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APRIL 2009


Artists unite for Tangerine Sky

James Blundell, Troy Cassar-Daley, Darren Coggan, Dianna Corcoran, Pete Denahy, Tommy Emmanuel, Anne Kirkpatrick, Lianna Rose, Tamara Stewart, The Sunny Cowgirls and Talia Wittmann have joined together on a special recording project to raise funds for The Salvation Army.

The project is a single recording of Tamara's song Tangerine Sky and will be released nationally by Shock Records next Thursday (April 23).

Initiated and co-ordinated by Tamara, the project song was inspired by "the devastating hell on earth" witnessed in her native state of Victoria earlier this year.

"Like all Australians, I was in shock," Tamara said. "We watch these tragedies on our TV screens from all over the world every day but being born and raised in country Victoria there’s a reality that rings loud and clear.

"To be able to call on so many talented friends and colleagues that I have worked with over the years just goes to show the massive amount of respect and empathy this industry is willing to extend to our fellow Aussies.

"Tangerine Sky speaks of the unity of all Australian’s and the 'helping hand' mentality that has been carved as a trait in our Aussie heritage," Tamara said. "'Black Saturday' etched those grooves even deeper still...

Fear not neighbour... fear not friend...
We’ll be shoulder to shoulder when the Headlines end...
And the Angel’s fly
Through the Tangerine Sky...

In addition to the artists, musicians Brad Bergen, Stuie French, Ian Lees, Michel Rose and "Rusty" all donated their talents to the cause.

Multi award-winning video director Ross Wood volunteered to produce a film clip over the three recording days, Ted Howard and Don Bartley donated recording engineering, Garth Porter his studio and Tamara produced the track as well as appearing on the recording.

The enhanced single contains the audio track as well as the video clip and a special mini documentary of "the making of Tangerine Sky".

Country Music Channel is currently screening the clip which can also be seen on youtube by clicking here.

All proceeds of the single will be donated to the Salvation Army to help all Australians in need.


Deni Ute Muster shapes up

The Deni Ute Muster, now recognised as one of Australia's largest rural themed festivals has announced the confirmed artist line-up for the 2009 event main stage concert.

Organisers say that over the past three years, they have expanded the main concert stage lineup by introducing more of Australia’s mainstream musicians into the program.

Festival Director John Harvie, said he was rapt with the line-up, saying it was "our biggest and best lineup in the history of the Festival.

"The Friday night concert will focus on our top country music artists headlining Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, The Sunny Cowgirls (pictured), Catherine Britt and Kirsty Lee Akers.

"Saturday night will incorporate mainstream acts headlining Powderfinger along with The Angels, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins and Sinead Burgess.

"We are providing two massive evening concerts for people of all ages, tastes and backgrounds," he said. "It can be difficult to cater for everyone but this year we are confident the 20,000 or so patrons will not be disappointed.

"Plans are underway to ensure that the day entertainment is top class with some new and exciting action packed events soon to be announced."

The Muster will be staged Friday and Saturday October 2 and 3.

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CMC Top 50 – Troy takes over the top spot

The clip of Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love takes over the number one position on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist.

Shea Fisher's Don't Chase Me edges up one to be in second position while Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride is up one to three and John Williamson, Warren H Williams and Amos Morris' number one from last week – Australia Is Another Word For Free – is down to five.

Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar is up one to six, Keith Urban's Sweet Thing is at eight and Still Here – Melinda Schneider's duet with Paul Kelly – is at nine.

Lianna Rose's Jack (New Strings) is at 17, The McClymonts' Shotgun is at 19 and the clip of Tangerine Sky (see story above) debuts at 21.

Bullet performers for the week include Paul Costa's In This Life (32 to 29), Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes (new at 34) and Danielle Blakey's Back Home (new at 45).

The playlist can be viewed at



Keith defies gravity

Keith Urban’s fifth studio release – Defying Gravity – has debuted in America at number one on both Billboard’s mainstream Top 200 chart and the Country Album chart.

