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APRIL 2007

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2007

Strong ticket sales for Urban Country this weekend

Strong ticket sales for the QUT Urban Country Music Festival’s main concert have organisers at the Caboolture Shire Council anticipating the largest crowd yet for the fourth running of the event.

The Festival kicks off this Friday (May 4) concluding four days later on the Queensland Labor Day holiday Monday.

"More than 1,000 early bird tickets were sold by the end of January alone showing there is a high level of public enthusiasm and support for one the of the Shire’s trademark events," Caboolture Mayor Joy Leishman said.

"Inquiries through both our website and the festival hotline have kept organisers extremely busy, especially as 60 percent of total ticket sales to date have been via the website, a service which was offered for the first time this year."

Time is quickly running out for those wanting tickets to the main concert which features headliners Jimmy Barnes, Adam Brand (pictured), Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole (pictured), The McClymonts, The Pigs and John Williamson. About 8,000 people are expected at this year’s main concert which is the major attraction of the festival (supported by the Caboolture Shire Herald).

Entry to the event at the Caboolture Showgrounds on Saturday costs $59.90 for adults and $29.90 for children aged 8 to 15. Tickets are available at Caboolture Shire Council, Caboolture RSL, Caboolture Sports Club, which is an agency for Ticketek, and directly from Ticketek at or on 13 28 49. Tickets will be available on site when gates open at 1.30pm but a surcharge applies. Urban country website ticket sales have closed.

Clr Leishman said the 2007 QUT Urban Country Music Festival would be as fresh and as dramatic as the first thanks to several debuting artists such as Jimmy Barnes, Adam Brand and Carter & Carter, "and new and exciting events like the free bush balladeer concerts and the Voice of Urban Country Talent Search.

"While the festival boasts about 500 artists across 10 different stages there is also a large number of creative workshops, competitions and free activities making it a real family affair, and it’s all only 40 minutes north of Brisbane."

The Urban Country weekend kicks off with a free party, music and fireworks and food to suit all tastebuds at the Burbs ‘n Bush Party in Caboolture’s Town Square on Friday from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Ringer turned singer and songwriter Tom Curtain headlines and is joined by one of country music’s hottest new groups, Jetty Road, and popular local talent Adam Kilpatrick.

"This year’s Urban Blaze Concert and Fireworks on Sunday evening will still have crackling campfires, food stalls and entertainment but will also include a new event – The Tuff As Nails competition that melds muscle and mind as teams work to hammer nails into logs in the fastest time.

"While Festival goers are warmed by bonfires and illuminated by pyrotechnics, some of Australia’s finest country artists will perform, including Paul Costa, Sam Hawksley, The Pigs and Aleyce Simmonds."

The new bush balladeers concerts will feature an impressive roster of award-winning artists including Greg Bain, Julie Perandes, Anita Ree, Graham Rodger and The Young Balladeers (Amos Morris, Matt Manning, Nathan Charlton and Dan Manning).

The Voice of Urban Country Talent Search will see professional artists competing for a first prize valued at $13,500. And Monday’s farewell concert is a final chance to hear headliners multi-award winning duo Carter & Carter who will also appear at Sunday’s Grass Roots and Gospel stage. Joining them at the farewell concert will be Laura Downing plus winners of the Talent Quest and busking competitions and 2006 Queensland Champion of Champions winners.

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Troy to feature in "It Takes Two" 2007

Country star Troy Cassar-Daley has been lined up to feature again in the 7 and Prime Network series "It Takes Two".

The show, a singing talent quest featuring duos comprising established artists and personalities who are not (until the show!) singers, kicks off on Tuesday, May 8 at 7.30pm

Grant Denyer returns as host of the show which sees the couples competing in a duet-singing showdown backed by a live show band. The couples are judged by a combination of viewer votes and a panel of industry experts to see who will be crowned series champions.

Confirmed celebrities who will step out of their comfort zone this year include Jolene Anderson ("All Saints" actress), Lochie Daddo (television presenter), Ernie Dingo ("The Great Outdoors"), comedian Russell Gilbert, Former Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski and Jo Stanley (breakfast radio host and television personality).

In addition to Troy, professional singers who will mentor the celebrities include Rachael Beck, Anthony Callea, David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Dave Gleeson and Wendy Matthews.

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Gina's new single

Gina Jeffreys, still hot on the comeback trail, is releasing a new single, Stepped Right In It, as she continues a round of double act tours with Beccy Cole and Sara Storer.

The single will be accompanied by "a very funny video" (with special guest Beccy Cole) soon on CMC. Gina's comeback was covered nationally by the 9 Network's "Sunday" program yesterday which revealed Gina and Beccy dressed up as Gina and Beccy "senior" for the clip.

In recent times, Gina has made a number of major television appearances and has featured on the covers of Country Music Capital News and Country Update.

Gina won her last Golden Guitar in 2002, for Video Clip of the Year with Angel. She took time off from late 2002 in preparation for the birth of her and husband Rod McCormack's son Jackson.

After that, Gina performed only at several Leukaemia Foundation charity events until 2004 when she started appearing again at some of the nation's major festivals.

In 2004, she was appointed Ambassador for the 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth, appeared at more Leukaemia Foundation and Cancer Council charity functions and started recording again in 2005.

In 2006, Gina did her first major Tamworth concert in four years at Tamworth and released her new album – Walks Of Life – in October.

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Chart update – Brad holds number one for fourth week

Brad Paisley retains the number position on this week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the fourth week with She's Everything.

Catherine Britt edges up one place to second position with I'm Gone while John Williamson rises to third place with Wildlife Warrors: It's Time and Ian Quinn's Can't Cut Gidgee moves up one place to four.

Rascal Flatts' What Hurts The Most drops to five, Carter & Carter's Run Away jumps to six while Tom Curtain's Chew Like Hell rises to seven.

Nicki Gillis' Leaving You For Myself slips one place to number eight, as does Lee Forster's Drinkin' Bone to nine. Dianna Corcoran's Then There's Me falls to 10.

Bullet performers this week include John O'Dea's Old Rusty Ute (15 to 12), James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven (16 to 13), Keith Urban's I Told You So (23 to 20), Sharnee Fenwick's See Saw Ride (27 to 24), Ronni Rae Rivers (pictured) with Timmy (30 to 26) and Tania Kernaghan with Life Don't Get Much Better Than This (debuting at 27).

Other new entries to the chart this week include A Lover's Question by Paul Costa (in at 29).

The full chart can be viewed at

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Ernest Tubb's 60th radio anniversary

America's "Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree" radio program will celebrate its 60th anniversary this weekend.

The 60th anniversary (or 3,143rd consecutive broadcast) will take place at the Texas Troubadour Theatre on Saturday (May 5).

Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely will host the program with special guests, the '60s Texas Troubadours (Buddy Charleton, Don Mills, Junior Pruneda and Leon Rhodes) and Steve Chapman.

The show goes to air at 11:30pm.

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Carrie, Nicole and Reese make "most beautiful" list

Carrie Underwood, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon (star of the "Walk The Line" movie) are among those included in American "People" magazine's annual "100 Most Beautiful People" list.

Actress Drew Barrymore tops the celebrity list in the magazine's May 7 issue. In addition to Carrie, other singers and musicians featured include Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz.

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston are also on the list.



More than a $1 million donated from 2006 Muster

More than a million dollars has been given to the community by organisers of the Toyota National Country Music Muster as a result of last year's 25th anniversary event.

Profit of the 2006 Muster was almost $1.2 million, representing the total monies raised by the joint endeavours of more than 50 community groups. The Gympie Apex Club financially underwrites the multi million-dollar annual budget.

On Thursday at the Broncos Leagues Club, the Apex Club followed up on their distribution night in Gympie with an informal function to thank major sponsors and supporters who contributed more than $600,000 to the event.

Presentations were made to Toyota Australia, the naming rights sponsor, and the Queensland Government, together with all corporate and media sponsors.

Funds distributed in the community included more than $93,000 to the Melanoma Foundation of Australia.

The 2007 Muster will be staged at the event's dedicated site in the Amamoor State Forest just south of Gympie from Tuesday to Sunday August 21 to 26.

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Steel Guitar Convention

The Brisbane Steel Guitar Club has announced plans for the 2007 Brisbane Steel Guitar Convention/Music Festival in June.

Billed as "a unique event on the music calendar for Southern Queensland and Australia" the event will feature a number of Australia's leading players and a number of invited international guests.

The Convention/Festival is scheduled to be held at the Kedron Wavell Services Club, Chermside (Brisbane) Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24.

Steelers will be able to enjoy additional sessions and select workshops with a number of players.

"If you’re a steel guitar enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this unique event," organisers say.

The program will feature Australians Ray Cullen, Tomi  Grasso, Ian Kerr, Kenny Kitching (pictured at a recent Convention), Mark Moulynox and Warren Neilson, and international guests Dave and Carol Kirk and Ken Simmons.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2007

Canterbury Country turns seven

Canterbury Country, the free monthly country music show at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club, turns seven in May.

Thursday May 10 is the date for the celebrations which take place in the Club's Starlight Auditorium.

The show will feature Nicki Gillis, Drew McAlister and Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French plus "surprise guests" with hosting by Bob Howe and the Hillbilly Heaven band.

Guest artists on the April – "Angels & Honky-Tonk" night – were (pictured from left) Peter Pratt, (host) Nicki Gillis, Alison Hams, Mark Tempany, Barbara Baillie, Alby Pool and Roger Corbett (photo by Terry Phillpot).

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Drew's "along for the ride"

Along For The Ride is the title of Drew McAlister's new single release, written to support the Tour de Cure, a charity ride for 22 riders who are riding from Brisbane to Sydney commencing from May 28.

Charities benefiting are Camp Quality for children with cancer, Prostate Cancer Foundation for men and the National Breast Cancer Foundation for women.

The song can be downloaded for free with any donation at from May 1.

As a singer/songwriter, Drew has written the track as his personal contribution to support the journey to finding a cure for cancer. All donations from the single and the tour will go directly towards finding a cure.

Along For The Ride will also be the first single off Drew's forthcoming album expected out in June.

The Tour de Cure riders will ride nine stages over 10 days south down the coast of NSW ending in Sydney on June 8. "It will take more than 10 days to find a cure for cancer," Drew said, "but your support will shorten the journey."

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Horsham award winners announced

Winners of the inaugural Horsham Country Music Awards have been announced.

The awards were to have been presented at the Horsham Country Music Festival last week but, for various reasons, the festival has been postponed until next year.

As much of the work had been done on the Awards, however, organisers went ahead with the recognition scheme.

In the open section, Nicki Gillis (pictured) won Album of the Year with her latest release Lucy's Daughter.

Merilyn Steele took out Female Vocalist of the Year while Alex Watt won Male Vocalist of the Year.

Carter & Carter were named winners of the Vocal Group/Duo award, Dean Perrett won Bush Ballad of the Year and Col Thomson took out the Heritage Song award.       

In the independent section, Casey Watt was named winner of Album of the Year with Lead You Astray, Col Thomson won Male Vocalist of the Year and Bush Ballad of the Year while Nicki Gillis took out Female Vocalist of the Year and Carter & Carter won Independent Vocal Group/Duo of the Year.

The re-scheduled Horsham Country Music Festival is set for April 2008.

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New album from Champs

Greg Champion is releasing a new album of football songs as featured on the ABC program "The Coodabeen Champions".

Titled Footy Songs 98-07, the new release has 25 "brand new songs to get your footy season off to a laugh-filled start."

