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WA award winners

Winners of West Australian Country Music Awards were announced during this month's Boyup Brook Country Music Festival.

Connie Kis Andersen (pictured) took out two of the main awards with Best Female Artist and Senior Songwriter for Steamy Dreams.

Codee-Lee Down also won two awards, the Teen Vocalist title and Junior Songwriter for the song Mistakes.

Jonny Taylor was named Best Male Artist Artist while Ian Simpson & Jane Germain won the Best Group/Duo title.

Kate Linke won Album of the Year with Red Dirt.

Deb Beckett took out Single of the Year with Baby Boomers.

Allan Spowatt was named as Best New Talent.

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Chart Update – McAlister Kemp at number one for third week

McAlister Kemp are number one on the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart for the third week this week with their hit Hell Yeah.

Catherine Britt's Sweet Emmylou is steady at two while Troy Cassar-Daley's Yesterday's Bed is up one to three and Lee Kernaghan's Dirt jumps four places to be at number four.

The Kristy Cox/Davidson Bros duet Breakin' New Ground is up one to five, America's Carrie Underwood is at six with Mama's Song and Rose Carleo's That Season Again jumps three places to number seven.

Keith Urban's former number one – Put You In A Song – is at eight, America's George Strait is at nine with The Breath You Take and The McClymonts' A Woman Is A Flame enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Sandra Humphries' Heartaches Highheels And A Halo (19 to 15), Jasmine Rae's Hunky Country Girls (22 to 18), Markus Meier's My Patch Of Dirt (24 to 19), Peter McWhirter's Girls In The Summertime (28 to 25), The Bobkatz' In The Coals (29 to 26) and Harmony James (pictured) with Painted Pony (new at 27).

Other new entries to the chart this week include Doug Bruce with Honky Tonk Shoes (in at 29).



Spirit of the Country floods spirit-raiser announced

A special one-off country music concert aimed at raising the spirits of southern Queensland flood victims and communities devastated by the recent floods was announced in Brisbane today.

The special one-off Spirit of the Country concert event, presented by the Optus Gympie Music Muster, will feature a raft of Australian country music talent including some of the biggest names in the business today.

It will be staged on Sunday March 20 in Toowoomba which, together with the Lockyer Valley, were two of the worst hit areas of the flooding disaster.

Stars of the concert will include James Blundell, Catherine Britt, Troy Cassar-Daley, Bill Chambers, Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Graeme Connors, Adam Harvey, Gina Jeffreys, Lee Kernaghan, McAlister Kemp, Shane Nicholson and Brendon Walmsley.

Compere of the free event will be radio star Ray Hadley.

Today's launch announcement was hosted by Toowoomba raised Gina Jeffreys, flood-affected Troy Cassar-Daley and 2011 double Golden Guitar winner Graeme Connors.

Tickets for the concert are limited to the venue capacity and will be allocated to those who register interest online at The dedicated website also provides information on bus transfers and timetables and suggested items concert goers should take with them.

Those wanting more information prior to registering can telephone the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre on 1800 33 11 55.

The concert has been made possible through the support of organisations and businesses keen to see residents of the affected areas treated to an event where they can forget their troubles, "if only for a few hours," organisers say.

First to come on board was the Gympie Music Muster and its major sponsor Optus. They were joined by Choice Hotels, Coates Hire, Country Music Capital News, Country Update, Norwest Productions, Rural Press Events, the Tinkler Foundation, Toowoomba Regional Council and Woolworths.

Stars of Spirit of the Country and organisers emphasise that the event was not a fundraising project. "There will be no admission charge to attend and experience the performers who collectively boast more than 100 Golden Guitars," they said.

"This is about raising spirits, not raising money. This is about giving something back to so many people who have suffered so much and lost so much during the floods, watching a life time of memories and possessions swept away. We're not builders or plumbers or carpenters… we're entertainers and we'll use the tools we have to help bring a little happiness into their lives," said Gina, one of the driving forces behind the concert.

