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June 2008

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2008

James to headline drought-themed concerts

James Blundell (pictured) is joining forces with the NSW State Government to headline a series of special country music concert events in southern and western NSW that aim to give families a break from the stresses of drought.

The Government has provided funding to help support the six events which kick off in Urana this Friday (July 4).

"These events are being organised in parts of the State that are doing it very tough through this ongoing drought," said NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald, "and are designed to give families and communities a chance to come together and enjoy a night out.

"(They) are another part of the NSW Government’s on-going drought assistance – we have already committed more than $390 million to drought support, and we will continue to stick by our rural communities for as long as it takes," he said.

The concerts are being coordinated by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI)’s drought support workers with sponsorship and support from a range of community and government agencies.

"(Our) songs won’t make it rain or lift market prices," said James, "but they will remind us this has all happened before and every day it doesn’t rain is one day closer to when it does."

Joining James on all shows will be Peter Denahy with appearances on various shows by 2008 New Talent Golden Guitar winner Kirsty Lee Akers (pictured) and singer/songwriter Tamara Stewart.

Admission to the events is free and there will a range of entertainment activities for the whole family.

Co-ordinating the entertainment side is Square One Entertainment’s Neil Richards (manager of James Blundell and Kirsty Lee Akers) who says he is happy to hear from other performers willing to give their time to support these events. Neil can be contacted on 07) 5548 6268, mobile 0413 391 859 or email

Concerts will be held at Urana, Wakool, Booligal, Ungarrie, Barellan and Jerilderie. Details on transport and other event information can can be obtained from Drought Support Workers Lloyd Kingham in Urana (on 0427 957 535), Don Burrowes in Wakool and Jerilderie (on 0427 332 4033), Danny Byrnes in Booligal (0428 973 141), Jan Bruce in Ungarie (0427 257 191) and Lou Revelant in Barellan (0419 167 662).

See our On Tour page for details of dates and venues.


And releasing his first DVD

Meanwhile, it has also been announced that James will release his first ever DVD next Monday (July 7).

The Definitive Collection 1988–2008 celebrates the first 20 years of James’ career and features 21 clips from across those years.

James became the first of a new breed of Australian country artists to find a younger audience and achieve gold and platinum record sales. He enjoyed crossover success and was for many years the highest selling contemporary country artist in Australia.

He has also written hits for Slim Dusty, Lee Kernaghan and Jimmy Little and is the recipient of nine Golden Guitar awards and five ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Award nominations.

The Definitive Collection 1988–2008 is the first compilation (audio or video) to feature material from all of James’ nine albums including Ring Around The Moon, his most recent work which has been nominated for ARIA, APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) and Golden Guitar Awards.

"James changed the landscape of Australian country music when he emerged in the late 1980s," said Graham Thompson, Managing Director of Compass Bros, James' record label.

"He absorbed the tradition of the great storytellers of Australian country music and served it up fresh in a way that really connected with a broad audience. His music resonated with young and old, male and female, in the country and the city and paved the way for many of our contemporary country artists."

"James Blundell is one of the greatest singer/songwriters this country has ever produced," said Lee Kernaghan. "He kicked down the doors and busted through with a new kind of country... it was a revolution."

"As a young country music singer, James Blundell was the guy I looked up to," said Adam Brand. "He forged a path that I and many others have followed."

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Big Country Jamm 2008

The biggest line-up of some of Australia’s hottest country music stars will be performing for Jamm for Genes, the music event in support of Jeans for Genes Day, on Thursday July 31 at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, Sydney.

It is being billed as "the biggest Country Jamm since Tamworth". "And it’s worth celebrating," organisers say, "because all proceeds help tomorrow’s children through the Children’s Medical Research Institute."

Following their role last year as Jamm for Genes Ambassadors, The McClymonts (pictured, from left, Sam, Mollie and Brooke) will headline the concert with (in alphabetical order), Catherine Britt, Glenn Cardier, Morgan Evans, Col Finley, Nicki Gillis, Amber Lawrence, Drew McAlister, Stacey Morris, Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French and the Yeehaa Boys.

The night will be presented by Jamm for Genes Patron Glenn A Baker and co-hosted by Jim Haynes.

More information on the event can be obtained here.

More information on Jamm for Genes, including other events, can be obtained at the official website –

The not-for-profit Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) studies the importance of genes for healthy development and genetic disorders which affect 1 in 20 children. Genetic childhood diseases include cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and cancers. The CMRI’s leading science helps the world develop better treatments, cures and perhaps even preventions.

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The Sunny Cowgirls' new album

Dust Will Settle is the title of The Sunny Cowgirls eagerly anticipated third album which is due for release on “Dust Will Settle” will be released on Saturday August 2.

Preceding the album release is the first single and accompanying video clip from the new work, Acting Stupid and a documentary to screen on CMC (Country Music Channel) throughout July (first screening, this Thursday night – July 3 – at 7).

Filmed to complement the new album, the documentary follows the The Sunny Cowgirls from their beginning through to the hard-working professionals they are today.

The Sunny Cowgirls, Celeste and Sophie Clabburn, burst on to the Australian country music scene when they signed with Compass Bros Records in 2005. Now, the girls have two albums with cumulative sales of more than 30,000 units, sold-out national tours and many hit singles.

Dust Will Settle was recorded in Sydney and Tamworth with producer Graham Thompson.

"The Sunny Cowgirls trademark themes are unmistakably and unashamedly present," said a Compass Bros spokesman, "but there is also a new maturity in their writing. Vocally the girls are stronger than ever and their shared lead vocals and unique harmonies set them apart as true stylists."

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JW auction passes $5,000 mark

John Williamson's Hillbilly Road Getaway auction was up to $5,450 and rising late tonight.

John is offering a unique opportunity to the highest bidder and donating monies raised to Variety, the Children’s Charity... for a night with the country star and his partner at his Springbrook retreat in the Queensland Gold Coast hinterland (click here for our first story with more information).

The promotion is being run in conjunction with the upcoming August release of John's first album in three years – Hillbilly Road.

The auction ends this Wednesday (July 2) at 8:30pm Australian Eastern Standard time.

Click here to bid.


FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008

Beccy to perform in Honiara

Beccy Cole will star in a free concert in Honiara on the Solomon Islands tomorrow (Saturday June 28).

The free concert is being sponsored by RAMSI (the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, a partnership between the Government and people of Solomon Islands and the contributing countries of the Pacific region).

Venue for the concert will be the Cultural Village in Honiara.

Blues guitarist Cass Eager and a rock band headed by Claire Clarke will play support to Beccy. It is also hoped a number of local acts will also be showcased.

The performers are in the Solomon Islands as part of a tour organised by the Australian Government to travel the world and visit countries where Australian military and police are working.

RAMSI Special Coordinator Tim George said that, given the upcoming 30th Anniversary celebrations, RAMSI wanted to make this gift to the people of the Solomon Islands.

"Music is such a big part of the culture of Solomon Islands," he said. "RAMSI’s pleased to be able to share some of Australia’s own musical culture with the people of Honiara."

The Honiara concert will start at 2pm and finish at 4pm.


John performs for America's CMA

Fresh from his performance at the 2008 CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Australia's John Stephan stopped by the Country Music Association (CMA) to perform for staff there.

Picture (by CMA's Drew Maynard) shows (from left) Tony Conway (CMA Board Member and President/Owner of Buddy Lee Attractions), Tammy Genovese (CMA's Chief Executive Officer), John, Kitty Moon Emery (John's manager, CMA Board Member and CEO of Kitty Moon Enterprises) and producer Scott Hendricks.

John has spent the last few months in America recording and featuring in a number of successful performances.

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South Australian awards

The South Australian Country Music Festival & Awards (talent quest) concluded at Barmera earlier this month.

Inducted into the SA Country Music Hall of Fame were Troy Cassar-Daley, Michel Rose (pictured) and Chris "Truckin'" Stevens.

In the talent quest, first place in Gospel Senior went to Georgette Berry, in Gospel Junior (13 years & under and 16 years & under), the winner was Nathaniel O'Brien.

In the 12 Years & Under section, Ellie Morrish was the winner; in Instrumental, first place was taken out by Danny Gyory while Kristal Collins won the Songwriter section.

Terry Bradford & Helen Ellis won the Duo section, The Texettes the Band section and Caillen Biggs the Australian Bush Ballads section.

Female Vocal went to Kristal Collins, Male Vocal to John Turner and Country Rock to The Texettes.

