• • • • australia's leading country music news site • • • •

Please support our advertisers. Click on
the image at left for dedicated links

This website dedicated to bringing you the latest Australian country music news
News releases can be sent to news@countrymusicbulletin.com.au


Advertisers, Supporters




News Archive

Featured Artists

On Tour


Jaws Seminar

Click here to sign up to
our news alert service

News on the site is updated "as it happens". A summary NEWS ALERT is distributed at least weekly

Click here to download the latest





Top 50 singles of 2008

Amber Lawrence (pictured) has topped the Country Tracks Top 50 Singles Chart for 2008 with her hit Good Girls which held the number one position for five weeks and stayed in the Top 30 for 20 weeks.

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson come in at number two with Rattlin' Bones (five weeks at number one, 18 weeks in) while Harmony James is at three with Somebody Stole My Horse (four weeks at number one, 18 weeks in) and Catherine Britt is at four with Little Wildflower (four weeks at the top, 17 weeks in).

The Lee Forster/Travis Sinclair duet Good Tones comes in at number five, America's Brad Paisley and George Strait & Kenny Chesney are at six and seven respectively with I'm Still A Guy and Shiftwork.

Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle is at eight, The Sunny Cowgirls are at nine with Acting Stupid while the Keith Urban/Brad Paisley duet Start A Band comes in at 10.

Nick Erby of Country Music Radio, who compiles the Country Tracks Top 30, said this year there were almost 100 more tracks serviced to radio (with more than 12 percent more Australian tracks and a resurgence of US releases serviced from Australia).

Debut Australian hitmakers for the year were the duo of Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with three, 8 Ball Aitken, Brad Cole, Tracy Killeen, Jasmine Rae, Matt Scullion and Talia Wittmann with two each, and Chasing Bailey, Sharon Benjamin, The Bobkatz, Rose Carleo, Matt Frost, The Harmonators, David Kirkpatrick, Matt Manning, The Noll Brothers and Lianna Rose with one. Overseas debut hitmakers were Emerson Drive, Julianne Hough, Kelly Pickler, Jessica Simpson and Taylor Swift.

A total of 18 tracks made number one during 2008... 14 by Australian acts, four by overseas artists... Acting Stupid (The Sunny Cowgirls), Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (Kenny Chesney), Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year (The McClymonts), Genie In The Bottle (Adam Harvey), Good Girls (Amber Lawrence), Good Time (Alan Jackson), I'm Doin' Alright (Adam Harvey), I'm Still A Guy (Brad Paisley), Last Mile Home (Troy Cassar-Daley), Little Wildflower and Lucky Girl (Catherine Britt), Rattlin' Bones (Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson), Sassafras Gap (Lee Kernaghan), Shiftwork (George Strait & Kenny Chesney), Small Town Southern Man (Alan Jackson), Somebody Stole My Horse (Harmony James), Start A Band (Keith Urban & Brad Paisley) and The Truth About Lies (Gina Jeffreys).

Nick will count down the 2008 Top 50 tomorrow, New Year's Day, on CMR at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.

The Top 50 can also be accessed at the CMR website.


Wauchope Festival '09

The first Wauchope Country Music Festival will run over three days from Friday to Sunday January 9 to 11 and is already shaping up to become a major event on the expanding Australian country music calendar, according to organisers.

Countrylink and NBN Television are major sponsors of the event with more than 40 of Australia’s top interstate and local artists booked to perform, plus three international acts.

Stars will include Clelia Adams, Owen Blundell, Mike Casey, Tracy Coster, Laura Downing, Terry Gordon, Angela Hayden, Patti McKinnon, Amos Morris, Louise Morrisey, Kathryn Pitt, Reg Poole, Graham Rodger and Craig Stewart.

International guests will include Arly Karlsen from Norway, Louise Morrissey from Ireland and Melissa Partridge from New Zealand.

The action kicks off early Friday morning with entertainment throughout the town, buskers in the main streets, a concert in Bain Park followed by entertainment at local hotels and clubs, an art and photo competition, talent quest, markets, a ute "show and shine", jumping castles and rides for the kid plus a big Sunday bush concert at Timbertown.

"Buskers are still needed for the festival," the spokesman said, "along with entrants in the talent quest. There’s a trophy and $500 prizemoney up for grabs for best busker and good prizemoney plus a recording deal and demo disc for the talent quest winner."

Organisers are also looking for entrants in their photo and art competitions along with a variety of market stall holders. Included in the art competition will be an Indigenous Art category sponsored by the Bunya Land Council, highlighting the work of many talented aboriginal artists.

All festival entry forms can be picked up from the Wauchope Information Centre, Travelworld, Holiday Coast Credit Union and the "Gazette" office in Wauchope and The Guitar factory in Port Macquarie.

Registration and entry forms for all events can also be found on the festival’s website (see below).

Further information is available from organising committee members Debbie Jones on 0411 208 867 or Joy Lewis on 02 6585 1499.

Weblink – www.wauchopecmfestival.vpweb.com.


New website for Anne

Anne Kirkpatrick has launched a new website.

The site includes the latest news from Anne, up to date biography page, album listings, performance dates, photo gallery and a special page on Anne's current album Showman's Daughter.

Visitors are also able to listen to, and buy, Anne's music.

The weblink is – www.annekirkpatrick.com.au.


24th Illawarra Folk Festival

The 24th Illawarra Folk Festival will run over four days from Thursday to Sunday January 15 to 18 at Bulli (NSW) Showgrounds north of Wollongong.

More than 100 acts will descend on festival stages to entertain what is expected to be a crowd numbering in the thousands.

"Folk festivals are unique," said a spokesman for organisers, "they are highly enjoyable, hugely entertaining and an absolute blast – all in all they really are just one big reason to join in a massive party!"

Full program details can be obtained from the website – www.illawarrafolkfestival.com.au.



Australian album chart update – Kasey & Shane continue their reign

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson continue their reign at number one on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones.

The compilation featuring the 2009 Golden Guitar Awards finalists – The Winners 2009 – is steady at two while Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is up one to three and John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is down one to four.

John Williamson's Platinum Collection is steady at five, The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is up one to six and Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 slips one to seven.

The Slim Dusty family's Reunion album jumps two to be at number eight, Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars is down one to nine and Shane Nicholson's Familiar Ghosts is steady at 10.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: The Best Of... hangs on to number 11, the compilation album Hit Country: Summer Party is up two to 12 and The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights is steady at 13.

Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower is up six to 14, Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is up one to 15 and Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 16.

The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is down to 17, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is up to to 18, Sara Storer (pictured) re-enters the top 20 at 19 with Silver Skies and Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains is at 20.



Woodford underway

The Woodford Folk Festival is now underway and will run through to and including this Thursday (January 1).

Tens of thousands of music lovers are expected to descend on the Festival site just north of the town of woodford in the Queensland Sunshine Coast hinterland.

"The Sunshine Coast Daily" reported that Friday saw the arrival of the campers and, on Saturday, thousands of fans were up early and right into the first day of action.

The entertainment line-up includes country music, classical, reggae, rock ’n’ roll, traditional folk, jazz, latin, blues, gypsy, soul, acapella and rap.

Country and country related artists appearing include The Borderers, Fiddlers Feast, Juzzie Smith, The Pigs and John Williamson.

As well as music, the Festival includes dance, visual arts, children's entertainment and activity, street theatre, circus acts, comedy, poetry and sideshows.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot has been a regular for years and once again has managed to find the time to share his musical passion. "I started in 1998," he said. "I came and did a couple of talking gigs and I’m still doing it. I’m part of the family now, it’s fabulous.



Bushwackers new album

The Bushwackers have released a new album titled Australian Songbook II.

According to publicity surrounding the release, the album sees the Bushies doing what they do best – cooking up another Aussie music feast.

"As with Songbook I, it’s all about combining old favourites," a spokesman said, "some, VERY old, with new songs."

The album has songs from every Bushies era – Maranoa Drovers, not recorded since the very first album (The Shearers Dream in 1973); The Flying Pig, incorporating tunes from Dick’s Pig (Faces In The Street, 1981); the Golden Guitar winning Flying Pieman (Bushfire, 1979); The Overlanders, first recorded on the Bushies second album (And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, 1975); Steve Ashley’s melody for Henry Lawson’s Faces In The Street (from the album of the same name, 1981); re-recordings of two all-time favourites – Henry’s Men (No Nuts ‘Til Monday, 2000) and Poor Ned (Jubilee 1996 and Ned, 2003), plus three other classic tracks – This Is The Place For Me, Glenrowan Farewell and Kelly In Our Hearts.

"But no Bushwackers project would be complete without something new. Roger’s whimsical take on these troubled times – soon to be known as The Good Old Days; Roger and Dobe’s salute to all the unsung heroes of our songs and stories – Kings Of The Roaring Days; Colin Buchanan’s rollicking evocation of life in far-west Queensland – The Road to Thargomindah and Amanda O’Bryan’s evocative story of Old Jack the unionist, who’s still carrying on the fight."

The Bushwackers have also released details of their appearances during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival (see On Tour) including filming of the Bushies new DVD which will take place at their Chardonnay Show at The Longyard on Sunday January 25 at 3pm.

"Come and be part of Australian country music history," a Bushies spokesman said, "but remember to dress up! Prizes will be awarded for 'best dressed'."

The Bushwackers have also issued a call for help with other material for their DVD.

"Over the last 12 months we've been busy collecting film and video footage, photos, press clippings etc to make our DVD recording four decades of Bushwacking! If you’ve got any 'home movies, taped TV shows, photos etc, PLEASE get in touch so we can organise a copy."

Anyone with material which could assist should email thebushwackersband@gmail.com or write to PO Box 1364, Fitzroy North Vic 3068.

"If you’ve got a 'memory' to share, write it down – or video it. You’ll be credited on the DVD and have our eternal thanks!?"

