A kick from The Voice got him going
THEY say a phone call can change a life and for Maclean's Chris Sheehy, a truer word has never been spoken.
Sheehy, who entered the national eye in last year's series of The Voice, returned to the Clarence Valley to perform at Violet Vibes with sister Kim last weekend.
The busy instrumentalist spoke with The Daily Examiner earlier this week to reflect on the 14-odd months since his appearance on Channel Nine's reality juggernaut.
Sheehy is based in Brisbane, performs in south east Queensland three to four times a week in various bands and regularly writes, records and produces his own music.
"I'm a bit of a band skank," Sheehy said.
"I'm an instrumentalist so I play for different bands when-ever they need me. I play a range of instruments so it depends on what they need.
"I also play solo gigs around Brisbane CBD and occasionally make the trip to the Gold or Sunshine Coasts.
"It was great to get back to town for Violet Vibes. It was commendable for Steph (Elliott) to organise Violet Vibes and it was great.
"I'm so glad I got to finally see Hekyl & Jive perform. Jack Eyles was an old drama teacher of mine and I'd never been able to watch them perform because I was too young."
But when Sheehy isn't performing in one of his many bands in Brisbane or producing new material, you might spot him working on stage with Australian stars Busby Marou.
"Well it was pretty serendipitous," Sheehy said.
"I met and became mates with the Busby Marou drummer. At about the same time they were looking to expand to a five-piece band he dragged Tom (Busby) and Jeremy (Marou) to watch me play.
"We hit it off straight away, though it was more social at first but that's just as important as connecting musically."
And when he answered a phone call from Tom Busby a few days later, Sheehy knew his life had changed.
"I jumped at the chance," Sheehy said of the offer to join Busby Marou.
"I tried to keep cool of course, but I was pretty excited. He's keen to help me with my solo career so to have someone like that take me under their wing was amazing."
Sheehy has performed with Busby Marou for months, with one of the highlights being an Australia Day concert at Eaton's Hill (north of Brisbane).
Not only did Sheehy perform with Busby Marou, he starred on stage with legendary Australian bands You Am I and the Hoodoo Gurus and had the opportunity to meet two members of long-term favourite Powderfinger.
His good fortune doesn't stop there however, as a few months later his phone rang with another offer, this time from Australian singer-songwriter Pete Murray.
Murray was on the hunt for musicians to help him out with a few shows and recording, and it was Busby Marou who put Sheehy's name forward.
"I'd never met him before and all of a sudden I've got Pete Murray calling my phone and asking if I was free.
"There was no way I'd turn that down. I would've cancelled whatever I had on to take him up on it.
"He's asked me to do a few shows with him which is going to be amazing. There's a few planned down at Mt Buller and those areas so it'll be the first time I see snow too."
The Maclean boy reached the Battle Round in The Voice, but the disappointment from his elimination did not faze the instrumentalist.
Instead, it served as a self-described "kick in the backside" which has helped Sheehy onto a musical conquest he never thought was possible.
"The Voice certainly changed my attitude to music," Sheehy said.
"Honestly, The Voice was an interesting ordeal. I'd always had a cynical standpoint about the show and I'd always been interested at seeing how the television industry worked.
"I sort of took it as a kick in the backside. I didn't want to be 'The Voice of Australia' but I wanted to be a singer-songwriter that worked hard and did what I wanted to do."
And it's fair to say that is exactly what he has done.