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MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014

Brent wins lyric award

For the second year running, Brent Lillie has won the We Are Listening International Lyric Writer Award.

The Ballad Of Tommy Laidley, Brent's ode to the Mississippi paddle wheelers, picked up first prize, with another of the writer's original songs, I'm a Survivor, also making the final four. It is the first time a songwriter has won the International Lyric Award twice.

The win will give Brent the opportunity to turn his words into recorded music and work with the music industry's leading songwriters, session players, producers, and engineers.

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Natalia signs

Australian born and currently Nashville based Natalia Starzynski has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Warner/Chappell Music Nashville.

Natalia grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne. At the age of 17, she was accepted into the Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee to study and began co-writing.

In 2013, she was accepted into the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Guidance from Publishers for Songwriters (GPS) Class, where along with 11 other singer/songwriters, she was paired with publishers, attorneys and other industry influentials to help develop her songwriting craft and music career.

Natalia has been working with some or Nashville's well-known songwriting heavyweights.

The agreement sees the publisher sign Natalia to an artist development deal and as a singer/songwriter.

"I'm excited and honored to get to pursue what I love and have always been passionate about and worked at, as a career," Natalia said. "To have the opportunity to write music on a professional level with Warner/Chappell giving me the platform to pitch my music to some of the greatest artists in the world, is what I have dreamed of achieving.

“In fact, this exceeds my dreams. I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the Warner/Chappell Nashville team and member of the Warner family worldwide and look forward to working hard and achieving great things."

Natalia plans to remain living in Nashville while she works on a debut album.


FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014

Chart Update – The Jacaranda still at number one

Tanya Self's The Jacaranda continues its reign at number one on the coming week's national Country Tracks Top 30, this coming week for the fifth successive time.

Carter & Carter's Little Patch Of Heaven is steady again at number two, while Tania Kernaghan's Call Home bounds into the top 10 at number three, as does Harmony James' Skinny Flat White at four.

Christie Lamb's Manhunt is at five, Bec Hance's Nothin' More To Say is another newcomer this week to the top 10 at six and Amber Joy Poulton's Maybe Baby is up two to seven.

Natalie Howard's Paradise is also up two places to eight, The McClymonts' Going Under (Didn't Have To) is at nine and Arthur Blanch's Buy That Man A Beer is at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include 8 Ball Aitken's Hillbilly Disco (21 to 12), Karen Lynne's Will I Be Good Enough (20 to 15), The Long & Short Of It's Latter Day Cowboy (25 to 19), Sara Storer's Come On Rain (26 to 21), Allan Caswell's Kick The Bucket (27 to 23) and Kaylee Bell's Just A Little Crazy (30 to 26).

New entries to the chart this week are Adam Brand's What Your Love Looks Like (in at 28) and Kel-Anne Brandt's Green Door (at 29).

The full chart can be viewed at



Stagecoach the venue

Stagecoach Music is the name given to Brisbane's new "Home of Country Music" – the Underdog Hotel in Fortitude Valley.

The Underdog, formerly known as The Step Inn and Shamrock Hotel, has embraced live music for decades, according to a spokesman for the venue but, in recent times, genres such as jazz and "indi rock" had featured.

"Now it's country music's turn," the spokesman said, "with a regular night of 'New Country Sounds' every Thursday, five hours of live country music in the offering, plus a soloist in the front bar."

Stars including Rob Black, People's Choice winner Terry Clark (pictured), Seleen McAlister and Toyota Star Maker 2014 Jared Porter have performed at The Underdog in recent times.

Chris Cameron, owner and publican, said: "Having country as part of the broad base of live music offerings was an obvious choice, the genre is growing and Brisbane was crying out for a regular consistent base for artists and fans to meet and come together on weekly basis."

The Underdog Hotel is on the corner of Brunswick Street and St Pauls Terrace in Fortitude Valley.

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Mildura set to roll

Australian country music fans are set for a "feast of quality performances" at the 28th Mildura Country Music Festival in September/October.

The Festival has recently received $18,500 in Victorian Government funding through Tourism Victoria's Events Program.

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the funding would support marketing activities designed to attract visitors from across Victoria and interstate to the 10-day festival.

