This website dedicated to bringing you the latest Australian country music news
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2007
Tamworth Songwriters Collective has put together a compilation CD of recorded works to raise money for the regional oncology unit appeal.
A launch for the CD will be held at Wests Diggers on Sunday November 18 with a concert by contributing artists.
Singer/songwriters appearing on the album are Steve Charles, Andrew Clermont (pictured), The Crosby Sisters, Phil Hungerford, John Lee, Ross McGregor, Lawrie Minson, Caroline Morris, Ryan Sampson, Mike Vee, Kerry Walsh, Sally-Anne Whitten (pictured) and Wendy Wood.
"All of the above have donated their time, monies and talents free of charge," said a project spokesman, "and by purchasing a copy of the CD (supporters) are not only contributing to the fundraising appeal for such a vital resource for Tamworth and the surrounding region, (they) are also gaining a fabulous collection of country and contemporary music... recorded and written by our own nationally and internationally recognised singer/songwriters and musicians."
Production of the CD was supported by sponsors The Central Hotel, Fosters, Graham Stevens Printing, P C Scott Audio & Lighting, Tamworth City News and Wests Diggers.
A night of "rattling rockabilly" is set for Sydney's Empire Hotel at Annandale on Saturday November 10.
Five bands will take the stage... The Bone Daddies, Chuck's Wagon, Corn Liquor, Mother Truckers and The Nervous Wreckers.
The Bone Daddies (pictured) are described as "the alter ego of Sydney psychobilly rockers Zombie Ghost Train, formed in 2002 as a platform to play the music that inspired them – rockabilly in its truest form."
Chuck's Wagon are descibed as "an urban Johnny Cash meets Jay Farrar and Shooter Jennings for a late night brew."
Corn Liquor, from Brisbane, are descibed as "guitar pickin', bass slappin', skin smackin' slack jawed yokels from the deep south of Brisneyland."
Mother Truckers are descibed as a band playing "raw rockabilly, stomping swamp and more."
And The Nervous Wreckers are billed as having been "bred into a heritage that includes The Louisville Sluggers and The Psyclones, paying as much due to Hank the originator as they do to Reverend Horton Heat the accelerator."
Weblink – www.empirelive.com.au.
The following night (Sunday, November 11), Den Hanrahan and Chuck's Wagon provide the entertainment at the Lansdowne Hotel at nearby Chippendale.
Den presents his own brand of alt country rock "born of one night stands and roadhouses, transforming standard beer joint country rock into something way above par... part honky tonk, part spinifex and all highway." Den will be appearing with his five piece extended line up.
Chuck’s Wagon is "along for the hayride".
Weblink – www.myspace.com/denhanrahan.
Peter Pratt, the man described as "an enigma" on the Australian country music scene, has released another single from his new album Nevertheless.
Sons Of The Snowy is the title of the release, a song written by Peter about "the heart of a special and unique Australian way of life (that) will leave you mesmerised and nostalgic for the high country cattle men, their iconic character and their connection with the mountains," according to the release issued with the new single.
Weblink – www.peterpratt.com.au.
Travis Collins' self-penned single Don't Win Enough, the second from his new album No Boundaries, has been released to radio.
The ballad is described as "emotive and incredibly personal". When recently speaking about the song, Travis said: "I try to keep my songwriting pretty real, I feel this is the closest I’ve ever got to the core of real.
"In deciding to record this song, it was one of those times where I was required to ask myself, 'Do I really want to put something so real and personal out?'. I decided 'yes'."
No Boundaries, with 12 new recordings, most written or co-written by Travis, is currently riding high on the ARIA Australian Artist Country Chart.
Travis is currently touring in support of the new album with James Blundell on his Ring Around The Moon Tour across the nation.
Weblink – www.traviscollins.com.au.
Kristy Cox has just returned from a seven week trip to the USA where she spent time in Nashville performing and "soaking in the music".
Kristy said she was lucky enough to have some of the best musicians play on her session as well as having Rebecca Lynn Howard doing guest harmonies on one of the tracks.
During her stay in Nashville, she got to meet a number of well known names in country music including Jim Lauderdale (pictured here with Kristy) and her idol, Emmylou Harris.
In more news, Kristy reports that in August, she signed a distribution deal with One Stop Entertainment for her debut album From My Eyes.
Kristy latest single release is the song Reverse which has also spawned her first video clip. The video features an all-girl band live at the Churchill Saloon Bar and has been airing for the last month on CMC.Weblink – www.kristycox.com.
Rebecca White has won the Inverell (NSW) heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition.
From Guyra, just east of Inverell, 26-year-old Rebecca fronted a large crowd and performed two of her favourite country pieces to impress the judges.
Twelve other singers from across the region took part in the heat.
"I have been singing since I was really little and this is the first time I have ever won a competition,” Rebecca said. "I really enjoyed the experience and the crowd was just so supportive.
Weblink – www.beinvolved.telstra.com/countrymusic.
The Birdwood Music & Ute Festival will be staged on Saturday and Sunday November 24 and 25 at Birdwood, South Australia.
Talia Wittman (pictured) is the main attraction on Saturday night at the Community Park, a pre-cursor to the main day on Sunday.
The National Motor Museum is the venue for a ute and truck muster on Sunday running from 10am to 5pm.
Guest artists will include Jetty Road and The Distance from Victoria and SA’s finest in the Beggars, Alison Hams, Danny Hooper, Key Country, Overdrive, Mark Tempany and Talia Wittman.
Admission includes entry into the renowned Birdwood's renowned National Motor Museum.
Funds raised go to support the Birdwood Football Club.
Mike Bedford – well-known in the radio industry, particularly for his pioneering efforts in bringing full time commercial radio country music to Sydney – has died.
Fifty-five-year-old Mike had been fighting a long battle with cancer. His family were with him at Mt Druitt Hospital when he died on Monday night. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, son Adam, daughter Tanya and granddaughter Paige.
Mike launched a full time commercial narrowcast country music radio station known for most of its time as Cool Country in western Sydney in the 1990s which is still broadcasting today as Cool Country Radio 2KA. His company sold the station in 2005.
Mike’s time in Australian country music broadcasting went back to the 1970s and his involvement with Nev Nicholls and the nationally syndicated "Nev Nicholls Roadshow".But his contribution to the industry grew markedly through the late '90s and early part of the 21st century as he set up and drove the establishment and growth of Cool Country FM 88/88.7 in Sydney's west.
For his efforts in raising the profile and exposure of country music in Australia's biggest city, Mike was inducted into the Country Music Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in January 2003.
Peter Tuskin – who presented a country music show on NSW's Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM, passed away earlier this month (Thursday October 11), also after a battle with cancer.
A note on the station's website said, "Peter had been a presenter at the station for many years, and was a mainstay of the country music presentation. "We send our condolences to Peter's family and friends. He'll be missed.
When he thought he had the right audience, Porter Wagoner liked to reach into the inner breast pocket of his electric-blue sport coat and remove a slender electronic device.
"iPod!" he exclaimed. "One thousand songs! My entire career is on here."
Like everything else Wagoner did in public, it was a beautiful piece of showmanship. It surprised people who were inclined to think of him as a spangle-wearing singer of old-fashioned country songs such as Company's Comin', reminding them that he was a bit of a technology geek – a country-music television pioneer and forward-thinking producer. It also let them know that he was still keeping up.
Porter, who died Sunday night in a Nashville hospice at age 80 from lung cancer, had a career that didn't fit into any kind of container.
His working life began in a butcher's shop in West Plains, Missouri, where he occasionally stopped to sing for a local radio show. He made his earliest records, including his first number one, A Satisfied Mind (1955), at a radio station in nearby Springfield, but he eventually moved to Nashville.
In 1957, he joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry and celebrated his 50th anniversary with the show this year. He eventually became the radio show's public face.
He was best known, perhaps, for his flashy, custom-made stage suits that cost thousands of dollars. He sometimes joked that the suits forced him to stay thin, saying he couldn't afford to replace them.
In 1960, he launched TV's syndicated "Porter Wagoner Show". It predated "Hee Haw" and CMT. At its peak, it aired in more than 100 markets, making it the most important country-music TV property of its time.
Porter introduced a young Dolly Parton in 1967. They recorded many duets together, including The Last Thing On My Mind and Just Someone I Used To Know. He produced some of Dolly's early solo hits including 1975's The Seeker. The partnership ended acrimoniously in 1974, but Dolly wrote I Will Always Love You for him as she left.
More than anything, Porter loved a song that told a story. He favored sentimental recitations and macabre tales of murder and insanity, like the cult favorite The Rubber Room. Between 1954 and 1980, he had 20 top 10 country hits, including Green, Green Grass Of Home, The Carroll County Accident and The Cold Hard Facts Of Life. He won Grammys for three gospel albums with the Blackwood Brothers. In 2002, he became a member of America's Country Music Hall of Fame.
This year, Porter recorded a final album, Wagonmaster.
– USA Today
MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2007
Yesterday's Queensland Spirit of the Bush Concert in Roma was another big country day out.
Lee Kernaghan organised the concert in conjunction wih the Queensland State Government, the third in a series which has taken in Victoria and NSW, in the name of drought relief, providing drought-stricken farmers with a diversion from their day to day worries.
"At this very moment many people on the land are under incredible strain," Lee said. "Finances have been stretched to breaking point and many businesses are barely hanging on.
"Everyone in Australia is quite aware of the drought but they may not know of the personal hardship that many farming families are facing on a day-to-day basis."
One of the aims of the concert, Lee said, was to let struggling farmers know that they were not forgotten.
Thousands of people travelled from throughout Queensland and interstate to attend the event including many farming families.
Joining Lee on stage were Adam Brand, Steve Forde, Shea Fisher, Leo Sayer, Alyece Simmonds and The Sunny Cowgirls.
Keith Urban has taken out this year's ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Award for Best Country Album with his current release Love Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing.
Keith won the award from fellow finalists James Blundell (Ring Around The Moon), Lou Bradley (Love Someone), The Greencards (Veridian) and Gina Jeffreys (Walks Of Life).
Kasey Chambers missed out on the Best Female Award which went to Missy Higgins while Paul Kelly also missed the Best Male Artist award (which went to Gotye) and Best Adult Contemporary Album (which was won by Josh Pyke with Memories Dust).
The Awards were presented in Sydney last night.
Weblink – www.ariaawards.com.au.
Photo: ARIA Awards.
As if in celebration of his ARIA win, Keith has taken over the top spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of his latest hit Stupid Boy.
Morgan Evans' Big Skies is up one to number two as is Sara Storer to three with Land Cries Out while American country star Kenny Chesney's Don't Blink is at four.
Steve Forde's number one from the last few weeks – Metropolis – is down to five, Jason Aldean is at six with Johnny Cash and Brooks & Dunn are at seven with Proud Of The House We Built.
LeAnn Rimes' Nothing Better To Do is at eight, Rascal Flatts' Take Me There is at nine and Dwight Yoakam's Close Up The Honky Tonks is at 10.
Bullet performers this week include Adam Harvey with Someone Else's Dream (new at 17), The Noll Brothers' Shining Star (37 to 28), Beccy Cole's Lifeboat (33 to 30), Lou Bradley's One Shoe (35 to 31), Peter Denahy's The Ringing Of Steel (44 to 37) and Tracy Killeen's A Little Time (new at 43).
