This website dedicated to bringing you the latest Australian country music news
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2008
Ted Egan has released a two song as a forerunner to a new album he will be recording next year, the first The Land Downunder in 2003 before he began serving as Administrator (akin to state Governor) for the Northern Territory.
The two songs are The Last Of The Packhorse Bagmen and Don't Ring A Bell.
John Kane and Mark Walmsley from SugaKane Music produced the songs and Ted says: "We are all thrilled with the outcome."
The Last Of The Packhorse Bagmen was inspired by Lachie McKinnon who Ted met at the Maree Pub, one of a group of itinerant workers known as "packhorse bagmen" who moved around outback Australia on horseback, riding one horse and leading one or two packhorses.
Usually they were talented workers – blacksmiths, fencers, yardbuilders, cooks, windmill experts and the like who carried their tools of trade in large leather bags loaded on to their packhorses.
Don't Ring A Bell refers "loosely" to Tom Burrows, the "consumate Aussie bushman" renowned for his many laconic statements and is based on the famous old poem How Would You Be?
The CD package includes words to the two songs and "karaoke" backing tracks.
Weblink – www.tedegan.com.au.
Following a big 2007 and 2008, Lou Bradley has released her fourth radio single – Small Town Blues – from her critically acclaimed debut album Love Someone.
Produced by Rod McCormack, Lou's album has gained a lot of attention during the last 12 months. It was named in the final five for Best Album in this year's ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Awards, received two Golden Guitar nominations and has two nominations in the Australian Independent Country Music Awards being announced at Mildura this weekend.
"It really has been a fairy tale few years," the NSW North Coast girl said. After graduating from the College of Country Music in 2006, "everything has just being going right.
"It's unbelievable the amount of positive response my album has received from the industry, media and the public. I have been so fortunate to work with and meet the most talented musicians and people I think this country has to offer. And the response from fans has almost been overwhelming!"
Weblink – www.loubradley.com.
Queenslander Lana Ross says she is "extremely happy" with the radio response she has received from her first single Heavens Park.
The singer/songwriter launched her debut album Stories To Tell locally at one of Mackay’s newest country music venues, Outback 2 Reef.
Fans, friends and family, as well as local radio and media representatives, were keen to show their support for Lana as she shared the stories behind the songs and the journey of how the album had unfolded.
The launch was a prelude to Tamworth’s Hats Off To Country Festival where Lana appeared at Butlers Auditorium. She also appeared on the Shirley Thoms Bronze Bust Fundraiser.
Weblink – www.lanaross.com.
John Williamson is at number one for the sixth week on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart this week with his latest release, Hillbilly Road.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones is up one to second place, Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 slips one to number three while Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is up another place to four.
The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is down one to five, Jasmine Rae's Look It Up is steady at six and John Williamson's The Platinum Collection is up one to seven.
The Reg Lindsay compilation No Dress Rehearsal re-enters the chart at number eight, The Very Best Of Slim Dusty re-enters the top 10 at nine as does The McClymonts' Chaos And Bright Lights at 10.
Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 11, Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of album is at 12 and The Slim Dusty Family's Reunion is at 13
Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 14, Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is at 15 and Adam Brand's What A Life re-enters the chart at 16.
Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright is at 17, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 18, Steve Forde's self-titled album re-enters the chart at 19 and Melinda Schneider (pictured) is at 20 with Be Yourself.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2008
Troy Cassar-Daley has achieved another major milestone in his career with the announcement that his "best of" album and DVD – Born To Survive – have both been certified gold by ARIA (the Australian Recording Industry Association).
This now brings Troy’s album sales to more than a quarter of a million copies since his singer/songwriter and now multi-media career began in 1994 with the release of his first single.
The news closely follows Troy’s recent award for the 2008 CMA (American Country Music Association) Global Country Artist Award presented to him in front of a standing room only crowd in Nashville. This award recognises outstanding achievement by an artist who has furthered country music’s popularity and brought attention to the format in their territory.
Troy is currently the reigning Golden Guitar Awards Male Artist of the Year, bringing his tally of Golden Guitars to 13. He has also been voted as Australian Country Music Entertainer of the Year five times (most recently last year).
In addition, Troy has received three ARIA Awards, six Deadlys (Deadly Sounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sports, Entertainment and Community Awards) and four 'MO Awards which recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia.
Weblink – www.troycassardaley.com.au.
The latest survey results from Radio Survey 2 in Canberra show an almost 10 percent share increase for ABC Radio's nationally heard program "Saturday Night Country".
"Surveys are held less often in Canberra and other centres outside the capital cities so it’s always interesting to see the results, said program presenter John Nutting.
The latest figures show "Saturday Night Country" has a 33.1 percent share of all stations up from 24.5 percent in the previous survey.
"This, of course, reflects the strong performance of ABC 666 Canberra as well in the market," John said. "This result, along with the other recently released surveys, confirm that 'Saturday Night Country' is still Australia’s most listened to country music show nationally."
Weblink – www.abc.net.au/snc.
America's Alan Jackson is at number one for the fourth week on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with Good Time.
The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid is up two to number two while Jasmine Rae's Country Singer is steady at three and Brad Paisley is at four with Waiting On A Woman.
Lee Forster & Travis Sinclair are at five with their collaboration on Good Tones, Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle bounds into the top 10 at number six and Brooks & Dunn are down to seven with Put A Girl In It.
8 Ball Aitken is at eight with Cyclone Country, America's Kenny Chesney is steady at nine with Better As A Memory while Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is new in the top 10 at 10.
Bullet performers for the coming week include Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt (18 to 14), Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me (19 to 15), Drew McAlister's Part Of The Family (20 to 17), Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl (27 to 24), Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Monkey On A Wire (29 to 25) and Brad Cole's Hits Me Like Lightning (30 to 26).
New entries to the chart for the coming week include Markus Meier with In My Boots (new at 29) and Sara Storer (pictured) with Sitting Here With Fay (at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2008
The first major event to be staged in Country Music Capital's new $30million Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) is the 2008 NCHA (National Cutting Horse Association) ANZ Cutting Futurity which kicks off this Saturday (September 27).
And, as is usually the case, country music entertainment will be a feature of the program.
Although the cutting action is obviously "the main game" entertainment at this year's event will include Golden Guitar winner Steve Forde who will perform on Saturday night and Shea Fisher, the daughter of Australian bull riding and bareback riding champion Eddie Fisher and barrel racing champion Joanne Fisher and a rodeo competitor herself (now turned rising country music star).
A crowd of more than 15,000 is expected at the Futurity, the 35th to be staged which will run for nine days through to and including Sunday October 5.
Event organisers ay they are thrilled with the overwhelming pre-event ticket numbers and are expecting the 2008 event may be a record milestone. As well as large audiences, competitor numbers were also adding to the excitement with 506 registered to take part in the competition.
In addition to the live music entertainment and cutting action, an invitation bull ride and ladies barrel race will take place on Friday October 3, the Professional Farriers Championship will take place on October 2, 4 and 5 and Sally Ham will demonstrate high velocity track riding on October 4, 5 and 6.
"The NCHA Cutting Futurity is the nationally recognised competition for the sport," said Glenn Morgan, NCHA Event Manager. "In 2008, we are drawing competitors and visitors from across Australia and even internationally. It's important that we not only meet expectations but exceed them where possible. I think anyone planning on coming to the event will have a great time and enjoy what we have put together."
"The multitude of events taking place over the nine days will also demonstrate the versatility of the new venue," according to Tourism Tamworth General Manager Rebel Thomson.
"The Equine Centre has been unveiled but the Futurity will truly be the showcase, it will be a buzz of activity and to see the centre in full swing providing a new level of professional event services is really exciting... This is shaping up to be a huge event..."
