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FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2009

Kasey & Shane lead APRA country finalists

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson have scored two finalist nominations in the 2009 APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Awards to be announced in Melbourne next month.

Kasey & Shane are nominated for Song of the Year and Country Work of the Year for the title track to their duet album, Rattlin' Bones, and

Joining Kasey & Shane in nominations for Country Work of the Year are Adam Brand, Sam Hawksley & Don Walker for Comin' From/Khe San, Adam Harvey & Phil Buckle for I'm Doin' Alright, Amber Lawrence for Good Girls and Sara Storer & Boh Runga for Long Live The Girls.

8 Ball Aitken, meanwhile, has scored a finalist nomination (his first) in the Blues & Roots Work of the Year category for his hit Cowboy Movie.

With this year's nominations, Kasey Chambers has now clocked up 20 finalist nominations in the APRA Awards.

This is the first nomination for Amber.

Jessica Mauboy – a previous Telstra Road to Tamworth winner – is a finalist for the first time with co-writers Audius Mtawarira and Sean Mullins for the hit song Running Back.

The APRA Awards will be staged at the Peninsula in Melbourne on Tuesday June 23.

This year's Awards feature a record number of first time nominees (45 songwriters across 21 artists and their performed works) covering rock, pop, country, jazz, dance, urban and blues & roots.

Leading the finalist nominations this year are The Potbellez with Are You With Me? and Don’t Hold Back.

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Victoria gains support from RM Williams

Singer/songwriter Victoria Baillie has been honoured with "a fashionable offer" from leading Australian clothing company RM Williams.

The sponsorship includes provision of clothing from their exclusive range and appearances in their upcoming Spring/Summer catalogue due to hit stores in July.

Make Me, Victoria’s second single released from her debut album Start Brand New, moved into the number 16 position on the Country Tracks Top 30 chart this week while the music video was featured as Country Pick on CMC (Country Music Channel) and is already sitting in the number 12 position on the CMC Top 50 playlist.

"With a recent live performance on "Mornings With Kerri Anne" and a performance alongside Australian music icons Brian Cadd and John Paul Young at a gala event to raise money for Merry Makers, Victoria has been keeping busy," a spokesman for the artist said.

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Third heat winner announced in The Saddles 2009

Laura Pattison from Griffith in NSW was announced as the winner of the third heat for The Saddles 2009 competition at the Wagga Wagga Commercial Club at the weekend.

At just 14 years of age, Laura has already had plenty of experience within the country music genre throughout NSW. Performing since the age of eight, for the past three years she has spent her time at the Tamworth Country Music Festival busking on "buskers-haven" – Peel Street.

She also received second place in the 2007 Australian Children’s Music Foundation National Songwriting Competition in the Drought Theme category.

Laura will join the first two heat winners, Holly Taylor-Ann Smith and Evie Willie, for The Saddles 2009 finals at Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney on Saturday September 12.

The ultimate winner of The Saddles 2009 will take home $1,000 cash, a professionally produced demo from Little Red Wagon Studios and will perform at the prestigious Golden Saddle Awards the same day.

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Tracy turns our for Tenthill

Tracy Coster will again be one of the headline acts at the Tenthill Turnout being staged this weekend.

The event honours the memory of Tracy's dad, legendary songwriter Stan Coster... an annual tribute concert held at the Ma Ma Creek Hall via Gatton in Queensland... a tribute to celebrate Stan’s life and preserve his musical heritage.

Event coordinator Kevin Perks says Stan Coster was "the finest bush ballad songwriter this country has ever seen" and is proud to have raised funds to erect two memorial plaques that stand in Tent Hill and Clifton in his honour.

For Tracy, the pilgrimage that honours her father brings the memories of time spent with him at Tent Hill flooding back.

"When dad was alive I would ride alongside him up 'Shulzie’s mountain'. Shulzie, was a mate of dad’s and purchased a mountain just outside Tent Hill. The song Shulzie’s Mountain came from our time spent on the mountain with Shulzie and the locals," she said.

This year is the 12th anniversary Tenthill Turnout and will this year's event will also feature Peter Denahy, Terry Gordon, Ian Quinn "and a swag of other special guests".

The Turnout runs from 7,30pm this Saturday night (May 30). Further information can be obtained, and bookings made, by telephoning Nola on 07 4697 3570.


CMC Top 50 – Toby takes over top spot

America's Toby Keith (pictured) is at number one on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with his clip of God Love Her.

Adam Brand's number one from last week – Hell Of A Ride – is at five while Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love edges up one to number eight and Australian Country Music Unites' Tangerine Sky is at 11.

Victoria Baillie's Make Me is up five to 12, Shea Fisher's Suitcase is up four to 14, John Williamson, Warren H Williams and Amos Morris' are at 18 with Australia Is Another Word For Free and Jayne Denham's Shake This Town enters the top 20 at 19.

Bullet performers for the week include The Bobkatz' Thank You (47 to 40), Dan Murphy's Where There's A Road (new at 44) and 8 Ball Aitken's Outback Booty Call (new at 46).

This week's CMC Country Pick is the title track from Steve Forde's current album, Guns & Guitars.

The playlist can be viewed at


MONDAY, MAY 25, 2009

Gore Gold Guitar Week

New Zealand's country music Gold Guitar Week at Gore runs this week, culminating in the country's major Gold Guitar Awards talent quest this weekend.

The action kicked off today with the NZ Gold Guitar Awards Walkup Concert at Longford Function Centre and continues tomorrow and Wednesday at the same venue with an acoustic walkup concert and the Hands of Fame Induction Show.

Thursday sees commencement of the city's busking competition, the MLT Songwriting Seminar and the MLT (Mataura Licensing Trust) Songwriting Awards.

