Marisa D’Amato’s Country Jamboree has some history lessons for Keep It Country TV viewers
One of the first shows to be aired on new channel Keep It Country TV is a music show with a difference, brought from the gorgeous Island of Malta by Malta’s Queen of Country herself, Marisa D’Amato.
Marisa is no stranger to television on her native island of Malta, having hosted and produced a television show there for over ten years, as well as being a well known radio personality and producer, with her own daily show on Malta’s leading radio station, One Radio. She is also a regular performer and guest on entertainment shows on that channel.
Her new venture, however, is sure to bring her a whole new audience, already having become one of the most popular shows on this exciting new TV channel in just a few short months.
“I was absolutely thrilled when I received the offer to produce and present Country Jamboree for the new Country channel,” she says.
“It was a big challenge for me, as, although I have quite a lot of experience, having been producing a n d presenting a show in Malta for a long time, it is totally different hosting a show in English, which is my second language… Maltese, of course, being my first. I am really enjoying it, and am really grateful for the opportunity to bring my show to an international audience.”
Marisa will already be a familiar name to many music fans in the UK and Ireland, having been one of the stars of the Phil Mack International Country Show tours over the past few years, which have given audiences the opportunity to meet and enjoy the performances of many of the artists who feature on Phil’s shows on Keep It Country TV.
“I can’t thank Phil enough for giving me this fantastic opportunity to perform with so many talented singers and musicians. It’s a great experience every time. We have so much fun together and I enjoy every minute of it.
The Phil Mack shows are so professionally produced. It’s an honour for me to be sharing the stage with so much talent and to meet many of those who enjoy my music.”
Marisa laughs as she tells how her fellow performers, who have now become very good friends, often make fun of her for her “perfectionist” ways: “I suppose I do give my utmost to everything I do, so I have to admit that my friends are right.”
Unsurprisingly she has applied that ethos to her new show. Country Jamboree is a country music show with a difference, featuring not only the best of C&W videos, old and new, and seldom seen footage from music archives, but also a weekly section on the history of the genre.
Marisa includes her weekly Country Calendar, which is a journey through six decades of Country Billboard chart toppers from the 1950s onwards.
She introduces them all from stunning locations across her native island, in a charming yet informative style, demonstrating her very extensive knowledge of of this very popular music.
So extensive is her knowledge one assumes she has been singing and learning it since she was knee high. “Not so,” she says.
“I actually only became a country music singer just over fifteen years ago. I had been performing a bit of everything before that. I sang with a couple of bands over the years, and I was a finalist in the national competition for the Maltese Eurovision entry three times.
“It was when I performed a country song on a TV show in Malta that I became more interested in (this) music and things progressed from there.
“I started learning songs, buying books and looking for information on the songs that I was singing, as I strongly believe that it is important to learn some basic facts about the singers and their songs.
“Of course, I soon learned that there was so much to search for and learn about, so I decided to start collecting all the information I could find. My new show is giving me the opportunity to share what I have learned, so I really hope that the viewers enjoy it.”
In that time she recorded six C&W albums, including a gospel album released in 2015 along and her latest release, Real Live Woman, and another album in the pipeline.
She has twice toured Australia and Canada, and one of her favourite performances was in Knoxville, Tennessee with flat-picking guitar champion Steve Kaufmann, and Gary Davis, Dolly Parton’s banjo player from The Bluniques.
She will be performing in Denmark this summer and on the Phil Mack International Country Showtours across the UK and Ireland. • You can watch Marisa’s show Country Jamboree on Keep it Country TV, Wednesdays at midnight, Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 7pm.
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