Tracks include The Port Boys Drive Toranas, Matty Lloyd, Henley Beach Hotel Incident, Wooden Spoon, The Fight In The Dog, Ninth Again, A Patch Upon Both Elbows, Good Old Collingwood, South Australia, We Were Geelong, Baggy Green, That's The Thing About Football, and many more.

The album will be available in stores from Monday (April 30).

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Jackie Bristow plays Nashville

New Zealand-born and now America based singer/songwriter Jackie Bristow plays Nashville next month for the first time with cuts from her album Crazy Love released through Sydney-based independent label Craving Records.

Fresh from shows in her new hometown of Los Angeles and showcases at Canadian Music Week and South By Southwest Music Fest 2007 in Austin, Jackie plays Nashville's Blue Bird Cafe on Sunday May 6 and 3rd & Lindsley on Thursday, May 10.

This will be followed by appearances venues in Austin, Texas, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Jackie started singing at age eight on New Zealand's South Island and, with her younger sister, gathered an armful of Gold Guitar awards. She left high school for Invercargill Polytechnic Music School and bloomed as a singer in pop bands and as a songwriter.

Five years after moving to Australia, one of her demos found its way on to an industry executive's desk, leading to writing and recording deals. She's toured with some of the biggest names to criss-cross Australia and supported Art Garfunkel and Daniel Lanois in New Zealand.

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Telstra Road to Tamworth 2008 kicks off in June

The 2008 Telstra Road to Tamworth country music talent competition will kick off on Saturday June 30 in the NSW Hunter Valley with a star studded concert to mark the first competition heat.

Telstra Road to Tamworth is a national competition which has been providing an outlet for aspiring country music stars since its inception in 2004. The competition traverses the nation with heats in various regional locations throughout the year, culminating with the grand final series at the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The 2007 winner Morgan Evans from Newcastle heads to Nashville in June as part of his prize package to record a single with SonyBMG and perform at the CMA Country Music Festival.

Twenty heats will be held for the 2008 competition in various regional locations across the nation.

This year’s program will see several changes reflecting the growing importance of the competition to the Australian country music industry. Full details will be announced next month.

Following are heat details

1 – Saturday June 30 – Hunter Valley Gardens "Village Green" - NSW
2 – Saturday July 7 – Rupertswood Horse Club- Townsville - Qld
3 – Saturday July 14 – Penrith RSL - Auditorium - NSW
4 – Sunday July 22 – Rockhampton Leagues Club - Qld
5 – Friday July 27 – Launceston Country Club - Tas
6 – Sunday August 5 – Shepparton RSL - Vic
7 – Saturday August 11 – SkyCity Casino - Darwin - NT
8 – Saturday August 18 – Bairnsdale RSL - Vic
9 – Saturday September 1 – Shellharbour Workers - NSW
10 – Sunday September 9 – St Arnaud Sports Club - Vic
11 – Sunday September 16 – Brothers League Club Cairns - Qld
12 – Saturday September 11 – Woodchoppers Inn Mudgeeraba - Qld
13 – Sunday September 30 – Harvey Dickson CM Festival - WA
14 – Saturday October 6 – Floriade 2007 presented by Australian Capital Tourism - Stage 88  Commonwealth Park Canberra - ACT
15 – Saturday October 13 – Bathurst Panthers League Club - NSW
16 – Saturday October 20 – Rochford Winery Yarra Valley - Vic
17 – Saturday October 27 – TCW Inverell Saphire City Festival - NSW
18 – Saturday November 10 – Dalby RSL - Qld
19 – Saturday November 17 – Melrose Showgrounds - Melrose SA
20 – Saturday November 24 – Kinross Woolshed Albury - NSW

John Williamson release

Australian country star John Williamson has released a personal statement following media news reports at the weekend.

"It is with regret and great sadness that today John Williamson and his wife Mary Kay have announced their separation after 35 years of marriage," the release said.

"They would ask that their privacy be respected at this most difficult time and as such no further comment will be given."

New album from Graeme

Graeme Clarke will release his new album at the Moonta Town Hall, SA, on Sunday April 29.

The album – titled One For The Road – contains 14 tracks, including a number of Graeme's own songs. It is his third album release following Graeme Clark Sings Your Favourites and Footprints In The Sand At Walleroo.

As well as singing songs from the album, Graeme will be supported by a number of acts including a special guest artist and the CYP Bootscooters.

Admission to the function is $12 or $10 concession with proceeds aiding the Fred Hollows Foundation and the local community radio station Gulf FM on 89.3.

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Kimber's new single

Kimber Sparks has released a new single – Somewhere Between – the third from her successful EP Go Get ‘Em Girl.

Written solely by Kimber and produced by Brendan Radford, the single "shows a raunchier country rock side to Sparks’ music," said the release announcing the new single. 

Kimber has been making waves in the Australian country music industry since she was discovered by Lee Kernaghan. It was a chance encounter while Kimber was working at Lee’s former pub in Rockhampton, The Great Western Hotel.

Lee heard her singing one night and was "blown away" by her distinctive country vocals and invited her to perform during several of his Electric Rodeo shows.  "I could listen to Kimber sing all night long," he said.

It’s been a hectic few months for the rising country music star who is not only juggling a thriving country music career but also studying for her MBA at Central Queensland University, working as an extra on the new Debra Messing/Judy Davis film, "Starter Wife", being named The Most Supportive Entertainer of The Year by the Alabama Country & Gospel Music Association in the US and recording a duet with the legendary Vern Gosdin.

The accompanying video to Somewhere Between, directed by fellow country artist Michael Bryers, has just hit CMC.

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CMR on air tomorrow

CMR – Country Music Radio – will be on air from Country Music Capital an extra day this week for ANZAC Day.

The program goes to air from 12 midnight tonight until 6am then again from 6pm.

The Music will be all Australian.

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007

Muster adds four new acts

The Toyota National Country Music Muster has announced four more key headliners for 2007.

The Black Sorrows, Eric Bogle (pictured), The Bostocks and Adam Harvey will now join Lee Kernaghan and Melinda Schneider with many more to be announced.

An artist registration system was introduced for this year's Muster with 392 being received before registrations closed.

The third round of discount tickets for Muster 2007 are now on sale and will end on April 30.

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International Music Conference

Details have been announced for the 24th annual International Country Music Conference (ICMC) by co-Chairmen Don Cusic and James Akenson.

The conference, to be held at Belmont University in Nashville from May 24 to 26, aims to provide an informative and entertaining mix of educational panels and discussions of great historical interest to fans of country music.

ICMC panel subjects will include "The Songs, The Stories, The Changes: Songwriting in Nashville: 1958-2001" and "Teaching the Vietnam War: Aussie Country Music and the Battle of Long Tan".

Other panels over the rmaining days of the conference include "The Bill Monroe I Knew: As Told By Mac Wiseman", "50th Anniversary Analysis of Music Row, RCA Studio B and the Evolution of Music City" with panelists Eddy Arnold, Don Cusic, Charlie Lamb, Robert Oermann and John Rumble.

During Friday's luncheon, award recipients will be recognised for The Best Book on Country Music, Lifetime Achievement in Linking Books with Country Music and The Charlie Lamb Execellence in Country Music Journalism Awards.

A keynote speech entitled, "WSM: From Air to Page" given by noted music journalist Craig Havighurst will take place during Saturday's luncheon. The day will finish out with more notable panels and discussions.

Registration for conference is US$90. Registration deadline is May 15. Enquiries can be directed to James Akenson via email,

Shaz to appear at The Dreaming Festival

Dubbo (NSW) artist Shaz Lane has been signed to appear at The Dreaming Festival at Woodford from June 8 to 11.

Billed alongside some of the country’s leading Aboriginal artists, Shaz will appear three times at the three day/four night event.

The Dreaming Festival is Australia’s only international indigenous festival with performing arts venues, bars, ceremony grounds, traditional healing galleries, rituals, campfire story circles and a mass of stalls, workshop and food outlets.

Under the artistic direction of Rhoda Roberts, The Dreaming Festival program features film and literature components, performing arts, new media and digital technologies, food and wine fare, comedy, ceremony, exhibitions, performance artists, physical theatre, visual arts, workshops, the music program, street performers, musicals and a youth program.

Shaz (or Sharon) recovered from extensive surgery last year after being diagonised with a life threatening tumour. She was diagnosed in April last year with a Meningioma tumour in her right eye which was also having a detrimental effect on her eyesight and underwent major brain surgery to remove it. The 9 Network’s RPA (Royal Prince Alfred) picked up on the story which aired on November 23 and 30.

"I agreed to appear on the... series in an endeavour to inform others not to dismiss common symptoms such as headaches and blurred vision associated with migraines as the cause could very well be something more serious," Sharon said.

Now, just over a year later, Shaz has been booked to appear at The Dreaming Festival and will also play support to the Wolverines when they appear in Dubbo on May 13.

Shaz's latest single is Left It All Behind.

"2007 is going to be a great year," she said. "I am currently writing songs and working on my first album to be produced later this year."

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Keith's "world" tour underway

Keith Urban’s "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour" has kicked off with the concerts in Germany – Munich on Thursday night, Cologne on Saturday and Hamburg last night.

A long way from home for any country artist, Keith took to the stage for the first leg of the tour with standing room only crowds.

"Guten tag Munich, it’s good to be back," he said as he took to the stage for the first time in nearly six months, before an ear-splitting, frantic crowd. The more than two hour, blistering performance that has come to define Keith’s career featured songs from his latest album as well as many of the hits that have defined his career to date.

In Munich, the crowd sang along, cheered and even got a rare performance of one of Keith’s earliest hits, You Won, which was requested just prior to the performance by a young Austrian woman who met the country star via The Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Keith even made his way into the audience where he interviewed shocked fans. One had been waiting for four months just to make the drive to Munich from Northern Italy.

Next up? The British leg of the tour (London, Birmingham, Manchester) and then home to Australia on May 11 before continuing the tour in America from June 8.

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CMC Top 50 – Luke O'Shea hits the top

Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel (pictured) have taken over the number one spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with their clip of Ragged Bloody Heroes.

Matt Scullion's Giddy Up is at 12 while The McClymonts' Baby's Gone Home is at 16 after debuting in the playlist last week at 17.

Adam Brand is new at 18 with Can't Live Without Your Love while James Blundell is at 19James Blundell's with Higher Than Heaven.

Mistin Renee Summers is at 22 with Down That Road, Tania Kernaghan at 23 with Life Don't Get Much Better Than This, Nicki Gillis at 24 with Leavin' You For Myself, Dianna Corcoran at 25 with Then There's Me, The Sunny Cowgirls at 26 with Still Circling, Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French at 28 with Let's Make A Family and Lee Kernaghan is steady at 30 with Love Shack.

Rebecca Lee Nye rises to 35 with Gotta Say Goodbye, Kylie Hogan is steady at 36 with I Met You, Nici Blue Eyes is up to 37 with Again & Again, Stephen Rowe is up to 38 with Broken Hill and Markus Meier is a Bullet Performer this week with Matilda Road (up to 47).

The playlist can be viewed at         

Chart update – Brad still at number one

Brad Paisley retains the number position on this week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the third week with She's Everything.

Rascal Flatts, Catherine Britt and Dianna Corcoran are still at two, three and four respectively with What Hurts The Most, I'm Gone and Then There's Me.

Ian Quinn's Can't Cut Gidgee edges up one place to five while John Williamson jumps four places to six with Wildlife Warrors: It's Time and Nicki Gillis rises to seven with Leaving You For Myself.

Lee Forster's Drinkin' Bone is also up one to eight, Carter & Carter bound into the top 10 at nine with Run Away and Tom Curtain (pictured) enters at 10 with Chew Like Hell.

