This website dedicated to bringing you the latest Australian country music news
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2008
New Zealand's Topp Twins have announced details of an extensive Australian tour through NSW and Queensland in January and February.
The tour will kick off on January 22 and conclude on February 7 (click here for details).
The twins, Lynda and Jools Topp, will launch the tour with four shows at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, "delighting audiences with their infectious comedy, traditional yodels and trademark soaring harmonies, armed with guitar, mouth harp, spoons, a cocktail of classic characters and songs from their latest Country Album of the Year Flowergirls And Cowgirls," according to a spokesman for the duo.
"The set list includes a rollicking version of Untouchable Girls, 2007's New Zealand Country Music Awards Country Song of the Year Tamworth and swampy ballads, rockabilly and howlin' blues."
Inducted into New Zealand's Music Hall of Fame, The Topps grew up singing to the cows and are now a global institution with accolades for albums, concerts and their prime time television series The Topp Twins and Kens' Hunting & Fishing Show.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is also the title of their first feature film due for release in Australia and New Zealand early next year. "Lynda and Jools share their life experiences with honesty, wisdom and humour on the big screen, in an engaging performance/bio-pic from 'coming out' in the '70s to 'coming off' in 2006 when Jools was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Jools is an inspiration to others and credits her full recovery to the medicinal power of Lynda's yodelling of My Pinto Pony and I, her horses and the overwhelming support of fans."
Previous Topp Twins tours have sold out.
Weblink – www.topptwins.co.nz.
The McClymonts' (pictured) Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year takes over the top spot on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart.
America's Kenny Chesney is at two with Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven while Catherine Britt's number one from the last two weeks – Little Wildflower – is at three and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve jumps two places to number four.
The duet between Keith Urban & Brad Paisley – Start A Band – is up to fifth position, Markus Meier's In My Boots is at six while Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is down to seven.
Carter & Carter's Open Road is up another one to eight while America's Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood are at nine and 10 respectively with Let It Go and Just A Dream.
Bullet performers for the coming week include Lianna Rose with Jack (New Strings) (17 to 14), Tracey Killeen with Good Friends & Good Times (19 to 16), Jasmine Rae's Look It Up (21 to 17), James Blundell's Good Win (27 to 22), The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling (29 to 23), Travis Collins' Brand New Day (28 to 24), Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me (30 to 25) and Jetty Road's Good Times (new at 26).
Other new entries to the chart for the coming week include Amber Lawrence with The Mile (in at 28) and Graham Rodger's A Saddle For A Throne (at 29).
The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2008
The South Australian Stampede will be staged at Gawler this weekend.
Starplex Gawler will host a dinner from 6pm on Saturday with the SA Showcase and Awards to follow at 8pm.
Sunday night sees the staging from 9am at the Gawler Racecourse of the Music 'n' Muster "non stop family entertainment". The day's activities will include "breakfast with the stars", ute muster, rides, stalls and headline act Travis List (pictured).
Local and national acts appearing through the weekend will include the The Beggars, the Davidson Brothers, Kristal Collins, Kristy Cox, Mahalia Fox, Heartland, Danny Hooper, John O'Dea, The Sherrahs, Anthony Stewart, the Wolverines and Talia Wittmann.
Also on the Sunday, the Davidson Brothers and Wolverines will be conducting a workshop.
Tickets can be obtained by telephoning 08 8351 1063.
sponsors for the day include the SA Government, APRA/AMCOS, Gawler Mitre 10, Allington's Outpost and Australian Audio & Lighting Technology.
Weblink – www.saccm.com.
"Early bird" tickets for the main concert of the 2009 QUT Urban Coun try Music Festival at Caboolture, Queensland, go on sale this Monday (December 1).
Headliners on the concert, to be staged Saturday May 2, will include Adam Harvey, Lee Kernaghan (pictured) and John Williamson.
Also featuring on the main concert line-up will be Travis Collins and Jonah's Road.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said he had thoroughly enjoyed the main concert this year and was already looking forward to next year’s event.
"This is one you don’t want to miss," he said. "It’s a great night and Council is really proud to be behind organising this event."
The 2009 Urban Country Music Festival, to be held over the May long weekend, will feature more than 500 country music artists on 11 stages throughout Caboolture. There will be free concerts, events, markets, workshops and more.
Main concert "early bird" tickets will be available from any Moreton Bay Regional Council customer service centre or from the Festival’s website, www.urbancountry.com.au.
In the Country category, the top five finalists are Col Finley, Jetty Road (pictured), Jonah's Road, Drew McAlister and Markus Meier.
Country acts featuring in other categories include Bob Corbett in World/Folk and Steve Passfield in Instrumental.
The 2008 Awards will be staged at the Home Super Club in Sydney's Darling Harbour on Tuesday, December 9.
Weblink – www.musicoz.org.
Adam Brand, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, The McClymonts, The Slim Dusty Family and John Williamson (pictured) are the first artists announced as performers at the 2009 Country Music Awards of Australia (Golden Guitar Awards) presented by Jayco in January.
John is a finalist in six categories of next year's Awards while Kasey & Shane are finalists in five categories, The McClymonts are finalists in four while Adam has three finalist placings and The Slim Dusty Family one.
Over coming weeks, more artist and presenter details will be announced for the Awards which will be staged on Saturday January 24 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.
Weblink – www.country.com.au.
One of the foundation events of the famous Tamworth Country Music Festival – Buttercup Open Houses – will return in January 2009.
"Buttercup is one of the longest serving sponsors of the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Since 1979, Buttercup Open House concerts have provided Tamworth Festival fans with exceptional free entertainment."
Over the years, many stars, including Golden Guitar winners James Blundell, Carter & Carter and Troy Cassar-Daley have appeared on the stage of the Buttercup Open House concerts.
Due to the popularity of the event, Occupational Health & Safety now requires patrons to the event to be ticketed. Organisers have announced they will be issuing free tickets next year in various ways. A limited number will be offered to readers of "Country Music Capital News".
Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.
Leading blues/roots and alt country exponents Kevin Bennett and Bill Chambers will combine their talents in an exclusive double-header at The Vanguard on Thursday January 8 in Sydney.
"Chambers and Bennett bounce off each other easily, swapping song for song, line for line, as they’ve done on the few select times they’ve performed in this unique format."
Morgan evans will join America's Taylor Swift for her first Australian tour.
Morgan first came to prominence as the 2007 Telstra Road to Tamworth winner. Since then, he has released a single and video – Big Skies – which became a chart hit and scored two Golden Guitar finalist nominations.
He has also performed with US superstars Brooks & Dunn playing to sold-out concerts nationally.
Taylor Swift’s new album Fearless debuted at number one on the Billboard Album Chart this week, the highest first-week total for any female artist this year. It was released last weekend in Australia and debuted at number one on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Country Chart.
While in Australia, she will perform at the CMC (Country Music Channel) Rocks The Snowys Festival (as will Morgan) in March.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson continue to dominate the ARIA Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones at number one and Shane's album Familiar Ghosts debuting at number four.