The floods swept across southern Queensland in areas around Toowoomba and up nearby Dalby, Oakey, Lockyer Valley, Murphy's Creek and Grantham and inundated other areas like Rockhampton and Warwick and resulted in the loss of 35 lives and billions of dollars worth of damage to property, crops and infrastructure.

Country music stars were not untouched by devastation. As well as Gina and Troy, Graeme Connors and Lee Kernaghan both live in Queensland. Troy, particularly, understands the feelings of fellow southern Queensland residents who suffered as he had flood waters from the Brisbane River rise eight inches over the second level of his home at Fernvale and lay waste to his farm.

"We're all in this together," he said, "and we have to help as much as we can."

The concert will be staged at Toowoomba Showground and will start at 1pm. Gates will open at 12noon. Charter buses have been organised to transport event goers from certain locations to the venue.



Applications close Monday 28th for the 2011 Academy of Country Music

Applications for the 2011 Australian Academy of Country Music, run by the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA), close on Monday, February 28.

The Academy was created in 2009 after the merging of the Australian College of Country Music (previously held in January since launching in 1997) and the Camerata School of Country Music which had been running mid-year.

Both Academy curricula now run mid-year – a two week curriculum for students aged over 18 and a one week curriculum for students aged under 18 years of age.

Previous graduates of the Camerata School who are over 16 may be considered for the senior course and are encouraged to apply.

"Whether you're a country music singer, songwriter or instrumentalist, if you're committed to a career in Australian country music, you will benefit by taking part in the Academy," the CMAA says.

The Academy aims to increase the professionalism and skills of emerging country music artists and instrumentalists via an intensive residential environment tailored to meet the needs of individual students with a heavy emphasis on encouraging creativity.

Successful applicants are required to travel to Tamworth at their own expense and participation will be subject to a course fee, which includes full board, accommodation and tuition at Country Music Capital's Calrossy School.

The Academy will deliver a curriculum based on each student's own area of need. Specialist tuition is delivered in the areas of songwriting, vocal technique and delivery, business, management and marketing studies, personal and performance techniques, instrumental technique and music theory. Guardians accompanying students to the junior course participate in a parents' program of learning.

Students undertake specific activities including songwriting, recording, business studies and rehearsal for the graduation concerts.

"The Academy delivers a specialist instrumental program and curriculum so specialist instrumentalists are encouraged to apply," the CMAA says. "The instrumentalist class will work closely with some of the finest musicians in the country."

Full-time Academy team leaders are practising professionals with years of experience in the music industry. Expert musicians, industry and business leaders are called in to help with master classes and specific-interest areas. Full-time tutors for 2011 include Lyn Bowtell, David Carter, Merelyn Carter, Simon Johnson, Amber Lawrence, Mike McClellan, Brendan Radford, Tamara Stewart and Peter Winkler.

Many other leading artists and industry leaders also make appearances during panel discussions and informal get-togethers.

In past years, these have included Mick Albeck, Audrey Auld, Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, Nash Chambers, Greg Champion, Jeff Chandler, Kim Cheshire, Andrew Clermont, Rod Coe, Beccy Cole, Hugh Curtis, Tim Daley, Shanley Del, Joan Douglas, Slim Dusty, John Elliott, Nick Erby, Doug Gallacher, Meryl Gross, Jim Haynes, Ted Howard, Gina Jeffreys, Glenn Jones, John Kane, Fiona Kernaghan, Herm Kovac, Phil Matthews, Rod McCormack, Mike McClellan, Joy McKean, Sam McNally, Lawrie Minson, Eloise Nolan, Chris O'Hearn, Garth Porter, Rob Potts, Mike Smith, Garry Steel, Kedron Taylor, Graham Thompson, Felicity Urquhart and John Williamson.

The senior Academy course commences Friday, June 24 and will stage its graduation concert on Friday, July 8. The junior course commences Friday, July 1 and will stage hold its graduation concert on Thursday, July 7.