It marks his third consecutive number one country CD (following Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing and Be Here) and his first atop the mainstream Billboard album chart, outpacing both previous albums which debuted there at number three.

In Australia, Defying Gravity is currently sitting at number two on the iTunes chart and is made its ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) chart debut at number one on the Country chart and four on the mainstream albums chart.

It’s an incredible feeling to have a number one record," Keith said. But equally moving is knowing that this particular record, that comes from such a joyous, loving and hopeful place, is connecting with so many people."

Defying Gravity has already produced Keith’s 10th US number one song – Sweet Thing, his third number one in a row (You Look Good In My Shirt and Start A Band with Brad Paisley).

The CD’s second single – Kiss A Girl – which Keith performed on the Academy of Country Music Awards last week, has already cracked the top 15 in only four weeks, on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and Mediabase/Country Aircheck.

Later this month, Keith will begin rehearsals for his "Escape Together World Tour" which will kick off in Connecticut on May 7, will have one support act for each concert including Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Glen Campbell, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Sugarland and Taylor Swift.


Songbirds set for big screen

Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer (known collectively as successful touring act "Songbirds") are joining the likes of The Wiggles and making the leap from stage to screen with their "Songbirds: You’ve Got a Friend" live filmed concert – the first ever country music act to be shown across cinema screens.

At 8pm on Wednesday April 29, the concert recorded live during the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival will be shown through CinemaLive at selected cinemas across Australia.

A first for the genre, the simultaneous screenings will give fans and cinema-goers the opportunity to experience the show prior to DVD release later this year.

The offer from CinemaLive comes on the back of sell-out concerts since the conception of "Songbirds" in July 2007. Between them, the trio boast an impressive 26 Golden Guitars coupled with ARIA Awards, Entertainer of the Year awards, APRA Awards and Gold and Platinum album sales awards.

One of the most popular touring acts at present, the one-off screenings will showcase 26 of the songs made famous by the girls throughout their careers performed individually and many well known hits that have become crowd favourites and some trio harmony songs.

The live concert screening also features special guests including Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers and John Williamson.

Filmed before a capacity audience, Beccy, Gina and Sara wanted to ensure the final product would include the most popular songs and gags from the variations of shows presented since conception.

"The filmed concert also shows Sara in pregnant glory, boasting glows and an excited nervousness," said a spokesman for the trio." The screenings are set to take place only days after the scheduled delivery date of Sara's first child.

"I’ll feel like I’m preparing for twins," she said. "One baby which is mine and one I share with my two 'Songbird' sisters. I’m really proud of the 'Songbirds: You’ve Got a Friend' live filming but am worried how pregnant I will look shown on a big screen," Sara laughed.

Beccy is just as excited about the big screen showings with several of the screening venues confirmed being those of her South Australian childhood.

"My family keep asking when I’m coming home to visit. With the 'Songbirds: You’ve Got a Friend' concert being shown where my family are, I’m now telling them they can see me at 8pm on the 29th of April and the bonus is I’ll make a few extra bucks out of them. It’s a win, win," said the ever cheeky Beccy.

Gina said she was thrilled to be achieving something new and a first for the industry.

"To now be the first country music act to be invited to be shown on the big screen via CinemaLive is a huge honour. Who would have thought us three girls, best friends, would be shown in cinemas whilst our fans munch on choc-tops and popcorn. We’re able to reach and perform to audiences in locations that we may not have been able to tour as yet, everything about this opportunity is exciting."

"We are absolutely delighted to be broadcasting one of Australia’s finest country music outfits via our network," said Peter Skillman Director & CEO of CinemaLive. "CinemaLive enables fans rights across Australia the opportunity to enjoy the 'Songbirds' in concert."

Broadcast via satellite on Wednesday April 29 at 8pm AEST, the "Songbirds: You’ve Got a Friend" premiere screenings will be held at a selection of cinemas across the country. Participating cinemas are listed at

The "Songbirds: You’ve Got a Friend" DVD will be released later this year exclusively through EMI Music.


Grand Junction single

Grand Junction's new single Turnback Boys has been getting "some reaction around the country judging by the number of requests for radio interviews," according to the band.