Anne Rogers was named the SA Bush Poetry State Performance Champion, Anne Rogers the SA Bush Poetry Open Performance Champion and Kym Eitel the SA Bush Poetry State Written Champion.

Daisy Hunter and Erald Hunter were presented with the Maple Leaf Award, an honour given to those volunteer workers who have donated 10 years or more of their time and knowledge to ensure the success of the Barmera Festival.

This year's SA Award of Excellence winner was Georgette Berry with John Turner runner-up.

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Kel-Anne releases single with new album launch

Kel-Anne Brandt is releasing a single – Sometimes You Win When You Lose – to co-incide with the launch of her new album – I'm A Big Girl Now – on Sunday.

The album, produced by Roger Corbett at The Valley Studio, is being promoted as one that "showcases Kel-Anne's versatility as a singer with a great mix of classic country, contemporary and new co-written songs".

Nicknamed "the Pocket Rocket" for her stature and her "passionate and versatile performing", Kel-Anne Brandt has been described as a performer with a dynamic stage presence.

Originally from Cessnock in the NSW Hunter Valley Wine Country, Kel-Anne made her stage debut at the age of three and has gone on to perform and entertain fans both nationally and internationally, including a stint to sing for Australian troops and Federal Police in the Solomons last year.

Kel-Anne has appeared regularly on television, including acting roles and performance spots.

Faced with a life threatening condition in 1997, Kel-Anne says she realised it was time to make a change and make a success of her career. And she gave up her day job to follow her dream of being a country music star.

Kel-Anne’s single Somewhere Between Love And Leavin' became a top 30 hit in 2001 and, in 2003, she had a top 10 hit on the national country charts and top 30 internationally with the single Rodeo Eyes.

Three times nominated for the annual "MO" Awards for Female Country Performer Of The Year, Kel-Anne has also been among the finalists for an ACE (Australian Club Entertainment) Award and a TIARA (Tamworth Independent Artists Recognition Award).

Sometimes You Win When You Lose was written by Gina Jeffreys and Rick Price. Other tracks on the album were contributed by a wide range of writers including Sherrie Austin and Gretchen Peters. Kel-Anne's co-writes on the release include Go Away Come Back (with Drew McAlister) and Top Of My List (with Roger Corbett).

Musicians on the album included Mick Albeck on fiddle, Brad Bergen on drums, Gary Daley on organ, Stuie French on electric and acoustic guitars, Rex Goh on electric guitar, Ian Lees on bass, Bill Risby on piano, Michel Rose on pedal steel and Natalie Eggenhuizeb-Brandt, Shayne Parle and Daniel Thompson on backing and duet vocals.

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Entries open for 2008 Musicoz Awards

Entries are now open for the 2008 National Musicoz Awards for unsigned and independent artists.

The Awards are made up of 17 different categories... Country, Blues/Roots, Acoustic/Singer-Songwriter, Rock, Pop, Dance/Electronica, Urban, Alternative, Schoolies, Video, Metal/Hardcore, World/Folk, Jazz/Classical, International, Christian/Spiritual, Live and Instrumental.

In addition to the "entered" categories, other awards will include the Unsigned Initiative Award, the APRA Songwriter’s Award, Tony Mott Photography Award, Garth Porter Producer Award, People’s Choice (Public Vote) Award and Artist of the Year award.

As well as the prestige of winning a National Musicoz Award, organisers have amassed well over $150,000 worth of cash, prizes and industry opportunities for the various award winners, including recording time, record deals, publishing deals, photo shoots, music videos and instrument and equipment prizes.

"All artists get their own profile page on our popular website which can be also used for their own promotion," said a Musicoz spokesman. "We also have a professional song feedback service designed to assist developing songwriters to further their craft.

"All of our categories and awards except one are judged by an elite Musicoz Judging Academy representing major and indie labels, managers, booking agents, radio and TV program and music directors, record producers and engineers and major music journalists."

The only Award not judged by the industry is the People’s Choice (public vote) Award. All entrants in all categories are eligible also for this award which is determined by receiving SMS votes. All artists and bands can receive votes and potentially go into the Musicoz interactive voting charts.

For the past eight years, Musicoz has been at the forefront of the surge in popularity in independent music in Australia and the National Musicoz Awards.

"So if you’re unsigned or independent," organisers say, "if you’re a solo artist or in a band, no matter what style of music you create, go to (our website) and upload your music now."

Entries close August 31.

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Chart update – Kasey & Shane hit the top

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson have taken over the number one position on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with their hit, the title track to their duet album Rattlin' Bones.

America's George Strait is up one to second place with I Saw God Today while Brad Paisley's I'm Still A Guy is at three and Carter & Carter jump two places to number four with Slow Dancing At Midnight.

Jetty Road's City Lights is steady at five while Catherine Britt and Amber Lawrence jump two places each, to six and seven, respectively, with What I Did Last Night and Good Girls.

Carrie Underwood's All American Girl slips to number eight while Adam Brand bounds into the top 10 at number nine with Comin' From / Khe Sanh and Alan Jackson's Small Town Southern Man is down to number 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Travis Collins' Rip It Up (14 to 11), Melinda Schneider's Heart Of A Woman (17 to 13), The McClymonts' Finally Over Blue (18 to 14), Rose Carleo & Drew McAlister's Sometimes You Just Know (19 to 15), Kirsty Lee Akers' The Territory (20 to 17), Sharon Benjamin's The Picture (24 to 21), Harmony James' Home (26 to 23) and Good Tones by Lee Forster & Travis Sinclair (28 to 25).

New entries to the chart this week include Donna Boyd with Never Gonna Be That Girl Again (at 28) and Brian Young & Troy Cassar-Daley with That Old Wheel (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



Nicki entertains the troops

A talented group of Australian performers – including country's Nicki Gillis – have been bringing a little piece of home to Australian Defence Force personnel in Timor-Leste this week.

Nicki joined stars including singer/songwriter Amy Pearson, blues musician Rick Steele, comedians Kevin "Bloody" Wilson and television presenter Aniela Hedditch who have performed a series of concerts around Timor-Leste since arriving in Dili on Friday.

In a tradition that pre-dates the Vietnam War, the entertainers are donating their time and energy free of charge to bring some home-grown cheer to Australian and New Zealand personnel. Along with concerts for personnel in Dili and surrounding areas, the entertainers have also performed for soldiers serving in the province of Gleno, which was attended by a large number of local people.

Nicki, who has previously performed for Australian troops in the Middle East and the Solomon Islands, said her time in Timor-Leste has been very enjoyable so far.

"It?s been great to spend time with such talented performers, and being able to let all the troops know that we?re thinking of them back home," she said. "We?re having a blast."

Amy Pearson said her experiences in Timor-Leste have given her an appreciation for what Australian troops are doing in the country.

"This has been the most amazing experience," she said. "I am so proud of everything our soldiers are achieving in Timor, and I can?t think of a better audience to perform to."

Photo: Nicki Gillis with Australian troops after the Forces Entertainment concert in Dili, Timor-Leste.


JW's Hillbilly Road auction

John Williamson is offering a unique opportunity to the highest bidder and donating monies raised to Variety, the Children’s Charity.

"Would you and a friend like to spend a night with John Williamson and partner Meg at John’s Springbrook retreat including fireside songs and great conversation?" asks a spokesman for the singer. "Would you like to see where John writes his songs?

"You’ll be met at Coolangatta airport by John and driven to his home in Springbrook in the Gold Coast Hinterland overlooking the beautiful Numinbah Valley."

The winner will receive airfares to the Gold Coast from any capital city airport in Australia, chauffeur driven transfer from Coolangatta airport by John himself, dinner, bed and breakfast at John’s little mountain cottage in Springbrook and an autographed copy of John’s new album, Hillbilly Road.

John's new album – his first in three years – will be released in August.

"This Hillbilly Road Getaway is the ideal gift for John’s biggest fan or a wonderful treat for you and a friend," the spokesman said. "The best part is you don't have to feel guilty about rewarding yourself as all proceeds will benefit sick, disadvantaged and special needs children in Australia through the world’s greatest children’s charity, Variety, the Children’s Charity."

The auction ends on Wednesday July 2 at 8:30pm Australian Eastern Standard time.

Click here for more information and to bid.


Jackie returns to America

New Zealand singer/songwriter Jackie Bristow is returning to America with new management, a new label and new CD.

Following her last appearance there in August last year, Jackie agreed to work with Carmel-based music business veteran David Bean to manage her career in the United States.