Both concerts run as part of the annual Hats Off To Country Festival in Tamworth which starts Thursday July 7 and concludes on Sunday July 10.

Application forms can be downloaded here.

Enquiries can be directed to the CMAA via the website


Chart Update – McAlister Kemp still at number one

McAlister Kemp hang on to the top spot on the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart for the second week this week with their hit Hell Yeah.

Catherine Britt's Sweet Emmylou is steady at two while Troy Cassar-Daley's Yesterday's Bed is up one to three and Lee Kernaghan's Dirt jumps four places to be at number four.

The Kristy Cox/Davidson Bros duet Breakin' New Ground is up one to five, America's Carrie Underwood is at six with Mama's Song and Rose Carleo's That Season Again jumps three places to number seven.

Keith Urban's former number one – Put You In A Song – is at eight, America's George Strait is at nine with The Breath You Take and The McClymonts' A Woman Is A Flame enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Sandra Humphries' Heartaches Highheels And A Halo (19 to 15), Jasmine Rae's Hunky Country Girls (22 to 18), Markus Meier's My Patch Of Dirt (24 to 19), Peter McWhirter's Girls In The Summertime (28 to 25), The Bobkatz' In The Coals (29 to 26) and Harmony James (pictured) with Painted Pony (new at 27).

Other new entries to the chart this week include Doug Bruce with Honky Tonk Shoes (in at 29).



Keith wins fourth Grammy

Keith Urban won the fourth Grammy award of his career to date on Sunday night (American time) for Til Summer Comes Around in the category of best male country vocal performance.

This follows his wins in recent years for Sweet Thing, Stupid Boy and You'll Think of Me.

During the night, Keith (pictured with wife Nicole Kidman on the Grammys red carpet) teamed with John Mayer and Norah Jones to sing Jolene in tribute to Dolly Parton who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year's Grammy night was dominated, however, by the group Lady Antebellum who will tour in Australia this year with Keith.

The group accepted five Grammy awards (from six nominations) for all-genre record of the year and song of the year for Need You Now, best country album for Need You Now and best country song and best country performance by a duo or group for Need You Now.


Victorian award winners

Winners of this year's Victorian & National Country Music Awards were announced at the weekend during the Whittlesea Country Music Festival.

Jason Lee took out three awards in the national section, for Male Vocalist of the Year, the Trailblazers Heritage Award and the songwriter category with Just A Memory.

Tania Kernaghan won Female Vocalist of the Year with Droving Cattle With The Boys, the Group title went to the Leaping Lizards for Good Old Days and the Duet category to Kristy Cox & the Davidson Bros with Breaking New Ground.

Courtney Conway won the Hawking Bros Best New Talent award with Girlie Girl while the Smoky Dawson Best Independent Release went to Dianna Corcoran with Thank You For Cheating On Me.

The Merv Lowry Award for Traditional Country was presented to Doug Bruce with Coffey Road, Instrumental of the Year went to Steve Passfield for Badl bounce and the Bluegrass Award was taken home by Kristy Cox with One Step Away.

Kristy Cox also seemed to dominate the Victorian section winning Group or Duet with the Davidson Bros for Breaking New Ground, Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.

Doug Bruce won two awards in the Victorian section, Album of the Year for A Good Place and Male Vocalist of the Year with Honky Tonk Shoes.




Daryl takes over from Mike

Queensland based writer and broadcaster Daryl Kirkup is taking over the NfS Not for Sale country singles for radio service from Mike and Lee Smith.

Daryl will re-name the service CRS for Country Radio Singles.

"Our primary focus is to keep the NfS service operating," Mike said, "and Daryl is the obvious person to carry the flame.

"He has a long background in radio with a particular emphasis in recent years on country music with 4VL Charleville and the networked 'CMR Nashville' and 'Heatwave Country' programs.

"He is, in our view the ideal person to continue the NfS tradition and brings a combination of knowledge, impartiality and a real passion for the music," Mike said.

