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October 2008


More turn to community radio

Almost 10 million Australians are tuning into community radio every month, according to the 2008 Community Radio National Listener Survey conducted by McNair Ingenuity Research, an increase of 10 percent since 2006 when the first survey was conducted.

President of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) Deborah Welch observed that "“the number of people listening to community radio has increased... despite the number of people listening to all radio staying much the same."

The survey showed that many people are choosing to tune into their local community radio station for the localised content, specialist programs and Australian music that is on offer. The most common reason given by respondents for tuning into community radio were to hear specialist music (55 percent of respondents), for local news (53 percent) and to hear/support Australian music (40 percent).

Community radio is most popular with people aged 55 or more who listen for an average of almost nine and a half hours per week. The 25-39 group listens for 8.4 hours while the 15-24 and 40 to 54 groups put in 6.4 hours.

NSW accounts for 33 percent of listeners, Victoria 24 percent and Queensland 19. The Northern Territory has the most listeners per capita at 42 percent and Canberra the least with 18.

“We have a very high standard of community radio in Australia, and more people are tuning in to hear local content from real people from their community," Deborah said.

What was also of interest to the CBAA was the jump in every age group. The only decline was in Western Australia where the audience declined by three percent since 2004. This was attributed to the closure of some popular stations, including Groove FM in March.

The number of community broadcasting services doubled in the last 15 years, reaching more than 350 stations by the early 2000s, but government funding has not kept pace, according to the CBAA.

Federal Government support rose by 25 percent in the past 10 years due to the increase in station numbers. The average total annual funding level available per station has declined by 18 percent and core funding has declined by 41 percent.

The latest survey reveals that Commonwealth funding accounts for nine percent of community radio income.

The CBAA is pushing the Federal Government to commit $14 million in new funding for content production, infrastructure, training and sector coordination and planning.

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Cat's Brand New Day

Toyota Star Maker 2006 Cat Southern made a return to the charts this week with her latest single Brand New Day entering the Country Tracks Top 30 at 29.

The song is the first track lifted from Cat’s forthcoming (and yet-to-be named) debut album due for release early in 2009. It has been receiving widespread airplay all around the country and overseas and Cat says she is happy the song's positive theme seemed to be hitting the right note with radio programmers and listeners alike.

Cat also features this weekend on the ABC "Saturday Night Country" program presented by John Nutting talking about recording her new album and her time spent in New York and Nashville.

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Big crowds expected at the third annual Grabine Muster

Grabine Lakeside State Park is again set to "rock to the sound of some great country music" in December with what organisers call "an exciting twist".

"It is set to be one of the best shows we have had in the area for a long time," said Event Coordinator Jason Kirk. "There is a real buzz this year and with some water flowing into the dam again, it should be a great weekend for everyone."

The Muster will be held on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6.

The event will again begin with a talent quest (click here for entry form), but this year, the first heat will be held on Friday night followed by a concert featuring Lee Forster (pictured) and his band Furrabred.

Second heat of the quest will be held on the Saturday morning and will also feature Lee Forster and Furrabred backing contestants. The grand finale will be held at 12noon with the winners of each heat to perform two songs each to determine a winner. The winners will share in $1,500 prizemoney.

"Competition is expected to be very fierce this year", Jason said.

Saturday night's main event is will feature Adam Brand headlining "a star studded line up" including Shea Fisher, "local legend" Steve Forde, Lee Forster, Amber Lawrence and Amber Lawrence. Being introduced to the Grabine Music Muster crowd is Doug Bruce from Victoria (originally from America).

The "exciting twist" this year will be the inclusion of one of Australia’s most iconic rock bands, The Choirboys.

"I think that this is one of the best lineups that we will see in this area for a long time," said Production Manager Dave Page. "The calibre of this year's artists is great and I think that we can expect big crowds for this one.

"As we head into the future, this event is just going to get bigger and better and this year will be a year not to be missed," he said. "Already some of the entertainers that have performed at The Grabine Music Muster, are comparing it to Queensland’s Gympie Muster... (which) attracts more than 45,000 people annually. With that sort of feedback, we must be doing something right."

Tickets for the event are $40 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Kids under five are free. "This one low price includes camping fees, gate entry and access to both nights entertainment," Jason said. Tickets are available on-line and also from the main office at the Grabine Lakeside State Park. Entry into the Talent Quest is free after the purchase of a Muster ticket.


Kirsty Lee signs with Laing Entertainment

Kirsty Lee Akers has signed with Geoff Bell at Laing Entertainment who will exclusively represent the Toyota Star Maker and New Talent Golden Guitar winner for all live performance bookings.

Kirsty, who was previously represented by Sydney's Artist Network, will join a roster that includes James Blundell, Eric Bogle, Pete Denahy, The Slim Dusty Family and The Sunny Cowgirls.

"I wish to thank all at Artist network, in particular Alex Sinclair, for all the effort they have put in over the past year," Kirsty said. "I am aware that my management (Square One Entertainment) has enjoyed a healthy relationship with Laing Entertainment for a number of years so I am looking forward to working with them on the next phase of my career."

Kirsty will also no longer perform as part of the multi-artist show Chic Frontier and will focus her attention on the impending release of her second album which will be supported initially by a tour with Compass label mate Rob Black and special guests commencing from late February/early March 2009.

Square One has also enlisted the services of Max Markson at Markson Sparks! to represent Kirsty (and one of his other clients, James Blundell) for all sponsorship and product endorsements.

"We're really looking forward to working with both Kirsty and James," Max said. "I'm a big fan of both of them. They are great entertainers and terrific talent! I'm privileged to have known James for over 15 years and even sang with him in the Middle East!"

Kirsty's highly anticipated second album will be released by Compass Bros Records on January 17 and launched at The Family Hotel, Tamworth, on Friday January 23 during the annual country music festival with Bec Lavelle, "the voice of McLeod's Daughters", supporting.

Tickets for the launch event can be obtained here or by telephoning 02 6767 5300 after November 3.

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CMC Top 50 – Adam takes over at the top

Adam Brand (pictured) is at number one on this week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Blame It On Eve.

Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle is up one to second position while Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt also edges up one to four.

Victoria Baillie is at five with Melt, Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me is at six and Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is at nine.

The Davidson Brothers Long Distance Love Affair is up one to 14, Jonah's Road is up two to 17 with Giddy Up,Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl is at 18 and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 19.

Bullet performers for the week include John Williamson's Hillbilly Road (30 to 27), Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay (32 to 29) and The Bobkatz with The Long Haul (40 to 34).

New to the playlist this week Carter & Carter's clip of their song Open Road (at 48).

CMC's Country Pick for the coming week is Sinead Burgess with You Get Me.

The playlist can be viewed at



Kasey & Shane win ARIA for Best Country Album

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson have won the 2008 ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Award for Best Country Album.

The announcement was made in Sydney last night.

The duo won the category with their album Rattlin' Bones ahead of fellow finalists Catherine Britt with Little Wildflower, The McClymonts with Chaos and Bright Lights, Melinda Schneider with Be Yourself and Sara Storer with Silver Skies.

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Australian album chart update – Steve takes over at the top

Steve Forde's new album Guns & Guitars has taken over the number one position on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week.

Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids jumps two to be in second place while John Williamson's Hillbilly Road is steady at three and Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's number one from last week – Rattlin' Bones – is down to four.

Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 is steady at five, as are The Sunny Cowgirls' with Dust Will Settle at six, while John Williamson's The Platinum Collection edges up one to seven.

The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is up two to number eight, the tribute album Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody is at nine and Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at 10.

Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is steady at 11, The Slim Dusty family's Reunion is up three to 12 and Steve Forde's self-titled album is steady at 13.

Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is up seven to 14, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is up to 15 and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is steady at 16.

Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of is at 17, Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is at 18, Sara Storer's Silver Skies is at 19 and Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower re-enters the top 20 at 20.



2008 Queensland Gold Medallion winners

Winners in the 2008 Queensland Gold Medallion Awards were announced in Brisbane last night.

James Blundell won the Gold Medallion for Male Vocalist of the Year whole Tom Curtain took home the Silver Medallion.

Shaza Leigh won the Female Vocal Gold Medallion for the third year in succession. Casey Watt took out the Silver.

Lana Ross won the Gold Medallion for New Talent of the Year, Daly Stephenson, the Silver.

Jeff Brown was named Bush Balladeer of the Year (Gold) while Dean Perrett won the Silver.

Lindsay Waddington took out Musician of the Year (Gold), also for the third year in succession, while Alisha Smith won the Silver.

Graham Rodger was named winner of the Touring Artist and Songwriter of the Year Gold Medallions while 8 Ball Aitken won the Silver Medallion, Touring Artist, and Ian Quinn, the Silver in the Songwriter category.



Chart update – top six unchanged

The top six in the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart remain unchanged with Adam Harvey at number one for the second week with his hit Genie In The Bottle.

The Sunny Cowgirls remain at number one with Acting Stupid, America's Brad Paisley is at three with Waiting On A Woman and Melinda Schneider is at four with Be Yourself.

Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt is at five, Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me is at six while Drew McAlister breaks the pattern at seven with Part Of The Family, up three from number 10.

John Williamson's Drink A Little Love is also steady at eight while American group Sugarland is at nine with All I Want To Do and Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl (15 to 11), Rob Black's We Have Kids (16 to 13), Markus Meier's In My Boots (21 to 15), Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Monkey On A Wire (19 to 16), The McClymonts with Best Boyfriend Of The Year (25 to 20), Carter & Carter with Open Road (26 to 21) and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve (29 to 25).

New entries to the chart for the coming week include Cat Southern (pictured) with Brand New Day (in at 29).

The full chart can be viewed at



Troy signs to Liberation

Liberation Music (a member of the Mushroom group of companies) has announced its signing of Australian country superstar Troy Cassar-Daley.

And the label has announced a new – yet to be named – album will be released by Troy in March next year while the bulk of his extensive back catalogue will also be represented by Liberation.

Troy has had a busy 20-year career to date. He has recorded six original music albums, a "best of" album and DVD and has contributed to many more album projects. He has also featured on the Nine Network’s "This Is Your Life" program and has mentored two seasons of the Seven Network's high rating "It Takes Two" singing program.

In June, Troy was presented with the 2008 CMA (Country Music Association, America) Global Country Artist Award which recognises "outstanding achievement by an artist who has furthered country music’s popularity and brought attention to the genre in their (home) territory".

He has won 14 Golden Guitars, three ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards, shared in the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) award for Country Work Of The Year, seven Deadly awards, four "MO" Awards and four Australian Country Music Entertainer Of The Year awards.

"With such high acclamation and his enormous songwriting and performing talent, Troy Cassar-Daley is a very welcome new member of... (Mushroom’s)... Liberation Music family," said a spokesman for the label.

Already the home of the number one selling and ARIA Album Of The Year nominated Rattlin’ Bones by Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Liberation Music’s director Warren Costello said: "We are thrilled to have Troy on the Liberation Music label. He is an outstanding and very successful artist who is still very hungry to make a career defining album and that is what makes this signing all the more significant to Michael Gudinski & I."

"Signing with Liberation Music is very exciting for me," Troy said. "I met some of the staff on a promo day with Jimmy Barnes a couple of years back and I saw a locally owned label with a warm family feel who are very passionate about their local acts.

"I have spent the last 12 months writing (for) a record that has a very fresh approach for me and I can't wait to deliver it before the end of this year for a March 2009 release. I am aware that Liberation hold local artist's back catalogue in high regard and I respect them for that.

"I look forward to working with Warren and Michael and all the folks at Liberation and thank them for welcoming me into the house," Troy said. "Let’s make some music guys!!"

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Ronni's new album

Ronni Rae Rivers new album – Whole Heart To Give – was released on Saturday.

On the Shock Records label, the new release has already spawned two singles... Cowboys Come Home and I Would want To. The accompanying videos of each gained widespread airplay, including on CMC (Country Music Channel) where the second single is currently at number nine.