Finalists for these awards are Andrea Cruickshank, Marty Dobson & Ron Harbin from Queenstown) with Patsy And Me, Chanelle Davis & Daniel Munro from Auckland with High Street, Libby Hamilton from Dunedin with My Sometime Lover, Nicola Lindsay from Arrowtown with The Wind From Antarctica, Stephen Low from Nelson with Is This Who I Think It Is, Tami and Jay Neilson from Auckland with Cry Myself to Sleep and Tami and Ron Neilson (Auckland) with Cookin’, Lisa Parish from Gore with A Fair, Neil Richardson from Gore with Tomorrow and Barry Saunders from Wairarapa with I Wish I Knew.

Auditions for the talent quest start on Friday while the SBS St James Theatre will be the venue on Friday night for the announcement of winners for the RIANZ (Recording Industry Association New Zealand) Best Country Music Album Tui and APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Best Country Song Award.

Finalists for the Album award are Annette & Kim for Something Between Us, Kylie Austin for When It Rains and Tami Neilson (pictured) for Red Dirt Angel.

Tami is also a finalist for the Song award for Cry Myself To Sleep, the first single from her debut album released in February this year.

The other two finalists vying for the best song are Jess Chambers for Stringing Me Along and Kayla Mahon, Taylor Cairns and Andrea Cruickshank for Facing The World.

The former is from The Heartleys album performed by Kayla and Taylor. Stringing Me Along is performed by Jess and other artists at The Woolshed Sessions from the album of the same name.

Saturday will feature the busking competition finals and the finals of the intermediate and junior sections of the talent quest.

The talent quest continues through Sunday with winners to be announced during an Awards showcase at night.

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Vale – Ken Cameron

Ken Cameron of pioneering record label CM Records fame, died at Iluka (NSW) on Tuesday (May 19).

Ken is known and respected throughout the country music industry for the long and substantial contribution he made as a record label owner and producer, predominantly through his Dubbo based studio CM Records.

He made many records, including for the legendary Stan Coster.


Darwin Muster

The fourth Darwin City Muster will be staged on Saturday July 11.

Billed as "the ultimate family night out under the stars" the Muster will headline Lee Kernaghan, Sara Storer and John Williamson, supported by Mick Denigan and Harmony James.

The event will be staged at the city's Gardens Amphitheatre.

"You'll be kickin' back and lettin' loose as MC Charlie King introduces the recipients of more than 60 Golden Guitars performing bush ballads, heartbreakers and high energy country rock with their own bands in concert length sets," said a spokesman for Muster organisers.

"And you can meet the artists direct from the stage in the Country Music Shack Merchandise Tent."

Tickets, at $65 (inclusive of fees), are now on sale from the Darwin Entertainment Centre, telephone 08 8980 3333 (online at, from Darwin Tourism Top End Visitor Information Centre, Nightcliff Newsagency, Casuarina Sounds of Music & Country Music Shack Humpty Doo.

Darwin City Muster acknowledges the support of Channel 9, NT News, Top Country 92.3 & Mix 1049, Bridge Toyota, Lion Nathan, Total Event Services and Darwin Airport Resort.


Chart update – Troy's third week at the top

Troy Cassar-Daley is at number one for the third week in a row on this week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with his latest hit Big Big Love.

The McClymonts' are steady again at two with Shotgun while The Sunny Cowgirls' duet with Adam Brand – Someday – is at three and America's Carrie Underwood is at four with I Told You So.

Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar edges up one to five, Alan Jackson's Sissy's Song is at six and Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride is at seven.

Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes is in eighth position, America's Joe Nichols is at nine with It Ain't No Crime and The Harmonators' If Love Ain't Crazy jumps four places to enter the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Victoria Baillie's Make Me (19 to 16), Keith Urban's Kiss A Girl (23 to 20), Harmony James' Fly (24 to 21), Jonah's Road's Long Gone (27 to 23), The Heartleys' No Man's Land (28 to 24) and Paul Costa's In This Life (29 to 26).

New entries in the chart for the coming week include The BobKatz with Thank You (in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



ARIA releases 2008 wholesale sales figures

The Australian recorded music business continues to demonstrate strong growth in digital products, according to ARIA, the Australian Recording Industry Association, with digital albums showing "a remarkable increase in popularity as the public embraces an alternative way to purchase their favourite music".

ARIA has released its wholesale sales figures covering January to December 2008 and, while sales of physical products declined by 12 percent, digital sales have continued to grow, rising 35 percent and over $14 million in value.

"Digital album sales led this revolution, up nearly 100 percent in dollar value and 261 percent in unit terms over the year with digital tracks increasing in value by 43 percent.

"Further evidence that the industry is in a period of growth comes from sales for the last quarter of 2008 where, for a period of six weeks led by blockbuster (pop) releases, CD sales increased as much as 57 percent on a week by week comparison over the same period in 2007.

"Andre Rieu proved a boon to music DVD sales, accounting for nine different titles at number one across 36 weeks of the year. Album sales for the first eight weeks of this year, when compared with the same period in 2008, are also up substantially overall. In certain weeks, this equates to as much as 75 percent, while Top 50 album sales have grown by over 150,000 units."

ARIA Chairman Ed St John said: "It’s very encouraging to see this growth in our business and the enormous potential that digital music represents. Whilst the physical CD still accounts for the bulk of album sales, and the CD retail business is still alive and well, digital albums represent a significant opportunity for the industry.

"There’s no question that there are some real changes occurring in music consumer behaviour, indeed the industry anticipated the trend and made preparations for it."

Despite the global economic outlook, ARIA said the industry was feeling optimistic that overall industry sales figures would remain solid through 2009 due to a strong schedule of releases and extensive tour activity.


