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February 2008


New Davidson Brothers video clip

The first film clip from the Davidson Brothers new self-titled album – I Miss The Sound Of Rain – was added to Country Music Channel (CMC) last week as the Channel's Country Pick.

And this week, the clip debuted on the CMC Top 50 playlist at number 17.

The clip was produced by Duncan Toombs and shot north of Bendigo in Victoria and, besides CMC, the clip can be viewed on YouTube,

Meanwhile, Hamish and Lachlan have announced one of their more unique appearances, 20 storeys under the ground. Friday the 14th of March is the date when the Davidson Brothers will be performing down the Central Deborah Gold Mine in the heart of Bendigo. To be part of this once in a lifetime show, bookings can be made by telephoning 0439 310 217.

The Davidson Brothers band will also be performing in Canberra for the National Folk Festival this Easter, among other appearances.

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Chart update – Lee takes over at number one

Lee Kernaghan's current release of the Saltbush hit Sassafras Gap has taken over the number one spot on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Last Mile Home jumps yet another two places to be in second position while Travis Collins' Don't Win Enough is steady at three and Gina Jeffreys' number one from the last two weeks – The Truth About Lies – is at four.

Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower also jumps two places to number five while Dwight Yoakam's Close Up The Honky Tonks is down to six and The McClymonts' My Life Again is up three places to seven.

America's Josh Turner is at eight with Firecracker, Harmony James' Somebody Stole My Horse is at nine and Amber Lawrence's Gonna Fly is at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach (15 to 12), Adam Brand's Get On Down The Road (17 to 13), Steve Forde's Summer's Little Angel (23 to 20), Casey Watt's Close The Door (24 to 21), The Flood's Can't Work No Longer (27 to 23) and Drew McAlister's Somewhere Somehow (28 to 24).

New entries in the chart for the coming week include Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright (in at 29) and Dianna Corcoran's All Gone Blue (in at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday nights on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at



The Adventures of Smoky Dawson… A Life Remembered

When Australia's much-loved singing cowboy the legendary Smoky Dawson died on February 13, there was an extraordinary feeling of loss throughout the nation.

Now, Smoky's friends are preparing for a spirited farewell which will do justice to the man who, over eight decades from the 1930s into the 2000s, entertained and inspired so many Australians.

It will be a happy event in keeping with Smoky's own spirit of adventure and fun. It will trace his life and achievements in video, sound and stage performance with his peers in the music industry, friends and long time associates paying tribute to the man they all respected and loved.

Many aspects of his long and fruitful life will be featured including the performance of some of his vast repertoire of songs and recordings, his unbelievable skills with knife and axe throwing, his rodeo performances, the immortal radio and TV programs called “The Adventures of Smoky Dawson” which made him a household name throughout the land in the ‘50s and ‘60s, his film acting and so much more from the life of this versatile and talented showman and entertainer.

Many big name stars of stage and media will come together at the Hills Performing Arts Centre in Castle Hill, Sydney, to salute Smoky in song and wish him a fond farewell.

Organiser of the event for the Dawson family, long time friend and associate Lance Smith, said he was determined that the send off would reflect the excitement and wonderful good humour that Smoky himself had brought to life in all his activities.

The Adventures Of Smoky Dawson... A Life Remembered will be held on what would have been Smoky Dawson's 95th birthday on Wednesday, 19th March, 2008.

Tickets will be available through Ticketek, phone 132 849.

Proceeds will go to one of Smoky's favourite charities for children, Bear Cottage.



More Aussie entertainers entertaining our troops

The 10th morale-boosting "Tour de Force" concert tour for Australian troops and police based in the Solomon Islands departed this week.

Led by John Williamson (pictured), performers for this tour are Nicki Gillis, Jed Zarb and Ami Williamson with comperes Tanya Arlidge and Mike Goldman ("Big Brother").

As usual, these Australian performers are donating their time and talent free of charge, a long-established tradition that pre-dates the Vietnam War.

Operation Anode is the name of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Australian soldiers, along with soldiers from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga, are supporting police from a total of 16 Pacific nations (including Australian Federal Police) as they back up the Solomon Islands Police Force in its task of restoring law and order.

RAMSI began in 2003 at the request of the Solomon Islands Government.


ABC to release more More To Country

Following the success of ABC Music’s major country compilation There’s More To Country in 2007, the label has announced There’s More To Country 2 will be released on March 22.

There’s More To Country 2 will be headlined by some of the biggest country hits of the 2007/08 summer season, the label said, including Catherine Britt’s new chart-topper Little WildFlower, Travis Collins’ Yeah She Does, Steve Forde’s Summer’s Little Angel and The McClymonts' Save Yourself.

Australian artists Rob Black, Adam Brand, Morgan Evans, Shea Fisher, Jetty Road, Jonah’s Road, Drew McAlister and Mark O’Shea also feature on the compilation as well as international stars including the world’s current highest selling country artist Carrie Underwood, upcoming CMC Rocks The Snowys headline act Garry Allan, Brooks & Dunn, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Sara Evans, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Ryan Adams, Faith Hill, Shooter Jennings, Kelly Pickler, and leading Canadian acts Emerson Drive and The Wilkinsons.

Recent Grammy winner Vince Gill also appears on the compilation with Sheryl Crow along with American country’s most recent mainstream entrant, Jewel.

"All up there are 36 tracks on two CDs featuring a fresh mix of country’s newest and hottest tracks from an A-list of country music’s biggest acts and most impressive new stars – both locally and internationally," said a spokesman for ABC.  


Melissa a favourite in Scotland
Petite young Australian singer Melissa Bajric from the NSW Hunter Valley releases her first international track to radio this month and already she’s captured the ear of Scotland.

Peggy MacNeil, who broadcasts from Isles FM, located among a group of islands north west of the Scottish mainland, was impressed by Melissa’s version of the old bluegrass favourite Blue Mountain Melody, released this month by Canadian distributors Hillcrest on CD40.

"A million thanks for CD40 which arrived in my hands about an hour and a half ago," Peggy said, "and needless to say I had to drop what I was doing and just sit down and listen. It is just superb and what a range of artists from all over - very well produced indeed.

"My favourite this time is Melissa Bajric from Australia..."

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US mandolin maestro in Australia

Award winning bluegrass legend Mike Compton will appear in Brisbane on Saturday March 8.

Mike will headline a series of concerts and mandolin workshops, "a thrilling opportunity for expert tuition from one of the most inspirational bluegrass musicians in the world," said a spokesman for the visit organisers.

"If you've ever listened to the soundtracks to major motion picture movies 'O Brother, Where Art Thou' starring George Clooney or 'Cold Mountain' with Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, you'll have been moved by the spirited mandolin licks of Mike Compton.

"He's renowned as the leading interpreter of Bill Monroe's mandolin style, an astonishingly good composer and an expert teacher of Monroe-style mandolin."

On March 8, Mike will headline a concert at the Old Brisbane Museum, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, following on from two mandolin workshops earlier in the day at the Redlands Country Music Club, Thornlands.

Tickets for the concert are $20 at the door or by pre-booking online at

Tickets for the workshops are $50 per session or $90 for both.

Each workshop will run for 2.5 hours with beginner/intermediate starting at 10am and advanced starting at 1.30pm. Bookings for these can also be made on-line at the above web address or by phoning 0417 714 910.


"Country week" on "It Takes Two"

This week was "country music week" on the hit Seven Network series "It Takes Two" with our own country representative Adam Harvey and Sara Groen acquitting themselves more than well among the competition.

As well as the "country" theme songs, the program this week featured a performance of Spirit Of The Bush by Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand and Steve Forde.

Country fans wanting to support Adam and Sara can call 1902 55 77 15 or SMS "Sara" to 19 19 77 (calls cost .55c; mobile calls to 1902 cost extra).

Adam and Sara are supporting Camp Quality through their participation in the programa non profit organization that is committed to bringing hope and happiness to every child living with cancer, their families and communities through ongoing quality recreational, educational, hospital and financial support programs.


Folk conference

The fourth National Folklore Conference will be held at the National Library of Australia in Canberra on Thursday March 20.

Intending registrants can get further information by emailing Registration is free.

Among the topics on the agenda are rhyming slang in Australian folk speech, tradition and transition in Australian children's string figures, the creation of Waltzing Matilda, and childhood, tradition and change.

The Conference is part of the National Folk Festival which runs during Easter for five days (March 20 to 24) at Exhibition Park in Canberra featuring more than a thousand Australian and overseas performers in over 20 venues, singing and playing workshops and sessions, where patrons can join in the dancing, singing and playing and become part of the celebration.