I Would Want To is a ballad described as "having all the makings of an instant classic and... just a taste of what this dynamic album has to offer".

"One of the most anticipated albums of 2008 will certainly be the new release for Ronni Rae Rivers, without doubt one of Australian country music's most dynamic artists," according to country music DJ Daryl Kirkup.

Having been described as "a dynamic, engaging, wild redhead reminiscent of a young Reba McEntire blended with Tanya Tucker, (Ronni's) raw energy and rampant passion has seen her share the stage with an extensive list of music royalty (including) Aretha Franklin, Aaron Neville, Kasey Chambers and Lee Kernaghan".

"Ronni Rae was born in Sydney to an Aussie Mum and Texan Dad and spent time between the USA and Australia during her formative years. Growing up with a determined theatre actress for a mother and a country music loving father whose friends included Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, it’s easy to see the basis for Ronni Rae’s passion and inspiration," said a spokesman for the artist.

A graduate of the Australian College of Country Music, Ronni Rae’s fiddle, guitar and piano skills have seen her recognised through numerous awards in Australia and America. A list which includes Australian Songwriters Association Awards (Country Songwriter Of The Year in 2006) and the USA Orange Country Music Awards (Best Country Act in 2007).

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Bush Laureate Awards nominations close Friday

Nominations in the 2009 Australian Bush Laureate Awards close this Friday (October 17).

Nominations are being invited in five categories... Book, Album and Single of the Year, Bush Poem and Children's Poem of the Year. A sixth award – the Judith Hosier Award for outstanding achievement in nurturing Australia’s unique heritage of rhymed verse – does not involve general nominations.

The Awards presentation will be staged in the historic Tamworth Town Hall at 2pm on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

As well as the Golden Gumleaf presentations, the Bush Laureate Awards gala concert features performances by many of Australia’s outstanding bush poets and appearances by leading country music guest stars.

The eligibility period for nominations for the 2009 Awards is October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2008.

Nomination forms can be downloaded off the Awards website...

Internet ticket sales for the Awards Gala Presentation Concert are now on sale. Click here to buy. Over the counter and telephone sales will be available from November 1 from Tamworth Visitor Information Centre at the corner of Murray and Peel Streets, tel 02 6767 5300..


New from Shaza

Shaza Leigh has just released a new radio single titled His Little Shiralee.

The highly awarded female singer/songwriter delivers what is described as a timeless Australian story about a father's burden, His Little Shiralee, and his success at parenting against adversity.

Shaza has been hitting the airwaves promoting the new song penned by herself, producer Lindsay Butler and regular co-writing partner Ben Jacobs.

"They have written one of the best country songs of the year," according to country music legend Brian Young, "a story worth telling. That song’s good enough to go anywhere."

The track has already been added to Nick Erby's CMR (Country Music Radio) playlist and most leading country presenters are highlighting the track in their programs.

Shaza is a finalist for Female Vocalist of the Year in the Queensland Gold Medallion Awards with the song which also garnered a finalist placing in Songwriter of the Year.

The Awards will be presented at The Pioneer Village Country Music Club in Petrie (Brisbane) this Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Shaza has been working on a new album which should be completed for release next year. The album will be a special release as it will celebrate Shaza's 20th year.

"Shaza is an artist who has continued to grow both as a performer and a songwriter over the years," according to a spokesman. "She has developed a distinctly unique style that, when heard on the radio, immediately identifies her and her music."

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Brad steals a Blu-ray march

Independent country artist Brad Cole has scooped the Australian music industry by releasing Australia’s first Blu-ray music video.

Brad’s new clip, Hits Me Like Lightning, utilises the latest Blu-ray technology and is the first Australian made and distributed Blu-ray music video by any Australian artist of any genre.

Brad chose Australia's Country Music Capital to kick off a new promotional venture with his clip, approaching leading electrical retailer Harvey Norman with the idea of screening the Blu-ray clip on the store’s bank of large screen TVs. With the shortage of Blu-ray clips, Harvey Norman Tamworth Electrical Franchisee Peter Roulstone was delighted to have "such an excellent product to show off Blu-ray capabilities to potential buyers".

"This Blu-ray music video gives us an opportunity to demonstrate this great looking music clip to our customers," he said. "It is a dynamic music video with some great effects combined with a great song that is excellent for showcasing both our high definition visual and audio components."

On a recent visit to Mildura, Brad called in at The Good Guys where Andrew Membrey is Manager. Andrew said he was mightily impressed with the Blu-ray clip and immediately set it up for viewing on a bank of 50 plasma and LCD TVs in the store.

Blu-ray takes visual quality "a step further". Hits Me Like Lightning on Blu-ray delivers full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) technology, which is the best quality available anywhere in the world. Blu-ray discs are the next generation of optical disc and deliver "the ultimate in HD video quality" providing up to five times better quality compared to that of standard DVD. Blu-ray discs also support uncompressed audio.

Brad’s clip was filmed by Rachel Dunn of Carnival Films inside a rustic timber wharf enclosure on Sydney Harbour, not far from The Rocks area. It was made using the latest HD cinematography technology from America. During the filming process.

The music video has received strong interest across the music and film industries and is a significant industry first. Rough Cut Music General Manager Keith Welsh said he was excited by the potential of the innovative clip. "This is a major achievement within both the Australian music industry and the public arena," he said.

Brad is delighted that the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra requested a copy of the history-making clip which signals a new era in Australian music video production.

Hits Me Like Lightning is at 15 and rising on the Country Music Channel (CMC), and at 20 and rising on the Country Tracks Top 30 chart. It has been nominated for Video Clip of the Year in the 2009 Golden Guitar Awards.

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Slim Dusty Foundation fundraiser at Kempsey Saturday

This Saturday (October 18), the Slim Dusty Foundation will benefit from a Caulfield Cup race day at the Kempsey (NSW) Racecourse.

Organised by David Parker of the Kempsey Race Club, the non-TAB day is being heralded as a Slim Dusty Foundation Fundraiser, has attracted support for an occasion that is hoped to become an annual event, according to a spokesman for the Foundation, and has been made possible by local businesses who have generously sponsored all the races.