Tickets are available from Tamworth Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Peel and Murray Streets, over the phone on 02 6767 5300 or online at www.visittamworth.com.
Photo: Steve Forde and Shea Fisher.
Weblink – www.ncha.com.au.
The 2008 Queensland Gold Medallion Awards are currently being judged by media and radio personalities around Australia.
Presented annually by the World Alliance for Radio Presenters (WARP), this year's Awards incorporate a number of major changes.
Firstly, the Awards concert will be hosted by The Pioneer Village in Petrie, Brisbane, on Saturday October 18. "It was the general consensus of the WARP Executive that the move to the Queensland capital would enable more artists and media to partake in the event," according to a spokesman for the Awards.
"The second most important rule change was the introduction of the 'State of Origin' concept. Artists are now judged in the state of their birth not where they’re residing. In the long-term this will make it easier for the judges and will be fairer to all artists," the spokesman said, "as in the past, there has been conjecture about which state the artists were residing in. A website is currently under construction to rectify this for the future."
Australian country legends, Roll of Renown inductees and Golden Guitar winners Lindsay Butler and Brian Young will headline the concert together with South East Queensland country star Johnny Greenwood.
Reigning Queensland Female Vocalist of the Year Shaza Leigh will also appear with a roster of rising stars including 8 Ball Aitken, Marcus Meyer, Lana Ross and Tarscha. "It is anticipated that some of these artists may feature in the finals of New Talent of the Year when the judging is completed," the Awards spokesman said.
Reigning Queensland New Talent of the Year Sarah McMonagle and the Musician of the Year Lindsay Waddington will also be making an appearance alongside The Butler Boys who will provide backing for the evening.
Compere for the night will be radio identity Daryl Kirkup.
Tickets are available from Ruth & Garth Pocock of Pioneer Village, telephone 07 3284 6441, or from Kay at the WARP office on 07 5562 1292.
Photo: Lindsay Butler (left), Shaza Leigh and Brian Young.
Award winning Victorian group Ruckus is set to release a new music video.
The clip is of their version of the Charlie Daniels classic Devil Went Down To Georgia.
"It’s a lively lighthearted slapstick song about the iconic Aussie pastime of a drinking competition!!"
Ruckus frontman Mick Abrey said: "it was only made possible with the tireless work and extreme enthusiasm of Ricardo and Niniane from Peregrine Productions who directed and produced the clip.
"Not all musos make good actors but Ricardo and Niniane brought out the best in everyone and you know what they say, 'the proof is in the pudding'.
"A big thankyou also goes to Sue O’Brian from Chateau Yering House Hotel out in the Yarra Valley for the use of their beautiful library. This place is certainly worth a visit if you are travelling around Vic. Thanks, too, to Janine and Tracey and all the good people from A D Ryans, bar tavern in Diamond Creek. They opened their doors at 7am on Monday morning to let loose the film crew, the band and friends to turn the place upside down till about 11pm that night. They are ordinarily closed on Mondays!
"There are too many people to mention here but another couple of thankyous go to Glen for the use of his ute which went home a little worse for wear and Rob, our makeup artist from Ebb and Flow Hair and Makeup Studio who transformed the band into their characters."
"If characters are any indication from the still shots, Ruckus and Devil Pub are about to hit television screens with their own brand of hilarious fun," the spokesman said.
Photo: some of the "characters" from the video clip.
Weblink – www.ruckus.net.au.
Recovering from the recent Galston Festival and the Coppers Golden Saddle Awards where she played her heart out to a very appreciative audience, Sharon Lane has released a new single.
The self-penned Something You Said, being released to radio this month, is the third single from Sharon's album album Second Chance.
Her earlier release – I Don’t Want To Fall To Pieces peaked at 25 on the HOT FM Top 100 Sunraysia Charts earlier this month and continues to receive national airplay.
Filming for a clip of the new single is underway and Sharon says she is excited about the prospects of the new single.
Meanwhile, Sharon's next focus is the 2008 Deadly Awards at the Sydney Opera House on October 9. Voting for the Deadlys closes September 30.
Performance wise, Sharon is booked to appear on November 1 with Roger Knox at the Boorabee Festival in Glen Innes (NSW) to celebrate 25 years of land rights.
Just prior to Galston, Sharon flew into North Queensland for a two-day visit and a performance before a crowd of miners at Darimah Village at Century Mine.
Departing Sydney for Townsville she left by private jet to Zinifex Century Mine which is one of the largest zinc mines in the world producing 880,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 70,000 tonnes of lead concentrate annually.
Weblink – www.shazlane.com.
The annual October long weekend Hoedown will go ahead at Poley’s Place, Thunderbolts Way, Barrington (NSW), from the 4th till the 6th inclusive.
The weekend will feature Melissa Bajric (pictured), Lindsay Butler, Terry Gordon (pictured), Humdinger (Lenny Crawford & Chad Plane), Shaza Leigh, Brian Quartermaine and Lindsay Waddington plus "walk-up" artists.
The music starts at 9am on Saturday and Sunday with a weekend pass, including camping, available at a cost of $50 for adults, $15 for children aged 5 to 14 and under five free. A day pass is $10 and can be arranged by contacting Rosemary on 02 6558 4220.
Catherine Britt (pictured) has taken over the number one spot on the coming week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of her song Lucky Girl.
Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt edges up one place to number three while Adam Brand is at four with Blame It On Eve and Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me rises to five.
Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle jumps into the top 10 at eight, Jasmine Rae's Country Singer is at 10 and The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid is at 12.
Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me debuts at 13, Rob Black's We Have Kids is at 16, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson are at 17 with Monkey On A Wire, Jayne Denham's Country Girl With A Rock N Roll Heart is at 18 and Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To is at 19.
Bullet performers for the week include Chasing Bailey's Little By Little (35 to 30) and Jonah's Road with Giddy Up (new at 33).
Other new entries to the playlist in the coming week include The Flood's Come Tomorrow (new at 49) and The Bobkatz with The Long Haul (at 50).
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
Events NSW, an initiative of the Office of Protocol and Special Events in the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, has announced a partnership with Tamworth Regional Council and the Country Music Association of Australia aimed at securing Tamworth as the home of country music in Australia and the Golden Guitar Awards.
"Tamworth is Australia’s spiritual home to country music," said John Montgomery, General Manager of Events NSW, an arm of government developed to provide a comprehensive resource for organisers of events in NSW.
"(We are) proud to be supporting the Tamworth Country Music Festival and (Golden Guitar) Awards," he said. "The... event has many times been counted among the world’s top 10 music festivals."
A critical part of Events NSW's consideration for investing in the event was the economic, marketing and community outcomes that it drove, he said. "We expect to work together with stakeholders to drive the next generation of growth."
Although little detail was provided with the announcement, a report in Tamworth's Northern Daily Leader newspaper said that (Events NSW would) drive strategic planning and research for the annual January festival with the appointment of a research officer for the next three years as well as providing a funding injection to the combined entity believed to be more than several hundred thousand dollars.
"Events NSW says it is about to invest heavily to help develop a strategic plan to map the future of the Tamworth Country Music Festival," The Leader report said.
It had agreed to a partnership to fund the study that would be based on next year's festival. "He says the funding will be used to better understand what might drive the festival in the future... to work out what the foundations are, to take the festival forward for the next 37 years."
"It's in great shape at the moment," John Montgomery was quoted as saying at the announcement, "but we're looking for the future, what needs to be done to enable better enjoyment of the festival for people who come."
James Treloar, long-serving Tamworth Mayor, just re-elected to Council at this month's NSW local government elections, paid tribute to the country music industry at the announcement noting that (it) heralded a new phase in the partnership between Tamworth and the industry.