The single is taken from the latest Grand Junction album – The Return. It's available through The Country Music Store in Brisbane and can also be ordered in most record stores through WJO Distribution.

The clip of Turnback Boys can be viewed by clicking this link.

Dave Dawson's "Nu Country" recently ran the clip on his show, "Country Crossroads" screening it from the end of March and CMC will be screening the clip over the next few months.

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Aussie Country on Tour

Keith Jamieson and Alisha Smith have just completed a two and a half month tour with Dianne Lindsay and Peter Simpson taking in four States.

"We showed at clubs and halls," Keith said, "but the most memorable was the show we did at Alexandra Hall put together by Andrew Embling for the fire victims and volunteers... we gave them three and a half hours of music to take their mind off the nightmare. And people also tipped a fair bit of money into their bucket."

Keith also had his birthday at One Tree Pub on The One Tree Plain. The old pub has been restored by Sally Smith from Hay. "The old pub looks great... she deserves a medal for keeping alive a part of history," Keith said.

Keith recorded the song One Tree Plain – written by Tony McKenna – on his CD Troy's Memory.

They troupe finished their tour at Narrabri in NSW. "It was a great tour but everyone was looking forward to a spell."

Keith and Alisha are putting a tour together now for June, July and part of August with the award-winning Terry and Jenny Bennetts from WA.

Taking in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland, the tour will finish at Mt Isa.


Kevin tribute song on Vinnies CD

American singer/songwriter Kevin Welch has left a gift from his 12th Australian tour – an evocative song inspired by the blazing tragedy of the Victorian bushfires.

California born Welch, 53 and father of two, was so moved he wrote his song Marysville within days of his arrival.

Kevin and bandmates Kieran Kane and Fats Kaplin rushed into the Salt Studio in East Brighton and recorded the song for the new St Vincent de Paul bushfire relief CD After The Fire.

A Vinnies documentary crew filmed Kevin and band recording in the studio operated by Peter Frawley.

The trio, with Kieran’s drummer son Lucas, performed the song in concert and on radio and volunteered it through Shock Records executive Dave Laing.

Vinnies Victorian Strategic Marketing & Fund Raising Manager Carol Taylor phoned long time promoter Rob Hall who arranged recording in a break between concerts. Carol also enlisted Killarney singer/songwriter Shane Howard who wrote his new tune Carry Me for the CD.

Shane and Sara Storer debuted the song at the Churchill Fire Benefit in February. The singer then recorded Carry Me, with a little help from friends, at his home studio at Killarney.

The Welch song was the first single from a CD that also features Country Paydirt whose singer Ross Buchanan who lost a son, Mackenzie, 15, and daughter Neeve, nine, in the Kinglake fire.

Music veterans Joe Camilleri, Tiddas singer Sally Dastey, Renee Geyer and Brian Mannix are among 15 artists who donated their songs to After The Fire.

After The Fire is available at



True Blue to feature at this year's Sydney Royal

John Williamson and his classic song True Blue will be a major feature of this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show which starts today.

The song provides the theme for a main arena presentation which will run every night of the show through to and including April 22.

"The Story Of True Blue" – as the presentation is titled – will be narrated by Shannon Noll and tells the story of "Bluey" – a stumpy tailed cattle dog lost in the bush and unable to find his family.

Not knowing what to do,"Bluey" starts to walk and begins his long journey through the Australian bush.

Mateship is powerful in the bush and as he walks, "Bluey" finds out what it really means. He meets some memorable outback characters and animals who both help and hinder his progress.

John will appear over three nights – tonight, tomorrow night and Saturday night – to sing True Blue as part of the presentation.

He will also make three appearances at the Show Shop for autograph signing on the same days between 5 and 6pm.

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Show Radio – country radio

The Royal Easter Show special event radio station will broadcast again this year at 107.9 FM and will feature "all the best from country music’s past, present and future stars".

Show Radio will broadcast the latest up-to-the-minute information including "hot tips" on parking, weather, transport and what’s on.