Bullet performers this week include Travis Sinclair with Rockin' The Rig (15 to 12), James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven (20 to 16), Karen Lynne with Roses In The Snow (25 to 20), Keith Urban's I Told You So (26 to 23), Markus Meie's Matilda Road (27 to 24) and Sharnee Fenwick with See Saw Ride (30 to 27).

New entries to the chart this week include Timmy by Ronni Rae Rivers (in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at

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ACM announces pioneer award recipients

Dolly Parton (pictured), Don Williams and the late Harlan Howard and Waylon Jennings have been named recipients of this year's Pioneer Awards from the Academy of Country Music (ACM).

They will be honoured at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville on June 20 at a ceremony hosted by Marty Stuart. In addition, the late Buck Owens will be remembered with the Jim Reeves International Award and record promotion veteran Jack Lameier will receive the Mae Boren Axton award for his 28-year tenure on the ACM's board of directors.


Kathy says Girl Scouts changed her life

American country star Kathy Mattea said she discovered her love of singing while attending Girl Scouts camp as a kid in West Virginia.

"I loved the sheer joy of singing simple songs in harmony and in rounds," the 47-year-old told The Charleston Gazette. "I also learned to live in harmony with the land and to have a reverence for nature."

Kathy, a native of Cross Lanes, will be the keynote speaker tomorrow (Tuesday) for the Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council's annual fundraiser luncheon in Charleston.

Kathy said she plans to sing and talk about how scouting and music helped her discover what she wanted to do with her life.

"I can say more in three minutes of singing than in 10 minutes of speaking," she said. "The songs facilitate my message."

Kathy has won two Grammy awards and has been named Female Vocalist of the Year twice by the Country Music Association. She also won a CMA Single of the Year award for Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses."


FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007

Deni Ute Muster announces line-up

Organisers of the annual Deni Ute Muster in September have announced their artist line-up for the 2007 event.

The 2007 Deni Play on The Plains Festival and World Record Ute Muster will feature The Baileys, James Blundell, Troy Casser-Daley (pictured), Travis Collins, The Distance, the Hoodoo Gurus, Lee Kernaghan, The McClymonts, The Pigs and Felicity Urquhart.

Lee Kernaghan is no stranger to Deniliquin, having performed at three previous Deni Ute Musters and cannot wait to return. "Deni Ute Muster is one of the great Australian country music events," he said. "I love playing there. I love the atmosphere and I can't wait to do it again this year."

James Blundell returns to Deniliquin with his new album and says he is looking forward to the Deni Ute Muster. "I love the Deni Ute Muster. It's a great bush party with a great atmosphere. I can't wait to return. I've been missing the bush,'' he said.

The Muster will be held over the September 28/29 long weekend.

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New single from The Borderers

My Mother, My Angel Of Love is the new single from multi-award winning band The Borderers.

"The song is a dedication to the most important person in everyone’s life – their Mum," said The Borderes' guitarist Jim Paterson, "and highlights the feelings, love and affection we all feel toward this special person. We take them for granted sometimes, especially in our teenage years. We’re sure you’ll be able to relate to its sentiments."

Jim and Alex originally wrote My Mother, My Angel Of Love as Bulgaria’s entry into the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest – in the end, Bulgaria decided to go with an alternate song but The Borderers thought it was too good a song to have sit on the shelf and gather dust.

The Borderers became a band by accident when Jim was holidaying in Australia in 1993 as part of a round world trip. "I was just visiting South Australia to visit a friend when I got invited to a recording studio to hear this band. I loved their sound so much that I eventually co-produced the album, got five of my songs on it and married the lead singer."

Lead singer Alex was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and came to Australia in 1987. Jim was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived in Australia on Christmas Eve 1993.

The Borderers pride themselves on their independent spirit – running their own indie record label – Celtic Records – which, to date, has released eight Borderers CDs and a number of DVDs with combined sales of more than 60,000 units. This indie approach paid off recently when the band won the Independent Music Award in the US for Sinner And The Saint in the Gospel Music category.

My Mother, My Angel Of Love is taken from the acclaimed new album A Time For Change.

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Carter & Carter on the hit trail again

Carter & Carter's current single Run Away from their album Leap Before You Look has entered the top 10 of the national Country Tracks Top 30 chart.

Following the success of the Golden Guitar nominated Ride and Play That Song, Run Away is the third hit lifted from the new album and Carter & Carter's 13th consecutive single to enter the National Top 10 – eleven of those going on to the National Top 5.

Carter & Carter are set for a busy schedule to promote the new album with tours throughout WA, VIC, NSW, SA and Qld in the next six months including a four-week tour of WA in May/June with James Blundell and Felicity Urquhart visiting outback regional areas.

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One Stop Country

One Stop Entertainment has announced a new name for its country music division, One Stop Country.

A wholesale "one stop" distributor for all music, DVD and games companies, One Stop Entertainment has been supplying independent country artists to retailers throughout Australia for the past four years.

One Stop Entertainment reaches an extensive network of independent retailers across Australia. With the majority of these customers in regional areas, country music plays an integral part in One Stop’s business.

"With distribution centres in Brisbane and Perth, One Stop Country is 100 percent Australian owned and 100 eprcent committed to country music," said One Stop's Katania Young.

Recent signings to One Stop Country include Sam Hawksley and Kelly Llewellyn. They join an extensive roster that already includes Carter & Carter, Tom Curtain, Nicki Gillis, Jetty Road, Jonah’s Road, Amos Morris, Reg Poole and many more.

"One Stop Entertainment has had a long and proud history with the country music industry," Katania said, "and are looking forward to continuing that for many years to come."

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A name change for Pete

The artist formally known as Pete Gervasoni has relaunched himself with a new name... "it may be only a slight change," he says, "but Pete 'Thomas' is about to reinvent himself as a new force in country music".

"Country music is my passion but I continue to hit constant hurdles due to confusion surrounding my surname," Pete said.

"If changing my name means it will open new doors and create new opportunities then I am willing to make that small sacrifice. This will allow me to bring a fresh approach to my music and particularly my album I am currently working on."

Pete Thomas first came to notice in 2004 when he performed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Anzac Day in front of more than 70,000 people his original song What Are They Marching For? – a tribute to the fighting spirit of the Anzacs, "the only song of its kind to represent veterans from World War’s one and two and Vietnam."

Pete has continued working steadily throughout Victoria following a move to Geelong in 2006 from Ballarat and taking time out from his career to be a dad to his two new children Isabella (two years) and Jack (10 weeks).

The next 12 months is shaping up to be an exciting year for Pete Thomas with the launch of his new album Rush and the recording of his first video clip.

"I’m not a huge fan of video clips as I strongly believe it robs people of their imaginations," Pete said. "I want my songs to mean something different to those who listen to them. I also realise that video clips have become the best medium to promote your music so it is time that I give it a go."

Pete is looking forward to the release of his upcoming album this summer and is planning a tour of regional Australia in 2008.

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Hit songwriter Glenn Sutton dies

Glenn Sutton, the Grammy-winning songwriter who also produced the Lynn Anderson classic (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, died on Tuesday from an apparent heart attack. He was 69.

Glenn was responsible for writing or co-writing numerous country hits and he and frequent collaborator Billy Sherrill helped bring the smooth, piano-heavy "countrypolitan" sound into favour in the 1970s.

He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.

His Almost Persuaded, co-written with Billy, was a massive hit for David Houston in 1966. It was Glenn's first number one country single and won a Best Country Song Grammy and a Country Song of the Year prize from performing rights organisation BMI. The song was also recorded by stars including Merle Haggard, Freddy Fender, Don Gibson, George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

Other key country hits written by Glenn included Tammy Wynette's I Don't Want To Play House.

When he wasn't writing songs for others, Glenn spent a lot of time finding material and producing artists for Epic Records where he worked as an associate producer. In addition to his work with Anderson, his wife of nine years, he produced Tommy Cash, Bob Luman and others.

Image: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Undara to host country rock and blues experience

"Boogie In The Bush" is a new country rock and blues "experience" running at The Undara Experience, North Queensland, in May.

The multi-award winning Wolverines will headline this first event with support from leading instrumentalist Michael Fix, New Zealand band The Hipshoooters, Australian and international singer/songwriter Keri McInerney, leading contemporary singer/songwriter Michael O'Rourke, United Kingdom and Australian blues recording and touring artists Stevie T, country/funk/blues band Tease and international and Australian country/blues guitatist/performer Ross Williams.

All the action takes place at the Undara Experience, a Queensland "outback" location in the Gulf Savannah region, on the Savannah Way near Mt Surprise west of Innisfail.

"For six years, Undara Experience has created events as a way of generating excitement in the bush and bringing world class entertainment to the region," said Undara Experience Complex General Manager Bram Collins.

"In the slower times of the year it generates economic benefit to the businesses and communities of the Gulf Savannah region and increases visitors to the top end of Queensland’s 'outback'.

"We are mixing it up again at Undara Experience, with an amazing line up of artists providing rockin’ music in the bush," Bram said. "Get your boots on, grab that old bush hat and head out for some great fun at one of the region’s most unique live music venues!"

Dates for the event are Friday to Sunday, May 11 to 13.

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Dr Jimmy

Christie Eliezer reports in his weekly column at that Jimmy Little has had the title Doctor conferred on him by the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane.

The University's Vice Chancellor Prof John O'Gorman said the honour was for Jimmy's "legendary" status as a performer and ambassador for indigenous issues.

These have included going into rural areas to play music for indigenous kids, working with the Fred Hollows Foundation on eye disease and setting up the Jimmy Little Foundation to raise funds to combat diabetes in the communities.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Jimmy urged those in the indigenous community "who are doubtful about surviving in this great nation" to embrace life as he had.

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Mark Callaghan to head AMPAL

Singer/songwriter Mark Callaghan has been appointed General Manager of the Australian Music Publishers' Association Limited (AMPAL).

Mark was previously General Manager at Shock Music Publishing.

As singer/songwriter with The Riptides and then GANGgajang, he composed classics such as Sounds of Then (This is Australia), Gimmie Some Lovin' and House Of Cards and also managed both bands until he joined Sony/ATV Publishing as Professional Manager in 1997.

This was followed by four years as A&R Manager for Festival Records, before being appointed to the position of General Manager, Shock Music Publishing, in 2002.

"Mark brings a wealth of industry experience to AMPAL," said Chairman Norm Lurie. "As a unified voice for Australian music publishers, AMPAL has an important role to play in the continued growth of our music industry."

Mark said: "As a singer, songwriter, musician and industry professional with a passion for Australian music, I am delighted to be working with AMPAL as it continues to face the challenges of today's digital marketplace on behalf of Australia's publishers."

JW to star at Urban Country

Australian country music legend John Williamson has been announced as a headline act for the 2007 Urban Country Music Concert, the premiere event of the QUT Urban Country Music Festival on Saturday May 5.

"John brings an incredible career spanning 35 years to the stage when he performs alongside Jimmy Barnes, Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, The McClymonts and The Pigs in a huge concert supported by the Caboolture Shire Herald," said a spokesman for Festival organisers."

John has collected 23 Golden Guitars and two ARIA awards for Best Australian Country Album, released 35 albums, 10 videos, five DVDs and two books of lyrics and stories.

Since 1988 he has been awarded seven Golden Guitars for Best Selling Album, most reaching Platinum status with total sales of more than 2.5 million albums in Australia.

John was inducted into the Australian Country Music Roll of Renown in 1997 and received an AM (Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia) for services to Australian country music and for stimulating conservation awareness in 1992.