Weblink – www.thebushwackers.com.au.


Keith... a fortunate son

The next book from well-known music writer Jeff Apter will be a biography of country singer, Nashville superstar and tabloid favourite Keith Urban.

"It takes more than frequent flyer points to cross the great divide that separates rowdy outback pubs from the red carpet of the Grammys as Keith Urban knows only too well," Jeff says on his website. "But after millions of record sales, thousands of live shows, a couple of stints in rehab and many years spent in the wilderness, the scruffily handsome country rocker now ranks with Kylie Minogue, INXS, Silverchair and Savage Garden as one of Australia's biggest musical exports of the past 20 years. Urban even made it to BRW's 'rich list' of Australian entertainers, earning $20 million in 2005, just a little less than his partner, Nicole Kidman, while the Washington Post recently announced that Urban 'has graduated to superstar status'."

The first comprehensive and unauthorised biography of the country superstar – titled "Fortunate Son: The Unlikely Rise of Keith Urban" – tells the improbable story of how Keith – who was born Keith Lionel Urbahn in New Zealand in 1967 but was raised in Caboolture, Queensland – followed and eventually fulfilled his dream of selling country music back to America. "He’s sometimes had to be ruthless," Jeff said, "as one former member of Team Urban admitted, 'Keith would remove you from his career in a heartbeat if he feels that’s what he needs to do.' And some Urban 'boosters' still await their thank you call (and, in one instance, substantial amounts of money) for the role they played in helping him rise above the Nashville pack."

Keith learned to play at the age of six, taught by a woman who placed an ad in the window of his father’s store. By the age of 10 he was a stage veteran. It was his father’s deep love of American country music, especially the hits of Glen Campbell that struck a chord with his son, Jeff said, while a revelation at a Johnny Cash concert in Brisbane revealed what Urban would refer to as his 'destiny'.

"The great thing about AM radio at the time," Keith said of his musical youth, "was the diversity. You would have Johnny Cash and then the Beatles and then Glen Campbell and then the Rolling Stones. It was a great mix." At the same time, Keith, unlike most country singers and pickers, was also open to the world of pop and rock, embracing the songs of Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne and many other singer/songwriters – even metal warriors Iron Maiden made his personal playlist. All these acts, in their own way, would leave their mark on his music, Jeff said.

Keith scored a record deal with EMI in 1990, the year he won the Toyota Star Maker Quest. His self-titled debut album appeared the following year. "But just like his peer and 'friendly rival' James Blundell," Jeff said, "Urban kept one eye on the massive American market – success there meant true acceptance as a country musician, while the financial rewards could be astronomical."

By the mid 1990s, Keith had relocated to Nashville. He formed a new group, The Ranch, who scored a record contract and were handled – "mishandled, according to some," Jeff said – by Miles Copeland, the manager of superstars the Police.

Praise was heaped on their shows and The Ranch LP, and they gained a sizeable (mainly female) fan base. But the band soon fell apart. "Urban was left in a creative and commercial limbo, while his increasing crack cocaine use thwarted any forward momentum," Jeff said. "There was major chaos in my life," Keith said. "I pushed everybody away."

Gradually, such Nashville stars as Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks took notice, recruiting Urban to add his signature guitar licks to their recordings. And he gained even more attention when he opened for A-listers Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Dwight Yoakam. After a deal with Warner Bros soured, Capitol Records, the label of choice for everyone from legend Kenny Rogers to Garth Brooks, signed Keith to a solo contract. And he hit paydirt with his self-titled solo American album from 1999, which included the breakout single But For The Grace Of God, a collaboration with two former members of the Go-Gos.

Relentless touring and increasingly commercially-minded LPs, including 2002’s Golden Road and 2004’s Be Here, helped Keith achieve what no other Australian country act had done before: become a fully-fledged, platinum-plated superstar in the USA – "and he’s done all this without wearing the once obligatory Stetson," Jeff said.

Be Here shifted a million copies within six weeks of its release; he scored his first of two Grammys in 2005, while his tune Once In A Lifetime broke a 62-year record when it debuted at number 17 in the "Billboard" chart, the highest placing for a country single.

"All the while, Urban was learning to play the Nashville game and align himself with the industry kingmakers who’d help move him forward," Jeff said.

"It’s fair to say that Urban has watered down his talent to please the masses, and he’s become a master at catering to his predominantly female audience, yet his success is undeniable: to date he’s sold more than 10 million albums, has scored eight US number one country singles and typically sells out his stadium-sized shows in minutes.

"And his very public relationship with Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman, whom he married in an A-list affair on June 25, 2006, has earned Urban a totally new audience, as tabloids across the planet chart their every move.

"Based upon extensive interviews with friends, foes, players, true believers and Urban insiders, 'Fortunate Son' reveals how Keith Urban got to live out his childhood dream – and how, in the process, in the words of one friend, 'it very nearly... killed him'."

"Fortunate Son: The Unlikely Rise of Keith Urban" will be published by Random House in January 2009.

Weblink – www.jeffapter.com.au.


Kaylah's debut clip on CMC

Kaylah Anne (pictured), a 2009 Toyota Star Maker grand finalist, has released her debut video which has begun airing on CMC (Country Music Channel).

The clip, of her song Why Me, is the second single from debut EP recorded earlier this year after she graduated from the Australian College of COuntry Music in January. The first single released, in July, was End Of The Ride.

Newcastle (NSW) based Kaylah said she was very excited about the clip which was directed by Duncan Toombs. "He did such a great job," she said. "We shot the clip on the Central Coast over one huge day, starting at 4am and didn't finish til 5pm.

"I was on such a high the whole day and could barely keep a smile off my face. We did some early morning shots on the beach then headed to the set where the main scenes were filmed."

Kaylah said the EP was something she decided to do after winning a songwriting competition a year and a half ago at Nelson Bay. "That's when I was first introduced to Rod McCormack. He is a fantastic producer. I had a handful of songs that I wanted to record. We picked our top four and they came out better than anything I ever hoped."

The past two months have been all about promoting the EP for the singer/songwriter with a lot of live performances as well as radio interviews and festivals, in addition to an already tight schedule studying music business at TAFE.

Weblink – www.kaylahanne.com.au.


Chart update – Brad & Keith remain at number one

Brad Paisley & Keith Urban hang on to the top of this week's top national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with their duet Start A Band.

Overseas artists dominate the next four places with Alan Jackson at number two with Country Boy, Kenny Chesney down one to three with Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, Carrie Underwood at four with Just A Dream and George Strait at five with River Of Love.

The Sunny Cowgirls' pull back for the home front with Dancing On The Darling at six and The McClymonts' Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year is at seven.

Tracy Killeen and Jasmine Rae are steady at eight and nine respectively with Good Friends & Good Times and Look It Up while Jetty Road enter the top 10 at 10 with Good Times.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Amber Lawrence with The Mile (17 to 14),Talia Wittmann's Ladylike (21 to 18), Keith Urban's Sweet Thing (28 to 23) and Donna Boyd's Missing You (29 to 26).

New entries to the chart this week include Felicity Urquhart (pictured) with I Fall (in at 29) and Graeme Connors with A Beach House In The Blue Mountains (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.



The McClymonts on Carols tonight

The McClymonts will feature on Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne tonight.

The program can be seen on the Nine Network from 8pm and is being simulcast to various radio stations across Australia...

In Melbourne, station 3AW 693 will be crossing live to the bowl for interviews with performers during their "Nightline" program with Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady and the program will be simulcast on Magic 1278.

Carols by Candlelight is being broadcast on Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne on 1179 AM, Albury 101.7 FM, Bendigo 88.7 FM, Geelong 99.5 FM, Mildura 107.5 FM, Shepparton 100.1 FM, Warragul 93.5 FM and Warrnambool 94.5 FM.

In Sydney, the program will run on 2UE 954 AM and 2RPH 1224 AM, in Canberra, on 1RPH 1125 AM, in Brisbane 4BH 882 AM and 4RPH 1296 AM, in Tasmania on RPH Print Radio Tasmania, 864kHz AM in Hobart, 106.9MHz FM in Launceston, in Perth on 990 6RPH Information Radio and in Adelaide on 1197 AM RPH.

The McClymonts debut album Chaos And Bright Lights has been nominated for three Golden Guitars including Group or Duo of the Year for the third year running.

Following a very successful 2008, The McClymonts are planning to travel overseas to write and record their much anticipated second album in the coming year.

The McClymonts Tamworth Festival "gig guide" can be viewed on the Bulletin's On Tour page. Click here.


Interim Tamworth Festival program on line

The interim official program for the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival in January is now on line.

The program can be accessed on the Country Music Capital News website.

In addition to interim program listings (which are view only and not able to be printed, details of ordering printed copies, and an order form, are included on the site.

Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.


Lifeline concert new for Tamworth Festival

A new event for the Tamworth Country Music Festival will be the Country For LifeLine Concert in the Tamworth Town Hall on Saturday night, January 17.

Stars will include The Brewster Brothers, Rose Carleo, Allan Caswell, Graeme Connors (pitured), The Crosby Sisters, Tori Darke, Ted Egan, Tracy Killeen, Chad Morgan, Deniese Morrison (pictured) & Terry Murray, Matt O'Leary, Peter Pratt, Ronni Rae Rivers, Paul Wilson and The Lifeline AllStars featuring Garry Brown, Rod Coe, Doug Gallacher and Bob Howe.

Tickets for the special fundraiser for the LifeLine organisation can be obtained from Tamworth Visitor Information Centre, over the phone on 02 6767 5300 or on-line here.


Australian album chart update – Kasey & Shane still at number one

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson remain at number one on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones.

The compilation featuring the 2009 Golden Guitar Awards finalists – The Winners 2009 – edges up one to be in second place while John Williamson's Hillbilly Road slips to number three and Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is steady at four.