Latest SNC ratings

In Australian commercial radio's third metropolitan listener survey for 2009, the ABC's "Saturday Night Country" continued to claim a large audience share.

Audience share figures of all AM and FM stations in each market were...

Adelaide... 17.9%

Brisbane... 13.3%

Melbourne... 19.1%

Perth... 9%

Sydney... 12.3%

"Saturday Night Country" – hosted by John Nutting (pictured) goes to air Saturday nights from 10 o'clock.

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Warren releases his biggest work

Warren Fahey, noted Australian folklorist/singer/yarnspinner/etc, will celebrate the launch of his biggest work yet – Australia: Folk Songs And Bush Verse – a 10 CD set on ABC Records, in Sydney this weekend.

All newly recorded, Warren's collection features "a treasure trove of traditional and popular songs and bush and city verse, covering Australian history and culture from convict days to today".

The celebration will take place at The Harp, Tempe, on Sunday (May 24) and will feature Warren with The Larrikins, Marcus Holden, Clare O'Meara, Mark Oats and Garry Steel.

Australia: Folk Songs And Bush Verse is made up of two volumes of five CDs each... Convict Stain To Shearer’s Blades (Volume 1) and Celebration Of A Nation (Volume 2)... well over 200 songs, poems and dittie... "a living history, people’s history".

"Traditional songs by their very nature are created by ordinary Australians to document their lives and of those around them," said the release from the ABC.

"They express our fear, frustration, anger and, in the good times, our joy and hope. Traditional folk songs and anonymous bush verse are emotional time capsules, handed down through the years, and even in the 21st century they exist to remind us of where we have come from and why we are unique in an ever-increasing global culture,” said Warren.

The two volumes contain "many rare songs and ballads never before recorded and spanning over 200 years of Australian social history with detailed booklets researched and written by Warren including background notes provided for every song and poem.

Booklets feature rare images from the collections of the National Library of Australia and the State Libraries of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.

Many songs directly relate to items in the Oral History and Folklore Collection of the National Library of Australia.

The albums were officially released on April 10.

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Blue Water Festival

Troy Cassar-Daley will headline the 2009 Blue Water Country Music Festival at Nelson Bay over the June long weekend.

Troy’s appearance follows the launch of his latest CD I Love This Place and will appear at the Festival with Steve Passfield (pictured) & Handpicked as the supporting act.

Some of the other artists appearing include Kaylah-Ann, Kel-Anne Brandt, Brumbys Run, Morgan Evans, Dale Hooper, Kelly Hope, The Junes, Victoria McGee, Ruckus, Col Thomson, Wildseed and the Wolverines.

This year’s Festival will host the Blue Dolphin Awards for singer/songwriters aged 18 to 30 years with a first prize of $1,000 plus the Blue Water Busking Titles total prize money of $750, bush poets, bootscootin’ and much more.

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Country Folk Sunday

Country Folk Sunday has been gaining interest in the Hawkesbury area of NSW since it began a few months ago.

Tamworth Songwriters' and Australian Bush Balladeers members Darryl Bowen and Lydia Clare host the "family friendly, free afternoon of 'Croak' country-folk music on the last Sunday of the month between 12-4pm at the Lynwood Country Club, Pitt Town.

Every month, special guests are invited to perform, in May, Kathy Sunners and Fergusson Elliot and in June, Karen Lynne (pictured) and Pat Drummond.


CMC Top 50 – Adam at number one

Adam Brand (pictured) takes over the number one spot on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his latest hit Hell Of A Ride.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love is at nine while Australian Country Music Unites' Tangerine Sky is steady at 10 and Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar is at 12.

John Williamson, Warren H Williams and Amos Morris' are at 14 with Australia Is Another Word For Free, Keith Urban's Sweet Thing is at 16, Victoria Baillie's Make Me is up three to 17 and Shea Fisher's Suitcase enters the top 20 at 18.

Bullet performers for the week include Jayne Denham's Shake This Town (new at 24), Kate Ballantyne's Ride (33 to 30), Kirsty Lee Akers' Better Days (35 to 31), Tori Darke's Crawl (36 to 32), Jamie O'Neal's Like A Woman (44 to 41), The Southern Green's Beautiful Life (49 to 45) and The Bobkatz' Thank You (new at 47).

The other new entry to the playlist this week is Melissa Bajric with Sunshine Rain (in at 49).

The playlist can be viewed at


MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009

Mt Gravatt talent quest

The 2009 Mt Gravatt (Qld) Show is hosting a country music talent quest as part of its annual festivities this year.

It will be a first for the show, giving members of the local community, as well as performers from the country music ranks, the opportunity to enter.

The quest will have four categories: Senior Male Vocal, Senior Female Vocal, Juvenile Vocal and Junior Vocal.

"This will be a talent quest with a difference," said Co-ordinator and Promoter Paul Wilson. "Great cash prizes are on offer, including $500 for the overall best performer for the day."

A one-day activity, the talent quest is planned to become an annual event and is also affiliated with the Queensland Country Music Festivals Champion of Champions, meaning that the first and second placegetters from each section can go on to enter the finals in Brisbane in November.

Entry forms for the talent quest can be downloaded by clicking here ... (download link is at the bottom of the page).

Or, email Paul...

The talent quest will be staged on Saturday, July 25. The Show runs Saturday and Sunday.

Lance Coassin, 2007 Champion of Champions, will be guest artist for the day. Lance is currently preparing for his performance in the Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year quest in Norfolk Island.


Countdown on to Cessnock Festival

The countdown is on to this year's Cessnock (NSW) Country Music Festival which will kicks off this Friday (May 22).

Cessnock Mayor Alison Davey will declare the third annual festival officially open in Sternbeck Park, Vincent Street Cessnock, after which Bruce McCumstie and Donella Waters will perform.