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Toowoomba radio now streaming on the web

Radio 4DDB-FM in Toowoomba, Queensland, has announced it is now streaming programs on the Internet 24 hours a day.

Of particular interest to country music fans will be the following programs...

Bob McMinn's shows "Slim Dusty The Legend" running from 6pm to 8 on Tuesdays (100 percent Slim Dusty and family request program) and "Walk A Country Mile" on Wednesdays from 6pm to 8 (100 percent Australian country music)...

Bill Hazel with "Blue Grass To Country" on Saturdays from 11am to 12.30...

Various presenters on "Home Grown Country" from 7pm to 9 on Monday nights...

And various presenters on vrious country programs running Monday to Friday from 9am to 11.

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CMC top 10 dominated by Aussie acts

Six Australians feature in the top 10 of this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist.

Last week's number one, Catherine Britt, is in second position with the clip of her latest single Little Wildflower, Keith Urban's Everybody Jumps is steady at four while Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright rises to number five.

Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach is at six, Adam Brand's Get On Down The Road is at seven while Jetty Road's I Wanna Go Home enters the top 10 at number nine.

America's Gary Allan is in the number one position with Watching Airplanes.

Bullet performers this week include Peter Denahy's Sort Of Dunno Nothing (21 to 15), Sara Storer's Long Live The Girls (20 to 16), Davidson Brothers with Miss The Sound Of Rain (new at 17), The Flood with Can't Work No Longer (28 to 25), Markus Meier with The Beating Heart (45 to 38), Crakajak with Rodeo Rodeo, Rob Cass with Sheep And Cattle (49 to 42), Wildseed with My Friend (48 to 43), Wildseed with My Friend (new at 48)

Other new entries to the playlist this week include John Fogerty with Don't You Wish It Was True (in at 47) and Steve Eales (pictured) with When Cowboys Get The Blues (at 49).

This week's CMC Country Pick is Turn Up Your Radio by Rob Black, the second single from his debut albun Regular Guy.

The full list can be viewed at



Vale – Smoky Dawson

Smoky Dawson – the last surviving original pioneer of Australian country music – has died.

He was 94.

It is understood Smoky died of complications from surgery at 5.15 last Wednesday afternoon (February 13) in Sydney.

Smoky was farewelled at a private service in Sydney today. A date for a public service is expected to be announced within days.

Herbert Henry (Smoky) Dawson was born in Melbourne in 1913. His career began in 1934 when he formed a western group and became a household name when he starred on Radio 3UZ, in a first live broadcast of its kind.

In 1941, Smoky recorded with Columbia and performed throughout Australia with great success. In 1951, the Dawsons (Smoky married Dot in 1944) moved to the USA where Smoky obtained a contract with Acuff Rose and performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, returning to a tremendous welcome home by well wishers at Sydney Airport.

The Smoky Dawson Radio Show went on air in 1952 and stayed on air for 10 years.

A long and distinguished recording and performing career followed, recognised by his elevation to the Country Music Roll of Renown in 1978, an MBE (for services to country music) in 1983. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999 and inducted into the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Hall of Fame in 2005.

Smoky continued to perform and record as long as he was physically able.

"The country music world is deeply saddened at the loss of our dear Smoky," said Bob Kirchner, President of the Australian Country Music Foundation of which Smoky was the Patron.

"He was the eternal showman, the perennial entertainer, always there with a 'smile and a song' connecting with what must have been millions of fans during an amazing, almost century long, career."

Smoky is survived by his wife and life-long partner Dot who turned 101 last year.

Photo (by John Arnold): Smoky and Dot at their 2006 Australian Country Music Hall of Fame Tribute Dinner.



Aussies feature among International Songwriting Competition finalists

A number of Australians feature among the finalists in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition which culminates this coming April when winners are announced.

In the "country" section, Australian finalists are Natalie Howard (pictured) with Paint Me Blue which she co-wrote with James Dean Hicks, Harmony James' Somebody Stole My Horse and Jonah's Road's Jay Collie, Jasper Somerville-Collie and Tim Dutton with Thank God.

Natalie Howard is also a finalist in the "performance" category with Paint Me Blue, co-written with James Dean Hicks. Paul Hicks is also a finalist in this category with Making My Way Back Home.

Jackie Bristow is a finalist in the AAA (Adult Album Alternative) category with The World Is Turning, Brent Lillie & Paul Harris are finalists in the "comedy/novelty" section with I've Done It while Jane E Robertson is a finalist in the "children's" category with Rainbow (Inside Of You).

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Music video makers win at Tropfest

The makers of a number of well-known Australian country music video clips have shared the winner's spoils at this year's Tropfest, the world's biggest short film festival, in Sydney.

Michelle Lehman, wife of Myles Conti of the Conti Bros Film Company, took out the Tropfest number prize with "Marry Me" which she wrote and directed.

The short was produced by Karl Conti and edited by Myles.

The Conti Bros Film Company was responsible for Morgan Evans' 2008 Golden Guitar nominated music video Big Skies, the new video for Catherine Britt, Little Wildflower and Shea Fisher's new clip Everyday Girl.

Photo: Michelle with Australian movie star Geoffrey Rush after her win was announced.


Adam to tour with John

It's been announced that Adam Harvey will be joining music legend John Fogerty (ex Creedence Clearwater Revival) on his upcoming Australian tour.

"This is a thrill for me," Adam said. "I’ve always been such a huge fan of Fogerty’s music and to tour with someone I respect and admire so much is a real honour."

Adam is also opening for superstar American duo Brooks & Dunn at their two sold-out concerts in Brisbane at the Entertainment Centre on February 29 and March 1, and is currently touring now with Aussie singer/songwriter Catherine Britt who has just returned home after living and working in Nashville for the past six years.

Adam and Catherine have teamed up for the first time for their co-headlining dates around the country (see ontour). Special Guests will be The Noll Brothers.

In addition to these trips, Adam is also starring in the cast of Channel 7’s smash-hit television series "It Takes Two" acting as mentor and singing partner to weather personality, Sara Groen.

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Benefit concert for Smoky Sheldrick

A benefit concert is being staged to assist Smoky Sheldrick, founder of the Australian Country Music Listeners' Association and People's Choice Awards.

Smoky has fallen ill as a result of being on a prescribed medication for a long period of time, leaving him in a situation where he can’t be taken off the medication which is slowly causing him to lose organ function.

Together with his wife Paula, Smoky is currently visiting family in Western Australia and funds are needed to help the couple get home.

The benefit concert will be held at the Wauchope (NSW) RSL Club from 6pm on Saturday April 5.

Artists, who are donating their time for the concert, include Rob Breese, The Cedar Creek Band, Wayne Docherty, Maxine Flynn, Angela Hayden, Ian B Macleod, P & A Country and Michelle & David Styles.

Tickets are $10.

For those who cannot make the concert but would like to make a donation, cheques and money orders can be sent to H Sheldrick at PO Box 471 Kempsey 2440.

Photo: Smoky (right) with Mike Smith and Tania Kernaghan at the 2006 People's Choice Awards.


New recording facility in Tamworth

The Tamworth Recording Suite, an initiative of the LBS Music Group in conjunction with music industry identity Greg Williams (pictured), has been established in Australia's Country Music Capital.

The service is being promoted to independent performers of any genre, at all musical levels. Greg will be available in a flexible capacity. For example, he will be able to produce but, for those capable of producing their own recordings, he will be the engineer.

"Greg Williams is without doubt one of the most experienced musicians in the Tamworth recording industry," said LBS' Lindsay Butler. "(His) involvement as a harmony vocalist has been enormous. He is always professional and quick to get the job done."

Greg’s recent entry into producing has also been very successful. His productions for both Kirsty Lee Akers and Dean Johnston (his first recording sessions) were very impressive, Lindsay said, highlighting Kirsty's Toyota Star Maker win last year and Dean's making the finals this year as evidence.

"These artists commenced their recording careers with Greg at the helm," Lindsay said. "We are pleased to have Greg as house engineer/producer of the new Tamworth Recording Suite. His experience will be of great benefit to artists wanting demos through to the serious recording of career albums."   

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WA award winners

The Western Australian Country Music Awards were presented as part of the Boyup Brook Festival at the weekend.

Best WA Country Music Male Vocal went to William Higginson from Karnup with Vicki Lee from Mandurah taking home the Female Vocal title and the Super Dextas from Lesmurdi winning the Open Band crown.

Connie Kis Anderson (pictured) won the Best Independent Album award for her Once Again work.

Best WA Country Music Junior Vocals was taken out by Sarah Gamble from Albany.

