This website dedicated to bringing you the latest Australian country music news
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2007
Sharon Lee Lane (Shaz) has taken out the new talent title at this year's Deadly Awards presented in the Sydney Opera House last night.
Some of the most talented indigenous artists, entertainers, sportspeople and community supporters gathered to celebrate achievements in Australia's only national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, sport, entertainment and community awards.
Jessica Mauboy, whose career soared after closely contesting the semi-finals of the 2006 Australian Idol competition (after previously winning the 2004 Telstra Road to Tamworth talent search) presented a surprised Shaz from Dubbo, NSW, with the distinctive award for Most Promising New Talent in the Music category. Jessica took home the Deadly for Artist of the Year.
In April 2006, Shaz underwent major surgery for a brain tumour. Her delicate operation and journey back to health featured on the television series "RPA". Amazingly, just over a year later, she appeared as an up and coming new artist and support act to the Wolverines at Dubbo in May 2007 and the Dreaming Festival at Woodford in June.
Coincidentally, an "RPA" film crew was present at the Deadlys last night to film a follow-up for a forthcoming "Where Are They Now?" segment after a feature story ran in last Sunday’s "Sun Herald".
Earlier yesterday, Shaz spent the morning in Ramrod Studios filming a clip for a single from her latest album recorded with Ramrod's Herm Kovac over the last few months.
Other notable music winners at this year's Deadlys were Kev Carmody (who won Album Release of the Year with Cannot Buy My Soul), Troy Cassar-Daley (winner of Song of the Year with Going Back Home), Jimmy Little (who won the award he instigated some years ago, the Jimmy Little Lifetime Achievement Award For Contribution To Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Music) and Dan Sultan (who took out Single Release of the Year with Your Love Is Like A Song).
The 2007 Deadly Awards were recorded for broadcast on SBS TV this coming Tuesday (October 2) at 10pm.
Golden Guitar winner Drew McAlister has provided his vocal talents for the theme song Slipped Away to the new movie, "The Final Winter".
The movie is a new Australian feature film focussing on the life and struggles of "Grub Henderson" and his loyalty to the Newtown Jets rugby league team.
Featuring an all star Aussie cast, including Conrad Coleby ("All Saints"), Nathaniel Dean ("Somersault"/"Candy"), John Jarratt ("Wolf Creek"/"McLeod’s Daughters"), league legend and co-host of "The Footy Show" Matthew Johns and Matt Nable, the film’s writer in the lead role of "Grub".
Drew's recording of Slipped Away, written especially for the movie by Matt Nable and former Sydney Kings basketball player Brian Andrews, is featured over the closing credits.
"It was an absolute honour to be invited to perform Slipped Away," Drew said. "I'm stoked to be involved with such a fantastic film which boasts such an amazing cast. I’m sure the movie will be a huge success."
“The Final Winter" recently premiered in Australian cinemas to rave reviews including four stars from respected film critic Margaret Pomeranz of the ABC’s "At The Movies".
Following her success earlier this year with her song Poster Girl (Wrong Side of the World), Beccy is now set to release a new album.
Titled Live @ Lizottes, the album was recorded live at the impressive Lizottes restaurant on the Central Coast of NSW.
"The album presents Beccy at her finest," according to a spokesman for her record label. "On stage at Lizottes, Beccy performed her most loved songs and some new ones (including the new single, Lifeboat) and some unforgettable covers."
The CD and DVD "deluxe edition" includes an additional seven live DVD performances and a behind-the-scenes documentary.
Special guests on the album include multi-platinum selling Kasey Chambers, Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer.
"Live @ Lizottes is a wonderful celebration of Beccy’s amazing career to date and it’s a must-have for anyone who has ever enjoyed a Beccy Cole song or live show," the spokesman said.
Popular duo The Borderers have returned to Australia from a successful overseas tour to Singapore and Denmark.
"It went so well that other European Festival Directors have booked us for 2008," said.
Meanwhile, The Borderers are still celebrating their win in America's Independent Music Awards.
Their song Sinner & The Saint, from the album Grace, won the award for Song Gospel category in the sixth annual Independent Music Awards.
The song was selected from the largest number of entries the program has received to date and judged by very distinguished panelists, according to Awards organisers.
Kris Wason, a graduate of the Tamworth Camerata youth school of country music, has taken out the Gold Coast heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition at Mudgeeraba last Saturday.
Citing his Dad Robby Wason as his country music idol, Kris describes his style as contemporary country. An avid rugby league fan, he was less nervous about his heat performance than he was about his beloved North Queensland Cowboys match against Manly. Fortunately he didn’t face the same fate as the Cowboys, beating 12 other strong contestants to take the prize.
Judges on the day say they chose Kris "for his strong vocals and effortless stage presence, singing an original of his father’s Showdown and a Craig Morgan number Almost Home.
"I actually know most of the contestants here today so it’s been a fun afternoon and great to be performing amongst them," Kris said. "I'm so excited about Tamworth, I can’t wait to get there and give it my best shot."
Photo: Telstra Local Area Manager Samantha Kennedy (who compered the Gold Coast heat) and Kris Wason with his trophy trophy.
Yet another week at the top of the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart coming up for the Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush the seventh week in succession.
Troy Cassar-Daley is steady at two with Everything's Gonna Be Alright while Toby Keith's High Maintenance Woman is at three and Brad Paisley's Ticks is at four.
Donna Boyd's Angels Fly Close To The Ground is up two places to number five, as is Graham Rodger's Woman On The Land to six while Amber Lawrence's Things That Bring Me Down falls to seven.
Kirsty Lee Akers' Little Things is up two to eight while this year's Golden Saddle Award winner Nicki Gillis bounds into the top 10 at number nine, as does James Blundell's Ring Around The Moon at 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Carter & Carter with The Best Things In Life Are Free (14 to 11), Drew McAlister's Along For The Ride (16 to 13), Travis Collins' Yeah She Does (19 to 15) and Adam Brand with That Changes Everything (30 to 26).
Only one new entry to the chart for the coming week, Jeanette Wormald with Pulkulpa Days (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.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2007
Voting is now underway for the 2008 Australian Country Music People's Choice Awards.
"It's a recognition of popularity in the simplest, and purest, of terms," said Bob Kirchner, a spokesman for the organisers.
"There are plenty of competitions and awards schemes that are judged, or based on specific achievements (like CD sales), but the People's Choice Awards give the fans the chance to help determine our winners.
"The only restriction as to who can be voted for is that nominees have to be Australian citizens or permanent residents (including songwriters in awards where writers are specifically recognised). And to ensure we maintain currency of the Awards, we ask that only artists with current material, say from the last 12 months or so) be put forward.
"These awards are not designed to specifically recognise longevity or contribution to the industry. Although fans, as individuals, may, of course, consider such things when determining their favourites."
The 2008 Awards will be presented as part of the giant Tamworth Country Music Festival, on Thursday January 28. Tickets go on sale mid next month.
Guest artists will be drawn from the ranks of previous winners with a final line-up to be announced after finalists in the 2008 Awards are released.
"We encourage artists to promote the Awards and their own nomination by fans," Bob said, "but we do ask that this be done naturally and not by directly soliciting votes."
Voting for the Awards is predominantly on-line but can also be done by normal post.
On-line voting can be done at the dedicated website www.peopleschoiceawards.com.au.
Anyone wanting a paper form can obtain one by telephoning 0267 622 993 or by emailing email@example.com.
Tamworth Ragepage – one of Australia’s most popular country music websites – is no more.
For the past seven years, devoted country music fan Helen Mitchell from Shoal Bay near Port Stephens has attended gigs and posted photographs of artists, bands and punters and published media releases and artist reports.
Helen has decided she can no longer update her site which is visited by country music fans from all over Australia and the world.
"When I started out seven years ago, the only other site in existence putting up country music news was the Country Music Association website,” she said.
"Now there are lots of sites that publish country music reports and photos. I don’t feel I’m leaving anyone in the lurch, as there are plenty of alternatives.
“It just got a bit much for me to handle all on my own, particularly after the last lightning strike in July, which was the second time my computer has been struck.
“First I had to wait for the insurance company to replace my equipment, then I had a lot of server problems to get the site back online, and it seemed to be one thing after another.
“It really did start out as a hobby and has now become a fulltime job. Doug and I need to take a break. I think it will be great going to shows now, knowing I don’t have to take lots of photos, rush home and put them up on the website.
Weblink – www.tamworthragepage.com.
An act described as "one of the hottest new names in country music" – Adam James – is launching his debut album Messages & Memories" at various shows around the country.
The official launch of the album will be at Brisbane's Queen Street Mall at 6.30pm on Friday October 19 followed by a special launch get together and performance at Irish Murphy's at 8.30pm. He then heads to Sydney in November to open for The Flood at the well known music venue, The Vanguard.
The folks at Dimbulah, 40 kilometres west of Mareeba in Queensland, are having a night "to remember Slim" this Saturday, September 29.
The event will be held at the Dimbulah Junction Hotel and organisers are looking for people who might like to "come along and sing a few songs".
Money raised during the evening will go to Dimbulah Country Women's Association.
Further information can be obtained from Marie Kirk on 0409 111 548.
Support Act Ltd (SAL), set up to help music industry people in financial and health trouble, will hold its "Music In The House" luncheon in the Strangers Dining Room at NSW Parliament House tomorrow (Thursday September 27).