Other new entries to the chart this week include Simply Bushed with Cangi (in at 49).
This week's CMC Country Pick is The McClymonts with My Life Again, the first clip from their upcoming debut album Chaos and Bright Lights due for release on November 10.
The full list can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2008
Shea Fisher has been announced as the first Australian act invited to perform at the CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival in Nashville in June next year.
Shea will perform at the festival’s opening event – the CMA Global Artist Party. This June, the Festival had an aggregate attendance of 191,000.
Commercial Radio Australia will sponsor Shea's trip to Nashville where she will also have the opportunity to perform at other venues and meet with some of Nashville’s best songwriters. Travis Collins and Jake Nickolai have been recipients of this sponsorship in previous years.
As part of the sponsorship, Shea was also invited to perform at Commercial Radio Australia’s New Artist To Radio Showcase at Crown Casino in Melbourne recently. The Showcase featured performances by some of Australia’s most promising artists. Performers are selected by mainstream radio programmers from major radio networks DMG, Austereo and ARN.
Shea performed her hit single Just The Excuse at the showcase and the response was described as "fantastic".
"There is a lot of mainstream media interest in Shea and her performance at the Showcase has resulted in some further airplay for Just The Excuse on regional pop radio," said Tim Holland, Country Music Label Manager at ABC. "Shea is already proving to be a great ambassador for country music."
Just The Excuse topped the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 30 Countdown.
Shea's second single – Cowgirl In My Jeans – is at country radio now and the track’s new live-recorded clip will air on CMC shortly.
Weblink – www.myspace.com/sheafisherband.
Alby Pool has released his first single for international radio distribution.
The track is My Arms Tonight off his most recent album, You Can't Walk This Road Alone. The album was released about this time last year in time for his north east coast Australian tour and the Tamworth Festival in January. The current international single release is via the Hillcrest distribution service.
A West Australian originally, Alby moved east some eight years ago in pursuit of bigger audiences and a chance to take his music to "the next level" and he now travels the eastern seaboard regularly.
He has been a major drawcard at the Tamworth Festival for many of its years, nine of which, for Alby, involved a residency in the one venue.
Weblink – www.albypool.net.
Although the album launch will be staged in the girls' hometown of Grafton on Wednesday November 7, the Sydney showcase will be the first major metropolitan outing for the long-awaited debut album.
The girls wrote all the songs for the album in both Australia and Nashville with some of the best national and international songwriters including Australian guitar legend and top record producer Rod McCormack, recording artist Shane Nicholson, up and coming songwriter Erinn Sherlock, Trey Bruce (Diamond Rio, Leann Rimes), Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift), Steve Diamond (Lonestar, Lee Greenwood), Monty Powell (Keith Urban's main song writing partner) and Eric Silver (Dixie Chicks).
The album is described as "a blend of up-tempo, mainstream country songs along with a mix of more traditional bluegrass style songs that have elements of alternative country."
It was produced by Adam Anders who has written and produced with artists such as Shannon Noll, Sinead O'Connor and Shania Twain.
Blues band Bluezone will be support act on the Vanguard showcase.
Weblink – www.themcclymonts.com.au.
Jasmine Rae and Craig Woodward are the latest heat winners in the 2008 Telstra Road to Tamworth competition.
Jasmine took out the Yarra Valley heat last weekend while Craig won the heat staged in Canberra earlier this month.
Describing her style as a diverse fusion of country, blues and pop, Jasmine performed two original songs – Country Singer and Love is the Answer. Having completed an Advanced Diploma of Music Performance, she obviously relished the opportunity to perform solo, a change from gigs with her band Jazz Lasso.
"It was such a privilege to perform alongside other great country music artists," she said. "The audience were really supportive and talkative after my performance. I was excited to see so many people there enjoying the weather and country music – definitely a top day!"
Originally from Bathurst, Craig sang Breeze and Open My Eyes at the Canberra heat staged as part of this year's Floriade.
A full-time musician, Craig also teaches guitar at a private music school. He names Keith Urban as one of his major influences and descibes himself as having a rock background ... "surfer rock with a country twist!"
"This is such a great opportunity," he said, speaking of the talent search. "After going up to Tamworth busking in the street last year, making the Road to Tamworth finals and playing in a proper venue will be a wonderful experience."
The Inverell (NSW) heat is being staged today with only another three yet to be held ... Dalby Qld (November 10), Melrose SA (November 17) and Albury NSW (November 24).
Entry details can be found at www.beinvolved.telstra.com/countrymusic.
Daryl Kirkup’s top rating "Australian Showcase" program is about to be increased to five broadcasts a week around the world on Country Music Radio (CMR) Nashville.
Currently broadcast globally every Thursday afternoon from 12 noon and Sunday mornings from 6am (both UK Time), the show is to increas to five timeslots per week from November 2 due to overwhelming listener demand.
"To have the opportunity to host and produce this show that promotes our Australian country music industry to the world is an absolute expeience," Daryl said, "and now to have it increased to five scheduled programs a week makes it an even greater honour."
The show, which promotes solely Australian country music, features special segments such as "Around the Campfire" (weekly artist interview), "Hot Hit of the Week", the latest industry news, a special artist profile segment – "Artist Double Play", "Album of the Week" and a look at the Country Tracks Top 30 Chart.
The new schedule has "Australian Showcase" going to air from 12 noon to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm every Thursday, 12 midnight to 2am and 6am to 8am every Friday and 4pm to 6pm every Sunday (all UK times).
A well-known Brisbane-based country music broadcaster, Daryl produces "Australian Showcase" every week in his own studio facility in Brisbane and sends the finished program across to CMR Nashville's London studios for global broadcast.
Described as a passionate supporter of country music in Australia, he continues to host his local country music program "Urban Country" from 8pm every Wednesday on 101.5FM in Caboolture and is busy managing his voiceover and production business as well as compering an increasing number of country music concerts, events and corporate functions.
The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation has launched "Life Blooms" – an inspirational calendar honouring the cultivation of hope in the lives of cancer patients, their families and loved ones.
"As you turn the pages of 'Life Blooms' you can know that each day we are striving to bring about an end to a disease that will affect over 1.4 million new patients, their families and friends in 2008," said Key Holleman from the board of directors for The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation.
Featured throughout "Life Blooms" are prominent women who donated their time and embody the compassionate spirit of Minnie Pearl, including Amy Grant, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes (pictured), SheDaisy and Pam Tillis.
All profits fromthe calendar will contribute toward efforts to eradicate cancer.
The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organisation committed to funding programs that provide the greatest benefit to cancer patients and their families. "By supporting new programs in cancer research, education, and patient and family services, we honor the memory of Sarah Cannon, a cancer patient herself, who created the beloved character 'Minnie Pearl'."
Weblink – minniepearl.org.
– Business Wire
Garth Brooks, meanwhile, will release a special "pink edition" of The Ultimate Hits, his upcoming CD/DVD boxed set, to benefit Susan G Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organisation.
The special package will also feature breast health and breast cancer information and an instructional card on breast self-examination.
Ten dollars from each sale of the special edition will go to the charity. It will sell for $15 on the Susan G Komen Web site. Garth said he decided to offer the special edition after watching his wife, Trisha Yearwood, train for and participate in an event challenging participants to walk 60 miles over three days to benefit Komen and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.
He noted that making and compiling his boxed set was "a heck of a lot easier than me trying to walk 60 miles".
The Ultimate Hits – the special edition and the version sold at mainstream retailers – will be available in America on November 6.
Weblink – www.garthbrooks.com.
Who didn't win at this year's International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMAs) was as big a story as who did earlier this month in Nashville.
Although nominated, perennial IBMA prizewinners Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs and Rhonda Vincent all went home empty-handed. The meteoric family band Cherryholmes was also shut out despite the fact that only two years ago it had captured the treasured Entertainer of the Year trophy.
But it was a great night for the Grascals (pictured) who won the Entertainer of the Year prize for the second year in a row, and for Tony Trischka and the Infamous Stringdusters, who were triumphant in three categories each.
Bradley Walker took the Male Vocalist award, beating out Larry Sparks, Ronnie Bowman, Tim O'Brien and Russell Moore. And after years of coming close, Dale Ann Bradley finally won the Female Vocalist honour, bypassing fellow competitors Sonya Isaacs, Claire Lynch, Krauss and Vincent.
Walker, who has muscular dystrophy, and Bradley were sentimental and artistic favorites. The announcements that they had won earned each a standing ovation. There was an ovation as well for Michael Cleveland who won the award for Instrumental Group of the Year with his band the Flamekeepers and featuring Audie Blaylock. Cleveland, who is blind, was also voted Fiddler of the Year.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver won the Vocal Group and Gospel Recorded Performance categories (the latter for He Lives In Me). The Trischka-helmed Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular netted trophies for Instrumental Album and Recorded Event of the Year. In addition, Trischka was proclaimed Banjo Player of the Year.
Tying for Album of the Year were J D Crowe & the New South's Lefty's Old Guitar and the Infamous Stringdusters' Fork In The Road. The Stringdusters also won the Emerging Artist award and shared Song of the Year honor with Chris Jones and John Pennell for Fork In The Road.
In Instrumental Performer of the Year categories not already mentioned, Missy Raines won the Bass award, Rob Ickes dobro, Tony Rice guitar and Sam Bush mandolin.
Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented to dobro player Mike Auldridge, "The Bluegrass Breakdown" (a California-based publication), Czech bluegrass enthusiast Marko Cermak, event producer and philanthropist Warren Hellman and Happy and Jane Traum, founders of the Homespun Records and Tapes music instruction series.
Carl Story and Howard Watts were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, an appearance by banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs proved to be an unexpected highlight at the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fan Fest following the Awards presentation.
Bluegrass veteran Carl Jackson introduced the Country Music Hall of Fame member prior to Emmylou Harris' set at the Nashville Convention Center.
Appearing with a band that featured fiddler-vocalist Lizzy Long, Earl was reportedly in excellent form as they performed a brief set that included his signature instrumental, Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2007
Finalists in the 2007 Musicoz Awards were announced this week.
In the Country category, the top 10 finalists are Donna Boyd, Katrina Burgoyne, Carter & Carter, Danny Hooper, Natalie Howard, Harmony James, Jonah's Road, Kelly Llewellyn (pictured), Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel (pictured) and Felicity Urquhart.
Country or country-aligned acts featuring as finalists in other categories are Carter & Carter (Christian/Spiritual), Steve Charles (International), Sam Hawkesly (Blues/Roots), Matt Lucas (Christian/Spiritual), Lianne Rose (Acoustic/Singer-Songwriter) and Danni Stefanetti (Christian/Spiritual).
Tickets to the 2007 National Musicoz Awards ceremony will go on sale next week through Ticketek. It will be held at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney on Thursday November 22.
Weblink – www.musicoz.org.
One Stop Country has issued a media release exclaiming its delight at this year's Musicoz finalists as eight of the Country category top 10 are signed to the company.
Donna Boyd, Carter and Carter, Danny Hooper, Natalie Howard, Harmony James, Jonah’s Road, Kelly Llewellyn and Luke O’Shea & The Medicine Wheel are all signed with One Stop Country, as is Sam Hawksley who is a finalist in the Blues/Roots section.