"He has followed his heroes, Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson in defining the Australian character with iconic songs for generations to come," the spokesman said. "True Blue, Cootamundra Wattle, Raining On The Rock and Mallee Boy in much the same way as Waltzing Matilda and Click Go the Shears have been embraced.

"From the first song he wrote, Old Man Emu, to whatever his latest tale of life in the bush happens to be, John has been true to his roots and deliberately ignorant of fads and trends.

"He has lent his time, his music and his name to more than a few dinkum causes from old growth forests, koalas, the Snowy River, a flag of our own, the right to light a campfire on the road and indigenous issues." 

His latest album, Wildlife Warriors: It’s Time, was inspired by the tragic death last year of his good mate Steve Irwin.

The 2007 QUT Urban Country Music Festival in Caboolture will be held from Friday May 4 to Monday May 7.

For more information phone 1800 810 400, email or visitWeblink –

Nellie releases single in Europe

Toyota Star Maker finalist Nellie Donovan has released her newest single – Sing Me An Angel – into the European Market.

Nellie reports a busy April touring calendar included an appearance at the Caloundra Fireman’s Fundraiser on the 14th and a successful night performing with The Rain at the Inglewood Show in Southern Queensland before Easter.

The up and coming country star has been invited back to the Mildura Country Music Festival which runs this year from September 28 to October 7.

Remaining dates this month include the 2007 Urban Country Music Roadshow at Queen Street Mall in Brisbane on the 20th and the Variety Bash Fundraiser on the 21st with fellow country artists The Rain, Michael Bryers and The Vibe.

Nellie's film clips of Cruisin' and Sing Me An Angel are still playing on CMC (Country Music Channel) in Australia.

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New album for Gavan

After an absence of several years, veteran country artist Gavan Arden is back on the scene with the release of a new 16 track CD album, Back To The Brumby Country.

The album features newly recorded versions of some of the material Gavan released as "Jim Brumby" back in the 1970s and was launched during the Gippsland Field Days near Warragul at the end of March.

Gavan now records at his son Bryan's home studio in Buderim, Queensland. This album features backing by Peter Horan on piano, Mark Moulynox on pedal steel, dobro and banjo, and some lead guitar work from Kedron Taylor.

The rest of the line-up comprises Gavan's regular session musicians... Bob Gregory's bush-ballad style lead guitar, Pam Handley on fiddle, Ken Beck, harmonica, and Bryan Arden on acoustic lead and bass guitars. Extra backing is provided by guest musicians Elizabeth Dawson on flute and Pierre Fermier on 12 string guitar.

Gavan has had a long and interesting career, starting his working life on the shearing runs in western NSW where the shearers and shed hands became his first audiences.

Returning to Warragul, he worked in the building game for a year, then turned to truck driving. He spent those years honing his performing skills on local concerts which led to an offer from the local radio station (then known as 3UL) to run a few live-to-air country music shows. The "few shows" ended up being a series that ran weekly for just on eight years.

Gavan started presenting stage shows around Gippsland and eventually ventured further across Australia. In the late '60s and early '70s, he worked as an actor in all the television dramas produced in Melbourne.  At that time, he also performed with his country trio on television variety shows including Graham Kennedy's famous "In Melbourne Tonight".

In 1971, he toured with Slim Dusty and the following year moved with his family to Queensland.  Locals dubbed him with the nickname, "Brumby" because of his Aussie country songs and from that came the stage name he used for some years, "Jim Brumby". He recorded two albums and a Picture Records single under the name and toured with his own road show across Queensland and NSW.

As a father of six children, Gavan's family commitments kept him from the entertainment industry for many years, but since returning to Warragul in the '90s, he has resumed recording and performing.

In 1999, he won the TIARA (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards) gong for Best Bush Ballad.

With the release of Back To The Brumby Country, Gavan has now recorded and released seven albums plus several EP's and singles in the early years.

Gavan will be on the road soon to promote his new CD, with several performances in Gippsland before heading north for a series of shows in NSW and Queensland.

Lorin’s fundraiser achieves $7,000

Vision Australia was the big winner from Friday night’s Lorin Nicholson Family & Friends Show at The Pub in Tamworth with a contribution of around $7,000 on its way.

It's been described as a major boost for the organisation which only stages one major fundraiser each year, Carols By Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.

Lorin, who has retinitis pigmentosa, has been legally blind since birth, and last Tuesday (April 10) set off on a tandem pushbike with good friend John Eder from Tamworth, bound for Port Macquarie. The pair arrived in Port a day and half later to a mayoral reception with some 275km of hills and dales in their wake.

Donations were given and raffle tickets were sold in both Tamworth and Port Macquarie districts as well as an on-air auction on 2TM of an autographed Cort guitar carrying the signatures of 17 Australian country music stars together with Country Music Radio broadcaster Nick Erby. The successful bidders, Debbie and Nick from a Barraba second hand shop, offered $1,850 for the guitar.

Friday night’s concert was attended by hundreds of supporters and friends. The Pub Fishing Club gave Vision Australia representative Victoria Maggs $800, proceeds of the regular Friday night meat and fruit tray raffles. The Pub’s owner, Bevan Douglas, handed over a $500 cheque for Vision Australia to Lorin. Patrons bought raffle tickets for the major prize of a weekend for two at Quality Sails Resort, Port Macquarie, which was won by John Burke of Tamworth. Other prize winners came from Tamworth, Barraba and Port Macquarie.

Aaron Bolton, Claudia Byrnes, The Darren Clarke Trio, Daniel Conway, John Muller, Phil Reading, Ryan Sampson and Aleyce Simmonds donated their time and talents for the cause along with members of Lorin’s family, his wife Lisa, sons Tom and Andrew, daughters Emmalyn and Harriet and father-in-law Trevor (Banjo) Donaldson.

Lorin said he was "blown away" by the enthusiasm of the Australian country music industry for this project, and particularly those artists who had signed the guitar at the Golden Guitar Winners’ Concerts at Penrith Panthers. He also thanked Marius Els of Artist Network who facilitated this part of the project.

"I am so grateful to all media outlets, in Tamworth and Port Macquarie, as well as nationally, who supported my efforts on behalf of Vision Australia," Lorin said. "The money raised by my family, friends, associates and the very generous general public will make the world of difference to the lives of blind children and their parents all over Australia.

"To all of the artists who donated their time and talents at The Pub on Friday night, a huge thank you for their love and support. I do hope to come back again very soon to Tamworth. Next time though, I think I’ll leave the bike at home."

Photo: Lorin Nicholson, with Vision Australia’s Victoria Maggs, and Trevor (Banjo) Donaldson, Lorin’s manager and father-in-law.

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New album from Sam

Singer/songwriter/instrumentalist and recording artist Sam Hawksley will release his third album next month.

Broken Hearts Like Records was recorded late last year at Love Hz Studios and will be officially launched at The Bridge Hotel, Victoria Road, Rozelle (Sydney) on Wednesday, May 16.

The album features 11 songs and the talents if Matt Fell and Glenn Wilson as well as Sam. Other guests on the new release include Michael Carpenter, James Gillard, Mitch Grainger, Wendy Matthews and Chris E Thomas.

Sam will be joined by special guests at the launch of his new work.

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"Back to Basics" Campout

The "Back to Basics" Campout Music Session & Campfire weekend will be held again at Quialigo, NSW, on the first weekend in May (4 to 6).

A spokesman for the organisers said: "The concept is to get back to reality of what festivals were about many years ago. New friends are being made while sitting around a campfire enjoying the warmth of the fire and each other's company, and enjoying music and living with nature.

"Friday evening is very popular as a getting-to-know you night and a reuniting of past visitors catching up on the news of the last year."

During the Saturday, walkup entertainment features from 11am to 4pm followed by campfire sessions.

Primary beneficiary of the event is the Windellama Rural Fire Brigade who will be on hand serving meals and snacks during the weekend.

Quialigo is situated within a couple of hours from Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra.

Access from Goulburn, "follow the signs from Windellama Road, Goulburn, Marulan, Tarago or Bungonia".

Further information can be obtained by telephoning 02 4844 7118 or by emailing


ABC signs Shea

ABC Music have announced the signing of 19-year-old country recording artist Shea Fisher.

"Shea has a fantastic story," said an ABC spokesman. "Originally from Portland in Victoria, she is the daughter of Australian bull riding and bareback riding champion Eddie Fisher and barrel racing champion Joanne Fisher and she has gone on to become a rodeo champion herself."

Shea started to ride and compete in rodeos at the age of three when she entered her first barrel race and has gone on to win several national championships competing against men and women.

She has been singing and performing since her early teens and won her first major talent quest at the 2003 Mud Bulls & Music Festival. In 2004 she was accepted into the Camerata, the junior country music school in Tamworth where she learnt about the art of performing.

At the 2006 Tamworth Festival Shea performed several shows with her band, including performances at the Australian Bushman's Campdraft & Rodeo Association (ABCRA) National Finals Rodeo.

She supported Steve Forde on the National 2006 Rowdy & Loud Tour while managing to fly to America to record her debut album in Nashville. She also performed for the first time at the Deni Ute Muster before returning to the ABCRA National Finals Rodeo stage in Tamworth in early 2007.

Shea's record deal with ABC Music will see the release of her debut album – Everyday Girl – on July 14.

At the announcement, Tim Holland, ABC Music Country Music Label Manager, said: "Shea is most definitely a star in the making. She brings a really fresh and exciting approach to country music. She's a country girl at heart with a great story but like other young woman from the country these days, she's very aware of what's going on around the world and you can see this in the way she conducts herself. She'll be a great role model for her young fans and she's a dynamic performer who just keeps getting better and better."

Shea Fisher's debut single Just The Excuse goes to radio on April 30. The accompanying video clip is due for release to media on May 28.

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And Compass Brothers sign Peter

Compass Brothers Records has announced the signing of popular Australian singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist Peter Denahy.

Peter first came to prominence in 1998 playing fiddle, guitar and accordion in Slim Dusty’s Travelling Country Band. A regular solo spot on Slim’s show allowed him the chance to showcase the lighter side of his broad talent and led to the release of the Petrol Head Fly album in 2000.

To expand on his popularity as a writer and performer of what he describes as his "silly songs", Pete released a self-titled album in 2005 that showed his more serious side and included a version of The Bloke Who Serves The Beer, a song that he originally wrote for Slim Dusty’s 100th album, Looking Forward Looking Back.

Pete continues to appear as a band member and opening artist for Troy Cassar-Daley, Anne Kirkpatrick and Sara Storer and recently wrote Coober Pedy for The Sunny Cowgirls latest album Long Five Days.

Compass Brothers Records re-released Pete’s 2005 album today with the entire Petrol Head Fly album as bonus tracks.

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Chart update – Brad hangs on to number one

Brad Paisley retains the number position on this week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart with She's Everything.

Another American act, Rascal Flatts, has taken over the number two position with What Hurts The Most while Catherine Britt moves up to number three with I'm Gone and Dianna Corcoran jumps two more places to four with Then There's Me.

The McClymonts' Baby's Gone Home drops to five, Ian Quinn's Can't Cut Gidgee rises three places to six while The Sunny Cowgirls' Still Circling edges up one place to seven.

Nicki Gillis bounds into the top 10 at eight with Leaving You For Myself, as does Lee Forster's Drinkin' Bone at nine and John Williamson's Wildlife Warrors: It's Time at 10.