This event is to honour those who give to charity. Last year it was Jimmy Barnes0. Glenn Shorrock will sing this year and Frank Ifield (pictured with his 2003 Roll of Renown citation) will address the attendees. The event is where musicians and politicians can network. It is hosted by Minister for Emergency Services and Minister for Water Utilities Nathan Rees.
A perpetual trophy has been produced which is on permanent display in NSW Parliament House with recipients names added each year.
Bookings for lunch can be made by telephoning 02 8569 1144 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $150 a head.
Weblink – www.supportact.com.au.
AIR, the association of independent record labels, conducts a national music industry skills and training program called AIR Pocket, designed to assist small labels and self-released artists in the development of their businesses.
"As we head towards the year 2010, the music business is changing as it never has before," said a spokesman for the organisation. "The way music is produced, consumed and distributed presents new opportunities and challenges for independent record labels. As this industry changes, it is vital that developing businesses are equipped with the skills and knowledge they'll need to handle the opportunities that will arise.
"AIR Pocket aims to prepare small labels for business in the new music economy through a series of full day forums with industry experts, training sessions, mentoring and via the presentation of case studies. It is supported by AusIndustry.
"The next installment of AIR Pocket is this Friday in Sydney. The sessions are open to AIR members and those who would like to learn more about the complexities of the music business in Australia.," the spokesman said.
It will run from 9.30am to 3.30pm at Level 23, the Aon Tower at 201 Kent Street, Sydney.
AIR Pocket is free to AIR members.
More information can be obtained, and bookings made, by calling AIR on (03) 8554 4330,
Weblnk – www.air.org.au.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2007
Finalists have been announced for the 2007 ACE (Australian Club Entertainers) Awards to be presented on October 31.
For Female Country Performer, finalists are Donna Boyd, Beccy Cole, Melinda Schneider (pictured), Sara Storer and Felicity Urquhart.
For Male Country Performer, finalists are Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley, Travis Collins, Adam Harvey (pictured), Wayne Horsburgh and John Williamson.
For Country Group/Band, the finalists are The Baileys, Buckshot, Feral Swing Katz, The Flood, The McClymonts and The Wolverines.
Melinda Schneider has also been named a nominee for Most Outstanding Club Performer of the Year.
This year's Awards, the 10th to be staged, will be held at the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club.
Weblink – www.aceawards.com.au.
Organisers of the Community Careflight Fundraiser held earlier this month at Tahmoor Oval had numerous items donated that were sold at an auction on the day but one item, a unique black Fender acoustic guitar was held back.
Described as "a very rare collector's item" the guitar has been autographed by country star Lee Kernaghan and has his hand-written lyrics on the back of the classic Boys From The Bush, Lee's first number one hit.
"Lee has also signed and dated the lyrics, making this guitar every bit as much a classic as Lee himself and Boys From The Bush," said a spokesman for the Fundraiser organisers. "We are advised that signed guitars are regularly charity-auctioned for over ten thousand dollars and that there are no other items like this one.
"The guitar comes in a new gig bag with a fully padded interior, easy-carry handles, padded back straps and handy accessories pockets."
The guitar is currently being up for offer on the Internet auction website eBay (see weblink below).
All proceeds from the sale of the guitar will go to Careflight.
Further information can be obtained by ringing 0412 373 268.
Weblink – click here.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s Central Coast Support Group has organised "Country Comes to Pearl Beach" – an outdoor country music festival on Saturday October 6.
The Festival will be held at the Crommelin Native Arboretum, a 4.5 hectare flora sanctuary with grassed areas, wetlands, patches of temperate rainforest and open forest crisscrossed by easy walking trails.
Frank Ifield will host the event which will feature the Bushwackers and Karen Lynne & Acoustic Shock. A talented vision impaired local performer and songwriter Krystel Keller will also feature.
Tickets to the festival, which is being held between 12pm and 4.30pm, are $33 for adults and $15 for children. After expenses, proceeds will go to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to help train guide dogs and supply other vital services to the vision impaired community.
"We encourage everyone to come along and bring your friends and the picnic rug," said a spokesman for the organisers. "Not only will you enjoy a fantastic afternoon being entertained by some of Australia’s most talented country musicians, but you will be helping assist people who are blind and vision impaired living in NSW and the ACT."
The "Country Comes to Pearl Beach" outdoor music festival is part of an ongoing events program for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, a not-for-profit organisation commemorating 50 years of service in 2007.
Tickets can be purchased by phoning (02) 4344 2138. Further information can be obtained from event manager Lynne Lillico on (02) 4344 2319.
The BobKatz are about to leave for a trip to Nashville where they will spend three weeks recording, songwriting and playing some singer/songwriter gigs.
"Our producer, Mike Flanders, has arranged a mountain of co-writing appointments for us with some really high profile writers," said The BobKatz' Garry Koehler, "so hopefully, the Aussie country boys can bring something new to the table and we can create some good songs.
"My daughter Sarah is also travelling with us to do some writing and recording. She is looking to release a single shortly with an album to follow.
"The Bobkatz have about 16 tracks to pick from for our next album which will be released within the next 12 months," Garry said.
"We are currently working on the film clip for The Man In The Picture which is to be our next radio and CMC single. It's been a great song for us, and we're hopeful of it doing well as a single and pushing album sales a bit further. It will be released in November.
Weblink – www.thebobkatz.com.
American country star Brad Paisley (pictured) is at number one this week on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his hit Online.
Reba McEntire is at two with Because Of You, Adam Brand's That Changes Everything jumps three to number three as do Jonah's Road with Counting Down The Days up to number four.
Emerson Drive's number one from last week – A Good Man – is down to five, Travis Collins' Yeah She Does is at six while Steve Forde's Metropolis jumps to seven.
Jetty Road's Real Smooth Cowboy is down to eight, Keith Urban's Stupid Boy enters the top 10 at nine while America's Kellie Pickler is at 10 with I Wonder.
Bullet performers this week include Telstra Road To Tamworth 2007 winner Morgan Evans with Big Skies (new at 16), Felicity Urquhart's No Mistakes (21 to 17), James Blundell's Nature's Gentleman (25 to 22), Chris Pickering with Nobody (47 to 43) and Simply Bushed with Cangi Bridge (new at 46).
CMC's Country Pick for the week is Land Cries Out, the clip of the first single release from Sara Storer's new album Silver Skies.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007
In what must be a record, or very close to one, the Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush remains at the top of the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the sixth week in a row.
Troy Cassar-Daley jumps two more places to number two with Everything's Gonna Be Alright while Amber Lawrence's Things That Bring Me Down holds on to the number three position still and Toby Keith's High Maintenance Woman claws back up one to number four.
Brad Paisley's Ticks is also up one to five while George Strait's Wrapped is down to six and Donna Boyd's Angels Fly Close To The Ground is up one to seven.
Graham Rodger's Woman On The Land is up one to eight, Rascal Flatts' Stand is down to nine while 2007 Toyota Star Maker Kirsty Lee Akers' Little Things enters the top 10 at 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Steve Eales' When A Cowboy Gets The Blues (27 to 24) and Felicity Urquhart with No Mistakes (28 to 25).
New entries to the chart for the coming week include Adam Brand with That Changes Everything (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.
The Country Music Association of Australia has opened nominations for the 2008 Country Music Awards of Australia (or Golden Guitar Awards), presented by Jayco.
Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Association's website here.
The 2008 Awards, the 36th to be staged since they were first run by Radio 2TM in the Tamworth Town Hall in January 1973, will be presented at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC) on Australia Day 2008, Saturday January 26.
Closing date for receipt of nominations is October 15.
On-line voting for the Australian Bush Poetry Performer of the Year has opened at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards website.
"The Performer Of The Year trophy will be presented to a person whose public performance of Australian bush poetry over the current 12 month period (to September 30, 2007) on stage, radio, television or any other public forum is voted to be outstanding," said a spokesman for the Bush Laureate Awards organisers
"When casting their votes, members of the public are asked to consider frequency of performances, number of people reached at performances, professionalism, popularity and entertainment value of performances, and originality and Australian character of material used."
The winner will be announced during the annual Australian Bush Laureate Awards gala presentation in Tamworth on Tuesday January 22, 2008.
Voting closes on Friday November 30.
Meanwhile, nominations are still being received for the judged categories of the Bush Laureate Awards... Book of the Year, Album of the Year, Single Recorded Performance of the Year and the new award for Children's Book or CD of the Year.
Nominations close on Wednesday October 31.
Weblink (including for the on-line voting) – www.bushlaureate.com.au.
The inaugural Mittagong Country Music Stampede held at Mittagong RSL last weekend has been declared a resounding success by organisers with around 800 people attending.
Friday night kicked off with Darren Coggan warming up the early comers while the highlight of the Saturday was the Country Vocal Talent Quest sponsored by Yamaha Music with more than $4000 in cash and prizes on offer.
Fifty contestants registered for the event and a 200-strong audience witnessed a high quality final, according to organisers, which was adjudicated by country star Felicity Urquhart and Rebecca McCarthy of Rum Entertainment. The competition finished with a 20 minute performance by perennial crowd favourite Felicity who was joined on stage in an impromptu performance by popular ABC radio host Nick Rheinberger.
Elsewhere in the Club while the talent quest was underway, entertainment was provided by Dianna Corcoran, Shane Flew and Mark Lucas and the Dead Setters.
The evening concluded with just under 400 packing the auditorium for the launch of Cowpoke's new album Big Red Ute. The band was joined on stage by television personality Geoff Harvey.
Results of the Talent Quest were...
