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Urban Country this weekend

One of Queensland's biggest country music events – the Urban Country Music Festival at Caboolture – gets underway this Friday and runs through to and including Sunday.

Adam Brand, Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole and The McClymonts booked as headline acts with a star-studded "support cast", including...

Don Allen, Luke Austen, Ky-lee B, Casey Barnes, Alice Benfer, The Buckleys, Busby Marou, Adi Burgess, Brad Butcher, Terry Clark, Megan Cooper, Paul Costa, Michael David, Jesse Davis, The Deadliners, Dozzi, Morgan Evans, Lee Fielding, Mary Finch, Wally Finch, Michael Fix, Good Oak, Johnny Greenwood, Dana Hassall, Karrie Hayward, Sarah Head, Harry Hookey, Adam James, Jim Harding, Harmony James, Vaughan Jones, MACK, Seleen McAlister, Cameron Milford, Jen Mize, Noisy Minors, Noel Parlane, Taylor Pfeiffer (the Banjo Girl), Richard Perso, Penny Rides Shotgun, The Pigs, Kylie Ann Price, Brendan Radford, Ben Ransom, Redlands Bluegrass Boys, Josh Rennie-Hynes, Livi Robins, Graham Rodger, SAMI, Tanya Self,Caitlyn Shadbolt, Mark Sholtez, Chad Shuttleworth, Simply Bushed, The Smokin' Crawdads, Justin Standley, The Sunny Cowgirls, Te Whanau Tautoko, Reg & Ellie Thompson, Sara Tindley, Trevor Tolton, Trainwreck Trio, the Viper Creek Band,Whiskey Ridge and Carl Wockner.

Last year's Voice of Urban Country Winner Kiara Rodrigues will also appear, as will 2014 Toyota Star Maker Winner Jared Porte r and Mud Bulls & Music Talent Search winner Julieann Lynch.

The three-day Urban Country Music Festival is being held at Caboolture's Queensland State Equestrian Centre and the Caboolture Historical Village with more than 160 artists appearing.

Also on the program is the National Finals Rodeo and the all new Country Fairground.

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Chart Update – Roo takes over the top spot

Roo Arcus (pictured) has hit the top of the national Country Tracks Top 30 this week with his hit Out On The Farm.

Christie Lamb's number one from the last two weeks – All She Wrote – slips to number two while America's Zac Brown Band is at three with Sweet Annie and Sara Storer's Come On Rain is up one to number four.

McAlister Kemp's Tats bounds up three places to number five, The McClymonts Going Under (Didn't Have To) jumps four places to six and Kristy Cox's One Heartbreak Away is up two to seven.

Doug Bruce's Clock Out At Five is at eight, The Wolfe Brothers' Lovin' In The Summertime enters the top 10 at nine and Kaylee Bell's Little Bit Small Town is at 10.

Bullet performers this week include Kaylens Rain's She's A Wildflower (14 to 11), Adam Eckersley Band's Give Her The world (18 to 15), Graham Rodger's Scrub Bull Hunters (22 to 19), Kate Cook's Hit The Highway (23 to 20) and Luke O'Shea's Three Brother The Great War).

New to the chart this week is Korey Livey's Route 63 (in at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at


MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2014

Big Red Bash in June

Details have been announced for a two day music festival to be staged at Australia’s "magnificent outback desert sand dune" the "Big Red" at Birdsville in July.

Some of Australia’s most recognised music legends will appear at the new two-day event titled, appropriately, The Big Red Bash.

Kasey Chambers and John Williamson (pictured) will headline the festival with Daryl Braithwaite, Joe Camilleri, James Reyne and Ross Wilson, supported by Bill Chambers, Ashleigh Dallas, Victoria Edwards, Harry Hookey and Saxanova.

Organisers say "the natural amphitheatre on top of Australia’s largest sand dune on the edge of the Simpson Desert played host to John Williamson last year and has inspired The Big Red Bash."

“It was a country entertainer's dream, John said. "The show flew like a wedge-tail eagle soaring on a thermal and I can't wait for the next one with some of my music mates."T

The Big Red Bash will take place on is on Wednesday and Thursday July 9 & 10. Tickets and packages are on sale via Ticketek.

It is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as well as Outback Queensland Tourism and the Diamantina Shire Council.

Birdsville is one of Australia’s most iconic outback towns, perched on the edge of the vast Simpson and Sturt Stony deserts and the famous Channel Country. Despite its isolation and wild foreboding country, it has been named Queensland’s friendliest town and its famous pub is noted for true outback hospitality.

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Long and Short Of It launch new work

The country duo known as The Long And Short Of It – Dave Baird and Patsy Toop – launched their latest album, You Made Me Stronger, in Country Music Capital tonight.