Bullet performers this week include Carter & Carter's Run Away (15 to 11), Tom Curtain's Chew Like Hell (17 to 13), Travis Sinclair's Rockin' The Rig (19 to 15), John O'Dea with Old Rusty Ute (20 to 17), Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel with Ragged Bloody Heroes (22 to 19) James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven (23 to 20) and Jetty Road with Real Smooth Cowboy (24 to 21).

New entries to the chart this week include See Saw Ride by Sharnee Fenwick (pictured, in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at

The Top 30 Countdown can be heard Sunday nights (tonight) on CMR (Country Music Radio) across the Super Radio Network.


Marge celebrates 30 years on air

NSW North Coast broadcaster Marge Graham is celebrating her 30th year on air this year.

As part of her celebrations, Marge is undertaking a 24 hour broadcast on Saturday April 21 to raise money for charity.

"I will be doing the 24 hours completely solo and will start Saturday at 6am and finish Sunday at 6am," Marge said.

Marge has been doing her Country Breakfast program on 2NCR FM community radio in Lismore.

The 30 year anniversary date is November 11.

And Norm presents his 700th program

This month, Norm Burke presents his 700th program on community radio.

He began at PBS FM in St Kilda – where he says he spent 15 turbulent years – and currently is at 3SER FM in Cranbourne (with wife Coral assisting) where he presents "Rebels, Rednecks and Rock 'n' Roll" with long-time friend Roger Lloyd. Both Norm and Roger have, for decades, they say, "championed the sometimes unpopular cause of Australian artists, culture and accents; and continue to do so".

Along with radio, Norm has also found time to write columns for various magazines, has worked as a professional musician (guitar), performed on live-to-air television and radio programs, once toured extensively with Tex Edwards’ Rodeo, has had 60 or so of his original compositions recorded ("by such luminaries as Alan Hawking, Reg Poole, Colin James, Gary Ellis, Desree Ilona Crawford, Chad Morgan, Paul McCloud, Craig Giles etc"), has topped the pop charts in Sri Lanka and figured on the Gospel charts in America.

He has also won the annual Henry Lawson Song Award twice and found time to write a book about it all "The Hillbilly Addict" which was published in 2000.

As well, Norm is currently acting as a consultant to Gary Ellis, Rob Foenander, Michael Read and several others who are putting together a country music television program for airing later in the year.

With all this going on, there’s never a dull moment, of course. But Norm reckons he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cabaret Festival coup for Jeanette

Award-winning singer/songwriter Jeanette Wormald has been invited to the 2007 Adelaide Cabaret Festival to world-premiere her new show "Songs of the Inland".

The show, which incorporates traditional language and stories from the Pitjantjatjara and Ngarrindjeri peoples of South Australia, "couples with Jeanette’s trademark haunting images and music inspired by her life in the Mallee region," said a release announcing the invitation.

Now in its seventh successful year, a focus of this year’s Cabaret Festival is on Australian story-tellers and Jeanette’s new work certainly exemplifies this concept, according to Artistic Director Julia Holt.

"Cabaret is tailor-made for storytellers. The best performers are able to communicate with everyone in the audience," she said. "Cabaret in Adelaide now means supreme musicality and sophisticated artistry from around the world."

Jeanette is excited to be a part of a home-based, internationally recognised event. "Cabaret as an art form excites me," she said. "I have always preferred intimate settings where I can take listeners on a journey. That way, they can experience what inspires me, and I have never shied away from commenting on social issues in my songs."

Jeanette is a true-blue farmer’s wife, living on a 3,000 hectare wheat property in the state’s Mallee region. A recipient of an SA Great Award and with recent inclusion in the inaugural SA edition of "Who’s Who", Jeanette is well known to audiences far and wide.

Her record producer, Michael Christian, is Musical Director for the show and was the helmsman on her 2007 Golden Guitar nominated album Opal Blue.

Accompanying Jeanette on the Cabaret musical journey are accomplished South Australian musicians Ben Fuller, Emma Luker and Pete Titchener.

"Jeanette will perform a selection of her original songs including some new tunes that illustrate her genuine relationship to the land," the release said. "All will explore themes of the Australian landscape and our relationships with it."

Jeanette's shows will be staged on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16, at Adelaide Festival Centre's Piano Bar.

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Change of date for Northern Suburbs Festival

After many years of running their annual festival on the long weekend in June, the Northern Suburbs (Brisbane) Country Music Club will stage the event a week early this year on the weekend of June 2 and 3.

The Festival will be held at the Gaythorne RSL Club.

Club Festival Event Co-ordinator Leisa Bye said while they were sad that they had to break with tradition, "it was important to us to hold our festival at the wonderful Gaythorne RSL Club as it was a successful venue for us last year.

"Due to a double booking, we have had to bring our festival forward a week," she said. "For many years our festival has been greatly patronised and we are certain that the change of date won't hinder (us) and look forward to seeing all our friends on June 2 and 3. 

Further information, including talent quest entry form can be obtained from Leisa on 0403 368 432 or by emailing

Tom stars at Country in the Courtyard

Tom Maxwell will star at this month's Country in the Courtyard at Australia's Country Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth.

Tom will undertake the performance before heading out on his 2007 touring schedule.

Country in the Courtyard is held every month at the Hall of Fame in Brisbane Street, Tamworth, on the third Monday of every month with extra shows in January.

This month's event will be this Monday night (April 16) commencing at 6.30pm.

Neil update

Neil Beeby's on-going treatment for cancer has meant a very busy schedule over the past 24 months but he remains optimistic about the future, reports Shelley Juner.

"Having battled with major surgery and chemo treatments, Neil is keeping his spirits high with the hope that further options will still be available," Shelley said.

"It's all a bit of trial and error and Neil has to be reassessed at regular intervals by his specialist here in Canberra. His most recent medical reports have suggested his condition has not responded as well as he would have hoped for and he has accepted that the next few months will be a very deciding time for him.

In spite of everything, Neil is maintaining a very positive outlook and would like to thank his friends for their on-going support which has meant a lot to him. He welcomes the chance to stay in contact with everyone through email or give him a call..., 02 6255 0906.


Pubs, Trucks & Plains hits number one

Pubs, Trucks & Plains, the new three CD set of Slim Dusty songs, is number one this week on the Motorola ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Australian Country Chart.

The 60-song set was released two weeks ago to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the recording of Australia's first ever hit single, A Pub With No Beer.

Pubs, Trucks & Plains not only celebrates Slim's iconic drinking songs, but also the other two popular songwriting themes (that is, songs about trucks and the land) from which  Slim drew during his amazing career spanning 60 years.

Slim’s wife Joy McKean said yesterday: “Slim and his mate Gordon (Parsons) would never have believed that 50 years on, their A Pub With No Beer collaboration would be the focus of a number one Australian album... looks like Slim was really wrong all those years back when it was decided to put it just on the 'B' side of his Saddle Boy record. Thanks to everyone out there for their support for this very special 50th anniversary. Number one, that's really great!!"

Pubs, Trucks & Plains has also climbed to 21 on the ARIA Australian Albums (mainstream) Chart, proof that Slim Dusty's legacy remains strong and his popularity as a recording artist hasn't wavered.

It's also interesting to note a new generation of artists now acknowledge Slim Dusty as a musical influence. Slim's recordings have collected more gold and platinum accreditation than any other Australian artist.

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Johnny's home destroyed by fire

Johnny Cash's longtime lakeside home in Tennessee, a showcase where he wrote much of his famous music and entertained US presidents, music royalty and visiting fans, and which was bought recently by Bee Gee Barry Gibb, has been destroyed by fire.

Johnny and his wife, June Carter Cash, lived in the 1,290 square metre home (pictured) in Hendersonville from the late 1960s until their deaths in 2003.

"So many prominent things and prominent people in American history took place in that house – everyone from Billy Graham to Bob Dylan went into that house,'' said singer Marty Stuart, who lives next door and was married to Johnny's daughter, Cindy, in the 1980s.

Marty said the man who designed the house, Nashville builder Braxton Dixon, was "the closest thing this part of the country had to Frank Lloyd Wright.'

When Johnny moved there, the road was a quiet country lane that skirts Old Hickory Lake. Kris Kristofferson, then an aspiring songwriter, once landed a helicopter on his lawn to pitch him a song.

The landmark video for the song Hurt was shot inside the house.

"It was a sanctuary and a fortress for him,'' Marty said. "There was a lot of writing that took place there.''

Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys lives on the same road as Cash. "Maybe it's the good Lord's way to make sure that it was only Johnny's house,'' he said.

The property was purchased in January for a reported $US2.3 million by Barry Gibb, who, with his wife, Linda, had said they planned to restore the home on Old Hickory Lake and hoped to write songs there.

They had not yet moved in to the home.

A spokesman for the couple, Paul Bloch, said the singer and his family were "both saddened and devastated by the news".



Success for Natalie in the US

Rising Australian star Natalie Howard, currently working on her career in America, has seen her song I Don't Want to Live Like That nominated as a "hot track" on the Independent Music Network Chart in the US.

Last week, the song was a "hot track" on the Independent Music Network Country Top 30 Countdown jumping from number 31 to 13.

In her first week in the Top 30, Natalie found herself among other artists like Todd Fritsch, Aaron Tippin, Mark Wills and Daryl Worley.

I Don't Want To Live Like That won the 2006 Independent Music Awards Country Song of the Year awarde. Co-written by Natalie with Nashville hit writer James Dean Hicks, the song was also a semi-finalist in the Country category of the US International Songwriting Competition.

The Independent Music Network Chart (Los Angeles, New York) is determined by fan votes, radio station requests and DJ reports.

The video clip of the song is currently airing on GAC (Great American Country) TV in America and CMC (Country Music Channel) in Australia.

This week, Natalie's Musicoz CMC Best Country Artist award-winning song I Can't is number one in The Z Country Top 10 on the Ison Live Radio International Network.

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Murraylands success

The recent Murraylands Music Festival at Tailem Bend (South Australia) drew more than 2,000 people during its three day duration and attracted a high standard of entrants in the talent quest, organisers report.

"Overall comments praised the friendly atmosphere, the community spirit and the professional organisation of the festival", said organising committee chairman and co-ordinator Noel Kneebone.

Festival co-founder Les Scott said artists were ringing up to appear in the now nationally renowned music festival. Tourists said the festival had one of the best atmospheres of any in Australia, he reported.

Participants and audience members came from right across the state as well as Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Noel said about 80 percent of the 2,000 people who attended were from out of town.

"The Friday night cabaret set the scene for the weekend’s regular huge program. Once again Mallee Blue and Wild Card were superb feature acts. The bands kept the crowd dancing and singing along to their favourite hits with a great blend of Australian, American and original songs.

(Members of Mallee Blue, who retired with their performances at this year's festival, are pictured, from left, Noel Kneebone, Anthony Stewart, Darren Gurney, Brenton Ahrns, Anthony Hodgen and Neil Chapman.)

"Saturday, on the main stage, The Borderers, Greg Champion and Cat Southern showed they are class acts, stunning the crowd with their brilliant stage performances.

"People appreciated the fact that they mingled with the crowd and encouraged talent entrants during the day.

"Proven crowd favourites Dave Prior, Brendan Belski, Mark Tempany, Alison Hams, John O’Dea, Jessie Che, The Rustlers, The Beggars, Finely Tuned and newcomers to our festival, Genevieve Spalding, Vanessa Lee Shirley, Talia Wittman, Leanne Noll, Fred Bowen and Penny Burke were fantastic performers. They freely mixed with the crowd in an informal capacity and lent a helping hand whenever it was needed. Trev Warner made a guest appearance on the Saturday evening and added his class to another great show."

