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2009 Gold Medallion Awards

Finalists have been announced for the 2009 Gold Medallion Awards to be announced in Tamworth in January.

Awards are presented in four categories, NSW, Queensland South East (Victoria/Tasmania) and Central West (WA, SA, NT).

Finalists for NSW Male Vocalist of the Year are Troy Cassar-Daley, Dale Duncan and Craig Giles. For Queensland Male Vocalist of the Year – Liam Brew, John McSweeney and Noel Parlane. For South East Male Vocalist of the Year – Paul Costa, Wayne Horsburgh and Rodney Vincent. For Central West Male Vocalist of the Year – Adam Brand, Brian Letton and Warren H Williams.

For NSW Female Vocalist of the Year – Amber Lawrence. Dianne Lindsay and Felicity Urquhart. For Qld Female Vocalist of the Year – Laura Downing, Shaza Leigh and Lana Ross. For South East Female Vocalist of the Year – Lynette Guest, Bec Hance and Harmony James. For Central West Female Vocalist of the Year – Kasey Chambers, Sandra Humphries and Ronnie Rae Rivers.

For NSW New Talent of the Year – Tori Darke. For Qld New Talent of the Year
Sharon Smith. For South East New Talent of the Year – Victoria Baillie. For Central West New Talent of the Year – Kate Linke.

For NSW Musician of the Year – Charley Boyter, Lindsay Butler and - Lawrie Minson. For Qld Musician of the Year – Alisha Smith and Lindsay Waddington. For South East Musician of the Year Davidson Brothers, Lindsay Hammond and Pixie Jenkins. For Central West Musician of the Year – Terry Bennetts.

For NSW Bush Balladeer of the Year – Greg Bain, Tom Maxwell and Pete Smith. For Qld Bush Balladeer of the Year – Ashley Cook, Dean Perrett and Graham Rodger. For South East Bush Balladeer of the Year – Jamie Davis, Col Millington and Reg Poole. For Central West Bush Balladeer of the Year – Trevor Adamson, David Crozer and Rachel Richards.

Two additional awards – Most Popular Male and Female Performers of the Year – will be determined by a secret ballot of ticket holders on the Awards presentation night.

The 2009 Gold Medallion Awards will be staged at 7pm Thursday, January 21 at Butler's Auditorium, Sydney Road Tamworth.

Click here for tickets and more information.



Merilyn's Tamworth show

Sydney artist Merilyn Steele will stage one performance during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Since filming and releasing her latest single – Information Blues – which aired on CMC in June and is also available on YouTube, Merilyn has enjoyed what she describes as a whirlwind of activity best described as her "highlights of 2009".

Number one and high on the list was performing with her band Sydney venue The Basement in September followed closely by her sunset dinner cruise with the band on Sydney Harbour in October and a road trip to Tooleybuc muster in November performing 11 shows over three days.

In Tamworth, Merilyn will host one special show only at The Cattleman Steakhouse (Sydney Road) on Sunday January 17 with special guest artists West Australian duo Vicki Lee & Billy Higginson, respective winners of Best Female and Male Country Vocalist at the 2008 Western Australian Country Music Awards.

Both Vicki Lee and Billy have their own albums, Billy with Outback Dreams and Vicki Lee with As Requested – Original And Traditional.

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Angela named South Aussie Champion

Angela Easson won this year's SACCM (South Australian Council of Country Music) Senior Champion of Champions at Gawler late in November.

Originally from Mount Gambier, Angela (who also won the Championship's Senior Female (18 and over) title) began singing country music at the age of 10. She was an active member of the South East Country Music Association until moving to Adelaide in 1997 to further her music career.

Throughout her country music career to date, Angela has won numerous awards at talent quests around South Australia and Victoria. In 1998, she was awarded the first South Australian Junior Champion of Champions title.

Georgette Berry, who also won the Junior 17 and under title (and who had begun singing at Our Lady of The River Catholic School in Berri as part of the Year 5 school choir), was named this year's Junior Champion of Champions.

Danny Gyory won the Senior Male (18 and over) title while Amy Sherrah won Junior the 13 & under section.

This year's Len Wakefield Memorial Award was presented to Breanna Kinlough.

Adelaide Country Music Club President Di Smith presented the APRA South Australian Song of the Year to Amber Poulton and Doug Bruce with Good Old Fashioned Days (traditional).

Modern Section winner and overall Country Song of the Year winner was Kristal Collins, Mahalia Fox won the Peoples Choice Award Rising Star Award and the SA Achiever Award.

The prestigious 2009 Industry Award was presented to Dave Williams for his "outstanding service to the country music industry in South Australia".

