HANNAH Aldridge's brand of Americana naturally lends itself to the darker edges of country.
It's there in her brash southern rock guitar that conjures up the sounds of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen and her tales of self-destructiveness sung in a smoky vocal reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge.
But the Muscle Shoals-bred singer-songwriter admits even she met her match on her last tour of Australia in October.
During that tour, which included appearances at Dashville Skyline, the 33-year-old played a show at 130-year-old Bulli pub, the Heritage Hotel, with Lachlan Bryan, Katie Bates and Newcastle's Ben Leece.
The hotel is supposedly haunted by all manner of ghosts, including former publican Edward "Ted" Cullen who hung himself in an upstairs bathroom in 1930.
Following the gig the musicians were locked inside the hotel for the night, where Aldridge swears her traditional disbelief in ghosts and paranormal activity was severely challenged.
"The day before everyone left they [the owners] went through the hotel and explained to us every murder and suicide and scary thing you can imagine and then said, 'OK have fun'," Aldridge says in her Alabama drawl from her home in Nashville.
"My room actually had a window that looked directly into this bathroom where a guy had died.
"All night long I was scared to even open my eyes and look out the window as I thought he's definitely gonna be standing there.
"There were lots of noises all night, lots of talking and moving around."
Luckily for Aldridge she won't be returning to the Heritage Hotel on her latest Australian tour, which begins on Friday at Mayfield's Stag and Hunter Hotel.
The main focus of the tour will be a return to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, an event Aldridge credits with reinvigorating her career 12 months ago.
"I was really at a time in my career last year when I went to Tamworth that I was so exhausted with hearing the same people's names over and over again," she says. "The same festival line-ups, the same stuff all the time.
"I started to feel like there was very little inspiration to be taken from anything anymore. I was so refreshed when I got to Australia and I didn't know who anybody was.
"I got to see so much awesome music and I met so many amazing new people and it's been so inspiring and kind of helped me to continue touring and do music by reminding me how big the world is and how big the music industry is."
Aldridge was born to be a musician. Her father Walt Aldridge has written or co-written seven country No.1 hits like (There's) No Gettin' Over Me by Ronnie Milsap, Til You're Gone by Barbara Mandrell, Holding Her and Loving You by Earl Thomas Conley and Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde by Travis Tritt.
He also spent 17 years producing records in Rick Hall's FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals and in 2017 he was inducted into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
His daughter is yet to reach those commercial heights, but Hannah Aldridge has carved out a niche for herself in Americana and southern rock circles for her brutally honest songwriting across her albums Razor Wire (2014) and Gold Rush (2017).
Her debut was written in the traumatic aftermath of a divorce, which left her a young single mother.
The more polished follow-up Gold Rush - featuring her signature songs Dark Hearted Woman, Burning Down Birmingham and No Heart Left Behind - served as a prequel to Razor Wire, documenting the self destructiveness of her early 20s.
"I'm really good at building something up and then completely kicking it over," Aldridge says. "That's a personality trait of mine unfortunately.
"There were parts of my life I wanted to address and write about and things I experienced way earlier on."
Aldridge's son Jackson is now 12 and life is relatively calm compared to her wild early 20s. However, that self-destructive streak remains present.
"It can be a really interesting thing to balance because everyone likes to watch a train wreck," she says.
"Finding the balance of people feeling like you're being honest and relatable, but also in some ways, not relatable at all.
"That's part of entertainment, to be entertaining. When I go to a rock show I want to see somebody being self destructive, that's always intriguing for me as a listener."
The difference is now Aldridge knows how to separate Hannah the Americana queen and Hannah the person.
"I have a persona which is certainly magnified when I'm on stage," she says. "That person is not usually the same person whose going home and sitting in my apartment and wearing fluffy slippers.
"There is a lot of truth to it as well.
"For your own sanity you have to separate your personal life and yourself from this overexposed life you have on stage, because for me, I'm talking a lot about my life on stage and I'm pretty brutally honest in my songs.
"But I do have a barrier, I try to save a little bit of mystery as well."
Hannah Aldridge plays Newcastle's Stag and Hunter Hotel on Friday, Maitland's Grand Junction Hotel on Sunday, the Tamworth Hotel (January 20) and The Welder's Dog (January 23).