Noel praised the efforts of talent quest co-ordinator Alison Hams and judges Fred Bowen, Gary Burrows, Fred Hams, Charlie McCracken, Wally Sparrow, the backing band and the SA Council for Country Music representatives (the Council helped provide talent entry co-ordination as well as stage management).

Organisers appreciated the sponsorship of the South Australian Tourism Commission, Limestone Coast Tourism, Teusner Wines, G&R Maidment, Fairmont Homes, River City 88.0 FM, Coorong District Council, PIRSA as well as 40 individual sponsors and, of course, "the wonderful community workers and the efforts they put in over the weekend".

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Carrie wins at CMT Awards

Carrie Underwood (pictured) has taken out two of this year's CMT Music Awards announced in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Carrie took out the prestigious Video of the Year award and the Female Video gong with her song Before He Cheats while Roman White was named Video Director of the Year for the same clip.

Kenny Chesney won the Male Video award with You Save Me while Sugarland won the Duo Video award with Female Video: "Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood • Want To and Rascal Flatts the Group Video award with What Hurts The Most.

Taylor Swift took out the Breakthrough Video award with Tim McGraw, Jack Ingram won the Wide Open Country Video title with Love You and Kris Kristofferson was presented with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award.

Carrie's awards bring the 24-year-old Oklahoman's career full circle in less than 12 months.

"It was at the CMT Awards last year that I gave my very first acceptance speech ever," the two-time Grammy winner reminisced as she continued her post-Idol domination.

"Let me tell you, it's great to be up here again… I started out on a fan-based show, and you guys have continued to support me through everything."

Tony sings for charity

One of Britain’s leading international country music singers – Tony Goodacre – will be appearing on stage at a charity concert in Ulverston tonight.

Tony, who has won a 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to the country music scene, is singing at the Lancastrian Hotel, on Mountbarrow Road.

Tony's country music CV includes appearances at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the Floralia Festival in Holland, the Empire Pool, Wembley, and the London Palladium.

Also appearing on the bill will be Jackie Dorling.

Proceeds from the night will aid St Mary’s Hospice, in Ulverston.

– North-West Evening Mail online


Barry vows to rebuild

Former Bee Gee Barry Gibb (pictured) has vowed to build another home on the site where Johnny Cash's house burned down last week.

Barry and his wife Linda were devastated when the lakeside home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, was destroyed in the fire.

Johnny and his singer wife June Carter Cash lived in the house for decades before their deaths in 2003. The Gibbs purchased the building last year for an estimated $2.3 million in the hope of converting it into a studio.

A statement from Barry reads, "Linda and I have decided to build our own home on the higher ground surrounding the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash home and the original foundations shall be kept intact and preserved for the people of Hendersonville and the people of Nashville.

"To the Cash Carter families we owe the highest respect and the deepest regret that our dream could not be realised. Now there is a new dream for us and a new beginning."

Local investigators have discovered the cause of the fire, but have yet to release the information.

– World Entertainment News Network


Tasmania & New Zealand Songwriting Contest

Entries are now open for the 2007 Tasmania & New Zealand Songwriting Contest and Independent Artists' Album/EP Awards.

Both contests are open to writers and recording artists of Australia and New Zealand and is organised by Gaylene Faulkner, activity co-ordinator for Tasmania and New Zealand for the Tamworth Songwriters' Association.

The songwriting contest is now in its 11th year, the Album/EP Awards have been running since 1999.

Last year, more than 300 entries were received for the song contest whikch has seven categories – Open Contemporary, Open Ballad,  Open Gospel, Tasmanian Resident, Recorded, Comedy/Novelty and    New Writer.

Winners and runners-up in both competitions will be announced on Friday September 7 at the Australian Italian Club, Launceston (Tas).

Categories in the Album/EP Award are Album, EP and Instrumental Album. Winners will be determined by team of three Judges – a radio presenter, record producer and a recording artist.

Entries in both the songwriting contest and the Album/EP Awards close on Friday June 22.

Entry forms can be obtained by telephoning 03 6344 6587 or by emailing

Photo: Victoria Baillie, winner of last year's EP Award.

Lee to headline drought relief concert at Grenfell

Lee Kernaghan will headline a "Spirit of the Bush" concert in Grenfell, NSW, in June.

The concert aims to rally farming families battling to cope with their sixth year of drought.

The New South Wales Government has agreed to contribute $150,000 to stage the concert after a request from Lee.

Maurice Simpson, Mayor of the local Weddin Shire, said the concert was a major win for Grenfell and he expects up to 5,000 people to attend from across the state.

He said it was a great way to show support for those doing it tough. "We've got something like 15 acres we'll be able to utilise for car parking, we're expecting 5,000 people at least and it'll be one of the biggest things to come to the bush for a long, long time."

The free concert will be held on June 30 at Grenfell's Lawson Park.

Michelle plans an album release

Singer/songwriter Michelle Little, a graduate of the Australian College of Country Music and former Toyota Star Maker finalist, has plans to record an album this year.

Besides performing in and around Sydney and the Southern Highlands, Michelle has been putting a new band together and getting organised to start recording the album, hopefully in time for Tamworth 2008, she says.

It would be her debut album, following the 1999 release of the EP That's What I Like.

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Charters Towers' Ten Days of Country Music

North Queensland is gearing up for one of its major country music events, the All Australian Country Music Jamboree (AAJ) organised and staged by the Charters Towers' Gold City Country Music Club, and the Charters Towers Country Music Festival.

The two separate events run concurrently from the last weekend in April through to and including the May Day long weekend.

The Jamboree is predominantly a talent quest which kicks off on Friday night (April 27) with a songwriting competition for juniors (in its second year).

Competition continues on the Saturday morning, finishing the day with performances by the previous year's winners and a program of country rock.

On Sunday, a bush poets' breakfast kicks off the day followed by more competition. Talent quest finals start around 2pm.

Overall senior winner of the AAJ receives $1,000 and a 20 minute spot at the Charters Towers Country Music Festival Jamboree the following Friday night.

"Only Australian country music can be sung at the AAJ," said a spokesman for the organisers, "and we also have a Slim Dusty tribute section as well as a traditional section. Our Club works very hard to run a good festival with encouragement given to all."

On the Monday after the AAJ, a week of country music begins with busking in the streets each day (prizes awarded Friday afternoon), a bush poetry competition, entertainment in the pubs each night and "sunset" markets on the Thursday evening.

The Townsville Bulletin sponsored Charters Towers Country Music Festival, which also includes a talent quest, kicks off with a procession on Friday afternoon followed by a Princess Competition then the Jamboree with guest artists Johnny Cash Tribute Show, Slim Dusty Tribute Show and winners of the previous year's competition and this year's AAJ.

Competition commences at 8.30am on the Saturday morning with a cabaret on Saturday evening which this year will feature Steve Forde (pictured) & the Flange, New Zealand's Topp Twins and Wickety Wak as guest artists.

Competition re-commences on Sunday morning after the bush poets breakfast. The finals are held on Sunday night from 6.30.

The All Australian Jamboree and the Charters Towers Country Music Festival are held at the Charters Towers Showgrounds and camping is available.

Enquiries can be directed to the website (below) or telephone 07 4752 0312. The inclusive dates for the Ten Days in the Towers this year is from April 27 to May 6.

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Tori wins more awards

Sixteen-year-old Tori Darke of Mt Annan, NSW, has returned from the South Coast Country Music Festival with more awards to her credit.

Entering the Festival talent quest in late March at Dapto, Tori ended the weekend festivities with first place in the Australiana section and was runner up in both Junior Vocal and the Duo section with her duo partner Taryn Trautsch. Taryn also took out the Senior Vocal section.

The talent quest ran over two days with entrants traveling from as far away as Nyngan, Dubbo and Cowra in NSW and South Australia.

Tori says its all experience, especially the excitement and camaraderie of meeting so many people who love and enjoy keeping country music alive. 

Recently returning from Queensland where she took out the Overall Junior Champion and Overall Festival Champion at the Cane Country Music Festival, Tori was also a finalist in Telstra Road to Tamworth 2007.

Although not a grand finalist, as part of the Telstra Road To Tamworth’s Country Music Channel coverage, Tori's interview, rehearsal, heat and finals performances can be seen on air.

Tori was also runner up at the NSW/ACT Champion of Champions in November last year and is hoping to gain a place in the Camerata College of Music to be held in Tamworth this year.

Tori will be performing at the Royal Easter Show on the Telstra Stage this Friday and Saturday (April 13 and 14).

Photo: Tori with her South Coast talent quest trophies.

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Nicole pregnancy denied

A report in the London-based "News Of The World" that Nicole Kidman was pregnant has been denied by her Australian publicist Wendy Day.

The report, which quickly spread through music and entertainment media throughout the world, said Nicole was seen outside the St John's Health Clinic in Santa Monica, California, the same place that former Spice Girl Mel B gave birth last week.

It's "100 per cent not true," Wendy said.

Nicole, who returned to Sydney yesterday, celebrated Easter Sunday with her family and husband Keith Urban and visited the Sydney Royal Easter Show yesterday. She will spend the next seven months working on her new movie – Baz Luhrmann's "Australia" – from today.

Wendy said Nicole was excited about being home and being involved in the new epic.

Keith flies to Europe for the beginning of his "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing" tour mid this month before returning to Australia for the local leg which kicks off in Brisbane on May 11.

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Country acts in the running for "Australia's Got Talent" grand final

Country acts Nathaniel O'Brien and Those Gals featured in a semi final of the 7 and Prime networks' "Austraia's Got Talent" last night and now have a chance to go through to the grand final, subject to public support.

Both acts are vying, together with other contestants, for the $250,000 winner's prize in the contest for "the hottest undiscovered talent in the country" which has been running since February.The search for

Public voting is now open.

Votes for Nathaniel can be made via telephone * to 1902 55 333 9 or by SMSing "Nathaniel" to 1975 5555 **.

Votes * for Those Gals can be made via telephone * to 1902 55 333 6 or by SMSing "Gals" to 1975 5555 **.

Voting closes at 11am this coming Friday, April 13.

(* Votes registered using the Australia's Got Talent 1902 voting service will be charged at 55 cents including GST. Calls made from mobile phones may attract a higher rate. ** Votes registered using the Australia's Got Talent SMS voting service, will be charged at 55 cents including GST.)

Nik signs Chinese licensing agreement

In an Australian first, rising alt country star Nik Phillips has signed a licensing agreement with China’s leading music company Pacific Audio and Video Company (PAV) to distribute his album Songs From The 4th Floor.

Southport (Queensland)-born Nik said he was excited about where this next adventure would take him. "It’s very exciting, and a bit complicated… because no-one’s done it before.

"But PAV and I are both eager to see where it will go. There is something tangible there – a real connection – despite the language differences."

Nik said it was not altogether surprising that both Brisbane and Beijing had recently been named two of "Billboard" magazine’s "five unlikely cities spawning exciting new sounds".

"I can remember when Brisbane was thought of as a place you had to leave to succeed. But, when I was in China last year, I was surprised by how interested the Chinese people were in Australian music and culture. It’s an exciting meeting ground!"

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said it was the first time an Australian act had been signed by a Chinese record label and the deal would certainly open the door for future Queensland talent.

"Nik’s debut performance at the Guangdong International Tourism and Cultural Festival in November last year was an undeniable hit and made quite an impression on China’s entertainment elite," the Premier said.

"Pacific Audio and Video Company is China’s equivalent of Sony Music and is a subsidiary of Radio Guangdong which broadcasts across the whole of mainland China – it doesn’t get much bigger than that!