The songwriter awards – Jason Norris from Margaret River winning Best Songwriter, Senior, with I'm Australian, Lauren Brede from Bunbury runner up with Small Town and Holly Denton from Doubleview with Walking Naked – had been announced previously.

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Trademark saga continues

The Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF) Board has followed up last week's criticisms of the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) by writing a "letter to the editor" (see Forum) in support of their Vice President Eric Scott.

Eric's letter (see Forum) was critical of various matters relating to the CMAA. The ACMF's letter is critical specifically of the issue they have with the CMAA which applied for a trademark of the ACMF's Australian Country Music Hall of Fame name.

"As a member of the Australian Country Music Foundation Board," the letter said, "Eric shares the general frustration and exasperation the ACMF has encountered during a period of some 15 months since we discovered, purely by chance, that the CMAA was trying to trademark our name – an action which took place entirely without our knowledge and for which we still do not have a satisfactory explanation."

The letter revealed the CMAA had said it would withdraw its application but getting that undertaking had taken "an inordinate amount of time and effort". That was in June last year, but now, the ACMF said, "a further eight months later, the application still has not been withdrawn".

"Through this entire 'saga' the ACMF has acted with complete integrity, respect and courtesy towards the CMAA," the letter said, "in the knowledge that a public 'stoush' like the one we are now having would not be positive for either organisation or the industry in general. But it’s our last resort.

"We are obviously disappointed that the CMAA has not responded in like manner to us, to the issue or to our concerns. And now, the very fact that a conflicting application (theirs) exists seriously jeopardises the potential for our application to succeed," the ACMF said.


Coastal cowboy Canada bound

Australian singer/songwriter Brad Cole is the sole Aussie country music artist chosen to showcase during Canada Music Week (CMW), North America’s premier music business expo.

Now in its 26th year, Canada Music Week brings together sound recording, new technology and broadcast for a week of events involving conferences, a trade expo, awards shows and Canada’s biggest new music festival.

By night, Toronto's most popular clubs and concert halls throw open their doors to industry insiders and the general public. The festival spans four nights of performances with more than 500 showcasing bands at upwards of 40 live music venues. On March 7, NSW South Coast based Brad will have a seven-piece band behind him as he takes the stage in the Cadillac Lounge – and he feels pretty excited to be flying the flag so far from home.

"Hundreds of international acts from all over the world applied for CMW and Festival organisers told me I’m the only Australian country music act to showcase at this year’s event," Brad said. "What I’m also thrilled about is I have the support of Anya Wilson, one of Canada’s most respected music industry identities. She has represented some of the finest artists and labels and worked with Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Bryan Adams, David Bowie and Paul McCartney. Anya is The Wilkinsons’ publicist and will be promoting my showcase to major Canadian and US country music industry identities."

While the overseas market is wooing Brad Cole, he hasn’t been ignored back home, where his debut single Lovin’ Man has been well received by radio and the video clip on CMC.

"I’m pretty happy with my progression so far," he said. "I feel my fresh, contemporary brand of country is attracting a growing number of fans as well as industry support. I am really excited to be launching my debut album and next single. It was scheduled for March but I’ve gladly put it back a month due to my Canadian showcase commitments."

Brad’s debut album is said to be "a quality production, featuring some of Australia’s best musicians, producers and engineers, packed with a variety of self-penned songs which are already attracting international attention".

Another Brad Cole original, the quirky Brazilian, not yet released in Australia, won Brad a finalist’s berth in the Ontario Independent Music Awards.

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Another new country venue

Starting next Sunday (February 24) another venue will be turning to country, trialling a series of concerts over four weeks.

It's the Cessnock (NSW) Exservices Club which will feature Rob Wilson (pictured) and band (Brad Rose on lead, Peter Figures on drums, Rod Coe on bass and Chad Plane on keyboards) from 6:30 till 10pm.

Each week will feature a guest artist and walk-ups are welcome. The first guest artist will be Grant Richardson.

Further information can be obtained from Rob on 02 4930 8730.


Catherine takes over CMC number one

Catherine Britt (pictured) takes over the number one spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of her latest single Little Wildflower.

Adam Brand's number one from last week – Get On Down The Road – has slipped to number three while Keith Urban'sEverybody jumps to fourth place and Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach is up to six.

Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright bounds into the top 10 at seven while Troy Cassar-Daley's Last Mile Home slips to ninth position and Steve Forde's Summer's Little Angel is down to 10.

Bullet performers this week include Jetty Road's I Wanna Go Home (15 to 12), Buddy Goode's Dutchy In The Morning (19 to 15), Sara Storer's Long Live The Girls (23 to 20), Peter Denahy's Sort Of Dunno Nothing (25 to 21), Jonah's Road with All Mine (29 to 25), Harmony James with Somebody Stole My Horse (38 to 34), Tamara Stewart's Drive (41 to 35), Jackie Bristow's The World Is Turning (42 to 38) and Markus Meier's The Beating Heart (48 to 45).

New entries to the playlist this week include Wildseed with My Friend (new at 48) and Rob Cass with Sheep And Cattle (at 49).

This week's CMC Country Pick is I Miss The Sound Of Rain by the Davidson Brothers.

The full list can be viewed at



Boyup Brook Festival this weekend

The 2008 Boyup Brook Country Music Festival – the 23rd to be staged – is on this weekend.

A ute and truck muster will be included with the Festival which got underway on Thursday with a performance from the Topp Twins, and will host the West Australian Country Music Awards.

Yesterday afternoon, there was a free concert behind the local tourist centre with performances by finalists in this year's Awards.

This morning, the action moves to the town centre where there will be entertainment in a carnival type atmosphere with children’s activities, markets, bands, buskers and more.

The line up of artists for the weekend is huge with more than 150 artists. Apart from the Topp Twins, guest stars, in alphabetical order, include Adam Brand, Tom Curtain, Laura Downing, Amber Lawrence (pictured) and The McClymonts, plus top West Australian artists like Chelsea Basham, Country Horizon, Ronni Rae Rivers and many more.

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That's what friends are for...
A regular who’s who of Australian country music has joined forces to assist a much loved friend and colleague, Sydney based musician Michel Rose.

Michel – one of the most sought after pedal steel and dobro players in the country – suffered a bad fall and fractured his arm while getting ready to perform a show at the just concluded Tamworth Country Music Festival.

While this would be a major inconvenience for anyone, for Michel it was a devastating blow. The accident will effectively put him out of work for a very long period of time and cause financial hardship to his family.

As Michel has played on almost every major country music album release in the past two decades, it didn't take long for his musician friends to rally and stage a benefit concert in his honour.

The concert will be held at Sydney's Revesby Workers’ Club on Thursday, February 28 with a line-up to include Kirsty Lee-Akers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Graeme Connors, The Flood, Adam Harvey, Jim Haynes, Gina Jeffreys, Anne Kirkpatrick, Sara Storer, Felicity Urquhart... and more.

Artists will be backed by an all-star band made up of people who have worked with Michel through the years and led by Rod McCormack.  All involved have donated their services and all proceeds will go to Michel and his family.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children under 14.  Bookings can be made at the Club, by phone on 02 9772 2100 or on-line at


Lee announces 2008 tour dates

Lee Kernaghan has announced his only tour dates for 2008 are set for May in NSW.

Lee, who was named Australian of the Year in January, collected a further three Golden Guitars at Tamworth for his smash hit single Spirit Of The Bush – a song he recorded with Adam Brand and Steve Forde.

All profits and royalties from the song have been donated to the charity Aussie Helpers, a grass roots organisation that assists farming families who have been severely affected by drought. To date, the song has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.

Lee has now collected 27 Golden Guitars during his career, a total surpassed only by the late great Slim Dusty.

Lee's Spirit Of The Bush album is about to go Platinum over the next few weeks taking his total album sales to 1.2 million.

The McClymonts, country music’s new sensation and winners of the Golden Guitar for Best group at this year’s Awards, join Lee for the shows in Penrith, Wollongong, Canberra and Newcastle. His special guests for the Central West dates will be announced in the coming week.

Tickets go on sale for all shows on Monday.

See the On Tour page for details.

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Hannah's CD launch

Eighteen-18-year-old Hannah Brooker from Vacy in the NSW Hunter Valley, will be releasing her debut EP in early March.

Hannah will launch the recording during a guest performance with Joanne Lambert at the Beresfield Bowling Club on Sunday, March 2.

The EP contains five tracks, two of which are originals co-written with fellow country artists Sharnee Fenwick and Caitlin Holland... Recipe For Trouble and Eye Of The Storm.

Produced by Simon Johnson, the EP is said to have "a lively feel and captures the theme of freedom".

The EP was set underway early last year when Hannah was lucky enough to receive an Arts Buzz Music grant from the Music Board of the Australia Council.