John Williamson is prominent again at number five with his Platinum Collection while Adam Brand Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 jumps back up to six and The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is steady at seven.

Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars is up to eight while The Slim Dusty family's Reunion album jumps back into the top 10 at nine and Shane Nicholson's Familiar Ghosts is down to 10.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: The Best Of... is up one to 11, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is up four to 12, The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights jumps seven places to 13 and the compilation album Hit Country: Summer Party is steady at 14.

Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower re-enters the top 20 at 15, Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 16 and Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 17.

Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is at 18, Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains is at 17 and John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 20.



Redback now a book

It's been 36 years since Tamworth's Hadley Records unleashed their massive hit, Redback On The Toilet Seat, written and recorded by Slim Newton, to an unsuspecting audience.

Aussies loved the tale of the bloke bit on the bum in the outdoor loo, and now the classic hit is enjoying a whole new lease on life as a children's picture book.

Illustrator Craig Smith has brought his talent to bear on the song and readers will see Aussie animals join in the fun – and it's the cane toads that suffer!

Hadley's Hilary Scott delivered the good news this week and gave Tamworth bookshops a preview of the colourful new addition to the Ashton Scholastics range for children aged six to eight years.

It's part of a series called Aussie Gems and came about after Yeldah Music, the publishing arm of the now defunct Hadley Records, was approached by International Omnibus Books Publishing.

Slim Newton, father of Enrec Studio proprietor Steve, now lives at Millfield in the Hunter Valley. Slim will be in Tamworth for the upcoming country music festival and it's more than likely he will do an in-store signing at Narnia and/or Angus and Robertson, both of which have seen a sample copy and ordered stock from that inspection.

– Anna Rose


Chart update – Brad & Keith at number one

Brad Paisley & Keith Urban (pictured) hit the top of this week's top national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with their duet Start A Band.

America's Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood are at two, three and four, respectively, with Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, Country Boy and Just A Dream.

The McClymonts' Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year is at five, George Strait's River Of Love is up one to six while Carter & Carter's Open Road edges up one to number seven.

Tracy Killeen's Good Friends & Good Times bounds into the top 10 at eight, as does Jasmine Rae's Look It Up at nine and The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Jetty Road's Good Times (17 to 12), James Blundell's Good Wood (18 to 15), Amber Lawrence with The Mile (21 to 17), Talia Wittmann's Ladylike (25 to 21) and Drew McAlister, Allan Caswell & Matt Scullion with The Billy Joel Song (27 to 24).

New entries to the chart this week are Keith Urban with Sweet Thing (in at 28), Donna Boyd with Missing You (at 29) and Shaza Leigh with His Little Shiralee (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.



2009 Country Music People’s Choice Awards finalists announced

Finalists in the 2009 Australian Country Music People’s Choice Awards were announced today.

Graham Rodger (pictured) leads the people’s popularity stakes with four finalist places... Best Male, Best Song with Give This Hug To Daddy, Best Bush Ballad with A Saddle For A Throne and Best Album for The Fire Within Me.

Numerous acts have double finalist placings... Arthur Blanch, Carter & Carter, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Jetty Road, Amber Lawrence, The McClymonts, Melinda Schneider, Sara Storer and John Williamson.

Award winners will be announced at a special presentation at the Regent Theatre in Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital, at 6pm on Tuesday, January 20.

The People’s Choice Awards are decided by popular public vote. Again this year, thousands of votes were received, highlighting the on-going popularity of hundreds of artists, groups radio presenters, programs and stations across Australia.

Further information is available at www.peopleschoiceawards.com.au.

Full listing of finalists follows...

For Best Female Vocal

Kasey Chambers
Beccy Cole
Dianna Corcoran
Shea Fisher
Nicki Gillis
Amber Lawrence
Ronni Rae Rivers
Melinda Schneider
Sara Storer
Felicity Urquhart
Best Male Vocal
Arthur Blanch
Adam Brand
Troy Cassar-Daley
Travis Collins
Steve Eales
Adam Harvey
Lee Kernaghan
Steve Passfield
Graham Rodger
Keith Urban
Best Group or Duo
Carter & Carter
The Flood
Jetty Road
Jonah’s Road
The McClymonts
The Noll Brothers
Simply Bushed
The Sunny Cowgirls
Best Song
Give This Hug To Daddy, performed and written by Graham Rodger
Good Girls, performed and written by Amber Lawrence
Good Times, performed and written by Jetty Road
I’m Doin’ Alright, performed by Adam Harvey, written by Adam Harvey & Phil Buckle
Slow Dancing At Midnight, performed and written by Carter & Carter
Best Bush Ballad
A Saddle For A Throne, performed and written by Graham Rodger
Australia Is Another Word For Free, performed by John Williamson with Warren H Williams & Amos Morris, written by John Williamson
Last Mile Home, performed and written by Troy Cassar-Daley
The Ringing Of The Steel, performed and written by Peter Denahy
The Saddle, performed by Matt Manning, written by John O’Dea
Best Album
Be Yourself by Melinda Schneider
Chaos & Bright Lights by The McClymonts
The Fire Within Me by Graham Rodger
Hillbilly Road by John Williamson
What Really Matters by Arthur Blanch
Most Promising Future Star
8 Ball Aitken
Victoria Baillie
Lou Bradley
Brad Cole
Markus Meier
Most Popular DJ
Bill Beerens
Carolyn Carr
Nick Erby
Rebecca Gray
Helen Kay
Daryl Kirkup
Brendon T Moylan
John Nutting
Dan Rennie
Tim Ryan
Most Popular Radio Station or Program

2MAX FM Narrabri, NSW
Cool Country 2KA, Western Sydney, NSW
“Country Music Radio”
CRN “Good Morning Country”
Curtin Radio 100.1, Perth, WA
FM 98.9 Brisbane, Qld
KIX Country
“Saturday Night Country” – ABC
Today’s Country 94one, Central Coast, NSW
“Truck’n With Tim” Victoria


Slim Dusty Family Show at Tamworth

Following their highly successful Reunion Tour this year, the Slim Dusty Family have announced they will be staging one show only during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The show will be held in Tamworth's new Capitol Theatre which has been constructed as part of the major new shopping centre in the middle of the central business district.

It will be staged at 8 o'clock Friday night, January 23.

In the years following the passing of Slim Dusty, rumours emerged that the family would create a musical tribute. As the pressure grew, so did the expectations. But then the "Dustys" are no ordinary family – as they proved this year with the release of the number one charting Reunion album and the very successful staging of the "Reunion Tour".

The tone of celebration in the concert is set from the start with Slim's How Good It Is, another collaboration between Slim and Cold Chisel writer Don Walker (previous collaborations have included Looking Forward, Looking Back and Charleville).

Rather than putting together an album of covers or unreleased material, the family members – Joy McKean, David Kirkpatrick, Anne Kirkpatrick and their children, James and Kate (Anne) and Hannah and Daniel (David), decided to use their own words, with additions by Paul Kelly, Eric Bogle and Peter Denahy, to chronicle their feelings about Slim and celebrate the life, times and music of the most famous of all Australian country performers.

It was a decision that would have greatly pleased "the old man", staunch advocate that he was for young people following their own direction and finding their own voice.

The Slim Dusty Family's Reunion album has two finalist nominations in the following day's Golden Guitar Awards... Old Purple written and recorded by David Kirkpatrick and a recording of Slim's, Sunburnt People, written by Slim and Joy McKean.

Tickets for the concert are available on-line here.

Weblink – www.slimdusty.com.au.



New Tex Morton book released

Tex Morton – the man recognised as the father of Australasian country music – is back in the spotlight with the publication this month of "The Tex Morton Songbook" by New Zealand music industry journalist and writer Gordon Spittle.

Tex has regained stature in recent years. Aluminium discs from the early 1930s – described as the first country and western music recorded outside the United States – have surfaced and been preserved in the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra and, rare songs from 1953 recorded in the United States with Nashville veterans Grady Martin and the Slewfoot Five, include two Morton compositions titled Kiwi Song about his homeland New Zealand and Circus Boy about life as a sharp-shooting whip-cracking ringmaster.

A travelling Tex Morton museum is touring country shows in Australia ("It was amazing," Tex's sister Barbara said after a visit this year. "I was just gobsmacked to say the least.") while Museums and national libraries are starting to research and preserve the Morton legend.

As New Zealand country music writer Garth Gibson said to Tex almost 40 years ago: "We're getting a turn of the wheel… the arty set are rediscovering those songs."

"The Tex Morton Songbook" – a long 115-page yarn with footnotes plus lyrics to Tex's 18 greatest songs – "brings together a wide range of interviews and documents," according to reviewer Max Ellis. "Access to rare unpublished photos and recordings and finally it sorts through the dust and landmarks along the trail of the 'Yodelling Boundary Rider'."

"From soprano yodeller Harry Torrani in Chesterfield England, to Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty of Hungary and a psychobilly punk guitarist from Berlin called 'Tex Morton' who had never heard of the original – it's all there," said Gordon Spittle.

The "'Tex Morton Songbook" is available from the Australian Country Music Foundation (Hall of Fame) in Tamworth or direct from Gordon Spittle, PO Box 105981, Customs Street, Auckland, 1143, New Zealand for $A25 plus $A3 postage.

Further information is available by emailing... info: gwspittle@actrix.co.nz.


Michelle sings Patsy

Michelle Little recalls "some of the first songs I ever learned to sing were from one of my mum’s Patsy Cline records. I remember playing as mum did the housework and sang, 'I’m back where I belong, back in baby’s arms'.

"So, from an early age, I learned to love, admire and respect this woman, Patsy Cline, with a voice that held so much emotion and a personality that was bold and strong. She was one of my mentors as I learned to sing the songs from her records and I found that wherever I went people wanted me to sing more Patsy Cline songs."