Keith Urban and John Williamson retain the second and third positions with, respectively, Greatest Hits: 18 Kids and Hillbilly Road.
Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars slips one place to number five while John Williamson's Platinum Collection is steady at six and Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 at seven.
The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights re-enters the top 10 at eight, The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is at nine while the compilation album Hit Country: Summer Party is new at 10.
Chasing Bailey's Long Story Short re-enters the top 20 at 11, Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 12 and Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is up to 13.
Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of is at 14, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 15, The Slim Dusty family's Reunion album is at 16 and Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 17.
The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is at 18, Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 19 and Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains is at 20.
Steve Forde (pictured) takes over the top spot on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Life's Got Something Good For Me.
Jonah's Road is up three more places to number five with Giddy Up while Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is up two to eight and Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle – is at 10.
The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling is up another three places to 13, John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is up to 15 and Markus Meier's In My Boots is at 16.
The Road Hammers are up two places with Girl On The Billboard, Sinead Burgess is up to 18 with You Get Me, Sara Storer enters the top 20 with Sitting Here With Fay and The Davidson Brothers Long Distance Love Affair is at 20.
Bullet performers for the week include Amber Lawrence with The Mile (new at 21), James Blundell's Good Wood (29 to 25) and Victoria McGee with I Can't Wait (40 to 37).
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2008
Eight talented Australian songwriters and composers will win cash and prizes to the value of $16,000 as part of the 2009 APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Professional Development Awards (PDAs).
The Awards are presented by APRA in conjunction with music organisations and institutions involved in the representation or education of Australian music writers. They offer cash, travel and recognition to music writers in the early stages of their careers.
Australian winners of the 2009 PDAs will receive $12,000 cash to advance their careers through study or travel plus a Gibson guitar, studio time at Trackdown Recording Studio and access to an on-line course provided by the award-winning Berklee College of Music. Each prize package will total more than $16,000.
The Awards were first awarded in 2001 to mark APRA's 75th Anniversary and were received so enthusiastically by the music industry that the APRA board decided to make them a permanent fixture on the cultural calendar.
In association with the PDAs, APRA also administers the Jessica Michalik Contemporary Music Endowment established by The Big Day Out producers. The Endowment gives a $10,000 development grant to a promising Australian songwriter or band, nominated by the producers of The Big Day Out.
Entries for the Awards close on Monday December 1, 2008. Winners will be announced in March.
Weblink – www.apra.com.au.
With the entry last week of their current single – Open Road – into the top 10 of the national Country Tracks Top 30 Singles chart, award-winning Victorian based duo have scored their 16th hit.
And, the video clip of Open Road is currently sitting at number 32 on the Country Music Channel (CMC) Top 50 playlist.
Meanwhile, Carter & Carter have announced they will stage "two big shows" during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival in January, both at the city's new Capitol Theatre.
The first will be the "Carter & Carter Country Gospel Show" on Sunday January 18 from 2pm, with special guests Donna Boyd and Brendon Walmsley.
The second will be the "Carter & Carter 'welcome To Our Place' Concert" from 2pm on Tuesday January 20 with special guest, Golden Guitar winning Drew McAlister and other award winning surprise guests Mike Carr, Jordy McMillan and Talia Wittmann.
The duo is planning "a unique experience" at their Tuesday concert in Tamworth for the official launch of their DVD Carter & Carter – Unchained with a replication of a lounge room concert at their farm.
The show will feature some audio visual material interspersed with Carter & Carter singing their hits live "and will be just like sitting in Carter & Carter's lounge room, up close and personal," said a spokesman for the duo.
Weblink – www.carterncarter.com.
Catherine Britt retains the top spot on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with her song Lucky Girl.
The McClymonts' Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year is up another three to number two with Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To steady at three and America's Kenny Chesney at four with Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.
Markus Meier's In My Boots is steady at five while Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is up three to six and Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle is at seven.
Keith Urban & Brad Paisley enter the top 10 at eight with Start A Band, Carter & Carter's Open Road is up one to nine and America's Tim McGraw is at 10 with Let It Go.
Bullet performers for the coming week include Lianna Rose with Jack (New Strings) (22 to 17), Tracey Killeen with Good Friends & Good Times (23 to 19), Jasmine Rae's Look It Up (25 to 21) and James Blundell's Good Win (30 to 27).
New entries to the chart for the coming week include Travis Collins (pictured) with Brand New Day (in at 28), The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling (at 29) and Steve Forde with Life's Got Something Good For Me (at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2008
Karen Lynne has released her seventh album, "the long awaited follow up duet album with Pat Drummond", titled Long Journey Home.
"Unlike our first collaborative album," Karen says, "which was a selection of country flavoured 'love story' songs recorded in a very traditional country style, this project is a completely acoustic effort and a collection of true stories and their characters as well as some social comment songs of the type that Pat is well known for.
"It's a special album as it's kind of a celebration of our 10 years singing and touring together and everything – from the title; the stories collected on our travels; the CD artwork – containing tour photos and maps of places we’ve been, right down to our dedication of it to all the gig organisers, billets, community groups and venues, is a celebration of that time.
"The sensitivity of the stories is reinforced by wonderful acoustic arrangements of guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, even tin whistle and accordian! which gives the album a feel that’s much more on the 'folkier' side of Australian country music," Karen said, "and the real scary thing is that it's produced entirely and totally… by me.
"The song selection is quite vast, from Pat's wonderful character portraits in song, to a few very gentle and extremely personal efforts that reflect the very hearts and spirits of us both (and even a couple of songs that left us both feeling a tad naked)... but we think worth every cent.
"It contains some real gems including the duet versions of many of the songs we sing in the show that I've been getting requests for in the last few years, including David's Watch, Spirit Of The Southern Shore, Dreams, and a most beautiful Christmas Carol from the hand of Pat's brother Geoff, Carol Lights."
Weblink – www.karenlynne.com.
America's Kid Rock (pictured) is at number one on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song All Summer Long.
Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me is steady at number two while Adam Harvey's number one from last week – Genie In A Bottle – is at six, Jonah's Road is up two places to eight with Giddy Up and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up enters the top 10 at 10.
The Davidson Brothers Long Distance Love Affair is at 13, Markus Meier edges up one to 14 with In My Boots, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling is up three to 16, John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is at 17, Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is at 18 and Sinead Burgess is up two to 20 with You Get Me.
Bullet performers for the week include Kane Harrison with The Moment (new at 25), Kimber Sparks' Strait & Jackson (38 to 35), Victoria McGee with I Can't Wait (43 to 40), Simply Bushed with The Great Australian Love Song (45 to 41), 8 Ball Aitken with Hands On Top Of The Wheel (new at 44), The Flood's Come Tomorrow (28 to 24), The Distance with Comin' On Fast (30 to 27), James Blundell's Good Wood (34 to 31), Travis Collins with Brand New Day (new at 33), Carter & Carter's Open Road (37 to 34) and Chuck's Wagon with Black Road (new at 46).