Winner of the SA Achiever Award was Amber Joy Poulton. This award is given to a country music artist still residing in South Australia who has received recognition in the country music industry interstate as well as at home.

Photo: Senior SA Champion Angela Easson accepts the Rocky Page Memorial Scholarship from Wally Sparrow.

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New clip for Lou

Lou Bradley has released a video clip of her new single Uluru.

The Mullumbimby singer/songwriter won a John Butler Seed Award – a financial grant from the benevolent organisation established in 2005 by Butler – which largely made it possible for Lou to fulfill a longtime dream… to go on tour with her band to central Australia.

"Being a bit of a hippy from Mullumbimby, it wasn’t good enough to just go on the road with my band," Lou said, "I also insisted that my family, my friends and their families came too!

"Everyone had a designated role. We had fussy house mummies (cooks 'n' cleaners), our roadies (who doubled as our bodyguards!), our cameraman and even a doctor (well a naturopath anyway).

"So we headed off for Uluru with a whole bus load of people (24 in fact!)."

"This magical mystery trip to/and through the heart of Australia led to Lou writing the song Uluru," said a spokesman for her record label, "the lead single from her new album La La La Not Listening.

"Lou actually wrote the bulk of the song one night camped out in the shadow of the great rock."

"We stayed with the Mutijulu community (the traditional custodians of Uluru) for a couple of days," Lou said, "and performed for them and just generally hung out."

Cameraman Peter Simon captured some of Lou’s musical journey to central Australia.

And much of the behind the scenes footage from the trip has made it on to the new promotional video for Uluru.

Because of the relationship Lou, her family and friends struck up with members of the Mutijulu community, Lou was given special permission to include in the new video their footage of the iconic Uluru and the surrounding Kata Tjuta National Park area.

Lou says she is very grateful to the Mutijulu elders and also to the National Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts... and privileged to be allowed to incorporate the Uluru footage into her new video.

As well as promotional distribution, the new clip can also be viewed at Lou's website


Chart Update – Lee's fifth week at the top

Lee Kernaghan's Planet Country is at number one for the fifth week on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.

Adam Brand's Ready For Love hangs on to the number two position while America's Carrie Underwood is at three with Cowboy Casanova and Harmony James' Precious Little slips to number four.

Dianne Lindsay's duet recording with her Dad Reg – Country All The Way – is up one to five, Jetty Road's World Keeps Turning rises to six and The Bobkatz/Davidson Brothers duet The First Step is at seven.

Felicity Urquhart's Roller Coaster is at eight, Adam Harvey's duet of King Of The Road with John Williamson is at nine and Paul Costa's Survivor 1932 is at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Troy Cassar-Daley's I Love This Place (20 to 15), Lou Bradley's Uluru (23 to 19), The McClymonts' Wrapped Up Good (25 to 20), Kasey Chambers, Poppa Bill & The Little Hillbillies' Lost Music Blues (30 to 25) and Ronni Rae Rivers' Things I Want (new at 27).

Other new entries to the chart this week are Rodney Vincent & Greg Champion with Bit A Dirt Never Hurt (in at 29) and Tania Kernaghan & Ray Kernaghan with We're A Lot Like Each Other (at 30).

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Country Music People's Choice Awards voting closes December 31

Voting in the 2010 Australian Country Music People's Choice Awards closes on Thursday December 31.

The People's Choice Awards are just that... awards determined by the people... the fans of country music from recorded works, live music performance, radio/television airplay and on-line.

"It's a recognition of popularity in the simplest, and purest, of terms," said Bob Kirchner, spokesman for the organisers.

"There are plenty of competitions and awards schemes that are judged, or based on specific achievements (like CD sales), but the People's Choice Awards give the fans the chance to determine our winners,” Bob said.

"The only restriction as to who can be voted for is that nominees have to be Australian citizens or permanent residents (including songwriters in awards where writers are specifically recognised). And to ensure we maintain currency of the Awards, we ask that only artists with current material, say from the last 12 months or so), be put forward.

"These awards are not designed to specifically recognise longevity or contribution to the industry. Although fans, as individuals, may, of course, consider such things when deciding who to vote for."

Finalists for the Awards will be announced early in January. Winners will be announced during the 2010 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Voting for the Awards is predominantly on-line but can also be done by normal post. To be counted, postal votes must be post-marked December 31 or earlier.

On-line voting can be done at the dedicated website

Anyone wanting a paper form can obtain one by telephoning 0267 622 993 or by emailing They can be downloaded from the website.