"Once again, I am really thrilled with the lineup we are presenting," said organiser Rhonda Astill. "We have a number of Golden Guitar winners and crowd favourites on the bill... over 30 artists in total including the special tribute to the late Reg Lindsay, on Friday night.

"The tribute will star Reg’s daughter Dianne Lindsay (pictured) who will headline the concert conceived to celebrate her father’s remarkable life and music. Also appearing will be Slim Newton, Bill Chambers, Bruce McCumstie, Kel-Anne Brandt, Jodie Crosby and Steve Newton, and the evening will be narrated by Jon Wolfe of Tamworth.

"Proceeds from the event will be used to submit Holly Wilson of Singleton as an applicant to attend the College of Country Music in Tamworth in 2010 in Reg Lindsay”s name."

Rounding out the substantial artist roster will be (in alphabetical order) Neville Anderson, John Battle, Karl Broadie (pictured), Travis Collins, The Chic Frontier (Dianna Corcoran, Amber Lawrence and Aleyce Simmonds), The Davidson Brothers, Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne, Makaylie Foodey, Steve Passfield, Bob Pigott and his Band The Workin’ Man’s Dream, Alby Pool and his daughter Melody, Peter Pratt, Anita Ree, Donella Waters, Lisa White, John Wilson and Rob Wilson.

The Festival will be held at East Cessnock Bowling Club from Friday to Sunday.

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Errol launches new album

Sawtell’s "backyard balladeer" Errol Gray has launched a new album.

Titled How Good Is This? Errol says the work was designed to "remove the cares and worries of the listener – at least for the duration of the album".

Errol enlisted "some amazingly musical mates" for the creation of this album which began in his shed at Sawtell (NSW) and ended in Steve Newton’s Enrec Studios in Sydney and Tamworth – Australia’s Country Music Capital.

Studio personnel include many luminaries of Australian country music – Jodie Crosby on harmony vocals, Lloyd Jansen on guitar and backing vocals, Garry Steel on keyboards, Randall Wilson on percussion and Steve Newton on practically everything else.

The album is available from where three songs can also be previewed.


FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009

Artists announced for American showcases

Artists have been announced for the Global Artist Party and AristoMedia Global Showcase Jump Start during CMA (Country Music Association, America) Music Festival Week in Nashville on Monday and Tuesday, June 8 and 9.

The Global Artist Party unofficially marks the beginning of the 2009 CMA Music Festival with its annual showcase.

Eight artists from Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand will appear.

Australian artists Kirsty Lee Akers, The McClymonts and Telstra Road to Tamworth winner Peter McWhirter (pictured) will be joined by George Canyon from Canada, Ashley Cooper from New Zealand, Colm Kirwan from Ireland, Alex J Robinson from Canada and Lucie Silvas from the UK.

The showcase will be staged from 6:15pm at The Stage on Broadway with host Jace Everett.

Australia's Dianna Corcoran (pictured) and Telstra Road to Tamworth songwriter's award winner Corey Colum will feature in the Global Showcase which will run on Tuesday June 9 at 3pm.

Other acts will include Tore Andersen from Norway, David Bradley and Brianie from the UK, Rolf Fritschi from Switzerland, Pierre Lorry from France and Codie Prevost from Canada.

This event will be hosted by former Mavericks bassist and Digital Rodeo Director of Industry Relations Robert Reynolds.

"Both of these events are certainly a highlight for the global country music community each year," said AristoMedia President Jeff Walker.

"Music City is regarded as the heart of country music and the CMA Music Festival is one of the best live events in the world. The chance for these artists to travel and perform here is not only an exciting opportunity for the artists, but for the city of Nashville and the entire international country music movement as well."

Among other Australian acts in Nashville for the Festival are Adam Harvey and Craig Morrison Little Cowboys.

The 2009 CMA Music Festival will run from Thursday to Sunday, June 11 to 14, in Downtown Nashville.

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Chart update – Troy hangs on to number one

Troy Cassar-Daley retains the number position on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with his latest hit Big Big Love.

The next four places on the chart remain unchanged from this week... The McClymonts' Shotgun at two, Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride at three Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes at four and The Sunny Cowgirls' duet with Adam Brand – Someday – at five.

Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar jumps three places to number six while America's Carrie Underwood is also up three to seven with I Told You So.

Toby Keith's God Love Her is at eight, Sandra Humphries' I'm Worth It is at nine and Alan Jackson's Sissy's Song enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include The Harmonators' If Love Ain't Crazy (17 to 14), Victoria Baillie's Make Me (24 to 19), Tracy Coster's Way Back Then (23 to 20), Keith Urban's Kiss A Girl (27 to 23), Harmony James' Fly (28 to 24) and Jonah's Road with Long Gone (30 to 27).

New entries in the chart for the coming week include The Heartleys (pictured) with No Man's Land (in at 28) and Paul Costa with In This Life (at 29).

The full chart can be viewed at


THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

Norfolk Island '09

The 16th annual Norfolk Island Country Music Festival will run from Sunday May 24 to Saturday May 30.

Organisers sat the Festival gets bigger and better every year.

"Norfolk Island is a friendly and safe environment where you can relax and not have to worry about those troubles that effect many other holiday destinations," they say.

Spread over a week, the Festival showcases some of Australia and New Zealand’s best talent, with a Pacific twist.

"Many consider it the 'Bledisloe Cup' of country music where the best amateurs from Australia and New Zealand compete for the crown of Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year.

"This gives the winner a solid grounding in the country music scene winning recording time and a considerable cash prize to take home."

This year, Festival organisers have secured sponsorship for the Trans-Tasman competition which will be known as the Norfolk Air Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Awards.