Michelle said she had just turned 26 and, as nothing much has changed, "that’s why I’ve decided to pay tribute to this great woman of country in concert."

Michelle's tribute will take place at Regent Country Live in Tamworth on Wednesday January 21 at 8pm.

"Over the years, my life has not only been enriched through Patsy’s singing, but also her strength of will and determination. In 2000, while travelling home from a gig in Tamworth with my band, I was in a terrible car accident. We all survived, however, I received a crush fracture to my spine. Remarkably there was no nerve damage and my rehabilitation was reasonably quick. I was up and walking and back at high school to finish year 12 within months.

"It was tiring and painful but with lots of support from family, friends and even complete strangers who only knew me through my singing, I had passed all of my HSC exams receiving an outstanding achievement award in music by the end of the year. I had been accepted to attend the College of Country Music and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as well as making the finals of Toyota Star Maker – Not bad for someone who’d broken their back!"

Coming to terms with her chronic pain, Michelle eventually travelled to Nashville to perform in Nashville in 2006 and released her Hear Me Now album in 2007, recording some original songs as well as a couple of Patsy's.

Bookings for Michelle's Tribute to Patsy Cline can be made by telephoning 02 6766 3162.

Weblink – www.michellelittle.com.au.


CMC Top 50 – Jonah's Road at number one

Jonah's Road (pictured) take over the number one spot on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of their song Giddy Up.

Steve Forde's number one from last week – Life's Got Something Good For Me – is at three while Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is up one more place to number four.

The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling is steady at six, John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is up one to nine and Amber Lawrence's The Mile enters the top 10 at 10.

Sinead Burgess is steady at 11 with You Get Me, Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay is up one to 14, James Blundell's Good Wood is up three to 17 while Kane Harrison's The Moment is at 19 and

Jonah's Road edge up two more places to number two with Giddy Up while Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is up one more to five and Jetty Road enters the top 20 at 20.

Bullet performers for the week include Victoria McGee with I Can't Wait (34 to 30) and Sera Jane's In My Town (new at 47).

This week's CMC Country Pick is Knocked Up by Kirsty Lee Akers, the first single from her upcoming new album Better Days. The clip was shot in Kirsty's hometown, Kurri Kurri, NSW.

The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.



TIARA announces 2009 finalists

Finalists for the 2009 Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards (TIARAs) have been announced.

They are...

For the Male Vocal award... 8 Ball Aitken with Cyclone Country, Doug Bruce with That’s What I’m Drinkin’ About, Col Finley with Get Your Country On, Matt Frost with Second Home Town and Drew McAlister with Part Of The Family.

For Female Vocal... Rose Carleo with Everything I Need, Tracy Killeen with All Kinds Of Beautiful, Michelle Little with Free To Be Me, Jacqui Ryan with Close To Crazy and Gina Timms with I'll Be Out That Door.

For Bush Ballad... Auctioneer by Anita Ree, My Didgeridoo by Col Millington, I Want To Come Home by Sarah McMonagle and Sons Of The Snowy by Peter Pratt and Where Has My Australia Gone by Terry & Jenny Bennetts.

For Duo... Terry & Jenny Bennetts with Where Has My Australia Gone, the Davidson Brothers with Long Distance Love Affair, The Harmonators with Don’t Come Back, Jacksonville with One More Reason and Dianne Lindsay & Peter Simpson with Three Gum Leaves In Tobruk.

For Group... Crakajak Can’t with Take The Country From The Girl, The Distance with Little Cowgirl ,Jetty Road with I Wanna Go Home, Jonah’s with Road All Mine and The Ploughboys with Out Of My Hands.

For Instrumental... Freight Train Boogie by Terry Bennetts, Left Hand Drive by the Davidson Brothers, Move On by Marcella Taylor, Nashville Express by Kim Humphreys and Scattabilly by Crakajak.

For the Songwriting award... Kristy Cox with Fallen, Jonah’s Road with Don’t Look Back, Jason Kemp with Rivertown, Kylie Moss with What Breaks You and Ryan Sampson with Darlin’ Don’t You Grieve.

For Vocal Collaboration... Kel Ann Brandt & Daniel Thompson with Top Of My List, Billy Bridge & Rebecca Lee Nye with Baby When You’re Gone, Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne with Dream, Sharon Lane & Randall Waller with It’s All Over Now Baby Blue and Matt Manning & Mike McClellan with Song And Dance Man.

For the Geoff Brown Memorial Award... Clelia Adams with My Mother’s Wedding Band, Terry & Jenny Bennetts with Where Has My Australia Gone, Keith Jamieson with Augathella Fella, Col Millington with My Didgeridoo and Graham Rodger with A Saddle for A Throne.

Winners of 2009 TIARAs will be announced in Tamworth's new Capitol Theatre on Tuesday January 20 at 8pm.

Special guest artists appearing at the awards presentation concert will include Sandra Humphries, Jetty Road, Grant Richardson and the TIARAs Showband.

Tickets are $20 or $15 for pensioners and children under 15 and available from the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre at the corner of Peel and Murray Streets, over the phone on 02 6767 5300 or on-line at www.visittamworth.com.

Weblink – www.tiara-awards.org.


Orders now being taken for Tamworth's official festival guide

The Official Guide to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, presented by Telstra, will be published in early January and the publishers are taking orders now.

The souvenir 2009 Official Guide will be a bumper issue, according to publishers Rural Press Events (RPE), with 224 pages highlighting Festival special features, advertising of numerous Festival events. Included, of course, will be the Official Program for the highly acclaimed Tamworth Country Music Festival covering events and activities from the Festival Countdown (seven days prior to the Festival) and the 11 days of the Festival proper.

This year, the Official Guide will also include a special double CD celebrating Toyota Star Maker’s "spectacular 30 year journey" valued at more than $30.

"The most popular feature of the Official Guide is the Artist by Artist Directory," said an RPE spokesman, "which is a valuable guide for fans to follow their favourite artists’ concerts in the Festival. It includes where the artists are appearing, times and dates as well as numerous photos and biographies."

Venue information, including venue map, the Tamworth town map, bus routes and timetable, country music points of interest and helpful visitor guide information to Country Music Capital and the district will all be included.

Now in its 37th year, The Tamworth County Music Festival is long established, and the Official Guide will feature historical facts and inside stories covering the 30th anniversary of Toyota Star Maker, finalists of the Golden Guitar Awards and other major events, 2009 Toyota Star Maker grand finalists, Hands of Fame and Roll of Renown inductees over the years, new product releases and CD launches and new insightful stories into the famous Festival.

Orders for the Official Guide can be made with the publishers on free call 1800 649 866 for only $10 per copy including postage and handling anywhere in Australia, including the exclusive 30th anniversary Toyota Star Maker celebration double CD.

Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.


Bec wins Country AIR

Winners in the 2008 Air Awards were announced recently with Bec Willis announced winner of Best Independent Country Album with her self-titled release through Shock Records.

Bec won the title from fellow finalists the Davidson Brothers (with their self titled album), The Flood (with Everybody's Favourite), The Noll Brothers (with A Country Heart) and Felicity Urquhart (with My Life).

Best Independent Album went to Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu with Gurrumul (Skinnyfish Music/MGM) who also took out the Best New Independent Artist gong and Best Australian Independent Blues/Roots Album.

Weblink – www.air.org.au.


Australian album chart update – Kasey & Shane hogtie number one

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson remain dominant at number one on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones.

John Williamson edges up one to second place with Hillbilly Road while the compilation featuring the upcoming Golden Guitar Awards finalists – The Winners 2009 – debuts at number three and Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is down to number four.

John Williamson's second top 10 album – his Platinum Collection – is at five, Jasmine Rae (pictured) bounds from 19 to six with Look It Up and The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is up two to seven.

Shane Nicholson's Familiar Ghosts is down to eight, Adam Brand slips two places to nine with Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 and Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars is down four places to number 10.

Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is at 11, Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: The Best Of... is at 12, The Slim Dusty family's Reunion album is at 13 and the compilation album Hit Country: Summer Party is at 14.

Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is up one to 15, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is at 16 and Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains is at 17.

John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 18, Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 19 and The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights is at 20.



Star Maker television special to air this Sunday

A television special taking an "inspiring and nostalgic look at the spectacular journey of Australia’s premier country music talent search – Toyota Star Maker – as it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in January" will go to air on the Southern Cross Ten network throughout Australia this Sunday (December 14).

"Toyota Star Maker – Stairway To Success" will screen on the network at 3pm (daylight saving time).

Produced by award winning documentary maker Lindsay Fraser, the program tells the story of Australia’s most successful and long running country music talent search.  It profiles the 29 winners of Star Maker since it’s inception in Country Music Capital in 1979, giving an insight into who they are, where they came from and what it meant to them to become a Star Maker Star winner.

Toyota Star Maker winners over the years have included the inaugural Star Makers, Grand Junction in 1979, current Australian of the Year Lee Kernaghan who won in 1982 (pictured), James Blundell (1987), Gina Jeffreys (1991), Beccy Cole (1993), Travis Collins (2004), Samantha McClymont (2005), reigning Toyota Star Maker Talia Wittmann and international country music sensation and 1990 Star Maker winner Keith Urban.

"The Star Maker story is told from a behind the scenes perspective and includes candid and sometimes hilarious comments from previous winners and industry people," the media release announcing the broadcast said.

"The program was produced for the organisers of Toyota Star Maker, Rural Press Events of Tamworth, and is presented on Southern Cross Ten by Toyota.


Rattlin' Bones goes platinum

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson have topped off a big 2008 with their album Rattlin Bones securing platinum sales status (70,000) this week.

Debuting at number one on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) album charts in April, Rattlin’ Bones immediately became a favourite with music critics...