NfS number 147, the February release, is the last under the NfS brand. Daryl takes over the from the March issue with the numbers continuing under the new name. All former NfS issues and information will be linked to the new CRS website,

Mike has also retired as editor of "Country Music Capital News".

Photo: Mike with his wife Lee, Cheryl Byrnes and a specially produced Mike Smith "tribute issue cover" of "Capital News" presented during a retirement function during the recent Tamworth Country Music Festival.


Jim's Norfolk tour

Country funnyman Jim Haynes has announced details for his "Bush Verse, History and Country Music Tour" to Norfolk Island from May 12 to 19.

The week will begin with poets breakfasts and workshops featuring Noel Stallard's special John O'Brien tribute "Around the Boree Log" and Jim Haynes' a "Swag of Aussie Verse".

Local poet Archie Bigg will also entertain at the "Wonderland by Night" presentation.

The second part of the tour will consist of the "Norfolk Island History in the Making Tour" and the famous Norfolk Island Country Music Festival featuring Australian artists Gina Jeffreys, Mitchell Shadlow, The Smokin Crawdads and New Zealand artists The Coalrangers, Aly Cook, Roger Tibbs and more.

Further details of Jim's tour can be obtained from The Travel Centre, Norfolk Island Toll free phone 1800 1400 66, email

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Luke to feature in tourism campaign

Luke Webb, the Telstra Road to Tamworth songwriting winner in 2010, will feature in the latest Tourism Australia marketing campaign.

The campaign aims to demonstrate the power of Australia, its people and lifestyle to inspire innovation and creativity and is a collaboration between Tourism Australia and Google/Youtube.

Luke, from NSW's Blue Mountains, is one of four promising Australian musicians who will be paired up with four promising foreign musicians selected to form the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 performing in Sydney in March 2011.

Each pair is being sent on a musical tour of Australia. During their journey they will collaborate to create a piece of music that tells the story of their journey, the places they visited and the experiences they enjoyed together.

Each journey and the musical compilation will be filmed and later broadcast on YouTube and via Tourism Australia's digital and social media channels.

Luke's musical and travelling partner is English cellist Desmond Neysmith. The two will visit NSW and Western Australia where they will participate in a range of Australian experiences including kayaking in Manly, surfing at Bondi, the Sydney Bridge Climb, a visit to Cottesloe Beach, a tour of Kings Park in Perth and a hike in the Kalgoorlie.

Luke said he was excited to be involved in "Making Tracks" and "likes the idea of writing music inspired by the land". Luke plays a number of instruments, including the harmonica and banjo, but will be taking his guitar on the road trip.

He describes his music as "indie folk/modern country". His latest album, River That Runs So Deep, features a collaboration with his classically trained father on the title track.

Desmond has been playing the cello since he was four years old. "Making Tracks" marries his two passions – music and nature – and he says he is looking forward to being inspired by Australia's rich natural landscape and wildlife – a vast contrast to the cold climate of London.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy believes that "Making Tracks" and its creative collaboration with YouTube will enable Tourism Australia to reach new markets by focusing attention on music and the arts.

"'Making Tracks' is Australia's own magical musical mystery tour and will open up some of the nation's most iconic destinations to a huge, global online audience," he said. "I'm sure the experience will prove hugely inspiring to Luke, Desmond and the other musicians taking part.

"What better way to showcase Australia's music, arts and culture than through these unique and highly personalised musical road trips through our great country."

Tourism Australia's work with YouTube is part of its already successful digital marketing strategy, highlights of which include a YouTube-branded channel and the recent "There's nothing like Australia" marketing campaign which has encouraged thousands of people around the world to share their favourite Australian experience.

YouTube is the world's largest online video community with two billion video streams a day and 35 hours of video content uploaded every minute.


Cessnock Festival

The 2011 ECBC Cessnock Country Music Festival will be held from Friday May 27 to Sunday May 29.