"The Mildura Country Music Festival is the largest event on the Mildura region's rich arts and cultural events calendar, attracting visitors from Victoria, across Australia and even overseas," he said.

"Festival visitors stay in Mildura and surrounding towns for more than nine nights on average, providing a significant economic boost for local hotels, restaurants and tourism-focused businesses."

Renowned as Australia's largest fully independent country music event, Mildura includes the Australian Independent Country Music Awards, known as The Southern Stars, which are broadcast nationally by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and the National Indigenous Radio Service.

This year’s Mildura Country Music Festival will run from Friday September 26 to Sunday October 5 and will feature a broad selection of performers, from bright newcomer Kiara Rodrigues to national living treasure Chad Morgan.

Tourism Minister Louise Asher said the Victorian Government was committed to ensuring regional Victoria shared the economic benefits of the state's thriving tourism and events sector.

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Sara named Gympie Muster ambassador

Country star Sara Storer has been named Ambassador of the Gympie Muster’s Buy A Bale charity.

The charity, the recipient of the Farmer's Aid Appeal, a concept integrated into the Gympie Muster since 1993, helps farmers facing tough times.

In addition to being one of Australia's major country music events, the Muster is also a charitable festival that comes together to help the community, according to Charles Adler, Buy A Bale campaign coordinator.

"We are so grateful for the support the Muster gives Buy a Bale, both financially and in bringing awareness to the plight of farmers, and we will continue to support them in the great work they do."

Sara grew up in the Mallee region of rural Victoria in the same hometown as John Williamson. She comes from a family of farmers. Sara and John collaborated on the song Raining On The Plains in 2004 and on her recent single Come On Rain.

Gympie is 90 minutes north of Brisbane, Queensland. The Muster will run from August 28 to 31 at the dedicated Amamoor Creek State Forest Park site.


Notes from a supporter of Graham's tour

By Ray & Carol King, Adelaide

My self and my wife have just spent the most amazing three weeks of our lives touring with Graham Rodger through outback Queensland witnessing a truly amazing performer giving something back to country Australia.

His idea of a "tag along tour" was sheer brilliance... the pleasure and enjoyment it gave to the people, not to mention the financial gain by over 100 people spending in those areas, was pure heaven.

The places and scenery were breathtaking, not to mention the true Australian hospitality shown by all to our touring group.

Graham, we take our hats off to you for a truly unforgettable time – thanks again.

Mention must also go to all the other artists who supported Graham on this quest... Deirdre, Laurel Calvert, Trevor Tolton and Pat Brown plus those people behind the scenes who helped put it all together... thanks to you all.

Finally, let's hope Graham's example will be followed and other artists will follow in his foot steps.

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TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014

Colin, Lee & Garth win Country APRA

Colin Buchanan, Lee Kernaghan and Garth Porter have won this year's Country Work of the Year in the 2014 APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Music Awards announced last night with their song Flying With The King.

The song, a hit for Lee, was triumphant over the Tim Nichols, Jay & Mark O'Shea track recorded by O'Shea, Be With You Tonight; the Nicholas Wolfe written The Girl, The Bottle, The Memory, recorded by The Wolfe Brothers; the Jay & Mark O'Shea & Matt Scullion work Thank You Angels, also recorded by O'Shea; and Chelsea Basham's I Learned The Hard Way.

Pop singer/songwriter Sia was announced as Songwriter of the Year, James Keough's Riptide (recorded by Vance Joy) was named Song of the Year and the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music was presented to Lindy Morrison.

The 2014 APRA Music Awards were staged in Brisbane.

Photo: Lee accepts the award on behalf of Colin and Garth.

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Aussie live performance industry worth $2.5bn

Report on a study by Christie Eliezer

The Australian live performance industry is worth $2.5 billion, according to a second study of the economic size and scope of the sector by Live Performance Australia. The study was prepared by EY (formerly Ernst & Young), based on the latest data available, from 2012.

The June 2014 study is broader in scope than the previous issued in 2010 (based on 2008 data). It includes the key organisations of the Australia Council for the Arts, and regional and metropolitan venues that are members of the Australian Performing Arts Centre Association (APACA).