"Rattlin' Bones is simply the best album of her and Nicholson's careers and a roots album of global significance..." said "The Australian".

"…this musical coupling is bottled lightning," said Sydney's "Daily Telegraph". "The first inescapable revelation of their debut collaborative effort is... entrancing their voices are together."

"Some might have pondered if Chambers teaming with Nicholson in the studio was wise," said Brisbane's "Courier Mail". "Rattlin' Bones blows any such doubts away."

"Rattlin’ Bones could yet prove to be the year’s best album," said Melbourne's "Sunday Herald Sun".

In September, Kasey and Shane "blitzed their way across the USA" appearing on the Conan O’Brien show and hitting number one on the Americana radio airplay chart. As with Australia, Rattlin’ Bones was showered with rave reviews.

In October, Kasey and Shane scored the ARIA Award for Best Country Album and were tipped as hot favourites for the 2009 Golden Guitar Awards with five finalist nominations for Album of the Year, APRA Song of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, Single of the Year and Video Clip of the Year.

A new release from Kasey and Shane – Rattlin’ Bones – The Max Sessions DVD – is in stores now. Filmed at the Sydney Opera House in July this year, the DVD includes a 47 minute intimate performance with Kasey and Shane and their band, an interview with the couple and bonus video clips for the singles Rattlin’ Bones and Monkey On A Wire.

The limited reissue of the album includes 10 new live audio tracks taken from the Max (pay TV) Sessions on a bonus CD.

Weblink – www.kaseyandshane.com.au.


Allan launches new album

Six time Golden Guitar winning singer/songwriter Allan Caswell (pictured) has launched a new album titled Rules For Love on the Shoestring Records label.

"When you have been around the music industry for long enough you get to make the kind of music you want to play," Allan said. "Rules For Love is that kind of album."

Allan won his first Golden Guitar in 1980 and his most recent in 2007 and has never been far from success in the music industry. He has had nearly 900 songs published with well over 500 recordings of his songs released worldwide.

"Rules For Love is county to the core," said the release accompanying the album launch, "and is a great example of what has kept Caswell at the top for so long. Ever since his first international hit – On The Inside (the theme from the television series "Prisoner") launched his career in 1979, Caswell has been acclaimed as one of Australia’s best writers of songs… particularly love songs. (The new album) is the culmination of all those years.

"Cruelest For Love is about the songs," Allan said. "I chose some, Marian (who he marries on New Years Day) chose some and some chose themselves. For the first time ever I chose to record them without a full drum kit or electric guitars to give the songs a chance to breathe."

The musicians on the album have been working with Allan for years "and capture the mood of the songs flawlessly," according to the release.

"The album carries on a great working relationship with one of country music’s hottest new stars, Drew McAlister. Allan and Drew won the Vocal Collaboration Golden Guitar in 2007 and they co-wrote several songs on each other’s albums.

Drew is featured on Rules For Love in another duet called Long Black Train. Also featured are three duets performed and written with new singer/songwriter Cathy Carr.

"As one journalist put it: 'You’re a b… Caswell, there are only two songs on your album that aren’t about my life! That’s what makes Caswell’s songs touch people.

"The first single from Rules For Love is How Beautiful You Are (written with Al Craig and Rodney Vincent) for Marian. It is destined to be one of the wedding songs of the year."


Chart update – Kenny hangs on to top place

This week's top 10 from the national Top 30 Country Tracks chart is dominated by overseas artists with America's Kenny Chesney at number one for the second week with his hit Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.

Brad Paisley's duet with Keith Urban – Start A Band – edges up one to be in second place while Carrie Underwood's Just A Dream is at four, Alan Jackson's Country Boy is at five, George Strait's River Of Love is at seven and Tim McGraw's Let It Go is steady at 10.

Holding out for the home front are The McClymonts' Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year at three, Carter & Carter's Open Road steady at six, Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve at eight and Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Jasmine Rae's Look It Up (15 to 12), The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling (18 to 14), Jetty Road's Good Times (21 to 17), Amber Lawrence with The Mile (24 to 21) and Talia Wittmann (pictured) with Ladylike (29 to 25).

The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.



Australian Bush Laureate Awards – 2009 finalists

Finalists have been announced for the 2009 Australian Bush Laureate Awards to be presented in Tamworth this January.

They are, in alphabetical order by poet...

For BOOK OF THE YEAR... The Final Muster by Ellis Campbell, Three Hats Later by Gary Fogarty (pictured, right), Poet In The Pub by Marco Gliori, The Book Of Australian Popular Rhymed Verse compiled by Jim Haynes and WEST – People And Places by Andrew Hull.

For BUSH POEM OF THE YEAR… Will Ogilvie (A Tribute) by Gary Fogarty, The Hard Yards by Marco Gliori, Snowy Mountains Magic by Max Merckenschlager, High Country Dreams by Lee Taylor-Friend and The Power Of Kokoda by Dean Trevaskis.

For ALBUM OF THE YEAR... Coming Home by Ray Essery (pictured, left), The Tartan Saddlecloth by Gary Fogarty, Rhythm Of The Bush by Geoffrey W Graham, The Tater Slater Caper by Murray Hartin and Mostly Original – Poems from Bourke And Beyond by Andrew Hull.

For SINGLE RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR... Fromelles by Jim Brown, Remember The Horses Too by Kym Eitel (pictured, centre), His Epitaph by Gary Fogarty, Faster, Higher Stronger by Murray Hartin and Lost With All Hands HMAS Sydney II by Peter Mace.

For CHILDREN’S POEM OF THE YEAR... The Aussie Outback Party by Megan Bartlett-Horne, Granny And The Snake by Marco Gliori, The Bush Animals Band by Noel Stallard, The Dragon At The Chook-House by Stephen Whiteside and The Battle In The Garden by Roderick Williams.

Also to be announced and presented on the day is the Judith Hosier Heritage Award, for a significant contribution to Australian bush poetry.

The 2009 Australian Bush Laureate Awards will be staged in the famous Tamworth Town Hall at 2pm on Tuesday, January 20.

A star-studded line-up of bush poets will appear during the gala awards concert together with special guest country artists including Beccy Cole, Dianna Corcoran, Amber Lawrence and Aleyce Simmonds, supported by Melanie Dyer and compere Jim Haynes.

Tickets are now available at www.visittamworth.com, by telephoning 02 6767 5300 or over the counter at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Peel and Murray Streets.

Weblink – www.bushlaureate.com.au.


Country Rocks the Gaol

Country Rocks the Gaol – another major fundraiser for the Slim Dusty Centre at Kempsey – will be staged at historic Trial Bay Gaol at South West Rocks (NSW) on Sunday January 4.

The show – billed as "an afternoon of good old gaol house country/rock" – will star Kirsty Lee Akers, Anne Kirkpatrick (pictured), Amos Morris, Steve Passfield and Ruckus together with fiddler Mike Kerin from Slim's Travelling Country Band and and guitarist Mike Duvall.

The concert is being presented by Bob McWilliam in conjunction with the Rotary Club of South West Rocks and supported by NSW National Parks.

The Slim Dusty Centre will be a living museum dedicated to the life of Slim Dusty and the changing face of Australian culture through his eyes and the lyrics of his songs.

Gates will open to the Gaol at 10am on the day. South West Rocks Lions Club and the South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club will provide a barbecue, soft drinks, tea and coffee (it will be an alcohol free event).

Limited tickets are available from Raine & Horne South West Rocks, In Harmony Music Kempsey or at the gate on the day (subject to availability).

Further information can be obtained by telephoning Ian Flood on 0427 117 596.


December "Capital News"

The December issue of "Country Music Capital News" is out now.

The issue features news and numerous feature articles, including on "the youngest members of Slim Dusty’s close and talented family"... Dean Perrett, Lianna Rose, Don Costa, Tracey Davis & Bushfire, Larry Cann, and award winning group The Audreys.

Grand finalists for Toyota Star Maker are highlighted, together with details of a special gala concert, "Star Trek – Star Maker’s Spectacular 30 Year Journey", being staged on Sunday January 18 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Australia’s most prestigious country music search for a new star.

The issue is full of news and advertising about the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival and contains regular features including album reviews and artist tour dates.

Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.



Jonah's Road win back to back Musicoz awards

Jonah's Road has taken out the Musicoz "best country artist" award for the second year running at the national event staged in Sydney last night.

In addition to winning the award, Jonah's Road opened the second half of the show with a performance of the smash hit Giddy Up and received a rousing reception from the hosts and appreciative crowd.

"John is currently overseas", said a spokesman for the band. "A huge thankyou to Matt Fell and Michael Carpenter for assisting Jay and Rod with the live performance.

"It has been a fantastic few months for the guys winning the Group/Duo of the Year at the Southern Stars (Australian Independent Country Music Awards in October) and now picking up back to back Musicoz Best Country Artist Awards."

Musicoz is Australia's premier music awards for unsigned and independent artists. Known in the media as "The unsigned ARIA's", the Musicoz Awards give national recognition and support to artists from more than 18 genres.

More details as they come to hand.

Photo: Jonah’s Road band members Rodney Auld and Jay Collie with their 2008 Musicoz award.

Weblink – www.musicoz.org, www.jonahsroad.com.


StageCoach Workshop for Tamworth?

Deniese Morrison and Paul Wilson are planning to conduct a StageCoach Workshop in Tamworth this January to assist new entrants to the industry.

It is planned to run on Monday January 19 from 10.30am and is being proposed due to an unprecedented number of phone calls and emails to the StageCoach offices in Tamworth and Toowoomba asking for advice about the Tamworth Festival.

The aim is to workshop "songs you are singing during the Festival (in talent quests, etc), patter (introducing your songs), performance techniques, stage clothing and anything else you’d like help with," together with "tips for Tamworth including where to go, what to see, who to see, how to get around and how to 'survive' the Festival.