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Chart update – Gina at number one

Gina Jeffreys' (pictured) latest hit The Truth About Lies has taken over the number one position on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.

Lee Kernaghan's Sassafras Gap jumps two more places to be in second position while Harmony James number one for the last four weeks – Somebody Stole My Horse – drops down to three and Travis Collins' Don't Win Enough bounds up three places to number four.

Amber Lawrence's Gonna Fly drops back to fifth place, Troy Cassar-Daley's Last Mile Home is up two to six while Dwight Yoakam's Close Up The Honky Tonks is at seven.

Kenny Chesney's Don't Blink is at eight, Beccy Cole's Lifeboat is down to nine and Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower enters the chart at number 10.

Bullet performers for the week include The McClymonts' with My Life Again (20 to 14), Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French with All I Ever Need Is You (21 to 18), Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach (23 to 19), Adam Brand's Get On Down The Road (25 to 21) and Steve Forde with Summer's Little Angel (28 to 25).

New entries in the chart for the coming week include The Flood with Can't Work No Longer (in at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday nights on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at



Adam "takes two"

Adam Harvey is competing with Channel 7 newsreader and weather presenter Sara Groen on this year's television series "It Takes Two" which pairs professional singers with star personalities.

Troy Cassar-Daley featured in the last two series of the program.

Adam and Sara (pictured) acquitted themselves very well on last night's first episode gaining 30 points, one of the highest scores, from the judges.

In addition to judges points, members of the public can also vote for their favourite act.

Country fans wanting to support Adam and Sara in the competition can vote by calling 1902 55 77 15. Calls to this number are charged at .55c with proceeds going to nominated charitities (in Sara's case, Camp Quality).

Other duos featured in the program this year are Scott Draper & Ricki-Lee Coulter, Candice Falzon & Anthony Callea, Virginia Gay & Ian Moss, John Mangos & Wendy Matthews, Chloe Maxwell & David Campbell, Julia Morris & David Hobson, Paul O'Brien & Jade MacRae, Russell Robertson & Kate Ceberano and Mark Wilson & Rachael Beck.

The Network 7 program airs at 7.30 Tuesday nights.

Weblink – ItTakesTwo.


Awards double kicks off Jetty Road's year

Leading Australian country group Jetty Road have claimed two major awards to kick off their 2008 year.

After winning the Group award at the TIARAs (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards) in January, the band took out Victorian Album of the Year at the 2008 Victorian & National Country Music awards at Whittlesea for their album Dirt Roads, City Lights.

The Victorian Album of the Year has always been a hotly contested category and this year was no different. Fellow nominees included Carter & Carter with Leap Before You Look, Greg Champion with The Shack Tapes, Steve Eales with The Battler and Ann-Marita with Intuition.

"To win the Victorian Album of the Year for our Dirt Roads, City Lights album is amazing and really completes what’s been a huge year for Jetty Road," said twins Lee and Paula on Friday night. "It’s a wonderful surprise and a huge honour."

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New single from Matt

Matt Scullion has released another single – Luckiest Man ALive – from his current album Put It Down to Experience.

The single, the fourth from the album, is described as "a very honest and revealing song that is close to Matt’s heart".

Co-written with Lawrie Minson, "it tells the story of a man very much in love who, in return, gets back as much as he gives. It’s very much a modern contemporary country song with a simple melodic approach and straight to the point catchy lyrics," according to the release announcing the release of the new single.

"Luckiest Man Alive was recorded by Matt Fell and Michael Carpenter and has some of the most beautiful heart wrenching pedal steel guitar complementing its natural raw sound."

This year has already been a busy year for Matt Scullion seeing him nominated for a Golden Guitar in Video Clip of the Year for his single Giddy Up.
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Institute to open doors

Following substantial financial support from the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS), the Apex Club of Gympie and the Cooloola Shire Council, the Australian Institute of Country Music (AICM) based in Gympie is about to officially open its doors.

The Institute is a not-for-profit incorporated association comprising representatives of the Gympie business, education and general community. It was formed in 2001 and grew from an interest by local community members in value adding to the economic benefits brought to the region by the National Country Music Muster.

The AICM website says: "Although the Muster is acknowledged as a very successful and significant event in providing a national profile for Gympie as a centre for country music, its duration is brief. One of the key aims of the AICM is to obtain leverage from the Muster to extend the duration and scope of country music events and activities and assist in building a stronger country music industry in Australia."

In a release issued last week, the Institute said the first step along the journey to success for the AICM was the hiring of a manager.  "To that end, the Institute is calling for life experienced, creative and highly motivated people with an entrepreneurial flair and a 'can do' attitude to apply for the job which will be based in Gympie."

"The hiring of an Institute Manager is an enormous leap for the AICM and also a very exciting opportunity for the successful applicant," AICM President Gerry Crotty said. "The position has enormous potential for growth and achievement. It is hoped that within the not too distant future, we should be able to offer University courses with a country music background."

The Cooloola Shire Council has made the heritage listed Lands Office building available to the Institute. As part of the current program, the 100 year old building is being restored and since it was one of the first substantial buildings on the Gympie gold fields, its restoration will prove to be significant. "Of special interest is the still standing World War 2 bomb shelter which is currently housing the council archives but in future would make a fantastic recording studio," the release said.

As well as those mentioned, the AICM has a wide variety of community supporters with whom they work in partnership.  These groups include the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE, the Country Music School of Excellence at Gympie State High school and the Cooloola Regional Development Bureau.

Further details regarding the position of AICM Manager can be found on Institute's website at


19th Bunyip Festival coming up

The 19th Bunyip Country Music Festival in Victoria boasts "a terrific" line-up of talent for "Gippsland’s biggest and best music event" on Sunday February 24.

Headlining the bill will be Adam Harvey, fresh from his debut on "It Takes Two" (see above) and his Golden Guitar win for Album of the Year with I’m Doin’ All Right.

Supprting Adam will be artists like Charley Boyter, Tracey Cohen, The Dalton Gang, Jayne Denham (pictured), Laura Downing, Tim Farren, Rob Foenander, Amber Lawrence, the Moonee Valley Drifters and Amos Morris (winner if this year's Bush Ballad Golden Guitar).

For the children, Doug & Wacca the Gumtree Drummer and Wally Wombat will also be appearing.

The Bunyip Country Music Festival starts at 8am on the 24th with the Walk-up Poets Breakfast. The music kicks in from 10am running through to 6pm at the Bunyip Recreation Reserve.

"Plentiful and inexpensive, quality food and refreshments will be available," said a spokesman for the organisers, "along with market stalls and displays including historic and classic cars.

Tickets for the Festival can be obtained by rining (03) 5629 5388.

"With recent good rain, Bunyip will be at its beautiful best come the end of February," the spokesman said, "and makes for a very pleasant Sunday’s family entertainment.

"And value for the family is what the Bunyip Country Music Festival is all about! Admission prices remain at an impossibly low $20 for adults with children under 14 free."


Jason's debut recording

Sydney based country singer/songwriter Jason Lee has realised one of his long held dreams in making his debut recording.

Jason has completed tracks for an EP with one of Australia’s best known producers, Herm Kovac of Ramrod Studios in Sydney.

The self titled EP is now due for release around early next month.

Jason began his musical journey at the age of nine singing with his father, the late Dennis Sharp, at family barbecues, parties and also in front of more than 50 people at the Glenquarie Hotel where he often "jammed" with former rock 'n' roll singer Steve James.

The first single to be released from the EP will be Boy Into A Man, a song co-written by Travis Collins. "Travis wrote the track while touring the US" Jason said, "and by email, sent the acoustic demo track to me and (I) decided that it was going to be the first single.

Some of Jason's achievements to date include being named NSW & ACT Championship Showcase winner in 2005 where he gained an automatic entry into Toyota Star Maker where he competed against more than 250 people winning a place in the Top 10 Grand Finalin 2005 and 2006.

In 2006, he was named NSW Champion of Champions and became a graduate of the Australian College of Country Music.

"It’s a long road ahead of me with this new record," Jason said, "but I’m ready, ready to take on the heavy load that lie ahead."

Jason's single was released on Sundayfollowing a performance at Cooks River Motor Boat Club at Tempe in Sydney.

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I N T E R N A T I O N A L • U P D A T E

2008 American Country Music Hall of Fame inductees announced

Emmylou Harris, Tom T Hall, the Statler Brothers and the late Ernest "Pop" Stoneman are to be this year's inductees into America's Country Music Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville yesterday.

Emmylou will be the fourth artist included in the "Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present" category, which was created in 2005. Due to a tie, both Tom and the Statler Brothers will be inducted in the "Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975" category.