Dave and Patsy played songs from the new release to a delighted audience of mainly industry identities at Tamworth's Big Golden Guitar, including one of their own, the title track.

You Made Me Stronger is the duo's fifth album since the pair created their act just over five years ago.

David, on guitar and lead vocals, and Patsy on keyboards and vocals, are both classically trained musicians but never played professionally until they teamed up in 2009.

Latter Day Cowboy will be the first single release from the new album.

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New from Tanya

Star Maker 1995 Tanya Self is on the comeback trail with a new album set to be released.

Tanya has released the first single from the new work this week, The Jacaranda. The album's title is Random Truths.

After 10 years away raising her family, the first single lifted off the album signals a welcome the return of the Brisbane-based artist.

The Jacaranda is described as "a toe-tapping Aussie love story about family life, enduring 'flying in, flying out' for work in the mines – the story gripping from the first bar."

Random Truths is a collection of 14 "heartfelt, brave and insightfu" songs, all country, all penned by Tanya with co-writers on four tracks including Olivia Crick, Sarah Godden and Rick Price.

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Vale – Marius Webb

The Australian flag flew half-mast at Widgee yesterday as the tight-knit rural community awoke to the sad news that one of its favourite three sons, Marius Webb, the second eldest Webb Brother, had died suddenly on Sunday.

The gentle, quietly spoken husband, brother, father, grandfather and grazier succumbed to pneumonia in a Brisbane hospital on Sunday night, leaving behind his wife Julia, daughters Maria and Philomena and six grandchildren.

Along with his brothers Fabian and Berard, Marius was Gympie's most famous musical export to date.

He put Gympie on the map in 1981 and catapulted the Webb Brothers to the highest echelon of Australian country music when he penned, and the group sang, the song that asked Australia who put the roo in the stew.

It took him one day and most of the night to write the song, and nine days later it roared up the charts, debuting at number seven in the 4BK Top 40 Hits and reaching number one on October 1. It was the fastest-selling single ever for RCA Records.

Before that, Marius and his brothers had already had hits with, among others, The Call Of The Bellbird, been inducted into the Tamworth Hands of Fame, received a Golden Guitar for Best Group and elevated to the Country Music Roll of Renown, Australian country music's highest honour.

They won another Golden Guitar for Roo In The Stew in 1982 and founded the Gympie Country Music Muster on their family property "Thornside" at Widgee.

Marius retired from the Webb Brothers in 2007, though he went on to do several guest performances and continued to drive the Widgee school bus for some time.

— The Gympie Times

Marius's funeral will be held at 11am in Gympie next Tuesday, April 29.



Dueling Banjos composer dies

Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith, the multi-instrumental country musician who wrote the song that would become Dueling Banjos, died earlier this month at the age of 93.

Together with his brothers Ralph and Sonny, Arthur formed a dixieland group called the Carolina Crackerjacks who had some local success including radio appearances.

In 1951, he began hosting "The Arthur Smith Show" on Charlotte (South Carolina) television station WBTV, a program that would eventually become the first syndicated country music show nationally with a 32 year run in 90 markets.

Arthur's early morning program, "Carolina Calling", was also carried on CBS television during the summer during the 1950s.

He was a very active composer with more than 500 copyrights including his 1955 piece Feudin' Banjos which he recorded with Don Reno. In 1972, the song was performed as Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissburg and Steve Mandel for the movie "Deliverance", going on to reach number two on the Hot 100, number five on the Country Singles and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Arthur wasn't given credit for the composition at first but, after filing a lawsuit, his name was added as its composer.

As a recording artist, Arthur hit the Country top 10 in America three times with Banjo Boogie (1948), Guitar Boogie (194) and Boomerang (1949).

Over his life, he amassed a long line of honours including a Grammy for Dueling Banjos and a number of awards for his broadcasting and songwriting.


Chart Update – Christie still at the top

Christie Lamb's latest hit All She Wrote retains the number one position on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30.

Doug Bruce's former number one – Clock Out At Five – is steady at two while Sara Storer's Come On Rain edges up one to number three and Roo Arcus's Out On The Farm bounds up three places to number four.

America's Zac Brown Band is at five with Sweet Annie, Kaylee Bell's Little Bit Small Town is steady again at six and Catherine Britt's Who Cares is at seven.

McAlister Kemp's Tats edges up another place to number eight, as does Kristy Cox's One Heartbreak Away at nine while The McClymonts Going Under (Didn't Have To) enters the top 10 at 10.

The full chart can be viewed at



Easter's big country weekend

The Easter weekend always features a number of regular country music (and other related) festivals and events, and this year is no exception. Following we highlight just a few. A full listing can be found here.


Bundy Roundup kicks off tomorrow

The 30th Bundy Easter Roundup kicks off tomorrow and runs through to and including Sunday.

