After many years on the road touring North America as a member of the Neilson Family Band, Tami Neilson followed her heart to New Zealand. While there she built an award-winning music career that is attracting attention back home in Canada.

She was 12 when the whole family joined her father on the road as the Neilson Family, starting out as a gospel act before moving into country music.

They performed across North America, opened for Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, and had two top 40 country radio hits in Canada.

The family band stopped touring when she was in her early 20s. Around that time Neilson met the man she would marry before returning with him to New Zealand.

Her fan base began to expand beyond New Zealand a few years ago when Toronto-based label, Outside Music, released Dynamite to Canada in 2014, and followed it with last month’s release of Don’t Be Afraid..

While Neilson was getting ready to record the follow-up to Dynamite 18 months ago when her father fell ill with a lung condition that left him barely able to speak.

During his time in hospital, the life-long musician and songwriter couldn’t get a song out of his mind so Tina brought her father’s guitar to the hospital one day and suggested he play the melody while she recorded it on her phone but he could only get through the first verse. Tina and her brother Jay continued work on the song, Don’t Be Afraid, and performed it at his funeral.

Tina has begun writing songs for the next album, and plans more Canadian tour dates early in 2017.