James Blundell (pictured), Lou Bradley, The Greencards, Gina Jeffreys (pictured) and Keith Urban line up on Sunday night for this year's 2007 Best Country Album at the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Awards.
Kasey Chambers is a finalist for Best Female Artist for her album Carnival while Paul Kelly is a finalist for Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Album for Stolen Apples (Capitol/EMI). And Nash Chambers is a nominee for Producer of the Year (for Kasey's album).
The country albums nominated are Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing by Keith, Love Someone by Lou, Ring Around The Moon by James, Veridian by The Greencards and Walks Of Life by Gina.
Weblink – www.ariaawards.com.au.
The video uses backgrounds and scenes for the 1930s classic western "The Honour Of The Range" with the Beggars appearing to play on the stage of a very rowdy saloon full of old time western characters.
All the Beggars shots were done in the Flinders University TV studio with director Dale Adams and cinematographer Richard Back who both did a great job on the clip, according to the band.
Preacher I Have Sinned is from the 2006 album Beggars (MGM) and has now been released as an NfS single in Australia. The song has already been a radio hit in Europe making top 10 in seven countries including number two in the UK.
The Beggars formed in 2005 when renowned session musicians Quinton Dunne, Stuart Day and Renee Donaghey decided they needed an outlet for the songs they had been writing.
Weblink – www.myspace.com/beggarsthe.
Troy Cassar-Daley remains at the top of the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the fourth week in succession with his current hit Everything Is Going To Be Alright.
The next three places also remain unchanged from last week with Carter & Carter's The Best Things In Life Are Free at two for the second week, Graham Rodger at three for the third week with Woman On The Land and Kirsty Lee Akers at four with Little Things for the second week.
Travis Collins' Yeah She Does edges up one place to number five, the Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush slips aother spot to six while Markus Meier jumps three places to number seven with Walk In The Rain.
Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather bounds into the top 10 at number eight, America's Tim McGraw & Faith Hill enter at nine with I Need You and James Blundell's Ring Around The Moon slips one place to number 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Felicity Urquhart's No Mistakes (15 to 12), Adam Brand's That Changes Everything (16 to 13), Steve Forde's Metropolis (22 to 18), Lou Bradley's One Shoe (23 to 20), Jeanette Wormald's Pukulpa Days (25 to 22), the Graeme Connors (picured)/Fiddlers Feast duet Guess Who's Got Kids (27 to 24), Sara Storer's Land Cries Out (29 to 26), Adam Harvey's Someone Else's Dream (30 to 27) and The McClymonts' Save Yourself (new at 28).
Other new entries to the chart for the coming week include Rob Black's Regular Guy (in at 30).
The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday night on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
The annual star search, the country’s oldest and most successful, has been responsible for giving the nation many of today’s country stars.
Just yesterday, this year’s winner Kirsty Lee Akers was signed to a major management deal following chart success of her debut album (the key component of Star Maker’s prize).
Immediate past winners Cat Southern, Samantha McClymont and Travis Collins continue to make a big impact on the Australian country music industry.
It was announced last week that Toyota Star Maker winner 2001 Kylie Sackley had been recognised with a special honour for her songwriting success in America.
And, of course, well-known winners like James Blundell, Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys, Lee Kernaghan and Keith Urban continue to go from strength to strength (just to name a few).
Toyota Star Maker is a search through competition for an individual who has the greatest potential to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the prize package. The message is – “If you are ready to take the next big step, enter and you could join previous winners of Toyota Star Maker on the ride of your life.”
The prize package includes use of the Toyota Star Maker 2008 title, a "big budget" full album recording session with one of Australia’s top producers and album record contract with Compass Bros, distribution and promotion of at least two tracks to radio and other media, 50 copies of the album for personal distribution, production of a professional video clip of one of the tracks by an award winning director, media promotion including monthly exposure in Country Music Capital News and Country Music Radio, a special edition Star Maker Maton acoustic guitar, guaranteed performance bookings at a designated list of events including country music festivals at Tamworth and Gympie, a special showcase performance at the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final in 2009 and 12 months use of a new, fully serviced Toyota motor vehicle plus fuel card for the 12 months after winning.
"Artists seriously looking for a professional long term career in country music are invited to apply," said a spokesman for the organisers, Rural Press Events.
Toyota Star Maker 2008 will be held in Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital, on Sunday, January 20.
Entry forms are available by telephoning 02 6762 2399, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by downloading from the Toyota Star Maker page at www.capitalnews.com.au.
Entries into the Australian Bush Laureate Awards also close next Wednesday (October 31).
Details from www.bushlaureate.com.au.
Entries in the 2008 TIARAs (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards) close this Saturday (October 26).
Details available at www.tiara-awards.org.
Next Wednesday is also the closing date for voting in the Australian Country Music People's Choice Awards.
Tall Timbre's launch of their new CD will be held tonight at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL.
And the band has had to change venues within the Club to cater for increasing numbers.
The action gets underway at 7 with special guests Nicki Gillis and Jim Haynes performing prior to the band and launch of the CD – After The Grind – at 8.30.
Weblink – www.talltimbre.com.
Sharon Lee Lane will feature in the Nine Network series "RPA Where Are They Now" tomorrow night (Thursday October 25).
The story of her diagnosis and surgery was aired nationally on "RPA" in November last year. Just a few months ago, "RPA" asked Shaz if they could follow up and document her recovery and profile the life-changing experience that unfolded.
And her story airs tomorrow night at 10 o'clock.
Just recently, Shaz was named Most Promising New Talent at the 2007 Deadly Awards and hasn't had any time to rest on her laurels.
Just a week after winning one of indigenous Australia’s most exciting music awards, she was putting the finishing touches to her latest album with producer Herm Kovac at Ramrod Studios in Sydney and within two weeks back in her hometown, she was hosting a Women Out West Luncheon talking about her trials and achievements.
The Dubbo based singer and Community and Student Liaison Officer with Charles Sturt University is also in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
"I think if you’ve survived something like this, people really want to know how you are. They want to reach out to you and try to understand a small part of it themselves," she said.
"It has also encouraged many others to become more aware of their own health issues. The 'RPA' team were absolutely wonderful to work with showing my delicate operation and journey back to health.
"It also shows what direction life has taken me. I owe my life to Dr Rodney Allan for getting everything right."
Talking about her new album, Shaz said: "Making this album with Herm Kovac has been simply amazing. I have really grown from the last 12 months. Life is definitely something that should not be taken for granted."
The album, coincidentally titled Second Chance, will be launched at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland in December. The first single – Hello – is due to be released to radio in the first week of November.
A second Brisbane show for Brooks & Dunn has been announced after tickets for the first concert on February 29 sold out in the first hour after tickets went on sale.
Promoters Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge have announced the second Brisbane Entertainment Centre show will be staged on Saturday, March 1.
It’s the first time Brooks & Dunn have toured Australia and, after the Brisbane shows, they will head to Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday March 5 Sydney’s Acer Arena on Monday March 10.
Tickets for all shows are available from www.ticketek.com.au.
The superstar American duo has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, had 23 number one hit sSingles and boast one of the biggest shows touring today.
Weblink – www.brooksndunn.com.
After the video for his debut single Goin’ It Alone reached number seven on the CMC countdown earlier in the year, independent country artist Steve Passfield is expecting big things from his second video, A Man Will Risk It All, which debuts on the channel this week.
The video was filmed on location on the Breeza Plains in north west NSW and tells the story of a local farmer facing mounting debts due to the effect of the drought on his land. As family and personal pressures build to breaking point, the farmer finds hope in his father’s support and experience.
"Country music is all about the stories of our land," Steve said. "I wanted the video for A Man Will Risk It All to reflect what people in the bush are going through at the moment."
"Ross Wood, who filmed the video for my first single, did such a top job that I wanted him back for this. He’s got a real talent for translating the ideas I’m singing about and turning them into a story on screen. Plus I reckon he makes an everyday bloke like me look like a Hollywood film star!" Steve joked.
Weblink – www.stevepassfield.com.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2007
Details have been announced for a Slim Dusty Country Music Memories Show at Kempsey (NSW) on Saturday night November 3.
The concert will feature Slim's family headlined by his lifelong partner and fellow performer Joy McKean (left). "I am looking forward to a really enjoyable evening of music and meeting friends," Joy said. "Anne and David will be on stage with some of the Travelling Country Band members, and even I am going to join them for some songs.
"Two young balladeers, Amos Morris (below, left) and Nathan Charlton (right), will be great entertainment for everyone because they are both such good interpreters of Slim’s songs. Altogether, there will be a lot of favourite ballads sung and a lot of memories for all of us," Joy said.
Proceeds from the Slim Dusty Country Music Memories Show will help fund construction of the Slim Dusty Centre at Kempsey. The Centre is designed to provide a uniquely Australian experience and promises to be one of the most significant of its kind. Destined to become a national icon, it will incorporate a museum dedicated to Slim's achievements and will house a collection of precious memorabilia collected by Slim and Joy during a lifetime of touring and performing.
The Centre will also create employment and economic prospects for the region and will help keep Australia's country music and bush ballad traditions alive by nurturing up-and-coming performers, giving them encouragement through scholarships.
During the upcoming concert, a red cedar coffee table made from timber originating from Slim’s "Nulla Nulla" property and handcrafted by George Crossingham will be auctioned along with various other items.
Organised and run by the Rotary Club of Kempsey West, the Slim Dusty Country Music Memories Show started out in 2004 as a simple local tribute to the memory of Slim who had passed away just one year before. It is now a fully-fledged concert set to attract legions of fans of the man himself and his style of music.
Initiated by local Rotarian Bruce Woods on his Kempsey farm, Bruce is now the event co-ordinator and is ecstatic about its growing success: "I have been overwhelmed by the many phone calls and widespread interest received for the concert," he said. "Ticket sales have been strong not only from the local community but as far afield as Toowoomba, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Bribie Island, South Coast, Sydney and inland NSW.
"This will be an opportunity to hear Slim and Joy’s son David and their daughter Anne sing on stage together once again. This will be a very rare performance."
Details as to ticket availability can be obtained from Bruce on (02) 6562 4795 or mobile 0418 491 499.
Weblink – www.slimdustycentre.com.au.
Square One Entertainment has announced the signing of 2007 Toyota Star Maker winner Kirsty Lee Akers to a long-term management deal.
Kirsty's debut album Little Things entered the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Country charts at number seven and remains at nine after 11 weeks. The title track is at number four and rising on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart.
"I am very excited about Kirsty’s future after watching her mesmerise crowds on James Blundell’s 'Ring Around The Moon' tour with her enthusiasm and amazing voice," said Neil Richards of Square One. "She is already one of Australian country music’s finest young performers and at only 19 has a very bright future."
"After winning Toyota Star Maker in January, my career has progressed rapidly and I have met some amazing people," said Kirsty. "Neil Richards is no exception. I feel very honoured to have him on board as my new manager. With his experience and dedication to my music I am looking forward to an exciting and successful career!"
Kirsty’s new single, Goin’ To The Beach, was released to radio earlier this month with a clip to air on the Country Music Channel in November.