Fifteen-year-old singer/songwriter Shannae Sclippa from Dimbulah won the Far North Queensland (FNQ) heat of the Telstra Road to Tamworth talent search on Saturday night at the Atherton International Club.
A capacity crowd of 400 fans turned out to cheer on the 14 contestants in the heat which also featured performances by Catherine Britt and reigning quest title holder Jasmine Rae.
Telstra's Wally Donaldson was on hand to present Shannae with her trophy and $1,000 to help her on her way to the finals to be held in Tamworth during the country music festival in January where she will be in the running for prizes including a trip to Nashville and an album deal with ABC Music.
Shannae, who says she is dedicated to making a career in country music, said she has had a great year so far. In July, she was awarded a scholarship to the Tamworth Camerata junior school of country music, has performed as part of the headline entertainment at Croydon Poddy Dodgers Music Festival and as part of the FNQ Hot Country Showcase.
She will also be seen on the main stage on October 11 at the FNQ Country Music Festival at Kerribee Park, Mareeba.
In addition, Shannae is in the studio recording her debut CD which she hopes to have ready in time for the Tamworth trip in January.
"Wow that was pretty unexpected," she said after being announced the winner. "There is so much great talent here, I’m just happy I got to show everyone what I’ve got," she said.
Weblink – www.beinvolved.telstra.com/countrymusic.
In January, James Blundell will release his ninth studio album, Portrait Of A Man.
A follow-up to the ARIA, APRA and Golden Guitar awards nominated Ring Around The Moon, James' latest offering is set to highlight his "immense talents as a singer/songwriter in a stripped back, more intimate mode," according to the announcement release.
Twenty years after releasing his debut, James will set out on the road in late 2008 and into 2009 for a series of "up close and personal" acoustic performances at a number of "hand-picked" venues around the nation.
"He has been the recipient of nine (Golden Guitar) Awards, double platinum, platinum and gold sales awards and is a five time ARIA Award nominee."
The album’s first single – Good Wood – will be released to radio later this month.
Joining James on his upcoming tour will be fellow troubadour Peter Denahy and Bec Lavelle, who is best known for her work as the singing voice on the Nine Network series "McLeod’s Daughters" which currently airs in more than 110 countries throughout the world.
Bec's debut album – Intimate Portrait, set for release in Australia later this year, is described as a collection of 12 beautiful songs which she has co-written, recorded and produced with Daniel Jones of Savage Garden.
Entries in the 2008 Musicoz Awards will now be accepted up to Tuesday September 30.
Well known for its prize opportunities, Musicoz has provided more this year than in previous years.
New to the pool is a performance on the Musicoz stage at this year’s Peats Ridge Festival, a music video from Nice Bike Entertainment, an artist development and styling package valued at $10,000 from Black Dove Media, 500 Bandtag cards from Bandtag.com.au as well as other distribution, management and publishing opportunities.
All finalists will also be featured on Bigpond Music.
There are 18 genres to enter in the Awards including country, pop, rock, acoustic/singer-songwriter, jazz/classical, blues/roots, world/folk, international, christian/spiritual, live, instrumental, video and aboriginal/Torres Strait islander.
Judges for 2008 include Mark Neilson from The Drum Media, Brett Nossiter from Channel [V], Matt O’Connor of The A&R Department and Michael Parisi of Warner Music.
In other Musicoz news, the Musicoz TV series will soon be launching nationally on pay television's Aurora Channel and all finalists will be featured throughout the series.
Entries can be made on-line.
Weblink – www.musicoz.org.
John Williamson (pictured) retains the number one position for the fifth week in a row on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Top 20 Australian Artist Country Albums Chart with his latest release, Hillbilly Road.
Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008 jumps three places to be in second place while Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones is down one to three and The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is steady at four.
Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is up one to five, Jasmine Rae's debut Look It Up debuts is down to six and Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright re-enters the chart at seven.
John Williamson's The Platinum Collection is steady at eight, Chasing Bailey's Long Story Short bounds back into the top 10 at nine and Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits remains at number 10.
The Slim Dusty Family's Reunion is down to 11, Troy Cassar-Daley's Born To Survive: Best Of album re-enters the chart at 12 while The McClymonts' Chaos And Bright Lights is at 13.
The Very Best Of Slim Dusty is at 14, Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me re-enters the chart at 15 and Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is at 16.
Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 17, Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is at 18, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is at 19 and Sara Storer's Silver Skies re-enters the chart at 20.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19,2008
Hot on the heels of his 2007 EP It’s Just Turned Drinking Time comes David Delle Vergin's 2008 EP The Devil’s New Girlfriend.
The EP contains five new original tracks showcasing Dave’s writing and performing style.
Title track is described as a humorous, tongue in cheek look at a "the mother-in-law and the effect she has on the family".
What You Learn Out Here is a song that talks about family and community values in the bush while Country Folk Know How To Party is a "country rockin'" theme set in the B&S (bachelors and spinsters) community and making the point, they don’t need the city to make their own fun.
Malady is an instrumental written and performed by Nathan Warrick, Dave’s guitarist while Kim Ritchie joins Dave in the final song Picking Up The Pieces which he describes as "is a true traditional country duet".
In making this EP, Dave was joined by some of Australia’s leading musicians – Kinta Dando, The Davidson Brothers, Dave Moore, Harry Jon Nanos, Kim Ritchie, Nathan Warrick and Jay J Williams.
Dave’s CDs are distributed through WJO Distribution and is available from Leading Edge or local music stores. They can also be purchased from Dave’s website (see below).
Weblink – www.daviddellevergin.com.
Jasmine gets her first number one and releases debut album and a new single
She performed at the CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival in the US and has recorded her debut album in both Australia and America with two of Nashville's finest producers, Richard Landis and Mark Moffatt.
Jasmine also performed the national anthem at the third State Of Origin in Sydney in July – a performance which was televised to more than 1.8 million people across Australia. That was after appearing on "Country Music Across America" in the US, which goes into 60 million homes on the GAC (Great American Country) network.
Throughout the year, Jasmine’s fan base has continuously grown through her tour, radio play and TV performances and the new single highlights her "rootsy edge and street wise persona".
Weblink – www.jasminerae.com.au.
Alan Jackson (pictured) hangs on to the one position for the third week in a row on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with the title track to his current album Good Time.
Lee Forster & Travis Sinclair are steady at two with their collaboration on Good Tones, Jasmine Rae's Country Singer edges up one place to number three while The Sunny Cowgirls jump three places to number four with Acting Stupid.
Brooks & Dunn and 8 Ball Aitken remain steady at five and six, respectively, with Put A Girl In It and Cyclone Country while Harmony James is down to seven with Home.
America's Brad Paisley is at eight with Waiting On A Woman, Kenny Chesney's Better As A Memory is at nine and Matt Frost's Second Home Town is at 10.
Bullet performers for the coming week include Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle (16 to 11), Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt (24 to 18), Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me (23 to 19), Rob Black's We Have Kids (27 to 22), Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To (29 to 25) and Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl (new at 27).
Other new entries to the chart this week include Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Monkey On A Wire (new at 29) and Brad Cole's Hits Me Like Lightning (at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008
The Australian Country Music People’s Choice Awards move to a new venue in Tamworth for the 2009 country music festival.
The Awards will be staged in Country Music Capital’s newest venue, the Capitol Theatre, built as part of the new major shopping centre and multi-level carpark in the centre of the city.
And there will be a new presentation time for the event which is recognised as one of Australia’s most important and significant awards schemes – the first Saturday night of the main Festival week.
Another change for the Awards is an additional category being introduced for the first time, Video Clip of the Year.