It now shows that the live sector accounts for 34,131 employees, greater than the 20,439 people employed in film and video as their main job.

Among the numbers making up the $2.5 billion output, 49.6 percent comes from box office income ($1.2 billion), 28.9 percent from corporate sponsorship and support ($99.9 million) and 17.6 percent from government funding ($44.7 million).

The study also shows that the industry's Value Added – the market value of goods and services produced by an industry after deducting the cost of goods and services used – is $1.53 billion, a 17 percent growth from $1.15 billion in 2008 to $1.3 billion in 2012.

LPA attributed growth to an overall rise in industry wages and a 21 percent increase in the number of full time equivalent employees. LPA's chief executive Evelyn Richardson explained: "The industry's value add is significantly higher than analogous industries, including Film, Television & Digital Games ($930 million – ABS data)."

NSW and Victoria continue to comprise 65 percent of the total value of the industry in terms of industry output and value add. The study also includes new per capita analysis that shows NSW has the highest value add per capita at $79.79.

NSW's live performance sector contributed $586.5 million to the NSW state economy, Victoria's $422.4 million to its state economy, Queensland $236.5 million, Western Australia $161.7 million, South Australia $87.9 million, ACT $19.4 million, Tasmania $13.2 million and the NT $1.5 million.

In terms of value added, NSW had a 38.4 percent share worth $967.4 million. Victoria's share was 27.6 percent with $693.8 million. Queensland was 15.5 percent ($400.1 million), WA 10.6 percent ($275.6 million), South Australia 5.7 percent ($151.3 million), ACT 1.5 percent ($32.1 million), Tasmania 0.9 percent ($22.7 million) and the Northern Territory 0.1 percent ($2.7 million).

In event category terms, Contemporary Music had the highest share of value add at nearly 37 percent. It generated an output of $830.9 million. In terms of value add, the category contributed $564 million to the Australian economy, representing 36.9 percent of the total value add by the industry. Musical Theatre which created output of $371.8 million and value add of $186.3 million, representing 12.2 percent of the total value add of the live performance industry.

LPA's Evelyn Richardson commented that the live performance industry also generated less tangible benefits such as improved social cohesion, lifestyle improvement, diversity and increased creativity, not reflected in economic metrics. "Our industry is a significant contributor in terms of financial, employment, and quality of life metrics to the Australian economy," she said.


MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014

John and Wayne go "outback"

John Howie and Wayne Horsburgh (pictured) have launched a tour from Victoria into NSW and South Australia.

With a tour group, the pair perform in centres including Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, Birdsville, Broken Hill, the Flinders Ranges, Innamincka, Melbourne, Mildura, Mungo National Park, Tibooburra and White Cliffs.

It's "a fabulous tour, visiting many of the most remote and beautiful places in outback Australia," said John. "Plus a feast of great Aussie music and bush poetry!"

Other stars scheduled to perform include The Borderers, Corinna Cordwell, Arthur Coulthard, Gill Delaney and Dave Prior.


25 years North

Graeme Connors has re-released his ground-breaking album North to celebrate the album's 25th anniversary.

In an interview with the ABC, Graeme told presenter Pip Courtney and reporter Megan Woodward that 1988 was "a breakthough year".

It was 30 years ago, on a cold winter's morning in Sydney, that North Queensland boy Graeme Connors sat down to pen the lyrics that would change his life.

Five years later, A Little Further North was released on his breakthrough album titled North.

"It was such a fresh start for Graeme Connors, for me. It was indicative of my story and it was a huge success in its day. It was just – and has continued over... it's one of... it's one of those strange albums, groups of songs, that people today are hearing for the first time and buying." Graeme said.

"It's nice to have something that sort of has a sense of timelessness about it. It's almost like, yes, 25 years are gone, but it's sort of the story's the same, you know? We haven't really altered too much."


Broadbeach Festival

The 2014 Broadbeach Country Music Festival on Queensland's Gold Coast gets underway today.

Billed as a three-day free event, stars of the Festival include Troy Cassar-Daley, Paul Costa, Ashleigh Dallas (pictured), Pete Denahy, Dozzi, Col Finley, Adam Harvey, Harmony James, Amber Lawrence, Ben Ransom, Simply Bushed and Adam Toms.