Her latest appearances will be in support of the US release of her full-length recording Crazy Love on the label.

"It's been almost three years that I've been trying to break through to America," Jackie said, "this is like a dream come true for me, to have a release here, to be working with people who believe in me and who are pushing it. I feel like it's a launching pad for me. It's not easy coming from another country, not knowing anyone."

In Australia and New Zealand, though, there are lots of people who know who Jackie is and how her music makes them feel.

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Heartache is Danny's new single

South Australian singer/songwriter Danny Hooper has released a new single – Heartache – from his successful debut album, The Legacy.

The album has already produced two top 40 hits – Every Reason and Already Gone. Now, with Heartache, the potential is there for a third.

Things couldn’t be going better for Danny, he says, with the release of his third single and the anticipation of taking his music to two of the biggest country music festivals in Australia – Mildura and the Toyota National Country Music Muster at Gympie.

"This has been a huge year for me following a great start at the Tamworth Festival in January," he said. "I’ve had a really positive reaction to the album from so many areas and now I have the chance to expand my reach even further, with shows at Gympie and Mildura – to two totally different audiences. I almost want to pinch myself when I realise I’m actually now doing what I was always destined to do."

Danny was just 10 years old when his father, Kingsley Hooper, passed down a musical baton in the form of his old guitar. That gift was recognised for posterity when Danny put into words and music – The Legacy – the title track of his album.

"So many times people don’t get the chance to say thank you and I love you to the people who mean the most," Danny said. "I’m very fortunate in that I have been given that chance to pay tribute to my dad while he’s still around. You just never know how long you will be blessed to have your father."

For the past 13 years, Danny has been a professional musician in conjunction with the role of house dad to his and Lea’s three children – Jace, Courteney and Tom.

"I’ve always believed you have to get out there and have a go at life if you want to make things happen," he said. "My motto has always been to 'have a crack because you just never know until you have a go'. That’s just what I’m doing with this album – getting out there and paddling for all it’s worth."

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CMC Top 50 – Adam still at number one

Adam Brand remains at number one on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of his latest hit Comin' From/Khe Sanh.

Amber Lawrence moves up one place to be in second position with Good Girls while Jetty Road jump four places to number four with City Lights and The McClymonts' Finally Over Blue slips to number six.

Catherine Britt's What I Did Last Night is at eight, Travis Collins' Rip It Up is at nine and Melinda Schneider's latest single Be Yourself jumps four places after last week's debut to number 12.

Other Bullet performers this week include The Harmonators' Don't Come Back (28 to 24), James Blundell with Four Feet Tall (new at 33), Slim Dusty's How Good It Is (41 to 34), Tamara Stewart's Lessons (I will Survive) (42 to 38) and Drew McAlister's Somewhere Somehow (50 to 47).

The CMC Country Pick for this week is Jasmine Rae (pictured) with Country Singer.

The full playlist can be viewed at



FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2008

2008 "MO" Award winners

Wayne Horsburgh, Melinda Schneider and the Wolverines (pictured) have taken out this year's country category "MO" Awards.

This year's award to Melinda is her fifth consecutive "MO" in the Country Female Vocal Performer category and her seventh "MO" since winning the JO'K Encouragement Award in 1995.

It was Wayne's sixth "MO" award and the first since 1996 following a string of titles won through the 1980s and eary '90s.

And it was the fourth gong for the Wolverines after their trifecta for the Country Group award in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The late Smoky Dawson was honoured during the awards presentation on Tuesday night in Sydney with an Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Country Music Industry award.

Judy Stone, a previous multi winner of the Country Female Vocal Performer award and who toured with Slim Dusty in the early stages of her career, was named winner of the 2008 "MO" Awards Hall of Fame Award.

And entertainer Darren Carr, who is the brother of country singer/songwriter Mike Carr and works regularly with the country music industry, took home a swag of awards including the Versatile Performer award, the Ken Littlewood & Toshi Specialty Performer award and the Peter Allen Australian Performer of the Year award.

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Teenage yodelling champion to tour Australia

Taylor Ware, the 13-year-old yodelling champion and "America's Got Talent" top five finalist, will tour Australia for two weeks in July following a performance at America's famous Carnegie Hall on Tuesday (June 24).

"America's Yodeling Sweetheart" was asked to perform with the Bob Westbrook Singers at the legendary concert hall in New York City as the lone yodelling talent in the show.

"It's a great honour to yodel at Carnegie Hall," she said, "and I'm also very excited to spread my love of yodelling on my trip to Australia."

The Yahoo! Yodel Challenge National Champion embarks on her first trip to Australia on June 29 where she will represent the US on a two-week press tour sponsored by Yahoo! She will visit radio and television stations and also make personal appearances.

A resident of Franklin, Tennessee, Taylor won the Yodel Challenge in 2003 as a nine-year-old, the youngest talent in the competition. Yahoo! sponsored her "Fairs and Festivals" tour in 2005, and she went on to become a finalist on the first season of NBC Television's "America's Got Talent" in 2006. She most recently performed at the 2008 CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival in Nashville.

Taylor has opened for country stars such as Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, George Jones and LeAnn Rimes, but she says her favourite place to perform is on the stage of a Nashville institution, the Grand Ole Opry.

During her short but dynamic career to date, Taylor has appeared on numerous television programs, including "Entertainment Tonight", "Rachel Ray" and "The Today Show." She has performed in national TV commercials, theatre productions and been featured in several print advertisements.

The honour roll student is also a Girl Scout and has more than 3,000 members in the "Yodel Patrol" – her fan club on her official website,


Chart update – Brad still at number one

Brad Paisley hangs on to the number one spot on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with I'm Still A Guy.

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones jumps another three places to be in the number two position while George Strait is steady at three with I Saw God Today and Alan Jackson's Small Town Southern Man drops to fourth place.

Jetty Road's City Lights jumps to fifth position, Carter & Carter's Slow Dancing At Midnight is up to number six while Carrie Underwood's All American Girl is at seven.

Catherine Britt bounds into the top 10 at eight with what I Did Last Night, as does Amber Lawrence with Good Girls at nine while the Kenny Chesney & George Strait duet Shiftwork drops to number 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Chasing Bailey's Little By Little (25 to 22), Sharon Benjamin (pictured) with The Picture (28 to 24), Harmony James' Home (30 to 26) and Good Tones by Lee Forster & Travis Sinclair (new at 28).

The full chart can be viewed at



Radio station under threat

Operators of community radio station FM 92.3 2YYY at Young in southern NSW is under threat of being forced out of business by the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA).

The station, which has been operating for more than four years and has been a supporter of Australian country music throughout this time, is calling for support from listeners and the country music industry to help resolve its situation.

Operators say another organisation, the Young District Arts Council (YDAC), has applied for a radio license, and, as the ACMA is limiting frequency availability in the area, they have proposed that the new applicant share with 2YYY.

"The proposal is for 2YYY to operate from July 2008 to 3rd January 2009 and the YDAC will operate from 4th January 2009 to 3rd July 2009. If this was to eventuate it would mean 2YYY would have to close as it is not financially viable," operators say.

"Contact has been made to many high profile politicians, etc, and there has been fantastic support from the local community of Young and district," they say.

"There is also a petition where at least 5,000 signatures are required before it will have any affect. There are petitions at the Wallendbeen Hotel, Supa Sub Store in Cootamundra, Grenfell, Harden, and in Young at 2YYY studios.

"What would be great (would be) if the Australian country music industry could support us. We all know how hard it is to get support in Australia. The Arts Council will not support country music and we will lose an outlet which is invaluable. So if anyone could help in anyway, write a letter of support, sign a petition, anything it would be much appreciated.

"The support is urgent as (we only have) til 27 June 2008 to reply."

Contact can be made with Wayne Nolan, President, 2YYY Board of Management on 02 6382 7200.

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A Pub With No Beer among 10 sounds honoured

Ten familiar tunes have tonight been announced by Arts Minister Peter Garrett as the 2008 entries for the National Film and Sound Archive’s (NFSA) "Sounds of Australia" National Registry of Recorded Sound and the classic Slim Dusty track A Pub With No Beer is among them.

Minister Garrett said the registry recognised the cultural importance of these classic tunes which would be so familiar to many Australians.

"This list includes classic tunes like the Aeroplane Jelly Song and Slim Dusty’s A Pub With no Beer, as well as the song that is almost our 'second' national anthem – Waltzing Matilda.