Among festivities will be the awarding of a prize for "The Best Dressed Person in Country Themed Attire". As a special tribute to Slim Dusty, the prize will be an Akubra hat, donated by Akubra who are also Slim Dusty Centre Foundation Donors).

Another highlight of the day will be the launch of the Slim Dusty Foundation Marquee, a 30 x 15 foot tent created through the efforts of David Parker and the Rotary Club of Kempsey West – both also Foundation Donors.

The marquee displays the Slim Dusty Foundation logo together with those of sponsors including 4 Shore Holiday Parks, the Macleay Regional Cooperative and Westlawn Finance.

4 Shore Holiday Park's Marketing Manager Geoff Bradley said: "When David first came up with the idea, we jumped at it knowing it would be a great way to raise the profile of the upcoming Slim Dusty Museum and to show our support for such a fantastic tourism venture."

Clarrie Shannon from Westlawn said: "When approached... to be a co-sponsor of the marquee, Westlawn was quite happy to be involved in the wonderful idea (and we're) very glad to be a part of the Slim Dusty Foundation which in time will no doubt draw many visitors to the Macleay Valley."

Richard O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer of the Macleay Regional Co-operative, said: "“We are privileged to be a sponsoring partner, supporting the Marquee and the Slim Dusty Foundation’s community recognition of Slim Dusty and his true Australian icon status."

David Parker, who expects a strong and enthusiastic turnout on Saturday, said: "It's a great opportunity to have our own kind of fun on this race day while helping pay tribute to one of our national icons... in a way that gets us another step closer to creating a fitting memorial for him."

General Manager of the Foundation, Kathryn Yarnold, commended those involved "in co-ordinating this exciting event.

"And it’s exciting for the future too. Who knows, in the years to come, Kempsey could hold a Slim Dusty Cup! There has been a special effort put in by so many people, and these are people with genuine passion for the Slim Dusty initiative – David Parker has been awesome in his dedication, and Melissa Killmore an outstanding contributor to yet another community promotion.

"I must acknowledge the continuous involvement that our Foundation Donors bring to the project. We enjoy long term association with our Donors, and are extremely grateful to them all.

"Melissa... Office Administrator with the Slim Dusty Foundation, has been heavily involved in various promotions for the project and is fiercely aware of the Australian public’s attitude toward Slim Dusty and the pending museum."

"I have hosted promotional stands for the Slim Dusty Foundation at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Celebrate the Macleay and Pro-Ag, the latter two being highly successful local field days with outstanding public interest," Melissa said.

"With the introduction of this race day, I see another opportunity to show to the community the successes of the Slim Dusty Foundation and the developments that lie ahead as we move towards the building of the Slim Dusty Centre."

Gates open prior to 12 noon on Saturday for the race day with Sydney, Melbourne and other prominent race meetings throughout Australia kicking off at the same time. Local racing will commence at 1pm. Admission will be $5.

Further information about the Slim Dusty Foundation and its aims can be obtained from Kathryn Yarnold on 02 6562 6533, or 1800 18 SLIM.

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CMC Top 50 – Keith at number one

Keith Urban (pictured) has taken over the number one spot on the coming week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song You Look Good In My Shirt.

Adam Brand edges up one to second place with Blame It On Eve while Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle is steady at four and Victoria Baillie's Melt is at six.

Steve Forde is at seven with Life's Got Something Good For Me while Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is at nine and Catherine Britt's former number one – Lucky Girl – is just out of the top 10 at 11.

The Davidson Brothers Long Distance Love Affair is up two to 14, Brad Cole's Hits Me Like Lightning is at 18 and Jonah's Road enter the top 20 at 19 with Giddy Up.

Bullet performers for the week include Jasmine Rae with Look It Up (new at 25), John Williamson's Hillbilly Road (39 to 30), Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay (new at 32), The Distance with Comin' On Fast (38 to 34) and The Bobkatz with The Long Haul (46 to 40).

The playlist can be viewed at



2008 Deadly Award winners

Winners of the 14th annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards (known as The Deadlys) were announced at a star-studded ceremony held at the Sydney Opera House last week.

"A who’s who of black Australia dazzled on the red carpet before joining hundreds of excited audience members in the Concert Hall for a celebration of Indigenous excellence in music, sport, entertainment and community achievement," said a spokesman for Awards organisers.

Long-time country singer Auriel Andrew (left) was presented with the Jimmy Little Lifetime Achievement to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music.

Rising Australian country star Adam James (right) was named Most Promising New Talent in Music.

Other winners included Gurrumul Yunupingu who took out three categories – Single, Album and Artist of the Year – and "Uncle" Peter Hill from 98.9FM Queensland who was named Broadcaster of the Year.

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Vale – Joan Ridgeway

Joan Ridgeway – one of Australia's earliest female country music touring and recording stars – has died. She was 76.

Joan, who had been in Brisbane's Greenslopes Hospital for about a week, ran into complications from a previous operation and died at 10:05 last night (Sunday October 12).

Rockhampton based, Joan performed and toured extensively in the 1940s and early '50s, first recording in 1951.

She was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hands of Fame in 1982.

Born at Rockhampton on January 3, 1932, in the mid 1940s, Joan made her first appearance at Rockhampton's Tivoli Theatre. She entered her first talent quest at age 15 in 1947 and the following year won a nationwide Australian Hillbilly Championship taking out the finals in Brisbane.

Part of the prize was a screen test with Cinesound Studios which was sent to America and resulted in an offer for Joan to work in America. However, she decided to pursue her career in her own country.

In 1948, Joan won an "Australia's Amateur Hour" heat and, at age 18, started her own travelling variety show built around her own singing and yodelling and featuring a variety of other acts including The Schneider Sisters who went on, of course, to wider fame.

The show continued for three years until illness prevented Joan from travelling.

During this period, Joan achieved her main ambition, to make records. She put down her first two songs in November 1951 with further sessions following in 1951 and 1953. She released a total of 10 tracks (another four were recorded but never released).

Some of the songs were written by Joan and one of her sisters and she added a few from the Harry Torrani repertoire.