Other featured performers include Casey Barnes, The Bostocks, Liam Brew, Brad Butcher, Terry Clark, Tim Guy, Hillbilly Goats, Harry Hookey, Kerry Kennedy, The Lamplights, Tash Le Strange, Seleen McAlsiter, Thor Phillips Band, Livi Robins, The Round Mountain Girls, Jonny Taylor, The Viper Creek Band, Trevor White & Route 66 and Craig Woodward & The Lonely Dogs.

Presented by Broadbeach Alliance, who also stage the multi-award-winning Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, the event will run through to and including Sunday.

Venues include The Beach Hotel, Broadbeach Mall, The Envy Hotel, Grumpy's Barefoot Bar & Grill, Niecon Plaza, Oasis Shopping Centre, Surf Parade, TC's Sofitel Gold Coast and Wave Corner.


FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014

JW to release his 50th album

John Williamson has announced the released of his 50th album, Honest People.

Set to debut on July 25, the new work will celebate an exceptional longevity for one of the nation's most prolific artists.

"John captures the Australian spirit, character and landscape with honesty, integrity and passion through his words and music," according to a spokesman for his record label.

"During a career that has spanned almost forty-five years, and now delivering his 50th album, John has produced some of the greatest songs written about Australia and its people... Galleries Of Pink Galahs, Raining On The Rock, Cootamundra Wattle, Sir Don... to name a few. And not forgetting True Blue, the song that many consider should be our national anthem.

"At the age of 68, you might think that John would rest on his vast catalogue of work, put his feet up and say, 'that's enough'. But not John."

His new milestone album was co-produced with award-winning producer Matt Fell, and is described as an album that showcases a joint quest for perfection in their craft.

"As usual with Williamson, the album is full of songs about real people, places and moments. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry and others will simply make you feel proud of this great land and to be Australian.

"The opening track, Heatwave, pounds with the shimmering heat of the Australian landscape under conditions only too familiar to us in summer. John's childhood town of Quambatook is the inspiration for the title track which will also be the first single to be released.

"It portrays the simple innocence of growing up in a small country town and the changes that have taken place in a tight-knit community. But it also conveys John's concern for similar changes faced by 'progress' in many rural towns across Australia and the loss of a sense of community.

To coincide with the release of Honest People, Penguin Books will release John's autobiography "Hey, True Blue" on July 23.


Troy and Adam to headline Deni

Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey have been announced as the new headline acts for this year's Deni Ute Muster.

The twin Golden Guitar winning pair will join the likes of

Troy and Adam were signed up for the starring role to replace a previous headlining act who had to withdraw due to clash of commitments.

Now in its 16th year, the Deni Ute Muster celebrates "all things Australian" and is billed as the largest event of its kind in the world. Year on year, the Muster continues to grow bigger and better and 2014 is on track to again break all its records.

In addition to the live performances, the Muster will include such activity as the Bull Ride Spectacular, the Australian National Circle Work Championships, Ute Museum, Holden Grunt Off, Holden Barrel Race and Show 'n' Shine, plus a host of trade sites and food stalls.

Carnival Corner, helicopter rides, a family centre, the mechanical bucking bull, woodchop demonstrations and Whip Cracking Championships will also be included.

The 2014 Deni Ute Muster is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

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Chart Update – The Jacaranda holds number one

Tanya Self's The Jacaranda maintains its hold on the number one position for the fourth successive week on the coming week's national Country Tracks Top 30.

Carter & Carter's Little Patch Of Heaven is also steady, at number two, while Christie Lamb's Manhunt zooms up seven places to number three and Graham Rodger's Scrub Bull Hunters is at number four.

The McClymonts' Going Under (Didn't Have To) is back in the top 10 at number five, the Jasmine Rae/Kellie Pickler duet Bad Boys Get Me Good debuts in this week's chart at six and the Dozzi/Drew McAlister duet I Need You Tonight is up one to seven.