"Audiences are amazed at the calibre of talent displayed on these shores during Country Music Week," a spokesman for the organisers said. "There are four main shows and the program is set to allow visitors an opportunity to take in the beauty and serenity of this Pacific gem during the day, whilst enjoying lunch time entertainment at various venues around the Island and main shows at night.

"The concerts are the best value for money and the program is designed to appeal to all age groups and vary between traditional country, modern country and country rock.

"This year, the Festival has changed the Friday night Hoedown to 'Party Night' reducing the entrance fee and aiming more at a dance party to your favourite country rock songs. Our audiences are varied and the NICMA (Norfolk Island Country Music Association) endeavours to provide a happy balance so that there is something for everyone.

"The NICMA social committee provides late night after-show fun at the Up Country venue. Originally these 'jams' were held in the club premises, but the Festival outgrew the premises and so (we) decided to keep the name... and take it to wherever is most suitable.

"These jams are not to be missed and 'Up Country' provides a place where the muso's and visitors can rub shoulders, relax over a drink, wind down after the shows and mix some of the best music and enjoyable sounds that die hard country fans will love. And there is a dance floor to shake down all that country music cheer."

The NICMA encourages visitors to the island to pre-purchase their tickets, through their travel agents or direct with the NICMA.

Adam Harvey and Suzy Lynch (New Zealand) have been booked as headline acts for this year's Festival.

They will be supported by (in alphabetical order) from Australia – Cannelloni Cowboys, Dianna Corcoran, Amber Lawrence, Dan Mac, Aleyce Simmonds, and from New Zealand, The Galley Slaves, Annette Hawkins, Chris Powely, Johnny and Chet O'Connel and Lauren Thomson.

Joy Adams – last year's Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the year will also feature.

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"Wollun One" signed to Boolarong

The Blanch family book "Wollun One" has been signed to Boolarong Press.

Originally published by Arthur and Berice Blanch as their definitive story, the book has been available to specialist audiences prior to the signing.

But, Berice says, having Boolarong on board will provide a much wider market reach for the work which contains "many firsts which will keep you interested from beginning to end".

Described as a "riveting story about the first Australian country music family" (Arthur, Berice and Jewel Blanch), the book is full of music memories including more than 900 photos.

"This book will strike a chord with music lovers of all ages," according to Boolarong. "(It) also features well known artists like Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Slim Dusty, Glen Campbell, Anne Murray and Johnny Cash."

Weblink – click here.


CMC Top 50 – Joe takes over the top spot

America's Joe Nichols (pictured) is at number one on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of It Ain't No Crime.

Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride edges back up one place to number two while Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar drops to sixth place and Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love is at eight.

Australian Country Music Unites' Tangerine Sky is up to 10, John Williamson, Warren H Williams and Amos Morris' are at 11 with Australia Is Another Word For Free and Keith Urban's Sweet Thing is down to 14.

Shea Fisher's Don't Chase Me is at 15, Melinda Schneider & Paul Kelly are at 18 with Still Here. and Victoria Baillie's Make Me enters the top 20 at 20.

Bullet performers for the week include Shea Fisher's new clip Suitcase (new at 22), Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes (27 to 24), Kate Ballantyne's Ride (36 to 33), Kirsty Lee Akers' Better Days (40 to 35), Tori Darke's Crawl (43 to 36), Sandra Humphries' I'm Worth It (45 to 40) and The Noll Brothers' Man On A Mission (50 to 47).

Other new entries to the playlist this week are Chad Shuttleworth with Tightrope (new at 48) and The Southern Green with Beautiful Life (at 49).

This week's CMC "Country Pick" is the clip of the title track from Jayne Denham's new album Shake This Town.

The playlist can be viewed at


MONDAY, MAY 11, 2009

Canterbury Country turns nine

Sydney's most notable, and most popular, regular country music event – Canterbury Country – turns nine this month.

The birthday celebration event will take place this Thursday night from 8 in the Starlight Auditorium at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club.

Featured entertainment will include Kaylah Anne (pictured), Craig Morrison, Lucky Starr and long-time host Bob Howe with his Hillbilly Heaven Band and Nicki Gillis (Craig and his Dad Lucky will be duetting during the show).

Canterbury Country runs on the second Thursday of every month showcasing a variety of styles from "classic Honky-Tonk" to modern sounds, "and dance to everything from the Texas Two-Step to a Country Waltz".

Special events include the Tomkins Guitar Showcase in November and the presentation by Frank Ifield of his International Spur Award in March.

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Dan launches debut album

Gunnedah (NSW) based firefighter and country singer Dan Murphy successfully launched his debut CD, Country Boy, to a large, appreciative hometown crowd last month.

More than 200 friends and fans turned out to the Gunnedah Services & Bowling Club to hear songs from the new album and buy autographed copies.

For the night, Dan employed a top line band of musicians to showcase the songs – Gene Knox on drums, Steve McCauley on guitar, Mark Moulynox on pedal steel and Trevor Stacey on bass.

The album tracks and other songs performed were reportedly well received.

Dan’s manager Peter Izod compered the function with the album officially launched by local radio station (2MO/2GGG) Manager Paul Bachelor.

Since the launch, Dan has been kept busy performing throughout the North West of NSW and is looking forward to promoting Country Boy to a wider audience at festivals around the country.

Dan recorded the vocal tracks for the album under the watchful eye of producer and good mate Michael Muchow at Michael’s studio in Brisbane while the band tracks were laid down at Jeff McCormack’s Music Cellar Studio on the NSW Central Coast.

Session personnel included Katrina Burgoyne, Ash Cawse, Jeff McCormack, Luke Moller, Michael Muchow, Brendan Radford, Michel Rose, Scott Lloyd Shelley and Glen Wilson.

The album’s first radio release, Where There’s A Road, has been reportedly well received at country stations throughout Australia.