Square One currently represents James Blundell, rising Sydney soul singer/model Amali Ward, roots performer Paul Greene (Ghostwriters/Hirst & Greene) and Brisbane's Nik Phillips, the first western artist to sign a deal with a major Chinese label.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2007
Organisers of the annual Golden Fiddle Awards have announced a change of venue for the 2008 event and an easier nominating process.
In announcing the changes, organisers have issued a call for "nominations now".
The Awards are open to all bowed stringed instrument players, writers and teachers of all styles. Nomination deadline is now December 31.
Full details can be obtained at www.goldenfiddleawards.org.au/nominate.html.
The 2008 Awards will be presented at Blazes Auditorium, West Tamworth League Club, on Thursday, January 24, at 11am.
Tickets will go on sale on December 1 at www.wtlc.com.au.
Singer/songwriter Steve Graham was all smiles recently when he met Prime Minister John Howard at a fundraiser where he was working.
Steve took the opportunity to present Mr Howard with a copy of his new album The River which includes Steve's latest single Talking About The Weather. The single has been receiving widespread radio airplay and exposure on CMC via the single's video clip.
Weblink – www.stevegraham.com.au.
Tracy Killeen reports strong sales for her debut solo album back there, especially at the Toyota Muster at Gympie where she was the highest selling artist.
Soon after Gympie, Tracy performed at the Mildura Festival – including on stage at the Southern Stars – and was one of the highest selling artists there, too.
"I want to personally thank everyone for their support," Tracy said. The rising star reports her single A Little Time is gaining widespread airplay and is also getting exposure via the video clip on CMC.
"I’m looking forward to performing at the St Arnaud Country Music Festival at the end of October," Tracy said. Another important gig is set for Sunday November 4 at Hawkesbury Hotel, Windsor (NSW) where she will officially launch her album.
"I can’t believe it’s October already" she said, "and that my Tamworth Festival shows are nearly all finalised. I’m really excited about 'The Morning Show' to be held at the Goonoo Goonoo Room at The Longyard Hotel, from Wednesday to Friday January 23 to 25. I’ll be performing on the show with my good friends Nicki Gillis, Peter Pratt, The Bushwackers and other surprise guests." On-line bookings are now available at www.visittamworth.com.
Weblink – www.tracykilleen.com.
From his debut album The Legacy, South Australian songwriter Danny Hooper has released his second single, Already Gone.
Produced by multi Golden Guitar winning producer Rod McCormack, the new single has been released to radio via NfS 117 and Danny is hoping for similar success to his first single (Every Reason) as it made the top 40 at both CMC and 3HOT FM Mildura's Top 100 Country Hits chart.
The new single is reportedly already receiving airplay on 2REM Albury, 2MAXFM Narrabri, 2VM Moree, 3GV Gippsland, 989 FM Brisbane, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia's "Good Morning Country, Heartland FM, KIXFM Kangaroo Island and Yass FM.
Weblink – www.dannyhooper.com.au.
Steve Forde is still at number one on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week for the third week in succession with the clip of his hit Metropolis.
Keith Urban's Stupid Boy is steady at two while Morgan Evans' Big Skies edges up one place to number three and Sara Storer's Land Cries Out jumps to fourth place.
Kenny Chesney's Don't Blink is at five, Brad Paisley's Online is steady at six while the Reba McEntire/Kelly Clarkson duet Because Of You is down to seven.
America's Jason Aldean is at eight with his Johnny Cash and Jonah's Road are at nine with Counting Down The Days while Brooks & Dunn debut in the playlist this week at 10 with Proud Of The House We Built.
Bullet performers this week include Beccy Cole's Lifeboat (40 to 33), Lou Bradley's One Shoe (42 to 35), The Noll Brothers' Shining Star (new at 37), Kristy Cox with Reverse (44 to 38), Keri McInerney, Michael O'Rourke & Steve Eales' Stuck In The Middle With You (46 to 41) and Peter Denahy (pictured) with The Ringing Of Steel (new at 44).
This week's CMC Country Pick is Adam Harvey with Someone Else's Dream, the first single from his new album.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2007
The world premiere of John Williamson’s "Quambatook" will be held at the Evan Theatre at Panthers, Penrith (NSW) on February 7 next year.
"Quambatook" is described as a family musical, the tale of a young hero, his quest for a prize and his determination to overcome all that stands in his way.
It is 1955 and in the small Victorian farming town of Quambatook, 11 year old Johnno is on a mission and nothing is going to stand in his way.
For years he and his family have happily sat around the radio, listened, sang and played along with songs from The Silver Haired Showman's weekly radio show. But ever since Johnno heard the Showman describe his experiences in the Northern Territory at Uluru, he's had only one desire – to see and experience the big red rock for himself.
As holiday time approaches, Johnno sets out to convince his parents and brothers that instead of taking their regular annual vacation at the seaside, they should follow the Silver Haired Showman's lead and go to Uluru.
Convincing the family to drive the dusty outback roads to Uluru is only the beginning of Johnno's difficulties. As beautiful as nature can be, it also made travelling the outback in 1955 very, very difficult.
Whether or not they make it to Uluru isn't important, Johnno's Mum tells him, the fact is "the joy is in the Journey".
Following the premiere, "Quambatook" will play the following Friday, Saturday and Sunday.Weblink – www.johnwilliamson.com.au.
This weekend the city of Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast will be welcoming visitors and performers from all around Australia and the world to enjoy the "Sun, Surf and Soul" at the Caloundra Music Festival.
The Melbourne based quartet Jetty Road say they are looking forward to performing at the festival along with many well known Australian artists including Vanessa Amorosi, Jimmy Barnes, James Blundell, Daryl Braithwaite, Richard Clapton, Travis Collins, The McClymonts and Mental As Anything.
A colourful street parade, roving performers, beach-side carnival, buskers and free children’s entertainment will ensure that there is something for everyone, organisers say.
"It will be a great chance for us to sit back and relax in the sun," said Jetty Road member Paula Bowman. "It has been a busy year for us with our extensive touring with James Blundell, along with our track Real Smooth Cowboy having huge success on both CMC and at radio throughout Australia. I am looking forward to going for a swim and chilling out on the beach for a few hours!"
Jetty Road’s latest single, I Wanna Go Home, has just been released to radio and is set to keep the already busy band even busier. This year, they have released their album Dirt Roads City Lights through One Stop Country, been kept busy touring with James Blundell, Travis Collins, Kirsty Lee Akers and Dianna Corcoran, and appeared at almost every major country music festival throughout Australia.
Weblink – www.jettyroad.com.
Keith Urban will be releasing his Greatest Hits album on November 20.
The album is expected to contain all of Keith's number one hits and many of his top fives including Where The Blacktop Ends, Raining On Sunday, You'll Think Of Me, Somebody Like You, Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me, You'll Think Of Me, Days Go By and Better Life as well as Once In A Lifetime, I Told You So and more.Weblink – www.keithurban.net.
This website – countrymusicbulletin.com.au – has passed an annualised figure of three million hits.
The three million milestone was passed in August and September when those two months recorded more than 300,000 hits each.
"If that level is maintained, or surpassed, the hit rate for the next 12 months will approach four million," said owner/operator of the site Bob Kirchner. "We are heading into the busy time of year for country music in Australia with attention focussed on the January country music festival in Tamworth, so we wouldn't be surprised if we registered between four and five hundred thousand hits in January."
Apart from the "hits" figure, the more indicative visits and page view records have also increased dramatically.
The exrapolated annual figure for these is almost 100,000 visits (or just under 8,000 a month) and more than 130,000 page views (almost 11,000 a month).
"The website continues to be the most up to date and comprehensive of all country music news services on the Internet in Australia," Bob said, "and we are commited to maintaining that high level of service well into the future as a perfect complement to the dedicated 'Country Music Bulletin' industry magazine (the only such publication) in Australia."
Popular Melbourne band Crakajak have released a new EP which features a duet track with leading Victorian country star Donna Fisk.
Title of the EP is Rodeo Rodeo. The release, a spokesman said, "further enhances the band's reputation for pushing the boundaries of country music."
The title track features a few of country music's more traditional instruments including fiddle and banjo, "but has a definite contemporary 'doof doof' dance flavour," the spokesman said, "that will keep those party animals on the dance floor."
Donna features on the track Somewhere Between The Truth And Goodbye – "a soulful 'power ballad' that exposes the softer side of the Jaks."
The band have released a new music clip for Rodeo Rodeo which they shot at Mount Isa in August and hope to have it on air later this month.
A new album for Crakajak will be released in January.
Weblink – www.crakajak.com.
Paul Killingly and his band The Culprits are heading for the USA on their first official tour.
They leave on Monday morning from Brisbane, first stop Florida.
"Gig wise," Paul, a Toyota Star Maker finalist in 2005, says, "there is a stint at Club Med Sandpiper at Fort Saint Lucie, the International Boat Show at Fort Lauderdale, the Fort Lauderdale/Gold Coast sister city bash and the all important 11th annual Australian Festival and a bit more Club Med to finish off."
Troy Cassar-Daley retains his hold on the top spot of the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the third week running with his current hit Everything Is Going To Be Alright.
Carter & Carter's The Best Things In Life Are Free jumps two more places to number two, Graham Rodger is steady at three with Woman On The Land while reigning Toyota Star Maker Kirsty Lee Akers is also up two to number four with Little Things.
The Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush is down to five, Travis Collins' Yeah She Does jumps to six while Nicki Gillis is steady at seven with Remember Me.
Donna Boyd's Angels Fly Close To The Ground drops to number eight, James Blundell's Ring Around The Moon is steady at nine while Markus Meier scores his first top 10 hit with Walk In The Rain at number 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather (15 to 11), Felicity Urquhart's No Mistakes (19 to 15), Adam Brand's That Changes Everything (21 to 16), Steve Eales' When A Cowboy Gets The Blues (20 to 17) and Steve Forde's Metropolis (26 to 22).
New entries to the chart for the coming week include the first singles from new albums by Sara Storer and Adam Harvey... Sara's Land Cries Out (in at 29) and Adam's Someone Else's Dream (at 30).
The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday night on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2007
Finalists have been released for the 2007 Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards to be announced next month.
For Female Vocal, the finalists are Jenny Bennetts with Cold Wind, Denise Brooks (pictured) with The Vanishing Breed and Dianne Lindsay with The Local Mary Magdalene.
For Male Vocal, finalists are Jeff Brown (pictured) with Old Singer Sam, Peter Coad with Banjo And Henry and Reg Poole with A Tribute To Slim.
For Group/Duo, finalists are Terry & Jenny Bennetts with I Miss The Good Old Days, Barry K & Lin Chandler with We're From This Land and Dean Perrett & Peter Pratt with Riding Down The Valley.
For the Songwriter award, finalists are Jeff Brown & Glenn Perrett with Beneath The Green And Gold, Peter Coad with I Heard A Hillbilly Song and Wave Jackson withThe Augathella Fella.
For the Album award, finalists are Harvest Time Again by Jeff Brown, Outback Chapters by Peter Coad and Return Of The Stockman by Dean Perrett.
For Instrumental, finalists are Peter Simpson with The Man From Snowy River and Lindsay Waddington with By A Fire Of Gidgee Coal.