Arthur Blanch's Buy That Man A Beer is at eight, Amber Joy Poulton's Maybe Baby debuts in the top 10 at nine as does Natalie Howard's Paradise at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes' Black Coffee (19 to 11), Dale Duncan & Johanna Hemara's duet I Told You So (27 to 13), Morgan Evans' Like A Tornado (25 to 14), Tania Kernaghan's Call Home (23 to 15), Lee Kernaghan's Dirt Music (24 to 18), Harmony James' Skinny Flat White (new at 19), Greg Champion's Welcome To Woop Woop (new at 24) and The Long & Short Of It's Latter Day Cowboy (new at 25).

Other new entries to the chart this week include Bec Hance's Nothin' More To Say (new at 28).

The full chart can be viewed at


MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2014

New from Aly

In the coming months, Aly Cook will be travelling extensively promoting her new album Horse Shoe Rodeo Hotel.

Aly is planning a series of house concerts in between other concerts and festivals and is first offering this opportunity to "the crowd funding believers in the album, those that have invested in my music along with people who are just good mates who might be keen.

"It works very simply really... you get a minimum of 20 friends together for a barbecue or evening and I come to your place and perform. You can do BYO food or work it how you want but basically the tickets are $30.. each ticket buyer/friend gets to come and gets an autographed copy of the new album.

"You and your friends get the opportunity to hear the new songs and some songs from my current album in the intimate setting of your home."

Aly will be travelling to the Northern Territory/Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, in New Zealand, Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch in the months of July, August, September October and again around January in NSW.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2014

Chart Update – Tanya still at number one

Tanya Self's The Jacaranda is at number one for the third week on the coming week's national Country Tracks Top 30.

Carter & Carter's Little Patch Of Heaven is steady at two while Roo Arcus's Out On The Farm is at three and Doug Bruce's former Clock Out At Five is steady at four.

Kate Cook's Hit The Highway is up five to five, Arthur Blanch's Buy That Man A Beer is steady at six and Graham Rodger's Scrub Bull Hunters is at seven.

Dozzi's duet with Drew McAlister – I Need You Tonight – is at eight, Christie Lamb's Manhunt enters the top 10 at nine and Karen Lynne's Will I Be Good Enough is new in the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Natalie Howard's Paradise (18 to 11), Kaylee Bell's Just A Little Crazy (new at 15), Kristy Cox's One Heartbreak Away (21 to 16), 8 Ball Aitken's Hillbilly Disco (new at 17), Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes' Black Coffee (new at 19), Sara Storer's Come On Rain (26 to 21), Lee Kernaghan's Dirt Music (new at 24) and Dale Duncan & Johanna Hemara (pictured) with I Told You So (30 to 27).

Other new entries to the chart this week include Maybe Baby by Amber Joy Poulton (new at 28).

The full chart can be viewed at



Natalie's album achieves top honours

Natalie Howard's album Under (Love's) Umbrella has won the Country Album section of this year's Independent Music Awards.

The awards, the 13th to be staged, werre announced in America on Wednesday by the Music Resource Group.

Nashville based Natalie – described as "the contemporary-driven country music songstress from Queensland" – is among the established and rising stars named as the judge-determined winners.

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MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2014

From Parkesbourne to Nashville

Rising country star Roo Arcus has a growing international fan base, evidenced by his appearance on the cover of an European magazine "Cowboys".

To say Roo, a cattle producer from Parkesbourne near Goulburn (NSW), was surprised when the Italian magazine wanted to put him on its front cover would be an understatement.

The shock was also mixed with pride as it meant his music had gained more international recognition.

Roo juggles work on his property "Candlebark" with a music career that is gathering momentum, years after he thought the opportunity might have passed him by.

The title track from his album This Here Cowboy made it to number one on the Australian country music charts in late 2012 and, by 2013 and early 2014, Roo's music was getting played across the world.

It was a different story back in 2004, though, after he walked away from a promising start in the country music scene due to the pressures of drought, starting a new family and the tragic loss of his mother.

"I started in 1995 after coming back home from a year jackarooing up in Queensland at Headingly Station west of the Isa," he said. "I ended up hooking up with a couple of friends who had their own band, the Mustang Billys, and helping them out as a roadie."