Australian Bush Laureate Awards – 2010 finalists

Finalists have been announced for the 2010 Australian Bush Laureate Awards to be presented in Tamworth this January.

They are, in alphabetical order by poet or performer...

For Book of the Year...

Aussie Country Comedy No 2 by Neil Hulm
Time Is A Traveller by Kevin Pye
I Likes A Laugh by Grahame Watt
Poems Of 2008 by Stephen Whiteside
The Bronze Swagman Book Of Bush Verse 2008 from the Winton Business & Tourism Association

For Bush Poem of the Year…

The Pride Of The Hills by Neil Hulm
Requiem For A Pioneer by Max Merckenschlager
Brolga Dreaming by Val Read
The Goomalibee Dance by Grahame Watt
Rebecca And Molly by  Veronica Weal

For Album of the Year...

Marco Gliori Live At The Warwick Town Hall by Marco Gliori
Jim & Grant Present Australian Comic Rhymed Verse by Jim Haynes & Grant Luhrs
I Say! by Carol Heuchan
Bruce Simpson by Noel Stallard
Jack Thompson: The Bush Poems of AB (Banjo) Paterson by Jack Thompson

For Single Recorded Performance of the Year...

The Anzac On The Wall by Jim Brown
The Last Pit Pony by Carol Heuchan
Lost Youth by Noel Stallard (poem by Bruce Simpson)
The Man From Snowy River by Jack Thompson (poem by A B (Banjo) Paterson)
Strum by Manfred Vijars (Morningside, Qld)
The Wayward Pup by Carmel Wooding (poem by Marco Gliori)

For Children's Poem of the Year...

The Aussie Outback School by Megan Bartlett-Horne
See What I See In The Sea by Noel Stallard
Country Childhood by Stephanie McLaughlin
Mum Rides The Dodgems by Marco Gliori
Apple And The Mandarine by Stephen Whiteside

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

The 2010 Australian Bush Laureate Awards will be staged in the famous Tamworth Town Hall at 2pm on Tuesday, January 19.

A star-studded line-up of bush poets will appear during the gala awards concert together with special guest country artists including Brade, Darren Carr, Ashleigh Dallas, Rex Dallas, Melanie Dyer, Ted Egan, Grant Luhrs, Greg North, Paddy Ryan, Greg & Sara Storer, Ami Williamson and compere Jim Haynes.

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

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Chart Update – Lee at number one for third week

Lee Kernaghan's Planet Country is at number one for the third week on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.

The next three places also remain unchanged from last week... Adam Brand's Ready For Love at two, Harmony James' Precious Little at three and The Bobkatz/Davidson Brothers duet The First Step at four.

America's Carrie Underwood is at five with Cowboy Casanova, Dianne Lindsay's duet recording with her Dad Reg – Country All The Way – is steady at six and Felicity Urquhart's Roller Coaster jumps two places to number seven.

Melinda Schneider's Courageous is at eight, Jetty Road's World Keeps Turning bounds into the top 10 at nine and Adam Harvey's duet of King Of The Road with John Williamson enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Paul Costa's Survivor 1932 (16 to 12), Luke O'Shea's How Well Have You Loved (20 to 16), Aleyce Simmonds' The Keeper (23 to 20), Troy Cassar-Daley's I Love This Place (29 to 25) and Lou Bradley's Uluru (30 to 27).

New entries to the chart this week are Kirsty Lee Aker's I Ain't Your Picket Fence Girl (in at 29) and Steve Eales' Echuca Sun (at 30).

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TSA finalists announced

Finalists in Tamworth Songwriters' Association's Songwriter Salute Awards and National Country Music Songwriting Contest were announced this week.

More than 650 entries were received, 402 songs in the songwriting contest, 199 in the Salute Awards and 56 entries from 19 CDs for the TSA/Capital News New Songwriter Award.

TSA President Vicki Walsh said entries exceeded an even higher standard than last year.

"Judges were impressed at the increasingly evident writing standard submitted."

Finalists in the Songwriter Salute Awards are...

For Traditional Bush Ballad – A Hat Like That by Graham Rodger, Blaxland, Wentworth, Lawson by Glen Perrett & Dean Perrett, The Bullocky by Bec Hance, Mateship by Terry Bennetts & Keith Jamieson, Shadows Of The Redgums by Peter Simpson & Dianne Lindsay and Sorry Mate by Ben Jacobs & Shaza Leigh.

For Contemporary Song of the Year – Break My Fall by Allan Caswell & Cathy Carr, Stolen Roses by Allan Caswell & Drew McAlister, Seasons Of Love by Ann Abbott & Shaza Leigh, Tangerine Sky by Tamara Stewart and The Writer by Garry Koehler.