"PAV is confident Nik’s album will appeal to China’s middle-class college student market."

Premier Beattie said Nik performed up to 300 shows a year playing before crowds at venues ranging from local hotels through to capacity football stadium events such as the State of Origin.

"Nik has written, recorded and performed both the official Queensland State of Origin and Queensland Reds theme songs. His song Come Back Soon was used by the Red Cross for its East Timor campaign which helped to raise over $70,000 for two of the country’s orphanages.

"And this year he was nominated for a Golden Guitar award for New Talent at the Tamworth Country Music (Festival).

"If you don’t know of him yet, you can bet it won’t be long before you do," the Premier said.

Songs From The 4th Floor is expected to hit mainland China within the first half of this year and is available for licensing in all territories.

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New album from Connie

West Australian country star Connie Kis Andersen releases her new album – Once Again – today with distribution via through One Stop Entertainment.

The first radio single from the album – Mere Male – is due out via NfS shortly. Country radio DJs can also request a copy by emailing

Connie will be touring in NSW from this Thursday with appearances booked on Show Radio at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Hexham, Wyong, Antill Park and Beresfield.

In other news from Connie, her song Kiss My Cheek has made it into the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Song of the Year list, a list of the most played songs across all genres (based on APRA stats). Voting (by APRA members) closes on Thursday.

"I am just thrilled that the song made it on to the list," Connie said. "A big thank you to all the presenters who have been playing it – your support is very much appreciated!"

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Lorin's "visionary" bike ride

Country aligned musician Lorin Nicholson, who has been considered to be "legally blind" since birth, will set off from Tamworth on Tuesday (April 10) on a fundraising cycle ride to Port Macquarie.

Lorin will be riding with support from a support team of one – John Eder – but he has achieved the feat before by himself.

This time, Lorin will travel on a tandem pushbike, leaving Tamworth in the early hours of Tuesday, stopping for the night at the halfway point, Gingers Creek Bush Resort.

From Gingers Creek, it’s a leisurely trek down the mountain into Port Macquarie where the pair will be met outside Council Chambers by Port Macquarie Hastings Mayor Councillor Rob Drew.

In 1985, Lorin achieved the same ride in two and a half days, travelling only with his father John in a support vehicle for companionship. By the second day’s end, Lorin collapsed on the side of the road, exhausted, and barely able to walk, yet the next morning he got up, hopped on his bike and completed the personal challenge he’d set himself.

There was no welcoming committee to meet him that time, but this challenge is slightly different for the Brisbane-based motivational speaker and professional musician.

"This time I’m doing it for the little blind kids, and for their mums and dads, who often worry and wonder about what the future holds for their children," Lorin said. "I’m also doing it for Vision Australia, as this fabulous organisation has been there for me and for countless other blind and vision impaired people right across Australia. Every cent raised from this bike ride will go to them, to assist with the invaluable work they do."

Around Tamworth raffle tickets have been on sale for the past week, with the major prize of a weekend for two at Quality Resort Sails, Port Macquarie, an attractive enticement for ticket buyers.

Other prizes donated by sponsors include a 34cm colour television, a Ricoh digital camera, dinner for two at the Hogs Breath Café (Tamworth and Port Macquarie) and more.

The winners’ names will be drawn at a concert at Tamworth venue The Pub on Friday, April 13. The free concert is being billed as the Lorin Nicholson Family and Friends Show and will feature Lorin’s talented wife Lisa and former Tamworth-based songbird Aleyce Simmonds, together with other artists who are donating their time and talents to the cause.

During the night, donations will be sought for Vision Australia.

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Chart Update – Brad takes over at number one

American country star Brad Paisley is at number one this week on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart with She's Everything, the first time for some time the top position hasn't been held by an Australian act.

The McClymonts number one from the last two weeks – Baby's Gone Home – slips one place to second position, Rascal Flatts are up one to three with What Hurts The Most while Catherine Britt edges up two more places to four with I'm Gone.

Donna Boyd's Luckiest Girl Alive drops to number five, Dianna Corcoran jumps two places to six with Then There's Me and Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French are down to seven with Let's Make A Family.

The Sunny Cowgirls' Still Circling moves up two places to eight, Ian Quinn enters the top 10 at nine with Can't Cut Gidgee while Melinda Schneider's Men In Trucks falls to number 10.

Bullet performers this week include Nicki Gillis with Leaving You For Myself (14 to 11), Lee Forster's Drinkin' Bone (15 to 12), John Williamson's Wildlife Warrors: It's Time (17 to 13), Carter & Carter's Run Away (18 to 15), Tom Curtain with Chew Like Hell (20 to 17), John O'Dea with Old Rusty Ute (23 to 20), James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven (26 to 23), Jetty Road with Real Smooth Cowboy (27 to 24) and Karen Lynne with Roses In The Snow (30 to 27).

New entries to the chart this week include I Told You So by Keith Urban and Matilda Road by Markus Meier.

The full chart can be viewed at

The Top 30 Countdown can be heard Sunday nights (tonight) on CMR (Country Music Radio) across the Super Radio Network.

CMC Top 50 – The Wilkinsons hit the top

Canadian band The Wilkinsons (pictured) are number one on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with their clip of Fast Car.

Matt Scullion's Giddy Up jumps two places to number two while Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel enter the top 10 at nine with Ragged Bloody Heroes.

James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven slips to 12, Dianna Corcoran is at 14 with Then There's Me and The Sunny Cowgirls are at 17 with Still Circling.

Bullet performers this week include Mistin Renee Summers with Down That Road (debuting at 24), Tania Kernaghan with Life Don't Get Much Better Than This (38 to 29), and The Harmonators with Wish I Didn't (37 to 32).

Other new entries this week include Stephen Rowe with Broken Hill (in at 48) and WildSeed with Don't Lie To Me ((at 50).

The playlist can be viewed at


Keith countersues Keith

Keith D Urban the painter has filed court documents claiming that the lawsuit filed by the famous singer Keith Urban about the painter’s website is baseless and a tool to intimidate him.

In February, Keith L Urban, country musician, filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Nashville accusing the Wayne, New Jersey, painter, who owns, of federal trademark infringement and violation of the anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, among other things.

The suit didn’t specify monetary damages, but wants the site address transferred to the singer and an injunction barring the painter from operating a site that suggests any relationship between the two.

The February lawsuit claimed the painter is purposely trying to mislead Internet users into thinking that the website and the paintings for sale belong to the singer. At the top are Google ads for the musician’s concert tickets and videos. "It has become apparent that he is attempting to capitalise on Keith’s success, Paul Freundlich, the musician’s publicist, said shortly after the original filing.

Not so, said the painter’s attorney.

"This is an odd fact pattern in the sense that you have a situation where you have two individuals with the same name," said the painter’s Nashville-based attorney, Paul Kruse. It was not a situation of a person of another name masquerading as Urban, he said.

"One of the pieces of evidence we made of record is his birth certificate. Of course, this is the thing that makes this case a little different than garden-variety, trademark infringement cyber-squatting kinds of cases that the musician’s lawyers are painting in his proceedings," Kruse said.

"Our guy is a painter. He freely admits that he isn’t as famous as the musician, but it is his name. It seems like the musician is being very strong-armed in his tactics, when, in fact, our guy has had this name since he was born."

Freundlich could not be reached for comment on the painter’s filing. The painter had the rights to this site address first, according to documents filed by the painter’s attorneys on March 28. The painter obtained the domain name in May 1999, which is before the date the musician registered the domain name nearly four months later, the document stated.

"Through this lawsuit, the Musician is using his celebrity to threaten the Painter to give up intellectual property in which he has legitimate interests."

The painter’s lawsuit stated, "The Painter’s registration of the domain name and his operation of the related website does not produce confusion, nor does it produce deception or mistake as to the source, affiliation or sponsorship of the website and goods and services advertised thereon."

The painter’s countersuit requests declarations that he has not done anything that would create a likelihood of confusion over the musician’s asserted trademarks or violate consumer protection or personal rights privacy laws.

It said the musician’s long delay in challenging any alleged infringement is "inexcusable and unreasonable," and because of that the musician intentionally relinquishes his rights to challenge the alleged infringement.

Kruse said the painter rented the space at the top of his website to Google, so he did not create its content. "Our guy just signed with Google and Google put that up on his site," he said. "We are trying to determine if he has any ability to control how Google puts ads up."

Kruse disputed the claim that the musician has been harmed by any confusion. "If they click on (the Google ad), they’ll buy one of the tickets to his show," Kruse said. "I guess it causes an initial, ‘Wow, what is going on here?’ But if you move through it a little bit, it can be determined that it is not the same person as the musician. How is the musician being harmed, because he still makes money from the sale of the tickets."

When asked if the painter would display a website bio or photo that would immediately differentiate the two men, Kruse said, "I think at this point we are still trying to work things out with the musician to see if we can do that. We have this happenstance of two individuals with the same name, one of which has become a big celebrity. Prior to him becoming a big celebrity, this wasn’t an issue."

The painter’s countersuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the musician from attempting to cancel or use his domain name registration as long as the painter maintains the registration.

A case management study has been set with a judge on Monday. "From that, everybody is going to begin to see clearer where things are going. Schedules will be set, timetables will be made for next steps. Along the way, we continue to be open to possibilities for settlement. The painter just wants to be able to use his name in some fashion, because it is his name, too."


Image: from Keith Urban (the painter's) website, titled "The Mentor" (a self portrait?).


CMR over Easter

Country Music Radio (CMR) will be on air two extra nights and mornings through this Easter long weekend.

The program, which normally goes to air from midnight Friday to 7am Saturday, 6pm Saturday to 6am Sunday and 6pm Sunday to 5am Monday, will extend to include midnight Thursday to early morning Good Friday and 6pm Easter Monday to 5am Tuesday as well as the usual Saturday/Sunday morning and overnight Saturday sessions.

In addition to normal programming, CMR will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Slim's recording of A Pub With No Beer (yesterday) by launching its "Slim Dusty Favourites Song Poll" – looking for a new listing of listeners' all-time favourite Slim tracks.

"On Good Friday, we will have a night of classic country which will feature an interview with American hit maker Vern Gosdin who is currently visiting Australia (see story below)," said CMR's Nick Erby.

College applications open

The Country Music Association of Australia has opened applications for the 2008 Australian College of Country Music course to be held in Tamworth in January next year.

Widely regarded as the leading industry specialist course in Australia for country music singers, songwriters and instrumentalists, the curriculum for the course has been carefully constructed to ensure the delivery of a specialist, practical and highly personalised course.

The course runs for two weeks with training and tutoring delivered by leading artists and industry specialists.

Applications close on Friday June 29.

Application forms can be downloaded from

Sydney Royal Easter underway with country show radio

The 2007 Sydney Royal Easter Show gets underway today with visitors during the 14 show days being greeted and entertained over the airwaves by Show Radio.

Eighteen radio students from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) are undertaking the live broadcast on 100.5 FM, the official radio station of the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

The students are broadcasting live from the Show at Sydney Olympic Park keeping listeners up-to-date with everything that’s happening, from pigs and precision driving to rides and rodeos, all while playing the best in country music.

Show Radio has been broadcasting from the Easter Show for more than 10 years and will also be podcast.

For the radio students, Show Radio is their first opportunity to be heard over Sydney airwaves since commencing their graduate diploma course.

AFTRS Head of Radio Steve Ahern said he was looking forward to another great year of Show Radio. "It’s a great opportunity for this year’s radio students to fine-tune multiple skills including announcing, producing and reporting," he said.