By the end of that year, however, Roo was in his own band and by 1998 he was touring with Slim Dusty.

The legend of Australian country music even recorded a song Roo wrote called Ringers, Rigs And Drivers, and put it on one of his albums.

In 2000, Roo's first album, Station Boy, was nominated for two Golden Guitars and it looked like the sky would be the limit for the up and coming country music star.

Only a few years later, the demands of running his parents' property during a crippling drought, combined with the emotional upheavel of his mother's long struggle with leukaemia, resulted in Roo being ready to quit the music industry.

Then, when his daughter was born in 2004, he decided it was time to put his guitar away.

It wasn't until early 2012 he felt he could have another crack at fulfilling a passion he'd had since he first taught himself to play the guitar as a youngster.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2014

Blue Water Festival

Running from today until Monday is the Blue Water Country & Blues Festival at venues in and around the NSW coastal towns of Nelson Bay, Salamandar Bay and Shoal Bay.

Previously only a country music event, Blue Water this year incorporates blues music as one of its features.

More than 50 artists are scheduled to perform across 20 outdoor and indoor venues, including Catherine Britt (pictured), Brothers3, Bobby C, Carter & Carter, Bob Corbett & The Roo Grass Band, Paul Costa, Jayne Denham, Emile, Georgia Fall, Chris James, Graeme Johnson, The Harmonators, Brooke Harvey, Johanna Hemara, Jack Daniels & Co Duo, Kathryn Jones, Amber Lawrence, Bec Lewis, Kim Mackenzie, Wayne Metcalf, Amos Morris, Ian Moss, Karen O'Shea, Luke O'Shea, Steve Passfield (pictured), Zane Penn, Gleny Rae & Her Playboys, Ben Ransom, Tanya Self, Milton Taylor, the Mark Wells Trio, Rob Wilson and The Blue Water Cowboys.

Venues include d'Albora Marina, Country Club Shoal Bay, Fingal Bay Sports & Recreational Club, Ibis Styles, Mantra Aqua Resort, Mavericks on the Bay, Nelson Bay Bowling Club, Nelson Bay Foreshore, Ramada Resort Shoal Bay, the Salamander Bay Shopping Center, The SeaBreeze Hotel, Soldiers Point Bowling Club, Vues on the Bay and West Diggers.

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Chart Update – Tanya hangs on to the top spot

Tanya Self's The Jacaranda – from her new album Random Truths – retains the number one position on the coming week's national Country Tracks Top 30.

Carter & Carter's Little Patch Of Heaven edges up one to number two while Graham Rodger's Scrub Bull Hunters jumps two places to number three and Doug Bruce's former number one – Clock Out At Five – is at four.

Roo Arcus's Out On The Farm is at five, Arthur Blanch's Buy That Man A Beer is up three places to six and Keith Urban's Cop Car edges up one place to seven.

The Black Sorrows debut in the chart at number eight with Save Me while Tania Kernaghan's Call Home debuts in the top 10 at nine and Kate Cook's Hit The Highway is also new in the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers for the week include Christie Lamb's Manhunt (20 to 12), Morgan Evans' Like A Tornado (25 to 14), Karen Lynne's Will I Be Good Enough (23 to 17), Kylee B's This Girl's Got A Men's Shed (20 to 27) and Kristy Cox's One Heartbreak Away (28 to 21).

Other new entries to the chart this week include the duet by Dale Duncan and Johanna Hemara, I Told You So (new at 30).

The full chart can be viewed at



CMA MusicFest underway

America's biggest country music festival, CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival is underway in Nashville.

The celebration kicked off on Wednesday and runs until Sunday and will attract thousands of visitors to 11 stages with 450 artists and celebrities participating at a number of major venues in America's Music City.

"We are so proud to present the 2014 CMA Music Festival to the fans," said CMA Chief Executive Sarah Trahern. "The sheer volume and level of talent and activities this year will offer the best Festival experience to date."

Earlier this week, an annual international curtain-raiser event featured a number of country acts from around the globe including Australia and New Zealand.