After her marriage in 1952, Joan did not pursue her recording/performing career although she still sang around Rockhampton, made a few appearances with the Buddy Williams Show out of Mackay in 1954 and continued writing songs.

– Thanks to Eric Watson and his book "Country Music In Australia" for historical reference material in this tribute.


New single from Jason

Ain’t Love A Lot Like That is the second single released from Jason Lee’s self-titled EP.

Originally recorded by George Jones in 1999, Jason has added his own touch to the classic track.

"The song means a lot to me as I grew up listening to Jones, and Haggard," Jason said. "When you're crazy about someone, you have this feeling that just takes over and makes you do crazy, funny and silly things. It’s like if you saw a twister and said 'aint love a lot like that!"

Some of Jason's achievements to date include making the Toyota Star Maker finals in 2005 and 2006, NSW Champion of Champions winner 2006 and Australian College of Country Music Graduate 2006.

He has an extensive performance resume and has opened for the best in the industry including Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Adam Harvey and The McClymonts.

Pundits predict this year is set to be Jason’s best yet with the first single from his EP still receiving good airplay and his debut video in the Country Music Channel Top 50 playlist.

"It's a long road ahead of me with this new record," Jason said, "but I'm ready."

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Australian album chart update – Kasey & Shane at number one

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones has taken over the number one spot on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week.

Steve Forde's new album Guns & Guitars debuts in the chart this week at number two while John Williamson's number one from the last seven weeks – Hillbilly Road – slips to number three and Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is down one to number four.

Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 is at five, The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is at six, and the tribute album – Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody – debuts in the chart at seven.

John Williamson's The Platinum Collection is at eight while Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is at nine and The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is at 10.

Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is down to 11, Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of album is at 12 and Steve Forde's initial, self-titled, album re-enters the chart at 13.

Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright rises to 14, The Slim Dusty Family's Reunion is at 15, Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 16 and John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is down one to 17.

Sara Storer re-enters the top 20 at 18 with Silver Skies, as does Peter Denahy with Picture In A Frame at 19 and Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is at 20.



Release date announced for Slim Dusty Family concert DVD

The Slim Dusty Family "live in concert" DVD will be released on Saturday October 25.

Filmed at the last concert on their successful Reunion Tour in Canberra in August, the DVD captures "that final and historic concert tour performance," according to a spokesman for EMI.

"Join the three generations of the Slim Dusty Family as they take us on an exhilarating and unique Australian country music journey as they share many Slim Dusty memories (both on film and stills) including their musical tributes to Slim and many of Slim’s classic songs as well as performances from their own number one Reunion album."

The DVD features Slim’s legendary Travelling Country Band headed by his long-time producer and musical director Rod Coe... the band came out of retirement exclusively for the family tour.

Also included on the DVD are some special performances by 2008 Bush Ballad Golden Guitar winner Amos Morris.

In January this year, the Slim Dusty Family announced they would release their debut album, Reunion. Three months later came the announcement that all three generations of the Dusty’s would head off in July on their first Australian Tour and now comes the release from the tour, the "Live In Concert DVD.

The Slim Dusty Family Reunion album debuted at number one on the national ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Country Chart and stayed there for six weeks. The 23 date (9,000 kilometre) Reunion concert tour proved to be one of the most successful Australian country music tours by any Aussie act for many years.

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Chart update – Adam hits number one

Adam Harvey (pictured) takes over the number one spot on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with his hit Genie In The Bottle.

The Sunny Cowgirls slip back to number two with their number one from this week Acting Stupid,America's Brad Paisley is down to three with Waiting On A Woman while Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is up two to four.

Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt bounds up four places to number five, Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me is up three to number six and Alan Jackson's Good Time is down to seventh place.

John Williamson's Drink A Little Love is up two to eight, Jasmine Rae's Country Singer is at nine and Drew McAlister's Part Of The Family is new to the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl (20 to 15), Rob Black's We Have Kids (19 to 16), Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Monkey On A Wire (22 to 19), Brad Cole's Hits Me Like Lightning (23 to 20), Markus Meier's In My Boots (24 to 21), Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay (27 to 24), The McClymonts with Best Boyfriend Of The Year (28 to 25) and Carter & Carter with Open Road (29 to 26).

New entries to the chart for the coming week include Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve (in at 29).

The full chart can be viewed at



Country music's "hottest men" in new charity calendar

Golden Guitar winners James Blundell, Adam Brand and Lee Kernaghan are three country star names who have thrown their support behind the new "Men of Country 2009 Charity Calendar" which has just gone on sale.

Calendar organiser, Karen Waters from Red Rebel Music, says: "the aim of the calendar is to not only help raise much needed money but also to raise awareness of various brain tumour organisations within Australia.

"These include Brain Tumour Australia (BTA), Sydney Neuro Oncology Group (SNOG) and the Cure For Life Foundation, Karen said, "three fantastic organisations (that) are vital links in the care, research and support for brain tumour patients and their families and friends."

The full colour 2009 calendar features 12 of today's "hottest male acts" – in alphabetical order – Rob Black, James Blundell, Adam Brand, Paul Costa, Lee Forster, Adam James, Jonah's Road, Troy Kemp, Lee Kernaghan, Drew McAlister, Stephen Rowe and Matt Scullion.

"Without hesitation, these wonderful guys supported the calendar from the very beginning," Karen said. "There (have) also been so many other wonderful people and businesses who have helped make the calendar a reality. Without them, we couldn't have done it, so thank you everyone!"

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Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards, finalists

Finalists have been announced for the Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards to be held at Pittsworth, Queensland, in November.

They are...

For Album Of The Year – Beneath The Qld Moon by Ashley Cook, I'm A Country Girl by Rachel Richards and The Open Road by Jeff Brown.

For Male Vocalist of the Year – Jeff Brown with Foggy Mirrors, Col Edmonds (pictured, right) with Dusty's Tent and Graham Rodger with Woman On The Land.

For Female Vocalist of the Year – Dianne Lindsay (pictured) with Kelly's Offsider, Julie Perandes with Cousin Ratsack and Rachel Richards with Weeping Willows.