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Chart update – Troy takes over number one

Troy Cassar-Daley takes over the number one spot on this week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with his latest hit Big Big Love.

The McClymonts' number one from the last two weeks – Shotgun – slips to number two while Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride and Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes are steady at three and four, respectively.

The Sunny Cowgirls' duet with Adam Brand – Someday – and Toby Keith with God Love Her are also unchanged at five and six while Sandra Humphries' I'm Worth It jumps two places to number seven.

James Blundell's Portrait Of A Man is another one this week steady at last week's position (eight), Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar enters the top 10 at nine and America's Carrie Underwood's is also unchanged – at 10 – with I Told You So.

Bullet performers for the week include The Harmonators' If Love Ain't Crazy (22 to 17), The Bushwackers' Good Old Days (24 to 20), Lianna Rose's Just Like A Rose (25 to 21), Tracy Coster's Way Back Then (27 to 23), Victoria Baillie's Make Me (30 to 24) and Keith Urban's Kiss A Girl (new at 27).

Other new entries in the chart this week are Harmony James' Fly (in at 28) and Jonah's Road with Long Gone (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



Entries open for 2009 Southern Stars

Entry forms are now available for the 13th Southern Stars – the Australian Independent Country Music Awards – to be staged on Saturday October 3 during the 2009 Mildura Country Music Festival.

Entry is open to all CD product from independent Australian country music artists recorded in Australia and released in the period July 1 2008 to June 30 2009.

Tuesday June 30 is the closing date.

The Awards cover eight nominated categories – Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Heritage Track of the Year, Rising Star Male and Female, Male and Female Vocalist of the Year and Group/Duo of the Year.

A further award, Independent Artist of the Year, is judged from artists nominated in the above categories.

Further information can be obtained from Awards Co-ordinator John Arnold on 0418 303 206 or by emailing

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Mildura Festival website (see below).

Australia's largest independent CM festival

The Mildura Festival – the largest independent country music festival in Australia – will be presented by Neighbourhood Cable from Friday September 25 until October 4.

More than 100 artists will join the celebrations at 20 separate venues, including (in alphabetical order) 8 Ball Aitken, Victoria Baillie, Aaron Bolton, Owen Blundell, Lou Bradley, Carter & Carter, Nathan Charlton, Tori Darke, Laura Downing, Lee Forster, Craig Giles, Terry Gordon, Bec Hance, Sam Hawksley, Jim Haynes, Sandra Humphries, Amber Lawrence, Grant Luhrs, Tom Maxwell, John O'Dea, Dean Perrett, Reg Poole, Anita Ree, Graham Rodger, Mitchell Shadlow, Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French, Col Thomson and Shandell Tosoni.

General inquiries about Mildura 2009 can be directed to Mildura Visitor Information Centre on 1800 039 043.

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Entries in Q Song 2009 close May 15

Entries for the 2009 Q Song Awards close on Friday May 15.

Q Song, now in its fourth year, has become the largest annual state-based songwriting awards program in the country.

Entrants will have the opportunity to showcase their songs and share in $25,000 worth of cash and prizes aimed at building their careers.

Finalists in the competition will be announced next month. Winners will be announced at the Q Song Awards Ceremony on Tuesday August 11 at The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane, Qld).

Past Q Song winners have included include 8 Ball Aitken, Kev Carmody, Bernard Fanning, Kate Miller-Heidke, Ben Salter (The Gin Club), Kate Bradley, Jackie Marshall, Tim Steward, James Grehan, Emma- louise and Shari Williams.

Organisers say the Q Song Awards will be even more special in 2009 as it is also an official event on the Q150 program celebrating Queensland's 150th birthday.

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Melbourne to host 2009 APRA Music Awards

The APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Music Awards will return to Melbourne this year.

"For over 25 years, APRA has proudly recognised the achievements of our outstanding songwriters, composers and music publisher members at the annual APRA Music Awards," said Chief Executive Brett Cottle.

"This year, we look forward to sharing the occasion with our friends and peers in Melbourne; to once again celebrate breadth and depth of songwriting talent in this country."

The big award is Song of the Year, voted for by the 30,000 APRA members. Last year, this went to Silverchair's Straight Lines, written by Daniel Johns Julian Hamilton.

Last year's Country Work of the Year went to Troy Cassar-Daley's Everything's Going To Be Alright.

The night also includes the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services for Australian Music. Past recipients of this award have included Don Burrows, Michael Chugg, Slim Dusty, Michael McMartin and Angus and Malcolm Young.

The 2009 APRA Music Awards will be held at The Peninsula, Melbourne on Tuesday June 23. Nominees will be announced in Sydney on Wednesday May 27.

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Enrec moves into Hadley Studios

Story and photo: Jon Wolfe (Tamworth City News)

After sitting virtually unused for nearly six years, Tamworth’s iconic Hadley Studios has resumed life as a recording studio – this time as the home of Enrec Studios.

Hadley owners Eric and Hilary Scott recently handed over the keys to the studio complex, which is situated in Calala, to Steve Newton, who has already set up business under a rental agreement with the Scotts.

"It’s good to see the building come alive again and to be used for what it was designed to be," Eric told Tamworth City News.

Steve Newton originally set up Enrec in Tamworth in 1983 as the fulfillment of a dream he and his brother Eric shared and the studio is, in fact, named after Eric as in "Eric Newton Recording".

After a number of moves, the studio has now found a new home in Country Music Capital. "I moved to Kurri Kurri in 1992 and then to Sydney," Steve said. "I was in Sydney for 18 years."

Enrec’s return to Tamworth puts the studio in direct competition with at least five other studios in the city but Steve sees the competition as a good thing. "Absolutely! Competition is a healthy thing," he said.

"This is Country Music Capital and my idea is to have a good range of professional studios here so we can attract customers back to Tamworth, supply facilities for the local people and try and grow the country music industry here.

