The Country Music Bulletin - Australia's Country Music News Website
• • • • the new australian country music news site • • • •

This website dedicated to bringing you the latest Australian country music news
News releases can be sent to

News Archive
Featured Artist

Click here to sign up to our news alert service

We let you know when the site has been updated, especially for breaking news events

Please support our supporters. Click on the image below for dedicated links


JUNE 2007


New Country Music Bulletin out now

The winter issue of the printed Country Music Bulletin, Australia's country music industry quarterly, is out now.

The Wolverines feature on the front cover with their Sail For Kids Tour 2007.

Inside, the Bulletin has detailed coverage of country music news and numerous regular features including festival news, coming events, country on the world wide web, songwriting, country airwaves, artist news in brief, industry update and "young country".

Profiles this issue are rising country star Amber Lawrence and leading guitar player Julz Parker.

Weblink –


This week on Saturday Night Country

This week on the ABC's "Saturday Night Country" (SNC) radio program, Tom Curtain joins host John Nutting to talk about his second album.

Produced by Garth Porter, the album is called Heatwave. Tom (pictured) is described as "the real thing" who writes and sings about the bush and the people of the land.

John also catches up with The Wolverines who are touring NSW and Queensland raising money for charity. "Are they touring in a band bus... no a yacht. Why? We ask John Clinton of The Wolverines that question!"

Weblink –


New single from Kristy

Kristy Cox has released the second single off her debut album.

The rising South Australian star has released Reverse, a follow-up to I Don't Need A Man from her album From My Eyes. The first single gained a "great response" from country radio nationwide, Kristy said.

In February, the album was nominated for Victorian Album of The Year. Kristy is currently living in Victoria.

The new single was co-written by Kristy and Melbourne musician Brett Wood.

Filming is now complete for Kristy's first video clip for Reverse where she has an all-girl band performing on stage at Churchill Saloon Bar. It will be released next month.

Kristy, who recently signed a distribution deal with One Stop Entertainment who is distributing her album, will also be touring with the Davidson Brothers through her home state in July before heading over to Nashville for the first time in September.

Weblink –


FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2007

Melinda song nominated for prestigious US award

Melinda Schneider’s song Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman has just been announced as a finalist for Song of The Year at the prestigious 2007 Americana Music Awards in Nashville.

Melinda wrote the song with long-time songwriting collaborator and friend Elizabeth Cook who subsequently recorded the song on her recently released Rodney Crowell-produced album.

Elizabeth felt strongly enough about the song to call her album Balls and release it as the first single.

Both writers are now very excited to be finalists among a strong field of contenders in this year’s Awards. Melinda also recorded the song on her most recent album Stronger and the song is set to be released in Australia in coming months.
The other nominees are Are You Alright? by Lucinda Williams, Hank Williams' Ghost by Darrell Scott and Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin.
Previous winners of the Award include Rodney Crowell, Jim Lauderdale and James McMurtry.

The nominees and winners are decided by the membership of the Americana Music Association and winners will be announced on November 1 in Nashville during the sixth annual Honours and Awards Show.
Weblink –


JW to sing at Bledisloe Cup

John Williamson has been asked by the Australian Rugby Union to sing Waltzing Matilda at the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Union match between Australia and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this Saturday (June 30).

Organisers are hopeful the rendition would be a repeat of John’s successful singing of the song at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney in 1999 when more than 100,000 people joined in. "The effect was staggering and very much helped the Wallabies to a convincing win over the All Blacks from New Zealand!"

The performance was captured on tape and resulted in that version of Waltzing Matilda being released on John’s compilation album Anthems in 2000.

"The CD has gone platinum and is being re-released to coincide with this Bledisloe Cup performance and as a celebration of the Rugby World Cup this year to be played in France in September and October," said EMI, John's record company.

Weblink –


Chart update – Keith hangs on to the top spot

Keith Urban hangs on to the number one spot on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart this week with his current hit I Told You So.

As does Tim McGraw at number two with Last Dollar (Fly Away) while Tania Kernaghan's Life Don't Get Much Better Than This edges up one place to three and James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven slips to number four.

Paul Costa's A Lover's Question rises to five, Carrie Underwood's Wasted jumps to six and Dierks Bentley's Every Mile A Memory is steady at seven.

Karen Lynne's Roses In The Snow falls to eight, Gretchen Wilson edges up one place to number nine with Come To Bed while Adam Brand moves into the top 10 at 10 with Can't Live Without Your Love.

Bullet performers this week include Melinda Schneider's Stronger (15 to 12), Gina Jeffreys' Stepped Right In It (18 to 15), Jonah's Road with Counting Down The Days (19 to 16), Dianna Corcoran's Stepping Stone (21 to 18), Casey Watt & Brendon Radford with If I Needed You (22 to 19), Harmony James' Tailwind (24 to 20), Amber Lawrence (pictured) with Things That Bring Me Down (29 to 26) and The Sunny Cowgirls with Cuttin' Up B&S Style (30 to 27).

New entries to the chart this week include Anne Kirkpatrick with One Of A Kind (in at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air tomorrow night (Sunday) on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at



Vale – George Xanthos

Australian steel guitar legend George Xanthos has died.