"They are 10 songs that have helped shape our national identity and this registry is a fitting celebration of their place in Australia’s rich sounds heritage," he said.

The full 2008 "Sounds of Australia" entries are Country Gardens (piano roll) by Percy Grainger (1919), Waltzing Matilda by John Collinson (vocal), Russell Callow (piano) (1927), The 1930 Australian XI: Winners of the Ashes (1930), The Aeroplane Jelly Song by Joy Wigglesworth (Joy King) (1938), Theme from Blue Hills – Hamner’s Pastorale (1949), A Pub With No Beer by Slim Dusty (1957), Irkanda IV (Peter Sculthorpe) Leonard Dommett (violin), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/John Hopkins (1967), Bird and Animal Calls of Australia (1968), Most People I Know (Think That I’m Crazy) by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs (1972) and We Have Survived – No Fixed Address (1982).

Paolo Cherchi Usai, Executive Director of the NFSA said: "I am delighted at the huge public response to this round of 'Sounds of Australia'. The  Registry was launched to help ensure that Australia’s sound heritage will be heard into the future and, given the wide interest Australians have in the recorded sounds of history, I have no doubt we will be continuing to celebrate (them) for many years to come."

The 10 recordings were unveiled as part of NFSA’s first Sound Day at a gala evening including a performance by "Sounds of Australia" 2008 Patron Renée Geyer, the Inaugural Thomas Rome Lecture, delivered by former international music industry executive Michael Smellie and a concert by Jolt, an experimental troupe of robotic violins.

Launched in 2007 by the NFSA, "Sounds of Australia" is a public list of Australian recordings that celebrates the unique and diverse recorded sound culture and history of Australia. Nominations are received from the general public throughout the year with the final selected listed based on the recommendation of a panel of experts. The nomination form can be found at the website (see below).

Minister Garrett also launched a CD of the 2007 Sounds of Australia listing produced in partnership between the NFSA and the ABC as part of the special evening.

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Ideas to boost Australian music industry

Former recorded sound industry executive Michael Smellie offered some fresh ideas to boost the Australian Music Industry as he delivered the inaugural Thomas Rome lecture at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra tonight.

In his lecture "A Sound Recording Industry in Australia", Michael identified some familiar concerns and challenges facing the Australian music industry and went on to offer some key ideas to boost the industry.

Speaking before an audience of industry representatives, cultural institutions and arts bodies, Michael proposed a "whole-of-industry" approach including the establishment of a peak body for Australian music and the Government’s declaration of a "National Music Day" as means for helping the industry move evolve.

He also suggested establishing a "digital accelerator" focused particularly on music which would generate an "Australian Silicon Valley" to "stimulate innovation by the music industry in the on-line and digital environment", advanced a plan to "integrate music education into the industry’s value chain" and encouraged Australia "to stake out some intellectual property in the digital music arena".

The Thomas Rome lecture is named after Thomas Rome of Warrnambool who made the first sound recordings in this country in 1896. It has been established by the National Film & Sound Archive as an annual lecture, providing a platform for a leading figure in the Australian sound recording industry to generate ideas, debate and discussion about the state of the sound industries, relevant public policy issues and the role of sound in society.

The NFSA’s Executive Director Paolo Cherchi Usai said: "We want the Thomas Rome lecture to be a lively forum for open ideas and innovation about directions for the sound recording industry in Australia. Michael Smellie’s ideas are a contribution to a debate that interests all involved in the future of music and cultural activity in Australia more generally."

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A third single from John

A little boy’s love of Tonka toys and piles of dirt forms the basis for the third single to be lifted from John O’Dea’s Old Rusty Ute album, Old Man In Little Boy’s Shoes.

Inspired by his nephews at play, John says he has put into words what most parents of sons feel as they watch their boys grow into manhood, wanting to be "just like dad".

"Whenever I play Old Man In Little Boy’s Shoes live, I always get a great reaction from people," he said, "no matter who or where they are. I think most people connect strongly with the innocence of children at play.

The news has all been good of late for John who says he has much to look forward to in coming months. Young balladeer Matt Manning has included The Saddle, one of John’s new songs, on his new album Borderline, and it’s being lauded as one of the stand-out tracks on the disc.

"I’m really astounded that John has never had a cut on a record before," Matt said. "He’s a great songwriter and everyone is raving about The Saddle. He sure has a way with words."

A collaborative songwriting effort with 2008 Toyota Star Maker Talia Wittman means John will now have his second cut on someone else’s recording, although John said he only helped tweak a few lines here and there on Talia’s song, Take Me Away, which is due for August release on her Star Maker album.

In between giving guitar lessons, mentoring young artists and performing in and around his home turf in South Australia, John also ventures interstate with Dave Prior on short tours. He will be in Tamworth for the Hats Off to Country Festival and upon his return will feature in a documentary for Irish television on the Australian outback.

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CMC Top 50 – Adam takes over at number one

Adam Brand (pictured) has taken over the number one spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of his latest hit Comin' From/Khe Sanh.

The McClymonts' Finally Over Blue slips back to number two while Amber Lawrence's Good Girls is steady at three and Jetty Road's City Lights edges up one place to number four.

Travis Collins' Rip It Up is at six, Catherine Britt's What I Did Last Night edges up one to seven and Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson are steady at 10 with Rattlin' Bones.

Bullet performers this week include Melinda Schneider with Be Yourself (new at 16), The Harmonators' Don't Come Back (new at 28), Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel with Pay Day (34 to 31), Slim Dusty's How Good It Is (new at 41) and Tamara Stewart's Lessons (I will Survive) (new at 42).

Other new entries this week include Drew McAlister with Somewhere Somehow (in at 50).

The full playlist can be viewed at


TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008

Troy & Don win 2008 Country APRA

Troy Cassar-Daley and Don Walker (pictured) have taken out the 2008 APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Award for Most Performed Country Work with Troy's hit song Everything’s Going To Be Alright.

Although he has been a finalist a number of times, it is Troy's first APRA Award. It is also Don's first APRA Award.

Troy and Don won the accolade from fellow finalists James Blundell & Lyndsay Hammond (for Higher Than Heaven recorded by James), Colin Buchanan & Garth Porter (for Rockin' The Rig recorded by Travis Sinclair), Carter & Carter (for their hit song Run Away) and Lee Kernaghan, Colin Buchanan & Garth Porter (for Spirit Of The Bush recorded by Lee, Adam Brand & Steve Forde).

Silverchair’S Daniel Johns made history at the Awards which were presented in Sydney last night. Daniel scored a trifecta when he was named winner of APRA Songwriter of the Year (for the third time), APRA Song of the Year with Straight Lines (co-written with Julian Hamilton) and Most Played Australian Work, again with Straight Lines.

John Butler won his third APRA Award for Good Excuse which took out the Blues & Roots Work of the Year, Sally Seltman was named winner of Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year for her song 1234, Rogue Traders won their second APRA Award in the category of Dance Work of the Year for In Love Again, Jade Macrae won Urban Work of the Year with In The Basement, composer Kenneth Schroder received the award for Jazz Work of the Year for the song Eucalypso and rock trio Wolfmother won the APRA Award for Most Played Australian Work Overseas for the hit Woman.

The Awards were recorded and are being produced into a one-hour special called "They Write The Songs" which will go to air on Pay TV's MAX channel at 8:30pm on Monday June 30.

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Johnny Dennis Music Awards winners

Jay Collie and Jasper Somerville-Collie have been announced as winners of the Best Song for One Tree Mile in the ninth annual Johnny Dennis Music Awards.

The award was presented last Wednesday night (June 11) at Government House in Sydney.

The Johnny Dennis Music Awards provide recognition to composers of "light" music. Entries are open to previously unreleased material. One Tree Mile is being considered for inclusion on the next Jonah's Road album that Jay, John, Rod and Jasper are currently writing for.

Photo: Jasper, Sue Linsen (manager) and Jay at Government House.

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McClymonts among APRA Awards presenters

The McClymonts are among special guest presenters on tonight's APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Music Awards in Sydney.

Brooke, Mollie and Samantha will join the likes of music promoter Michael Coppel, pop star Marcia Hines, television personality Paul McDermott and Federal Arts Minister Peter Garrett to present awards.

Performers will include The Audreys, Richard Clapton, Kate Miller-Heidke, Ian Moss, Pete Murray and, in what is expected to be a magical moment, Archie Roach will team up with Shane Howard to perform Driftin’ Down The Roper in a musical tribute to the late, great Smoky Dawson.

