Miss Max swaps bay for sound

Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times
Miss Max will be performing across the Capes region.
Camera IconMiss Max will be performing across the Capes region. Credit: Jess Hadden

After moving to Coral Bay after finishing high school, Busselton singer-songwriter Max-Anne Duffett has returned to the region for performances over the next month.

Duffett, who performs under the moniker Miss Max, spoke to the Times ahead of her performances across the Capes.

Three years ago Duffett started performing in Coral Bay while learning to play the guitar.

“I always sang and had done the whole choir thing like most people in primary school but in Coral Bay I met a musician from the UK who was travelling and would sing with him,” she said.

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“When he moved back he left his guitar and told me that if I learnt 10 songs by the time he saw me next I could keep the guitar.

“Since then I’ve made good on that promise.”

Duffett describes her style of music as a mix of folk and roots, and said she was influenced by a range of Australian folk musicians, listing Angus and Julia Stone and John Butler as particular favourites.

Two years ago Duffett began writing and compiling a set of songs, before travelling to Margaret River to record her first EP.

“I spent a year writing the songs and I had known Dave Mann from Margaret River who had started building a studio in his backyard so I took the summer off and came home and recorded an album there,” she said.

After releasing Gypsea Heart, Duffett’s album climbed to No. 2 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts in its first week and her single You Me and the Sea sat at No. 2 on the Triple J unearthed roots chart for five weeks straight.

“I also got my first play on Triple J about a month ago,” she said.

Duffett said growing up in Busselton and then living in Coral Bay has influenced many of her songs.

“I write a lot based on being in a tourist town and being around water,” she said.

“I also meet a lot of travellers who share so many stories and I write about that.”

Earlier this year Duffett was chosen to open the North West Festival in Port Hedland and listed it as a highlight of her career to date.

“After I released my album I won the Best of the North West competition and got to open the festival where acts like The Reuben’s, Xavier Rudd and Sarah Blasko were playing,” she said.

“That was incredible being able to play on a big stage.

“I also got on stage with Urthboy and did a song with him.”

Duffett is about to wrap up a national tour, which she set off for in July and said she was looking forward to playing some shows in the South West.

“It’s all really laid back and acoustic tunes and I like to tell some fun stories, especially after all my travelling,” she said.

Miss Max will be playing at the Firestation on January 14, Settlers Tavern on January 19, and The Shed Markets on January 20 and the Beer Farm on February 11.

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