"In years gone by (Tamworth) has been more active as a country music centre and I think that’s something that we can at least reach again."

Steve says that although the focus will be on recording country acts he will not be limited in the work that can be produced at the new Enrec facility. "I’m hoping to provide facilities particularly for young people," he said. "My intention is to approach the education facilities and try and involve school bands, young guys and girls with their modern material.

"I’m going to attract rock 'n' roll bands. I’ve got lots of contacts and, as I did back when I was here before, I tended to get the alternative acts – because there were so many specialist country studios I got the rock bands and the jazz bands."

The move into the Hadley Studio is particularly significant for Steve as his father Slim Newton recorded his big hit Redback On The Toilet Seat with Hadley in 1972 and Steve himself has worked in the studio in the past.

Many of John Williamson’s albums have been recorded at Enrec and the re-location to Tamworth should mean that he will come here to record in the future. "I believe so," Steve said. "That’s the plan at this stage."

Steve is also known as a fine musician and currently works with Williamson as his live concert guitarist.

After more than 23 years, Enrec has recorded more than 150 albums and numerous singles, jingles, demos and tapes for more than 150 artists and bands.

Photo (from left): Eric and Hilary Scott handing the studio keys over to Steve.


CMC Top 50 – Dierks at number one

America's Dierks Bentley tops this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of Feel That Fire.

Adam Brand's number one from last week – Hell Of A Ride – slips to number three while Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar comes in at four and Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love is at seven.

Shea Fisher's Don't Chase Me is at eight, Keith Urban's Sweet Thing is steady at nine and John Williamson, Warren H Williams and Amos Morris' are at 11 with Australia Is Another Word For Free.

Australian Country Music Unites' Tangerine Sky is up to 13 and Melinda Schneider & Paul Kelly are at 16 with Still Here.

Bullet performers for the week include Victoria Baillie's Make Me (new at 23), Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes (30 to 27), The Songbirds (Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer) with You've Got A Friend (new at 30), Kate Ballantyne's Ride (new at 36), Kirsty Lee Akers' Better Days (new at 40), Tori Darke's Crawl (new at 43) and Sandra Humphries' I'm Worth It (49 to 45).

This week's CMC "Country Pick" is Suitcase, the second clip from Shea Fisher's album Shea. The clip was filmed by 2008 TropFest winners Conti Bros Films.

The playlist can be viewed at


MONDAY, MAY 4, 2009

Katrina wins Voice of Urban Country

Singer/songwriter Katrina Burley won the Voice of Urban Country title at the QUT Urban Country Music Festival last night (Sunday).

Eighteen-year-old Katrina, from Woodford, who has been singing country music since she was seven years old, said winning the competition was a good start to her musical career.

"I’m still in shock but I’m happy," she said. "I love to sing country music – I love the stories told through the music. I’m not sure what I will do with the prize but I am looking forward to spending some time in a recording studio."

For placing first in this year’s semi-professional competition, Katrina took home about $10,000 worth of prizes including recording time, a referral to a major management company, Ellaways Music gift voucher, an advertising and marketing package, cash and four performance bookings.

Tanya Marie Sims, 24, of Caboolture, also impressed the crowd, winning the senior category of the Voice of Urban Country competition.

"It was a triumphant return to performing for Tanya, after taking a break to complete her university studies," said a spokesman.

"My husband entered me into the competition as a Christmas gift," she said. "It was just the gentle push I needed and I’m glad I did it."

All of the finalists were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd at the Caboolture RSL.

The 2009 QUT Urban Country Music Festival concludes today with the Farewell Concert in Caboolture's Town Square running until 3pm featuring The BobKatz, Harmony James, Tracy Killeen and Brendon Walmsley together with the Busking Competition winner, Talent Search winners and a Champion of Champions Showcase.

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Biggest ever Urban Country Festival a huge success

Caboolture’s QUT Urban Country Music Festival was a huge success, according to organisers, attracting an estimated 35,000 day visitors throughout the May long weekend.

"Festival-goers enjoyed an action-packed festival – proudly presented by Moreton Bay Regional Council – that boasted 500 artists across 11 different stages," they said.

"Thousands of visitors from across Australia made the pilgrimage to Caboolture for what has become one of the hottest events in the country music calendar."

The festival kicked off with a free Burbs ‘n Bush Party in the Caboolture Town Square on Friday night that attracted a record 3,500 people.

Saturday’s entertainment kicked off early with the Beaut Ute Show at Centenary Lakes and a record crowd of 1,000 people turning out to inspect 100 utes all vying for a winning title.  Three local ute enthusiasts took out categories – Ron Hosking of Elimbah (Best Feral Ute), Toney Davidson of Clontarf (Best Tradesman’s Ute) and Craig Vos of Joyner (Best B&S Ute).

"Saturday night’s Main Concert was the festival’s premiere event with about 5,000 people making their way to the Caboolture Showgrounds to enjoy the extraordinary talents of Lee Kerngahan, John Williamson, Adam Harvey, Jonah’s Road,  Travis Collins, Sinead Burgess and Liam Brew.

"The Voice of Urban Country Talent Search on Sunday unearthed an amazing depth of talent (see story above), while the town centre was filled with country music and a festive atmosphere.

"Sunday night’s Urban Blaze Concert was a family favourite and this year attracted its biggest crowd ever of 4,000 partygoers. The Stockman’s Arena proved to be one of the festival highlights with Guy McLean’s horse and whip-cracking displays attracting 500 people per show."

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31st annual South Australian Country Music Festival

The 31st annual South Australian Country Music Festival will be staged from May 30 to June 8.

Incorporating the South Australian Country Music Awards (awards and talent quest), organisers say this year's event looks to being bigger and better than ever before.