For New Talent of the Year – Rachel Richards with Last Horse Standing, Lana Ross with Like Water and Daly Stephenson with Somewhere Along The Way.

For Group or Duo of the Year – Terry & Jenny Bennetts (pictured) with Where Has My Australia Gone, Trevor Day & Kevin King with Do It All Over Again and Daly Stephenson & Lynne Bennett with Where The Golden Sliprails Are Down.

For Instrumental of the Year – Australian Guitars by Peter Simpson, Didgeri Goor by Charley Boyter & Lindsay Waddington and Freight Train Boogie by Terry Bennetts.

In the Comedy/Novelty category, finalists are Trevor Day with The Homemade Chair, Anita Ree with Louie and Pete Smith with Oh What A Nation.

In the Songwriter category, finalists are Terry & Jenny Bennetts with Where Has My Australia Gone, Slim Jones with Unsuitably Dressed and Lex Kunst with Lakes Creek Judas Bullocks.


Richard wins Telstra Road to Tamworth Canberra heat

Richard Bloomfield (pictured), who celebrated his 18th birthday yesterday, won the Canberra heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition at Floriade on Sunday.

From Tathra, NSW, Richard will now compete in the finals to be held at the Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra in January, like his fellow finalists, is in the running to win a full album deal with ABC Music together with a return trip to Nashville.

The 14 contestants who performed in the Canberra heat were judged "live" by a panel of industry experts at the heat and in Sydney via Telstra’s Next G and BigPond networks.

"Currently completing his HSC at Bega High School, Richard already has an impressive music background, performing since the age of nine," said a spokesman for competition organisers. "As part of his involvement with the Talent Development Project, he is rehearsing this week for a soloist performance at the renowned Schools Spectacular at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in November."

As well as his solo career, Richard also plays with local pop outfit Graces Secret and will be releasing The Chocolate EP later this year.

With a love of country music stemming from spending time with his Dad who lives in Tamworth, Richard performed two original songs, Caution Sign and 100 I Love Yous.

"After missing out last year when he performed in the same heat as current Telstra Road to Tamworth winner Jasmine Rae, Richard left no doubt with the judges he was the stand out performance," the spokesman said.

"This is cool, I can’t wait for Tamworth," Richard said when accepting the winner’s trophy and cheque.

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"Songs of the Inland" update

Jeanette Wormald is already receiving financial donations for her multi-media presentation "Songs of the Inland" to help develop the show for national touring.

It will feature at the Adelaide Fringe next March and will incorporate indigenous dance for the first time, Jeanette, who is working with her creative team to build the show to a 90 minute concert presentation, said. And fans now had the opportunity to contribute to the project.

"Songs of the Inland" has qualified for full tax deductibility status through the Australian Cultural Fund (ACF) which means that fans and supporters can invest in the project and receive a full tax deduction.

"Within a week of the show being listed on the ACF website, I had already received a donation," Jeanette, who has already invested a great deal of time and money into the project, said. "This is wonderful news."

However, for it to reach its full potential and tour nationally, it needs more funds.

"Donations from people will ensure that we get the best quality possible in photographs and theatrical presentation to promote regional SA," Jeanette said.

Planning is underway to debut the full 90 minute presentation at the Adelaide Fringe.

People wanting more information about contributing can email Jeanette at or click here and scroll down to the "Donate Now" button.

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New single from Steve

Steve Eales has released what he says is the final chapter from the Peoples Choice Album of the Year 2008 The Battler.

Titled Afterall, single comes out just before Steve prepares to go back into the studio to work on next year's album release.

Described as a "moving, emotional song of love coming to an end from one side of the relationship and the coming shock for the other one", Steve says the song is "a story familiar to most of us at some point in our lives".

Meanwhile, Steve has launched a new website (see link below) and he invites comments on what fans would like on the site or "how you are enjoying the shows and/or The Battler album".

Steve sats he has another great month of gigs ahead covering Western and Central Victoria, lower NSW and across to Victoria's Gippsland (check our On Tour page).

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Australian album chart update – JW still at number one

John Williamson retains his stranglehold grip on the number one position for the seventh week in a row on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with his latest release, Hillbilly Road.

Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 edges back up one place to be at number two, Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is also up one to three while Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones is down to number four.

The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is steady at five, John Williamson's The Platinum Collection is up one to six while Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is down to seven.

The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is up one to eight, while Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is back in the top 10 at number nine, as is Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of album at 10.

Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve jumps to 11, The McClymonts' Chaos And Bright Lights is down to 12, The Slim Dusty Family's Reunion is steady at 13 and Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is up one to 14.

Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me re-enters the top 20 at 15, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 16 and Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower re-enters the 20 at 17.

Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is up to 18, The Reg Lindsay compilation No Dress Rehearsal is at 19 and Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is at 20.



Amber dominates 2008 Southern Stars

Sydney based singer/songwriter Amber Lawrence dominated the 2008 Southern Stars – Australian Independent Country Music Awards – at Mildura on Saturday night with wins in four categories.

Amber won Independent Album of the Year with her widely acclaimed debut album The Mile, Female Vocalist of the Year for the second year running and Single of the Year with Gonna Fly and was also named Independent Artist of the Year.

After releasing The Mile in July last year, Amber's career has gone from strength to strength. She has had huge radio and video hits with her three singles including the number one smash Good Girls and the Southern Stars winning Gonna Fly and was a 2008 Golden Guitar finalist in two categories, Female Artist and New Talent Of The Year.

Graham Rodger won Heritage Track of the Year with his song A Saddle For A Throne, making it two in a row after his 2007 win in the same category.

First time winners were Drew McAlister in Male Vocalist for Part Of the Family, Jonah's Road in Group/Duo of the Year of the Year with All Mine, and Rising Star award winners 8 Ball Aitken in the Male section with Cyclone Country and Jayne Denham in the Female category with Cousin Jude.

The awards are held annually as a climax to the huge Mildura Country Music Festival.

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Photo (from left): Drew McAlister, Amber lawrence, 8 Ball Aitken, Jayne Denham.