This week's CMC Country Pick is The Mile by Amber Lawrence.
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008
Leading Australian producer, Nashville-based Mark Moffatt has been presented with the Jo Walker-Meador International Award by the American Country Music Association (CMA).
The Award was presented by CMA Board member and ex-pat Aussie himself, Jeff Walker who is President of AristoMedia/Marco Promotions and Hank Adam Locklin, Senior Manager of Membership and Industry Relations.
"I am passionate about building overseas perception of Nashville beyond the usual stereotypes," Mark said, "and I'm seeing real progress as more and more mainstream music fans and industry folks around the world begin to truly embrace country artists. I'm thrilled to receive this award and thank CMA for its support."
The Jo Walker-Meador International Award recognises outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting country music's marketing development in territories outside the United States.
One of the most experienced and respected producers to emerge from Australia, Mark now makes his home in Nashville, where he continues to play a significant role in the international growth of country music with his global production activities.
Until 2000, he worked extensively in the development of Keith Urban's solo career. He has been the musical director of CMA's popular "Global Artist Party" and global showcase events since 2004.
Photo: Mark Moffatt (second from right) receives the 2008 Jo Walker-Meador International Award with, from left, former CMA CSO Ed Benson; CMA Board member Jeff Walker, President, AristoMedia Group; and Hank Adam Locklin, CMA Senior Manager of Membership and Industry Relations. Photo by Amanda Eckard, CMA.
Weblink – www.cmaworld.com.
Jeff Brown and Trevor Day (pictured) took out two awards each at the 2008 Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards announced at the weekend.
Jeff won Album of the Year with Open Road and Male Vocalist of the Year with Foggy Mirrors while Trevor won the Comedy/Novelty award with The Homemade Chair and shared the Group/Duo gong with Kevin King and their recording of Do It All Over Again.
Dianne Lindsay won the Female Vocal award with Kelly's Offsider while Rachel Richards took out the New Talent category with Last Horse Standing.
The Songwriter award was won by Slim Jones with Unsuitably Dressed, Terry Bennetts took out Instrumental with Freight Train Boogie and the Encouragement Award went to Daly Stephenson with Some Where Along The Way.
Col Edmonds was presented with the Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Legend Award for There's Still A Song In Me.
The 9th AustralAsian Music Business Conference (AMBC) will run for three days in August next year.
Organisers have announced the first 10 major speakers and first keynote for the event which will comprise nine panels, six keynotes and more than 50 speakers.
Organisers have also announced that AMBC will open for special "early early bird" registrations next Thursday (November 20), which will be limited to 100 at the lowest price point. "And those who take advantage of these Velvet Rope registrations will be entered in a draw for a round trip to South by Southwest in Austin Texas with a full VIP Platinum Pass for the event," they said.
AMBC is the longest running, largest and most successful music industry conference in Australia, fully independent with more than 600 attendees projected to attend.
The dates are August 20 to 22, venue is the Acer Arena in Sydney.
Speakers announced are Jon Satterley (first keynote), Senior Vice President New Media and Global Business Development for Roadrunner Records in New York and formerly CEO of Roadrunner Records Australia;
Shaun James, General Manager Music Channels for XYZ Networks (Channel [V], V2, Max, Country Music Channel) and former Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Australia;
Karen Farrugia, Market Manager Nokia Music Service and former Mobile and Online Content Manager at Universal Music and MTV Network Digital Strategies;
Jeremy Macvean, Head of Digital Strategy for the Austereo Network and formerly Austereo Marketing Director (from an advertising background);
Julia Davis, Director, New World Artists, a leading booking agency with a unique culture and ethos based on sustaining long term artist careers across many genres;
Marcus Seal, CEO, Shock Entertainment Group and a veteran of Festival Mushroom who moved to BMG as Marketing Director and Sony BMG International Marketing;
Ken Outch, Director Of Commercial Music Sony Music Australia and a digital visionary formerly with Destra, Festival Mushroom, Sanity Music and BMG Music;
Sharon Ashworth, Music Marketing Manager Vodafone, Sharon has also worked with Destra in its heyday and is a veteran of Festival Mushroom, Shock and EMI;
Keith Welsh, co-Publisher The Music Network, AMCOS (Australian Mechanical Copyright Owners' Society) Board Member, a partner in publisher Rough Cut Music and owner of Catalyst entertainment consultancy; and
Georgia Hull, Senior Director New Media and Digital Business Development for Roadrunner Records Australia.
More keynotes and guest speakers will be announced during the next few weeks.
Weblink – www.immedia.com.au/ambc.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson retain the number one position on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones, its 30th week in the chart.
Keith Urban and John Williamson exchange places with Greatest Hits: 18 Kids and Hillbilly Road at two and three respectively while Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars is steady at four.
Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 is also steady at five while John Williamson's Platinum Collection edges up to six and The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is up one to seven.
Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is up two places to eight, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is steady at nine and Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of is back in the top 10 at 10.
Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower is up three places to 11, The McClymonts' (pictured) Chaos & Bright Lights is up two to 12 and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up bounds up to number 13.
John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is up to 14, Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 15, The Slim Dusty family's Reunion album is at 16 while Slim's Pubs, Trucks & Plains re-enters the chart at 17.
Sara Storer's Silver Skies is at 18, Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright re-enters the top 20 at 19 and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 20.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008
The Top 10 finalists for this year's Musicoz Awards have been announced.
In the Country category, the finalists are 8 Ball Aitken, Victoria Baillie (pictured), Brad Cole, Col Finley, Jetty Road, Jonah's Road, Troy Kemp, Drew McAlister, Markus Meier (pictured) and Luke O'Shea.
Country acts featuring in other categories include Bob Corbett and Steve Doyle in World/Folk, Keri McInerney & Michael Fix in Jaz, Leanne Melmoth in Video, Steve Passfield in Instrumental and Ronni Rae Rivers in Christian/Spiritual.
Members of the public are able to vote for their favourite artists by SMS to help determine the winner of the Musicoz National People's Choice Award for 2008 and be in the running to win a Maton electric guitar valued at $1,500.
The 2008 Awards will be staged at the Home Super Club in Sydney's Darling Harbour on Tuesday, December 9.
Weblink – www.musicoz.org.
Catherine Britt hits the top of the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart with her song Lucky Girl.
Adam Harvey's number one for the last five weeks – Genie In The Bottle – slips to number two while Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is up two places to number three and The McClymonts' Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year is up three to number four.
Markus Meier's In My Boots also jumps three places to fifth position, Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is down to number six and Kenny Chesney is at seven with Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.
Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me is at eight and Adam Brand jumps into the top 10 with Blame It On Eve at nine, as does Carter & Carter with Open Road at 10.
Bullet performers for the coming week include Lianna Rose with Jack (New Strings) (25 to 22), Tracey Killeen with Good Friends & Good Times (26 to 23) and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up (29 to 25).