Seniors – Peter McWhirter (first), Chloe Graham (second) and Cheyne Mastop (third); Juniors – Makaylie Foodey (first), Jessie Fairweather (second) and Claire Bishop (third); Sub Juniors – Blake Giles (first), Kiara Taylor (second) and Courtney Draper (third).
With a successful first event "in the bag", the club is already planning for 2008.
Weblink – www.mittagongrsl.com.au.
Photo: crowd favourite Felicity Urquhart and the ABC's Nick Rheinberger.
The leading website Cowboys In CyberSpace has been upgraded by owner/operator, webmaster, musician, musical director and recording artist Bob Howe.
"Following widespread pay television exposure in Canada and Australia, and to celebrate our 10th anniversary on-line, Cowboys In Cyberspace has been relaunched," Bob said.
"A brand new layout, improved interactive features and a new easy-to-remember address... www.cowboysincyberspace.com.
"Check out the columns and reviews for this month and last, watch the video podcast, leave comments and look for the Australian gig guide links and photos from the 2007 Galston Country Music Festival."
Details have been announced for the 2007 Widgee Bush Balladeers Muster to be held at Widgee, Qld (20 kilometres west of Gympie).
The Muster will run from Thursday to Sunday October 25 to October 28.
Balladeers starring at the event (in alphabetical order) will include Greg Bain, Alex Beckett, Bruce Bell, Lynne Bennnett, Kate Botfield, Jeff Brown, Neil Buttsworth, Clyde Cameron, Nathan Charlton, Ashley Cook, Kimberley Cook, John Colville, Ian Cridge, Laura Downing, Bob Easter, Jeff Gibson, Terry Gordon, Kev Groves, Wave Jackson, Keith Jamieson, Lex K, Les Lawson, Dianne Lindsay (pictured), Ken "Chainsaw" Lindsay, Alan Luscombe, Dan Manning, Matt Manning (pictured), Tom Maxwell, New Molloy, Dorrie Muller, Graham Parfitt, Julie Perandas, Reg Poole, Charmaine Pout, Ricky Shipp, Peter Simpson, Alisa Smith, Gary Smith, Pete Smith, Buddy Thomson, Lindsay Waddington and the Webb Brothers.
Among the bush poets attending will be John Best, Rod Chrome, Gary Fogarty, Ron Liekefeet, Ray Rose, Noel Stallard and Merv & Chris Webster.
The event kicks off at 6pm on Thursday with walk-up entertainment and concludes Sunday afternoon.
Further information available from Lex K on 07 4129 3145 or mobile 0428 293 145.
ARIA Awards finalists announced
Finalists in this year's ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Awards were announced this morning.
In the Best Country Album category, they are...
Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing by Keith Urban (Capitol/EMI), Love Someone by Lou Bradley (pictured, MGM), Ring Around The Moon by James Blundell (Compass Bros Records), Veridian by The Greencards (Dualtone/Shock Records) and Walks Of Life by Gina Jeffreys (Ocean Road Music/MGM).
Kasey Chambers is a finalist for Best Female Artist for Carnival (Capitol/EMI) while Paul Kelly is a finalist for Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Album for Stolen Apples (Capitol/EMI).
Nash Chambers was also a nominee for Producer of the Year (for Kasey's album Carnival).
Winners will be announced in Sydney on Sunday, October 28.
A full listing of finalists can be obtained at www.ariaawards.com.au.
Entries are now open for Australia’s most prestigious country music talent search, Toyota Star Maker 2008.
The quest, which has helped launch the careers of many of Australia’s leading country acts, will be staged in Tamworth, Country Music Capital, in January.
Last year, Toyota Star Maker, in conjunction with Compass Bros Records, became the first major Australian country music talent quest to introduce a “full album deal” as part of its prize package.
"This year’s winner, Kirsty Lee Akers, has benefitted greatly from the new prize," said Barry Harley, General Manager of Rural Press Events, organisers of the quest. "Kirsty’s album Little Things was officially launched to rave reviews at this year’s Toyota National Country Music Muster at Gympie and debuted in the top 20 of the Australian Recording Industry Association Australian Country Music Albums Chart.
"As we called for entries for Toyota Star Maker 2008, the first single from Kirsty’s album was shooting up the charts and was riding high in the top 10 of the Country Music Channel Top 30 Countdown."
For the past 29 years, Star Maker has provided a crucial launching pad for many of today’s big Australian country stars, including Lee Kernaghan (1982), James Blundell (1987), Keith Urban (1990), Gina Jeffreys (1991), Beccy Cole (1993), Brendon Walmsley (1999) and, more recently, with popular new stars Travis Collins (2004), Samantha McClymont (2005) and Cat Southern (2006) as well as reigning title holder Kirsty.
In addition to the recording contract, the Toyota Star Maker winner now receives the use of a Toyota car and fuel card for 12 months, the making of a video clip, a special edition Star Maker Maton guitar and promotional exposure through Australia’s monthly country music magazine Capital News and other publications in the Rural Press stable.
Entries in Toyota Star Maker are now being invited. Entry forms can be downloaded from www.capitalnews.com.au, or requested by ringing Rural Press Events on 02 6762 2399. Entries close on Wednesday, October 31.
Toyota Star Maker will be staged at the Toyota Country Theatre on Sunday January 20, 2008. Finals commence at 10.30am and the Grand Final at 7.30pm.
Bookings for tickets open on-line October 1, 2007, at www.visittamworth.com with phone and counter sales from November, on 02 6767 5300 or at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre at the corner of Peel Street and the New England Highway.
Having been named Open Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2007 Horsham Country Music Awards and recently appearing on the Channel 31 show "Songwriters Across Australia", Merilyn says she is floating on cloud nine.
Director of Imagine Music Publishing Hugh Mclean said he was proud to add Merilyn to his publishing ranks and sees a bright future for her.
After releasing her debut album This Passion in 2005, containing her singles Ten Less Candles, Charades and You Don’t Wanna Know, Merilyn is heading into the studio over the next few months with Love Hz Studio producer Matt Fell and says she is happy to have the support of Imagine Music Publishing.
Weblink – www.merilynsteele.com.
Tom Curtain has returned home from a successful five week tour of the Northern Territory campdraft circuit to find his latest release to radio – Wearing Out Leather – breaking into the Country Tracks Top 30 Chart.
Tom left for the Territory in July after completing a two month tour of Queensland with leading act the Sunny Cowgirls, Col Finley and Daisy May Wegner. His time on the campdraft circuit (the Australian horse sport where horse and rider are judged on their ability to cut out and manoeuvre cattle around a course), saw him campaign Bunda Stockhorses with success, winning and placing in numerous events.
While on the circuit, which included Katherine Show, Halls Creek Draft (WA), Kununurra Draft (WA) and Katherine ASH Draft, Tom also "wowed" audiences at three big performances at these venues.
He says it was great to go back and play to all the people in outback NT, "the same people who first got behind me when I started out as a country singer/songwriter.
"It was even better to see most of the families singing along to all the words with a lot of pride. I guess they inspired a lot of my songs, especially on the Smack Bang! album and they feel a sense of ownership... that's what it's all about."
After such a long stint in the saddle, Tom says it was great to be welcomed home by fans at the 2007 Toyota Gympie Muster where he performed at the Crow Bar and Muster Club. "Gympie is always such an amazing event, even despite this year's well publicised weather.
"In the Territory I was flat out working up to 17 horses and riding in as many as 20 events a day. It was nice to get out of the saddle for a bit, throw my guitar over my shoulder and belt out a few tunes."
Tom heard the news of his latest chart success while at a recent songwriting bloc organised by his publisher ABC Music in conjunction with Mushroom Music.
"It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to write with the likes of Felicity Urquhart, James Blundell and Diana Corcoran so the news that Wearing Out Leather made it into the chart that same week really topped off the buzz.
"I got the concept for this song from a bloke I worked for in the Northern Territory a few years back. He told me. 'Tom, when we were young blokes, we were in the saddle all day just wearing out jeans and leather'."
Written with his award winning producer, Garth Porter, Tom says the song has a great groove to it. "Mustering and working with cattle involves a lot of adrenaline and patience. I think the tune of this song really gives a feel for what a fine line it can be."
Tom says his main priority now is filming the video clip for Wearing Out Leather which is due for completion next month.
Weblink – www.tomcurtain.com.au.
Internationally known artist Peter J Hill has produced a life-like painting of Lindsay Butler and Lindsay Waddington titled "The Master and the Apprentice".
The painting pays respect to the work of Lindsay Butler – "The Master of Country Guitar".
Born in Tenterfield, NSW, Lindsay has been a professional musician for more than 40 years, touring Australia all over. During his career, there is very little he hasn't achieved within the Australian country music industry including inspiring young guitarists such as Lindsay Waddington, "The Apprentice".
Lindsay Waddington has toured Australia and the world with many leading recording artists since 15 years of age and is known mainly for his talent on drums. However, since mentor and friend Lindsay Butler took him under his wing Waddo (as he is known) has recorded a number of major achievements of his own, including the recording and release of two solo instrumental albums and winning Queensland Musician of the Year for three years running.
The Peter J Hill painting has been released as a limited set of prints which are available for purchase. Further information can be obtained by emailing Reegan at email@example.com.
Registrations and showcase submissions have opened for South by Southwest (SxSW) in Austin, Texas, from March 12 to 16.