"And, it’s our 10th year," said Awards spokesman Bob Kirchner, "a great occasion for a special celebration."
The People’s Choice Awards began in 2000 and have been presented every January since then.
"We see our move to the prestigious new purpose-built Capitol performing arts theatre as a special celebration for our first decade," Bob said.
"We believe, as do many artists and the thousands of fans who vote every year, that the People’s Choice Awards are one of the most significant as it is the fans deciding who wins, and that is very important."
Voting for the Awards is now open at the dedicated Awards website – www.peopleschoiceawards.com.au. A paper form can also be downloaded from the website for those who prefer to vote that way.
Entries have opened for Toyota Star Maker 2009, the 30th anniversary staging of the event.
Billed as Australia’s most prized country music crown, Star Maker 2009 will be decided at the grand final on Sunday, January 18.
The annual star search, the nation’s most significant, most successful and influential new talent event in Australian country music, has been responsible for giving the nation many of today’s major country stars.
The star-making power of the quest is demonstrated in the list of winners who have launched their mainstream careers via Star Maker. Names like James Blundell, Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys, Lee Kernaghan and, of course, Keith Urban... through to young stars like Kirsty Lee Akers, Travis Collins, Samantha McClymont (from The McClymonts) and the reigning Star Maker Talia Wittman.
So how does it all happen? Each year, Toyota Star Maker invites aspiring country music stars to compete for a range of opportunities that will provide a substantial career boost for the winner.
"Toyota Star Maker is not a talent competition as such," said a spokesman for the organisers, Rural Press Events. "It is an annual search for an individual star who has the greatest potential to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the prize package, a package that now includes a full album record deal.
"The message is: if you are ready to take the next big step, enter and you could join previous winners of Toyota Star Maker on the ride of your life."
The prize package includes use of the title Toyota Star Maker 2009, a "big budget" recording session with one of Australia’s top producers, album recording contract with Compass Brothers Records, distribution and promotion of at least two tracks to radio and other media, 50 copies of the album for personal distribution, a Maton the title, production of a professional video clip of one of the tracks by an award winning director, media promotion including monthly exposure in Australia’s only monthly country music magazine Country Music Capital News, photographic portfolio with Image Design Photography, guaranteed performance bookings at a designated list of events organised by Artist Network including the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Perth Muster, Mud Bulls & Music, Toyota National Muster at Gympie and Penrith’s Museum of Fire plus a special performance at the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final in 2010.
"Artists seriously looking for a professional long term career in country music are invited to apply," the spokesman said.
Rising talent Lianna Rose will release her debut album next month.
Signing to Mushroom Music Publishing in 2007, Lianna says her long term goal as a songwriter has been achieved and her quest embarked on 12 months prior had all been worthwhile.
Selling her family home, grabbing a swag full of original songs and relocating to the NSW Central Coast, she set about to record her debut release titled Soak Up The World.
Described as "an artist of tremendous potential who covers country, roots and rock territory, Lianna "writes from the heart with raw honesty yet can make you smile as well," according to Bill Page, Creative Manager, Mushroom Music Publishing.
A growing demand as a co-writer has Lianna’s songs recorded on two of Australia’s most highly acclaimed albums for 2008, Adam Brand’s Blame It on Eve and 2008 Toyota Star Maker winner Talia Wittman’s debut, Reckless Side Of Me.
Lianna's debut single from the 13 track album is titled Jack (I Got New Strings). The album was produced by Matt Fell in Sydney and features musicians including Matt, Mick Albeck, Michael Carpenter, Glen Hannah, Dai Pritchard, Mark Punch and Bill Risby.
Soak Up The World will be officially released on RedTown Records through MGM Distribution on October 11.
Weblink – www.liannarose.net.
America's Brad Paisley hangs on to the number one spot on the coming week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Waitin' On A Woman.
Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl rise rises two places to be in second place while Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt is at four and Jasmine Rae's Country Singer is down to number five.
Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve jumps three places to six, Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me is also up three places to seven and The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid is at nine.
Bullet performers for the week include Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To (16 to 12), Rob Black's We Have Kids (18 to 14), Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle (new at 16), Victoria Baillie (pictured) with Melt (22 to 18), Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Monkey On A Wire (23 to 20), The Davidson Brothers' Long Distance Love Affair (new at 25), John Williamson's Cydi (30 to 36) and Brad Cole's Hits Me Like Lightning (32 to 29).
New to the playlist in the coming week is the clip of Jessica Belle's Cross I Can't Bear (new at 49).
The coming week's CMC Country Pick is Steve Forde's Life's Got Something Good For Me, the first single from Steve's upcoming album, Guns & Guitars.
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au./
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2008
Tommy Emmanuel will undertake a national performance tour in Australia next year, his first in three years following cancellation of his 2008/09 tour because of health concerns, and is releasing a new album and DVD this month.
Recently voted Best Acoustic Guitarist by prestigious US music magazine "Guitar Player", Tommy’s legendary musicianship has won him worldwide acclaim from varied notables including singer/axeman Eric Clapton and "Monty Python" actor/comedian Eric Idle.
Iconic fingerpicker Chet Atkins called Tommy "one of the all-time greatest guitarists on the planet". And a recent newspaper article described him as being "to the guitar, what Michael Phelps is to swimming – pure gold!!"
Tommy's new album and the tour are titled Center Stage while the DVD will be titled Emmanuel Labor. The album and DVD will be out on September 28.
"To me, music is something that is beautiful and positive," says Tommy. "If I can pass that torch on to others, then I'm happy, and I’m thrilled to be coming back home and playing for some Aussie crowds again."
Tommy's Center Stage Tour will comprise nine dates around the country across the month of June.
An exclusive, limited pre-sale promotion is underway at www.entertainmentedge.com.au with "access to the best seats in the house at $10 off!"
Jasmine Rae's debut album Look It Up has hit three ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) album charts in top 10 positions this week.
The album has debuted at number three on the Australian Artist Country Album Chart, at five on the Australian International Country Album Chart and number 20 on the mainstream Australian Artist Albums Chart.
The 2008 Telstra Road To Tamworth winner and now ABC Music artist has also debuted at number two on the iTunes Country Chart.
Jasmine, who was virtually unknown before winning the Telstra Road To Tamworth competition in January, was blown away by the result when told of the news last night.
"I’m so grateful that music fans have actually gone out and bought my album!" she exclaimed. "What can I do for them? Maybe their shopping or washing? It’s such a dream come true."
A sneak peak of Jasmine’s upcoming video for the album’s title track can now be seen on her website. The single is at radio now.
Weblink – www.jasminerae.com.au.
The US based Australian (and one English) group The Greencards have announced their signing to Sugar Hill Records.
Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kym Warner says of the signing: "As The Greencards enter into a new phase of pushing musical boundaries, we are very excited to have signed with a label capable of moving with us. Our new album is already underway, and with producer Jay Joyce we are experiencing a focused creativity like never before. We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Sugar Hill Records."
The three piece group consists of Kym, Carol Young on bass and vocals and Eamon McLoughlin (the Englishman) on fiddle and viola. "Their ever-evolving acoustic sound has earned them accolades (including Austin Music Awards, Americana Music Awards and a Grammy nomination, among others) and spots on some of the country's most revered festival stages (Telluride Festival, Austin City Limits Fest and Bonnaroo to name a few)," said a spokesman for the band.
"The group's virtuosity and deep musical integrity make them a great addition to the legacy-driven, roots-heavy roster at Sugar Hill," said Gary Paczosa, Vice President of A&R (Artist & Repertoire) at the label, one of America’s most revered and (long lived) independent labels.