George, most notably a long term member and integral part of The Hawking Brothers Band, died early this morning in Melbourne after a long illness.
Last weekend, he was one of the first to be named in Australia’s Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. George passed away at 4.10am in hospital surrounded by his family, wife Lorna and son and daughter Ricky and Kaylene.
His funeral will be held at St Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church at the corner of Mazor and Sydney Roads, Fawkner, Melbourne, this Monday (July 2) at 2pm.

George also received one of country music’s highest honours when he, together with Arthur Blanch, Frank Ifield, Bill & Ross Kettle, Kevin King, Jimmy Little, Geoff Mack and Brian Young, was inducted into the Country Music Hands of Fame in 1978.

As well as his time with The Hawking Brothers, George was a part of the historic "Trailblazers" – the national 3XY weekly radio show broadcast in both Australia and Nashville.



Slim hits another major milestone

Four years after his death in 2003, Slim Dusty has hit another major milestone in country music by having his music extended to yet another audio technology– mobile phone ringtunes.

When Slim started recording in the early ‘40s, his music featured on 78s, then, in a natural technological progression, on vinyl LPs, singles, cassettes, eight-track cartridges, CDs and DVDs.

In 2007, fans can now download Slim Dusty songs to play on their mobile telephones as ringtunes.

This makes Slim yet again the only Australian artist to have his recordings released on all commercial music carrying formats.

EMI, Slim’s record company, has released five tunes for downloading... A Pub With No Beer, Duncan, G’Day G’Day, Lights On The Hill and Waltzing Matilda.

There has been such a strong initial reaction to this first series of Slim ringtunes that EMI is already working on making five more Slim Dusty classics available late in August.

Further information, including links to the ringtunes download site, can be obtained at


Shea added to Spirit of the Bush concert line-up

Rodeo Champion, recording artist and "everyday girl" Shea Fisher has been added to the star-studded line-up for this weekend's Spirit Of The Bush concert at Grenfell, NSW.

Shea forms part of a line-up headlined by Lee Kernaghan and including Adam Brand, Diesel, Steve Forde, Adam Brand, The McClymonts andLeo Sayer. The event is expected to be attended by 20,000 Central West locals and is a free concert designed to "give something back" to farmers affected by the drought while raising awareness for the Aussie Helpers cause.

The Grenfell concert follows the first Spirit of the Bush Concert which was held in the Wimmera Region of Victoria last March. Staged in Horsham, 20,000 people also turned out for a day of music as a community and to put aside the pressures created by drought.

The Grenfell Spirit Of The Bush concert begins at 12 noon this Saturday and admission is by way of a wristband.

Further details available at

Shea Fisher's debut single Just The Excuse is at radio now. The song's video clip has raced to number 13 on the CMC Top 30 Countdown after just three weeks.


"Like Minded Felons" tour

Singer/songwriters James Blundell, Karl Broadie and Nik Phillips are uniting for a joint tour under the banner "Like Minded Felons" – a series of acoustic shows in July and August.

The three are well established in their own right and will share the spotlight on the tour with original songs from their latest albums performing almost three hours in a stage concept inspired by the acclaimed 1970s "Rolling Thunder Revues".

James Blundell brings material from Ring Around The Moon, Karl Broadie showcases One Million Emeralds, his brand new third album, and Nik Phillips celebrates the re-issue of Songs From The 4th Floor.

James is an iconic performer and recipient of nine Golden Guitars, double platinum, platinum and gold sales awards and a multiple ARIA Award nominee. When his latest album was released in March, the single Higher Than Heaven had already gained radio and television support and the clip reached number one in March on CMC (Country Music Channel).

He was the first Australian country artist to create an impact on the mainstream pop charts and for many years was the highest selling artist in that genre. He has also penned hits for Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty and Jimmy Little.

Karl Broadie is a described as "a displaced troubadour" from Scotland with a firm reputation as one of Australia's most talented and hardest working singer/songwriters. Now Sydney based, Karl’s debut album Nowhere Now Here (2003) and EP Everybody’s Gold (2004) received rave reviews and global recognition.

Nowhere Now Here and Black Crow Calling (2005) reached number one on the UK’s Americana chart and his new album will be released in July on ABC Music.

Nik Phillips’ Songs From The 4th Floor was his first foray on to the national stage last year and continues to receive strong airplay around the country. The singles Not In This Life, No One Is To Blame and Postcards have all featured regularly on CMC.

A New Talent finalist at this year’s Golden Guitar Awards, Nik recently returned from performance in Guangdong and is the first Australian to sign a licensing agreement for distribution in China (with Pacific Audio and Video Company).

Weblinks –,,


Marton Festival '08

Details have been announced for the 2008 Marton Country Music Festival to be held at Wilson Park, Marton, New Zealand on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 18, 19 and 20.

The Friday evening and Saturday morning programs will highlight walk up concerts while invited artists will be featured during Saturday afternoon and evening and a walk-up gospel concert is scheduled for Sunday morning.

In addition to the entertainment, market stalls will be on-site and camp sites are available.

New to this festival will be an acoustic busker's competition to be held on Friday during the day in the main street of Marton from 10am to 3pm.

The 2008 Marton Country Music Festival line-up includes Rewa McGregor, Old Dogs, Ann Pascoe, Phoenix, Shotgun, Trevor Stevens and Roger Tibbs from New Zealand, Laura Downing, Dale Hooper, Dennis Morgan and Patti McKinnon from Australia and Bob & Sheila Everhart fromAmerica.