Ernest "Pop" Stoneman will be inducted in the "Career Achieved National Prominence Prior to World War II" category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the "Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980" and "Non-Performer" categories.

"It is truly fitting that these artists receive country music's biggest honuor and become the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Tammy Genovese, Chief Executive Officer of the Country Music Association (CMA).

"Emmylou possesses the voice of an angel. She is one of the most revered song interpreters on the planet, and has been instrumental in preserving country music's past while expanding country music's horizons throughout her career. Tom T Hall's story-filled songs and keen observations of life have connected with audiences around the world. The harmonious Statler Brothers, whom Kurt Vonnegut once called 'America's Poets,' sang songs about life and love while often providing nostalgic looks at simpler times. And 'Pop' Stoneman was not only the head of the Stoneman Family, but one of the patriarchs of country music." 

The four will be officially inducted later this year during the traditional Country Music Hall of Fame Formal Induction and Medallion Ceremony presented by CMA and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

"This is so exciting," said Kyle Young, Director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "The 2008 Hall of Fame inductees represent an historical spectrum encompassing the earliest days of commercial country music recordings, the modern evolution of the country gospel quartet tradition, the arrival of more complex themes and social consciousness in country music songs, and the advent of a vocalist who espoused the integrity of country music's root forms and transcended the genre in a way that few others have been able to do.

"That's a pretty complete spectrum. These artists have created a rich and enduring tapestry of music that will always recount the story of our homeland and its people over a period of almost 100 years. We applaud them and we congratulate them."
CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognise noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format. All inductees are chosen by CMA's Hall of Fame Panel of Electors, which consists of more than 300 anonymous voters appointed by the CMA Board of Directors. This year's inductions will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 101 to 105.

Photo (by John Russell, CMA): The Statler Brothers (back from left, Jimmy Fortune, Phil Balsley, Harold Reid, Don Reid), Emmylou Harris and Tom T Hall photographed after Tuesday's announcement.

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Another Grammy for Keith

Keith Urban has added another Grammy to his growing collection of awards following the announcement in America last night (today our time) that Stupid Boy, from his Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing album, had won the award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

Our other "Australian" nominee in this year's awards, The Greencards (actually two Aussies and an Englishman in Kym Warner, Carol Young and Eamon McLoughlin) with Mucky The Duck were pipped at the post for Best Country Instrumental Performance by Brad Paisley's Throttleneck.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance went to Carrie Underwood with Before He Cheats from her Some Hearts album which also won the Best Country Song award for writers Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins.

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals went to the Eagles with How Long, Best Country Collaboration With Vocals went to Willie Nelson & Ray Price with Lost Highway, Best Country Album went to These Days by Vince Gill and Best Bluegrass Album went to The Bluegrass Diaries by Jim Lauderdale.

Full results can viewed here.


Victorian award winners

Winners in the 2008 Victorian & National Country Music Awards were announced in Whittlesea on Friday night.

Merelyn Carter (left) was named winner of the Victorian Female Vocal award with My Little Girl while Paul Costa (right) took out the Victorian Male Vocal award with A Lover's Question.

Donna Fisk & Harry Jon Nanos won the Victorian Group/Duo award with their recording of Somewhere Between The Truth And Goodbye, Jetty Road took out Victorian Album of the Year with Dirt Road, City lights and Harry Jon Nanos was named Victorian Entertainer of the Year.

In the national sections, Adam Harvey received the award for Male Vocalist of the Year and shared Song of the Year honours with Rod McCormack for Someone Else's Dream.

Adam, who is also the Whittlesea Country Music Festival patron, said the awards and the festival meant a lot to him. "This festival has just so much potential and just so much going for it. I just see it getting bigger and bigger each year. I tell you what, look out Tamworth and Gympie!"

In other "dual" wins, Merelyn Carter picked up the national award for Female Vocalist of the Year while Harry Jon Nanos & Donna Fisk won the national award for Duet of the Year.

Harmony James took out the Hawking Brothers Best New Talent award with her song Tailwind, Jonah's Road won Smoky Dawson Best Independent Release with Counting Down The Days, Lee Kernaghan, Steve Forde & Adam Brand won the Trailblazers Heritage Award with Spirit Of The Bush, Bush Ballad of the Year went to Tom Curtain with Days Roll By, Greg Champion took out the Bluegrass & Traditional Country award with Undying Flower, Michael Fix won Instrumental of the Year with Hobbity Hoi and The McClymonts won Best Australian Group with Save Yourself.

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Helen joins 2CCR

Leading Australian, and until now temporarily retired, country music broadcaster Helen Kay is back on air in her home town of Sydney.

Helen has joined 2CCR 90.5 FM at Baulkham Hills, bringing the station's roster of country music personalities to two.

Well known country artist Donna Boyd joined the station a few months ago and presents a program called "A Good Day" on Tuesday afternoons between 4 and 5pm.

Helen, who is broadcasting in her local area for the first time and looking forward to working "closer to home", has been coaxed out of retirement to present "The Helen Kay Show" every Monday between 4 and 6pm.

"Radio 2CCR 90.5 FM has been primarily a jazz station," Helen said, "and has not had any country music since 'A Feeling For Country' was forced into retirement with the passing of Adriana Mullard a few years back now so it is just wonderful to see not just one program but two country programs back once again to fill this gap.

The Hills area has become a "country music haven" since the advent of the successful Galston Country Music Festival and now there will be regular country music heard again on a weekly basis transmitting through the area and beyond.

Photo: Helen (left) practicing microphone technique with Donna.


Instruments and equipment stolen

On Friday night, while Sam Hawksley was guesting with The Flood at their album launch in Sydney, his home was broken into and a substantial amount of equipment and valuable instruments were stolen.

Members of the music industry are being asked to keep an eye out for what may be stolen property, and specifically Sam's gear.

Following is a list of musical or music related items that were stolen...

  • an Acer laptop (serial number LXTHK0Z0037070DC541601) with a large BLUEBIRD sticker on it
  • a Fender Tommy Emannuel Telecaster (blue, three pickups)
  • a Fender Stratocaster (sunburst Floyd rose and EMGs)
  • a Bitsa Stratocaster
  • a Fender mandolin
  • a Sutton Centurion lap steel
  • a Howard Mawson lap steel (1950s British racing green – has a little brass badge with "Howard Mawson Hawaiian Guitars School" on the headstock)
  • a Danelectro U2 model (red with two p90s)
  • a Danelectro six-string bass/baritone (green metal sparkle)
  • a Maton BBE 1200 electric guitar (sunburst F holes)
  • a Carlo Robelli resonator guitar
  • a Danelectro hollow body
  • a Fender Squire Mustang bass

Other equipment and items stolen included an Xbox 360 and original Xbox, iPod, digital camera, video camera and television set.

Anyone with any information should contact the Police.


Adam at number one on CMC

Adam Brand (pictured) hits number one on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of his latest single, Get On Down The Road.

Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower edges up one place to number two while Troy Cassar-Daley's number one from last week – Last Mile Home – is at four and Steve Forde's Summer's Little Angel slips to sixth position.

Keith Urban's Everybody jumps two places to seven, Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach zooms into the top 10 at eight while Gina Jeffreys' The Truth About Lies is at nine.

Bullet performers this week include Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright (16 to 11), The Flood's Can't Work No Longer (35 to 30), Kelly Llewellyn's Done A Lot Of Hard Living In These Shoes (39 to 36), Harmony James' Somebody Stole My Horse (42 to 38), Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather (45 to 39), Rose Carleo's Till I Find Me Again (44 to 40) and Jackie Bristow's The World Is Turning (46 to 42).

New entries to the playlist this week include Markus Meier with The Beating Heart (new at 48) and Melissa Bajric with Luckiest Girl (at 49).

The full list can be viewed at



CMAA "in trouble" again

Following last week's controversy over the Golden Guitar Awards, the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) is under attack again. It has been revealed that well over a year ago, the Association applied for a number of trademarks of names it didn't own, among them, the name Australian Country Music Hall of Fame which belongs to the Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF).

In a letter to the editor of various media, including the Bulletin (see Forum), Eric Scott, one of Country Music Capital's most respected industry figures, has criticised the Association for a number of activities, including "the surreptious" trademark applications and for floating the idea of moving the Golden Guitar Awards away from Tamworth.

"When challenged by the owners of the (Hall of Fame) name," Eric said, "the feeble excuse was that they were trying to 'protect' the name from the Americans, and un-named 'people' in Sydney.

"Since October 2006 the CMAA has refused to withdraw their application whilst claiming as recently as two weeks ago to have done so."