To be held at the East Cessnock Bowling Club (ECBC), the Festival will feature headline act Anne Kirkpatrick (pictured) together with the Travelling Country Band with support Peter Denahy on the Saturday night.

Friday night will see a number of popular local acts combining for "A Celebration of Country Music" – Alby Pool, Melody Pool, Tara Naysmith, Lisa White and Rob Wilson.

More than 30 artists will perform during the weekend including a the Sunday of Balladeers with Norma O'Hara Murphy headlining on the day.

Further information is available from the Festival organiser Rhonda Astill, email


Chart Update – McAlister Kemp at number one

McAlister Kemp (pictured) have hit number one on the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart this week with their hit Hell Yeah.

Catherine Britt's Sweet Emmylou edges up one to number two while Keith Urban's former number one – Put You In A Song – is at three and Troy Cassar-Daley's Yesterday's Bed is steady at four.

Americans George Strait and Carrie Underwood are at five and seven, respectively, with The Breath You Take and Mama's Song while the Kristy Cox/Davidson Bros duet Breakin' New Ground is at six.

Lee Kernaghan's Dirt bounds into the top 10 at eight, as does Allan Caswell's Who Gets The Friends at nine and Rose Carleo's That Season Again takes over the number 10 spot.

Bullet performers for the week include The McClymonts' A Woman Is A Flame (17 to 14), Jasmine Rae's Hunky Country Girls (26 to 22) and Markus Meier's My Patch Of Dirt (28 to 24).

One new entry to the chart this week, The Bobkatz' In The Coals (in at 29).



Bungendore winners

The weekend's Bungendore Country Muster has been declared a success by organisers and winners of the Stan Coster Memorial Bash Ballad Awards announced.

"We haven't finalised any figures yet," organisers said, "but the indications are that it was a very successful muster. We had a fair bit of rain before and during, but it didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits and all seemed to enjoy the concerts.

"We had a wonderful and very talented line up of artists again this year."

Winner of the Male Vocal award was Glenn Jones (pictured) with Goodbye Old Chap while Judy Stevens won Female Vocal with Australia All Over.

Glenn also won Album of the Year went for Brumbies Run.

Trudy Hintz took out the New Talent category with Memories Won't Let Me Be and Peter Simpson won the Instrumental award with Akubras in the Snow.

Graham Rodger won the Songwriter award with The Cooper Coming Down, Ted Egan was successful in Comedy Song with Queensland Opera and Trent Holder was presented with the Encouragement Award.

The 2012 Muster will run on February 4 and 5.

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$7,540 grant to ACMF

The Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF) in Tamworth, operators of Australia's Country Music Hall of Fame, have been granted $7,540 by the NSW State Government to help the organisation digitise its collection of photographs, film and video.

"This project will allow the Foundation to preserve many important elements of Australia's rich country music heritage for future generations," said Tamworth's Member of the State Parliament Peter Draper.

"The ACMF has been given the status of a nationally and internationally significant collection, and as it is housed here in Tamworth, I am pleased to see our enthusiastic local volunteers being supported in their efforts to progress the preservation process.

"The objectives of the ACMF are to collect, preserve and make available to the community the history and heritage of Australian country music. It seeks to achieve this goal in two ways, through the exhibits of its Australian Country Music Hall of Fame and its archive," he said.

"(Our) volunteers are incredibly enthusiastic about what we do," said ACMF President Eric Scott, "and are all very grateful to Peter Draper and the NSW government for recognising the importance of our work which at times can be extremely expensive, not only with the need for specialised equipment, but also 500 year rated acid free storage containers, and so on.

"These funds will extend our 'PicSave' project into preserving priceless video recordings as well as our thousands of historic still photographs. We have been offered two major video collections in addition to our present collection which we will now be able to preserve by digitisation. There are many thousands of man-hours involved in video alone," Eric said.