Weblink –


MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2007

Golden Saddle Grand Finalists announced

Lee Forster (left), Nicki Gillis and Markus Meier have been announced as grand finalists for the 2007 Cooper’s Golden Saddle Award.

Winner of the Award will be announced at the annual Galston Country Music Festival on Sunday, September 9.

The three grand finalists won their position from fellow finalists Victoria Baillie, Lou Bradley, Michael Bryers, Tom Curtain, Dale Duncan, Sharnee Fenwick, The Harmonators, Anita Ree and Casey Watt.

"Without a doubt one of the hardest years on record for the award with the finalists being made up of the cream of our Australian independent talent,” said a spokesman for Festival organisers.

"Sunday September 9 will be a day not to be missed by the country music fans."

Presenting this year’s award will be "song and dance man" Mike McClellan who will also perform at the Festival.

All three Golden Saddle grand finalists will perform at the Galston Club on Saturday evening September 8 at a special pre-festival show and again on the festival Sunday at Fagan Park.

They will be competing for prizes including a handcrafted Golden Saddle trophy by courtesy of sponsor Cooper’s Brewery, cash, a certificate of excellence, publicity for the next 12 months and an invitation to come back to the Festival in 2008 as a special guest artist.

Previous Golden Saddle winners (in reverse date order) have been Amber Lawrence, Darren Colston, Rob Wilson, Mark Tempany, Double Decker Dave, Michael King, Dave Debs, Colin Greatorix and Tracey Faith.

Last year’s winner, Amber Lawrence, will be returning this year as a special guest artist.

Further information can be obtained from Festival Chairman Richard Young on 0421 730 334 or by emailing,or Helen Kay on 02 9651 1741,

Weblink –


TSA/SEQ winners

Winners in the 2007 Tamworth Songwriters' Association South East Queensland Branch (TSA/SEQ) National Songwriting Competition were announced at the Norths Leagues & Services Club at Kallangur, Brisbane, on Saturday (June 23).

In Junior Songwriter – Dana Hassall was named winner with Keep On Loving while in Lyrics Only, At The Woolshed Friday Night by Alex Raymer took top honours and in Open Instrumental, Ever The Light by Dash McIvor came first.

In Amateur Bush Ballad or Traditional, Old Bob by Noel Downs was the winner while in Amateur Gospel, Walk Me Home, Precious Lord by Pam Thomasson came first and in Amateur Contemporary Country, Pen In His Hand by Connie Neilsencame up trumps.

In Amateur Modern Music, Accountability by Maree Samways was first, while in the Open Comedy or Novelty section, I Got A Little Drunk Last Night by George Sic & Cheyne Mastop was named winner and in Professional Bush Ballad or Traditional, The Mitchell Road by Johnny Kaye & Alec Raymer took first prize.

In Professional Gospel, My Mother's Bible by Johnny Kaye & Alec Raymer came first while in Professional Contemporary Country and Professional Modern Music, Katrina Burgoyne took the double with Old Post Card and Dumped, respectively.

Graham Rodger won top placiing in the Recorded section with Thunderbolt.

A spokesman for the organisers said Norths Leagues Club had come on board as a major sponsor by providing the venue for the event. "Our Other major sponsors were Music Junction and Takamine who provided us with a Takamine Guitar and case to the value of $2040 for us to Raffle on the night. The the young man who won the guitar was so elated he and his Mum were speechless."
A total of 345 Entries were received with the largest sections being the Lyrics Only and the Recorded sections. "The quality of the songs entered were exceptionally high and made the job for the judges extremely difficult," the spokesman said.
"The line up of entertainment for the Gala Concert was the best we've had yet and special thanks must go to Bill Chambers for his dynamic performance as the headline artist and for his wonderful generosity. Special mention of thanks to Katrina Burgoyne and Reg Thompson for filling in for Laura Downing and Mchael King who were both very ill with pneumonia and bronchitis respectively."


Markus signs with Shock 

Rising star Markus Meier has signed a publishing and distribution deal with Shock Records.

First release under the deal will be the single Walk in the Rain written by Colin Buchanan, Garth Porter & Markus from his debut album Raindance due out late July.

Meanwhile, Markus has welcomed two new Northern Territory sponsors – Delaneys’ Country Music Store supplying RM William boots and Aussie Signs who are designing and providing a new banner for touring.

Markus' current single – Matilda Road – meanwhile still features on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50.

Weblink –


Seven calls for Australia's Got Talent auditions

The Seven and Prime Network's hit show "Australia's Got Talent" is running series two and producers are currently "scouring" the nation for "the very best undiscovered entertainers".

Grand prize for the second series will be $250,000.

"We're looking for individuals and groups, circus acts, animal acts, novelty acts, ventriloquists, magicians, comedians, all kinds of dancers from ballet to belly, all styles of singers from yodellers to opera... all ages... weird, wacky and wonderful," said a spokesmen.

The first audition will be in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra this Saturday (June 30), followed by Wagga Wagga on Monday (July 2), Newcastle on Tuesday (July 3), Tamworth on Wednesday (July 4), Adelaide and Perth the following Saturday (July 7), Sydney on Sunday July 8, Alice Springs on Tuesday, July 10, Darwin on Thursday, July 12.

Weblink –


CMC Top 50 – Gina at number one

Gina Jeffreys (pictured) takes over the top spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) playlist this week with the clip of her latest hit Stepped Right In It.