Or, applications can be made via Sonicbids, www.sonicbids.com/clients/sxsw/sxsw_landing.htm. Deadline and fee (US$20 for early submissions, US$30 for applications submitted after October 5) are the same. More Australian and New Zealand information available from www.themusic.com.au/sxsw or by emailing Phil Tripp, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, as deadlines for South By Southwest loom, Austrade and the festival's Australian/New Zealand representative IMMEDIA! are holding a teleconferencing seminar next Wednesday September 26.
It will look at various festivals including SxSW, CMJ, Midem, NACA, CMW, NxNW and the Folk Alliance; the grants available, how to showcase on them and visa issues. Speaking will be Los Angles-based Australian Music Office's Tony George and IMMEDIA!'s Phil Tripp on "how to make SxSW work for you", and US immigration specialist for the entertainment industry Ron Zeelens on visa issues.
Registration is online at www.australianmusicoffice.com or by telephoning Austrade on 13 28 78.
While Australia’s elite athletes were competing in the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, Australia’s happiest fundraisers struck gold in Australia’s Outback.
This year’s 5,100 plus kilometre B to B Bash had a robust send off from the Royal Australian Naval Base at Garden Island on Sunday August 5 with Dr Brendan Nelson, the Minister of Defence, waving the starter’s flag.
A total of 107 "outlandish and colourful" cars embarked on the 13 day adventure around country NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory. They visited towns such as Dubbo, Brewarrina, Thargomindah, Charleville, Longreach, Richmond, Burketown, Borroloola and Katherine before completing their marathon journey alongside the HMAS Bathurst patrol boat in Darwin.
During this time on the Outback’s red and rough dirt tracks, 19 schools were visited where appeals totalling more than $70,000 were granted to assist special needs children or the schools themselves. They were entertained by the World’s Skinniest Magician, Super Hubert, who, on some days, performed three shows for extremely enthusiastic audiences of Outback children.
The Bash is neither a race nor a rally, rather it’s "a drive in the Outback with a few mates" and there are no timed sections or prizes for speed. There is an outright winner which is voted on by the Bashers and this is a team that epitomises the spirit of the Bash. This year that title went to "the Winestone Cowgirls” – Amanda Hiscox, Linday Hayman and Paula Williams.
Money trophies were also awarded and these were the B to B Cup (Highest Corporate Fundraiser) which went to the NRMA Insurance Team, the Chief Barker’s Cup (Highest Team Fundraiser) awarded to the Navy Team and the Chairman's Trophy (Highest Individual Fundraising car) going to "the Three Peas" – Penny Berman and Frank and Kathy Robinson.
In addition to Variety’s gifts to the schools, many Bashers and their corporate supporters made individual presentations to schools. These included Hewlett Packard (digital photo printers and paper), books from Let’s Write, cricket gear, various other sporting equipment, microwave ovens from Sanyo, stationery goods plus many more items of value.
The NRMA Insurance Team provided each school with a digital camera. The Navy Team ran a colouring-in competition with the winners from each school receiving a portable DVD player. The NSW Fire Brigade and the Rural Fire Service held a writing competition with each school; their prizes of books were supplied by Double Day Australia.
"All these wonderful gifts plus the extraordinary amount of money raised proved once again the 'gift of giving'," according to a spokesman for the Bash, "especially when it comes to our special needs children, is as strong as ever in a world facing tough times and harsh commercial realities."
The award recognises women who have made significant contributions to the music business and who inspire other women to assume greater responsibilities within the industry.
The awards breakfast will honour 20 top female executives in the music industry who will be featured in Billboard's upcoming Women in Music issue.
Weblink – www.billboard.com.
Inductees into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame have been announced.
They are... Bob DiPiero (pictured), bluegrass duo Flatt & Scruggs, Mac McAnally and singers Dottie Rambo and Hank Williams Jr.
Bob DiPiero has penned hits for Vince Gil, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire , George Strait and many others.
Flatt & Scruggs first hooked up as part of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1945. Three years later, they left Monroe to start their own act. They joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1956 and expanded their audience in 1962 when they recorded the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies television show. Their instrumental Foggy Mountain Breakdown was used in the film "Bonnie & Clyde" and they were among the first bluegrass groups to perform at Carnegie Hall.
Mac McAnally has written hits for Alabama, Shenandoah, Ricky Van Shelton and Steve Wariner. He's also produced records for Sawyer Brown, Jimmy Buffett, Chris LeDoux and Ricky Skaggs.
Dottie Rambo has had more than 2,500 published songs including gospel classics.
Hank Williamns Jnr said: "Being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame is like winning Entertainer of the Year. Moments like this are very rare. What a thrill..."
Past inductees into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame include Chuck Berry, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.
The 2007 induction will take place on October 14.Weblink – www.nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com.
Music fans who attend the upcoming Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol, Virginia, in the United States could one day have another reason to visit the Twin City.
Those with the Bristol-based Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA) expect to start raising money in January for their proposed world-class cultural heritage center (artist's impression at right).
First announced in 2004, the project seems to have stalled over the past year as the alliance moved into new offices and reorganised its board of directors.
But BCMA officials say they’ve been working behind the scenes to gauge interest for the project which now carries a $10.5 million price tag.
"We’re very confident the community commitment is there and – once we receive that commitment – the others that have promised support will step forward," said Fred McClellan, President of the BCMA board of directors.
While they are still finalising the funding plan, alliance officials believe the time is right to begin their more visible work.
"We’ve gotten to a point that, if we don’t act now, we’ll lose momentum," Fred said.
They hope to raise the money, plus a $2 million endowment, within about 15 months, or by March 2009. It is too soon to discuss a potential construction timetable.
"We are energised, optimistic and committed," Fred said when asked about the board’s outlook.
The BCMA has already invested about $500,000 in studies and designs to convert a former Cumberland Street auto dealership into a museum. Developer Steve Johnson donated the building to the alliance three years ago.
Plans for the project include interactive displays, a performance theatre, classrooms for school groups and a series of exhibits depicting the performers of the famous 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings and the music’s worldwide impact.
Music historians call those recordings "the big bang of country music" for launching the careers of Hall of Fame musicians Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.
During the past six years, BCMA officials have seen the Rhythm & Roots festival – which also pays homage to the Twin City’s musical heritage – grow substantially.
"It’s like two sides of a coin. The festival is the huge event that draws tens of thousands of people over a weekend to downtown Bristol," said BCMA Executive Director Bill Hartley. "What we are in the process of becoming is what then draws them here the rest of the year. The messages are pretty much the same."
The alliance’s next step, Fred McClellan said, is to select a firm to oversee the fundraising effort. "We anticipate that process will be completed this month."
The facility could attract 75,000 visitors per year and generate $693,000 in admissions fees, gift shop sales and sales tax revenue in its first year, according to a 2005 economic impact study by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia.
Weblink – www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2007
Organisers of the all-genre Guitar Heroes:Guitar Fest 2007 have announced the expansion of Guitar Fest with extra events.
The Balmain, Sydney, based Guitar Heroes:Guitar Fest will now commence on Monday October 1 and run until Sunday October 7 with the inclusion of two new events.
The highly respected Sydney Classical Guitar Society will kick off Guitar Fest with a Classical Guitar Showcase at The Church, Darling Street, Balmain at 1pm on the Monday of the long weekend.
Towards the end of the event, Steve Flack has announced the Liverpool Academy of Music’s Guitar Camp will run overthe weekend of October 6 and 7 at Balmain Town Hall. The Guitar Camp will feature guitar workshops implemented by some of the guitar world’s most accomplished players and tutors and is designed to assist "young gun" and mid range and entry level players.
The Guitar Camp will run in conjunction with the Guitar Fest Music Lifestyle Expo at the Balmain Town Hall on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7. The Expo is designed for all ages but will also have a strong youth focus with trade exhibits, workshops and clinics and a showcase finale every day.
Another event for the young and not so young player will be the inaugural Guitar Factory All Genre Guitar Busking Competition to be staged at Rozelle Markets over Saturday and Sunday (October 6 and 7). The competition offers substantial prizes including a guitar and guitar packs by courtesy of the major sponsor.
The Best Guitar Player competition is set down for The Bridge Hotel on the Sunday afternoon (October 7) of Guitar Fest. Sponsored by Australian Guitar Magazine with "a huge prize pack" on offer, the competition is open to all guitarists.
In addition to these events and activities, Guitar Fest will feature entertainment at The Bridge, Exchange, Cat & The Fiddle and Unity Hall Hotels and the Monkey Bar.
"Support these venues supporting Guitar Fest October 1-9," said Co-ordinator Jim Guider. "October is Guitar Month in Sydney celebrating the guitarist and the guitar with a mix of rock, blues, country, metal, jazz, classical and funk plus more."
Weblink – www.guitarheroes.com.au.
The Melbourne-based pair is getting airplay with their new single Nothing I Wouldn’t Do over the past month and has been well received by selected programs in Canada and southern USA. The full album Torn, Scorned And Battle-Scarred is due for commercial release on the Hardrush label in October.
Hardrush says Chivalry has "a style that has some feel of early Eagles and Keith Urban, although the boys really do make it their own. Having played 10 years on the circuit with a variety of covers and originals has honed their skills."
Chivalry (their latest album at right) comprises Ryan Charge (lead vocals, guitars) and Adam Connolly (vocals, guitars). On the album and some touring, the band is bolstered with additional session musicians including Hamish Davidson (fiddle), Drew Gallus (pedal steel guitar) and Michael Zammit (bass, drums, piano) contributing to "the full sound".
