KOREY Livy's Route 63 chronicles his emergence from a dark period that plunged him into the depths of despair.
The title track from the Border singer-songwriter's latest album is about hope, faith, courage and resurrection and is dedicated to his father and "best friend", Gerard Livy, whose battle with depression ended his life, and to "those fighting depression and other mental illnesses who find the courage to keep fighting".
The death of his father left Livy feeling lost and broken but he realised he had to learn to live again.
"Now I'm back on track and it's about taking the music to as many corners of Australia as I can," he says.
Last year he teamed up with leading songwriters and producers Garth Porter, Drew McAlister and Roger Corbett to bring the real-life stories and raw emotion of his life to the Route 63 album, whose music Livy describes as "the rock end of country" (the single is at No. 18 on the country charts).
Born in Darwin to a single mother, Livy spent time being raised by his country- singer grandparents in the Queensland city of Maryborough until Gerard came into his life when he was nine.
"He was never a stepfather to me, he was always a dad and I wouldn't be the man I am today except for him," Livy says.
He recently performed at a country music festival in Queensland's Charters Towers, where he first stepped on stage at 12 in a talent quest.
"I was crap," Livy remembers.
"It wasn't until I was 14 that I won my first trophy over in Mount Isa in a country music festival rodeo."
At 17, he joined the Australian Army, and later married and settled on the Border, where he became a family man.
The Toyota Star Maker finalist and CMAA Academy of Country Music graduate earned his stripes sharing the stage with Australian country greats Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Troy Cassar Daley, Sara Storer and Lee Kernaghan and won many fans as an Australian Idol contestant in 2006.
Livy is the proud owner of a Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle, a surprise present from his then fiancee Erica, who is now his wife.
"She was with me through my dad's death and we hadn't long been together," Livy says.
"She helped me through that time by being a good friend to me, which is what I needed most."
Livy recently became involved with DefenceCare, which helps current and former members of the Australian Defence Force in times of injury, illness or crisis.
"A lot of my friends that I've served with have taken their lives or told me stories of mates they'd served with who had taken their lives," he says.
"Suicide is not only a thing that's not only just happening out here in daylight but it's becoming a big part of these soldiers who are trying to live with themselves in this broken world that they've come back to.
"My goal is to just make a difference and help people and I want to keep doing that."
Route 63 is available at Albury's Custom Music and on iTunes.
IF YOU NEED HELP: Lifeline: 13 11 14.
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