The McClymonts slip to three with Baby's Gone Home while The Sunny Cowgirls' Cuttin' Up B&S Style jumps to five, Tania Kernaghan is at six with Life Don't Get Much Better Than This, Adam Brand is at seven with Can't Live Without Your Love, Keith Urban is at eight with I Told You So and James Blundell is at nine with Ring Around The Moon.

Bullet performers this week include Shea Fisher with Just The Excuse (17 to 13), Dianna Corcoran with Stepping Stones (20 to 16), Melinda Schneider with Stronger (debuting at 17), Amber Lawrence with The Things That Bring Me Down (23 to 20), Kasey Chambers' Sign On The Door (28 to 25), The Greencards with Waiting On The Night (37 to 31) and Danny Hooper with Every Reason (45 to 41).

The full playlist can be viewed at


FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2007

Vale – Shorty Ranger

Shorty Ranger – one of Australia's most prolific country music songwriters – has died. He was 81.

Shorty died this afternoon at Kempsey Hospital surrounded by his family, wife Ruby, John, Glen, Meryl, June and Dale, after suffering a severe stroke yesterday.

Born Edwin Haberfield in Kempsey on October 9, 1925, Shorty's early country music career mirrored that of his singing mate David Gordon Kirkpatrick (Slim Dusty). After success in such quests as Australia's Amateur Hour, Shorty concentrated on songwriting.

Having written and co-written more than 400 songs, many of which have been recorded by some of the big names in country music, Shorty recorded more than 250 of his own songs on more than 20 albums.

He was one of the first to be inducted into Australia's Country Music Hands of Fame in 1977, was named Tamworth Songwriters' Association's Song Maker in 1989 and elevated to the Country Music Roll of Renown in 1993.

Best known perhaps for his iconic song Winter Winds, Shorty – nicknamed "Bob" by family and friends and also as "The Singing Wanderer" on his records – was the eldest of six children. His parents were engaged in mixed farming on the Nulla Nulla Creek in NSW just three miles from the original Slim Dusty homestead.

Shorty and Slim attended the Nulla Nulla school and were friends from the first day. He and Slim went together to take their thirty shillings ($3) across the creek to purchase their first guitar from Jack Kyle (Clem Rogers). Shorty was there When the Rain Tumbled Down in July and was the first to hear the song. He took part in the early trips in which they tried to make a start in entertaining.

The boys busked in the streets of MacLean and Coffs Harbour, each taking his turn at passing around the hat. They were engaged to sing at the Mayfair Theatre, Kempsey for two pounds ($4) and enthusiastically plied their chosen careers in the early broadcasts of radio station 2KM Kempsey.They travelled Queensland with Hayden's Circus and Zoo and again with Dante the Magician.

All these experiences paved the way for the many successful Shorty Ranger songs to be recorded later by artists of the calibre of Slim, Buddy Williams, Reg Lindsay, Rick & Thel, The Singing Kettles, Barry Thornton, Lindsay Butler and many others.

Some Shorty's other classic compositions included My Old Aussie Homestead, Somebody's Mother, Somewhere Up In Queensland, Willy Willy, Song of the Macleay, Old Rusty Bell, Toy Telephone (written with Ivy Waters), The Big Banana Land, Buggy And Pair, Queensland Texas Rose and Old Kentucky Rig.

Shorty recorded 10 sides for the Rodeo label in 1951-2 after coming runner-up to Reg Lindsay in a mammoth talent quest in the Sydney Town Hall. Through the 1970s, he recorded albums for Hadley Records and, in the 1980s, formed his own record label, Wildwood Records, to continue to release and market his own material.

For some years, Shorty devoted himself to country gospel songs, sometimes co-writing with Jim Wesley and, in 1978, an album called Heaven Country Style was released. However, the pressure continued upon Shorty to write bush ballads, so he once again embraced the task of creating songs in this genre.  In 1968/9 Shorty wrote all of the material used by Buddy Williams on his Big Banana Land album and half of the songs for Buddy's Along The Outback Track.

Although Shorty performed on many major country music show in Australia, he made the decision early on in his career to give his first priority to being a family man. This has meant that life was too full for him to go out on the road for any length of time, so he put the major effort into being a songwriter.

Shorty's funeral will take place at the Presbyterian Church, Rudder Street, East Kempsey at 11am this Thursday (June 28).

Photos: a recent pic of Shorty (top), one of Shorty's many albums, and an early publicity shot of a very young "Singing Wanderer".

Telstra raises funds to help SES in the Hunter Region

Some of the NSW Hunter Valley’s recent flood and storm rescue heroes will be supported at the launch of the 2008 Telstra Road to Tamworth competition with a star-studded outdoor concert at Harrigan’s in the Hunter Valley Gardens at Pokolbin on Saturday June 30.

The concert will include performances by artists including Telstra Road to Tamworth Ambassador and multi award winner Adam Harvey (right), Telstra Road to Tamworth winners Kirsty Lee Akers, Morgan Evans (left), Nick Kingswell, Briana Lee, Jessica Mauboy and Aleyce Simmonds together with special guests Mike and Darren Carr as MCs.

While the concert is free, fans are being asked to give at least a gold coin donation, and all proceeds will go to the State Emergency Services (SES), Hunter Region, who worked tirelessly in assisting flood and storm victims. Telstra has pledged $5,000 to kick start fundraising efforts.