New entries to the chart for the coming week include James Blundell's Good Win (in at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.
George Strait (pictured) has surpassed the record for the most trophies won in the annual CMA (Country Music Association, America) Awards.
At this year's presentation in Nashville on Wednesday night, George won Single of the Year for I Saw God Today and Album of the Year for Troubadour. With these two trophies and two additional for producing, George's 22 CMA Awards trophies now eclipse Brooks & Dunn's previous record of 19 Awards.
Among other highlights of the 2009 CMA Awards, Kenny Chesney won his fourth Entertainer of the Year Award, Brad Paisley won two (Male Vocal and Video) as did Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles (Song of the Year and as part of the Vocal Duo award with partner Kristian Bush).
Carrie Underwood nabbed her third consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year Award, Rascal Flatts won the Vocal Group award while Lady Antebellum picked up the coveted New Artist of the Year Award (formerly the Horizon Award), Mac McAnally won Musician of the Year and Robert Plant won the Musical Event of the Year Award with Alison Krauss.
The only Australian interest at the Awards, Keith Urban, went home empty-handed but opened the Awards show with Brad Paisley and their new vocal/guitar duet Start A Band from Brad's Play album. The pair then broke up later in the broadcast to each go solo, Keith performing Sweet Thing, Paisley offering the CMA Award-winning song Waitin' On A Woman.
A little bit of Hollywood came to Nashville in the form of Awards presenters, including the stars of the upcoming film epic "Australia", Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
Weblink – www.cmaawards.com.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2008
Finalists for the 2009 Country Music Awards of Australia presented by Jayco (Golden Guitar Awards) have been announced with Australian icon John Williamson leading the charge, together with Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson and "surprise packet" Peter Denahy.
More than 550 nominations for the Awards, the 37th to be staged, were received by organisers the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) which says "the judging process was once again extremely intense".
John Williamson was announced as a finalist in six categories (APRA Song of the Year, Album, Male Artist, Heritage Song, Bush Ballad and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with Amos Morris and Warren H Williams]) with his 38th album Hillbilly Road. John has won 23 Golden Guitars over a recording career that, to date, has spanned almost 40 years.
This year’s ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award winners for Country Album of The Year with Rattlin' Bones, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, have picked up five finalist nominations (APRA Song of the Year, Group or Duo, Album, Video Clip and Single of the Year).
"The surprise hit of 2008," the CMAA said, "Peter Denahy’s Sort Of Dunno Nothin', from the album Picture In A Frame, was written as a comical look at a teenager’s inability to answer questions with more than two words and it hit a home run. It was a YouTube... smash hit and was rewritten for the 2008 season of Big Brother (Network Ten) and has helped deliver Peter five finalist nominations (APRA Song of the Year, Male Artist, Bush Ballad, Instrumental and Video Clip of the Year).
Three female artist/s all received four finalist placings: The McClymonts (APRA Song of the Year, Album, Group or Duo and Single of the Year), Catherine Britt (Album of the Year, Female Artist, Single and Video Clip of the Year), Melinda Schneider (Album of the Year, Female Artist, Single and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with Paul Kelly]).
With three finalist placings each are Adam Brand (APRA Song of the Year, Male Artist and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with The Sunny Cowgirls]), the Davidson Brothers (Instrumental, Group or Duo and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with Trev Warner]) and The Sunny Cowgirls (Group or Duo, Heritage Song and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with Adam Brand]).
Adam Harvey has two finalist placings (Male Artist and Video Clip of the Year), as do Matt Manning (Heritage Song and Instrumental of the Year [with Stuie French], Amos Morris (Bush Ballad and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with John Williamson and Warren H Williams]), Warren H Williams (Bush Ballad and Vocal Collaboration of the Year [with John Williamson and Amos Morris]) and reigning Toyota Star Maker winner Talia Wittmann (Female Artist and New Talent of the Year).
With one finalist nomination each are 8 Ball Aitken (New Talent), Rob Black (New Talent), Darren Coggan (Heritage Song), Travis Collins (Vocal Collaboration), Smoky Dawson (Video Clip), Slim Dusty & Joy McKean (Bush Ballad), Ted Egan (Bush Ballad), Michael Fix (Instrumental), The Flood (Group or Duo), Stuie French (Instrumental [with Matt Manning]), Sam Hawksley (Song [with Adam Brand]), Paul Kelly (Vocal Collaboration), David Kirkpatrick (Heritage Song), Drew McAlister (Male Artist), Ken McBeath (Heritage Song), John O'Dea (Heritage Song), Robertson Brothers (New Talent), reigning Telstra Road to Tamworth winner Jasmine Rae (New Talent), The Road Cases (Instrumental), Graham Rodger (Bush Ballad), John Stephan (Male Artist), Sara Storer (Female Artist), Felicity Urquhart (Vocal Collaboration) and Trev Warner (Vocal Collaboration [with the Davidson Brothers]).
Finalists for the Video Director Golden Guitar are Helen Clemens (for Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones), Myles Conti (for Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower), Adam Khamis (for Adam Harvey's I’m Doin’ Alright) and Ross Wood (for Smoky Dawson's Homestead Of My Dreams and Peter Denahy's Sort Of Dunno Nothin’).
Award winners will be announced at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre (TRECC) on Saturday, January 24.
Tickets for the Awards are on sale now through Tourism Tamworth, telephone 02 6767 5300 or online at www.visittamworth.com.
Weblink – www.country.com.au.
South Australian based Tiffney Stroh has received an accolade of a different kind to add to her mantelpiece.
Nominated by Samantha and Linda of Employment Options, Mt Barker, Tiffney was recognised for her continual hard work and achievements. Not only does she travel all over Australia in her quest for a career in country music, she also undertook to study years 11 and 12 as part of the Youth Pathways Program run by Employment Options.
A spokesperson for Employment Options said: "Tiffney was a worthy recipient of the nomination. Not only has she excelled in her chosen career path but this year has seen her gain education status way beyond the expectations of the Youth Pathways Program."
Tiffney is planning to continue on to further study through the program in 2009.
With her sights firmly set on her goals, the lead-up to the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January will be a busy time for Tiffney with many performances in Adelaide and surrounds.
Photo: Tiffney (centre) with Employment Options Staff who placed the nomination... Samantha Sandercock and Linda Winton.
Weblink – www.tiffneystroh.com.
In January 2009, James Blundell will release his ninth studio album Portrait Of A Man.
The follow-up to his ARIA, APRA and Golden Guitar nominated Ring Around The Moon, this latest offering is set, a spokesman for the artist said, "to highlight James’ immense talents as a singer/songwriter in a stripped back, more intimate mode".
Twenty years after releasing his debut, James will set out on the road in late 2008 into 2009 for a series of "up close and personal" acoustic performances at a number of "hand-picked" venues around the nation.