The Awards will be recorded and produced into a one-hour special called "They Write The Songs" which will go to air on Pay TV's MAX channel at 8:30pm on Monday June 30.

Finalists for the Most Performed Country Work are Everything’s Going To Be Alright by Troy Cassar-Daley & Don Walker (recorded by Troy), Higher Than Heaven by James Blundell & Lyndsay Hammond (recorded by James), Rockin' The Rig by Colin Buchanan & Garth Porter (recorded by Travis Sinclair), Run Away by Carter & Carter and Spirit Of The Bush by Lee Kernaghan, Colin Buchanan & Garth Porter (recorded by Lee, Adam Brand & Steve Forde).

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Lawsie to receive special ARIA award

Broadcaster John Laws is to receive an ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Lifetime Achievement Award for his role with helping build the careers of country musicians.

Previous recipients include Ian "Molly'' Meldrum and Michael Gudinski.

"Although Lawsie is the greatest talkback personality the world has known, he has also been a great supporter and lover of music," says John Williamson. "Always a DJ at heart, he has brought many great songs to our attention and always stood by Aussie country music artists."

Australian of the Year and country singer Lee Kernaghan praised Laws: "Lawsie's love of Australia and our music ignited the careers of many young artists, myself included,'' he said. "I will forever be grateful to him for riding shotgun with me on the 'Pass The Hat Around Australia' fundraising tours. He was and always will be the King of the Radio.''

"It would have been tough starting out without having someone like Lawsie to play my songs," added Troy Cassar-Daley. "It is very rare to find someone who hosts a talk show as popular as John's, but who also included so much music in his program. I would go as far as to say that Lawsie was single-handedly responsible for introducing my music to the rest of Australia."

Meanwhile, Rolf Harris has been announced as the latest inductee into the ARIA Hall of Fame, together with Dragon, Max Merritt, Russell Morris and The Triffids.

The inductions, and Lawsie's presentation, will take place at a ceremony in Melbourne on July 1.

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Nashville adopts Jasmine

Australian country singer Jasmine Rae reportedly found a new home away from home this past week at the 2008 CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival in Nashville.

The winner of the 2008 Telstra Road to Tamworth competition performed for thousands at the Greased Lightning Daytime Stages, played the legendary Bluebird Café, appeared at the Global Artist Showcase and signed plenty of autographs for eager fans who wanted to learn more about the singer.

"My experience in Nashville has been unbelievable," Jasmine said. "The people are so friendly here, and everything I dreamed about is coming true. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself!"

Jasmine began her first ever trip to Nashville by performing in front of a packed house at the Global Artist Showcase on Monday night, June 2. The following night she got to swap stories, sing and experience the atmosphere at the fabled Bluebird Café for the Aussie Songwriter's Night.

The highlight of her trip was the opportunity to play in front of thousands on Saturday at the Greased Lightning Daytime Stages, the 20-year-old says. Her first single, Country Singer, was met with particular enthusiasm from the crowd.

"Playing in front of that many people is kind of scary," she laughed. "But it's not a bad gig for my first show in the States!"

Jasmine will complete her debut album in Nashville over the next few weeks with producer Mark Moffat. A recording deal with ABC Music and the opportunity to work with a high-profile Nashville producer was part of her prize package. The album is scheduled for a September release in Australia.

Photo (by Theresa Montgomery/CMA): Jasmine performing at the Greased Lightning Riverfront Daytime Stages.

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Toombul Music closing

Christie Eliezer reports in his weekly column at that Toombul Music, one of Queensland’s iconic music and instrument sales stores, is to close on June 30.

It was set up by Barry Bull 40 years ago at Westfield Toowoomba (now Centro) and became a retail icon.

Record labels praised it for the way Barry kept retail exciting, with in-store appearances by superstars and new acts. It won countless awards for retailing excellence.

Barry decided to pull the plug because of escalating rents and competition from Chermside shopping centre. "The real story is not that we’re closing, but why," he said. The businesses’ electronics Home Cinema division Electronic Interiors will relocate to unit 2/180 Northgate Road, Northgate, Brisbane, under the ownership of sons Jessie and Justin Bull.


FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008

Commemorating Slim's 81st birthday

To commemorate what would have been Australian country music legend Slim Dusty's 81st birthday today, EMI Music is releasing a new single together with a specially produced promotional video.

The new song – How Good It Is – was written especially for Slim by singer/songwriter Don Walker, Cold Chisel co-founder and huge Slim Dusty fan. The track was recorded by Slim just before he fell ill back in 2001.

The video was created by two time Golden Guitar Video award winner Mark Jago.

Slim Dusty family members are gathering today with fans, industry friends and a host of prominent country music stars politicians and media personalities to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the birth date of the late great Australian at the "Many Happy Campfires" tribute evening in Sydney where feature performers will include Australian Of The Year Lee Kernaghan.

The artists are rallying to support the the building of the Slim Dusty Centre at Kempsey and to perform musical tributes to the legendary Australian.

Since Slim Dusty passed away five years ago, his wife Joy McKean, with a dedicated band of supporters, have been devoting all their time and resources to the establishing of this cultural centre and museum.

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NAB Songwriting Competition

As part of their 150th commemorations, NAB (National Australia Bank), with support from APRA (the Australasian Performing Right Association), have launched the NAB Songwriting Competition, an initiative designed "to help inspire, educate and unearth the nation's next generation of great songwriters".

The initiative supports a raft of music initiatives NAB have been undertaking in 2008, the company says... free public music performances by established artists, showcases for local and upcoming music artists, successful NAB Songwriting Workshops at secondary schools as part of the NAB 150, and NAB's sponsorship earlier this year of APRA's inaugural S3 Summit "Play the Music" Showcase.

"Aspiring songwriters and would-be songwriters all over the country of all ages are invited to submit their original songs with the chance of having their song professionally produced and then performed at the NAB finale later this year." the company says.

Entries are being accepted in three categories... an open age section (entrants required to provide lyrics to one of three existing backing tracks available for download on the competition website), a section open to persons under 16 to enter a completed demo of their own song and a section identical to the second category but open to all aspiring artists aged 16 years or more.

"The only requirement is that all of the entries must address the theme of 'ideas, dreams and aspirations'," the company said.

"The NAB Songwriting Competition is a fitting progression to NAB's support of the inaugural Song Summit Sydney and demonstrates their commitment to the creative talents of Australian songwriters," said Sally Howland, Director, Members Services, APRA. "APRA is proud to support this initiative which we hope will go some way to help realise the dreams and aspirations of songwriters across Australia."

Judges for the competition will be Paul Anthony (CEO, Rumblefish, USA), Andrew Hagger (Executive General Manager, Private & Institutional Wealth, National Australia Bank), Sally Howland, Ian James (Deputy Chairman of APRA, Chairman of AMCOS, Managing Director, Mushroom Music Publishing) and Bill Page (Creative Director, Mushroom Music Publishing).

Entries close last mail Friday, August 1, 2008.

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Chart update – Brad takes over at number one

Brad Paisley (pictured) takes over the number one spot on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with I'm Still A Guy pushing Alan Jackson's Small Town Southern Man back to number two with George Strait rising to number three with I Saw God Today.

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones jumps to number four while the Kenny Chesney & George Strait duet Shiftwork drops to fifth place, Sara Storer's Long Live The Girls is at six and Tracey Killeen's All Kinds Of Beautiful is at seven.

Jetty Road's City Lights is steady at eight, as is Carrie Underwood at nine with All American Girl and Carter & Carter's Slow Dancing At Midnight at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Adam Brand's Comin' From/Khe Sanh (17 to 14), Travis Collins' Rip It Up (19 to 16), Melinda Schneider's Heart Of A Woman (21 to 17), The McClymonts' Finally Over Blue (22 to 18), Rose Carleo & Drew McAlister with Sometimes You Just Know (23 to 19), Kirsty Lee Akers' The Territory (24 to 20) and Chasing Bailey's Little By Little 29 to 25).

New entries to the chart for the coming week include Harmony James' Home (in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



New album from JW

John Williamson is about to release a new album titled Hillbilly Road.

Due out on Saturday August 16, the new release will be John's first all original album in three years and, according to the a spokesman for EMI (his record company) is set to deliver "anthems like his past material has".

"He’s been telling us for years about his hideaway in Springbrook," the spokesman said, "and he’s trying to spend more and more time there now. It is this lifestyle that has inspired Hillbilly Road.