Newcastle resident and 2007 Telstra Road to Tamworth Grand Final winner Morgan Evans observed the recent flood devastation while performing in Nashville and kept in close contact with friends and family throughout the crisis.

"The SES has done an incredible job in the region," he said, "and I hope that fans dig deep to assist this magnificent group of men and women who worked so hard and gave comfort to so many victims in their hour of need.

"It’s amazing to see people supporting each other at times like these and the SES have been there every step of the way having responded to over 17,000 requests for assistance in the area."

Telstra County Wide Area General Manager for the Central Coast and Hunter Phil Lammert said the Telstra Road to Tamworth concert was perfect timing for locals. "Being able to provide a high calibre concert for locals at no charge and raise money for the SES is great news for the Hunter," he said.

"We have a fantastic line-up of singers and we are proud to be hosting the first heat in the 2008 Telstra Road to Tamworth competition in our region. The Hunter has produced this year’s overall winner Morgan Evans and last year’s songwriter winner Kirsty Lee Akers so we are hoping another local will be successful."

The winner of the Hunter Valley Telstra Road to Tamworth heat will be given $1,000 to assist in their travel to Tamworth for the grand final series to be held at the 2008 Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra between January 18 and 27 next year.

The overall Telstra Road to Tamworth Grand Final winner receives a full album deal with ABC Music distributed by Warner Music Australia and one of two trips to Nashville as part of the overall prize package valued at $140,000.

For more information on heat locations and details on how to enter the competition, visit

SNC continues to rate

The ABC's "Saturday Night Country" (SNC) radio program continues to rate strongly in Australia's major capital cities (ratings for most regional areas are not undertaken or released regularly).

Highest among the citites in the most recent survey (number four for 2007) show Perth as the strongest metro area giving the program 14.4 percent of listeners to all stations, AM and FM.

Melbourne is next with 9.4 percent, then Adelaide with 7.9 percent, Sydney with 6.6 and Brisbane with 5.4.

"The results just released again show the strength of country music on ABC Radio in the major metropolitan markets," said program host John Nutting.

The program is broadcast on 65 AM and FM stations around Australia, live on Radio Australia around the world and streamed on the world wide web.

Tomorrow night, Saturday Night Country features The Sunny Cowgirls, "bringing their laughter and joy back into the studio as they take a break from their current tour". Sophie and Celeste's album Long Five Days is still high on the country charts.

Amber Lawrence also joins John in the SNC studio to launch and showcase her first album, The Mile.

Weblink –

Bush babies’ gather to pay tribute to Willo

The Hats Off to Country Festival in Tamworth is now only weeks away and tickets are selling fast for the main event, the Golden Guitars Salute the Songs of John Williamson.

The star-studded concert features the talents of Jeff Brown (pictured), Lindsay Butler, Beccy Cole, Tracy Coster (pictured), Jim Haynes, Gina Jeffreys, Sara Storer and John Williamson himself. For bush balladeer Jeff Brown, he says performing on the tribute concert is "an absolute privilege".

Jeff acknowledged that John Williamson has long been an Australian icon, but it wasn’t until he was around 17 years of age that Jeff really got into John’s music.

"I had just broken my ankle and as I was unable to work outside, my mother brought home a couple of John’s 'live in concert' videos for me to watch," Jeff said. "Having time on my hands, I watched them over and over, and the more I watched them the more I appreciated what a talented and a great muso he is."

Jeff said one of the highlights of his career to date was at the 2005 Tamworth Country Music Festival when John’s Manager Phil Matthews called and invited him to perform on John’s show in Bicentennial Park.

"It was a great feeling then and it’s a real honour now to be a part of this tribute to John. I believe he’s well and truly earned his place as an Australian icon and a legend in the Australian country music scene. May he keep on making great music for many years to come."

Another "bush baby" appearing on the show, who is also a major John Williamson fan, is Golden Guitar winner Tracy Coster. "I was thrilled to be asked to be a one of the artists chosen to pay tribute to Willo at Hats Off this year," Tracy said. "I have admired and respected John's work for ever. I first got into his music in the '80s and remember being totally blown away by his writing. His truly Australian take on music spoke to me.

"I remember playing his CDs True Blue and Fair Dinkum over and over in the old purple as we travelled from town to town on the road. The toughest thing of course will be choosing the songs, there are so many classics! John is an icon and on top of that a bloody good bloke and I for one will be proud to pay tribute to him."

The tribute concert to John will be staged in Blazes Showroom at Wests on Saturday July 7.

Weblink –

Chart update – Keith at number one

Keith Urban (pictured) takes over the number spot on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart this week with his current hit I Told You So.

Tim McGraw's former number one – Last Dollar (Fly Away) – drops to number two while James Blundell and Tania Kernaghan are steady at three and four respectively with Higher Than Heaven and Life Don't Get Much Better Than This.

Karen Lynne remains in fifth position with Roses In The Snow, Paul Costa jumps two places to six with A Lover's Question and Dierks Bentley is at seven with Every Mile A Memory.

Carrie Underwood bounds into the top 10 with her current hit Wasted while Carter & Carter's Run Away falls to nine and Gretchen Wilson enters the top 10 at 10 with Come To Bed.

Bullet performers this week include Adam Brand's Can't Live Without Your Love (15 to 11), Melinda Schneider's Stronger (18 to 15), Gina Jeffreys' Stepped Right In It (23 to 18), Dianna Corcoran's Stepping Stone (25 to 21), Casey Watt & Brendon Radford with If I Needed You (26 to 22), Harmony James' Tailwind (27 to 24) and Craig Giles' A Million Beerdrops (28 to 25).