For Country Ballad of the Year – The Almond Tree by Graham Rodger, Heartbeat Of Australia by Dianne Lindsay & Peter Simpson, Rose Beside The Highway by Tony Jewell, Silent Crosses by Ernie Constance and We're Doing Fine by Ian Quinn.

For Comedy/Novelty Song of the Year – Barcaldine Cup by Graham Rodger, Coleslaw by Tom McIvor & Johnny Kaye, Fruit Growers Lament by Don Pender & Les Lawson, Grand Ole Opera by Geoff Williams, Joe Blake by John Battle and You'll Find A Bloke by Bec Hance.

Children's Song of the Year – The Aussie Outback School by Megan Bartlett-Horne, Jack The Dog by Libby Barter & Bec Hance, Patrick The Possum by Michelle Scobie, Those Deadly Koalas by Greg Champion, Two Little Stars by Dave Richards & Rachel Richards and Where The Eagles Fly by Alita Fahey & S Fahey-Leigh.

Gospel Song of the Year – The Angel by Les Lawson, Fool's Gold by Dean Perrett & Stuie French, Golden Mile by Jim Hermel & Virginia Hermel, Handle With Prayer by Rachel Richards and The Message by Peter Simpson & Dianne Lindsay.

Finalists for the New Songwriter Award are – Vaughan Baker & Bec Hance with Just Add Water... Deb Beckett with Baby Boomers and The Man Who Held My Heart... Bec Hance with You'll Find A Bloke and Gus Helm with A Bushman's Lot and A Cocky's Wife.

Finalists in the Songwriting Contest can be found on the TSA website

Awards and Contest winners will be announced at TSA’s Gala Concert on Wednesday January 20 at the West Tamworth League Club.

Also presented will be the Songmaker Award which is decided on votes by TSA’s members, and the Tex Morton Award to someone who has made a lasting contribution to the cause of country music in Australia.



Telstra Road announces finalists

The top 10 finalists for Telstra Road to Tamworth (TRTT) 2010 were announced yesterday.

Semi final performances were staged at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.

The finalists, who progress to the final in Tamworth next month, are... David Agius from Greystanes NSW, Aaron Bolton from Tamworth NSW, Imogen Clark from Bowen Mountain NSW, Kristal Collins from Mt Compass SA, Makaylie Foodey from Ashtonfield NSW, David Garnham from Darwin NT, Tenielle Musulin from Karratha WA, Craig Sinclair from Mt Clarence WA and, in the songwriter category, Tori Darke from Mt Annan NSW and Luke Webb from Blaxland NSW.

These artists will compete in the final round of the competition on January 19.

As well as performing at the final, each finalist will receive $1,000 to assist with their travel to Tamworth.

The finalists were chosen from a group of 17 including competition heat winners from around Australia.

Ultimate winners of the 2010 competition (one performer, one songwriter) will each receive a return trip to Nashville, recording and performance opportunities and a number of talent development support tools.

The 2010 TRTT final will be held on Tuesday January 19 during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Tickets for the Final in Tamworth are available via Tourism Tamworth’s website

Pictured: Luke Webb, Craig Sinclair, Tenielle Musulin, David Garnham, Tori Darke, Aaron Bolton, Makaylie Foodey, (sitting in front row) Brooke McClymont, Sam McClymont, Mollie McClymont, (sitting behind) Kristal Collins, David Agius, Imogen Clark (photo credit: Ted Sealey)


Country Carols stars

Adam Brand, Kasey Chambers and The McClymonts will appear on Sydney's Carols in the Domain this month.

"I've been a part of Woolworths Carols in the Domain for a few years now and I'm always pleased to see how strongly country artists are represented,” said Adam.

"Christmas is a time for celebration and country musicians sure know how to celebrate!"

Kasey Chambers will perform for the first time at Sydney's Carols and will bring along her father Bill Chambers and "a gaggle" of talented kids known as "The Little Hillbillies".

Kasey Chambers, Poppa Bill and The Little Hillbillies have met with success as family entertainers in 2009 and will combine their brand of country children's entertainment with a Christmas twist, to the show.

The McClymonts are also performing at the Carols for the first time this year.

“As kids, we would always watch the Carols on television," said Brooke. "We are really looking forward to performing in front of such a huge live crowd, with such talented performers."

Woolworths Carols in the Domain is on Saturday December 19 and will be broadcast live on the Seven Network from 8:30pm and simulcast on MIX 106.5 in Sydney.