Features for 2009 will include a first time visit by Golden Guitar winning duo The Sunny Cowgirls (pictured).

"Talent quest entries have been flowing in well and with so many people heading towards Barmera and the Riverland for this massive event you also won't want to miss it," they said.

"The list of entertainers is wide and varied this year with a style of country music that will suit any country music fan. No matter if it's the traditional Australian bush ballad or crossover country rock, you will find just what you are looking for in the Riverland of South Australia in June."

Further information can be obtained from the website or by calling the Barmera Information Centre on 08 8582 5511.


Vale – Vern Gosdin

American singer/songwriter Vern Gosdin, who recorded country music hits in the States like the award-winning Chiseled In Stone during a 30-year career, has died. He was 74.

Vern was under hospice care and died last Tuesday at an area hospital. A spokesman said that he had suffered a stroke a few weeks ago.

Chiseled In Stone was voted 1989 Song of the Year by the American Country Music Association.


SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2009

NT song winners

The Long Haul by Ernie Constance (left) & Jeff Brown was named Northern Territory Song of the Year in the 2009 Katherine Country Music Muster Northern Territory Country Songwriter's Awards this weekend.

The song also took out the Awards' Contemporary section.

Winner in the Bush Ballad section was Peter Simpson with Akubras In The Snow.

In Comedy/Novelty, Anita Ree came up trumps with Dogs Like Fishing.

In the unrecorded sections...

Yoris Wilson won in Unreleased Professional with Last Time Tiffney Stroh took out the Amateur title with You're The One To Blame and Kate Oliver was successful in Lyrics Only with Before The Rains.

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FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009

Urban Country starts today

The 2009 QUT Urban Country Music Festival gets underway today.

Big crowds are expected for this year's event which runs at Caboolture May Day holiday weekend.

The Festival is described as "four days of concerts, events and entertainment" with more than 500 artists on 11 stages in 16 different venues.

Stars of the main show on Saturday afternoon/evening are (in order of appearance), Toyota Star Maker 2009 Liam Brew, Sinead Burgess, Jonah's Road, Travis Collins, John Williamson, Adam Harvey and Lee Kernaghan (pictured during last year's main concert).

Other shows and activities include the Burbs ‘n Bush Party tonight, the Urban Blaze Concert on Sunday night (with fireworks, bonfires and live country music), the Beaut Ute Show, the Voice of Urban Country Talent Search, Songwriters Café, the Bush Poets Corner, New Zealand Showcase... busking, line dancing, clogging, bush poetry competition, food and market stalls, art competition, the "Next Generation Station" - showcasing the next generation of country music, stockman's arena, Bush Poets Breakfast, bush balladeers show and the farewell concert.

One of the major activities at Urban Country this year is the charity auction of a VH Holden Commodore at the Beaut Ute Show on Saturday. And, "Guitar Unleashed: Long Live The Lead Break" – a special Urban COuntry staging of this competition which has been a major new part of the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival for a number of years.

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Reg to be honoured at Cessnock

A special tribute to honour country music legend Reg Lindsay (pictured), who died on August 5 last year, will kick off this year’s Cessnock City Country Music Festival, from May 22 to 24.

Reg’s daughter, Dianne Lindsay, will headline the concert conceived to celebrate her father’s remarkable life and impressive catalogue of music. It will also star 2009 Country Music Roll of Renown inductee Slim Newton, leading independent singer/songwriter Bill Chambers, Kel Anne Brandt and Bruce McCumstie.

"This superb array of entertainers will combine to ensure the festival opens in fine country style to pay tribute to the late, great country star, who spent much of his latter years in the Cessnock area living on a horse stud prior to his death in a nursing home, following a protracted illness," said a spokesman for Festival organisers.

This concert will be held on Friday May 22, at the East Cessnock Bowling Club. Proceeds from the event will be used to sponsor a student to attend the Australian College of Country Music, in January 2010, in Tamworth – in honour of Reg.

Saturday evening’s entertainment offers festival goers a contrast to the traditional fare on opening night with "Chic Frontier – Dianna Corcoran, Amber Lawrence and Aleyce Simmonds.

To warm up the audience for the girls’ arrival on Saturday is Scotland-born singer/songwriter Karl Broadie whose new CD, Branches, has just been released on the ABC Music label.

The Davidson Brothers – Hamish & Lachlan will also appear, together with Bill Chambers, late addition Travis Collins, Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne, Bruce McCumstie & Donella, Hunter Valley artists Makaylie Foodey, Alby Pool, Bob Pigott, Melody Pool, Lisa White, Rob Wilson.

Following its huge success in 2008, the second annual Balladeers Day will take place on Sunday from 10.30am to 5pm with artists including Dianne Lindsay, Peter Pratt and Anita Ree.

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Chart update – The McClymonts hang on to number one

The McClymonts retain the number one position on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with their hit Shotgun.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Big Big Love edges up another place to number two while Adam Brand's Hell Of A Ride slips to number three and Ronni Rae Rivers' Running On Fumes edges up one to number four.

The Sunny Cowgirls' duet with Adam Brand – Someday – is up two to five, America's Toby Keith is at six with God Love Her and Melinda Schneider & Paul Kelly are at seven with Still Here.

James Blundell's Portrait Of A Man bounds into the top 10 at eight, Sandra Humphries' I'm Worth It enters the top 10 at nine and Carrie Underwood's latest single – I Told You So – jumps five places to number 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Jasmine Rae's Pink Guitar (16 to 11),Tori Darke's Crawl (19 to 15), The Harmonators' If Love Ain't Crazy (25 to 22) and Lianna Rose with Just Like A Rose (28 to 25).

New entries in the chart this week include Victoria Baillie (pictured) with Make Me (in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



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