New entries to the chart this week include Amber Lawrence with Things That Bring Me Down (in at 29) and The Sunny Cowgirls with Cuttin' Up B&S Style (at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air on Sunday night on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at


Steve to release debut album

Former Sovereign vocalist and now solo artist in his own right, Steve Eales, will officially release his long awaited debut album The Battler next month.

Released through Steve's own newly created record label Wild Country Records, the album will be officially released on July 14 to coincide with the radio release of his second solo single, When A Cowboy Gets The Blues.

"The Battler blends country and rock elements to create something truly personal and unique and with every listen it continues to bring something new and exciting to the listener," according to the publicity accompanying the release announcement.

It’s been a big start to 2007 for Steve, said a spokesman for the artist, with Tamworth 2007 seeing the final Sovereign shows played prior to "Ealesy" embarking on the recording of his debut solo album.

His first single, Girls On Horses, received widespread radio airplay and became a CMC Top 50 hit and he also found time to record a song with good mates Keri McInerney and Michael O’Rourke – their version of the Steelers Wheel classic, Stuck In The Middle With You.

Steve will now embark on "The Battler Tour" throughout Australia which kicks off on June 29 at Mangalore in Victoria.

Weblink –

More Success for Natalie

Natalie Howard's "rockin' country" track I Don't Want To Live Like That has achieved more success overseas.

Last week it was named a finalist in the 2007 Singer/Songwriter Awards, a songwriting contest for performing music artists.  Co-written with Nashville hit songwriter James Dean Hicks, the song made the top four in the second round of the 2007 Awards.

In a letter advising of her placing, Lior Shamir, Managing Director of Awards organisers We Are Listening, said: "Congratulations!!! This is an awesome achievement and places you in the finalist group."

The Singer/Songwriter Awards are designed to cater to all genres of music and artists around the world, signed or unsigned.

Meanwhile, Natalie's song, which won the 2006 IMA (Independent Music Awards) Country Song of the Year, has once again been nominated as a "hot" track on the Los Angeles-New York based Independent Music Network Country Top 30 Countdown Chart.

The song is from Natalie's album Yesterday's Makeup.

Weblinks –,,

Gary to release anthology

Gary Shearston – a major influence on the Australian music scene for some five decades – will release a two-disc anthology, Here & There, Now & Then, next month.

The anthology – containing 43 tracks and extensive notes on every song and a 36 page booklet – will be released on the Rouseabout label together with the first radio-pro single, A Whiter Shade Of Pale originally recorded by Gary in 1977 for Transatlantic in the UK and previously unreleased in Australia.

In a foreward to the anthology, Australian music guru Warren Fahey said: "In a society where we are conditioned to take music for granted, as yet another dismissible commodity, Gary's music has stood the biggest test of all – the test of time.

"This compilation offers music selected from (Gary's) five decades to represent his repertoire however two compact discs barely does justice to the body of songs recorded by him over these years.

"Some are taken from his very earliest recordings when he was seen as the most reliable interpreter of Australia's bush song tradition. Always a social activist, Gary also wrote songs that reflected the changing society we lived in. They were good, solid songs that resonated around the country and the world.

"He went to Britain and toured to Ireland, the States and elsewhere and made some recordings in England that found their way back to Australia. Throughout all these travels, both physical and spiritual, Gary continued to create new songs and revisit his old ones.

"He still travels that same road and this compilation is a tribute to him as a singer, songwriter, free thinker and music stylist."

Weblink –



Nominations close June 30 for 2007 Southern Stars

Nominations in the 2007 Southern Stars – the 11th annual Australian Independent Country Music Awards – close on June 30.

tsaNomination forms are available for download on the Mildura Country Music Festival website (see weblink below).

Award winners will be announced on Saturday October 6 from the Mildura Arts Centre Theatre as the culmination of the annual Mildura Festival which will celebrate its 21st birthday this year.

Nomination in the Southern Stars is open to all CD product from independent Australian country music artists recorded in Australia and released in the period July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007.

The Awards cover eight nominated categories – Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Heritage Track of the Year, Rising Star Male and Female, Male and Female Vocalist of the Year and Group/Duo of the Year.

An additional award – Independent Artist of the Year – is judged from artists nominated in all Awards categories.

Further information can be obtained from Awards Co-ordinator John Arnold on 0418 303 206 or by emailing

Weblink –

Lee to release new album and bonus DVD

Lee Kernaghan is set to release a new album – Spirit Of The Bush – which will come, for a limited time, with a bonus DVD.

leeThe album is slated for release on July 14. The title track will be released as a single on June 30 with all sales of the single being donated to Aussie Helpers, the organisation set up to help fight poverty and lift the spirits of those severely affected by drought in the outback.

The bonus DVD will feature video clips of the songs The New Bush, Listen To The Radio, Love Shack and The Outback Club - Live From The Gympie Muster.

Spirit Of The Bush is described as a testament to Lee's passion and dedication to the Australian land and the people who live and breathe it.

"The album celebrates the spirit of regional Australia" and features seven new recordings among "old favourites" on the 17 track release.

Included is Lee's new version of John Schumann's legendary track I Was Only 19 (A Day In The Green) and Peter Allen's iconic Tenterfield Saddler. The title track was recorded with fellow country artists Adam Brand, Steve Forde and a chorus of guest artists.