Peter Draper said the ACMF had developed an extensive collection, from 78rpm records to CDs. From the dresses of the female entertainers to the boots and buckles of the men, a wide range of instruments, many documents relating to the lives and careers of performers and songwriters, portraits and photographs of the people involved as performers and fans, plus an extensive range of films and videos on Australian country music being performed.

"From the mid 1930s to the late '40s, people like Tex Morton, Buddy Williams, Smoky Dawson, Shirley Thoms, Gordon Parsons, Slim Dusty and Dusty Rankin developed a distinctly Australian form of country music.

"They, and many who followed in their footsteps, are honoured on the Australian Country Music Roll of Renown, and now the ACMF will also be able to maintain much more of that fabulous history through their preservation efforts," he said.

"The ACMF can now take a major step forward with its collection by ensuring the longevity of its contents and making it available to a wider public who may visit via the Internet."

Photo (from left): ACMF volunteers Bev McCumstie, Max Ellis, Barrie Brennan, Gary Collins, Lorraine Pfitzner, Eric Scott, Judy Loffel and Diane Bartlett after the presentation by Peter Draper (pictured next to Eric).


Legends sing on

Lee Gailer reports in The Gympie Times

Australian country music legends The Webb Brothers have been signed to a major record label (Warner Music) and released a new album after 55 years of recording their music.

The new CD, The Best Of The Webb Brothers, was officially released on Friday and has given new life to recordings that were thought to be dead and buried.

The brothers were signed to Festival Records about 30 years ago and many recordings were made on analogue tape.

These were dug out after Warner acquired the label in 2005 and executives made a decision to dust off archive recordings to digitally remaster them for re-release.

"It was unreal the difference in sound that came out," said a pleased Fabian Webb, "it was like going into a shower dirty and coming out clean. The mixes came up good."

The Webb Brothers latest album, The Best of Volume 1 & 2, should be on the shelves at all music stores in two weeks but can be pre-ordered from today.

The album contains all their favourites and includes hits from albums recorded independently over the years.

"A lot of these songs are around 30 years old... A lot of people around here wouldn't have heard them or even know who we are," said Fabian, speaking on behalf of his brothers Marius and Berard.

"Brilliant musicians played on some of the songs. The Joye Boys did most of the backing for the second CD and front-man Col Joye was musical arranger.

"One song we particularly liked was comedy-piece She Burned The Little roadside Tavern Down, which has saxophone added and now a little extra at the end."

Curious fans will have to buy the album to find out, but apparently the session musicians were "killing themselves laughing" and made sure the sound was left when mastering the release.

The Webb Brothers' family and friends celebrate the release of the album at Charlies this Thursday night.

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OAMs for Cyril and Doug

Catching up on more Australia Day awards,,, two former members of the Jimmy Little Trio – Cyril Green and Doug Peters were both awarded the Order of Australia Medal in January.

Cyril (lead guitar) and Doug (drums), together with the late Neville Thorne and Max Kim, worked in a re-formed Jimmy Little Band from the early 1960s providing a highly professional backing band for the star, creating a sound that contributed greatly to his continuing success.

Click here for the full story.


Country Music Channel Awards

Australia's specialist country music pay television outlet Country Music Channel (CMC) has expanded it's original Oz Artist of the Year by an additional three categories as the CMC Music Awards.

Public voting is now underway at the CMC website for Oz Artist of Year, New Oz Artist of the Year, Music Video of the Year and International Artist of the Year.

Finalists for Oz Artist of the Year are Victoria Baillie, James Blundell, The Bobkatz, Adam Brand, Liam Brew, Catherine Britt, Stephanie Brownlee, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, Dianna Corcoran, Kristy Cox, Tori Darke, Jayne Denham, Shea Fisher, Steve Forde, Adam Harvey, Jetty Road, Lee Kernaghan, Tania Kernaghan, Tracy Killeen, Amber Lawrence, The McClymonts, Markus Meier, McAlister Kemp, Jasmine Rae, Sara Storer, The Sunny Cowgirls, Felicity Urquhart, Peter McWhirter and John Williamson.