Hardrush CEO Kelvin Fahey was very bullish about the potential of the duo: "Chivalry are a very polished act with a depth and professionalism that will see them in for the long run. The songwriting skills cover so many moods, scenarios and tempo that the band really has a wealth of material to contribute to the country music scene, here and abroad. We look forward to a long relationship with both Adam and Ryan."
The Hardrush deal incorporates commercial release of the album, publishing and touring assistance. A video featuring Nothing I Wouldn’t Do will receive airplay during September and October. A promotional visit to the United States is planned for March next year.
Other country artists in the Hardrush stable include The Boardman Sisters, Gavin Chatelier, Wendy Cochrane, The Fry Borthers, Janet Kable, Julie McAllan, Rowley O'Brien, Bobby Ricks and The Rustlers.
Artists featuring on Hardrush Music compilations have included numerous high profile country acts including Carter & Carter, Troy Cassar-Daley, Johnny Chester, Col Joye, Shaza Leigh and Jimmy Little.
Melinda Schneider was named winner of the Country Performer "MO" Award at the presentation ceremony in Sydney in late August.
A full list of winners can be found on the website www.moawards.org.au.
Canadian Country Music Award multi-award-winning band Emerson Drive (pictured) is number one this week on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of their hit A Good Man.
Brad Paisley is steady at two with Online, Travis Collins' number one from last week – Yeah She Does – is at three while Reba McEntire is at four with Because Of You.
Jetty Road are up two more places to five with Real Smooth Cowboy, Adam Brand is steady at six with That Changes Everything and Jonah's Road edges up one place to seven with Counting Down The Days.
Troy Cassar-Daley's Everything Is Going To Be Alright is down to eight, Steve Forde's Metropolis is up one to nine while Kirsty Lee Aker's Little Things is at 10.
Bullet performers this week include Keith Urban's Stupid Boy (15 to 11), Dianna Corcoran's If You Hear Angels (21 to 18) and James Blundell's Nature's Gentleman (new at 25).
CMC's Country Pick for the week is 2007 Telstra Road To Tamworth winner Morgan Evans with Big Skies.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2007
Ross Kettle – one of the three Singing Kettles, inducted to the Country Music Roll of Renown in 2005 – has lost his long battle with cancer, passing away just before 6pm on Wednesday (September 12).
Ross is survived by his wife Marlene and their children Faron, Deanna and Nellette. From the original trio, Ross is survived by Bill. Max predeceased him in 1971 (see below). He is also survived by another brother, Tony.
In their young days, Bill, Ross and Max Kettle were simply typical Australian country boys. They were born and raised in the small town of Lilydale, Tasmania. Their singing career began at church socials and school functions and it was their local minister who "christened" them. One night in his introduction he said "...You have all heard whistling kettles, but now here are the Singing Kettles" – and the name stuck! The Singing Kettles became one of the most well loved country and western singing groups that Australia has known.
In their first few years after leaving school, the Kettles worked as timber cutters on Tasmania's north east coast. Every day, their guitars would go with them, and during their lunch break the sounds of country harmonies would soar through the Tasmanian bushland.
Their first recording was released in 1961. Bill and Ross were working as a duo at that time, because Max was only about 11 years old. That first record was Judy and it was not only the first commercial recording by the Singing Kettles, it was also the first release for the then brand new Hadley record label, which was then based in Launceston, Tasmania. A string of singles, extended play and album releases followed.
In 1969, the Singing Kettles, then a trio, made their next big step. They planted their feet permanently on mainland soil in that year, basing themselves initially in Tamworth and then moving to Sydney to enter the hurley burley of the club scene.
On January 22, 1971, tragedy struck the trio with the sudden death after a show in Sydney of young Max from a massive asthma attack; the affliction had plagued him since birth. Max had celebrated his 21st birthday only a fortnight before. To a lesser act, this would have meant the end of the road, but knowing their brother's wishes, Bill and Ross continued and made the drastic changes necessary to turn their act into the professional duo that toured Australia for the next 17 years.
Among their honours, prior to their elevation to the Roll of Renown, was their induction into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth in 1978. The end of the Singing Kettles came in 1988. The act broke up, Ross becoming a solo singer, and Bill and fiance Kathy Thomson (the couple later married), working as a duo.
Ross' funeral will be held at the North Chapel, Forest Lawn Crematorium, Camden Valley Way, Leppington, at 1pm this coming Tuesday, September 18.
Big crowds are expected for tomorrow's star-studded Darwin City Muster at the George Brown Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre.
Entertainment will comprise four concert length sets from Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Sara Storer and John Williamson. Sara kicks off the show at 6.15pm followed by Beccy, Troy and finally, JW.
Gates open at 5.30pm and His Honour The Administrator Ted Egan will introduce the entertainers who will meet fans in the merchandise centre following their performances.Weblink – www.citymuster.com.au.
Heartland FM has announced that the radio service is now streaming on the Internet.
"We feature many Australian independent artists, country and adult contemporary tracks with a 24/7 non stop format," said Heartland FM owner/operator Mark Chapman-Smith.
"We have also aquired more broadcasting licenses including Lord Howe Island and the home of the Stockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach. Those services are slated to commence soon.
"This makes a total of 17 radio broadcasting licenses and we continue to press for a de-regulated broadcasting regime to enable country music artists to recieve airplay in major markets," he said.
Weblink – www.heartlandfm.com.
From The Macleay Argus...
A packed house saw this year’s Kempsey (NSW) Country Music Festival awards handed out last Sunday afternoon.
While equine influenza then bad weather led to two venue changes to Saturday’s main concert, resulting in a smaller than expected audience at the Melville High School auditorium, Sunday’s concert was the highlight of the weekend’s events.
Local country music star Amos Morris closed the concert after he had earlier stepped up to the stage to accept the Best New Talent award.
Guest compere Terry Gordon (pictured) was surprised to receive this year’s Living Legend award. Terry has released more than 20 albums and toured with Slim Dusty, Tom T Hall, The Seekers, Col Elliot and just about all the greats in the country music industry.
The festival began on Thursday night with The Young Balladeers performing at the Kempsey Heights Bowling Club.
Following a talent quest on Saturday afternoon and a bus trip to Slim Dusty’s historic Nulla Nulla homestead that morning, the attention turned to the Kempsey RSL Bowling Club where a large number of artists performed at the Country Music Showcase.
Organising committee president Pauline Fisher said despite the disappointment that some events, including the street parade, had to be moved, there was a lot of positive feedback from visitors to the festival who said they would be back in Kempsey next year.
Ted Simpson, Mark Kirk and their band Tall Timbre have recently completed recording of their second album – After The Grind – which is due for release on October 17.
First single from the new CD will be Swing That Axe which talks of Mark getting to know about his father's days as a timber-getter near Glen Davis. "The track perfectly captures Ted's voice and the easy listening yet driving Australian country sound of the band," said the release with news of the new album.
The work brings together some of Australia's finest country musicians including Mick Albeck, Stuie French,Nicki Gillis, Mike Kerin, Jake Lardot, Ian Lees, Rudi Miranda, Michel Rose and Glen Skarrat as well as the Tall Timbre crew of Ted Simpson, Mark Kirk, Damien Odell, Dave Roberts, John Lee and Steve Shepherd.
"Other songs on the CD are heavily influenced by Ted and Mark's life experiences in Australia," the release said, "and draw inspiration from areas as diverse as yearning for home when touring (Murrumbidgee Rolling), falling in love (Roads I Didn't Take) as well as tributes to Australian pioneers and shipwrecks. And what would any true country offering be without a few songs about lost love, closed rail lines, the plight of starving children and the ever popular country theme of ending it all."
Weblink – www.talltimbre.com.
Paul Costa has released a new single from his multi award-winning album Restoration.
Love Is Not A Game, written by Jerry Goldstein and recorded originally by Glen Campbell, is described as "a soft and gentle
"We were looking for songs that were hidden gems when putting together Restoration," Paul said, "and after finding Love Is Not A Game (producer) Rod McCormack and I knew it was a must-have for the project. The melody and lyrics stand today as much as they did when Glen Campbell recorded the track."
After performing at the recent Toyota National Country Music Muster, Paul's next major appearances will be at the annual Mildura Country Music Festival.
Weblink – www.paulcosta.com.au.
The Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush remains at number one on the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the fifth week.
George Strait's Wrapped is steady again at two, as is Amber Lawrence at three with Things That Bring Me Down while Troy Cassar-Daley jumps three places to number four withEverything's Gonna Be Alright.
Toby Keith's High Maintenance Woman drops to five while Brad Paisley's Ticks is down to six and Rascal Flatts' Stand falls to seven.
Donna Boyd's Angels Fly Close To The Ground bounds into the top 10 at eight, as does Graham Rodger with Woman On The Land at nine while Shea Fisher is steady at 10 hit with Just The Excuse.
Bullet performers for the week include The Best Things In Life Are Free by Carter & Carter (20 to 16), Travis Collins with Yeah She Does (25 to 21), Kerri McInerney, Michael O’Rourke and Steve Eales with Stuck In The Middle With You (26 to 23) and Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather (28 to 24), Steve Eales' When A Cowboy Gets The Blues (30 to 27) and Felicity Urquhart with No Mistakes (new at 28).
Other new entries to the chart for the coming week include Matt Scullion with Feels Like Sunday (in at 29) and Lou Bradley with One Shoe (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, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007
One Stop Country has announced it is distributing the Graeme Connors/Fiddlers Feast collaborative album The Last Supperteers.
The album was launched at the recent Toyota National Country Music Muster at Gympie, proving to be a "huge hit" with fans determined to brave the inclement weather of the event this year.