If there is enough interest, participation in the Workshop will cost $150.

Further details can be obtained from Deniese by emailing deniesemorrison@bigpond.com or from Paul, paul.wilson@wfi.com.au.


CMC Top 50 – Steve still at the top

Steve Forde hangs on to the number one position on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Life's Got Something Good For Me.

Jonah's Road edge up two more places to number two with Giddy Up while Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is up one more to five and The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling three places to be in sixth position.

John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is up two to 10, Sinead Burgess jumps four places to number 11 with You Get Me and Amber Lawrence is up three to 13 with The Mile.

Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle is at 14, Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay is up two more to 15 and James Blundell's Good Wood enters the top 20 at 20.

Bullet performers for the week include Jetty Road with Good Times (new at 22), Carter & Carter's Open Road (28 to 25), Sam Hawksley with Sounds Like Summer (new at 29) and 8 Ball Aitken's Hands On Top Of The Wheel (41 to 37).

This week's CMC Country Pick is Brad Paisley & Keith Urban with Start A Band – two of country's best guitarists joining forces for the first time.

The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.



Toyota Country Theatre 2009

Rural Press Events (RPE), organisers of the annual Toyota Country Theatre – one of the major venues of the Tamworth Country Music Festival – have announced details of this January's featured events.

Popular features of the Theatre precinct, all based at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre (TRECC), would include all day free entertainment from 10am and the now famous Toyota hat promotion.

"The line-up of artists performing on the hour, every hour, on the outdoor stage is always very impressive," an RPE spokesman said, "and is a perfect opportunity for many acts to promote their own merchandise and shows. Special “surprise” Toyota guests will make an appearance at 2pm every day."

The hat promotion in 2009 will ask for a "gold coin" donation to assist Toyota in its support for rural Australia.

Festival FM (on the 101.5 frequency) will return to Toyota Country Theatre for the coming Festival broadcasting live 24 hours a day from the foyer for the full duration of the official Festival. The Country Theatre foyer will again feature a "country cafe" plus the Gympie Muster CD and merchandise store.

Events scheduled in the 1,500-seat theatre will kick off on Saturday, January 17, with the "Smoky Dawson – A Life Remembered" concert followed by Melinda Schneider's "Be Yourself" concert and John Williamson's "Hillbilly Road Tour" show with special guest Warren H Williams.

Sunday January 18 features the 2009 Toyota Star Maker Quest in the afternoon followed by "Toyota presents Star Trek – Star Maker's Spectacular 30 Year Journey" with Star Maker winners Kirsty Lee Akers, Kate Ballantyne, James Blundell, Lyn Bowtell, Darren Coggan, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Warren Derwent, Grand Junction, Great Divide, Gina Jeffreys, Lee Kernaghan, Samantha McClymont, Grant Richardson, Craig Robertson, Brendon Walmsley and Talia Wittmann plus the 2009 Toyota Star Maker winner.

On Monday January 19 and Tuesday January 20, the Toyota Country Theatre will host for the third time the final and grand final of Telstra Road to Tamworth competition. Over the two evenings, finalists and grand finalists will be joined by special performances from competition ambassador Adam Harvey, The McClymonts, reigning winner Jasmine Rae and this year's songwriter prize winner Mark Wells.

The Wolverines will stage their "Family Show" on “Wednesday January 21 followed by the Maton Guitar Showcase on the evening.

Thursday January 22 will feature "The Songbirds" concert with Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer and Troy Cassar-Daley "and Friends" will take the stage in the afternoon while "The Bluegrass Party" will be staged in the evening.

All tickets for Toyota Country Theatre shows (except for the Maton Guitars Showcase) are available at Tamworth Visitor Information Centre at the corner of Peel and Murray Streets, by phone – 02 6767 5300 – and on-line at www.visittamworth.com.

In also announcing the continuing sponsorship of Country Theatre, the RPE spokesman said Toyota was celebrating 17 years in January of support for the Australian country music industry.

"The Toyota Motor Corporation has been a naming sponsor to many significant country music events over the years including the Golden Guitar Awards, Toyota Star Maker, the Tamworth Festival Cavalcade, the Toyota National Country Music Muster (Gympie), many individual artists and, again, for the sixth year, the Toyota Country Theatre."

Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.


The Winners

The double CD set featuring finalists (and ultimate winners) of the Golden Guitar Awards, The Winners 2009, was released on Saturday (December 6).

Compiled by Awards organisers, the Country Music Association of Australia, the album features "33 of the biggest songs in country music this year," according to publicity surrounding the release.

Tracks by 8 Ball Aitken, Rob Black, Adam Brand, Catherine Britt, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Darren Coggan, Travis Collins & Felicity Urquhart, the Davidson Brothers, Smoky Dawson, Peter Denahy, Ted Egan, Michael Fix, The Flood, Adam Harvey, Matt Manning & Stuie French, Drew McAlister, The McClymonts, Jasmine Rae, The Road Cases, the Robertson Brothers, Graham Rodger, Melinda Schneider & Paul Kelly, The Slim Dusty Family, John Stephan, Sara Storer, The Sunny Cowgirls, John Williamson and Talia Wittmann are included.

Also announced was the upcoming release in January of The Winners 2009 DVD featuring video clips of those songs nominated for the 2009 Golden Guitar Awards "plus bonus tracks".

Weblink – www.country.com.au.


Keith up for another Grammy

Australia's Keith Urban (pictured) is up for another Grammy Award in January, the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals where he is nominated with Trisha Yearwood for their collaboration on Let The Wind Chase You.

The duo is up against collaborations by Kenny Chesney & George Strait, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, George Strait & Patty Loveless and Sugarland, Jake Owen & Little Big Town.

Finalists for Best Female Country Vocal Performance are Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Lee Ann Womack and Trisha Yearwood.

Finalists for Best Male Country Vocal Performance are Trace Adkins, Jamey Johnson, James Otto, Brad Paisley and George Strait.

For Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals... Brooks & Dunn, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, The SteelDrivers and Sugarland.

For Best Country Instrumental Performance... Cherryholmes, Jerry Douglas & Lloyd Green, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny, Jerry Douglas & Bruce Hornsby and Brad Paisley, James Burton, Vince Gill, John Jorgenson, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert & Steve Wariner.

For Best Country Album... Around The Bend by Randy Travis,Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love by Trisha Yearwood, Sleepless Nights by Patty Loveless, That Lonesome Song by Jamey Johnson and Troubadour by George Strait.

As well as her nomination above, Alison Krauss features as a finalist in a number of key awards categories with Robert Plant and their album collaboration Raising Sand, including Record of the Year with Please Read The Letter, Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.

A full listing of nominations can be found at www.grammy.com.


Historic country music site up for auction

Four tracts of land regarded as America's birthplace of country music have been put up for auction.

The sale, scheduled for Friday in Bristol, Tennessee, is where talent scout Ralph Peer made the first commercially successful country music recordings in 1927. Artists included the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and the Stonemans.

Tim Carter, owner of the building, told the "Bristol Herald Courier" he was selling the property to reduce his commercial inventory and brace for a leaner economy.

He said he hoped the site could be preserved by the new owners.


Australian album chart update – Kasey & Shane hold the top spot

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson remain at number one on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones.

Keith Urban is up one to second place with Greatest Hits: 18 Kids while John Williamson holds third and fourth positions with, respectively, Hillbilly Road and his Platinum Collection.

Shane Nicholson's Familiar Ghosts is steady at five, as is Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars at six while Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 is up one to seven.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: The Best Of.... bounds back into the top 10 at eight, The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is steady again at nine and the compilation album Hit Country: Summer Party is at 10.

The Slim Dusty family's Reunion album is up four to 11, Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is up one to 12 and The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights is up three to 13.

The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is at 14, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is up three to 15 and Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 16.

Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 17, Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains is at 18, Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 19 and Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush re-enters the top 20 at 20.



TSA finalists 2009

Tamworth Songwriters' Association (TSA) has announced finalists for its awards to held during the annual festival in Country Music Capital in January.

This year is the 31st year of the TSA awards.

In the Songwriter Salute Awards, finalists are...

For Traditional Bush Ballad Of The Year... A Saddle For A Throne by Graham Rodger, Australia Is Another Word For Free by John Williamson, Last Of The Packhorse Bagmen by Ted Egan, Took His Saddle Home by Peter Denahy and What Happened To The Handshake by Ben Jacobs & Shaza Leigh.

For Contemporary Song Of The Year... Dancing On The Darling by Sophie Clabburn, Hillbilly Road by John Williamson, I’m Doing Alright by Adam Harvey & Phil Buckle, Mistakes by Connie Neilsen and Strum by Manfred Vijars & Shaza Leigh.

For Country Ballad Of The Year... Don’t Ring A Bell by Ted Egan, Give This Hug To Daddy by Graham Rodger, His Little Shiralee by Ben Jacobs, Shaza Leigh & Lindsay Butler, Like Water by Lana Ross and The Ringing Of The Steel by Peter Denahy.

For Comedy|Novelty Song Of The Year... The Day That Tammy Took Me Tongs by Tony Williams, The Devil’s New Girlfriend by David-Dele Vergin & Nathan Warrick, Dogs Like Fishing Too by Anita Ree, Genie In The Bottle by Adam Harvey & Kevin B Wilson and Sort Of Dunno Nothin’ by Peter Denahy.

For Children’s Song Of The Year... Eurobooalla by Jeff Auschmann & Rod Slockee, Hootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy by Pete Smith, If I Were A Bird by Merilyn Steel, Louie by Anita Ree and Smile by Stan Lenz.

For Gospel Song Of The Year... Arrogance by Pat Drummond, God Is In Australia by Darren Johnson, Heavens Park by Lana Ross, My Mothers Bible by Alec Raymer & Johnny Kaye and Valley Of Tears by Doug Mcintyre.