"He jokes about all the people in Springbrook being hillbillies and he doesn’t mind if you call him one now too. Just as he didn’t mind being called a Mallee Boy all those years ago. It’s typical of what he is about.

"What’s also typical of John Williamson is that the album is an entertainment package, not just a sample of his songs. He doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed in one style, even though you’d be hard pressed to call Hillbilly Road anything but country."

"I could write an album of country ballads," John said, "but people wouldn’t listen to 12 of them; I could write 12 calypso songs and they wouldn’t listen to all of them either."

"So, he writes an album with variety, an ebb and flow of rhythms and rhymes and emotions. And, yes, there are some ballads on the new album, romantic ones at that. Because, let’s face it, if you’re living in paradise – you want to share it with someone special."

The first single from Hillbilly Road – Drink A Little Love – will be released on Monday (June 16).

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Tamworth Camerata students announced

The 21 participants in the 2008 Tamworth Camerata – the seventh junior school of country music to be run – have been announced.

They are... Emma Barlow from Gympie Qld, Cohan Brew from Palmview Qld (Peel Valley Lions Club scholarship), Stephanie Brownlee from Sunrise Beach Qld (Dairy Farmers scholarship), Taylor Cairns from Gore, New Zealand, Kristal Collins from Mount Compass SA (South Australian Council for Country Music Cindy Shelton Memorial scholarship), Daniel Cosgrove from Hamilton New Zealand (Best of The West Country Music Festival scholarship), Tori Darke from Mt Annan NSW (St Arnauds Hoedown scholarship), Bree DeRome from Oxenford Qld, Jessie Fairweather from Cobbitty NSW (Axiom Entertainment’s Jazzer Quest scholarship), Dana Hassall from Oakey Qld, Paige Jeffrey from Casula NSW (Tamworth Regional Council's CCMA [Capital Country Music Association] Winter Junior Talent Quest scholarship), James Johnston from Cedar Party Creek NSW (Ross & Robyne Johnson scholarship), Christie Lamb from Kirkham NSW (Tamworth Songwriters' Association scholarship), Nathan Lamont from Wagga Wagga NSW (Tamworth Regional Council's CCMA Jamboree scholarship), Rheanna Leschke from Glamorgan Vale Qld (Queensland Champion of Champions scholarship), Yuliana Pascoe from Karama Northern Territory, Melody Pool from Kurri Kurri NSW, Megan Puls from Milawa Vic, Shannae Sclippa from Dimbulah Qld (Walkamin Country Music Festival scholarship), Daly Stephenson from Comet Qld (Australian Bush Balladeers Association scholarship) and Nathan Williams from Everton Park Qld.

The Camerata concept was conceived by Tamworth-based musician/producer Greg Williams in conjunction with hotelier/artist manager Joan Douglas. All students aged 18 or younger attend an intensive six day live-in course, covering a wide range of music related topics designed to assist them with their dreams of a musical career.

"And only the best are accepted," said Greg. "Every year Camerata graduate/students continue to set a very high standard, and I’m really looking forward to the 2008 course as I expect the already high standard to increase."

Tamworth Camerata 2008 runs from July 5 to 10, culminating in a Gala Finale Concert at West Tamworth League Club's Blazes auditorium on July 10 "where the general public and industry will have a chance to enjoy the impressive talent of all 2008 graduates in concert."

Greg also said that Camerata was continuing to make a huge impression on both Australian and New Zealand country music. "Just a few of the many success stories: Amos Morris and Kirsty Lee Akers winning Golden Guitars this year, Melissa Partridge winning at the New Zealand Recording industry Tui awards 2008, Chasing Bailey (band with four Camerata graduates) signed to EMI, Shea Fisher and Sinead Burgess signed to ABC Music, Aaron Bolton releasing his debut CD this year.

After this year's school, there will be 124 Camerata graduates from all over Australian and New Zealand.

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Norma back in the studio

Norma O'Hara Murphy is back in the studio in Sydney this month recording some new tracks for her first album in eight years.

"The album will feature all my own songs" Norma says, "several featuring local content.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio, I do love hearing my songs come together."

The winner of five Golden Guitars, countless songwriting awards (including Tamworth Songwriters' Association's Songmaker award), Norma has also had many of her songs recorded by numerous artists.

To date, she has released nine albums and a DVD.

As well as local appearances, Norma has toured internationally including to China, England, Europe, Japan and the United States.


CMC Top 50 – The McClymonts hang on to number one

The video clip of Finally Over Blue – the latest hit from The McClymonts – is at number one for the second week running on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week.

Adam Brand's Comin' From/Khe Sanh is also steady at number two while Amber Lawrence's Good Girls jumps two places to number three.

Travis Collins' Rip It Up remains in fourth place while Jetty Road edges up one place to number five with City Lights.

Catherine Britt's What I Did Last Night slips to number eight while Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson are at 10 with Rattlin' Bones.

Bullet performers this week include Nicki Gillis (pictured) with Honey, I Don't Have Time (24 to 21), Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel with Pay Day (40 to 34) and The Black Sorrows with Comfort Me (50 to 45).

This week's CMC Country Pick is the clip of Be Yourself, the first single and title track from Melinda Schneider's highly anticipated new album

The full playlist can be viewed at


MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2008

Golden Saddle Awards entry period extended

Due to the high number of inquiries regarding conditions of entry, the deadline for entries in the 2008 Golden Saddle Awards will now be this Friday June 13.

There has been an element of confusion regarding the new conditions placed on entries to the competition, according to organisers, "so in order to clarify...

"Artists must be independent: the CD must be totally self-funded by the artist. The artist may have a distribution deal in place, provided they receive no funding through their distribution label (this condition was made in an attempt to create a 'level playing field' for all true independent artists who are battling away on their own.

"Re the marketing/advertising component, what we're interested in hearing about is how you plan to get your music out there. There are many ways to do that – website, myspace; advertising in publications; hiring a publicist or doing it yourself (because a publicist can be expensive); releasing singles; releasing music videos... lots of different things to do plus many more that aren't listed here... and maybe even some brand new ideas that are all your own.

"If you've thought of a new and unique way to promote your music and get the word out, then we'd like to hear about it. Or if you've set yourself out a budget and you've booked advertisements with various publications, we'd like to hear about that too," organisers said.

"This was put in place in an effort to recognise the many hats that independent artists need to wear today, as well as that of artist/musician. Please visit for the complete rules and regulations.

"Prospective entrants should note that entries must be postmarked no later than June 13, 2008."


APRA announces Ted Albert Award recipient

APRA (the Australasian Performing Right Association) has announced that artist manager Roger Davies will receive the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Music at the 2008 APRA Music Awards on Monday June 16 in Sydney.

Arguably one of the most successful and respected artist managers in the world, Roger was born in Melbourne and worked his way up from the very bottom rung of the industry, progressing from roadie to agent to manager of a local band.

In 1972, he became the manager of a Sydney band called Sherbet who, under his guidance, became one of the most successful Australian pop acts of the 1970s. This early success provided him with the all-important experience that would eventually take him to the top in his chosen field, APRA said.

"Based in America and England since the late '70s, he has managed many of the most successful female rock performers in the world – Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Cher, Janet Jackson, Sade and most recently Pink. Roger Davies also manages Joe Cocker and previously managed the careers of Tony Joe White and James Reyne for many years."

APRA Chief Executive Brett Cottle said: "Roger Davies' gift to the artists he represents is his incomparable drive, passion and determined belief in their talent. That's an unbeatable combination that has brought great artists to the public’s attention. It’s a pleasure to recognise his contribution to the cause of music creators."

The APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors decide the recipient of the Ted Albert Award. Previous recipients include Bill Armstrong, Don Burrows, Michael Chugg, Slim Dusty, Charles Fischer, Michael Gudinski and Michael McMartin.

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Chart update – overseas acts continue to dominate

The top six places on this week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart are unchanged from last week with overseas acts continuing to dominate the top three places... Alan Jackson at number one with Small Town Southern Man, Kenny Chesney & George Strait with Shiftwork at two and Brad Paisley at three with I'm Still A Guy.

Sara Storer's Long Live The Girls remains steady at four, as does Tracey Killeen's All Kinds Of Beautiful at five and George Strait at six with I Saw God Today.

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones is up three to seven while Jetty Road's City Lights edges up one place to eight, Carrie Underwood is at nine with All American Girl while Carter & Carter's Slow Dancing At Midnight enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Catherine Britt's What I Did Last Night (16 to 12), Amber Lawrence's Good Girls (17 to 14), Adam Brand's Comin' From/Khe Sanh (20 to 17) and Travis Collins' Rip It Up (22 to 19).