Interviews with Show celebrities, exhibitors and visitors will be a feature of programming.

Show Radio is staffed by students from the Australian Film, Television and Radio Schoolaz.


Troy's new album

Troy Cassar-Daley's new album – I Love This Place – will be released next Friday, April 17.

The album – co-produced by Troy with Rod McCormack – features an array of co-writers including Colin Buchanan, The McClymonts, Mark Sholtez and Don Walker.

Musicians featured include Clayton Doley on Hammond organ, Mitch Farmer on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Rod McCormack on acoustic guitar, banjo, electric guitar, mandolin, lap steel and dobro, Bill Risby on piano, Camille Te Nahu on backing vocals and Troy himself on electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin.

I Love This Place is on the Liberation label and Troy will be out at retail promoting the release from next weekend...

At JB HiFi Ipswich on Saturday April 18 at 1pm (Ipswich Riverlink Shopping Centre)...

At St Mary's Sound Centre, Sydney, on Thursday April 23 at 6pm...

And at Sunshine Plaza Maroochydore – Riverwalk Stage – on Saturday May 9 at 11am.


US exposure for Keri

Keri McInerney's recording I Know What You Want has become a hit on America's US East Coast and Florida Radio.

The single is from Keri's latest album – Stay which followed her debut album Fool’s Game, her second, Love’s A Crazy Thing, and her fourth, The One.

"I am gaining airplay in Beverly Hills, California on Twitter Live Radio which is also of course linked internationally on Twitter," Keri said, "and on Zen Radio in Philadelphia where Know What You Want got picked up by the leading breakfast show as its theme song.

"Miami, Florida, also has a major interest in my music with connections to shows like 'USA Wide via DJ Benz Jaguar... a major player over there who has given me so much support."

Keri says her current success has come at a price, however. She was back in hospital recently for extensive surgery, her second bout with doctors and hospital in the last three years, adding to an already difficult year and the tragedy of losing her sister to cancer only a few months ago.

"I will be back on deck as soon as I get the OK from doctors," she said. "It’s a shame this is happening as I have had a couple of scares, but my music keeps me keen as mustard to get back performing as soon as possible."

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Stars salute George as Artist of the Decade

George Strait has been saluted as America's Academy of Country Music's Artist of the Decade.

He joins the Academy's four other artists of the decade: Marty Robbins in the 1960s, Loretta Lynn in the '70s, Alabama in the '80s and Garth Brooks in the '90s.

As the reining Artist of the Decade, Garth made the presentation, saying it was ironic handing the award to the person largely responsible for him having it, and told a story about hearing Strait's first hit in 1981.

"From that very second I knew what I wanted to be. It was so easy and it didn't seem that far away. I wanted to be George Strait," he recalled.

Garth said the secret of George's longevity – he's had 57 number one country singles, more than anyone else, and he's still going strong – is that he doesn't pretend to be something he's not.

"He never has to act... he's just being him," he said.

At the presentation concert, a parade of performers spoke about the star's music and kindness, and then sang his songs, including Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Jamie Foxx, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw,John Rich, Sugarland and Taylor Swift.

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Chart update – Melinda & Paul at number one

Melinda Schneider & Paul Kelly (pictured) take over the number one position on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with their hit duet Still Here.

Kenny Chesney's former number one – Down The Road – is at number two, Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride bounds up to number three while Graeme Connors' A Beach House In The Blue Mountains slips one to four.

Tania Kernaghan's Second Time Around jumps three places to number five, The McClymonts' Shotgun is up four to six and Catherine Britt's I'm Not Your Cinderella is down to seven.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love enters the top 10 at number eight, Rob Black's I'm In Love & It's Getting Worse is steady at nine while Luke O'Shea's Pride Of Erin is at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes (15 to 11), Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar (27 to 23), Tori Darke's Crawl (28 to 25) and Talia Wittman's Girls Get Loud (30 to 27).