"This album is a collection of songs both old and new that reflect the strength of the Australian spirit," Lee said. "All of the songs have a special place in my life and express my deep admiration for the bush.

"The resilience and stories of the people have always been my greatest inspiration," he said.

Weblink –

Debut album for Rose

Rising country star Rose Carleo is set to release her debut album.

roseTitled Everthing I Need, the album is being produced by Brendan Radford with the recording taking place at Rod and Jeff McCormack's studio on the NSW Central Coast in May.

"What a full on couple of days and an awesome experience," Rose said. "On my album musicians include Rod, Michael Fix, Mitch Farmer, Chris Haigh, Glen Hannah, Michel Rose, Mick Albeck, Hugh Curtis, Vaughan Jones, Brendan and a duet with Drew McAlister.

"We finished off here in Brisbane with some final overdubs and it’s all getting mixed and mastered as we speak. I’m really proud of my debut album and Brendan has done a superb job producing."

The album is due for release on July 2 simultaneously with the first single – Til I Find Me Again (co-written by Rose and Drew).

Weblink –


Jayne's debut album launched

jayneNew artist Jayne Denham, who recently signed a distribution agreement with Shock Records, launched her debut album Sudden Change In Weather last week.

The launch took place in the NSW Blue Mountains at the Springwood Community Club on Friday.

Produced by John Kane and Mark Walmsley, the album showcases Jayne's versatility – "Jayne can sing soft ballads to upbeat country rock" – according to the release accompanying the launch announcement.

The album, which will be in stores on June 30, follows the release of her single Chick Ute which is getting good airplay and has reached number 16 on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50.

Weblink –


Steve to release first video clip

Sydney artist Steve Graham is set to release his first video clip.

steveThe clip will be for his song Talking About The Weather and is under the direction of leading director Daryl Martin whose credits include the television series "Stinger" and McLeod's Daughters" (for which he is currently Director of Photography).

During a break in filming "McLeod's" Daryl flew to Sydney where he spent three days with Steve shooting and editing the clip on location at historic Gledeswood Winery.

Talking About The Weather will be the third single from Steve’s current album – The River – which he describes as "basically a metaphor for all the ups and downs in a relationship".

The single will be released on July 27 through Oz Country Downloads.

Meanwhile, Steve’s current single Wake Up Australia has received widespread radio airplay around the country and is available for free download at

Weblink –

Jonah's and Jetty – "roads" cross tonight at Newtown

jonahsTop Australian country bands Jonah's Road (left) and Jetty Road are playing a double header with special guest Amber Lawrence at Sydney's Vanguard Hotel (at Newtown) tonight (June 20).

Jonah's Road will be performing songs from the new album Counting Down The Days, "as well as some old favourites and possibly a few new tracks. Jay, John and Rod love playing live and the opportunity to see them perform at one of Sydney's premier live music venues will be a treat for fans," said a spokesman for the band.

Jetty Road have recently released their new album, Dirt Road - City Lights, and tonight's show will be the Victorian band's official Sydney album launch. "Striking twin sisters Lee and Paula Bowman are fast becoming renowned for their rich, soulful harmonies... perfectly complemented by the outstanding talents of multi-instrumentalists Julian Sammut and Simon Ross."

Amber Lawrence, a rising star in the Australian music scene, will release her new album on July 7.  "She is fast becoming known for her insightful songwriting, her soulful singing and her unique brand of country music."

Weblinks –,,,

Joni to host Nu Country TV

American country singer and quarter horse breeder Joni Harms will host Australia's "Nu Country TV" this Saturday (June 23) on Channel 31 in Victoria.

joniThe 46-year-old mother of two filmed her hosting role on the banks of the Yarra River during a recent promotional tour of Australia.

"Nu Country", now celebrating its eighth series, screens at 8pm and is repeated during the week. It also appears on C 31 in South Australia and the Family Television Network in New Zealand. 

Joni made her Australian debut at the Toyota National Country Music Muster at Gympie in 2005 and has also appeared in Tamworth. The traditional country singer also performed in a video clip for her single Cowboy Up at Widgee near Gympie in Queensland.

Cowboy Up is from her ninth album Let’s Put The Western Back In Country that was released on Texas label Wildcatter Records. She has since released a gospel album, That’s Faith.

Joni joins fellow American country singer/comedienne Kacey Jones and Aussie stars Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley and Felicity Urquhart as hosts of "Nu Country TV". With her band Harm’s Way, she plans to further expand their touring circuit from the US and Europe to Australia with a summer sojourn.

During her stint on "Nu Country TV" Joni will introduce Texan troubadour Sunny Sweeney with a video clip of a song by Tim Carroll, singing spouse of Florida born country singer Elizabeth Cook.

Sunny’s version of If I Could is from her debut disc Heartbreaker’s Hall Of Fame that she will promote on an Australian tour in January. Her visit, with fellow Americans Becky Hobbs and Dallas Wayne, begins in Tamworth.

Sunny wrote three songs on her album and also revamped The Next Big Nothing which was written by expatriate Aussie Audrey Auld Mezera.

Audrey recently moved from California to Nashville, home of Tim Carroll and Elizabeth Cook whose new album Balls features two songs Elizabeth wrote with yet another Australian singer/songwriter Melinda Schneider.