For Comedy/Novelty, finalists are Neil Buttsworth with Could Ya, Would Ya, Do Ya Wanna, Reg Poole with Ode To A Bull and Graham Rodger with There's A Whole In The Mossie Net.
For New Talent, finalists are Denise Brooks with A Scene From Long Ago, Leigh Moneghetti with Dusty Guitar and Evan Platschinda with Travelling Australia.
Award winners will be announced in Pittsworth, Queensland, during the Awards weekend of November 17 and 18.
A railway-themed country and folk music and poetry event at Werris Creek, NSW, is to become an integral part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival from 2009.
At a meeting convened by the nationally acclaimed Rail Journeys Museum at "the Creek" last Thursday, there was unanimous agreement to have railway-themed country and folk music and poetry recognised as an integral part of the Australian "character".
Noted rail enthusiast Brian Dunnett of Sydney addressed the meeting and outlined his plans for the inclusion of railway-themed songs and poetry as part of the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival at an inaugural series of concerts over a two-day period in January 2009.
Museum President Chris Holley said the Museum committee enthusiastically endorsed Brian's ideas and were now "formulating plans to progress this objective".
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Australasian Railway Association, Canberra, and the University of New England, Armidale.
"Thousands of songs and poems about railways have been written over some 250 years since the first sod was turned to create the railways of the world," Chris said.
"Railway-related music, from popular to classical music, has been kept at the forefront of popularity around the globe. For several years, the Museum Committee has vigorously pursued plans to incorporate railway songs, poems and stories into a national repository at the Rail Journeys Museum at Werris Creek."
The Rail Journeys Museum will now encourage artists, composers and organisations from all over Australia to register an expression of interest to support and perform railway-themed country and folk music in a major segment of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The venue for the concerts would be the Australian Railway Monument Amphitheatre in Werris Creek which is about a 20 minute drive south west of Tamworth.
Expressions of interest from interested artists and organisations may be registered with the Rail Journeys Museum at PO Box 43, Werris Creek 2341 or by telephone/fax (02 6768 7929) or by email, email@example.com.
Photo (from left): Chris Holley, Brian Dunnett, Dora Ugalde (Communications Manager, Australasian Railway Association) and Dr Bob Haworth, University of New England, Armidale.
Dianne Lindsay and Peter Simpson have married.
Dianne is the daughter of country music legends Reg Lindsay and Heather McKean, niece of Slim Dusty and Joy McKean and cousin to Anne Kirkpatrick. Peter is a well-respected country lead guitarist who hails from the Snowy and has backed many well-known artists over the years.
"The small family and friends wedding was followed by a picnic and country music bash on Sunday with about 200 people attending at the picturesque Dooralong Valley Hall," said a spokesman for the couple.
"The weekend hosted a very interesting guest list with names such as Heather and Joy McKean, Geoff Mack, Slim Newton, well-known balladeer Ernie Constance, balladeer bass player Ben Kelly, well-known radio identity Carter Edwards along with many other country music identities, radio presenters and friends. Some people made the trip from interstate.
"Lorraine Pfitzner, Rodney Walker and Lynette Guest also came down from Tamworth. The wedding was mc’d by balladeer/songwriter Martin Bowland from Canberra and the music was co-ordinated by up and coming country music identity, Jay Podger from Cooma.
"Unfortunately, Dianne’s father, the legendary Reg Lindsay, was unable to attend due to his long-term illness but his presence was felt with a number of his songs being played.
The Central Coast couple’s ambition is to simply enjoy life with their families and are looking forward to a wonderful and exciting future with plans for recording, travel and many other country music ventures."
Dianne is thrilled that her version of Local Mary Magdalene from her debut album Memories & Dreams has landed her a finalist placing in the Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards with Peter also being named as a finalist for Instrumental with his recording of The Man From Snowy River.
Another two tracks from Dianne's album – Teardrops On The River and Old Brown Guitar Case – are among the finalists for the ABC Newcastle Music Awards to be announced next week and Old Brown Guitar Case has received a "Special Nomination" for the ABC APRA Songwriting and Publishers Award.
Weblink – www.diannelindsay.com.
America's musicrow.com has reported that BMI (Broadcast Music Inc, a performing right organisation) surprised Nashville-based Australian singer/songwriter Kylie Sackley with a prestigious Million-Air Award recently at the offices of Big Tractor Music.
Kylie’s Nothin' 'Bout Love Makes Sense, recorded by LeAnn Rimes, has generated one million performances.
Pictured (from left) BMI's Mark Mason, Jody Williams, Beth Mason, Bradley Collins and David Preston, with Big Tractor Music's Jason Krupek and Kylie Sackley (photo by Lauren Holland). Click on the photo for a larger image.
The NSW Police, together with Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), last week raided the home of an illegal trader of country music in Kelso near Bathurst, seizing more than 2,000 pirated CDs, extensive CD burning equipment, a computer and printing equipment.
A MIPI media release said the male trader was allegedly selling burnt country music CDs to unsuspecting market goers at the Bathurst and Orange markets. MIPI say they immediately took steps to contact the operator of the Bathurst Markets following complaints received from the general public. "The market operator refused to take any active steps to assist to identify or stop the pirate trader selling at the markets," MIPI said.
"After investigation and surveillance, MIPI operatives traced the pirate trader to an address at Kelso near Bathurst. The matter was referred to the Chifley Target Action Group of the NSW Police who acted promptly to apply and execute the search warrant."
The seized CDs included music by Slim Dusty, Lee Kernaghan, Faith Hill, Adam Brand, Randy Travis and Shannon Noll.
Sabiene Heindl, General Manager of MIPI said: "Market operators need to take responsibility for the sale of pirate music at their markets, particularly in circumstances such as this where it has been brought to their immediate attention. It’s not okay to turn a blind eye to illegal conduct that denies artists and songwriters the income they deserve and allows pirates to profit from other people’s hard work."
MIPI encourages consumers who believe they may have purchased pirate music from markets or other locations to come forward. The organisation's toll-free hotline for reporting music piracy is 1800 06 16 16. Information can also be provided through MIPI’s website at www.mipi.com.au.
Penalties for copyright infringement are up to $60,500 and five years imprisonment per offence. The criminal case against the pirate trader is expected to be heard in Court over the next couple of months.
As well as the heat, the afternoon will also feature performances from Lee Kernaghan (pictured), competition ambassador Adam Harvey, Steve Forde, Mike Carr and reigning Telstra Road to Tamworth winners Morgan Evans and Briana Lee.
Thirteen aspiring country music artists from around the region have been selected to perform at the event, competing for a place in the final which will be held during the famous Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra in January.
Two trips to Nashville are up for grabs among an impressive list of prizes which also includes an album contract with ABC music, a Maton guitar and songwriting opportunities.
Rochford Wines is located at the corner of Maroonda Highway and Hill Road, Coldstream. Saturday's event kicks off at 1.15pm.
Meanwhile, Catherine Britt, Morgan Evans, Steve Forde and Adam Harvey have been announced as "special guests" on the Brooks & Dunn Australian tour early next year (see below).
Adam and Catherine will play on the Brisbane concert while Morgan and Steve will play on the Sydney and Melbourne shows.
The Topp Twins have announced details for the Queensland leg of their successful "Recovery Tour" in November with shows from the Gold Coast to Cairns.
New Zealand icons Lynda and Jools will introduce new songs and new characters "bowling ladies Mavis and Lorna" during the tour which they say is a "celebration of life" following Jools' radical breast cancer treatment which forced the cancellation of their 2006 shows. The show will also include a "best bits reprise" from 25 years of stage and television antics.
The high spirited "Chemo Cowgal" credits her recovery to maintaining a positive attitude, lots of laughter and the huge support from fans everywhere and says: "We’re looking forward to getting back on the road – making sure our audiences get a great night out. See you in November Australia!"
The Topp Twins grew up "singing to the cows" and are embraced wholeheartedly by mainstream audiences the world over.
Aside from this tour, a biographical feature film "The Topp Twins, Untouchable Girls", financed by the NZ Film Commission and directed by award-winning documentary maker Leanne Pooley, starts production this month.
For tour details, click here, or visit the girls' website www.topptwins.co.nz.
Thieves steal guitarist's gear
Ross' 1989 Toyota Hi-Ace Van QRN 479 was stolen from a Yarraville street. "The van was most likely stolen by joy riders," said Mark Sydow speaking on behalf of Ross, "but the real loss is the musical equipment concealed under a tarpaulin in the back.
"Ross has lost all his amplifiers, his main guitar and all his effects pedals. True to (his) totally eccentric style, these are no ordinary instruments. They are one-offs and custom mades."
The "lost" gear is... a Chandler 555 Guitar – customised and hand painted in red, yellow and green sunray design (pictured, click on the photo for a larger image); an Ampeg Jet II amplifier; a rare five watt Diason amplifier; a home made amplifier in Diason cabinet with Peavey 158 Blazer head and Marantz 12 inch speaker; and a green and yellow Indian "hippy" bag with Boss Phrase Sampler, MPX phase 90 and Tremit Tremolo pedal.
"These instruments are totally irreplaceable," Gary said, "and Ross is not interested in anything but recovering his beloved instruments."
The Federal Government has announced a grant of $50,000 to the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) "for operations in the lead-up to the 2008 Country Music Awards".
"The Country Music Awards, which is presented by the CMAA, is one of the main attractions and centrepieces of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, held in January every year," said Senator Sandy Macdonald announcing the grant. "I am pleased the Australian Coalition Government has been able to support the CMAA in this way, playing its part in strengthening Australia’s country music industry.
"I congratulate the CMAA for its role in presenting the Country Music Awards, which is always a first-class event. The Association has worked hard to develop the Awards and ensure that the country music festival gains the national and international recognition it deserves."
Senator Macdonald said the country music industry had played a significant role in growing and developing Tamworth and district as a business and tourist destination over the last three decades. The festival now injected more than $100 million into Tamworth’s economy every year.
"I would also like to recognise the hard work of the Tamworth Regional Council in making the Tamworth Country Music Festival what it is today," Senator Macdonald said.
The 36th annual Country Music Awards of Australia (or Golden Guitar Awards), presented by Jayco, will be staged on Saturday January 26, 2008.
The region of Tamworth is again under the spotlight with a number of Country Music Capital based finalists announced in the NSW Tourism Awards including the annual January country music festival.
This follows two wins in the NSW Inland Tourism Awards.
Specifically, the finalist placings have been gained by the Austin Tourist Park, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Tamworth Visitor Information Centre and Wests Diggers.
Winners will be announced at a function at Star City, Sydney, on November 15.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2007
American country superstars Brooks & Dunn have announced details for a three-date concert series in Australia.
The biggest duo in American music history, even bigger than Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Bros, Brooks & Dunn have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, had 23 number one hit singles and boast one of the biggest shows touring America today.
The Australian tour is being promoted by Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge.
Ticketing details available from www.ticketek.com.au.
Weblink – www.brooksndunn.com.
Last week, the Noll Brothers' debut single Shining Star entered the national ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) singles chart at 32.
It's understood this is the first time that siblings have had singles in the chart at the same time since Kylie and Dannii Minogue (Shannon Noll has his new single Loud sitting at 20).
The Noll Brothers (Adam and Damien) are currently in Sydney recording their debut album, A Country Heart, with producer Craig Porteils which they plan to release in January.