"The Greencards are a natural fit for us. I worked with them on two previous projects and have always been impressed by their musical vision and their focused approach to their career and development."
The band's new album, their fourth, is slated for release early next year.
Weblink – www.thegreencards.com.
American country star Kenny Rogers is on his way to Australia for his first tour in a decade.
Celebrating his 50th year in show business, Kenny will perform nationally kicking off at the Brisbane River Stage on Friday October 17.
Having recorded more than 65 albums, which have sold more than 105 million copies worldwide, Kenny is one of country music’s most popular, successful and celebrated stars with an extraordinary body of hits including Lady, Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town, The Gambler, She Believes in Me, Islands in the Stream (with Dolly Parton), We’ve Got Tonight, Coward of The County, You Decorated My Life and Rueben James to name just a few.
Kenny has won three Grammy Awards, 11 People’s Choice Awards, 18 American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music awards and five Country Music Association (CMA) awards. He is the only artist in recording history to chart a record in each of the last six decade.
The Gambler, one of his biggest hits, spawned no fewer than five movies and a five-episode mini-series, seen by more than 100 million people in the US alone. Kenny starred as "Brady Hawks" in the movie. He’s written four books of fiction and non-fiction, published three books of photography and is chairman of the company Dreamcatcher Entertainment.
Born in Texas the fourth of eight children, Kenny formed his first band in high school in 1956 and never quit making music from that time on delivering memorable songs, drawing fans among rock, pop, soul and country audiences across all ages groups and recently celebrated his 70th birthday (August 21).
Tickets go on sale September 24. Check our On Tour page for tour details.
Weblink – www.ampresents.com www.kennyrogers.com.
On this week's chart, John Williamson retains the number one position for the fourth week in a row with his latest album, Hillbilly Road.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson (pictured) are steady at number two with Rattlin' Bones while Jasmine Rae's debut album Look It Up debuts this week at number three and The Sunny Cowgirls' Dust Will Settle is down one to number four.
Fifth position is taken by the debut of Adam Brand's Greatest Hits 1998 - 2008, Keith Urban is up three places to six with Greatest Hits: 18 Kids and The McClymonts are down two to seven with Chaos And Bright Lights.
John Williamson's The Platinum Collection is down to number eight, The Slim Dusty Family's Reunion is down to nine while Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits re-enters the top 10 at 10.
Lee also holds 11th position with Spirit Of The Bush, Slim Dusty's Very Best Of album is at 12 and John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... is up to number 13.
Lee's The New Bush re-enters the chart at 14, Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself is at 15 and Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve is at 16.
Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower is at 17, Chasing Bailey's Long Story Short is at 18, Slim Dusty's Pubs, Trucks & Plains re-enters at 19 and Reg Lindsay's No Dress Rehearsal is steady at 20.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2008
Drew McAlister (pictured) has taken out the 2008 Cooper's Golden Saddle Award finalised at The Galston Club in Sydney on Saturday night.
An emotional Drew was presented with the hand carved miniature leather saddle by last years' winner, Nicki Gillis, after what was described as "an incredible performance by each of the finalists, backed by the Galston AllStars".
The three finalists, Matt Frost, Sharon Lane and Drew, performed in front of a capacity crowd of country music fans and local identities. "All three gave extraordinarily strong performances," a Golden Saddle spokesman said, "the judges had their work cut out for them."
In a first this year, aside from the Cooper's Golden Saddle Award itself, there were two other awards, the Cooper's Golden Saddle People's Choice Award, presented by Tony Brentnall of Premium Beverages, which went to Matt Frost, and the Tomkins Guitars Golden Saddle Performance Award, presented by Al Tomkins, which went to Drew McAlister.
"With the new Performance Award, Drew takes possession of the beautiful custom designed perpetual trophy – a black Tomkins Guitar with the Golden Saddle logo in gold leaf on the front – for 12 months and, as part of the Peoples Choice Award, Matt will perform later in the year at Canterbury Country."
All three finalists were slated to perform today on the Galston Country Music Festival Main Stage at Fagan Park.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008
Rose Carleo and Michael Fix have released Reach Out, a CD in support of suicide awareness.
"Suicide Awareness is a not-for-profit organisation that helps those suffering depression or considering self-harm. Its goal is to raise awareness that it's OK to ask for help," Rose said.
The CD features three vocal and two instrumental tracks including the title song and a new acoustic recording of Everything I Need, both Carleo/Fix compositions. Reach Out To Me is being released to radio via NfS 125 this week.
The CD is "hot off the press" and now available for sale at $15 plus $4 postage (within Australia) and are available from www.suicideawareness.com.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or or post money orders/cheques (made out to Suicide Awareness) to PO Box 8039, Griffith NSW 2680.
Rose will also have the CD available at her gigs.
Weblink – www.rosecarleo.com.
Well known country music musician Lawrie Minson is marrying Shelly Watts in Tamworth today (Friday September 12).
Shelly is from the Hunter Valley where her family are on the land. The couple will live in Tamworth.
Jeff and Lyn Brown are celebrating the birth of twin boys.
Casey James (5 pound 13) and William Jeffrey (6' 11) were born on Monday (September 8).
Mother is reported to be doing well. Jeff is off performing in Nanango (Qld) this weekend).
Australia's Keith Urban has two nominations in the upcoming CMA (Country Music Association) Awards.
Announced on Wednesday, nominations are dominated by America's Kenny Chesney (with seven), Jennifer Nettles (six), George Straight with five and Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley with four each.
Keith's two nominations are for Entertainer of the Year (competing against Chesney, Paisley, Straight and Sugarland (featuring Nettles) and Male Vocalist of the Year (against Chesney, Jackson, Paisley and Straight).
Key category finalists include...
Female Vocalist of the Year – Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.
New Artist of the Year – Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins, Lady Antebellum, James Otto and Kellie Pickler.
Vocal Group of the Year – Eagles, Emerson Drive, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts.
Vocal Duo of the Year – Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland and The Wreckers.
Album of the Year – Carnival Ride by Carrie Underwood, Cowboy Town by Brooks & Dunn, Good Time by Alan Jackson, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates by Kenny Chesney and Troubadour by George Strait
Musician of the Year – Jerry Douglas (dobro), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Dann Huff (guitar), Brent Mason (guitar) and Mac McAnally (guitar).
Winners will be announced in Nashville on November 12.
Weblink – www.cmaawards.com.
Alan Jackson hangs on to the one position on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with the title track to his current album Good Time.
Lee Forster & Travis Sinclair are up one more place to number two with their collaboration on Good Tones, Harmony James (pictured) slips one place to number three with Home while Jasmine Rae's Country Singer jumps three places to be in fourth position.
Brooks & Dunn and 8 Ball Aitken are steady at five and six, respectively, with Put A Girl In It and Cyclone Country while The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid bounds into the top 10 at number seven.
Matt Frost's Second Home Town edges up one place to number eight, America's Kenny Chesney is at nine with Better As A Memory and Amber Lawrence's Good Girls is at 10.
Bullet performers for the coming week include John Williamson's Drink A Little Love (17 to 13), Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself (20 to 15), Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle (21 to 16), Drew McAlister's Part Of The Family (24 to 21), Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me (26 to 22), Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt (28 to 24) and Rob Black's We Have Kids (30 to 27).
New entries to the chart this week include Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To (new at 29) and Jeff Brown's The Long Haul (at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2008
The 2008 ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Awards nominations have been announced.
In Best Country Album, the nominees are Be Yourself by Melinda Schneider, Chaos and Bright Lights by The McClymonts, Little WildFlower by Catherine Britt, Rattlin' Bones by Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson and Silver Skies by Sara Storer.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin Bones is also a nominee for Album of the Year.