"After 20 years in the music industry, having played concerts in venues ranging from stadiums to pubs and everything in between, I still have not found anything that beats the thrill of getting up close and personal with an audience," James said. "I am really looking forward to introducing songs from the new album along with many old favourites in these intimate settings."
Recognised by many as the act responsible for turning a younger demographic of Australians on to country music, James’ music has always featured elements of pop, rock, country and blues drawing comparisons to the likes of Steve Earle and Paul Kelly along the way.
He has been the recipient of nine Golden Guitar Awards, double platinum, platinum and gold sales awards and is a five time ARIA Awards nominee. The album’s first single Good Wood was released to radio in October.
Supporting James on his tour will be Bec Lavelle who is best known for her work as the vocalist for the Channel 9 series "McLeod’s Daughters" which currently airs in more than 110 countries throughout the world. "Her debut album, Intimate Portrait, is a collection of 12 beautiful songs which she has co-written, recorded and produced with Daniel Jones (Savage Garden)," a spokesman for the artist said.
Intimate Portrait was released throughout Europe last year and is due for release in Australia very soon. Bec features prominently on the third McLeod’s soundtrack which was released nationally in August by Sony BMG.
Weblink – www.jamesblundell.com.au.
The Slim Dusty Family Live in Concert DVD is currently in its second week on the national ARIA Music DVD Chart and is sitting at number 17 with a bullet.
It is one of only four Australian music DVDs currently in the chart (which covers all genres). The others being the new Bindi & the Dancing Crocs DVD, the new AC/DC DVD Live In Madrid and Countdown One Hit Wonders 2.
The chart is currently dominated, incidentally, by the classical musician and entertainer Andre Rieu who has no less than 11 DVDs included.
A special screening of the Baz Luhrmann film "Australia" starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman will take place at the new Forum 6 Cinemas in Country Music Capital on Friday, November 28.
The screening is being staged as a special fund-raiser for the proposed new Australian Country Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth.
It will be one of the first special screenings to feature at the new cinema complex which is due to open this month.
As well as the film, patrons will be entertained by award-winning Shaza Leigh and will partake of "billy tea & damper" on the night as well as receiving a commemorative ticket and be in the running to win some special prizes.
"From the red, rugged landscape of the Kimberley to the historic town of Bowen in Queensland, get ready to experience the romance and adventure of Baz Luhrmann's epic new movie ‘Australia’," say promoters of the new film.
The Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest will be staged again at The Pub during the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Contestants will compete for cash and prizes. Four heats will be held daily at the new time of noon from Monday January 19 until Thursday 22nd, culminating in the grand final on the night of Friday 23rd.
The prize pool includes Fender guitars and scholarships to the Tamworth Camerata – Australia’s youth country music school staged annually in Country Music Capital, by Axiom Entertainment Agency (as they have done for the past seven years) and the host venue, The Pub.
All contestants will have the option of utilising the Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest band throughout the quest, comprising Brett Dallas on guitar, Terry Phillpot on drums and Glen Skarratt on bass.
In 2009, the compere of the quest will be rising star Liam Brew, with a special guest co-compere – ABC "Saturday Night Country" host John Nutting – for the grand final. Judges for competition come from a wide cross section of the country music industry.
"This quest is in its 27th year" said organiser Greg Williams, "now an on-going icon of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, firmly established at The Pub, in Tamworth."
Entry forms can be obtained from Greg by emailing email@example.com.
Singer/songwriter Jeanette Wormald has scored a second hit on in Europe, on a leading Netherlands radio chart.
It's Going To Rain, from Jeanette's Opal Blue album, debuted at number 15 on the chart compiled by Joyce Ramgatie of the Netherlands and is seen as a strong indicator for wider radio support and the European Country Music Association (ECMA) charts.
This success follows Jeanette’s first release earlier this year, the album's title track, which reached number 17 on the ECMA charts and stayed in the charts for three months.
"Support for the second single has been much stronger than for the first," Jeanette said, "and I hope this initial chart is a sign of bigger and better things..."
Opal Blue has continued to win radio support since its release in 2006. So far the album has spawned two top 10 and two top 20 hits in Australia, a 2007 Golden Guitar nomination, been listed on distributor One Stop Entertainment’s best seller lists for independent albums and enjoyed international success now with two top 20 hits in Europe.
"The success of Opal Blue has surpassed all my expectations,” Jeanette said. "It certainly puts the pressure on for my next album but I love a challenge and am looking forward to getting back into the studio next year."
Weblink – www.jeanettewormald.com.
Adam Harvey take over the top spot on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Genie In A Bottle.
Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me edges up one to number two while The Davidson Brothers Long Distance Love Affair is steady at nine and Jonah's Road's Giddy Up jumps two to enter the top 10 at 10.
Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is at 11, Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is steady at 13 and Markus Meier's In My Boots is also up two to number 15.
John Williamson's Hillbilly Road enters the top 20 at 18, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dancing On The Darling debuts in the playlist at 19 and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 20.
Bullet performers for the week include Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay (26 to 23), The Flood's Come Tomorrow (28 to 24), The Distance with Comin' On Fast (30 to 27), James Blundell's Good Wood (34 to 31), Travis Collins with Brand New Day (new at 33), Carter & Carter's Open Road (37 to 34), Victoria McGee with I Can't Wait (new at 43) and Simply Bushed with The Great Australian Love Song (new at 45).
This week's CMC Country Pick is The Moment by Telstra Road to Tamworth finalist Kane Harrison.
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2008
Representing Brisbane's Northern Suburbs club, Issac also took out the Junior Champion of Champions title, Junior Male Vocal and Junior/Juvenile Instrumental titles at the Queensland Country Music Clubs Champion of Champions event held at the weekend.
Issac also won the Tamworth Camerata scholarship for 2009.
Bec Hance was named 2008 Senior Champion of Champions and won the 2009 Australian College of Country Music scholarship.
Tori Darke from Cane Country club won the Senior Songwriter's Award while Dana Hassall from Pioneer Country club took out the Junior Songwriter's Award, Andre Drysdale from Cane Country won the Juvenile Male Vocal section and was named Juvenile Champion and Jim Harding from Pioneer Village won the Masters Champion title.
Katelin O'Donoghue from Walkamin club won the Juvenile Female Vocal title and Jade Holland from Cane Country won Junior Female Vocal.
Tim Brennan from Beaudesert club took out Senior Male Vocal, Vanessa Worthington from Pioneer Valley won Senior Female Vocal, Ian Bennett from Pioneer Village was named Senior Instrumental winner and Living In Harmony from Boonah club won Open Group.
Graham Steele from Walkamin won the Master 50-65 section, Ian Scott from Pioneer Village took out the Master 65 plus section and Reg & Ellie Thompson from Redcliffe club were named winners of Senior Duet.
Rhonda Hopkins was named winner of the 2008 Jim Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award, presented to "an outstanding person in country music, not necessarily a performer". The award acknowledges the work of Jim Mitchell and others from the Redlands Modern Country Music Club who started the Champion of Champions.
