Sweet songs from Boonah
BY BETH TAYLOR
Bernie Carson is a 19-year-old performer from Harrisville in regional Queensland with a magical voice and an infectious enthusiasm for life. She is excited about being one of our local performers for Cooee Cabaret in Boonah on 1 March. Bernie says, ‘I’m a massive fan of Australian music and tradition so it will be a great night for young and old!’
At Cooee, Bernie will be singing a song called ‘George’ she wrote whilst working at a nursing home (you can listen to ‘George’ below). The song is about a lesson learnt from the older residents. ‘They were just there to laugh and enjoy themselves’ Bernie says. She loved them so much she would wag school to go and visit them – ‘we had lovely morning teas’.
If Bernie Carson has her way, in 10 years time she’ll be a ‘well respected Australian musician who’s inspiring people to do what they want to do’, oh, and ‘be on ‘Spicks and Specks, I love Spicks and Specks!’
Bernie was born on Christmas Day, 1991, in Harrisville, an hour’s drive from Brisbane in Queensland. She grew up on a chook farm and, influenced by bands like the Dixie Chicks, started singing at the age of nine. Bernie has been writing her own songs since she was in high school, working at a part-time job in a cafe from the age of 13 to save up for her first guitar. ‘I cleaned a lot of dishes for that guitar! That was an amazing day when I bought it.’ By the age of 15 she was playing two or three gigs a week: weddings, parties – anything.
Bernie now has a manager and is trying to get some bigger gigs. She recorded a self-titled album in high school which has already sold 4000 copies although it’s yet to be officially released. While reaching a wide audience is the big objective, she admits, ‘I love it that my little sister puts on my album to go to sleep.’
Bernie admires performers like Missy Higgins and The Waifs. She says ‘I like honest, raw, fun performances’. Bernie says that her favourite song on the Registry is Men At Work’s ‘Down Under’: ‘No matter where you are in Australia this song always brightens the mood. I have grown up singing this song with a hairbrush in hand rocking out with my friends!’ Who knows, maybe in 20 year’s time there’ll be a ‘classic’ Bernie Carson song added to the Registry.
‘George’ by Bernie Carson. © Bernie Carson, 2008.