It is understood a public statement from the ACMF is to be released next week.


Chart update – Harmony's fourth week at number one

Harmony James hangs on to the number one spot for the fourth week in a row on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with her song Somebody Stole My Horse.

Amber Lawrence is steady at two with Gonna Fly while Gina Jeffreys' The Truth About Lies edges up one more place to number three and Lee Kernaghan's Sassafras Gap jumps three places to four.

Kenny Chesney is down to five with Don't Blink, Beccy Cole's Lifeboat slips one place to six while Travis Collins' Don't Win Enough edges up one place to number seven.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Last Mile Home bounds into the top 10 at number eight, America's Dwight Yoakam is at nine with Close Up The Honky Tonks and Travis Sinclair's Carry The Country drops one place to 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Cat Southern with the People's Choice Awards Best Song for 2008 Little Miss Understood (15 to 12), Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower (19 to 14), The McClymonts' My Life Again (25 to 20), Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French's All I Ever Need Is You (24 to 21), Keith Urban's Got It Right This Time (26 to 22), Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach (27 to 23) and Adam Brand's Get On Down The Road (29 to 25).

New entries in the chart for the coming week Casey Watt's Close The Door (in at 29) and The Bobkatz (pictured) with The Man In The Picture (in at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday nights on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at



Whittlesea Country Music Festival this weekend

The 2008 Whittlesea Country Music Festival runs this weekend, from Friday to Sunday, with highlights including the announcement and presentation of the Victorian & National Country Music Awards.

Regularly attracting crowds of around 20,000, the Whittlesea Festival is one of Victoria's major country music events.

This year's artist line-up includes James Blundell, Carter & Carter, Paul Costa, Crakajak, Rory Ellis, Nicki Gillis, Adam Harvey, Gina Jeffreys, The McClymonts, Travis Sinclair, Sara Storer and many more.

Winners in the Awards will be announced on Friday night.

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World premiere of Quambatook tomorrow night

The exclusive inaugural season of John Williamson's Quambatook starts tomorrow night, Thursday February 7, at the Evan Theatre in Panthers World of Entertainment at Penrith near Sydney.

"Final dress rehearsals are in full swing with the entire cast warming up to perform a rollicking, unforgettable narrative that begins in the hilarious Williamson family home then goes on a provocative journey to Uluru," according to a spokesman for the show producers.

"For 20 years, John has dreamed of creating a truly Australian musical that all the family could enjoy. He's tinkered with ideas himself but hasn't been able to bring it off til now."

Starring some of Australia's best known country music performers, Darren Coggan, Reg Poole and Warren H Williams, the show features John as narrator and introduces a "world class cast" of musical actors, "including a very talented bunch who play the young Williamson boys".

After tomorrow night's premiere, the inaugural season of John Williamson's Quambatook continues on Friday night (the 8th), Saturday (the 9th) and Sunday (the 10th) of February.

Tickets can be obtained from Panthers on 1800 061 991.

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Urban Warriors debut at Urban Country

Urban Warriors will be a new element of the very successful QUT Urban Country Music Festival held annually at Caboolture in Queensland in May.

"If your musical instrument is gathering dust in the corner and you’ve almost given up on the dream of hitting the big time – Urban Warriors could be your ticket to fame and fortune," says the promotional release announcing the addition to the Festival.

"Urban Warriors is a program aimed at helping musicians realise their musical potential. A joint effort by Caboolture Shire Council, Caboolture Historical Village and Ellaways Music,Urban Warriors is open to people of all ages and walks of life who are interested in rediscovering their talent and honing their musical skills.

"Over a period of five weeks, musicians involved in the Urban Warriors program will take part in a series of workshops to be led by professional musician Alan Tomkins. As part of the program, the musicians will form four bands which will all perform at an amazing free concert to be held on Saturday May 3 in Caboolture Town Square."

Caboolture Shire Mayor Joy Leishman said the program provided a fantastic opportunity for musicians. "Urban Warriors is a welcome new addition to the Urban Country Music Festival," she said.

"The program will not only help musicians fulfil their goals, it’s also a chance for them to perform in their own dedicated concert.

More information about Urban Warriors, including how to get involved, can be obtained from the Festival website (see below). Enrolment closes on February 29.

Arts Queensland’s Regional Arts Development Fund awarded a $4,125 grant towards the Urban Warriors program.

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Debut album for Kylie

Kylie Moss will officially release her debut album in Beaudesert, Queensland, this Sunday (February 10).

Born and bred in Warwick, Kylie now resides in Beaudesert. After a small break to bring up her family, she says she has decided to re-launch her country music career.

Nobody Don’t is the title of the album which contains a collection of songs she says she has carefully selected to help define her life up until this point. The album was produced by Chris Haigh and recorded by Brendan Radford with "the crème of players" such as Hugh Curtis, Hunaman Das and Vaughn Jones.

"They have captured the raw, genuine sound fans have missed," according to Kylie. "I wanted to reconnect with my fans and use this album to put my stamp back on the industry."

Kylie’s first single Nobody Don’t is currently with radio. "This song was easy for me to relate to," Kylie said, "being a mother of four, a wife and a singer/songwriter, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. It‘s easy to get disheartened by the hustle and bustle of life and forget the important things like taking time to really listen to someone."

The album launch will take place at The Centre in Beaudesert at 2pm on Sunday. P J Weston will open the event. Entry is by gold coin donation.  Kylie's album launch has been supported by a Regional Arts and Development Funding grant awarded by Arts Queensland and The Beaudesert Shire Council.

Kylie says she was "so pleased" when she discovered her grant application had been successful. "I felt that the locals were really behind me and I’m looking forward to making the Beaudesert Shire very proud."

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And James releases his debut EP

James Anderssen officially launched his debut EP Bulldust Ballet on Sunday at a public show held at the Cathedral Centre in Toowoomba.

At the Launch, Toowoomba Mayor Dianne Thorley, City Councillor Sue Englart and three-time Golden Guitar winner Brendon Walmsley officiated.

The event saw James play the three tracks from the EP – the title track, Bulldust Ballet, Fatal Attraction and Blue Eyed Angel. The show also featured six new, original songs which, James said, were widely appreciated by the local audience in attendance.

"It's been a long project," he said, "but I believe that we have finished with a high-quality product that I am very proud of. It's a true credit to the local music industry and the standard of those industry professionals."

The EP includes a multimedia content of the video clip for for the title track and is available to purchase at local Toowoomba music stores Music 'n' More, Wilsonton Music or online at


Greg launches new service

Country Music Capital based singer/songwriter/producer and industry identity Greg Williams is launching a new professional service to artists... chord charting.

"It’s important to know that while you’re performing, whoever’s backing you is able to read your chord charts easily and will be able to back you well," Greg says in his approach to artists. "Artist performance will benefit from having good chord charts written for songs."

Greg provides word/chord charts, barred chord charts and number charts, "for a variety of performance situations."

Greg can be contacted on 02 6766 2616, mobile 0408 255 908, email



New album from The Flood

The Flood have just released their fourth studio album, the aptly titled Everybody’s Favourite.

And it will be officially launched this Friday February 8 in a public performance at The Vanguard in Sydney (Newtown), with a second show the following day at the Brass Monkey in Cronulla.

Everybody’s Favourite follows on from the highly acclaimed The Late Late Show (2006) which earned the Sydney four-piece an ARIA nomination for Best Blues and Roots Album and won them a Golden Guitar in the same year.

The new album was recorded in Sydney in October last year and, alongside Kevin Bennet (KB), James Gillard, Tim Wedde and Scott Hills, features cameos from other industry luminaries like Mick Albeck, Bill Chambers, Glen Hannah and Sam Hawksley.

"I think we've captured the best things about The Flood with this record," KB said. "We’ve got the right balance of quality production and rawness."

Featuring 14 new songs, including the popular first single and video clip Can't Work No Longer, as the band says, the new work is surely destined to become Everybody's Favourite.

"People who like our band are pretty loyal and hardnosed about it," says KB... it’s a typically understated way of saying that The Flood strikes a chord in everyone who takes the time to open their ears.

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And a new single for Camille and Stuie
Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French have added another radio favourite to their list, releasing their re-make of the Sonny & Cher hit from the '70s, All I Ever Need Is You.

It follows the success of Let’s Make A Family, both tracks from the duo's Recovered album.

And the Sydney based couple say the new single reflects their lives.

"Raising two children and having no family close by really means that we rely on each other immensely and work together as a team 24/7," Cam said. "Just having each other to lean on when times get tough and knowing we’re there for each other is the most important thing."