The video clip was filmed in Old Sydney Town by their good friend Cori Hopper who has already won some awards for his skills as a video producer.
Adam, Damien and Shannon grew up singing in bands together for more than 20 years. Adam and Damian played in Shannon’s band (guitar and drums, respectively) for the past three years and Damian wrote a song called The Way That I Feel for Shannon which sold a million copies.
Shining Star was written by Damian after seeing the flooding of the Daimantina and is a song based around people who make you feel good.
Steve Forde retains the number one place on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week for the second week running with the clip of his hit Metropolis.
Keith Urban's Stupid Boy jumps two more places to number two, the Reba McEntire/Kelly Clarkson duet Because Of You is steady at three while Morgan Evans zooms into fourth place with Big Skies.
Jonah's Road are down to five with Counting Down The Days, Brad Paisley's Online is steady at six while Sara Storer's brand newie – Land Cries Out – bounds into the top 10 at seven.
America's Kenny Chesney is another new entry in the top 10 with his clip of Don't Blink at eight, Adam Brand's That Changes Everything is at nine and James Blundell's Nature's Gentleman is at 10.
Bullet performers this week include Rob Black's Regular Guy at 17, Beccy Cole (pictured) with Lifeboat at 40 and Lou Bradley's One Shoe at 42.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2007
The annual South Australian Showcase to be held at the Starplex, Gawler, on Saturday November 3 promises to be an outstanding show with an excellent line up of talent, according to organisers.
Headlining this year are the multi-award winning Carter & Carter and Greg Champion (pictured), supported by John Callaghan, the Creole Cowboyz, the Heartland Showcase Band, Charlie McCracken and Talia Wittmann.
A feature of the evening will be performances by the 2007 senior and junior Champions of Champions Tiffney Stroh and Natasha Weatherill.
The show will include presentations of the Industry Award, the Rocky Page Scholarship to the Australian College of Country Music and APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Song of the Year finalists and winners.
Weblink – www.saccm.com.
Entry forms are now available for the 2008 Blackened Billy Verse competition for written bush verse.
The competition closes on November 30 with winners to be announced at the Country Energy Tamworth Bush Poetry Competition on Friday January 25.
The 2008 Country Energy Tamworth Bush Poetry Competition is for performers of bush verse with twosections, Original and Traditional or Established Works. Heats will be held from Wednesday to Friday January 23 to 25 with the finals on Saturday January 26 at the West Tamworth League Club, starting at 10am each day.
Entry forms for both competitions are available from Jan Morris at email firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to PO Box 3001 West Tamworth 2340.
Photo: Carol Heuchan, winner of the Traditional or Established Works category this year.
WildSeed have just completed the filming of their new video clip My Friend.
WildSeed say they have never been a band to shy away from a little controversy and their latest release is testament to this. The song is loosely based on a friend of the band who unfortunately became entangled in some serious drug and alcohol issues.
"Some of the scenes we shot were pretty intense," the band said. "We realise the clip may be a little confronting but believe these issues are too important to ignore."
It's anticipated the clip will be added to the Country Music Channel playlist in November.
Weblink – www.wildseed.com.au.
Award-winning country star Brian Letton will launch his latest album at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth this coming Monday night.
The album is Brian's 17th for the LBS label. The launch will take place at the monthy "Country In The Courtyard" at the Hall of Fame.
The Borderers will perform their first shows from next week since returning from their successful tour of Singapore and Denmark, a tour that went so well, other European festival directors have already signed the band for 2008.
This has been a very successful year for the award-winning band who first got together in 1994.
Adelaide is the location for The Borderers shows next week from Thursday the 18th at The Wheatsheaf Hotel, a four week residency with a different theme each Thursday, "that is, bluegrass, world, blues & roots and we will feature surprise special guests."
The Borderers new single – Love Is The Answer – is featured on the band's latest CD, A Time For Change.
Weblink – www.theborderers.com.au.
Troy Cassar-Daley hangs on to the number one spot on the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart with his current hit Everything Is Going To Be Alright.
The former long-running number one from Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand & Steve Forde – Spirit Of The Bush – remains in second position while Graham Rodger's Woman On The Land jumps three places to number three and Carter & Carter's The Best Things In Life Are Free bounds up four places to number four.
Donna Boyd is steady at five with Angels Fly Close To The Ground at five while Kirsty Lee Akers and Nicki Gillis rise one place each, respectively, to six and seven with Little Things and Remember Me.
Travis Collins' Yeah She Does debuts in the top 10 at eight, James Blundell's Ring Around The Moon is up one place to nine and Toby Keith's High Maintenance Woman is down to 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather (18 to 15), Felicity Urquhart's No Mistakes (22 to 19), Jeanette Wormald (pictured) with Pukulpa Days (28 to 25) and Steve Forde's Metropolis (29 to 26).
New entries to the chart for the coming week include Graeme Connors & Fiddler's Feast with Guess Who's Got Kids (in at 29).
The Top 30 Countdown goes to air Sunday night on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2007
Nominees for the WAM (West Australian Music industry) Song of the Year awards night on Wednesday October 31 have been announced.
In the Country category, nominees are Alma St Blues by Kevin Smith, Bad Luck With The Good by Corey Colum, Revenge Is Sweet by Jane Germain, Take Me With You by Polly Medlen and Your Longest Day by Andrew Powell.
Polly also has two nominations in Regional Song of the Year for Two Months and End Of The Line. She has also been asked to perform at the presentation event.
Polly won the WAM for Country Song of the Year last year for her song Live On Love which prompted her to visit the East Coast and record her debut album – Easier To Run – with producer Roger Corbett.
She released her first single – Take Me with You – in February and has since been working steadily in WA.
Thirty thousand dollars worth of prizes are up for grabs in the awards, including the grand prize, a four-day recording session supplied by James Hewgill Music, a full page advertisement and feature article in "Groove" magazine and the pressing of 500 CDs by Disk Bank.
Weblink – www.wami.asn.au.
Flynn Wheeler has won the Canberra heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition held at Commonwealth Park in Canberra during the last days of the annual Floriade on Saturday.
Twenty-one-year-old Flynn, from Kambah, will now compete in the competition finals series at the Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra in January. The overall grand final winner will be awarded "the ultimate prize" – an all expenses paid return trip to Nashville and a full album deal with ABC Music, distributed by Warner Music Australia.
"Fronting the 1700-strong crowd who turned out to support the event on Saturday, Flynn stayed true to this laid back style," said a spokesman for the competition, "impressing the judges with his stage presence and personality, relishing the chance to perform.
Thirteen contestants battled it out on stage for the heat prize.
"Singing LA Cienega Just Smiled by Ryan Adams and a self penned original Wake Up William, Flynn secured his place in the finals with his unique performance."
"This is unbelievable," he said. "I have never been to Tamworth and I’m absolutely stoked to be going to perform in January."
Entries are now closed for the next two heats being held at Bathurst Panthers League Club in NSW this Saturday Saturday (October 13) and the Rochford Winery in Victoria's Yarra Valley the following Saturday (October 20).
Entries are now open for the last four heats in the competition... Inverell (NSW) on Saturday October 27, Dalby (Qld) on Saturday November 10, Melrose (SA) on Saturday November 17 and Albury (NSW) on Saturday, November 24.
Weblink – www.beinvolved.telstra.com/countrymusic.
Bundeena-based singer/songwriter Brad Cole is the sole Australian in contention for a prestigious Canadian music award.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2007
Lee Kernaghan has announced the line up of artists that will join him at his third Spirit of the Bush Concert to be held at Roma, Queensland, on Sunday October 28.
This concert follows the Spirit of the Bush Concerts in Horsham, Victoria, and Grenfell, NSW, both of which saw a "staggering" response from the local communities with 23,000 people turning out in Horsham and 19,000 in Grenfell, "to enjoy a day of music as a community and to put aside the pressures created by drought... to celebrate the Spirit of the Bush".
In addition to Lee, the line-up is Adam Brand, Shea Fisher, Steve Forde, Leo Sayer, Aleyce Simmonds and The Sunny Cowgirls.
Attendance at the Spirit of the Bush concerts is by wristband which are available from designated locations in Central Queensland. All available wristbands in Roma were snapped up by the public in the first two days of release.At press time, wristbands were still available from Biloela, Blackall, Charleville, Chinchilla, Dirranbandi, Emerald, Injune, Jandowae, Miles, Mitchell, Moonie, Quilpie, Springsure, St George, Surat, Tambo, Tara, Taroom, Theodore and Wallumbilla. A limit of six wristbands per person is allowed.
Weblink – www.spiritofthebush.com.
The Country Music Association of Australia has announced the 2008 class of the Australian College of Country Music.
Nineteen students have been selected to date with further scholarships to be announced. Of the upcoming intake, seven students are from Queensland, six from NSW, three from South Australia and one each from Western Australia, Victoria and New Zealand. Two fiddlers are included and three lead guitar players.
College 2008 will run from January 3 to 17 leading up to the official start of the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The College Graduation Concert will be staged at West Tamworth League Club on Thursday, January 17.
Amber Lawrence has released a new single – Gonna Fly – from her debut album The Mile.
This follows the success of the first single, Things That Bring Me Down, that reached number one on the CMC Top 30 Countdown and peaked at three on the Country Tracks National Top 30 singles chart.
Gonna Fly is described as an uplifting and inspiring song that was literally written as Amber was driving home from a day of work. Like many people, Amber spent years working in an office, dreaming what she is most passionate about – writing and singing music. The album The Mile is really the culmination of that for her, she says.
"I believe it's more about giving it a go, taking the risk, and 'who cares how high' and, well, here I am!"
So far it has been a busy year for Amber with The Mile debuting at number four on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Australian Artist Country Chart and 13 on the ARIA International Country Chart.
Amber was a finalist in the Australian Country Music Achiever Awards for Independent Entertainer of the Year and at the weekend, took out Female Vocalist of the Year at the Southern Stars, the Australian Independent Country Music Awards at Mildura.
The rising country star has been busy playing shows including the Toyota Muster at Gympie, the Deniliquin Ute Muster, support shows with James Blundell and the Galston Music Festival as a follow up to winning the 2006 Golden Saddle Award. In the next few months, there will be no slowing down with appearances scheduled at the Mud Bulls & Music Festival and some shows with Kirsty Lee Akers ,Travis Collins, Dianna Corcoran and Aleyce Simmonds.
Weblink – www.amberlawrence.com.
Steve Forde (pictured) has taken over the number one place on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 30 playlist with the clip of his hit Metropolis.
Jonah's Road edges up anther place to two with Counting Down The Days, the Reba McEntire/Kelly Clarkson duet Because Of You sits at three while Keith Urban's Stupid Boy jumps two places to number four.
Adam Brand's number one from last week – That Changes Everything – drops to number five, Brad Paisley's Online slips to six and this year's Telstra Road to Tamworth winner Morgan Evans zooms into the top 10 at seven with Big Skies while
Dianna Corcoran's If You Hear Angels is up two to eight, Toby Keith's High Maintenance Woman is at nine and Travis Collins' Yeah She Does is at 10.