Tiffney wins Victorian Champion of Champions

Tiffney Stroh of Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills has again taken out the major award at the Victorian Champion of Champions held last weekend (the first weekend of the Mildura Country Music Festival).

Entering the "Top of the State" talent Quest and receiving places in all sections entered gave Tiffney the opportunity to compete for the Championship. "Amid a field of highly competitive entrants and winning is a fitting end to amateur competition for Tiffney," said a spokesman for the artist.

Nathaniel O’Brien of Burra took out the Junior title.

"She really wanted to end this part of her journey on a high," the spokesman said, "and winning the Vic Championship is fantastic. Tiffney is hoping to be able to use this win to encourage other young performers and sponsors across the states to keep these talent quests alive.

"They are, in the main, the only way these young, up and coming artists can learn and gain the exposure to help them on their way."

Tiffney has now set her sights on the transition into the professional arena with the release of her single You’re The One To Blame later this year which will be the first release from her upcoming album due to be launched mid next year.

"Completing her Year 11 and 12 school studies this year has been a high priority for Tiffney as well as working with her band GoldRush," the spokesman said. "Along the way, she has partnered with fellow South Aussie Josh Verco to form AcousticRush. This dynamic duo have received great reviews from every performance and are set to make their mark on country music over the coming months.

"I would like to take this opportunity and thank in particular John Arnold and Joy Lawrie for a wonderfully well run weekend," Tiffney said. "To the other contestants, a big thank you for the support you gave me, it just goes to show that the country music genre is just one big family!"

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New single from Travis

Travis Collins has returned to Australia following his recent European tour and has released a new single, Brand New Day.

An accompanying video clip for the track has also been filmed and is expected to go to air on CMC (Country Music Channel) this month.

A 14-track bonus edition of Travis’ current album No Boundaries is now in stores featuring two previously unreleased tracks including Just Enough Rope with Felicity Urqhuart.

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Bree to open Gold Coast Indy

Queensland country music circuit contestant Bree DeRome (pictured) will officially open the Nikon Indy on Queensland's Gold Coast with her rendition of Australia's "alternative anthem", Banjo Paterson's Waltzing Matilda later this month.

Fourteen-year-old Bree, who is based on the Gold Coast, is also a graduate of this year's Tamworth's Camerata junior school of country music.

"This is going to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life," Bree Said. "It is a huge boost to my career and I am honoured to be asked to perform at the Indy."

Bree will be performing on the television coverage of the event which is being staged from the October 23 to 26 through the streets of Surfers Paradise. The coverage has the potential to meet hundreds of thousand of people across Australia and internationally.

"For someone so young, this is a great opportunity and is a real opportunity for Australia to witness her talent," Queensland Country Music Champion of Champions President Paul Wilson said. "This proves the calibre of talent that Queensland has to offer."

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Frank and Bob's single gains widespread airplay

The single I Listen To My Heart – written by Frank Ifield (left) and recorded by Bob Howe on his second solo CD Classic Twang – is gaining widespread airplay worldwide.

Originally the "B-side" of Frank's million-selling I Remember You, the tune was also later an instrumental hit for Swedish guitar band, The Spotnicks.

The new version features Bob, Frank's musical director, playing his Australian-made Tomkins custom guitar and bass, plus harmonica, keyboards and percussion, with Tomi Graso on pedal steel guitar.

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Samantha re-visits Harper Valley

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the original Jeannie C Riley version of the country hit Harper Valley PTA reaching the number one spot on the country charts in the US and it looks like Australia’s Samantha Dann is set to repeat Jeannie C's success with her version of the song.

Samantha’s version is making waves on radio around the country and the video of the song is receiving plenty of requests on CMC. Samantha spent last weekend doing radio interviews with stations around the country and performing in her home territory near the Queensland Gold Coast.

Directed by her cousin Troy Dann (of "Outback Adventures" fame), the video is also receiving attention overseas. Reportedly, Jeannie C’s people have heard Samantha’s version and have asked for a copy of the video and there has also been some interest shown from Europe, in particular, France.

The single was recorded in Nashville and is a contemporary version of the Tom T Hall composed song that caused some controversy when it was originally released in 1968. "The new version is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago," said a spokesman for Samantha, "and its pointed lyrics and upbeat arrangement has hit home with old fans who remember the song and young fans that are hearing or seeing it for the first time."

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Chart update – Sunny Cowgirls take over top spot

The Sunny Cowgirls have taken over the number one spot on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with their hit Acting Stupid.

America's Brad Paisley is at two with Waiting On A Woman, Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle jumps three more places to number three and Alan Jackson's number one for the last few weeks – Good Time – is at four.

Jasmine Rae's Country Singer is at five, Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is up four places to number six while Lee Forster & Travis Sinclair are at seven with their collaboration, Good Tones.

Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt bounds into the top 10 at eight, Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me is also new in the top 10 at nine as is John Williamson's Drink A Little Love at 10.

Bullet performers for the coming week include Drew McAlister's Part Of The Family (17 to 14), Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To (23 to 18), Rob Black's We Have Kids (22 to 19), Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl (24 to 20), Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Monkey On A Wire (25 to 22), Brad Cole's Hits Me Like Lightning (26 to 23), Markus Meier's In My Boots (29 to 24) and Sara Storer's Sitting Here With Fay (30 to 27).

New entries to the chart for the coming week include The McClymonts with Best Boyfriend Of The Year (new at 28) and Carter & Carter with Open Road (at 29).

The full chart can be viewed at



Mildura Festival underway

The annual Mildura Country Music Festival is on now and leading up to a big long weekend climax this weekend with the staging of the 12th Australian Independent Country Music Awards on Saturday night.

More than 20 leading independent Australian country music acts make up the finalists for the Awards which will be staged at the Mildura Arts Centre Theatre on Saturday night (October 4).

The Awards will be broadcast live on the internet this year for the first time on CMR Online at

Meanwhile, the Mildura Festival has received a welcome boost in support from new major sponsors Neighbourhood Cable and Grapevine.