All I Ever Need Is You sold an estimated two and quarter million copies when it was released originally in 1971.  But, it was the Kenny Rogers and Dottie West covered version that made number one on the country charts in 1979.

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Compass Bros launches new indie distribution venture

Compass Bros Records has announced the launch of a distribution entity for independent artists, Compass Bros Distribution (CBD).

CBD will offer a distribution service to select independent artists who are proactively and professionally committed to building their careers, the company says.

Artists signed to the new venture will also receive advice on developing their own marketing and publicity campaigns and hands-on marketing and publicity will be offered as optional services.

"This is something we have wanted to do for some time and our new distribution agreement with destra Entertainment has provided the necessary structure to get it off the ground," said Compass Bros Managing Director Graham Thompson.

Compass Bros Distribution’s first signing is Sydney based independent country artist Drew McAlister (pictured) who’s new album There To Here will be released on February 16.

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Steve’s three times a winner

Independent country artist Steve Passfield has returned home from Tamworth with three major awards received during the Festival.

Top of the list was his Golden Guitar for Instrumental of the Year with Stump Jumpin', together with the People's Choice Award for Most Promising Future Star and the Barry Thornton Memorial Award for Instrumental of the Year at the Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Award (TIARAs), also for Stump Jumpin'.

The self-financed, self-made artist couldn’t be more stoked.

"I knew I was up for an award or two, but like every country artist, I was just in town to play some shows and soak up the atmosphere!" Steve said.

Stump Jumpin’ was produced by legendary country music producer and musician Rod McCormack.

The trio of awards is a significant achievement for Steve who has only released one solo album after years of building a reputation with Australian country music lovers as lead singer of The Handpicked Band, who he performed a sold-out run of shows with at Tamworth this year.

"When you are releasing material without the support of a record label, you really are treading into unknown territory," Steve said. "To gain the respect of the industry in receiving the TIARA and Golden Guitar and the support of the fans in receiving the People’s Choice award shows
that I must be doing something right!

"And I’ll tell you what, that’s a bloody relief!" he joked.

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Golden Guitar Awards on CMC from this Friday

This year's Country Music Awards of Australia (or Golden Guitar Awards), presented by Jayco, will begin their season on the Country Music Channel (CMC) this Friday night at 7.

The CMC coverage will include "red carpet" and back stage interviews hosted by Steve Forde.

The program will show again at 12noon Saturday (February 9), 7pm Tuesday February 12, 9am Wednesday February 13, 4pm Sunday February 17, 11am Monday February 18, 7pm Saturday February 23 and 11am Sunday February 24.



Trevor and Lynette, Bungendore's big winners

Trevor Day and Lynette Guest (pictured) are the big winners from this year's Stan Coster Memorial Bush Ballad Awards announced in Bungendore, NSW, last night, taking home two gongs each.

Trevor won the Songwriter award with An Empty Plate while his The Homemade Chair won the Comedy Song award.

Lynette Guest won the Female Vocal award with Murray River Blues and shared the Instrumental Group or Duo award with Tom Maxwell their recording of A Bushman Can't Survive.

Graham Rodger (pictured) won the Male Vocal award with his hit Woman On The Land, last year's Australian Bush Balladeers' Association Star Quest winner Greg Bain was named winner of the New Talent Award while Album of the Year went to Harvest Time Again by Jeff Brown.

The Barry Thornton Encouragement Award went to Lana Ross.

The 2008 Muster program concludes today with some entertainment in the town and performances at the showground by award winners Greg Bain, Jeff Brown, Trevor Day, Lynette Guest, Brian Letton, Dianne Lindsay, Tom Maxwell and Graham Rodger plus Owen Blundell, Denise Brooks, Meggan Carswell, Tracy Coster, Terry Gordon, Amos Morris, Dean Perrett and Peter Pratt with backing by Lindsay Butler and Band.

Entries for the 2009 Awards closed October 1. Further information can be obtained by telephoning (02) 6238 0224 or emailing


Troy takes over CMC number one

Troy Cassar-Daley has taken over the number one position on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of his latest single, Last Mile Home.

Adam Brand rises two to be in second place with Get On Down The Road while Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower is at three and Steve Forde's number one from last week – Summer's Little Angel – is down to four.

Gina Jeffreys' The Truth About Lies jumps to number seven, The McClymonts' My Life Again is down to eight while Keith Urban's Everybody enters the top 10 at nine and Amber Lawrence is at 10 with Gonna Fly.

Bullet performers this week include Kirsty Lee Akers with Goin' To The Beach (15 to 12), The Sunny Cowgirls with Dry Land Crop (17 to 14), Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright (new at 16), Sara Storer's Long Live The Girls (29 to 25), Peter Denahy's Sort Of Dunno Nothing (32 to 27), Amos Morris with Frustrated Truckie (37 to 30), Jonah's Road with All Mine (new at 31), The Flood with Can't Work No Longer (new at 35), Kelly Llewellyn with Done A Lot Of Hard Living In These Shows (new at 39), Harmony James' Somebody Stole My Horse (45 to 42), Steve Passfield's A Man Will Risk It All (new at 43), Tom Curtain with Wearing Out Leather (new at 45) and Jackie Bristow's The World Is Turning (49 to 46).

Other new entries to the playlist this week include Crakajak with Rodeo Rodeo (new at 49).

The full list can be viewed at



Bungendore Muster underway

The 2008 Bungendore Country Muster got underway yesterday in the southern NSW town just outside of Canberra and runs up to and including Sunday.

This year's Muster lineup includes Gaven Arden, Melissa Bajric, Lindsay Butler, Owen Blundell, Charley Boyter & The Muster Band, Meggan Carswell, Peter Coad & The Coad Sisters, Ernie Constance, Tracy Coster (pictured), Bob Easter, Terry Gordon, Marj Graham, Keith Jamieson, Charmaine Pout, ABBA (Australian Bush Balladeers Association) 2008 Star Quest winner Rachel Richards, Alisha Smith and winner of the Track To Tomorrow Quest (a talent quest held during the Muster for up and coming balladeers).

Judging was finalised some time ago for the 2008 Stan Coster Memorial Australian Bush Ballad Awards which will be announced and presented by Joy McKean and Tracy Coster tomorrow night (Saturday).

"Once again we received very good nominations and some wonderful material," said organiser Maureen Gordon. "Scoring was very close in all categories."

Maureen expressed appreciation to all artists for their continued support of the Bush Ballad Awards. "A special thank you also to our panel of judges for giving your time and expertise. All finalists have indicated they will be present, so it will be a wonderful concert."

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Col hits the ARIA singles chart

Country star Col Finley has scored a hit on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) National Top 50 Singles Chart.

Col's latest release – Get Your Country On – the title track to his new album – has debuted on the chart this week at number 31. The album is eleased through independent record label Tommirock.

The single has made a bigger impact on the "Physical Singles" Chart where it has debuted at number four.

Col released Get Your Country On on the opening night of this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival to a full crowd at the Tamworth Services Club.

"It’s been a bit of a whirlwind from the moment we started the production of the single," he told Grafton's "Daily Examiner" newspaper, "to now having it reach the top of the ARIA charts – it’s quite amazing."

Col's energetic live performances have won him a large and loyal following and his talents as a songwriter, performer and recording artist have gained him some huge accolades over the years with songs being picked for movies such as "Wolf Creek", several television shows, including Network 7’s new series "The Real Seachange" and the Schoolastic Program.

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Natalie's "G'day" in New York

Although not part of the official "G'day USA: Australia Week" promotion, Natalie Howard represented Australian country music at "The Australian" in New York City on January 26 where Australians in the city were celebrating their national day.

Natalie took the stage "mixing it" up with some of her songs and some "favourite covers" of her favourite home-grown acts includingNatalie Imbruglia, Olivia Newton-John and Keith Urban and enjoyed the crowd's full participation during her rendition of I Still Call Australia Home.

Brooklyn based guitarist/singer/songwriter Caleb Hawley backed Natlie while Matt Ellis, originally of Sydney, flew in from Los Angeles to also perform during the event.

Shannon Noll arrived later in the evening giving an impromptu performance to an enthusiastic crowd after performing with his band at the Australia Week promotion.

On returning to Nashville to continue writing for her new CD, Natalie received news she was a triple semi-finalist in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition. Newly penned songs Paint Me Blue and Emotional Day were nominated in the Country category while Paint Me Blue was also named in the Performance category.

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Website pushes towards five million hits

This website – – is pushing towards an annualised figure of at least five million hits this year, almost double the same expectation at this time last year.

"Back in October, we reported passing the three million milestone," said owner/operator of the site Bob Kirchner, "when August and September recorded more than 300,000 hits each.