Finalists for this award, who must be based primarily in Australia) are the "most played" by CMC in the 10 months January to October 2010 (based on total artist plays counted across all clips on the Channel.

Finalists for New Oz Artist of the Year are Victoria Baillie, Chelsea Basham, Liam Brew, Stephanie Brownlee, Katrina Burgoyne, Kristy Cox, Tori Darke, Jason Lee, Gemma Luxton, McAlister Kemp, Peter McWhirter, Leanne Melmoth, Tenielle Nada, Mark Wells and The Wilson Pickers.

Finalists for this award are the 15 "most played" and must have featured as a "new clip" on CMC and achieved more than 150 plays of at least one clip during 2010. Artists must also have recorded no more than one album and have no more than five video clips.

For Music Video of the Year... A Different Land by Markus Meier, Australian Boy by Lee Kernaghan, Calling Me Home by Sara Storer, Dog House Blues by Liam Brew, I Will Stand By You by Peter McWhirter, It Don't Buy You Love by McAlister Kemp, It's Gonna Be OK by Adam Brand, Pray For You by Jaron & The Long Road To Love, Mr Yesterday by Victoria Baillie, Naughty Side by The Sunny Cowgirls, That's Where The Faith Comes In by Kristy Cox, Til Summer Comes Around by Keith Urban, The Truth About Me by Chelsea Basham, Women Like Me Don't Like Girls Like You by Amber Lawrence and Wrong Girl by Dianna Corcoran.

Criteria for finalists for this award is... the top 15 viewer voted clips selected from the 50 most played artists on CMC from January to October 2010 and must have achieved at least 150 plays.

Finalists for International Artist of the Year are... Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Joe Nichols, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

To qualify as finalists for this award, nominees must come from the most played artist listfrom January 1 to October 31, 2010 (counted across all clips on the Channel) and must not be based in Australia.

Fans voting in the Awards have the chance to win numerous prizes from the artists nominated and a trip to CMC Rocks The Hunter 2011.

Voting closes at 11:59pm (AEDT) February 20, 2011.

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Boyup Brook country music

Boyup Brook Country Music Festival and West Australian Country Music Awards are coming up this month.

The Festival runs from Wednesday February 16 to Sunday February 20. The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday evening, February 18.

Organisers say the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival is now recognised as one of the top four country music festivals in Australia. "Four big days of live country music, fun and entertainment by over 100 artists including Troy Cassar-Daley, Felicity Urquhart, Peter Denahy, Rohan Powel and Amber Joy Poulton... Fitzroy Xpress, Lorin Nicholson, Graham Rodger, Tony Wagner and many more."

The Festival incorporates many activities including the Boyup Ute & Truck Muster, Art Awards and Exhibition, one of Australia's largest bush poets breakfasts and the WA Bush Poet Awards, street carnival and markets, workshops and, of course, the Go for 2 & 5 2011 West Australian Country Music Awards.

The Awards "are highly sought after and has proven to be the launching pad for many up and coming performers who have gone to become firmly established in the country music industry," organisers say.

A major activity held in conjunction with the annual Festival is the Boyup Brook Street Carnival.

"It is the foremost community event held in Boyup Brook annually," organisers say. "It is a celebration of the stimulating and colourful country life and culture that enriches Boyup Brook and fosters participation of all arts and community groups."

The Carnival, in the town centre, will run on the Saturday and will feature The Crack Up Sisters from Queensland, the Bad Piper from Perth, Deb Perry (Spoons Champon) and the Wadumbah Aboriginal Dance Group.

"It's a day of cheerful entertainment with a huge line up of attractions planned to keep all ages smiling," organisers say. "The Street Carnival is a dynamic event that transforms inner Boyup Brook into an explosion of epic proportions, combining music, art installations, roving performers and artisan markets... buskers, bands and entertainment galore."

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22nd Bunyip Festival

The 22nd Bunyip Country Music Festival will be held on Sunday February 27 at the Bunyip Recreation Reserve, Nar Nar Goon Long-warry Roap, Bunyip, Victoria.

