When a bout of writer's block hit Missy Higgins after her sophomore album, 2007's "On a Clear Night," she figured a break was in order.
And the Australian songstress was scared it might be permanent.
"It was really a hard time for me, because music was all I knew, and I'd never had another job," says Higgins, 29, who briefly studied at the University of Melbourne and also acted in an indigenous Australian play called "Bran Nue Dae" before making her third album, "The Ol' Razzle Dazzle." "If I could never write again and never felt the passion for music again, I didn't know what I'd do with my life, so I spent a couple of years just really trying to find out what else could make me happy other than music.
"Thankfully I wound up getting inspired again and realizing I loved touring and making albums and didn't want to do anything other than music."
For "The Ol' Razzle Dazzle," which hit No. 1 in her homeland, Higgins teamed up with fellow artist Butterfly Boucher, who co-produced the set in Nashville -- where Higgins also worked with fellow artists such as Katie Herzig, Dan Wilson (Semisonic) and Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra).
"My main priority was to have fun with it, really," Higgins says. "Music had started to become a little bit of stress for me, so I wanted it to be the most stress-free experience it could possibly be...and to do it in a city that was really far away from my record company and anything business-minded.
"I wanted it to be really creative and joyful, and it was. I didn't have any sound in mind; all I knew was that I wanted it to be more creative and experimental, and I didn't hold back."
Missy Higgins, Katie Herzig and Butterfly Boucher perform Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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