"The level kept increasing towards the end of the year and in our peak month of January, we recorded almost 500,000 hits alone. Visitation usually drops back slightly after January, but usually not dramatically, so it wouldn't be beyond expectation, at current visitation rates, to look towards an annualised hit rate in the order of five or six million."

Apart from the "hits" figure, the more indicative visits and page view records have also increased dramatically.

In January alone, the website had more than 11,000 visits and almost 18,000 page views.

"The website continues to be the most up to date and comprehensive of all country music news services on the Internet in Australia," Bob said, "and we are commited to maintaining that high level of service well into the future as a perfect complement to the dedicated 'Country Music Bulletin' industry magazine (the only such publication) in Australia."


More results from Tamworth 2008...

Busking Championships

The Nobodies took out the 2008 Bisley Australian Country Music Busking Championships in Tamworth last weekend.

Championships Co-ordinator Deniese Morrison said the event showcased "some young and enthusiastic Aussie talent".

"Sizzlin'" Simon Robinson, aged 12, "Blazin'" Billy Anderberg, aged 11, and Johnny "Sticks" Micallef, also 11, lit up the stage playing "the great Aussie classic TNT.

"Granted, ACDC weren’t one of our more well known country bands," Deniese said, "but when these boys from the mid north coast of NSW hit the stage the crowd, and the judges were swept up in the excitement and raw enthusiasm of The Nobodies.

"The boys not only attracted big crowds busking in Peel Street during the festival, they were also invited to perform with Phil Emmanuel, The Bostocks, Joe Robinson and The Floorboards at The Courthouse Hotel and The Albert to packed houses."

Second place in the Championships went to last year's winner Juzzie Smith, third went to Jabaru.


Tori wins at Tamworth

Up and coming country performer Tori Darke "scooped the pool" at the 2008 Capital Country Music Association (CCMA) National Talent Quest in Tamworth last week, one of the most significant talent searches of the entire event.

Seventeen-year-old Tori won the Junior Vocal section and received the highest overall point score throughout 14 to 17 year old junior championship which had more than 120 entrants.

Part of her win includes a scholarship (her second) into the Camerata junior school of country music which is held in Tamworth in July each year.

Tori, from Mt Annan in NSW, weas involved in a number of other talent quests during the Festival, including the Aristocrat Entertainer of the Year quest where she was named runner-up, the Bundy Jazzer Quest where she was a grand finalist and the Karaoke Idol Competition where she claimed third place.

Being invited to perform at Gina Timms album launch with Beccy Cole, Brianna Lee and Ryan Sampson, as well as performing on the Rising Star Stage plus several other guest spots throughout Tamworth all helped make this Festival her best ever, Tori said. "The excitement has been overwhelming," she said as she launches into "another very exciting year in the country music industry".

As well as two major sponsorships, Tori acquired eight bookings, one of which is a guest appearance at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Busking outside the Inland Café in Peel Street throughout the festival was one of the main highlights as Tori performed for passer buyers and patrons of the restaurant.

Tori's Tamworth Festival achievements can be added to a growing list of accolades.

Photo: Tori with the CCMA's Rene Bonomo (left) and Rod Hazell.

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Bluegrass Championships

Martin Louis won the Banjo Championship staged as part of the revived Australian National Bluegrass Championships in Tamworth during the just concluded country music festival.

It was his third win having previously won the Banjo Championship in 1989 and 1992.

Luke Moller took out the Fiddle Championship, Robbie Long the Flat Pick Guitar Championship and Lachlan Davidson the Mandolin Championship; all three first time winners. Lachlan now joins his musical partner brother Hamish with a Bluegrass Championship title (Hamish won the Millennium [year 2000] National Fiddle Championship).

The Bluegrass Championships were first staged in 1979 by Radio 2TM running continuously until 1997 and held again in 2000 prior to their revitalisation this year.

Judges for the event – all previously involved in the Championships in one way or another – were Mick Albeck (former National Fiddle Champion), recording whiz Jeff McCormack, Rod McCormack (former National Banjo and Flat Pick Guitar Champion), Kym Warner (former National Mandolin Champion) and Trev Warner (former National Banjo Champion).

Photo: Martin Louis with his Championship award.


Bush poetry winners

The 2008 Country Energy Tamworth Bush Poetry Competition turned out to be one of the most exciting programs ever held according to organisers, with "an abundance of very talented performers which delighted the large audiences every day".

"It is a real pleasure to see not only our old tried and true friends, but lots of very talented newcomers giving our competition a first or second go," said Jan Morris speaking on behalf of the Tamworth Poetry Reading Group.

One of the competition's most important roles has been to encourage new poets, "and, over the past 20 years or so, we have given this encouragement to newcomers like Bobby Miller, Ray Essery, Dave Proust and many, many more," Jan said.

"Performances ran the gamut of emotions from laughter to violence to patriotism to sorrow with the stage awash with tears a couple of times. The audience was carried along with it all and showed that they appreciate all the varying aspects of the wonderful bush poetry genre."

In the Original Section of the competition, 2008 winners were John Peel from Ballarat, Victoria, first ("with a very funny poem called 'The Fence Off'"), Mark "Bushie" Thompson from North Queensland second ("with the very moving poem 'Where Else Would A Man Want To Be'") and Carol Heuchan of Cooranbong NSW third ("with another extreme tearjerker, 'Horse Flu – Not Just'").

In the Traditional or Established Works Section, winners were Carol Heuchan (pictured) first with "Bronco Harry's Last Ride" by Jack Drake, Roderick Williams from Bobin NSW with "The Play" by C J Dennis and Reid Begg from Tuncurry NSW third with "The Pontiff's Eyes" by Charlee Marshall.

"Guest comperes John Major, Gary Fogarty, Frank Daniel and Ray Essery added a professional touch to the show," Jan said, "and we appreciate their support. Thank you to all the competitors who make an effort to get to Tamworth and we hope we'll see you again next year."


Krystal and Jessie dominate Jazzer Quest

Krystal Donnelly and Jessie Fairweather won the open and junior sections, respectively, of the 2008 Bundy Jazzer Quest held during this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival.

More than 100 contestants were involved in the six heats which were hotly contested at Country Music Capital's The Pub from Friday January 18 to Wednesday the 23rd, followed by a "wildcard heat" on Thursday the 24th and the grand final on Friday the 25th.

Runner-up in the open section was Lance Coassin while Kaylee Bell placed third. Kiera Smith was named runner-up in the junior section; Dana Hassall third.

Reporting on the quest, Co-ordinator Greg Williams noted that all placegetters in the junior section this year, made the grand final by winning a "wildcard heat".

"The wildcard heat on the Thursday is a successful innovation we introduced a few years back," he said, "and it’s very well received by the audience and contestants. It allows some of those contestants you couldn’t possibly leave out to get another shot at the grand final and the big prize pool, and this year it worked out a treat in the junior section."

All three junior section top three placings were taken out by three "wildcard" winners.

Winner of the open section took home $2000 cash by courtesy of sponsor Bundaberg Rum and a Fender acoustic/electric guitar, arranged by Cheapa Music, Tamworth. Second and third open section placegetters received cash prizes of $800 and $400, respectively.

Winner of the junior section won $1000 from Bundaberg Rum and a Fender acoustic/electric guitar as well as the Axiom Entertainment Agency scholarship to Tamworth Camerata 2008.

Second and third junior placegetters received wonderful prizes $500 and $30, respectively.

Photo (from left): Krystal Donnelly, Lance Coassin, Kaylee Bell, Jesse Fairweather, Kiera Smith and Dana Hassall.


Chart update – third week at the top for Harmony

Harmony James (pictured) is at number one for the third week on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with her song Somebody Stole My Horse.

Amber Lawrence and Kenny Chesney are steady at two and three, respectively, with Gonna Fly and Don't Blink while Gina Jeffreys' The Truth About Lies jumps two places to number four.

Beccy Cole's Lifeboat is steady at five, Adam Harvey's Someone Else's Dream drops to six while Lee Kernaghan's Sassafras Gap is up to seventh place.

Travis Collins' Don't Win Enough bounds into the top 10 at number eight,Travis Sinclair's Carry The Country is steady at nine while Sara Storer's Land Cries Out is at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Troy Cassar-Daley's Last Mile Home (14 to 11), Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower (23 to 19), The McClymonts' My Life Again (28 to 25), Keith Urban's Got It Right This Time (29 to 26) and Kirsty Lee Akers' Goin' To The Beach (30 to 27).

New entries in the chart for the coming week include Adam Brand with his latest Get On Down The Road (in at 29) and Steve Forde's Summer's Little Angel (in at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday nights on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at


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