New entries to the chart for the coming week include Chasing Bailey's debut release Little By Little (in at 29) and The Picture by Sharon Benjamin (at 30).

Photo: Chasing Bailey, from left, Crystal Bailey, Lindsay Dallas, Daniel Conway, Charlene Bailey and Kurt Bailey.

The full chart can be viewed at



Troy named 2008 CMA Global Country Artist

Australia's Troy Cassar-Daley was presented with the 2008 CMA (Country Music Association) Global Country Artist award this week in Nashville.

The Award, presented in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the CMA's Global Artist Party, recognises outstanding achievement by an artist who has furthered country music’s popularity and brought attention to the format in their foreign-based territory.

"Receiving this award means a lot to me," Troy said. "I have loved country music since I was a child and have enjoyed many years out on the road in Australia playing it. It makes me proud that people in Nashville think that I am a worthy ambassador for this award and I look forward to many more shows playing this incredible music called country!"

Troy’s first single, released in 1994, reached number one on the Australian country charts. His debut album, Beyond The Dancing, was released the following year, winning the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Award for Best Country Record. He has since won two additional ARIA Awards in the same category, most recently in 2006.

Having sold more than 250,000 albums, Troy is one of Australia’s most awarded and recognised singer/songwriters. He has achieved four gold record sales awards and placed 14 number one hits on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart.

He has 13 Golden Guitars to his credit has been named Australia's Country Music Entertainer of the Year five times (most recently in 2007). In addition, Troy has received six Deadlys (Deadly Sounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sports, Entertainment and Community Awards) and four "MO" Awards which recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia.

Venturing into television, Troy partnered with leading personality Kate Ritchie for the singing competition "It Takes Two" which aired on the 7 Network in 2006. The following year he appeared on the show again.

Candidates for the CMA Global Country Artist Award are chosen from artists nominated by CMA’s international membership. Previous recipients have been Australia's Kasey Chambers (2004), Slim Dusty (posthumously in 2004), Adam Harvey (2007), Lee Kernaghan (2003) and Canada's Paul Brandt (2005) and Jason McCoy (2006).

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Annette wins Trans-Tasman

New Zealand's Annette Hawkins has taken out first place, including $4,000 cash and trophy, in the 2008 Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year quest on Norfolk Island.

Annette won the title from runner-up Sera-Jane Moore from Australia at the quest staged at the weekend. Sera-Jane takes home $2,000 cash and a trophy.

The Most Promising Artist award, sponsored by PVG Productions, was Kaylee Bell from New Zealand. Kaylee wins a $5,000 recording prize in her home country.

Australia's Kiera Smith took home The Dead Ringer Band Encouragement Prize (presented by Bill Chambers) and the Allen ("Puds") Buffett Perpetual Trophy for Most Original Song while New Zealand's Nadine Dempster was named winner of the Norfolk Island Country Music Association Encouragement Award of $1,000 cash.

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Blue Water Festival kicks off today

This June long weekend will see numerous events staged throughout NSW and leading the charge will be the Blue Water Country Music Festival based around the Port Stephens area.

Running from today (Wednesday, June 4) and concluding on the Monday holiday (June 9), the Festival will feature a big line-up of country stars, both established acts and new artists coming through.

Key artists such as Bill Chambers, Beccy Cole (pictured), Travis Collins (pictured), Dianna Corcoran and The Sunny Cowgirls will join rising stars Kirsty Lee Akers, Paul Costa, Nicki Gillis, Amber Lawrence, The Pigs, Ruckus, Travis Sinclair and Bryen Willems as just a few of the headline acts.

Bella will also perform together with the Johnny Cash Tribute Show and the band Working Class Country.

The Blue Water Country Music Festival kick started on the June 2006 long weekend. "It became quickly evident that there is a huge following in the area and throughout Australia for quality country music," Festival organisers say.

"In fact, the rapid growth and development of the event never ceases to amaze us. For example, there are now 55 venues as well as 200 artists and 180 gigs. It stretches from Tea Gardens, Karuah and Hawks Nest in the North to Raymond Terrace in the West, Tilligerry Peninsula, Medowie and the Nelson and Shoal Bay areas."

Activity-wise, the wide variety includes Double Decker Country Music Wine Tours, more than 14 bush poet breakfasts on boat and land, more than seven country music cruises including, the Blue Dolphin Awards for young talent Future Stars of Country showcase, the Ballads by the Bay concert and boot scooting groups who will compete in the longest line and will participate in various socials, workshops and competitions.

A gala Awards dinner will be staged and an outdoor concert double header with Travis Collins and Handpicked.

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Simply Bushed go into the studio

After a very successful Tamworth in 2008 where they won two People’s Choice Awards and The Battle of the Bush Bands, it has just been announced that the Simply Bushed will team up with producer Herm Kovac from Ramrod Studios for their next recording.

The boys will start recording this weekend with the new tracks, including Ants In My Pants – the song that was popular at Tamworth this year – will be released soon.

Over this June Long weekend, Simply Bushed will be making their first appearance at the Blue Water Festival at Nelson Bay, kicking off at the Karuah RSL on Saturday night. The band is also about to announce another festival appearance in Victoria later in the year in addition to some new venues in Sydney.

The band is receiving widespread support from radio stations around the nation and have two film clips being played daily on CMC – Dad’s Cruiser and Cangai Bridge, both produced by Duncan Toombs.

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New single from Bec

Toohey Road is the long awaited second cut from the Bec Willis' self-titled album and the follow up to Live & Let It Be.

"When I was studying for my arts degree at Brisbane’s Griffith Uni, I lived in a dodgy house in Toohey Road, Tarragindi," Bec said. "It had cracks in the walls and burnt orange coloured shagpile carpet, and was at the intersection of five different roads, so exiting the driveway was particularly harrowing.

"I lived there with various mates and we were typical poor students living off toasted mash potato sandwiches (with mash potato on the side!) and two minute noodles. I gave up music in that house only to take it up again a year later. So much happened in the house and it was a great time in my life. When we were moving out I thought I’d write an ode or a thank you to this old lovable house that also was home to a family of redback spiders!"

"This is one of my favourite songs and the first I ever heard Bec sing," said Beccy Cole. "It describes, with such heart,
all the feelings we go through when it’s time to leave, all with such a clever melody. I was a fan from this song on..."

"Toohey Road is the first song I heard from Bec Willis and I knew from the first note that she had something very special," said Kasey Chambers.

"Bec is a great singer/songwriter. Her album is full of real stories about life," said Bill Chambers.

Bec recently announced her signing with Shock Music Publishing. Toohey Road is at radio this week with an accompanying video shot by Glenn Wilson available on Bec's website.

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And The Flood

To coincide with the release of Come Tomorrow, the second single from their acclaimed new album Everybody’s Favourite, The Flood hit the road again this week for a batch of shows.

These include The Basement tomorrow night (June 5) in Sydney with Bill Chambers and Travis Collins, The Brass Monkey on June 13 in Cronulla and Lizottes on the NSW Central Coast on June 14.

Come Tomorrow is the follow-up to the previous hit single Can’t Work No Longer which spent 14 weeks on the Country Tracks chart including three weeks at number two
The single "wears the brave face of a rambler imagining salvation over the horizon," the band says, "maybe a moment of clarity, maybe a distortion through the bottom of a glass." The song was written by Kevin Bennett and Sam Hawksley.
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Debut clip for Jason

Australian country recording artist Jason Lee is about to release his first debut film clip, produced by award-winning director Ross Wood.

The clip, for Boy Into A Man, from Jason’s debut self-titled EP, will be filmed in the coming weeks.

Described as one of Australia’s finest talents, Jason graduated from the Australian College of Country Music in January 2006 and was a Toyota Star Maker finalist in 2005 and 2006.

His debut EP was released in March this year with five tracks... two classic tunes from George Jones and John Williamson and three tracks co-written with another of Australia’s fastest rising stars, Travis Collins.

"It’s not easy when it comes to putting together a film clip of this calibre," Jason said, "it requires a certain nature and creativity. Performing the clip should be the easiest part as I relate to the song and can play the part from my heart and hope that it touch’s everyone else that relates to it.

"Raising boys isn’t easy, and I’m sure any father raising a child will tell the story and that’s what this song is all about," he said.