Organised by the Bundaberg Country Music Club and staged at the Bundaberg (Qld) Recreational Precinct, the Roundup features a talent quest with 31 sections open to junior and senior contestants.



The Hartwood Campfires & Country Music weekend runs at the property "Hartwood" off the Black Stump Way (between Coolah and Tambar Springs) in NSW.

Stars of this year's event are Charley Boyter, Jamie Davis, Royden Donohue, Laura Downing, Peter Horan, Wayne Horsburgh, Tania Kernaghan, Tom Maxwell, Paul McCloud, Rodney Vincent, Lindsay Waddington and compere Barry Williams.

The event runs tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

Weblink here.


Stone The Crows

A unique event taking place at Wagga Wagga, NSW, is the Stone The Crows Festival aimed to cater to an audience, particularly, of "grey nomads".

Launched last year, the Festival runs before, through and after every Easter weekend, Thursday to Tuesday.

This year's event takes place at the ACTA Grounds in Tasman Street and will feature music, bush poetry, seminars, workshops, markets and the gReyVee Awards.

Entertainers will include Darren Carr, Jim Haynes, Mike and Thom Jackson, Amber Lawrence, Grant Luhrs and Neil Smith plus a raft of bush poets.

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MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014

Roma Easter in the Country

This weekend, the Queensland town of Roma will stage it's 35th annual Easter in the Country festival which this year will feature leading Australian group The Wolfe Brothers as the headline act.

The Brothers will perform in the inaugural country rock concert on Saturday evening (April 19).

The band came to the nation's attention after finishing second in "Australia's Got Talent" in 2012. The band’s debut album, It's On, remained in the ARIA charts for 35 weeks and generated three hit singles.

The Hobart-based band was nominated for four Golden Guitars at this year's Country Music Awards of Australia and will release their second album in June.

Support acts for the concert will be Jamahl Hamilton's El Vaquero, Tamika Taylour and the band Unwritten.

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Chart Update – Christie at number one

Christie Lamb's All She Wrote has taken over the number one position on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30.

Doug Bruce's number one from last week – Clock Out At Five – slips to second place with Catherine Britt's Who Cares steady at three and Sara Storer's Come On Rain up one to number four.

Jasmine Rae's Just Don't Ask Me How I Am is up two to five while Kaylee Bell's Little Bit Small Town is steady at six and Roo Arcus's Out On The Farm is up one to number seven.

America's Zac Brown Band is at eight with Sweet Annie, McAlister Kemp's Tats edges up one to number nine and Kristy Cox's One Heartbreak Away enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include the Adam Eckersley Band's Give Her The World (23 to 20), Graham Rodger's Scrub Bull Hunters (27 to 23), Natalie Howard's Paradise (29 to 26) and Luke O'Shea's Three Brothers (The Great War) (30 to 27).

New entries to the chart this week include One Eye For An Eye (at 28).

The full chart can be viewed at


FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014

Slim Dusty Foundation and TAFE support youth skill development

The Slim Dusty Foundation and North Coast TAFE will sign an agreement at the Slim Dusty Centre on Tuesday to formalise their collaboration in supporting workplace training for local youth.

Representatives from both organisations will be present, along with special guest Joy McKean and a range of community leaders.

"Slim supported youth and learning," Joy said, "and I believe he would be really pleased to see this Centre contributing to skills development for students in our community.

"The Slim Dusty Foundation is looking forward to working with North Coast TAFE to achieve tangible outcomes that will benefit the Centre, TAFE and its students."

Kathryn Yarnold, Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation, said the partnership was aiming to build regional capacity.

"Together, we will be providing students, including long term unemployed, young people and Aboriginal community members with opportunities for training and work experience."

A series of agreed projects will help the Slim Dusty Centre become a community asset as a regional cultural centre.

Elizabeth McGregor, Institute Director for North Coast TAFE, said the organisations would work co-operatively on those projects by supporting workplace training in a variety of skill areas.

"The areas could include, for example, construction, tiling, carpentry and joinery, shop fitting, landscaping… even media, hospitality and events management."

Photo: from the announcement function.

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Doug announces new album

Australian Independent Country Music Awards Rising Star winner Doug McIntyre has announced he will soon be releasing a new album.

"I've have been having so much fun in the studio recording my new album Riding Free with Matt Fell," Doug said.

"The songs are sounding awesome, and that's before mixing and mastering! I have just one more day in the studio myself, laying down the vocals for the song everyone's been keen to see me record – Frank The Fox.

The new album will be available by ordering direct via the singer's website (weblink below).

It will also be available through WJO Distributors, Bigpond, i-Tunes and Sanity Music.