It includes 13 new songs written by Graeme or co-written by Graeme with singer/songwriters like Troy Cassar-Daley, Allan Caswell, Mark McDuff, Melinda Schneider and Aleyce Simmonds.
The first track to be released from the new album, Guess Who’s Got Kids, is now playing on Australian radio.
Graeme and the Fiddlers Feast said about their exclusive relationship with One Stop Country... (they) "are true specialists in the field of CD distribution. At a time when the music industry is undergoing massive changes in dissemination, it’s comforting to be in the hands of a team of dedicated professionals who still recognise the CD as the preferred means of listening to high quality recordings for all good music lovers."
Rod McCormack (pictured) and Chris O'Hearn have been elected to the Board of the Country Music Association of Australia.
And Rod has been elected by the Board to the position of Vice Chairman of the Association replacing Chris who resigned from the position in accordance with the Association's revised constitution.
Sitting Board member Rebecca McCarthy-Urquhart was a casualty of a reduced Board number which became effective this year.
John Williamson remains as President (appointed by the Board) as do Rod Laing, Lee Kernaghan and Marius Els (as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively) having been previously elected by members.
Board members Ron Adsett, Nick Erby, Jim Haynes and Graham Thompson also remain having been elected previously by members.
The organisation changed its structure last year to reduce the number of Board members elected by Professional Members of the Association to nine with three Board appointees (including the President's position).
Tickets for a number of major events during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January will go on sale via the Internet on Monday, October 1.
Tourism Tamworth says the early release of tickets on-line follows the success of internet pre-sales for major concerts last year.
Tickets will go on sale at 9am on October 1 via the website www.visittamworth.com and will remain available solely on-line until Thursday November 1 when phone and counter sales will open.
Tickets for events at the West Tamworth League Club, one of the Festival's major venues, will go on sale on Saturday, December 1.
Tickets for the 2008 Australian Country Music People's Choice Awards at the Regent Country Live on Thursday January 24 go on sale on Monday October 15.
Tamworth North Rotary Club, stager of the annual Country Music Celebrity Charity Cricket Match, have issued an invitation to country music stars throughout Australia to play in the sixth annual match Thursday 24 January 2008.
Match organiser John Bamford said intending players should register early. "We’d like to think we have a rule that says 'first in, gets to play but sometimes pressure is applied by the country stars' captain Dobe Newton (pictured)," John said. "You could say we get ‘bushwacked!"
The Country Music Celebrity Charity Cricket Match is a major fund-raising event for the Rotary Club. John said part of funds raised provides a scholarship at the annual Australian College of Country Music. "The scholarship recipient for 2007 was Tamworth local Brett Clarke."
The match is usually won by the country music stars’ team which always competes with the Tamworth Mayor’s team. "While the celebrities have usually won, word is out that the Mayor’s team has a few tricks up their sleeve," John said. "As usual, celebs team captain Dobe is more than a little concerned."
The limited-overs match will be held at Tamworth's Number One Oval in Kable Avenue from 10am to 1pm.
"Be you an artist, manager, promoter or wherever you are on the country music spectrum, join in the fun," said John. "Over the years, a number of you have played in this cricket match, while others would like to. Make the team in January! If your time is limited, a cameo appearance would be great."
Registration details available from John on 02 6766 5141, mobile 0418 658 607 or by email, email@example.com.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2007
Troy Cassar-Daley and Felicity Urquhart (pictured at right) have taken out Entertainer of the Year honours at this year's Australian Country Music Achiever Awards announced in Sydney last night – Troy winning his fifth (and second in a row) as mainstream Entertainer, Felicity her third in a row as Independent Entertainer of the Year
Mike Smith (pictured below right) of NfS Publicity, and also Editor of "Country Music Capital News", led the industry awards as winner of the Rex Barry (industry) Award.
The award for Record Company of the Year, Major Distribution, went to Compass Bros Records for the fourth time (and third year in a row) while Shock Records was named Record Company of the Year, Independent, for the second successive year. Publishing Company of the Year went to ABC Music Publishing for the sixth year in a row.
Media Achiever of the Year, Individual, was taken out by the ABC's "Saturday Night Country" host John Nutting for the second year in a row (John has also won the consolidated "Media Achiever" award before it was split into two awards) while Country Music Capital News was named Media Achiever of the Year, Organisation, for the second year in a row ("Cap News" has also won the consolidated "Media Achiever" award twice).
Garth Porter was announced as Producer of the Year for the third time, Ted Howard took out Engineer of the Year for third time, and James Gillard was named Musician of the Year.
Glen Hannah took out Cover Art of the Year with his work on the James Blundell album Ring Around The Moon, Brisbane's Country Music Store won Retailer of the Year for the fifth time, The Pub, Tamworth, was named Entertainment Venue of the Year for the second year in a row and the Australian Bush Balladeers' Association (ABBA) won the Club or Association of the Year title.
The PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) Award for Most Broadcast Australian Country Music Artist, 2006, announced as part of the Achiever Awards, went to Keith Urban.
Winners of Achiever Awards are determined by members of the Country Music Association of Australia.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and two of Australia's top rock bands performed in Tamworth, Australia's Country Music Capital, in the last week.
The Orchestra performed to an audience of more than 3,000 people at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre on Saturday night which last week hosted an almost booked out concert by Powderfinger and Silverchair.
Almost 90 members of the SSO performed classical favourites by composers including Bach and Stravinsky. Highlights of the night included a performance by soloist Jennifer Hoy who hails from Tamworth.
NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald attended the event, taking as his guests several of the horse owners staying with their quarantined horses at Moonbi, near Tamworth.
All proceeds from SSO concert will go toward drought relief.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2007
Nicki Gillis has taken out the 2007 Cooper's Golden Saddle Award determined yesterday at the annual Galston Country Music Festival.
Nicki beat fellow finalists Lee Forster and Markus Meier to take the title on a day in total contrast to last year's event which had to go indoors because of inclement weather which washed out the main Festival venue Fagan Park.
"Nicki shone through with a great performance gaining the judges nod of approval," said Golden Saddle Award Director Helen Kay. "'There was hardly anything between them' was the comment from the judges and all gave such great performances. There were no losers on the day with the runners-up receiving their own Cooper’s Golden Saddle Award Trophy, certificate and performance fee together with huge audience support and appreciation."
This year, the grand finalists gave a "stunning performance" at a special showcase concert at the Galston Club on Saturday night to a full house of appreciative country music fans hosted by Donna Boyd.
Nicki won a cash prize and certificate from the Rotary Club of Galston, publicity by courtesy of sponsors the Independent Country Music Bulletin and a Golden Saddle from Cooper’s Brewery and the Galston Country Music Festival. Nicki will also be invited back to the festival as a special guest performer in 2008.
"We would like to thank our judges for this year Tony Brentnall (from Cooper’s Brewery), Lester V Coombs (Entertainment Director and Producer, Captain Cook Cruises), Kevin Johnson (international recording star and songwriter) and Herm Kovac (Ramrod Recording Studios)," Helen said.
"And a final thanks, to our very special Guest Presenter, Mike McClellan."
Nicki joins previous winners Amber Lawrence, Darren Colston, Rob Wilson, Mark Tempany, Double-Decker Dave, Michael King, Dave Debs, Colin Greatorix and Tracey Faith as holder of the prestigious title.
"The weather cleared to a great day," according to a spokesman for the Festival organisers. All three major Festival events, Friday and Saturday night and the main day yesterday were very successful.
A special presentation of a Golden Saddle was made during the event to long-time supporter Helen Kay who announced her "retirement" from the industry last week. Helen has been Director of the Golden Saddle Award since its inception and involved with the Galston Festival for 11 years.
Photo (by Terry Phillpot): Nicki with her award (click on the image for a larger pic).
Australia's Queen of Yodelling Mary Schneider has been invited to represent Australia in the seventh China International Folk Art Festival in China this month.
The Festival is celebrated every three years and the opening ceremony will be in the city of Suzhou, attended by leaders from the Chinese Central Government, Jiangsu Provincial Government and China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
Artists from all over the world will be appearing.
During her visit, Mary will make a number of other appearances including on television.
A gala celebration will take place with the final closing ceremony to be held in Beijing's Great Hall of The People, the Government's venue for major events.
"It's all very exciting," Mary said. "I've never been to China before so it will be something different."
Entries have opened for the 2008 Tamworth Songwriters' Association (TSA) Salute Awards to be announced in January during the annual festival in Country Music Capital.
Sections are Contemporary Country Song of the Year, Traditional Bush Ballad of the Year, Country Ballad of the Year, Comedy/Novelty Song of the Year, Children’s Song of the Year and Gospel Song of the Year. An overall Country Song of the Year is chosen from winners in the key six categories.
In addition to the awards for recorded material, TSA presents the Songmaker Award, judged by TSA members, and the Tex Morton Special Award which is selected by the TSA Committee.
Details have also been announced for the annual TSA/Capital News New Songwriter Award and the TSA National Songwriting Contest.
Further information and entry forms are available by writing to PO Box 1486, Oxenford, Qld, 4210, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org,or by telephoning (07) 5529 8162. Entry forms can also be downloaded from the TSA website (see weblink below).
All award and competition winners will be announced at the 2008 30th anniversary TSA Songwriters’ Concert and Awards at West Tamworth League Club on Wednesday January 23.
Entries close Monday, October 15.
Weblink – www.tsaonline.com.au.
Travis Collins' clip of his latest hit Yeah She Does is number one this week on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist.