The program will commence with a bush poet's breakfast walk-up at 8am with Ed Walker.

Non-stop music gets underway from 10 fronted by headline act double Golden Guitar Luke Austen (pictured) with Kirsty Lee Akers (pictured), Cahoots, Tim Farren, Johanna Hemara, Marie Hodson, Ruckus and Simply Bushed. Compere is Andrew Embling.

The day will include activities for children, market stalls, food, drink and amenities on site.

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Chart Update – Keith at number one for second week

Keith Urban's Put You In A Song is at number one for the second week on the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart this week.

McAlister Kemp's Hell, Yeah is steady at two while Catherine Britt's Sweet Emmylou is up three to number three and Troy Cassar-Daley's Yesterday's Bed is up one to four.

America's George Strait and Reba McEntire are at five and six, respectively, with The Breath You Take and Turn On The Radio while Jonah's Road is steady again at seven with End Of The World.

Jayne Denham's former number one, Feral Kev & General Leroy, is at eight, the Kristy Cox/Davidson Bros duet Breakin' New Ground is at nine and America's Carrie Underwood is at 10 with Mama's Song.

Bullet performers for the week include Lee Kernaghan's Dirt (17 to 13) and Jasmine Rae's Hunky Country Girls (29 to 26) and Sarah McMonagle's C'est La Vie (30 to 27).

New to the chart this week are Markus Meier's My Patch Of Dirt (in at 28) and Peter McWhirter (pictured) with Girls In The Summertime (at 30).



Barham Stampede

The Barham Country Music Stampede runs in the NSW Murray River town this month.

With stars and star acts including the Lindsay Butler Show, Stephen R Cheney, Royden Donohoe, Nikki Gillis (pictured), Tom Maxwell and Amber Joy Poulton, the Stampede runs from Sunday February 13 to Sunday the 20 at the Barham & District Services Memorial Club.

Included in the more than 80 hours of entertainment, poet's breakfast is held on the Saturday is always a popular morning.


Tamworth bush poetry

The 2011 Country Energy Tamworth Bush Poetry Competition held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival has been described as a great success.

Competition winners were...

In Traditional or Established Works, Noel Bull from Musk in Victoria, came first; Brenda Joy from Coochiemudlo Island, Qld, second; and Peter Mace from Empire Bay, NSW, third.

In the Original Section... Graeme Johnson from West Ryde, NSW, was first; Jim Riches from Albany, WA, second; and John Best from Mango Hill, Qld, was third.

Compere Dave Proust commented on the way this competition had been "the launching pad for a great many of the top poets performing around Australia today.

"This year's competition proved to be no different, with an interesting mix of the old and the new and, in some cases, the 'new' showed up some exciting new talent from performers we are bound to see a lot more of."

"The Tamworth Poetry Reading Group is very grateful for the support of so many of the 'older' competitors of the past who help out with compering and even with a difficult mike stand during the heats (thanks Manfred)," said organiser Jan Morris.

"In particular, we would like to thank all those who helped promote our inaugural Children's Competition and to Geoffrey Graham and Noel Stallard who made our one and only competitor feel like 'King of the Kids'.

"We hope to try again next year and will be looking for everyone to spread the word and encourage the kids to enter. Congratulations to Jye Osborne of Moama, NSW, who has the honour of being the first winner of the Country Energy Children's Bush Poetry Competition.

"Thank you to all competitors who travelled from near and far, and especially to the Queenslanders, for whom just getting here must have been a supreme effort," Jan said.

Photo (top, back from left): Noel Bull, Jim Riches, John Best, Peter Mace, Brenda Joy, Matt Patterson, Regional General Manager, Country Energy; (front): Graeme Johnson.

Photo (bottom): Jys Osborne, first winner of the Country Energy Children's Bush Poetry Competition with David Crough, Community Relations Manager of Country Energy.


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