Weblink (including full listing of winners and placegetters) – www.qldchamps.com.au.
Voting in the 2009 Australian Country Music People's Choice Awards has been extended to Sunday November 30.
"There was a relatively short lead-up to voting in this year's Awards," said Awards spokesman Bob Kirchner, "so we have decided to extend the voting period through to the end of November.
"Once again we have received thousands of votes, but we want to encourage more and more people to have their say."
Finalists in the Awards will be announced early in December. Winners will be announced during the upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson (pictured) retain the number one position on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones, as do John Williamson and Keith Urban at two and three, respectively, with Hillbilly Road and Greatest Hits: 18 Kids.
John Williamson's Platinum Collection is down one to seven, as is The Very Best Of Slim Dusty to eight while The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is steady at nine and Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 10.
Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 11, Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of is at 12, The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights is steady at 13 and Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower is at 14.
The Slim Dusty family's Reunion alburn is up for to number 15, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is steady at 16 and Sara Storer's Silver Skies re-enters the chart at 17.
Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is steady at 18, Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is at 19 and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 20.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2008
Clelia Adams and Tom Maxwell were double winners at the 2008 NSW Gold Medallion Awards staged in Tamworth, Country Music Capital, last night.
Silver Medallions in these categories went to Dianne Lindsay (Female Vocal), Amber Lawrence (Songwriter), Matt Manning (Balladeer) and Craig Giles (Touring Artist).
Male Vocalist of the Year went to Troy Cassar-Daley while Peter Pratt won Silver.
New Talent of the Year went to Rachel Jillett, Doug McIntyre taking out the Silver.
Lindsay Butler won Musician of the Year Gold while Charley Boyter was named winner of the Silver Medallion.
In addition to the awards presentation, an almost packed Butler's Auditorium enjoyed a concert featuring Gold Medallion winners Clelia Adams, Lindsay Butler, Rachel Jillet, Silver Medallists Matt Manning and Peter Pratt and finalists Greg Bain and Neil Buttsworth. Also performing were Shaza Leigh and Brian Young with special appearances by Brian Howard and members of the Lindsay Butler Showband – Geoff Clapson, Lindsay Waddington and Greg Williams.
Photo: Clelia Adams is announced as winner of the NSW Gold Medallion for Female Vocalist of the Year by presenters Brian Young (left) and broadcaster Garry Coxhead.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2008
Adam will join Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn and American support act Dierks Bentley at Melbourne on May 4 and Sydney on May 6 while Jasmine will open the shows at Perth on May 1 and Brisbane on May 9.
An elated Adam was thrilled to be asked to tour again with "such icons of country music: it was one of my career highlights to support Brooks & Dunn last year in Brisbane, but even more special to be invited back for their second tour," he said.
He was a special guest performer on Brooks & Dunn’s first ever Australian tour earlier this year. Brooks & Dunn sold out their first show in an hour and went on to sell more than 40,000 tickets.
Adam has spent the last four weeks at the top of the national Country Tracks Top 30 with his current hit single Genie In The Bottle which retains the top spot for the fifth week next week (see below). He is currently touring NSW prior to the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.
"I’m totally thrilled Brooks & Dunn and Dierks Bentley have agreed to close my shows in Perth and Brisbane!" Jasmine exclaimed. "They’re two great acts and I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots more about them in the future..."
The announcement has added another chapter to what has been a big year for Jasmine since winning the 2008 Telstra Road To Tamworth competition in January.
She’s gone on to record her debut album Look It Up with US based producers Richard Landis and Mark Moffatt which debuted at number five on the ARIA Country Albums chart.
Her debut single Country Singer was a top five radio single and CMC (Country Music Channel) number one.
Jasmine's second single – Look It Up (the title track) – is also gaining widespread airplay and chart success.
Tickets for the Brooks & Dunn Australian shows go on sale Monday November 17 through Ticketek.
Weblink – www.jasminerae.com.au.
Organisers of the annual Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands staged during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January have issued a call for entries in the 2009 competition.
The winning band will receive a cash prize in addition to “bragging rights” with cash prizes also for second and third places.
In 2009, Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands heats will run daily at 3pm from Monday to Friday, January 19 to 23, with the grand final to be staged at 3pm on the Saturday (January 24) at Coca-Cola (Hands of Fame) Park.
Bands entering "the Battle" will be invited to play for 30 minutes each, allowing the judges and audiences "to fully appreciate their repertoire" with the winning band from each day’s heat invited to return on the Saturday.
The winner of the inaugural Battle in 2006 was the Aaron Daniels Band from Victoria. In 2007, the winner was President Roots, also from Victoria, and this year's winner was Sydney's Craig Morrison Little Cowboys (pictured).
Coca-Cola has been a supporter of the Tamworth Country Music Festival for 31 years. "The development of the Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands competition has been a substantial addition to the many successful activities fans can see at Coca-Cola Park during the Tamworth Festival," said a spokesman for organisers Rural Press Events, "including the famous free Coca-Cola Country Concerts with walk-up entertainment... Mechanical Bull, children’s entertainment and more."
Further information about the Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands can be obtained from Rural Press Events on 02 6762 2399 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weblink – www.capitalnews.com.au.
Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle reigns supreme on the coming week's national Top 30 Country Tracks chart for the fifth week in a row.
Melinda Schneider is steady again at two with Be Yourself while Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl is up another three to three and Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me slips one to be in fourth place.
Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is also steady five, The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid is down two to and The McClymonts' Favourite Boyfriend Of The Year bounds into the top 10 at number seven.
Markus Meier's In My Boots is up two to number eight, America's Sugarland is steady at nine while Kenny Chesney is at 10 with Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.
Bullet performers for the coming week include Carter & Carter (pictured) with Open Road and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve.
New entries to the chart for the coming week include Jasmine Rae's Look It Up (in at 29).
The full chart can be viewed at www.countrymusicradio.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2008
Finalists in the Stan Coster Memorial Bush Ballad Awards, to be staged at Bungendore in February next year, have been announced.
For Male Vocal, finalists are Glenn Jones (pictured, right) with Brewery Flat, Tom Maxwell with That's What Bushmen Do and Reg Poole with Jacaranda Blue.
For Female Vocal, Jenny Bennetts with Swagman's Lament, Lynette Guest with Diamantina Sunset and Anne Kirkpatrick (pictured, left) with with Took His Saddle Home.
For New Talent, Bec Hance with The Outback Song, Rachel Richards with The Drover and Daly Stephenson with Somewhere Along The Way.
For Duo/Group/Instrumental, Charley Boyter and LindsayWaddington with Didgeri Do, Lindsay Butler with Call Of Spring and Glenn Jones & Reg Poole with Goin' Rodeoin'.
For Album, Glenn Jones, Reg Poole and Graham Rodger (pictured, left).
For the Songwriter award, Peter Denahy with Took His Saddle Home, John O'Dea with The Saddle and Graham Rodger with The Saddle Is His Home.