The 2008 ARIA Awards will be held in Sydney on October 19.
Weblink – www.ariaawards.com.au.
Organisers of the annual Australian Bush Laureate Awards have announced that nominations for the 2009 Awards are now open and a new category – Bush Poem of the Year – is being introduced.
The new recognition category – for the best individual piece of Australian rhymed verse – is expected to be a strong feature of this year’s Awards.
"Nominations must be original verse first released in a commercially published book during the eligibility period," said a spokesman for the Awards, "with a limit of one nomination per poet."
The category has been introduced following consultation with poetry groups as another way of highlighting individual poems and authors as compared to a body of work.
"While the recorded or vocal section of the Awards contain a category for Single Recorded Performance of the Year as well as for a body of work with Album of The Year, in the published writing section there had been recognition only for Book of the Year," the spokesman said.
"Poem of the Year now recognises individual pieces of published rhyming bush verse in their own right."
The Australian Bush Laureate Awards, which started in 1996, already bestow prestigious Golden Gumleaf trophies in five other bush poetry categories... Book, Album and Single of the Year, Children's Poem of the Year and the Judith Hosier Award for outstanding achievement in nurturing Australia’s unique heritage of rhymed verse.
The Awards presentation, long hailed as one of the most enjoyable Tamworth Festival events, 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.
The closing date for receipt of nominations is Friday October 17 and nominations can be downloaded off the Awards website... www.bushlaureate.com.au.
Internet ticket sales for the Awards Gala Presentation Concert go on sale October 1 at www.visittamworth.com. Over the counter and telephone sales will be available from November 1.
Another strong radio survey continues to make the ABC's "Saturday Night Country" Australia's most listened to country music program.
Host John Nutting (pictured) said that despite a very flat result in Sydney (which reflects that station's overall performance) all over, capital city stations rated very well.
Following are the audience shares of "Saturday Night Country" from the radio industry's metropolitan Survey 6. The survey includes "all stations" in each market, AM and FM.
For more than eight years now, on the second Thursday of each month, Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club in Sydney has been presenting "the best in country music" under the banner of "Canterbury Country".
During this time, the show has become regarded by many as the city's premier country music concert.
Tomorrow night (September 11) the 100th "Canterbury Country" will be staged.
Hosted by the regular line-up of Bob Howe & Hillbilly Heaven with Nicki Gillis (pictured), this show will feature "a huge line-up" of guest vocalists including Donna Boyd, Kel-Anne Brandt, Cletis Carr, The Dead Setters, Dwayne Elix, The Harmonators, Murray Hill, Tracy Killeen, Victoria McGee, Alby & Melody Pool, Ronni Rae Rivers, Ami Williamson, Bryen Willems
The "100th milestone" also co-incides with "Canterbury Country's" most popular night of the year, the Hank Williams Birthday Bash, two hours of classic songs associated with the era of the legend that was Hank.
Weblink – www.shownet.com.au/canterburycountry.html.
Country singer/songwriter and recording artist Kerrigan La-Brooy has published his children’s book – "Caro The Talking Carrot Meets Wilma The Worm" – with impressive sales so far.
The book is currently entered in the 2008 International Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. In the meantime, Kerrigan is still working on his novel.
With his country music "hat on", Kerrigan will be appearing at the Dandenong RSL on November 1 with more appearances scheduled for 2008 in Tooleybuc and Cowra NSW.
The popular singer/songwriter just celebrated his first Father’s Day and says it was one of the most important days of his life. "But, the best news is, the new baby is due to arrive one day before Kerrigan Jr turns one."
Weblink – www.kerriganlabrooy.com.
This week, we introduce a new weekly feature, a rundown on the previous week's Australian country music album sales.
The chart, compiled by ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) covers, mainly, albums released by major record companies and distributors but does provide a snapshot of what is selling in that sector of the industry.
This week's chart has John Williamson's Hillbilly Road at number one for the third week in a row.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson are at two with Rattlin' Bones, up one from the previous week; The Sunny Cowgirls are at three, down one from the previous week, with Dust Will Settle; and The Slim Dusty Family is steady at four with Reunion.
The McClymonts are up four places to number five with Chaos And Bright Lights, John Williamson's The Platinum Collection is steady at six and Adam Harvey's I'm Doin' Alright re-enters the top 10 at number seven.
Lee Kernaghan's Spirit Of The Bush is at eight, Keith Urban's Greatest Hits: 18 Kids is down one to nine and Lee Kernaghan's Big Ones Greatest Hits is at 10.
At number 11 is Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve... at 12, Chasing Bailey's Long Story Short... at 13, Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself... at 14, The Very Best Of Slim Dusty... at 15, Catherine Britt's Little Wildflower... at 16, Sara Storer's Silver Skies... at 17, John Williamson's True Blue – The Very Best Of... at 18, The Winners 2008... at 19, Steve Forde's self titled album... and at 20, Reg Lindsay's No Dress Rehearsal.
Liam now advances through to the competition finals to be held at the Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra in January and is in the running to win a proze package including a full album deal with ABC Music and a return trip to Nashville.
Described as a "local lad through and through", having attended Wodonga High School followed by a stint in the local Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Liam, who won the heat from 13 fellow entrants, now spends his days concentrating on his music full-time.
Having had a successful solo career, Liam teamed his love of music with his other love, fiancé Carly Val, to form their duo Tender Wolf and the pair perform regularly in and around Albury/Wodonga.
"This is absolutely fabulous," Liam said after being announced winner, "I can’t believe I won."
Weblink – www.beinvolved.telstra.com/countrymusic.
Cooper Chet Manning – a son for Matt and Rachel – was born on Tuesday August 19.
Weighing in at 8lb 14ozs, Cooper is a brother for Caleb.
America's Brad Paisley (pictured) is at number one on the coming week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of his song Waitin' On A Woman.
Jasmine Rae's number one from this week – Country Singer – is down one place to number two while Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl rises three places to four and Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt is at eight.
The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid – is down to seven while Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve enters the top 10 at number nine and Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me is also new in the top 10 at 10.
Bullet performers for the week include Carter & Carter's Slow Dancing At Midnight (18 to 15), Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To (19 to 16), Rob Black's We Have Kids (21 to 18), Chasing Bailey's Little By Little (new at 36) and Jackie Bristow's Crazy Love (48 to 45).
The coming week's CMC Country Pick is Adam Harvey's Genie In A Bottle.
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2008
With two major new entertainment venues, an extra day of music events and negotiations underway with major Australian and international performers, the 2009 Tamworth Country Music Festival is shaping up to launch a new era for the event.
And fans will have 11 days to enjoy the festivities after organisers decided to add a day to the iconic event to ensure Australia Day remained part of the celebration showcasing Australian country music.
The concerts and events staged each year which have helped cement the Tamworth Country Music Festival as the biggest of its type in the southern hemisphere will return in 2009 along with some new experiences and performers never seen before.
Tamworth Regional Council Mayor James Treloar said extending the 10-day event to include Australia Day would give Festival-goers an extra day of music and fun in Australia's Country Music Capital.
"Traditionally, the festival winds up on the Sunday, but with Tamworth rivalling Sydney as the number one place to be on Australia Day, our best option was to extend the Festival by one day to include the holiday Monday,'' he said. "Australia Day is historically one of the busiest days of the Festival calendar with the free... Australia Day Concert one of the major crowd pleasers of the entire program.''
Weblink – www.tcmf.com.au.
Mike Brady, writer of the classic Up There Cazaly, has released a new album.
Close to 30 years ago, music man Mike Brady penned the ode to Aussie Rules football.
The song went on to become the highest selling Australian single of its time and one of the nation's best known sports anthems. It shared the top of the pops in 1979 with the likes of Blondie, The Boomtown Rats, Michael Jackson and Kiss, and has endured the test of time.
