Teresa Dixon

Part of the 'Harmonies of the Huon' Series

Originally from Victoria, Teresa Dixon lived and played music around Melbourne and Phillip Island before moving to the Huon Valley four years ago. A qualified teacher, she has worked here as a youth worker and part-time musician.

Teresa met her partner Marcus at Willie Smith’s Mid-Winter Festival, where her band The Stragglers were performing.

‘I’ve played at six festivals in total,’ she says. ‘I’ve also played at the Cygnet Folk Festival and with The Dead Maggies, who have a cult following.’

Teresa has supported large touring acts as a solo performer and band member. She performs locally at the Longley Hotel, The Lost Captain restaurant in Huonville and at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed.

‘I mostly play my own compositions from my two albums,’ Teresa says. ‘I also do covers of alternative country folk such as American singer-songwriter Gillian Welsh, Lucinda Williams, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris.’

Teresa had a musical grandmother who sang in church.

‘When I was a young girl, she’d sit with me and show me some piano skills,’ she says. ‘Many of my aunties are also singers. I played the flute in high school and was told I could sing when at 17, I was included in the school musical.’

Two years later, Teresa was belting out hard-rock songs with a band called Rapid Fire.

‘That’s an unknown part of my musical history,’ she laughs. ‘But I didn’t pick up a guitar until my mid-twenties and when I did, something just clicked.’

Several of her songs reference the Huon Valley and living surrounded by apple orchards near the banks of the majestic Huon River.

‘I sing songs of visceral sadness, careful optimism and the things we do to pull ourselves together and get on with it,’ she explains.

Her song writing inspiration comes from her own life experiences. She mostly writes for therapy, focusing on things she wants to process.

‘It’s a way of getting over something,’ she says. ‘Every time I play a song, the problem diminishes a little.’

Her songs are very personal – she has had ups and downs with mental health issues, but the music has helped her be in a good place now.

‘I feel lucky – I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have that musical direction and purpose, and I’ve seen it work with other people,’ Teresa says. ‘I did some musical therapy when I was a youth worker. One autistic student wrote some very depressing lyrics and I thought, this is great, she is getting it out of her head, it’s her way of communicating.

That’s the power of music.’

Harmonies of the Huon: Exploring the melodies and musings of Huon Valley artists‘ is a Creative Huon series in collaboration with Huon Valley Council and Huon Valley Tas, showcasing the Huon Valley’s musical talents, their inspiration and journeys.

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