Playlist highlights this week include Felicity Urquhart at 11 with No Mistakes, Sara Storer's Land Cries Out at 12, James Blundell with Nature's Gentleman at 14, Matt Scullion's Feels Like Sunday at 17, Kirsty Lee Akers' Little Things at 18, Rob Black's Regular Guy at 20, Jetty Road's Real Smooth Cowboy at 25, Troy Cassar-Daley with Everything Is Going To Be Alright at 26 and the Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush at 29.
Additions this week include The Noll Brothers' Shining Star, Beccy Cole'a Lifeboat and Melisa Bajric with Luckiest Girl.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2007
Victorian duo Carter & Carter (pictured) continued their success at the Southern Stars, the Australian Independent Country Music Awards, in Mildura last night winning three awards bringing their total to date to 10.
The husband and wife duo of David and Merelyn Carter won Independent Album of the Year with Leap Before You Look, Group/Duo of the Year and, for a further record fourth year, Independent Artists of the Year.
Carter & Carter’s broader record includes six number one hits, another five national top 10 radio singles, four award-winning albums and a host of other accolades including a Golden Guitar for Duo of the Year.
Winners from last year who made a return to the 2007 Awards included Felicity Urquhart who brought her tally to five (winning Single of the Year for Big Black Cloud) and 2006 Independent Artist of the Year Paul Costa who backed up for the 2007 Male Vocalist award with his chart hit A Lover’s Question.
First time winners included Amber Lawrence in Female Vocalist for Things That Bring Me Down, Graham Rodger in Heritage Track of the Year with Woman On The Land and Rising Star winners Markus Meier with Matilda Road and Casey Watt with I Don’t Want To Work This Hard.
Tireless Mildura Country Music Festival committee member Joy Laurie was named winner of the Barry Thornton Service Award.
The Australian Independent Country Music Awards awards are held annually as a climax to the huge Mildura Country Music Festival. This year's were the 11th to be staged.
Full details of 2007 winners can be found on the Mildura Country Music Festival website www.milduracountrymusic.com.au.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2007
Kiera Smith (pictured) from Merbein has won Victoria's 2007 Senior Champion of Champions title at this week's Mildura Country Music Festival.
Kiera was also named senior overall winner of the Top of The State Talent Quest, was awarded the Norfolk Island Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year invitation to appear for 2008 and achieved a number of other wins and placings in the competition.
Junior Champion of Champion is Tiana Stamenkovic from Red Cliffs.
Senior Female title winner was Michelle Westley from Bendigo; Senior Male, Jay Podger from Cooma; 16 years and under winner, Caillen Biggs from Mldura; and 13 years and under winner, Jordy McMillan from Airly who also took out the Grand Overall and Junior Overall winner titles from the Talent Quest.
A full listing of winners and placegetters can be found at the Festival website www.milduracountrymusic.com.au.
All eyes now turn to the Mildura Arts Centre Theatre tomorrow night where winners in the 11th annual Australian Independent Country Music Awards (or Southern Stars) will be announced.
Full details will be published here immediately after conclusion of the Awards presentation.
Preacher I Have Sinned is a new single release for The Beggars.
Taken from the trio's 2006 album Beggars, Preacher I Have Sinned showcases the group's depth of vocal and instrumental ability, according to the announcement of the single release.
"The combination of the instruments is perfect and all three are great players," according to a review in the 'Adelaide Bands' publication. "But the real magic is in their vocals. As individuals they all sing brilliantly, but then, when they sing together, it’s amazing!"
"Ten out of 10," said the UK's 'Metro Country' reviewer, "I have always said that there's some great music coming from down under and this is a fine example!!"
The Beggars formed in 2005 when renowned session musicians Stuart Day, Renee Donaghey and Quinton Dunne decided they needed an outlet for the songs they had been writing. They found a special chemistry together and their debut album resulted.
"(The Beggars) unique blend of folk and country music with lashings of tasty vocal harmonies has quickly found an audience with music lovers far and wide," said the single release media statement.
The band's new clip, by the way, for Preacher will be hitting CMC in a couple of weeks.
The Brisbane based singer/songwriter has landed the support gig after competing as a 2007 Toyota Star Maker finalist in Tamworth in January and following the release of her debut single Wishing You Were Here in August 2007.
"I have been given an enormous amount of support from radio," Christy said, "including John Nutting and Jenny Swan on the ABC, Bill on 'Good Morning Country', 2SER, Monaro FM, KIX FM, 98.9FM, MY 105.9FM, to name a few."
Christy said the support she had been receiving was "a terrific build-up" to the release of her debut album just a matter of weeks away at the end of October. "The album is the soundtrack to a dusk road trip adventure... chasing a warm spring sunset through grassy winding dirt roads with the windows down," she said.
"It is with sadness that I hear the recent news of the passing of Letty Katts,' said country singer/songwriter Peter Pratt.
"She was a true Australian songwriting treasure and I was proud to have had the opportunity to record her 1945 Australian classic Riding To The Never Never.
"When I and my producer Roger Corbett chose to record Never Never and release the song as the first single from my new album Nevertheless, John Nutting of ABC's 'Saturday Night Country' tracked Letty down and invited her into the studio to interview. Lively and charismatic, Miss Katts was thrilled that a young western crooner had perfectly captured the mood of her song.
"Thank you, Miss Katts, for your inspired and iconic Australian narrative, and thank you for allowing us to keep those times well and truly alive and helping us to find a place for nostalgia in contemporary Australian country music."
Troy Cassar-Daley takes over the top spot on the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart with his current hit Everything Is Going To Be Alright, ending the seven week number one reign of the Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush which drops to number two.
The next four places on the chart remain unchanged from this week with Toby Keith's High Maintenance Woman steady at three, Brad Paisley's Ticks at four, Donna Boyd's Angels Fly Close To The Ground at five and Graham Rodger's Woman On The Land at six.
Kirsty Lee Akers' Little Things edges up one place to seven, Carter & Carter bound into the top 10 at eight with The Best Things In Life Are Free while Nicki Gillis and James Blundell are steady at nine and 10 respectively with Remember Meand Ring Around The Moon.
Bullet performers for the week include Travis Collins' Yeah She Does (15 to 11), Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather (22 to 18), Keri McInerny, Michael O'Rourke & Steve Eales' Stuck In The Middle With You (21 to 19), Steve Eales' When A Cowboy Gets The Blues (24 to 21), Felicity Urquhart's No Mistakes (25 to 22) and Adam Brand with That Changes Everything (26 to 23),
New entries to the chart for the coming week include Steve Forde's Metropolis (in at 29).
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2007
Adam Harvey's new album I’m Doin’ Alright has debuted at the top of the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Country charts this week, the barometer measuring CD sales.
The winner of six Golden Guitars, Adam has taken out the top spot for this his fifth album and his first with Sony BMG Music Entertainment. I’m Doin’ Alright was produced by Rod McCormack and showcases Adam’s rich, extraordinary and instantly recognizable voice.
The first single from the album, Someone Else’s Dream, is described as "a stirring ballad" co-written and produced by Rod and has been picked up by country and talk radio nationally.
"The video for the single is released next week and in it, Adam displays the presence and depth of feeling that has seen him compared to the great Johnny Cash," a spokesman for Sony BMG said.
Adam, who has only just recently returned from Nashville where he received the American Country Music Association Global Artist Award for 2007, is currently promoting the album and touring nationally.
Weblink – www.adamharvey.com.au.
World renowned Australian guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel is returning home this Summer and will undertake a series of performances.
His first gig "down under" will be with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Hobart on Friday, December 28.
This will be followed with a three week tour kicking off at the Woodford Folk Festival on January 1, concluding in Tamworth on January 20 during the annual country music festival.
"I'm loving the idea of a warm Southern Hemisphere Christmas," Tommy said.
His last home tour was the sold out, highly acclaimed "Tommyfest" which not only showcased Tommy's own amazing talents but introduced a number of international performers including the Joscho Stephan Trio, Jake Shimabukuro and Martin Taylor.
On this tour he will perform his famous solo acoustic show which has been selling out around the world since January to an ever-increasing legion of fans in Asia, Britain, Europe and North America.
Check the On Tour page for full details of gigs.
Weblink – www.tommyemmanuel.com.
Guitar Heroes:Guitar Fest 2007 is now underway on Sydney's Balmain Peninulsar.
Featuring an all genre program of country, rock, blues, classical and more, Guitar Fest acts are descending on venues including The Bridge, Cat & The Fiddle, Exchange hotels, The Church, Monkey Bar and Unity Hall.
The Guitar Expo and Steve Flack's Guitar Camp "for young gun guitarists and guitarists in general" run over this coming weekend at the Balmain Town Hall from 10am.
Accomplished guitarists including Graham Greene, Peter Pik, Dennis Wilson and Steve will conduct a series of workshops and clinics throughout the Sunday of the Guitar Camp. "Attendees can win an Indie Shape guitar and Guitar Fest CD packs by just being there," said event organiser Jim Guider.
Exhibitors including Australian Guitar Magazine, Blade Guitars, Crossroad Guitars, Cutting Edge Music, Indie Guitars, Major Music Wholesale, Ormsby Guitars, Starpics Australia and Vintage Guitars will be a part of he Expo showcasing a comprehensive range of instruments and supplies from pedals and pickups to amps, custom picks, guitar lubricants and stands and more.
Other events making up Guitar Fest 2007 include the Guitar Factory All Genre Guitar Busking Competition also on the weekend at the Rozelle Markets and the Australian Guitar Magazine Best Guitar Player playoff at The Bridge Hotel on Sunday afternoon from 2pm featuring Graham Greene as special guest.
Photo: featured players during Guitar Fest 2007 will include top young picker Rob Bostock.
Weblink (including full program details) – www.guitarheroes.com.au.
Meanwhile, in other "guitar news", Ellaways Music is searching for Queensland's best guitarists and bass players to fight it out to win a Maton electric guitar, an Ibanez bass guitar and a Tanglewood acoustic/electric guitar.
There are three categories — acoustic, bass guitar and electric guitar. Entries must be received by Friday November 2. Finalists will battle it out at the inaugural Guitar Challenge Grand Final on Saturday November 17.
Weblink – www.ellaways.com.au/guitarchallenge.asp.
Competing against 12 hand-picked open age finalists, 17-year-old Tori Darke from Mount Annan NSW has taken the top award at the Australian Country Talent Seekers Quest held in Parkes last weekend as part of the Parkes Spectacular Country Music Festival.
"To have my name on the Australian trophy alongside Felicity Urquhart, Diana Corcoran, Travis Collins, The Byrnes Sisters and Victoria Bailey just to name a few is an honour and a pleasure," Tori said.
During the weekend, Tori also placed first in the duo section with Liam Brew from Queensland and third in Country Rock. She was also the Ivy Somerfield Perpetual Trophy placing first in Australiana performing the award-winning John Williamson song A Bushman Can’t Survive.
"This is helping create a fantastic year for young Tori as the list of achievements continue to grow," according to a spokesman for the young artist, "as she heads off to Queensland in November where she will compete for the Queensland Junior Champion of Champions title before returning shortly thereafter to compete in Sydney for the Junior Nationals title at St Mary’s Leagues Club on November 24."
"Enjoying the camaraderie and friendships made along the way has Tori looking forward to the future as she finishes school this year and her dedication and commitment will certainly see her fulfill her dream," the spokesman said.