Originally recorded under the pseudonym The Two Man Band, Up There Cazaly earnt Mike a reputation as a master of "sports anthems".
Fast forward to 2008 and Mike Brady has cut a contemporary "anthem" that exemplifies the quintessential Australian shared love of sport: How Australian’s That, also the title track to the new album.
In the new song, Mike makes the observation that "It's not where you come from or how you spell your name, it's how you show your colours or how you play the game".
Says Mike: "I arrived in Australia in the late 1950s and I was surprised at the toughness of Australians. I have pondered this with a great fascination for most of my life. Why? What makes Australians so tough? It finally hit me that it was largely to do with the sport Aussies play and the way they play it - hard and fair dinkum!"
The song started as a simple folk song but with the encouragement of the Australian Football League (AFL), a full blown production of the song featuring a 50 person choir has lifted it to the level of a new and stirring national sport anthem.
Weblink – www.bradyworks.com.au.
America's Alan Jackson (pictured) takes over the number one position on the coming week's Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with the title track to his current album Good Time.
Harmony James' Home is steady at number two, the Lee Forster/Travis Sinclair collaboration Good Tones edges up one to number three and Amber Lawrence's number one from the last five weeks – Good Girls – is at four.
Brooks & Dunn are at five with Put A Girl In It, 8 Ball Aitken's Cyclone Country edges up another place to six while Jasmine Rae's Country Singer is up two places to seven.
Montgomery Gentry's Back When I Knew It All is down to eight, Matt Frost's Second Home Town bounds into the top 10 at nine, as does America's Kenny Chesney with Better As A Memory at 10.
Bullet performers for the coming week include The Sunny Cowgirls' Acting Stupid (15 to 11), Graham Rodger's Give This Hug To Daddy (16 to 13), Melinda Schneider's Be Yourself (23 to 20), Adam Harvey's Genie In The Bottle (25 to 21), Drew McAlister's Part Of The Family (27 to 24), Matt Manning's The Saddle (28 to 25) and Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me (30 to 26).
New entries to the chart this week include Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt (new at 28) and Rob Black's We Have Kids (at 30).
The full chart can be viewed at www.nfspublicity.com.au.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2008
Eighteen-year-old singer/songwriter Tori Darke won the Toyota Muster Maton Talent Search last weekend in the Amamoor State Forest near Gympie.
Tori's talent search prize pool includes a return trip to Canada to represent Australia at the Merritt Mountain Country Music Festival in July next year with $3,000 spending money, a custom designed Maton guitar valued at more than $2,000, a scholarship to the Australian College of Country Music in Tamworth in January, an Akubra hat plus a number of high profile performance spots including on the Muster Main Stage next year.'
This was Tori’s second year attending the Gympie Muster hoping to gain further exposure with her dream to perform on Main Stage. To achieve this, Tori had to compete against hundreds of entrants for a place in the semi finals of which only nine contestants would be selected. Once gaining a place in the semi finals, contestants then competed against each other to come to a selection of only three to perform on Main Stage, all anxious to become the Overall Winner.
Tori's achievements to date include graduating from Tamworth Camerata in January, winning the Overall Senior title at the Northern Suburbs Country Music Festival Talent Search in Qld, the Capital Country Music Association Junior Champion title and becoming a finalist in the Telstra Road To Tamworth competition.
While currently preparing for her performance at the 2008 Champion of Champions in Queensland in November, Tori will head off in a few days for the Barmedman Beaut Ute Show where she will be performing throughout the weekend and will also be judging and looking for the Best Overall Ute.
Tori is looking to release her first single in the near future with a video clip to follow soon after.
Sponsored by Kakadu Clothing Australia, Tori, from Mt Annan, currently performs in and around Sydney and Newcastle while she continues to travel throughout NSW performing at country music festivals.
Weblink – www.toridarke.com.
The next Country Music Shindig at Lostock (NSW) Dam Caravan Park will be held on Saturday, September 13.
Lostock Dam is north of the Singleton to Dungog Road. The show kicks off around 4pm and will continue until late.
Admission is $20 adults, $10 children, and features the likes of the Bushrock band, Kellie Cain, Colt 45, Errol Gray, Slim Newton, Alex Ross (recent winner of a junior talent quest), Sons Of The Soil (staging a reunion) and Brian Summers.
A spokesman for Shindig organisers said it is advisable to pre book camping sites by contacting Dave and Janet Hooper on 02 4931 7118 or by email, email@example.com.
More details can be obtained from Briza on 0421 487 943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
Two country acts have made the top 24 of this year's "Australian Idol" on the Ten network.
Brooke Schubert, 22, from Moranbah, and Mitchell Steele, 17, from Mareeba (both in Queensland), are graduates of the Tamworth Camerata while Brooke is a winner of all three levels of the Gympie Muster Talent Search including the major title which she took out in 2002.
Another in the top 24 is 21-year-old Roshani Priddis, though not a country artist, is from Tamworth and has been involved in various country music activities.
Brooke, Mitchell and Roshani are now competing for a place in the top 12 of the competition.
Saturday October 11 has been set as the date for unveiling of the bronze bust honouring the late Shorty Ranger, one of Australia’s country music legends.
After 12 months of fundraising, the unveiling will take place at the Kempsey (NSW) Museum at 1pm on the day and promises to be a time of celebrations in recognition of one of the Macleay’s favourite sons.
Fundraising Committee Chairman Bluey Shelton said: This will be an emotional day for all of us as we honour a good friend and one of nature’s gentlemen. The Committee invites the public to join us in making this a day to remember.
"We would like to thank all those who helped along the way in particular ABBA (the Australian Bush Balladeers Association) which raised $4,500 at a concert in Tamworth in January plus the artists who freely gave their time to take part in "The Shorty Ranger Memorial Concert" major fundraiser at the Kempsey Macleay RSL Club in April which raised $11,000.
"The day will give a sense of pride and achievement knowing that our goal was reached by public participation and without any government help whatsoever," Bluey said, "as that was denied us."
Further information about the unveiling, or enquiries regarding the Shorty Ranger Life Story DVD, can be obtained by telephoning 02 6581 1148.
The Kempsey Museum is situated alongside the Tourist Information Centre in the park on the Pacific Highway at South Kempsey.
"We look forward to catching up with all of Shorty’s fans on October 11," Bluey said. "We know he will be watching down on us on the day and still would be saying 'Yours With A Smile And A Song!"
APRA – the Australasian Performing Right Association – has announced an increased financial and cultural commitment to young songwriters and composers with 11 scholarships for emerging songwriters across Australia and New Zealand.
In 2009, APRA will award eight Australian Professional Development Awards (PDAs) and three NZ PDAs (two more than 2006 in both countries). The first of the two new Australian Awards will be for a popular contemporary songwriter taking the total to three in this category.
The second new Award will be for an emerging indigenous songwriter or composer. These new Awards are in addition to the Awards in the established categories of Classical, Jazz, Country and Screen Music composition, a spokesman for APRA said.
Australian winners will receive $12,000 cash to advance their careers through study or travel plus a Gibson guitar by courtesy of Gibson Guitars, studio time at Trackdown Recording Studio and access to an online course provided by the award-winning Berklee College of Music. Each prize package in 2009 PDAs will total more than $16,000.
Applications for the 2009 Australian PDAs are now open. Winners will be announced in March. Further information, including application form can be found at www.apra.com.au.
Since their inception in 2001, the APRA Professional Development Awards have helped emerging songwriters and composers fast track their careers. Twenty Awards, totalling more than $250,000 in cash and prizes, have been handed out to date.