For the Comedy section, Bec Hance with Big Red Belly Snake, Reg Poole with Ode To The Road and Rachel Richards (pictured, right) with Bundy Bear.
Award winners will be announced during the upcoming Bungendore Muster which will be staged from Thursday January 29 to Sunday February 1.
Weblink – www.bushballadeers.com.au/bungendore.htm.
Frank Ifield was presented with the Living Legend Award at the Kempsey (NSW) Country Music Festival at the weekend.
The award has been presented annually to a living legend of Australian country music.
"It’s a beautiful award," The Macleay Argus reported Frank saying of the trophy following the presentation. "I certainly didn’t expect anything quite as nice as that. It’s a thrill..."
Owen Blundell performed Frank’s biggest hit (I Remember You) at the presentation (Frank is unable to sing following an operation after he suffered pneumonia and collapsed lungs several years ago).
A highlight of the weekend festival was the Slim Dusty Country Music Memories Concert at Kempsey's racecourse on Saturday night.
At Sunday’s Living Legends concert, Ted and Win Walmsley were recognised for their contribution to country music in Kempsey.
Maxine Flynn, who was unable to attend because of illness, was recognised for her extensive charity work.
Singers Angela Hayden, Gordon Larkin, Ian B Macleod and broadcaster Barry Williams were awarded Red Cedar Hat trophies for their contribution to country music and local Ron Smythe received a songwriting award.
The Macleay Argus also reported this year's Kempsey festival could be the last as the entire organising committee was set to quit following frustrations with red tape while trying to organise events.
On the back of a new distribution deal with Shock Country, Tamara Stewart has announced a management partnership with Raw Music & Media.
"I’ve crossed paths with Rusty (from Raw) many times throughout my career," Tamara said. "She has always been enthusiastic about my music. With the new album and the re-launch of my career, finally the timing was right to bring management on board.
"We knew Rusty was our missing piece to the puzzle and we are so excited about the journey ahead. I have a strong team around me with Karen Falkenberg (Power) working alongside me, Aneta Butcher (Shock) and now Rusty, I know we can move this forward at great
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Rusty Wallis is no stranger to the music industry. She was the first ever female to be appointed Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Manager for a major record label (RCA). She has worked with high profile Australian and international artists from Whitney Houston and Lionel Ritchie to John Farnham, the Hoodoo Gurus and INXS.
Rusty has managed and co-managed Tania Kernaghan and Jenny Morris and developed several artists for major label signings.
"Tamara is an amazing talent," Rusty said, "and her album Love Laughter Lessons is outstanding. We’re really excited
Tamara has had a big year to date promoting the new album and playing shows and festivals across the country. Earlier this year, she said she was very proud to perform with James Blundell for farmers and their families at free concerts across drought stricken communities in NSW.
A strong supporter of the Red Cross, Tamara was honored to win the Red Cross’s Country Spirit Song Contest.
For her new album, she not only wrote 11 of the 12 tracks but also produced the work and engineered and played on every track.
Meanwhile, Tamara has announced details of her "one and only" show at Tamworth 2009 to be held at the Regent Theatre on Thursday January 22. Tickets available online at www.visittamworth.com.
Weblink – www.tamarastewart.com.au.
Rob Draper has won the final Telstra Road to Tamworth heat held at Barham (NSW) on Saturday.
Twenty-eight-year-old Rob competed against 11 other contestants to win the heat which gives him, together with the fellow finalists, the chance to win a full album deal with ABC Music and a return trip to Nashville.
Travelling from Elwood in Melbourne where he works as a full-time musician, Rob says he kept an open mind about his chances of taking out the heat prize after seeing the calibre of talent on display and says he was taken aback when his name was called.
"I think someone’s made a mistake" he said, "but thank you – this is great!"
Rob grew up in Diamond Creek on the outskirts of Melbourne and, after an early introduction to Bob Dylan’s music, began his devotion to the country genre.
In 2006, combining his love of music and travelling, he embarked on a two year working holiday in London and Europe where he held residencies at well known live music establishments The Bedford and 12 Bar Club in central London, further honing his craft.
The full list of heat winners, who will come together in Tamworth in January to compete for the major prize, and the additional songwriter's award, are...
Nick Aitken (Mackay, Qld), Daniel Bicanski (Hobart, Tas), Richard Bloomfield (Canberra, ACT), Jessica Jade Bruce (Ballarat, NSW, winner), Katrina Burgoyne (Inverell, NSW), Corey Colum (Boyup Brook, WA), Liam Dalby (Kinross, NSW), Kyle Dessent (Melrose, SA), Elizabeth (Liz) Gardner (Bairnsdale, Vic), Teagen Keith (Southport, Qld), Peter McWhirter( Penrith NSW), Yuliana Pascoe (Darwin, NT) and Shannae Sclippa (Atherton, Qld),
Weblink – www.beinvolved.telstra.com/countrymusic.
Australian contemporary country singer/songwriter Brad Cole has been named Best International Artist at the 2008 Canada Ontario Independent Music Awards in Toronto.
The awards event was devised to recognise the achievements of Canadian independent acts across many musical categories. The international component acknowledges independent artists from around the world, focusing on their achievements.
Brad’s fellow finalists came from Brazil, Japan and two from the USA.
"Hundreds of submissions were accepted in the international category from a wide range of talented independent artists and bands from around the world," awards founder and organiser Martin Brown said.
The best international category covers all genres and Brad secured his win with his current Australian single release Hits Me Like Lightning. A finalist at last year’s inaugural event, Brad said he was "stoked" to have won this time round.
"It was by pure chance I stumbled on to the Canada market last year," he said. "Some rough mixes of my songs were circulated and I had a call out of the blue from Canada asking if I wanted to perform at Canada Music Week. It just snowballed from there."
Once Brad’s debut album Icebreaker is unleashed at the new Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, on Monday, January 19, he will concentrate his efforts on performing both within Australia as well as planning a tour of Canada.
"I am proud to be flying the flag in Canada and that Canadians seem to be quite interested in my music," he said.
Brad recently returned from Canada where he was invited to attend the Canadian Country Music Association Awards as a guest of his Canadian promoter. While there, he took the opportunity "and privilege" of video interviewing Canadian Awards finalists The Wilkinsons. "You can see the results of that fun interview at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke_oYy4QAXY."
Weblink – www.bradcole.com.au.
The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) has announced nominees for the 2008 Jagermeister Air Awards to be presented in Melbourne on Monday November 24.
Described as "the cream of our incredible crop of independent musicians and songwriters", some of the nominees are already well known both in Australia and overseas. "Others are artists that will become household names in the months and years ahead," said an AIR spokesman.
"The nominees for Best Australian Independent Artist are some of our most vibrant and creative talents in a range of music genres."
In the Best Australian Independent Country Album category, nominees are Davidson Brothers (with their self titled album), The Flood (with Everybody's Favourite), The Noll Brothers (with A Country Heart), Felicity Urquhart (with My Life and Bec Willis (self-titled album).