New entries in the chart this week include The Harmonators with If Love Ain't Crazy (in at 29) and The Bushwackers with Good Old Days (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



Entries open for Golden Saddle Awards

Entries for the 2009 Golden Saddle Awards are now open for artists with CDs commercially released between February 1, 2008, and January 31, 2009.

The Awards will be held on Saturday September 12 at the Rooty Hill RSL in western Sydney (NSW), "and I'm very excited to say that there will be five Finalists this year vying for the main prize of $5,000 cash," said organiser Donna Boyd.

"There will also be a Peoples Choice Award of $1,000 cash," she said.

The Golden Saddle Awards is for independent artists from Queensland, NSW and Victoria, the definition of "independent" being "that the artist must have paid for their own recordings".

Holly wins first Golden Saddles heat

Meanwhile, the first heat of the new Golden Saddle Awards competition for junior country competitors – the Golden Saddles – has been won by fourteen year-old Holly Taylor-Ann Smith (pictured) from Balcatherine Station (near Wentworth) NSW.

Holly took out the competition held late March at Wentworth.

Among the songs Holly performed was one of her own – A Mother's Lullaby – a song she wrote last year as a school project, accompanied by her father Tony Smith.

Holly will travel to Sydney for The Saddles Final in September to compete for a prize that includes $1,000 cash, a professionally produced demo from Little Red Wagon Studios and a performance at the Golden Saddle Awards that night.

Special guest judge at the Wentworth heat was Paul Costa who performed songs from his forthcoming album In This Life, which was released on Friday (April 3).


First single from Harmony's new album

Harmony James has released the first single from her upcoming debut album, a follow-up to her successful self titled EP.

The as yet unnamed album will feature 12 new tracks and Harmony says there is a strong emphasis on her songwriting and a duet with one of country music’s most acclaimed vocalists.

Fly is the title of the lead single from the new album and is a track Harmony says she usually likes to close a show with "as it talks about dealing with the realities of life but dreaming big dreams all the while".

While her team pins down the finer details of an album release date, Harmony will be taking to the skies as she takes her new single and other favourites to music festivals in Katherine, Caboolture and Darwin in the coming months.

Harmony will feature in an upcoming edition of ABC TV’s "Landline" this month in a feature story where viewers will be able to preview more of her songs as the cameras follow her recording project in Sydney’s Ramrod Studio with producer Herm Kovac.

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Perth City Muster 2010

First artists have been announced for "the massive" 10th Perth City Muster which will be held on Saturday February 20 next year.

This will be "one hellova hoedown" according to organisers with Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Lee Kernaghan (pictured) and John Williamson performing together for the first time in concert.

Between them, Kasey, Shane, Lee and John have 65 Golden Guitars.

Tickets for "the ultimate family day out" go on sale soon.

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More strong numbers for "Saturday Night Country"

The second radio survey of metropolitan markets again shows a strong increase in audience for John Nutting's "Saturday Night Country" (SNC).

In the best ever performance in Melbourne, SNC has nearly a quarter of all radio listeners in that market listening to country music.

Following are the percentage shares of all listeners to both AM and FM stations...

Adelaide 16.2%

Brisbane 12.3%

Melbourne 24.6%

Perth 8.2%

Sydney 11.3%


CMC Top 50 – Keith retains number one

Keith Urban retains the number one spot on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist for the second week with the clip of his hit Sweet Thing.

John Williamson, Warren H Williams and Amos Morris edge up one to be in second position with Australia Is Another Word For Free while Shea Fisher's Don't Chase Me is up two to three and Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love is also up two to number four.

The McClymonts' Shotgun is down to six, Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride is steady at seven and Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar is up one to eight.

Steve Forde's I Ain't That Guy is at 11 and Melinda Schneider's duet with Paul Kelly – Still Here – is up two to 12.

Bullet performers for the week include Brad Cole's Come Home (33 to 29), Paul Costa's In This Life (new at 33), Talia Wittmann's Nothin' But The Wheel (43 to 39), Connie Neilsen's 59 Chevy (48 to 40) and Adam Gregory's What It Takes (49 to 45).

The playlist can be viewed at


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