Other performers will include Kate Ceberano, international guests Englebert Humperdinck and Ronan Keating, Georgie Parker, Leo Sayer, Australian Idol winner Stan Walker and The Wiggles.

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LBS – Tamworth '10

One of the most popular venues at every January country music festival in Tamworth is the LBS Morning Teas, and details have been announced for 2010.

Lindsay Butler, Shaza Leigh & The Butler Showband appear daily from Monday through till Thursday of the main festival week with a selection of leading recording artists.

During the week, three artists who are making "a worthwhile contribution to the Australian recording industry" will be added to the Australian Country Music Wall of Honour at LBS.

Col Edmonds will be inducted on the Tuesday, Deniese Morrison on Wednesday and Craig Giles on Thursday.

Guest performers and musicians during the week will include Trevor Adamson, Greg Bain, Melissa Bajric, Barry Benning, Ashley Cook, Dale Duncan, Bob Easter, Peg Gilchrist, Rachel Jillett, Les Lawson, Tom Maxwell, Lana Ross, Pete Smith,Chic Taylor, Manfred Vijars, Lindsay Waddington and Greg Williams.

On completion each day's concert, the LBS studio will be open and all patrons invited to wander through to view memorabilia and the studio, and chat and catch up with the artists on a personal level for autographs and photos.

The LBS festival experience finishes around 1pm each day.

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Chart Update – Lee holds on to the top spot

Lee Kernaghan's Planet Country retains the number one position on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.

Adam Brand's Ready For Love is steady at two while Harmony James' Precious Little is up one more place to number three and The Bobkatz/Davidson Brothers duet The First Step is up two places to four.

Melinda Schneider's Courageous is steady at five, Dianne Lindsay's duet recording with her Dad Reg – Country All The Way – is up two to six and America's Carrie Underwood is at seven with Cowboy Casanova.

Amber Lawrence's Don't Do Lonely Well is at eight, Felicity Urquhart's Roller Coaster enters the top 10 at nine and Brad Cole's Hold Me In Your Arms Tonight is steady again at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Adam Harvey's duet of King Of The Road with John Williamson (15 to 12), Jetty Road's World Keeps Turning (17 to 13), Paul Costa's Survivor 1932 (19 to 16) and Aleyce Simmonds' The Keeper (26 to 23).

New entries to the chart this week are Troy Cassar-Daley's I Love This Place (in at 29) and Lou Bradley (pictured) with Uluru (at 30).

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Aussies up for Grammys

The Greencards and Keith Urban have scored finalist nominations in the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Keith has four nominations, his most to date, and follows another major gong – an American Music Award for Favourite Country Male Artist announced late last month.

In the Grammys, Keith is a nominee for Best Country Album with Defying Gravity, Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Sweet Thing, Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for his duet with Brad Paisley, Start A Band and Best Long Form Video for his Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour Live DVD.

The Greencards, the American based trio comprising Australians Kym Warner and Carol Young together with BritonEamon McLoughlin, have scored a nomination in the 2010 Grammys for Best Country Instrumental Performance for their track The Crystal Merchant from their album Fascination.

American country star Taylor Swift dominates the 2010 Grammy nominations with eight nominations, second only to pop star Beyonce with nine.

Taylor's nominations include three in all-genre categories... Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The 52nd annual Grammy Awards show takes place in Los Angeles on January 31.

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Planet Country goes Gold

Just a week after Lee Kernaghan announced details for an extensive tour next year, his latest album – Planet Country – was certified Gold for sales of more than 35,000.

It is Lee's eighth gold album (all of his albums have achieved at least gold status, all but one have so far gone on to achieve Platinum status).

Lee's 2010 national tour national tour – he "Planet Country Australian Tour" – will be presented by Toyota Prado and promises to be another major milestone in his career.

Lee is renowned for delivering quality, high-energy live shows, to which his legion of fans have been known to travel for days to experience.

The 2010 tour is designed to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see "one our great showmen in full flight," said a spokesman for the artist.

"Lee will be performing all of the classic songs that won him the title of Hit Maker of the Decade back in 2000, but he will also play all the hits from his more recent albums Electric Rodeo, The New Bush and Spirit Of The Bush.

"But 2010 is all about Planet Country – Lee’s new album that burst on to the ARIA country charts at number one on release."

The work is Lee’s first career album release since The New Bush in 2006.

"Two years in the making, Lee has delivered an album that is contemporary and totally tapped into the pulse of Australian culture and way of life. He has taken the Australian Spirit and set it to music."

Lee’s special guests during the tour will be Tania Kernaghan, Marcus Meier and Jasmine Rae.

Tickets for the tour are now available.

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