Weblink – www.air.org.au.
America's George Strait remains at number one on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Troubadour.
Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle is steady again at number two as is Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me at three while Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is at six.
The Davidson Brothers Long Distance Love Affair enters the top 10 at nine, Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 11 and Jonah's Road's Giddy Up is at 12.
Jasmine Rae is at 13 with Look It Up, Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt is at 15, Markus Meier's In My Boots is at 17 and Victoria Baillie's Melt is at 20.
Bullet performers for the week include John Williamson's Hillbilly Road (25 to 22), Sinead Burgess with You Get Me (26 to 23), James Blundell's Good Wood (new at 34), Carter & Carter's Open Road (41 to 37), Kimber Sparks' Strait And Jackson (46 to 39) and Graeme Connors' Whatever It Takes (47 to 44).
New entries to the playlist this week also include Matt Frost's Second Home Town (in at 49) and Jessica Belle (pictured) with Cross I Can't Bear (at 50).
This week's CMC Country Pick is Dancing On The Darling, The Sunny Cowgirls' second clip from their new album Dust Will Settle.
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2008
Finalists in the 2008 NSW Gold Medallion Awards have been released with winners to be announced in Tamworth this Saturday night.
For Female Vocalist of the Year – Clelia Adams, Lynette Guest, Amber Lawrence, Dianne Lindsay and Melinda Schneider.
For Male Vocalist of the Year – Neil Buttsworth, Mike Casey, Troy Cassar-Daley, Drew McAlistair and Peter Pratt.
For New Talent of the Year – Brad Cole, Adam James, Rachel Jillett, Doug McIntyre and Jacqui Ryan.
For Musician of the Year – Charley Boyter, Lindsay Butler, Michael Fix, Nev Molloy and Peter Simpson.
For Bush Balladeer of the Year – Greg Bain, Glenn Jones, Matt Manning, Tom Maxwell and Amos Morris.
For Songwriter of the Year – Clelia Adams, Greg Bain, Trevor Day, Amber Lawrence and Michael O’Rourke.
For Touring Artist of the Year – Owen Blundell, Troy Cassar-Daley, Craig Giles, Amber Lawrence and Tom Maxwell.
The Awards Concert on Saturday night at Butler's Auditorium in Country Music Capital will feature performances by Clelia Adams, Lindsay Butler, The Butler Boys, Brian Howard, Rachell Jillet, Shaza Leigh, Matt Manning, Peter Pratt, Lindsay Waddington, Greg Williams, Brian Young and other special guests.
The 2008 NSW Gold Medallion Awards have been judged by media and radio personalities around Australia. They are presented annually by WARP (World Alliance of Radio Presenters).
Saturday night's awards show gets underway at 7pm. Tickets are $18 for adults, $5 for children, available from Butlers at 336 Goonoo Goonoo Road) or from Kay at the WARP office 07 5562 1292.
America's Brooks & Dunn have announced a return visit to Australia following their successful inaugural tour here early this year.
Described as "the biggest recording duo in the world", Brooks & Dunn had never toured Australia before and played to sold-out houses across the East Coast of Australia.
The partnership of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn is considered Nashville’s most successful "marriage" since Johnny Cash and June Carter. "Previously" said a spokesman for tour promoters, "Ronnie had been a quietly intense singer, known for his soulful voice and Kix had been a high-energy, larrikin showman. Neither had been able to break through as individual solo artists... but together, they hit upon a winning formula of exuberant, honky-tonk rock, mixed with punchy, dance beats and smooth, pop-tinged, power ballads. The combination has been explosive."
Brooks & Dunn released their debut album, Brand New Man, in 1991, as an "out-of-the-box smash" with its first four singles going straight to number one. Their current CD, Cowboy Town, released here earlier this year, is the duo's 13th album.
"Australia was one of the most fun times we’ve had playing music!" said Kix Brooks.
This time round, Brooks & Dunn will be supported by another American country star Dierks Bentley who will be making his first journey to Australia.
The tour will kick off in Perth on May 1, followed by shows in Melbourne on May 4, Sydney on May 6 and Brisbane on May 9. Tickets go on sale through Ticketek on November 17.
Weblink – www.brooksanddunn.com.
The first day (today) of tickets being sold over the phone and over the counter for concerts and shows scheduled for the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra has indicated early excitement and high demand for a number of shows on sale, according to ticket sellers Tourism Tamworth (TT).
"With phone lines flooded and a crowd of ticket buyers waiting for the doors to open at 9am, it was all hands on deck," said TT Marketing and Public Relations Manager David Woodward, "with additional staff and volunteers taking ticket orders.
"A continual flow of enquiries and sales continued throughout the day as early bird buyers got in early to secure the best seats in the house. Already, thousands of tickets have been purchased for the 45 concerts on offer through Tourism Tamworth. Today’s first over the counter and phone sales follows a month long highly successful online only pre-sale from October 1st.
"It’s great to see the excitement of those that have come to get early tickets," he said, "the indications on ticket sales for 2009 shows strong attendance for the upcoming Festival.
"We also have two new venues added to the mix in 2009, the brand new Capitol Theatre which is hosting some great talent during the Festival and the Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre which will also offer a diverse range of exciting experiences for visitors and the local community.
"The 2009 Festival is truly shaping up to be a great event."
Some of the big note concerts that are on sale include Troy Cassar-Daley & Friends, Graeme Connors in Concert, John Williamson’s "Hillbilly Road Tour with Special Guest Warren H Williams" and the always popular and fast selling "The Songbirds" starring Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer.
"The star unearthing talent quests, Telstra Road to Tamworth and Toyota Star Maker... are also proving extremely popular," David said, "with the "Star Trek – 30 Years of Star Maker" concert and celebration set to be one of the most popular events."
Also now on sale are many of the favourites of country music who are also returning along with an array of bright new artists.
"Tickets to the 37th Country Music Awards of Australia presented by Jayco are not on sale as yet. Tickets to the awards are expected to be available by mid-next week."
Tickets can be purchased over the counter at the corner of Peel and Murray Streets, Tamworth, over the phone on 02 6767 5300 or online at www.visittamworth.com.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson retain the number one position on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with Rattlin' Bones.
John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is steady at number two, as is Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids at three while Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 is up one to four.
Steve Forde's Guns & Guitars is down one to five, John Williamson's Platinum Collection is up two to six and The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is up three to seven.
Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush re-enters the top 10 at eight, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is at nine and Lee's Big Ones Greatest Hits at 10.
Catherine Britt (pictured) re-enters the top 20 at 11 with Little Wildflower, Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 12, The McClymonts' Chaos & Bright Lights is up to 13 and Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is at 14.
Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of is at 15, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 16 and the tribute album Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at 17.
Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 18, the Slim Dusty family's Reunion is at 19 and Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is at 20.
© Copyright 2008, ICMB Publishing