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CMC Top 50 – The McClymonts hit the top

The video clip of Finally Over Blue – the latest hit from The McClymonts (pictured) – takes over the top spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week.

Adam Brand's Comin' From/Khe Sanh edges up one place to number two while last week's number one, Travis Collins' Rip It Up is at four and Amber Lawrence's Good Girls is also up one place to number five.

Catherine Britt's What I Did Last Night is at number seven, Jetty Road's City Lights is up two places to number eight and Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson are at nine with Rattlin' Bones.

Bullet performers this week include The Distance & James Reyne with Country Life (22 to 17), The Noll Brothers with A Country Heart (23 to 20), Mark O'Shea's Look At You Now (42 to 37), Steve Passfield's Hillbilly Redneck Town (debuting at 38), Troy Kemp's Throw Away Day (46 to 39), Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel with Pay Day (48 to 40), Rose Carleo's It's Not For Me (new at 44) and Matt Frost's Get A Little Love (new at 46).

Other new entries to the playlist this week include The Black Sorrows with Comfort Me (at 50).

The full playlist can be viewed at


MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2008

Melissa and Dennis take out top NZ awards

Melissa Partridge and Bruce Dennis (pictured below) have taken out New Zealand's top country music awards.

Melissa won the RIANZ (Recording Industry Association of NZ) Best Country Music Album Tui Award with her work simply titled Melissa while Bruce won the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Best Country Music Song Award with his song Ain't Gonna Run.

A guitarist and vocalist who began singing at the age of eight, Melissa is a multi-award winning performer and former Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year. At age, she is lead vocalist for Dunedin band U4EYA.

Other finalists for the album award were Jackie Bristow with Crazy Love and The Cattlestops with (Back to) Rosetta Road.

New Zealand Music Awards spokesman Campbell Smith said Melissa represented the future of country music. "And it’s obviously in good hands. Melissa is already a multi-award winning artist and her dedication to country music can only be admired. She is a much deserved winner of the genre’s biggest annual award."

Ain’t Gonna Run is from Bruce Dennis' album All Our Days which he describes as "10 short stories".

Ant Healey, Director of New Zealand Operations for APRA, said songs are the foundation of the music business and Bruce is at the top of his game. "Ain't Gonna Run is honest, it’s original and it’s undeniably memorable. Not just a great country song but a great song full stop," he said.

Other finalists for the song award were Melissa Partridge & Gordon Jones with I'll Be On My Way and Red McKelvie with Ridin' On Trains.

In the MLT (Mataura Licensing Trust) Songwriting Awards, also announced during the Gore festival last week, Andrea Cruickshank & Lisa Cruickshank were announced as winners with their song I Could Die Tonight.

Runner-up was Paul Schreuder with Friends Forever. Other finalists were Chanelle Davis with Back When I Loved You, Amanda Goodwin with Lovesong, Libby Hamilton with Broken Spirit and Slow To Let Go, Malcolm McCallum with Rock 'n' Rolled A Little Too Long, Daniel Munro with Highway Delilah, Dean Murray with Rain On The Roof and Paul Schreuder with Man In The Photograph.

In the Gold Guitar Awards (talent quest), the Senior Overall Winner was vocal group E-liza with Mahon & MacKay in second place.

Section winners were Male Vocal Solo - Bevan Gardiner, Female Vocal Solo - Kayla Mahon, Country Gospel - Jacinta Kerepeti, Duet - Mahon & Mackay, Traditional - E-liza, Country Rock - E-liza, Instrumental - Eddie Simon, Group - Close Encounter, Vocal Group - E-liza and Composition - E-liza.

The Intermediate Overall Winner was Mitchell Smith with Katie Mason as Intermediate Overall Runner-up.

Intermediate Section winners were Vocal Solo - Mitchell Smith, Country Gospel - Katie Mason, Duet - Cameron & Alayna, Traditional - Kylie Price, Country Rock - Lana MacKay, Instrumental - Hemi Demi Semi Quavers, Group - MacDonald Sisters and NZ Composition - Georgie Daniell.

Junior Overall winner was Jaimee Evans with section winners Vocal Solo - Jaimee Evans, Country Gospel - Brady Mercer and Duet - Milez Between.

Forty Plus Overall Winner was Paul Sinclair who also won Male Vocal Solo. Other section winners were Female Vocal Solo - Michelle Thompson, Country Gospel - Andy Gilmour, Duet - The Loaded Gunz and NZ Composition - Trevor Graham.

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Rattlin' Bones metro tour dates

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson will be taking their Rattlin' Bones Tour to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra this August.

Riding high on the success of their ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) number one chart album collaboration (Rattlin’ Bones), Kasey and Shane’s metro concerts will include new songs from the album as well as past hits from Kasey’s impressive multi-platinum back catalogue.

Joining Kasey and Shane on stage will be a full band with Bill Chambers, Mark Collins, James Gillard and John Watson.

Fans will also be treated to a special acoustic segment during the concerts.

Rattlin’ Bones has been declared one of the year’s best releases by many critics and music writer.

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Swiss adventures for Princess

Country Music Capital’s 2008 Telstra Princess of Country Music Monty Maguire has been accepted to study at the world’s top international hospitality management school in Switzerland.

The 18-year-old, pictured (at right) with 2008 Country Music Queen Renae Sweeney, is believed to be the only Australian to secure a place at l’Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne for the new semester which starts in September.

The school is considered a world leader in hospitality management education at university level. Monty will undertake a Bachelor of Science - International Hospitality Management Program, a four- year course.

She was notified this week of the success of her application to the prestigious school.

"There was an email from the school – I just sat and stared at it for a while before opening because I wasn’t sure which way it would go," she said. "I was very excited to read I was successful – the whole family is, too."

Monty, of Dungowan, is employed at the Quality Hotel Powerhouse, Tamworth, which is owned by her family. She has been working towards securing a place at the Lausanne school by getting a broad grounding in the industry undertaking a wide scope of duties at the Powerhouse since she completed her HSC at New England Girls School, Armidale, in November last year.

"The school is very highly regarded in the hospitality industry around the world," she said. "On reputation, once you have been through its doors your employment options are unlimited."

Monty, a successful equestrian competitor at NSW and Queensland showjumping events, is also looking forward to developing her riding skills in Switzerland.

"I’ve done a bit of research and there are quite a few training stables in the district and it would be easy to access the European circuit," she said. "While I have experience in showjumping, Lausanne is an area known for high-level dressage so I’d like to be able to further that area of my riding."

Monty says 2008 has been an amazing year for her, starting in January being named Telstra Princess of Country Music at Tamworth’s major annual festival. "Now I’ll be going to do the study I’ve been wanting to do in Switzerland – it’s just unbelievable."


Vale – Arthur George "Buddy" Bisby

Arthur George "Buddy" Bisby, a country music entertainer well-known particularly in the NSW Hunter Valley, died last month (May 15) a week shy of his 83rd birthday.

Among his many achievements, Buddy counted building a guitar, making awards for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, busking their himself and record an oral history of his life and times for the National Library of Australia.

A big fan of the late Slim Dusty and Buddy Williams, Buddy treasured among his possessions a card he and his late wife Mavis received from Slim on their 25th wedding anniversary.

"He loved to sing at home to keep himself occupied and the neighbours were often treated to an impromptu concert and also spent many an enjoyable afternoon performing with a number of his country music friends," said Buddy's son Alwyn.

Originally from Western Australia, Buddy worked on neighbouring properties after leaving school. Just before his 17th birthday, he enlisted in the Army (telling them he was turning 18) where, among other duties, he served as a gunner in the heavy artillery section before being sent to Greta Army Camp in the NSW Hunter where he was to later relocate.

He spent a number of months training with the AIF in preparation to be sent to New Guinea during World War II and met his future wife (Mavis) after an Anzac service. Before he completed his training for departure to New Guinea the war ended. Buddy was sent back to WA for discharge from the army and he returned to Branxton to continue his then blossoming romance. He married Mavis on December 17, 1949, and the couple settled in the Hunter where, among their numerous activities over the next 50 plus years, they ran a number of small businesses while Buddy worked at the Airfield Colliery.

Sadly, Mavis passed away in March 1987. This devastated Buddy. "A loss he never really came to terms with or recovered from," Alwyn said. "He found comfort in his hobby of woodturning, such as a turned pen or wine goblets and his love of country music."

When asked what he had been up to, the usual reply was "singing 'country and western' to the old people in the nursing homes" – some of which were younger than him.


© Copyright 2008, ICMB Publishing