In the TSA|Capital News New Songwriter Award, finalists are Celeste Clabburn with Take The Time, David Delle-Vergin with The Devil’s New Girlfriend and Picking Up The Pieces, Doug Mcintyre with Cowgirl Games, Connie Neilsen with Mistakes and Dane Sharp & Charles Daoud with Another Star In The Sky.

In the TSA National Country Songwriting Contest, the finalists are...

In the Amateur-Traditional section... Robert Cooper with Sadness In Her Eyes, John Loveridge with Cockatoos And Gidgee, Maurie Marion with Roly, Waves That Wash Far Shores and My Hometown and Magdalena McDonald with Fixing Fences.

In the Amateur-Contemporary section... Kathleen Coleman with One Piece At A Time, Dana Hassel with Two Steps, Christie Lamb with Back Again, Paige Jeffrey with My Mother My Friend, Warren Johncock with All Country, Magdalena McDonald with Never In A Million Years and Maree Stacey with Link In The Chain.

In the Professional-Traditional section... Doug Bruce with Just Three Minutes, Paul Jeffrey & Roger Corbett with The Boundary Rider, John Loveridge & Alan Caswell with Not Ashamed Of That, Maurie Marion with The Travelling Showman, Graham Rodger with The Almond Tree and Peter Simpson with Akubras In The Snow.

In the Professional-Contemporary section... Benn Allen & Mathew Arthur with Halcyon Day, Greg Atherton with Hometown Dreaming, Doug Bruce with I Know About Lonesome, Rick Capballo & Bill Diluiggi with Black Jezebel Road, Kristal Collins with Not Worth The Time, Karen Grace with Angels, Noel Hill & Darren Coggan with The Temple Of The Brave, Grant Morris with Walk Away, Maree Stacey & Stuie French with Field Of Flowers, Karen-Anne Waters & Ingrid Racz with Revenge, Jayson Watkin with Jacky Kneebone, Jayson Watkin & Vicki Watkin with Reginia Dore, Wendy Wood with Do You Want Love With That and Wendy Wood & Matt Scullion with You Don’t Know What It’s Like.

In the Junior section... Gennifer Altmann with A Little Rain, Jessica Hannan with Just Let Her Be and Christie Lamb with Blue Eyed Guy, A Girl Like Me and All Partied Out.

In the Lyrics Only section... Noel Downs with To The Jangle Of The Drovers’s Bells, John Norman with Droving Again, John P Toomey with Canberra War Museum, Merv Webster with The Times Have Changed So Quickly and A True Blue Home Grown Love Tale and Wendy Wood with The Tears That He Shed.

"It’s a mammoth task to collate and distribute to judges, assess the judges scoring for semi-finalists and redistribute in a second round for finalists judging," TSA organisers said. "This year’s National Songwriting Competition attracted 380 entries, the New Songwriter (award) just under 100, and, professionally, in the Salute Awards, slightly in excess of 180 (nominations were received)."

A number of categories in the songwriting competition have semi finalists rather than finalists.

TSA President Vicki Walsh said the finalists in these sections should be known by Christmas and would be posted on the organisation's website.

"I’d like to congratulate those songwriters whose work is selected in next year’s 2009 Salute Awards, New Songwriter and the National Country Songwriting Contest and to say thank you to all entrants. Entries were slightly up on last year and the standard extremely high," she said.

Winners of all awards, the songwriting competition and the Tex Morton "industry" award (for which there are no finalists) will be announced on Wednesday January 21 at West Leagues from 7pm.

Weblink – www.tsaonline.com.au.


Chart update – Kenny at number one

America's Kenny Chesney is at number one on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with his hit Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.

The McClymonts' number one from last week – Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year – is at two, Keith Urban & Brad Paisley are at three with Start A Band and Adam Brand is steady at four with Blame It On Eve.

Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower is at five, Carter & Carter's Open Road is up two to six and America's Carrie Underwood is at seven with Just A Dream.

Alan Jackson is at eight with Country Boy, George Strait is at nine with River Of Love while Tim McGraw is at 10 with Let It Go.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Tracy Killeen's Good Friends & Good Times (16 to 13), The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling (23 to 18), Jetty Road's Good Times (26 to 21), Amber Lawrence with The Mile (28 to 24) and Graham Rodger's A Saddle For A Throne (29 to 26).

New entries to the chart Drew McAlister, Allan Caswell & Matt Scullion with The Billy Joel Song (in at 28), Talia Wittmann with Ladylike (at 28) and 8 Ball Aitken's Hands On Top Of The Wheel (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.



Star Quest finalists announced

Finalists have been announced for the Australian Bush Balladeers Association (ABBA) Star Quest 2009.

They are (pictured from left) Natalie Foley, Bec Hance, Sharon Smith and Trevor Tolton.

The Star Quest will be staged at Wests Diggers in Tamworth at 1pm, Monday, January 19 with special guests Rachel Richards (2008 Star Quest winner) and Daly Stephenson and hosts Lynn Manning and Anita Ree. The Charley Boyter Band will provide backing.

Winner of the quest will receive recording time for a radio single and major festival appearances around the country throughout their 12 months as winner.

More details on the 2009 Finalists can be found at www.bushballadeers.com.au/finalists.htm.

Meanwhile, ABBA has announced details of its extensive 2009 program at the Balladeers Homestead (Salvation Army Hall on the Sydney Road) during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Full details can be found on the ABBA website (see below). But, to name just a few, the Homestead will be hosting, in addition to balladeer showcases, concerts including Dinki Di Country On Tour, the Gospel Bluegrass & Ballads, the Hall of Fame Fundraiser, Hillbilly Hit Parade, Ladies Of Country, Reg Lindsay Memory Trail Show, the Shorty Ranger / Shirley Thoms Tribute Concert, the Slim/Bazza/Stan Tribute Show and Yodelling Spectacular.

Performers will include Greg Bain, Melissa Bajric, Owen Blundell, Jeff Brown, Lindsay Butler, Barry K Chandler, Nathan Charlton, Big Mal Coad, Peter Coad, the Coad Sisters, Ernie Constance, Ashley Cook, Trevor Day, Laura Downing, Kevin & Joyce Durdin, Bob Easter, Col Edmonds ,Bluey Francis, Johnny Greenwood, Lynette Guest, Angela Hayden, Jim Hermel, Dianne Lindsay, Wave Jackson, Keith Jamieson, Kevin King, Matt & Dan Manning, Slim Newton, Noel Parlane, Julie Perandes, Dean Perrett, Ron Peters, Reg Poole, Anita Ree, Rachel Richards, Ray Rose, Hank Sasaki, Peter Simpson and Lindsay Waddington.

The Association will also hold its annual general meeting at the Homestead at 2pm on Saturday January 24 and will also be releasing Volume 10 in its The Balladeers series of compilation CDs during the Festival.

Weblink – www.bushballadeers.com.au.


Gary wins SA industry award

Gary Burrows (pictured) has been named winner of the prestigious 2008 South Australian Industry Award "for his outstanding service to the country music industry".

The announcement was made at the weekend during the South Australian Country Music Showcase and Stampede at Gawler.

Also announced were winners of... the Rocky Page Memorial Scholarship – Tracey Rains; the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Awards – Kristal Collins in the Traditional Section with Not Worth The Time and Twyce Dail in the Modern Section with Gypsy In My Heart. Twyce was also named overall winner.

A number of new awards were introduced this year... the People's Choice Award went to Kristal Collins, the Rising Star Award went to Nathaniel O'Brien and the South Australian Achiever Award went to Danny Hooper.

"The main objectives of the Showcase are to encourage the continued pursuit of excellence and professionalism in country music, actively seek and help develop new talent and also to focus both the Government and community attention on country music as an integral part of Australia's music culture," a spokesman said.

"Showcase provides a vital professional development opportunity for these talented new artists and gives audiences the opportunity to see and hear the stars of tomorrow.

"The Showcase concept has proved to be an exceptional opportunity to highlight and foster new talent in our state and genre. It continues to be the annual finale to artists’ progress through our talent quest program and a stepping-stone to future success in the entertainment industry."

Weblink – www.saccm.com.


Jasmine and Morgan on latest Forces Entertainment tour

Telstra Road to Tamworth winners 2009 and 2008 – Jasmine Rae and Morgan Evans – will join the troupe confirmed to tour with the Australian Defence Force to East Timor this month as part of the Forces Entertainment program.

Joining the pair will be comedian Lehmo and compere Aniela Hedditch.

The troupe will perform for our Australian troops for Christmas.

Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Jasmine, at just 20, has already achieved great success after winning the Telstra national country music talent competition this year, travelling to Nashville as part of her prize and performing at the CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival.

Recently, she released her debut album – Look It Up – which has already achieved number two on the Itunes Country Chart.

Forces Entertainment is an organisation established to provide entertainment to Australian forces all over the world in regions including Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq and the Solomon Islands. The sole aim of the program is to provide entertainment to Australian Forces that will improve morale by bringing "a little piece of Australia" to far-flung places.

Forces Entertainment has attracted various Australian performers who have embraced the initiative including Beccy Cole, John Farnham, Hamish & Andy, Merrick & Rosso, Missy Higgins, Julie Kember, Kylie Minogue, the Screaming Jets, Something for Kate, Felicity Urquhart and the Wolverines, to name a few.

Weblinks – www.jasminerae.com.au, www.myspace.com/morganevans1.


Saturday Night Country ratings

To round out a year of strong performances in all the major radio markets in Australia, John Nutting's "Saturday Night Country" has had an impressive end to its on air year.

In the just released figures from Survey 8 that covers all capital cities, the continued dominance of SNC can be seen. Apart from the Brisbane figures, that John says are low because of the overall station performance, "the other cities have performed well yet again for ABC Radio's 'Saturday Night Country'."