Brad Paisley is at two with Online, Emerson Drive are at three with A Good Man and Troy Cassar-Daley's number one from last week, Everything Is Going To Be Alright, is down to number four.
Reba McEntire is steady at five with Because Of You while Adam Brand jumps three places to six with That Changes Everything and Jetty Road are also up three places to seven with Real Smooth Cowboy.
Jonah's Road zoom into the top 10 at eight with Counting Down The Days, as does Kirsty Lee Aker's Little Things at nine and Steve Forde's Metropolis at 10.
Bullet performers this week include Dianna Corcoran's If You Hear Angels (new at 21), Matt Scullion with Feels Like Sunday (28 to 24), Rob Black with Regular Guy (30 to 27), Aaron Bolton with Rockin' Up (42 to 37), Cat Southern with Memories And Dreams (48 to 39) and Harmony James' Tailwind (45 to 41).
Other new entries to the playlist this week include Keri McInerney, Michael O'Rourke & Steve Eales with Stuck In The Middle With You (new at 49).
CMC's Country Pick for the week is James Blundell's Nature's Gentleman.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
Pop-country band Emerson Drive (pictured) dominated this year's Canadian Country Music Awards staged in Regina tonight taking home three awards.
The band took home Song and Video of the Year for their North American hit Moments and Group of the Year.
Veteran Canadian country act Brad Johner picked up the first award of the night for Male Artist of the Year.
Alberta singer/songwriter Carolyn Dawn Johnson won Female Artist of the Year, but was edged out for the fan's choice award by another Albertan, Terri Clark.
Mitch Merrett, Aaron Pritchett and Deric Ruttan won the Songwriter of the Year award for the irreverent hit Hold My Beer.
Manitoba group Doc Walker won Album of the Year award for its self-titled release.
Corb Lund won the award for Roots Group of the Year while Shane Yellowbird took home the Rising Star honour. Shane, whose debut album Life Is Calling My Name, was nominated for five awards.
Nova Scotia's George Canyon was also nominated for five awards but failed to win any.
Awards show host Paul Brandt, whose long-awaited new album Risk is due out tomorrow, was also shut out in the four categories in which he was nominated.
Weblink – www.ccma.org.
Traditional music lovers gathered in central Switzerland at the weekend for the country’s largest music festival, now in its 10th year.
The popular celebration, which is organised every four years, was attended by Economics Minister Doris Leuthard who gave a speech calling for a society built on modernity anchored in tradition.
Some 300 groups (2,800 musicians) of all ages from across the country attended the festival in Stans, canton Nidwalden, to present their different styles of music and take part in various competitions.
Organisers said that around 50,000 people had visited the festival near Lucerne since it opened a week ago.
In her speech on Sunday, Doris Leuthard said that those people who were able to draw on their roots were better armed to meet the challenges of the future. "I hope that each of us remembers our past, looks after our roots and traditions, and passes these values onto the next generation."
Traditions were not just about keeping ashes but passing on the flame, she added. "Swiss Country music, with its innovative compositions, is much more modern than many people think. It combines tradition and innovation with openness and tolerance."
It’s contemporary music, "even if some people feel Swiss country music doesn’t meet the criteria of the kind of modern music that should be played on the radio," she concluded.
Many people turned out for a birthday celebration Saturday afternoon at Meridian, Mississippi, in America to celebrate the life of Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music.
He would have been 110 years old on Saturday. And just like every year, the International Singing Brakemen Association celebrated the day.
Reports say "there was plenty of good old fashioned country music in honour of the Meridian native".
Organisation President Glyn Jones said it was important the community remembered Rodgers for his outstanding country music career.
American country star Sammy Kershaw has announced his candidacy and intentions to run in the upcoming election as a Republican for the Lt Governor of the State of Louisiana. He made that commitment official last week as he qualified to run and filed all documents with the Secretary of State's Office.
Sammy has 14 albums to his credit with several going platinum. He is married to Lorrie Morgan, also a country music artist. They have recorded several duets together (and at least one album) that were instant hits Stateside.
He is still currently active in touring throughout the United States. This year, he also had a starring role in the 2007 movie "Ghost Town".
Sammy pledges "to represent the people of the great state of Louisiana. I will be the honest leader Louisiana needs."
Carrie Underwood's So Small has entered Billboard's digital song chart at number six this week with 70,808 downloads.
The song has earned the greatest first-week sales of any country airplay single in the history of the digital chart. Carrie's rendition of the Pretenders' I'll Stand by You, recorded for a charity episode of "American Idol", remains the best-debuting digital track by a country artist.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2007
Country star Felicity Urquhart sang for a distinguished audience including Prime Minister John Howard and American President George Bush this week.
According to one newspaper report, the function "had all the makings of a casual Sunday barbecue, two mates sharing a yarn with friends, some steak and snags and a picturesque waterside location".
"The Canberra Times" reported the two leaders took a break from their jam-packed schedule (during the leadup to the 2007 APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum) to head to the Garden Island naval base to thank the troops for their efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The affable Texan President chowed down on steak, sausage, prawns and corn as he urged kitchen staff to 'load up' his plate when he and Mr Howard, accompanied by his wife Janette, queued for lunch alongside the soldiers."
Mr Bush and the Howards had hopped on to a luxury cruiser from a wharf near the Opera House to get to their lunch date. Helicopters hovered overhead and police on jet skis and in inflatables buzzed around them on the harbour.
Despite blustery conditions, they stood on the deck of the cruiser, waving to spectators on the shore. The two leaders clearly enjoyed their time among the men and women of the army, navy and air force.
After earlier mentioning he was looking forward to "a little cowboy music", Mr Bush and his companions were treated to a special performance by Felicity.
Jonah's Road will appear on the National Nine Network's "Mornings with Kerri-Anne" today.
The band will be performing their current single Counting Down The Days.
The Festival starts tonight with a gala dinner at the Dural Country Club featuring Donna Boyd and Kevin Johnson. A concert featuring this year’s Cooper's Golden Saddle grand finalists Lee Forster (left), Nikki Gillis and Markus Meier will be held at the Galston Club tomorrow night with the Festival proper running throughout Sunday at Fagan Park.
Special guest at this year's event will be "song and dance man" Mike McClellan who will be on hand on Sunday to make the presentation to the winner of the Golden Saddle Award. He will also perform during his visit.
In addition to a big entertainment program, Sunday's activities will also include a poets breakfast featuring Blue Mountains Poet Brian Bell, Ray Essery ("The Mullumbimby Bloke"), Graeme Johnson ("The Rhymer from Ryde") and multi award winning poet Carol Heuchan.
Main stage artists appearing this year, in addition to Mike and the Golden Saddle grand finalists, include Kirsty Lee Akers, Greg Bain, Debra Byrne, Travis Collins, Dragon, Bob Howe, Amber Lawrence, Karen Lynne, Simply Bushed and the Galston All-stars.
The inaugural Gresford (NSW) Country Music festival will be held over the long weekend of September 29 and 30.
Star line-up will include Graham Adams, Bluey, Bushrock, Christina George, Alf & Rhonda Hatch, Stan Hunt (pictured), Patti Morgan and Yellow Taxi.
Band members for the Festival include Scott Donaldson, Lyndan Jones and Bo Rogers.
Camping is available from the Friday (September 28) through to Monday October 1. All facilities, including hot food, will be available on site.
Entertainment on both days of the weekend starts at 1pm with a talent quest on Saturday.
Walk-up artists are invited to be involved by telephoning 02 6762 7326.
Gresford is located around 30 kilometres north of Maitland and about 40 kilometres east of Singleton in the NSW Hunter Valley.
Organisers of the annual Musicoz Awards have announced an extension of the entry closing date for this year's event to midnight on Friday September 14.
New Zealand country singer Ally Cook is standing as a candidate for the local council for Tasman where she lives with her husband Andrew and three children and runs a sport horse stud.
She's promising to preserve productive lands and improve regional public transport systems. She says: "Personally I'm tough and outspoken and not afraid to speak my mind. I am prepared for the challenge of representing the people of Waimea Moutere in council."
South Australian singer/songwriter John O'Dea has released a new single from his Old Rusty Ute album Parachilna Sunset.
"Each day it’s different, but nonetheless spectacular. It’s a Parachilna sunset.
"Orroroo-based John has put into words and music the beauty of this natural phenomenon that is placing Parachilna on the world map as one of Australia’s most sought-after tourist destinations.
"There are other qualities that draw JohnO to the Prairie, apart from the natural attractions. High up on the list would have to be the distinctive Fargher lager, brewed in the Barossa Valley specifically for Prairie Hotel publicans Jane and Ross Fargher. He’s unselfishly sampled this brew, all in the name of research, of course, just so he could do justice to the song.
"Mind you, listening to the track, you could at times feel you need a translator, when you strike code words like FMG which of course means Feral Mixed Grill. This is served by the feral chef and is a Prairie speciality, composed of kangaroo, emu, goat, or camel.
"The coal train indicated in the song is roughly three kilometres long and goes through Parachilna twice a day. When it approaches, the barman yells out: 'train on' and the bar basically empties as patrons head across the line for a look.
"On any given night at the Prairie Hotel, you could be talking to someone of any nationality as it’s an increasingly popular spot with backpackers and tourists from all over the globe. They’ve heard about the sunsets too."
John will be a featured artist for the first time at this year's Mildura Country Music Festival which gets underway on Friday September 28.
Photo: John in silhouette against "the Parachilna sunset".
The Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Steve Forde hit Spirit Of The Bush remains at number one on the coming week's Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the fourth week in succession.
George Strait's Wrapped is steady again at two, as is Amber Lawrence at three with Things That Bring Me Down while Toby Keith is at four with High Maintenance Woman.
Brad Paisley's Ticks is at five while Rascal Flatts is at six with Stand rounding out the fourth overseas act in the coming week's top 10.
Troy Cassar-Daley bounds into the 10 with his latest hit Everything's Gonna Be Alright at seven.
Gina Jeffreys' Stepped Right In It is down to eight, Dianna Corcoran's Stepping Stones drops to nine while Shea Fisher gets her first top 10 hit with Just The Excuse at number 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Donna Boyd with Angels Fly Close To The Ground (15 to 11), Graham Rodger with Woman On The Land (16 to 12), Kirsty Lee Akers' Little Things (17 to 13), Nicki Gillis with Remember Me (18 to 14), James Blundell's Ring Around The Moon (19 to 15), Drew McAlister's Along For The Ride (22 to 19), The Best Things In Life Are Free by Carter & Carter (26 to 20), Markus Meier's Walk In The Rain (25 to 22), Sign Of The Times by Amos Morris (28 to 24), Travis Collins with Yeah She Does (30 to 25), Kerri McInerney, Michael O’Rourke and Steve Eales with Stuck In The Middle With You (29 to 26) and Tom Curtain's Wearing Out Leather (new at 28).
Other new entries to the chart for the coming week include Steve Eales (pictured) with When A Cowboy Gets The Blues (in at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
Today, we introduce a new "on tour" page on the Country Music Bulletin website.
We consistently receive tour details from artists but, except where they are included in news stories, we unfortunately don't have the space to run them in the geneeral news page.
"The new page will provide a special service to the industry," said Publisher Bob Kirchner, "as well as to the thousands of fans who continually refer to our country music news bulletins."
Only artists who are undertaking extensive tours of a number of dates will be included.
"A seperate 'gig guide' service for listing individual performance dates is currently being developed," Bob said.
Weblink Country Music Bulletin On Tour Page
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2007
Jared won the Country category of the competition with his song Night Devine.
Country singer/songwriter Brenda Lee was named winner of the prestigious Rudy Brandsma Award for excellence in songwriting.
Award winners were announced at a gala evening presentation in front of an audience of more than 400 songwriters and industry professionals in Sydney on Thursday night.
Taryn Trautsch won the Shellharbour (NSW) heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition Saturday night.
The overall Grand Final winner will win an all expenses paid return trip to Nashville and a full album deal with ABC Music, distributed by Warner Music Australia.
Taryn was the last of the 11 entrants to take the stage and overcame a hiccup with her guitarist to win over the audience with her big, strong vocals, said a spokesman for competition organisers.
"Judges chose Taryn for her standout vocal range and confident stage presence."
"I wanted to win this so badly," Taryn said, "I’ve been practising really hard and it’s finally paid off. I’m so excited, I can’t wait for Tamworth!"
As part of the trip to Nashville, the Grand Final winner will perform at a number of high profile showcase concerts during the CMA (Country Music Association) Festival in June.
A separate prize, with an additional trip to Nashville, the Telstra Road to Tamworth Songwriters Award, is also on offer with the winner afforded a number of songwriting appointments with some of the industry’s best.
The Jimmy Little Foundation has regretfully advised that, due to Jimmy's ill health, the Rock the Foundation Darwin concert scheduled for Sunday September 16 has been postponed until next year.
Jimmy’s manager and co-director of the Foundation Buzz Bidstrup said: "Jimmy has on-going health problems, is currently undergoing daily medical assessment and his specialists have just advised that he is unable to travel for some time.
"He was really looking forward to appearing so it's appropriate that we postpone the event so that Jimmy can perform and represent the Foundation in Darwin. We anticipate this will be during the dry season next year.
"The venue is still on for a great show Saturday September 15 with the Darwin City Muster and we’ll be there in 2008," he said.
The Jimmy Little Foundation will honour a full refund on all Rock The Foundation tickets presented to the Darwin Entertainment Centre box office.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
The McClymont sisters are releasing to country radio Save Yourself, the first single off their forthcoming album Chaos And Bright Lights.
"It offers a blend of up-tempo, mainstream country songs, along with a mix of more traditional bluegrass style songs that have elements of alternative country," said a spokesman for Brooke, Mollie and Samantha.
"The girls wrote all the songs for the album in both Australia and Nashville also co writing with some of the best national and international songwriters."
Australian co-writes were with Rod McCormack (Adam Harvey, Gina Jeffreys and many others), Shane Nicholson and up and coming songwriter Erinn Sherlock.
While recording the album in Nashville, they co-wrote with writers including Monty Powell (Keith Urban’s main songwriting partner), Eric Silver (Dixie Chicks), Trey Bruce (Diamond Rio, LeAnn Rimes), Steve Diamond (Lonestar) and Frank Myers who wrote the hit country songs I swear and I’m Already There.
The album’s producer Adam Anders has produced and written with artists including Shannon Noll, Sinead O'Connor and Shania Twain and he has two Grammy Awards to his credit.
"The new album expresses the girl’s artistic growth over the past year and showcases their exquisite vocal harmonies," the spokesman said.
Chaos And Bright Lights will be available November 10.
Tamara Stewart, descibed as "one of Australia's finest singer/songwriters", has announced her return to country music following a break away for some time.
After "a well earned break from songwriting" Tamara is in the process of recording her third album which, she says, "will take us back to where The Way The World Is left off.
"This is an extremely exciting time for me," she said. "I have never been happier or more determined. This album has been a long time coming, but I just needed a break. Dreaming hard since I was 10 years old wore me out! I miss the music, I miss the industry and mostly I miss the country audiences."
Tamara first came on the country music scene in 2000 with her debut The Way The World Is which went on to earn her the prestigious APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Songwriter of the Year Award. It also generated a number one video, three top five hits and took her to the UK where she toured in 2001 and to America in 2001 and 2003.
Her second album (self titled), co produced with Rick Price, took on a more contemporary feel.
"This album," Tamara says, "I am going back to where it all began for me - writing from my heart and from my country roots. And to be producing it myself has bought a different perspective to my music. My creative juices are overflowing and it's like I have fallen in love with music all over again."
The first single from the album is described as "a country anthem" written by Tamara about balancing the responsibilities in a relationship and is titled Drive.
"Tamara's unique edgy vocals shine on this track and this diverse singer/songwriter is destined to produce yet another radio hit with the song," said a spokesman for the artist.
The single and accompanying video is due to hit radio/tv in late September and the album will follow early next year.
Brisbane based alt-country performer Nik Phillips has re-packaged his critically acclaimed album Songs From The 4th Floor album for release to retail early this month.
The re-packaged version features three new tracks the Country Music Channel video favourite Postcard, the forthcoming single My Town and Walls Fall Down together with new artwork and the previously heard singles Not In This Life (nominated for a Golden Guitar this year) and No One Is To Blame.
The album will be released in China before the end of the year under the title Postcard.
Nik, who performed at this year's Toyota National Country Music Muster (with The Flood's James Gillard filling in on bass when Marlon Holden was left stranded) sang in Townsville at the North Queensland Cowboys' final home game of the regular season on Friday and in the city's Strand Park on Saturday afternoon.
He has built a strong relationship with the North Queensland capital after recently penning the theme song for Townsville's This Is The Life campaign which was performed as a duet with James Blundell.
Nathaniel O'Brien will perform in the grand final of the ninth annual AMP "Search For A Star" competition next month, a talent competition designed to "locate and highlight the best local soloists and bands South Australia has to offer".
More than $20,000 worth of cash and prizes are up for grabs, along with the opportunity to perform in front of some of Australias best talent scouts.
"With the assistance and support of a dedicated following (the competition) is now considered a major event in Adelaide and rates amongst the largest showcases of local talent in the country," said a spokesman for the organisers.
Last year, more than 1,600 people attended the heats and 1,300 attended the grand final event. This year is expected to be bigger, so organisers are encouraging the public to purchase their tickets early.
The competition supports fundraising for the Cora Barclay Centre for Hearing Impaired Children which was established in 1945 by a group of pioneering women whose babies were born deaf due to the 1940's rubella epidemic.
CMC Top 50 Troy hits the top
The clip of Troy Cassar-Daley's Everything's Going To Be Alright hits the top of the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week.
Travis Collins jumps two more places to two with Yeah She Does while Brad Paisley is at three with Online and Emerson Drive are at four with A Good Man.
Reba McEntire is at five with Because Of You while Amber Lawrence's number one from last week The Things That Bring Me Down is at six and Shea Fisher's Just The Excuse is down to seven.
American country star Dierks Bentley enters the top 10 this week at eight with Free And Easy, Adam Brand edges up one place to nine with That Changes Everything and Jetty Road enters the top 10 at 10 with Real Smooth Cowboy.
Bullet performers this week include Jonah's Road with Counting Down The Days (17 to 11), Steve Forde's Metropolis (debuting at 15), Matt Scullion with Feels Like Sunday (31 to 28), Rob Black with Regular Guy (new at 30), Casey Watt & Brendon Radford with If I Needed You (38 to 34), Cat Southern (pictured) with Memories And Dreams (new at 48) and Chris Pickering with Nobody (new at 49).
CMC's Country Pick for the week is Dianna Corcoran's If You Hear Angels, the third single from her latest album Then There's Me.
The full playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
©Copyright 2007, ICMB Publishing