The Tim Farren Band became the fifth winner of the annual Les Keats Memorial Award on Friday night for the most popular band as voted by the members of the Country Music Guild of Australasia in Melbourne.
The other three finalists – The Dalton Gang (featuring Leo Dalton, a member of the Hawking Brothers), Mustang (the house band for the night) and The Prairie Oysters – have all won the award before, The Dalton Gang twice.
In addition to Tim (Star Maker grand finalist 2006 and 2007 and 2005 Victorian Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year), the Tim Farren Band currently consists guitarist Peter Cook (ex The Breakers and 80’s supergroup James Freud and The Radio Stars), drummer Bryan Derrick (who runs Melbourne’s popular Music Swop Shop) and bassist Helen Stewart (also a member of finalists The Dalton Gang and Wandong Country Music Festival organiser).
The Tim Farren Band was one of 21 bands to perform at The Guild during the 2007-2008 year and a spokesman for the Guild said the award came as such a surprise, Tim was lost for words.
He thanked the committee and patrons for maintaining a regular weekly country music venue in Melbourne and his band for being a part of his career. He also thanked former bass player Dave (Tex) Grantham, who left the band earlier this year, for his contribution.
The Pascoe Vale RSL was packed to hear the four finalists each perform a set. Others to perform included Phil Bowen, The Guild’s President Keith Green, Johnnie Johns, Kerran Keats (son of the late Les Keats) and Glen Lee.
The evening also marked the 40th anniversary of the Country Music Guild of Australasia.
The ABC reports that the Federal Government says it knows current drought assistance measures are not good enough, and that is why they are being reviewed.
Over the weekend, Australian of the year Lee Kernaghan again accused the Prime Minister of abandoning farming families.
He says the Government is re-branding drought as climate change, and struggling farmers were not getting enough assistance.
Federal Agriculture Minister Tony Burke says the Government supports Lee's views that assistance for drought-stricken farmers needs to be better targeted.
"Even though it's always had bipartisan support, it is true that we have not been able to get drought policy in a good enough state for the needs of rural Australia," he said.
"There's no doubt about that, you've had the leader of the Nationals say that in this very place. That's why the policy is being reviewed."
Carter & Carter (pictured), Danny Hooper and Alec Raymer have scored wins in the 2008 Australian Songwriting Association (ASA) Australian Songwriting Contest announced in Sydney last Thursday.
Carter & Carter won first place in the "Country" category with Open Road, Danny took out the "Ballad" section with Just Thought You'd Like To Know while Alec Raymer came equal first (with Douglas Dorahy) in the "Lyrics" category with Mist On The Macintyre. Alec also won third place in the same category with The Pride Of The Stockman.
In the "Country" category, Katrina Burgoyne was runner-up with Old Post Card while Jo Kelly Stephenson was third with her song Perfect Chance and was named winner of the Rudy Brandsma Award (which makes it a double for country writers following Brenda-Lee Heathcote's win last year). Jo also came third in the "International" category with Perfect Chance while Katrina also took out third place in the "Open" category with Dumped.
Ronni Rae Rivers was runner-up in the "Rock/Indie" and "Spiritual" categories with, respectively, Stranded and Beauty For Ashes while Stranded also won her fourth place in the "Open" category.
Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French were in fourth position in the "Country" category with Choices while Danny Hooper came fifth with Hold On.
Other country writers featuring among high placegetters in the 2008 Contest included Brenda-Lee Heathcote, runner-up in the "Ballad" category with Talking To Ghosts, Nick Charles, runner-up in "Instrumental" with Georgetown, Brent Lillie, third in the "Australia" category with Bundy Barramundi and Marcela Taylor, third in "Instrumental" with Move On.
Damien Coen, billed as "a modern-day blues poet" with a reputation as Australia's foremost exponent of country-blues harmonica, won the "Instrumental" category with In My Father's Footsteps.
"Rock/Indie" writer Jason Campbell-Smith was named the Contest's Songwriter of the Year and The Angels were inducted into the Australian Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
Weblink – www.asai.org.au.
Lismore's Cedar Guitar Country Music Festival kicks off today and runs until Sunday (September 7).
Award-winning country balladeer Brian Letton (pictured) n will headline "10 hours of great country music" at the Lismore Workers Club from 10.30am on the main day, this Sunday ("Super Sunday"), which also features 14 top recording artists.
The list of guest artists during the Festival includes Greg Bain, Owen Blundell, Terry Gordon, Marge Graham, Johnny Greenwood, Dianne Lindsay, Lex K, Tom McIvor, Reg Poole, Anita Ree, Graham Rodger, Peter Simpson, Tony Wagner and J R Williams.
Other Festival venues include Alstonville Bowling Club, Casino RSM Club, Kyogle Golf Club, Lismore Workers Sports Club, Workers Heights Bowling Club and Woodburn/Evans Head RSL Club.
Walk-up entertainment will feature on Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm at Lismore Workers Club.
Multi-award winning and successful charting performer Keri McInerney has combined with leading guitarist Michael Fix to release a video clip of her new single, Stay, the title track to Keri's latest album.
With numerous Australian hit singles to her credit and top five hits in Canada and Europe, Keri recently had a top 10 hit single with her video single Stuck In The Middle With You in Australia. The single also gained top five chart status in Europe.
Stay (the single) is described as "a haunting track" with Keri on vocals and multi Golden Guitar winner Michael.
The clip was produced by Jason Millhouse of Millhouse Productions in Brisbane, Qld. Audio for the single is being produced by Keri, Jason and Steve Tebbett.
The new video single performance can be seen... at www.youtube.com/kerriemc31
Few people have "done it all" the way Jerry Reed did. Singer, guitar legend, songwriter and movie star. Jerry Reed died yesterday morning (September 2) in Hospice Care in Nashville where he had been suffering from emphysema. He was 71.
From great songs like Amos Moses, When You're Hot, Your Hot, She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft) and Lord, Mr Ford, Jerry Reed exhibited his sharp lyrics, his distinguishing voice and his unique blend of guitar styles.
As a songwriter, he wrote songs for Elvis, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner and Brenda Lee. As a session musician, he recorded with the likes of Elvis, Waylon and Bobby Bare.
But, while music was his life's work, he became a movie star in several Burt Reynolds' movies including "Gator McClusky" and "Smokey And The Bandit". His final appearance on the big screen was in Adam Sandler's "The Waterboy".
In declining health in recent years, Jerry Reed told Tim Ghianni from "The Tennessean" in 2007: "For 50 years, all I’d done was take, take, take.
"I decided from now on it is going to be giving. And I’m way behind. We’re all way behind. We live this life like what’s down here is what it’s all about. We’re temporary, son, like a wisp of smoke."
Click here for "The Tennessean" story.
Jasmine Rae (pictured) – this year's Telstra Road to Tamworth talent search winner – has taken over the number one position on the coming week's CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist with the clip of her song Country Singer.
The Sunny Cowgirls number one from the last two weeks – Acting Stupid – is at three while Catherine Britt's Lucky Girl is at seven and Keith Urban's You Look Good In My Shirt is at eight.
Bullet performers for the week include Talia Wittmann's Reckless Side Of Me (15 to 11), Adam Brand's Blame It On Eve (17 to 12), Ronni Rae Rivers' I Would Want To (new at 19), Victoria Baillie's Melt (29 to 24), The Yeehaa Boys' Knocking Boots (31 t0 28), John Williamson's Cydi (new at 32) and Jason Lee's Boy Into A Man (48 to 44).
Other new entries to the playlist this week include Jackie Bristow's Crazy Love (new at 48).
The playlist can be viewed at www.countrymusicchannel.com.au.
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