes along.......there's some fair dinkum country on this album"
DJ Bill Beerens - CBAA Breakfast Show - Bill Beerens (DJ)


Bridging The Gap-7 track EP-2003
Notice Me-12 track CD-2005(featuring 5 Australian Top 30 radio chart hits& 2 number 1 hits)
Whole Heart To Give-13 track CD-2008



Ronni Rae was born in Sydney, Australia to an Australian Mother and a Texan Father. At an early age Ronni was already racking up frequent flyer points due to extensive travel between the USA and Australia with no knowledge that the heritage of both parents would forge her future in the music business.

This multi talented instrumentalist and songwriter, took it in her stride that music was the language of all people and that this was her destiny.

Ronni’s upbringing can best be described as a melting pot of cultural diversity. Her Father, half Cherokee Indian and half Irish was a military man. His work eventually brought him to Australia where a chance meeting with a Raven haired young actress would change both of their lives forever. Ronni’s Mum was a determined, independent green eyed beauty of Scottish and Welsh heritage who moved to Sydney from Perth to pursue her future in the theatre. Ronni’s mother was adament not give up her homeland, so they compromised in establishing residences in both countries.

Music was all encompassing in the Rivers’ household. However, her parents were diametrically opposed in their musical tastes. To her Dad, there was only one style of music. To him it was Country or nothing, while her Mum introduced Ronni to a wide variety of music, but mostly listened to British Rock music like The Rolling Stones and The Who. The fact that her Dad had many close friends in the music business, including Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, would also inadvertently influence her song writing style later on.

Ronni Rae started playing piano and singing at a very early age. During her formative years she was offered a recording contract in the USA, however, this was not to be due to her father saying she was too young and needed an education before deciding upon a vocational interest. This only encouraged her desire for a career in music. In an interesting turn of events it was the pursuing of a tertiary education that afforded her the opportunity to hone her skills, find her true musical identity, and come into her own as a seasoned performer.

Whilest completing a degree at University, for which she won a scholarship to study Astrophysics, Ronni started performing live in jazz and blues clubs in New Orleans, she has shared the stage with such musical luminaries as Aaron Neville and The Neville Brothers and Aretha Franklin.. This swampy combination of roots, soul, country and blues music is what Ronni says ‘changed her life’. Her unique vocal style was forged literally down on the bayou, but its her Australian honesty and frankness in her writing style that has won critical acclaim worldwide.

Having been described as a dynamic, engaging, wild redhead reminiscent of a young Reba McEntire blended with Tanya tucker and Janis Joplin, her raw energy, unbridled passion and musical prowess captivates and mesmerizes audiences. A consummate professional whose performance skills seem to defy her years, Ronni owns every inch of every stage she performs on.

Having spent the better part of the past 2 years performing and songwriting in Nashville, Ronni returned home to Australia to record her new album. ‘Whole Heart to Give’ will be released on October 11.

then get right back into music and by this time she would do it by herself without the help of her father and his friends.

This young redhead takes to the stage with such an engaging strong performance leaving her audiences wanting more. With fiddle in hand she moves across the stage owning every portion of the it with an energy second to none.

Her music is a blend of soul, blues country rock and folk. Ronni has written with some of the most prolific songwriters both in Australia and in the USA and that is apparent in her recent nominations in the Australian Songwriting Association Awards. Runnerup in both Rock/Indie and Spiritual categories with placings in
The Open category. To top off that she is about to release her much awaited Album “Whole Heart To Give”
Which is already receiving a lot of attention.