Hot tips on parking, weather, transport and what’s on are all part of Show Radio programming together with interviews with Show celebrities, exhibitors and visitors.

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Will Keith soon be a Dad?

Sections of the Australian media are again speculating that Keith Urban's wife actress Nicole Kidman is pregnant with the couple's baby.

This time, "Woman's Day" magazine claims that after months of fertility treatment, Nicole has told family and friends that she and Keith are expecting their first child.

Although there has been no confirmation of the rumors, Keith has been talking about becoming a father in recent interviews. "I am looking forward to fatherhood," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

"I have always wanted to be a good dad. My brother's got two kids and he's an excellent dad, and I think we both have that sense of being home and being solid family guys."

Keith is already stepfather to Nicole's two children Isabella and Connor, but he says he has always longed to father his own child.

"I don't get to see the kids as much as probably a lot of stepdads would, but it is a good relationship," he said of Nicole's kids, who spend much of their time with their father, actor Tom Cruise.

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27th Australian National Songwriting Contest launched

The Australian Songwriters Association (ASA) has launched its 27th Australian National Songwriting Contest.

Entries will be open until April 30 and, for the first time, can be lodged online as well as in the usual manual form, organisers say.

The ASA National Songwriting Contest is Australia's longest running national songwriting contest for professional and amateur songwriters.

There are 13 categories including country, ballad, folk/acoustic, instrumental, Australia, youth, lyrics only and an open-genre international category which citizens from any country of the world can enter.

"For 2007, entrants are encouraged to utilise the online facility, prior to the ASA moving to a full online entry system in 2008. The online facility is also cheaper (to operate) than the manual system."

The online entry system is an initiative of the ASA and Sonicbids, utilising Sonicbids electronic platform, currently used by many of the major international song competitions, for lodging and processing entries.

"By using the online facility, entrants will be able to enter the ASA contest, attach their sound files and renew their memberships, rather than sending CDs, cassettes and paper forms to the ASA as in the past," organisers said.

"As part of each entry package, Sonicbids will provide complimentary three month Sonicbids memberships to non-Sonicbids members.

"The relationship with Sonicbids is an exciting new phase for the ASA National Songwriting Contest, and we trust that it will prove beneficial to ASA members. Any feedback on the online entry system should be sent to the ASA National Office."

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New single for Casey

Casey Watt has released the second single from her debut album Lead You Astray.

The song, titled If I Needed You and recorded with Brendan Radford, is described as "a classic... originally recorded by two of the greatest country artists of all time, Emmy-Lou Harris and Don Williams".

"Brendan and I have re-arranged it to bring it to a whole new listening audience," Casey said, "as well as those who loved the original."

The song won Casey and Brendan the Vocal Collaboration TIARA (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards) in January.

Casey also reports she has been hospitalised for a week through Salmonella poisoning, "a highly effective way of dieting," she said, and "I certainly would not recommend it!!!"

In more success for the rising country star, Casey was announced last week as a finalist for the 2007 Golden Saddle Award. "It is such an honour to be amongst a field of such outstanding artists," she said.

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Kerrigan branches out

Versatile country singer/songwriter Kerrigan La-Brooy has launched into another area of talent which he has pursued over the years – writing stories.

Many are aware that Kerrigan is a murder/mystery novelist, however, he says he has temporarily shelved that to work on a children’s picture book.

Kerrigan signed with an American publisher in February and is currently working with an illustrater from Canada. If everything goes according to schedule, his book should hit bookstores around August.

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Slim's new album set debuts at 23 on national chart

The late Slim Dusty's Pub With No Beer 50th anniversary album set release – Pubs, Trucks & Plains – debuted yesterday in the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) National Top 100 Albums Chart at number 23.

It was the third biggest jump of any album in the mainstream chart this week.

The three CD album set also debuted at number two on the ARIA National Country Chart, just behind Keith Urban's Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing album which went to number one this week.

"(It's) fitting that Keith and Slim, his early musical mentor, should be sitting at one and two in Australia's country chart," said a spokesman for Slim's record company EMI.

Joy survives car wreck

Meanwhile, Joy McKean has had a lucky escape from a car accident.

On Saturday (March 31), Joy was driving her Landcruiser from Bredbo (NSW) to Captain’s Flat via the Jerangle Road, planning to find the site of the old village of Anembo where her father was sent as a 20 year old teacher.

The front driver’s side tyre blew out, causing her vehicle to leave the road, go through two fences and between two large trees, finishing upside down in a paddock.

Joy says she was suspended in her seatbelt, but managed to turn off the ignition and release the seatbelt. She then crawled backwards through a small gap in the torn open driver’s door and the seat.

Everyone seeing the upturned vehicle is amazed at her survival, she said, and that of her small dog Penny. Joy suffered bruising and soreness, but no major injury.

Karen achieves an international number one

Karen Lynne's Blue Mountain Rain has made it to the top of the United Kingdom and European chart she debuted in at number three the day after she was named winner of the Frank Ifield International Spur Award three weeks ago.

The single is also at number one on the corresponding independent chart.

Blue Mountain Rain is taken from Karen's CD Changes which Frank says is one of the best albums he has heard in a long time.

"And I believe there are many more international hits still to come for Karen," he said.

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New single for Steve

Steve Graham has released a new single – Wake Up Australia – from his current album, The River.

"Remember those days, not so long ago, growing up in suburban Australia, playing cricket in the street with the neighbourhood kids," asked Steve's publicist, "when manners mattered, mates helped each other and everyone just got the job done without complaining...?

Wake Up Australia is described as "a rousing anthem and statement about our age of technology. We may now have it all, but did we lose our heart and soul along the way?"

The single is available to DJs for download at

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And WildSeed

Popular country band WildSeed have released their new single to – Picture Your Smile – to radio.

After a succesful Tamworth Festival where the band was nominated for a TIARA (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Award), as well as being finalists in various People's Choice Award categories, WildSeed are now preparing for a busy few months ahead.

Following on from their earlier video clips – The Fire and Dont Lie To Me – the band is now "brainstorming" ideas for the next clip and have begun preliminary preparations for future recording projects.

They have also announced a replacement, "after an intense search, quite a few auditions and many sleepless nights", for former guitarist David Bull. He is Andrew Parker, "a young talented musician".

WildSeed say they are aiming to perform at many more festivals this year and with Port Stephens and Kempsey already confirmed, the band sees such performances as "a great opportunity to meet some of our fans from regional and interstate areas".

"Thanks to all who have been voting for our songs on CMC (Country Music Channel) and requesting our singles on radio," WildSeed says.

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Music Business Conference update

More than 25 of 50 plus top music business, entertainment industry and mobile and online content speakers have been announced for the eighth AustralAsian Music Business Conference (AMBC) to be held in Sydney in August.

The two keynote speakers are Michael Smellie, President of Media Development, Asia Pacific, for German media giant Bertelsmann and most recently Chief Operating Officer for the global music giant Sony/BMG based in New York and John Watson, President of major independent Eleven Music through EMI and one of the most successful managers in Australia with artists that include The Dissociatives, Missy Higgins, Little Birdy, Paul Mac, Silverchair and Wolfmother.

A listing of panelists appearing on nine panels, and topics, can be found at

The AMBC is the only national industry gathering and has run for more than 15 years, produced every other year at Sydney's Acer Arena Grand Ballroom where, in 2007, more than 770 attendees are anticipated and more than 100 have already registered.

In 2005, there were 660 attendees and in 2005, close to 550. Early bird registration rates with discounts are now in effect.

The 2007 Conference runs from Thursday August 16 to Saturday the 18th.

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Ron re-releases popular album

Well-known Australian country comedy singer/songwriter Ron Odgers has re-released his popular Sittin’, Sippin’, Fishin' album with a bonus track.

The new song is Ron's contribution to the water debate raging all over Australia and politicians, in particular, are getting their knickers in a twist, according to Ron's publicist.

Titled Someone Else’s Task (The Grey Water Song), first verse of the song goes like this...

Our Queensland is a marvellous place
And the tourists love it too
And the more travellers that come up here
The more so use our loos
But it’s their generous donations that put a smile on Peter Beattie
For our leader plans to beat the drought
Using everybody’s Wee Wee”

"Ron eagerly awaits Peter Beattie’s reaction!" his publicist exclaimed.

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Vern visits to record with Kimber

Legendary American country singer/songwriter Vern Gosdin is currently in Australia to record a duet with Queensland based country star Kimber Sparks.

The pair will record a new version of Vern's 1982 classic Today My World Slipped Away which was also made a hit again by George Strait when it hit number one for three weeks in 1998.

Brendan Radford will produce the new recording which will feature some of Australia’s leading musicians.

Besides being a top selling artist in his own right, Vern is one of the most respected songwriters in country music having had songs recorded by artists such as Janie Fricke, Adam Harvey, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Ralph Stanley and Tanya Tucker.

He has numerous awards gracing his mantle as well as inductions into the Music Publishers Hall of Fame (in 1998) and the Alabama Country Music Hall of Fame (2005).  Taking pride of place is the 1988 CMA (Country Music Association) Song of The Year award for Chiseled In Stone which was co-written with Max D Barnes.

Kimber Sparks' Go Get 'Em Girl EP has generated widespread airplay around the country with the single Taking The You Out Of Us fared well in various charts. Her next single – Somewhere Between hits radio this month.

The Vern Gosdin/Kimber Sparks duet, Today My World Slipped Away, will be released over the coming months in both Australia and the US.

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Chart Update – The McClymonts hold on to number one

The McClymonts are at number one on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the second week in a row this week with their hit Baby's Gone Home.

Brad Paisley jumps two more places to number two with She's Everything while Donna Boyd is steady at three with Luckiest Girl Alive and Rascal Flatts rises to four with What Hurts The Most.

Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French remain at number five with Let's Make A Family, Catherine Britt jumps to six while Melinda Schneider slips one place to seven with Men In Trucks.

Dianna Corcoran bounds into the top 10 with Then There's Me at eight, Lee Kernaghan's former number one Love Shack drops to nine while The Sunny Cowgirls' Still Circling enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers this week include Carter & Carter's Run Away (22 to 18), Tom Curtain with Chew Like Hell (25 to 20), Travis Sinclair with Rockin' The Rig (26 to 21), Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel with Ragged Bloody Heroes (28 to 22), John O'Dea with Old Rusty Ute (29 to 23), James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven (debuting at 26) and Jetty Road with Real Smooth Cowboy (30 to 27).

Other new entries to the chart this week include Karen Lynne (pictured) with Roses In The Snow (in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at

CMC Top 50 – Dierks hits the top

America's Dierks Bentley (pictured) hits the top of the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with his clip of Every Mile A Memory.

Canada's Corb Lund Band is at number two with Counterfeiters' Blues while The Wilkinsons Fast Car is at three and Matt Scullion's Giddy Up remains at four.

James Blundell's number one from last week – Higher Than Heaven – is at seven while Dianna Corcoran slips one place to nine with Then There's Me.

The Sunny Cowgirls are at 12 with Still Circling, Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel rise to 13 with Ragged Bloody Hero, Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French are steady at 18 with Let's Make A Family and Lee Kernaghan is at 19 with Love Shack.

Bullet performers this week include Tania Kernaghan with Life Don't Get Much Better (43 to 38), Nici Blue Eyes with Again And Again (44 to 39) and Lou Bradley, re-entering the playlist at 45 with Love Someone.

Other new entries this week include Felicity Urquhart with her re-issue of Big Black Cloud (in at 44).

The playlist can be viewed at

© Copyright 2007, ICMB Publishing