And John says he believes 2009 will again prove the strength of "Saturday Night Country" as Australia’s premier country music radio program.

The program is broadcast nationally on 75 AM and FM stations, internationally on Radio Australia and streams live via the its own website and that of Radio Australia.

Ratings figures were... Adelaide 13.4 percent, Brisbane 4.3 percent, Melbourne 10.6 percent, Perth 7 percent and Sydney 4.4 percent

Weblink – www. abc.net.au/snc.


Donna appointed Outback Tourism Ambassador

Donna Boyd has been appointed as 2009 Ambassador for the Regional Outback Tourism Organisation (ORTO).

And ORTO has chosen a song off Donna's Luckiest Girl Alive album – Take Time – for their advertising campaign next year. Donna has been in the Outback filming footage for the new music video which will be released in March.

"I have just posted a short video of me being video-ed (you know what I mean! I took my handycam along and got someone to hit record for me!) on www.youtube.com/donnaboydmedia, so if you have a minute, take a look."

As well as ORTO licensing Take Time, the Royal Flying Doctor Service has also taken Donna's acoustic version of Amazing Grace for their advertising in 2009, "which means we have been filming for the music video for Amazing Grace also," Donna said. "It’s been a busy year!"

Duncan Toombs is now working on editing all the footage and putting together two music videos which are scheduled for release to coincide with the launch of the ORTO advertising campaign.

"There is also talk of me co-hosting an episode of Escape with ET on Channel 7 which would see us touring the Darling River Run!"

Weblink – www.donnaboyd.com.


Andre & The Broken Hearts

Melbourne based Andre Camilleri & The Broken Hearts will play their last show for this year on tomorrow night (December 4) at Melbourne's Great Britain Hotel in Richmond.

Andre Camilleri moved from Malta to Australia in 2000 where he continues to follow his musical ambitions. Having served his apprenticeship playing the streets of Berlin and Malta’s capital Valletta, wearing his trademark cowboy hat, his world is described as one of "nostalgic reflections, acute and often intimate observations, tales of heartbreak and disaffection, with the occasional dash of youthful optimism".

The band plays a blend of blues and country flavoured tunes covering a diverse range of material.

Andre Camilleri & The Broken Hearts are currently receiving "ample" airplay on ABC Radio, RRR, PBS Radio and numerous international stations.

They have performed at the Melbourne Arts Festival and have one album – One Fine Day & Other Songs – under their belt with a second due to be released early next year.

In addition to singer/songwriter Andre, The Broken Hearts are Paul Thomas (ex Weddings, Parties, Anything) on steel guitar, James Stewart (Overnight Jones, T-Bones) on lead guitar, Big Dave (Susannah Espie, Chris Wilson) on drums and Clark Fisher on bass.

Weblink – www.andrecamilleri.com.


Bulletin subscriptions now on-line

Readers of the printed Country Music Bulletin magazine can now sign-up for, or renew, their subscriptions on-line.

Subs are $15 for one year (four issues), $26 for two years (eight issues) and $33 for three years (12 issues).

The Bulletin is Australia's only dedicated country music industry magazine and will celebrate its 10th year in 2009.

It was launched in June 1999 following comments by artists and musicians at the Tamworth Festival Musicians' Headquarters during the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in January that year about how little information there was "out there" especially for independent Australian country music artists.

The magazine is a valuable information source for Australian artists, musicians, recording studios, booking agents, festival organisers, radio presenters and all other areas of the country music industry

This website – countrymusicbulletin.com.au – is a broader offshoot of the magazine and has become the leading and most up-to-date source of Australian country music news in any medium.

Those wanting to subscribe to the printed magazine can click on the link in the left panel of this page, or go directly to www.countrymusicbulletin.com.au/subscribeonline.html.


CMC Top 50 – Steve hangs on to number one

Steve Forde retains the number one position on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Life's Got Something Good For Me.

Jonah's Road edge up one place to number four with Giddy Up while Jasmine Rae jumps two places to number five with Look It Up and The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling enters the top 10 at number nine.

Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle is at 11, John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is up three to 12 as is Sinead Burgess to 15 with You Get Me.

Amber Lawrence jumps five places with The Mile to be at 16, Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay is up two to 17 and Markus Meier's In My Boots slips two to 18.

Bullet performers for the week include Kane Harrison (pictured) with The Moment (24 to 21), James Blundell's Good Wood (25 to 22) and Chuck's Wagon with Black Road (44 to 40).

This week's CMC Country Pick is Jetty Road with Good Times, a video shot in Nashville during their recent US tour.

The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.



2009 Toyota Star Maker grand finalists announced

Grand finalists for Toyota Star Maker 2009 have been announced.

They are 8 Ball Aitken, Kaylah Anne, Liam Brew, Michelle Cashman, Tori Darke, Bec Hance, Dean Johnston, Briana Lee, Amber Joy Poulton and Todd Stewart.

The traditional two tier judging system of 10 grand finalists being chosen from 20 finalists performing live to the judges earlier in the day, a system employed over most of Star Maker’s 30 year history, has been replaced for 2009 only with just one performance of the 10 grand finalists.

Organisers say this was to make way for "Star Trek – Star Maker’s Spectacular 30 Year Journey" being staged on the Sunday night of the event and has meant that a pre-judging committee had to select the grand finalists this year directly from all entries.

The selection process was held over a two day period in Country Music Capital and involved several leading industry figures. Chairman of the committee, and Compass Brothers chief, Graham Thompson said that choosing only 10 from more than 100 hopefuls was always going to be a daunting task and proved to be even more difficult than even he had imagined.

"Once again we have unearthed a group of very talented emerging artists," he said, "and selecting 20 was difficult enough but having to narrow the number to just 10 was very hard and meant some long discussions among the judging group. Everything from vocal ability, musicianship, professional experience and presentation of application was taken into account in the selection process.

"Our judging group was eventually unanimous in their selection and we are very excited that the final 10 represent a great cross section of the country music industry and we have certainly got a super competition in January 2009. The 90 plus that didn’t make the final 10 shouldn’t despair and in a lot of cases should try again next year. The level of talent was so high that I’m sure there are many that will achieve great things anyway."

Expanded details of the grand finalists will appear in the January issue of "Country Music Capital News" and also in the "Official Guide to The Tamworth Festival" program publication.

Toyota Star Maker 2009 will be held Sunday January 18 from 12.30pm at Toyota Country Theatre at TRECC (Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre). The grand final will include a performance by reigning Toyota Star Maker Talia Wittmann and other winners.

Tickets for the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final can be purchased on-line here, or by telephoning Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300.

Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.


More Tamworth Festival tickets on sale

More tickets for shows during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival are on sale from today (Monday, December 1).

These include a third wave of tickets available from Tourism Tamworth and tickets for shows at two of the Festival's major venues, West Tamworth League Club and Wests Diggers.

During the Festival, Wests will be featuring concerts by stars including Adam Brand (pictured top left) Catherine Britt, Beccy Cole (pictured top right), Dianna Corcoran, Steve Forde, Adam Harvey, Jim Haynes (pictured bottom right), Amber Lawrence, The McClymonts, Sara Storer (pictured bottom left, Melinda Schneider, The Sunny Cowgirls, The Topp Twins and many more.

Tourism Tamworth says demand for Festival tickets has been consistent since the on-line only presale from October 1 followed by over the phone and counter sales from November 3. More than 10,000 tickets have already been sold to the 45 shows on sale, they say, and a continual flow of enquiries and sales continue as early bird buyers get in to secure "the best seats" available.

The most popular concerts with the highest amount of tickets sold have been Troy Cassar-Daley and Friends, ABCRA (Australian Bushman's Carnival Rodeo Association) Finals Rodeo, the Songbirds in Concert (Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys & Sara Storer) and the Golden Guitar Awards. "A smaller event which is also proving a strong interest is the Country Music Festival Charity Ball," a Tourism Tamworth spokesman said.

Some of the shows on sale from today include Felicity Urquhart and Friends, the CMAA Bluegrass Party, the Australian Bluegrass Championships, TIARAs (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards), "Have A Chuckle with Champs" and the Shaylee Wilde Celtic Country Show.

"Its great to see the strong numbers of early ticket sales for the 2009 Festival" said Rebel Thomson, Tourism Tamworth’s General Manager. "It’s a clear indication that the... Festival is gearing up to be another big and successful event with high visitation."

On sale are many of the favourites of country music who return alongside many bright new artists. The star unearthing talent quests of Toyota Star Maker and Telstra Road to Tamworth, Star Trek – 30 Years of Star Maker concert, Australian Bush Laureate Awards and the annual Roll of Renown Concert.

"The variety of venues and the huge array of concerts and artists confirmed ensures there is something for everyone to experience," Rebel said.

Tourism Tamworth tickets can be accessed on-line at www.visittamworth.com or telephone 02 6767 5300. Wests and Wests Diggers tickets can be accessed at www.wtlc.com.au or telephone 02 6765 7588.


Australian album chart update – Kasey & Shane still at number one

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson hang on to the number one spot on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones.

Debuting at number two this week is The Best Of CMC 2008 compilation while Keith Urban is down one to three with Greatest Hits: 18 Kids and John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is down to four.

Shane Nicholson's Familiar Ghosts is at five, Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars is down one to six as is John Williamson's Platinum Collection to seven.

Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 at is down to eight, The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is steady at nine and The Sunny Cowgirls re-enter the top 10 at 10 with Dust Will Settle.

The compilation album Hit Country: Summer Party is at 11, Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is steady at 12, Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is also steady at 13 and Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 14.

The Slim Dusty family's Reunion is up one to 15, The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights is at 16 and Troy Cassar-Daley (pictured) is at 17 with Born To Survive: The Best Of....

John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 18, Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains is at 19 and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 20.



© Copyright 2008, ICMB Publishing