It’s a sure bet if you’re mum’s a country music star, music and travel are going to be part of your life.
If he could talk, Hank James Beverley, born on December 24 to Catherine Britt and James Beverley, would no doubt confirm that notion.
“I literally finished the [new] album the week he was born,” Britt said this week from a pit stop at Coffs Harbour, where she, James, Hank and the ever-present family dog, Rascal, were on their way to her family’s holiday house on the North Coast.
“I was at my parents’ house playing my new album to them when my waters broke,” she said.
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Hank was born on Christmas Eve at Newcastle Private Hospital, as mum completed the delivery herself, pulling baby Hank out and up onto her chest, as she first told Woman’s Day, which has story on her in the latest issue.
“I delivered him myself,” she confirmed to me. “It’s something I wanted to do. I don’t know why. I wanted to be the first one to hold him, to touch him. It was kind of graphic, and pretty special, having the first skin-to-skin contact. You can’t explain that. It’s life changing.”
Hank was born weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces (3.2kg), measuring 50 centimetres. He’s been content since day one, mum said, only waking up once a night most of the time. “He’s really good. I don’t want to jinx it, but he’s a really easy baby,” Britt said.
Chances are Hank knows every song in the Britt songbook, and a few nobody else has heard yet (from mum’s new album, due out in July).
“I literally found out I was pregnant on the Love & Lies tour [with Amber Lawrence],” Britt said.
“I’ve been onstage at Gympie when pregnant. I haven’t stopped gigging and playing. He’s used to me playing.”
His dad James sings The Doors’ Riders on the Storm to put him to sleep. And his parents make up silly songs for him all the time. “We used to do it to Rascal,” Britt laughed. “They aren’t any better.”
Hank’s first road trip is to the Britt holiday house, then straight to Silverton in western NSW, where Catherine and James will run the Silverton Hotel through February and host the Silverton Sunsets Music Festival (featuring Britt, The Sunny Cowgirls, Adam Harvey, John Williamson, and others) on February 24.
The rest of the year will see the family on a caravan holiday through Western Australia, then an album launch and tour mid-year starting in Cairns and winding down the East Coast.
While Britt is a big fan of country music legend Hank Williams, she says the baby’s name was only chosen at the last minute.
“I just really love the name,” she said. “For me, I felt it was a strong and manly name … he just looks like a Hank.”