Tori is currently performing on the second Sunday of each month at Menangle House, Menangle, together with other gigs throughout Sydney and Newcastle in the coming months.
Photo: Tori with her trophy haul from Parkes.
Weblink – www.toridarke.com.
Twenty-two year old Michael Muchow has released the first single from his debut CD – Your Fool, a song co-written with Kevin Bennett.
"I felt this song is great to debut with," Michael said. "It’s catchy, light-hearted and I really get to show off the guitar, which was what brought me to music in the first place."
No stranger to the music industry, Michael grew up with a strong country music background. He picked up the guitar at age six and he says he has been bound to it ever since.
After a lot of hard work playing Brisbane's hot spots, competing in talent quests, attending Camerata and also the Australian College of Country Music, Michael won his first Golden Guitar in 2003 at just 17 years of age along with friends Michael Fix and Benji Pocock for Instrumental of the Year with a tribute to the late country guitar supremo Barry Thornton.
After this, Michael and his family went through a good deal of hardship with both his parents' battling cancer, his father Les passing away in 2004.
Now, Michael says he is "back and here to stay" with the release of his debut EP which is described as having "a flavor of his unique alternate country, blues and roots stye". The EP, with a total of six songs, is distributed by One Stop Entertainment and includes co-writes with Bill Chambers and Kevin Bennett.
Weblink – www.myspace.com/michaelmuchowmusic.
Tourism Tamworth, the key selling point for Tamworth Country Music Festival tickets, have reported an overwhelming number of tickets sold within the first four hours of tickets going on sale on Monday.
"With a few clicks of their mouse, lovers of the annual country music festival have again demonstrated that the industry’s fan base is technologically savvy, embrace computer systems and are as passionate as ever with wanting to secure the best seats in the house," a spokesman for the organisation said.
This is the second year Tourism Tamworth has introduced "early bird" tickets as a pre-sale on-line only for the annual country music extravaganza. "The results in October 2006 mirror those now with satisfying numbers taking to the net to secure their seats and in turn reducing some of the army-strong resources put in place at Tourism Tamworth to ensure efficient management of the ticket sales," the spokesman said.
Ticket sales will continue on-line only until November 1 when over-the-counter and telephone sales will become available. The organisation hopes to have sold more than 10,000 tickets through on-line purchase prior to this date.
"You know Festival is just around the corner when the first ticket to a concert has been sold," said Rebel Thomson, Tourism Tamworth's General Manager. "It’s always a really exciting time and creates a great vibe in Tourism Tamworth.
Weblink – www.visittamworth.com.
Christie Eliezer reports in his weekly column at themusic.com.au that the Australian Music Prize (AMP) returns for the third year this year with its $25,000 prize from the PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) to reward musical excellence.
Australian artists can enter between Monday October 1 and Friday November 30 at www.australianmusicprize.com.au.
Scott Murphy, Prize Director, says: "It's great that for another year, due to the support of PPCA and the Australian music industry overall, we're able to assist in the development of great Australian music. The knock on effect for both previous winners – The Drones and Augie March – (not to mention their short listed companions) has been tremendous both in Australia and in other key music markets."
John O'Donnell, PPCA Chairman and Managing Director of EMI Music Australia, said the PPCA's partnership with the AMP was an integral part of the organisation's on-going strategy to support Australian music and Australian talent. "We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with the AMP in 2007," he said, "an initiative that truly celebrates and supports great Australian music.
"Over the past two years, we've been able to recognise two great bands for their creative work and awarded them much needed funds to further their careers.
"It's also through our association with the AMP that we've been able to alert so many artists to the benefits of being registered with PPCA. We distribute half of the net licence fees from Australian recordings directly to Australian artists, providing they have registered with us."
The AMP 2005 was awarded to Melbourne band The Drones from a short list that included the likes of The Devastations, The Go Betweens and Wolfmother.
The AMP 2006 short list, in addition to the winner, Augie March, was Sarah Blasko, The Drones, Bob Evans, Lisa Gerrard, Gotye, The Grates, Howling Bells and Jackie Marshall.
Glenn Richards from Augie March said: "How has winning the AMP helped Augie March? Well, for a start I'm writing this from a hotel room in Philadelphia in the middle of a 23 date US tour. These little holidays cost a bloody lot of money and more often than not end up in disaster, animosity, self doubt and very little progress. We've found this out before. This time around we not only had a bit of extra petrol money but the added moniker of 'Australia's Finest'. Back home waving that flag would, quite justifiably, invite derision and the odd bottle. Here it's like Philly cheese to a deep fried bagel. It helps a lot. The AMP is going to help establish Australia once more as a place that fosters considered, intelligent, raw, cultivated, funny, tragic stuff of art. Not just the odd quirky bloke with a schtick, the mute model aspiring to a teen comedy role, or the Akka Dakka cover band. Plus, it shut The Drones up about winning it last year."
This year, to receive entries as early as possible, the organisers have introduced a two-tiered entry fee system. Entries received (in full) by 5pm Friday November 9 will have a discounted fee of $55 while entries received between November 12 and 30 will need to include the full fee of $95.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2007
The 2008 Mildura Country Music Festival kicked off on Friday and is now well and truly underway.
More than 100 artists are performing at the Festival’s 21st birthday event which runs through to and including this coming Sunday, October 7.
"The exciting news is that as well as many regular performers at this year’s Festival, there will be at least 20 artists that were not at the 2006 Festival," said organiser John Arnold. "They include Donna Boyd (pictured), John O’Dea, Craig Stewart, Kelly Hope, Greg Bain, Matt Manning (pictured), Susan Lily and Jason Ryan."
Included in the program this year will be some days at Country on the Darling and Henderson Park dedicated to bush balladeers. "Popular balladeer Jeff Brown will be bringing his band to Mildura for the first time," John said. "They will join Sally-Anne Whitten and her band Rumour Mill from Tamworth who are also expected to be very popular at the Festival."
The walk ups that have previously been held at Hudaks Bakery have moved to new venues.
A popular venue of the Festival, the Mildura Gateway Tavern, will host the morning shows with Ian Muir from 8am until 10am while a new venue, EnjoyLife Cafe at Centro Mildura will be the place for for the night walk up shows again hosted by Graeme McCardle.
A copy of the 2007 Mildura Festival program can be viewed and downloaded from the Festival website www.milduracountrymusic.com.au.
Free entry to all events (except the Australian Independent Country Music Awards and the Talent Quest) will continue to be a feature of the Mildura Festival.
The Awards will be held this coming Saturday night at the Mildura Arts Centre Theatre.
Awards will be presented in 10 categories – Single of the year, Album, Heritage Track, Rising Star Male and Female, Male and Female Vocalist of the Year, Group/Duo and Independent Artist of the Year plus the Barry Thornton Memorial Service Award.
Enquiries regarding tickets for the Awards or any other Festival matter, can be directed to 1800 039 043.
The second single to be released from Jayne Denham's debut album Sudden Change In Weather is the "true life trucking song" Cousin Jude.
Jayne explains: "One of my good friends was telling me about her Cousin Jude who is from Tamworth and also a truck driver. However, Jude just doesn't drive any ordinary truck – she dives a huge 22 wheel Kenworth semi-trailer!
"I thought that Jude would be a great character to base a song on so I went about finding out more about her and loosely based the song on her. One of the lines in the song is '22 wheels and a pair of high heels' – probably not ideal for driving a truck – captures the image."
Jayne wrote and recorded the song having never met Cousin Jude and not really knowing what she looked like. It wasn't until after a gig at this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival that a girl came up and introduced herself as Cousin Jude.
"She was beautiful," Jayne said, "with flowing black hair and looked a bit like Sandra Bullock. She looked like she should be working in the local beauty salon, not driving a 22 wheeler!"
Jude and her Kenworth will feature in Jayne's video clip of the song Cousin Jude which will be at TV in November.
Jayne, meanwhile, will also appear in the newest offering from Country Music Channel, "Rollin' with the Muster" which, hosted by Steve Forde, was filmed at this year's Toyota Muster in the Amamoor Creek State Forest near Gympie, Queensland. Also featured will be Shea Fisher and Adam Harvey.
The program will premier tonight (October 1) at 8:30pm and will be repeated tomorrow, Tuesday, at 12:30pm, Wednesday at 5:30pm, Thursday at 10:30am and Saturday at 7:30pm.
Melissa Bajric is releasing another single from her current album Small Town Girl.
The Tamworth Songwriters' Association award winner from January is also releasing a video clip of the track, Luckiest Girl, put together by award-winning video director Ross Wood.
The clip was originally due for shooting on the day the horrendous deluge causing the recent NSW Hunter flooding began but was re-scheduled to some time later and was shot in Maitland and Morpeth.
The Lindsay Butler produced single Luckiest Girl was written in 2005 by Melissa when she starting putting material together for her album. She says the song is about life on the road: "I practically wrote it as I grabbed my bags after being at home only one night and jumping in the car on the way to the next festival," Melissa said. "I thought to myself, so many people wouldn’t like the idea of rarely spending a night at home but I love being able to live out of my suitcase and performing at so many places."
Melissa releases Luckiest Girl on NfS this month and CMC will air the clip shortly.
Wweblink – www.melissabajric.com.
Following their successful appearances at the recent Toyota Muster and the Galston Country Music Festival, Simply Bushed is about to release a new single from their current CD Beat'n Round The Bush.
Titled Dads Cruiser, the song was written by Chris Rieger and is described as "a heap of fun and typical of this bunch of lads from the outskirts of Sydney. The film clip is due to be shot by Duncan Toombs who was responsible for the band's current CMC clip, Cangi Bridge, which is still receiving airplay.
On Saturday, Simply Bushed played Tamworth and last night, they were set for a grand final gig at the Rooty Hill RSL.
Weblink – www.simplybushed.com.au.
Australian country singer/songwriter and graduate of the Austraian College of Country Music Kerrigan La-Brooy is single no longer.
Kerrigan married Michelle in a private ceremony in August but held off "breaking the news" until they could conduct another, more public ceremony on Friday which they did.
Kerrigan said their wedding in August was "ultra special and unique".
Photo: the happy couple on their wedding day.
The Adam Brand (pictured) clip of his latest hit – That Changes Everything – has hit the top of the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist.
Reba McEntire is steady at two with Because Of You while Jonah's Road edges up one place to three with Counting Down The Days and Brad Paisley's number one from last week – Online – is at four.
Steve Forde's Metropolis jumps two more places to five, Keith Urban's Stupid Boy is up three to six and American star Toby Keith is at seven with High Maintenance Woman.
Travis Collins' Yeah She Does drops to number eight, Kellie Pickler's I Wonder is at nine while Dianna Corcoran's If You Hear Angels debuts in the top 10 at 10.
Bullet performers this week include Morgan Evans with Big Skies (16 to 13), Sara Storer's Land Cries Out (new at 18), James Blundell's Nature's Gentleman (22 to 19), Matt Scullion's Feels Like Sunday (23 to 20), Rob Black's Regular Guy (24 to 21), Cat Southern with Memories And Dreams (4 1to 35) and Keri McInerney, Michael O'Rourke & Steve Eales with Stuck In The Middle With You (re-entering the playlist at 47).
Other new entries to the playlist this week include Kristy Cox with Reverse (at 50).
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
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