"It is a fitting association between two companies that support the local community and a festival which is the third largest country music event in Australia," said Festival C0-ordinator John Arnold.

Announcing the sponsorship, CEO of Neighbourhood Cable Ivan Slavich said "We’re proud to sponsor the Mildura Country Music Festival... a fantastic community event that attracts a lot of interstate visitors to support local business in Mildura and the surrounding district."

Neighbourhood Cable Limited combines the delivery of high-speed broadband internet services, cable television and telephone services by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to homes, businesses, government and educational institutions in Mildura, Ballarat and Geelong.

"This strong support from Neighbourhood Cable will continue to build the ongoing presence and success of the Mildura Country Music Festival," said John Arnold.

"Both the 10 day Festival and the Southern Stars (the Independent Awards) will benefit greatly from the sponsorship and ensure that Mildura maintains its focus as the host for Australia’s largest independent country music festival."

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Keith among first performers announced for 2008 CMA Awards

Australia's Keith Urban is among the first performers announced to feature in the American CMA (Country Music Association) Awards in November.

Keith will join Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Sugarland and Taylor Swift, plus more to be announced) to perform at "country music's biggest night".

The 42nd annual CMA Awards will be staged at the Sommet Center in Nashville on Wednesday, November 12.

"The CMA Awards shine a three-hour spotlight on country music," said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer, "exposing our artists and their music to the world. This first group of performers continues to raise the bar not only for country music, but for all forms of entertainment. We are excited to showcase their amazing talents... this year."

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Melinda sings with Olivia

Melinda Schneider featured in a special concert with Olivia Newton-John at Sydney's State Theatre on Tuesday night (September 30).

The concert also featured acts including Vanessa Amorosi, Christine Anu, Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano, Tim Freedman, Todd McKenney, Ian Moss, James Reyne and Guy Sebastian.

It was a fund-raiser for a Cancer and Wellness Centre that Olivia is planning to build.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that big spenders in the audience included the federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull and his wife, Lucy.

Olivia walked the red carpet with her new husband, natural medicines mogul John Easterling. It was the first official event in Australia for the couple who wed alone in Peru in June, followed a week later by a legal ceremony in Florida.


Corey wins Telstra Road to Tamworth WA heat

Corey Colum won the Western Australian heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition at the Harvey Dickson Country Music Festival at Boyup Brook on Sunday.

Corey advances to the competition finals in Tamworth in January 2009 and is in the running to win a full album deal with ABC Music along with a return trip to Nashville.

Ten contestants vied for heat win but it was Corey, from Karratha, who caught the eye of the judges proving tenacity is the key to success after returning to the competition after being unsuccessful two years ago.

Having spent the majority of his life in Australind just outside of Bunbury, Corey moved north to Karratha earlier this year to become a full-time musician.

"Looking incredibly comfortable on stage and displaying exceptional guitar skills, Corey performed two original tracks – Bad Luck With The Good and Steam Engine," said a spokesmen for competition organisers. "His smooth voice and easy manner won over the local crowd packed into the unique Harvey Dickson venue."

"Far out," was all Corey could muster, genuinely shocked to hear his name announced as the winner. Recovering, he managed to thank the judges, the other contestants and his Mum, adding: "I guess I better get myself organised and start writing some new songs for Tamworth!"

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Tamworth Festival tickets on sale today

Internet pre-sale tickets for the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra got underway today, Tuesday October 1.

For the past month, Tourism Tamworth has been liaising with artists and promoters in preparation of the first round of ticket sales. The success of on-line only ticket pre-sales, introduced two years ago, has now seen the month long promotion become a regular offering as the first lead-in activity to the upcoming Festival.

"Early bird buyers that log on to and take advantage of the online only tickets pre-sale can select from over 30 shows and are sure to secure some of the best seats in the house," said a Tourism Tamworth spokesman. "Tickets can currently only be purchased via the website for the first month with phone and counter sales available from 9am Monday November 3."

Available for purchase are shows from Kirsty Lee Akers, The Bushwackers, Carter & Carter, Troy Cassar-Daley (pictured), Beccy Cole (pictured), Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer (The Songbirds), Craig Giles (pictured) & Sharon Benjamin, The Flood, Lonnie Lee, Melinda Schneider, John Williamson, the Wolverines and Terry Gordon.

Tickets are also on sale for major events... the ABCRA National Finals Rodeo, Australian Bush Laureate Awards, 42nd CCMA (Capital Country Music Association) Jamboree & Winners Concert, Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club, The New Zealand Country Spectacular, Rising Stars Show, Remembering the Legends Concert, the Roll of Renown Concert, Smoky Dawson… A Life Remembered, Sam Smyth’s Bush Poets & Balladeers, Telstra Road To Tamworth Final and Grand Final, Toyota Star Maker Grand Final, Toyota presents Star Trek – Star Makers Spectacular 30 Year Journey and Young Guns of Country Music.

Today also marks the first time anyone can purchase a ticket for a show at the new Capitol Theatre.

"There is no doubt, on-line only Festival ticket pre-sales is a great way to start Festival activity," said Rebel Thomson, General Manager of Tourism Tamworth. "Being on-line only we are able to offer tickets for sale early without having a huge impact on our internal resources whilst being able to provide a longer period of promotion and support to the artists confirmed to perform during the Festival.

"By giving customers the option to book on-line, they can be assured they will secure the best available tickets at that time, all in the convenience of their own home."

Anyone wanting further information about Festival ticket sales, details about the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra in general or to obtain a copy of the Festival Information Booklet, should contact Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300 or log on to the websites or


Kevin to release country music album

Kevin Costner will release a country rock album with his band Modern West in November.

The actor, whose film credits include "The Untouchables", "Field Of Dreams" and "Dances With Wolves", will put out the 12-track LP on November 11 and tour later in the year.

After his band performed a gig in July, Costner is reported to have said: "I just remember looking out into the crowd, thinking, 'This just feels right'."

Other Hollywood actors to have attempted music careers include Russell Crowe (who fronted 30 Odd Foot Of Grunt), Keanu Reeves (Dogstar) and Jared Leto (30 Seconds To Mars).



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