"Ever since I won the award for Male Rising Star... at Mildura, so many of you have been asking when on earth I will actually perform there. Well finally, I am pleased to say that I will be there this year!

"I really look forward to performing songs off the new album. And, of course, it will be great catching up with old friends Don Costa, Johanna Hemara, Dean Perrett and Luke O'Shea.

Doug has also announced a partnership with NG Management who will be performing a booking agent and management role with the artist.

And, he has also launched a facebook page...

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New from Jess

Mudgee NSW born "powerhouse" country singer Jess Holland has released her second album, Whole Lot To Say.

After the success of her 2011 debut release Introducing… Jess Holland, the 2011 Voice of Urban Country winner made some big steps in her music career, and it's been a steep learning curve to say the least, according to a spokesman for the artist.

Stepping away from outside employment, Jess pursued her love of music full-time. "and she hasn't looked back since.

"The result is evident in her music, her latest album shows a more mature focus and a sound that perfectly suits the former Country Music College graduate's incredible vocals.

"Whole Lot To Say is tipped to be a career-defining release that will see Jess Holland's music embraced by country and rock fans alike."

The first single from the album – Fine Lines – was released to radio last year and garnered positive reviews.

Jess says she is really comfortable with the way her latest offering sounds.

It features some "rippin' rock tunes" as well as some beautiful ballads. "I have learnt a lot as a songwriter and artist since my first album," she said. "I think my sound has become more definite. The style of the tracks are still brazen and feisty, however, this new material reflects how much I have matured in the past few years.

"I love that rockier-bluesy side of country music and a lot of my music influences reflect that. I tend to naturally steer towards this style rather than purposefully set out to write for a certain genre. As my lyrics are quite sassy, they tend to be suited to the rock-bluesy side of country."

As a proud independent musician, Jess continues to self-fund all her music projects, and Whole Lot To Say was no exception. This time she also took out a crowd-funding campaign with Indiegogo to help raise the collateral to record and release the album.

She says doing this was a great experience and enabled her to interact with her music fans. "It is a great way for people to contribute to the recording process and pre-order a copy of the new album," Jess said.

"A huge thankyou to those who contributed to this album campaign. I definitely could not have started this project without their support, so it means a great deal to me!"

Jess has toured through central, western and northern NSW in support of the likes of Luke Dickens, Diesel and Adam Brand. She has also been a two-time Toyota Star Maker finalist and has been earning acclaim from fans and critics alike.

Whole Lot To Say was launched on Friday, March 28, and Jess followed with three successful launch gigs, one each at Mudgee, Mungindi and Newcastle.

The singer/songwriter has now embarked on a national tour.

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Keith wins three ACMAs

Australia's Keith Urban has taken out three gongs at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards announced in Las Vegas last night.

Keith's awards were for Music Video of the Year with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift for Highway Don't Care and Vocal Event of the Year with Miranda Lambert for We Were Us which he co-produced with Nathan Chapman giving him his third gong for the night.

George Strait won the night's top honour, the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year, while Miranda Lambert won her fifth straight Female Vocalist of the Year award.



New Zealand digital sales overtake physical

New Zealand's digital sales exceeded those on physical formats for the first time in 2013, figures by Recorded Music NZ show.

The Music Network reported digital sales increased three percent to 51 percent of sales, amounting to NZ$27.9 million. Streaming revenues tripled to nine percent of total digital gross.

The remaining 49 percent physical sales drove $27.1 million in revenues. Digital's rise, however, failed to balance physical's fall and the market fell by 9.8 percent to $55 million.

Vinyl continued its resurgence, with album sales up 29 percent since 2012, although still a small fraction of the overall picture. "It's encouraging to see the rapid growth and take up of streaming services by New Zealanders," said Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan.

It was a strong year for domestic repertoire. Sales for New Zealand acts showed an eight percent rise in digital singles, up 45 percent for digital albums and up 39 percent for physical albums.


Chart Update – Doug takes over the top spot

Doug Bruce's latest hit – Clock Out At Five – has taken over the number position on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30.

Christie Lamb's All She Wrote edges up one place to number two, as does Catherine Britt's Who Cares to three and 8 Ball Aitken's number one from the last two weeks – I'm Going To Jail – is at four.

Sara Storer's Come On Rain is also up one to five, as is Kaylee Bell's Little Bit Small Town to six while Jasmine Rae's Just Don't Ask Me How I Am is steady at seven.

Roo Arcus's Out On The Farm is up two places to number eight, America's Zac Brown Band is at nine with Sweet Annie and McAlister Kemp's Tats enters the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Kaylens Rains' She's A Wildflower (17 to 14) and Kate Cook's Hit The Highway (29 to 26).

New to the chart this week are Natalie Howard's Paradise (at 29) and Luke O'Shea's Three Brothers (The Great War) (at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



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