Tamworth Country Music Festival: Felicity Urquhart finds strength in her music after death of Glen Hannah


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HER VOICE trembled and her hands shook. Just months after her husband Glen Hannah tragically took his own life, Felicity Urquhart picked up the guitar and tried again. It was a warm day on the tail end of autumn when Urquhart got the news that her partner, husband and collaborator had lost a battle with mental illness so well-disguised not even she knew about it. “There was this troubled man I was living with and the sad part is that as a wife and best friend I had no idea he was struggling,” Urquhart said. “His busy schedule was what I thought was the reason for I guess his concentrated manner. “I think he was fearful of that and letting people down, in the end the person he let down the most was himself, he was so consumed with not failing.” Glen Hannah was an accomplished musician, sought-after producer, a loving husband and the father of two girls, Tia and Ellie. A trip to Nundle’s Dag Sheepstation Songwriter’s Retreat slowly pulled Urguhart out of her emotional coma. In the hills of gold the fire was stoked in one of the toughest times of her life. “My heart wasn’t just open, it was bleeding, it was cut wide open,” she said. “It’s been healing, so many people have told me to talk to a professional because it’s such a traumatic thing. “The irony is that it should have been Glen, here are the people left behind with this menace mountain, this tsunami of the aftermath.” Word by word, Urquhart opened the floodgates back into music. Now she’s back in the studio doing things she never did. “This passion for my music is stronger than ever and that worry about what people think has left my mind completely,” she said. The positivity that’s surrounded her both in the country music industry and in her audiences has been overwhelming, she said. “That album was made out of love, I could not leave that in the darkness and hang it away,” she said. Artists and fans wrapped their arms around Urquhart after Hannah’s death. Read also: “The sad fact is we won’t ever hear Glen’s guitars and production, his fabulous skills and ideas,” Urquhart said. “All these people wanted to work with him and I was so proud, but he never got to kick that next goal. “I hope he’s watching, he’s proud and at peace and the pain of his struggles has gone away, he should be bloody here but I hope he’s happy, he was one of a kind.” Urquhart performs January 21 with Brad Butcher at Wests. A tribute to Glen Hannah is on January 20 at Wests. For more TCMF news, subscribe to the Leader’s daily newsletter

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