Kaylens Rain (pictured), O'Shea, 2014 Toyota Star Maker Jared Porter and Tamara Stewart from Australia joined New Zealand's Cameron Scott and Canada's Jaida Dreyer, Emerson Drive, Kira Isabella, Wes Mack and the duo One More Girl (sisters Britt and Carly McKillip), Sweden's David Park and the UK's David Bradley for the CMA World GlobaLive! on Monday.

Morgan Evans featured in the Festival's Kick-Off Concert while Keith Urban (pictured) stars during a showcase tomorrow night (Saturday). Roo Arcus was scheduled to appear at a venue by the name of Durango Music Spot.

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New studio album from Adam

Adam Brand is set to released a new studio album this August.

Titled My Side Of The Street, the new work is Adam's 10th release with 13 tracks.

It features a duet with Jasmine Rae on Quit This Time and also has a cover of the Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs classic Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy.

"They say you get your whole life to write and record your first album," Adam said. "In some respect I feel I have been waiting my entire life to release this album. I threw the rule book out the window and said everything I wanted to say, exactly the way I wanted to say it."

Whatever gives Aussie music its heart, Adam Brand breathes plenty of life into its soul, according to a spokesman for the artist.

"For more than 15 years, Brand has been one of the country's best-loved and most successful recording artists."

First single from the album will be What Your Love Looks Like. A national tour to support the new release will kick off in Sale, Victoria, on Wednesday September 3.

"Adam Brand is undeniably a fixture on the local music landscape," the spokesman said.

"The versatile star has three Platinum and five Gold albums to his name, along with 12 Golden Guitars, an ARIA Top 5 album in 2012's There Will Be Love, and multiple ARIA Nominations for Best Country Album.

"He has toured with the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss and James Reyne locally, and hit the road with Taylor Swift across the USA."

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Choir gives voice to power of music

Beccy Cole firmly believes music can be a tool for breaking down the barriers of race, disability and sexuality.

"When you hear someone singing and they have a great voice, all of those other things don't matter," she said.

Beccy said her long-held view was reaffirmed by a visit to Perth earlier this year for the Variety Youth Choir's 15-year anniversary concert.

The group formed in 1998 after rave reviews of what was supposed to be a one-off performance by Variety WA scholarship recipients.

It has grown into a successful 55-person choir that includes able-bodied, disabled and disadvantaged youth.

Choir member Katie O'Donnell, 31, said the group aimed to promote the Variety message, encourage inclusion and put on good shows.

"The choir showcases what Variety is all about and shows audiences that things like disabilities don't have to be an obstacle," she said.

Story and photo from The West Australian

Photo (by Nic Ellis): Beccy with Variety Youth Choir members Chris Cutler, Perri Hinton and Lilyan Smith.


MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2014

APRA finalists

Finalists in the 2014 APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Music Awards were announced on Thursday.

In Country Work of the Year, the finalists are...

Be With You Tonight, written by Tim Nichols, Jay & Mark O'Shea, recorded by O'Shea...

Flying With The King written by Colin Buchanan, Lee Kernaghan & Garth Porter, recorded by Lee...

The Girl, The Bottle, The Memory, written by Nicholas Wolfe, recorded by The Wolfe Brothers...

I Learned The Hard Way, written and recorded by Chelsea Basham... and

Thank You Angels, written by Jay & Mark O'Shea & Matt Scullion.

Busby Marou feature strongly in the Blues & Roots Work of the Year with Get You Out Of Here, written by Tom Busby & Jeremy Marou, and Luck, written by Tom Busby and Don Walker.

Another nominee with strong country roots is Kylie Sackley (pictured), the winner of Toyota Star Maker 2001 and the 2002 Golden Guitar for New Talent of the Year. Kylie is a finalist for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year.

Although not so well known in Australia since her Star Maker and Golden Guitar wins, Kylie has had a good deal of success in America in particular, during the last decade or so.

The 2014 APRA Music Awards will be announced and presented on Monday, June 23, in Brisbane.

Television partner MAX will film the Awards for broadcast on Wednesday July 9 at 8pm with an encore presentation at 10pm on Sunday July 13.

Two special awards decided by the APRA Board of Directors will be presented on the night, Songwriter of the Year and the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music. Lindy Morrison has already been announced as the recipient of this award.

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