Weblink -

-I -N -T -E -R -N -A -T -I -O -N -A -L - - U -P -D -A -T -E

carrieBefore He Cheats ringtone certified platinum

Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for one million purchased ringtones.

It's only the second country song to have earned platinum ringtone status following Waylon Jennings' Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys).

Before He Cheats is also the best-selling digital country song in chart history and had previously been certified as a platinum digital single for a million purchased downloads.



Johnny Cash Internet radio show launches Radio, an Internet program featuring interviews with Cash family members, associates, friends and fans, has launched.

The weekly shows stream from the official Johnny Cash Web site and will be archived for later listening. Each one-hour broadcast will also include discussions of Johnny Cash's nearly five-decade-long career, music, sound bites from Cash and interactive contests.

The debut program featured Johnny and June Carter Cash's son, John Carter Cash, who discussed his new book, "Anchored In Love: An Intimate Portrait Of June Carter Cash".

The site is maintained by Bill Miller, a longtime fan who eventually became Cash's close friend and authored the 2004 book, "Cash: An American Man".

Weblink –


MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2007

Wolves sail for kids tour

Following the success of their 2003 Sail for CF (Cystic Fibrosis) Kids Tour, the Wolverines are once more sailing north – Sydney to North Queensland and all ports in between raising awareness and money along the way.

The Wolverines Sail for Kids Tour kicks off on Friday, July 6, at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, after which, band members will board their 52ft Beneteau yacht "Holy Cow!" and, together with their entourage, head north, calling in to play at 19 different locations along the way.

Silkwood Hotel in Silkwood, North Queensland, will see the tour wrap up on Sunday, August 5, after visiting Newport, Gosford, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour in NSW, Brisbane, Southport, Caloundra, Hervey Bay, Eumundi, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone, Biloela, Townsville, Cairns and Mareeba.

"Holy Cow!" will be accompanied by other yachts making the trip north to Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island and before each gig the Wolves will be giving some disadvantaged local children the opportunity for a sailing experience.

As well as performing at each venue, the band will conduct a short auction during interval to raise funds for a needy child or a local children’s charity. The Wolves have produced a signed, limited edition canvas print to auction each night (along with other donated items).

The Wolverines have previously brought Cystic Fibrosis into the spotlight with their hit song 65 Roses, but the trio – John Clinton, Chris Doyle and Darcy LeYear – say they want to do more to help children in need amd this tour is one way of doing that.

In the lead-up to the Sail For Kids Tour, the Wolverines will perform at the first ever Stampede Festival at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast this Saturday, June 23.

Weblink –

Queensland search for emerging singer/songwriters

FretFest – an organisation established in Queensland in 1997 "to support the ever growing interest in folk, roots and acoustic music, focusing on the singer-songwriter" – has launched a new talent quest.

Titled Find of the Year, the quest is open to unsigned emerging talent in four age categories – under 18, 18 to 25, 26 to 39 and 40 years and over.

Sponsored by QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre), Fender and Ellaways Music, the talent quest gives singer/songwriters the opportunity to perform and be profiled in public.

Launching the series earlier this month, Queensland Arts Minister Rod Welford said FretFest’s already proven track record would ensure "a great four-months of free entertainment at QPAC, while in the process scouring the region for the next Pete Murray, Bobby Flynn, Rob Longstaff or Sarah Watson (all past FretFest participants).

"Fretfest’s already had a fantastic history that’s very much unsung, very much unrecognised in the broader community," he said.

"This year, part of the partnership between QPAC and our Government and the team from FretFest, is to promote the Find of the Year series and make more Queenslanders are aware of just what a significant opportunity this provides to singer-songwriters here in Queensland."

FretFest director Alan Buchan said the Find of the Year series would enable greater public exposure for budding singer-songwriters. "The series is open to individuals of all ages who can play acoustic guitar and sing at least three original songs," he said.

"Artists will be selected through private audition and go on to play in public heats, semifinals, and finals in QPAC’s Cascade Court (in Brisbane) from August to November, ending in a Grand Final concert in QPAC’s Playhouse Theatre where the Find of the Year will be announced."

Prizes will include a $2,300 Fender Ensenada acoustic-electric guitar for the Find of the Year, plus a $1,200 Fender Acoustasonic junior amplifier and $250 Ellaways Music voucher for each of the four age group grand finalists."

Alan said an important part of the series was the opportunity for all entrants to gain valuable experience and development. "Every participant receives music industry information, discount vouchers and a free ticket to a professional development workshop."

Workshops would be conducted in partnership with industry experts including Arts Law Queensland, QMusic, APRA, recording artists, labels and producers on topics covering intellectual property, music industry, songwriting and publishing, guitar technique, recording and releasing.

The Under 18s section will run in August, 18 to 25s in September, 26 to 39s in October and 40 and over in November with the overall winner to be announced at a grand final concert on November 17.

Weblink –

Davidsons tour with Kristy

After a positive response to their first performance in South Australia at Barmera during the Queen's Birthday weekend, the Davidson Brothers are joining up with Kristy Cox for a series of performances in her home state in July.

Following the success of Hamish and Lachlan's latest album Raised On The Road, the boys say they think it's about time they tackled new territory... "and in what better way than to do a double header show with Mount Barker singing sensation Kristy Cox," they said.

"We've had a lot of bluegrass and country fans from SA contacting us asking when we're coming over," said Hamish. The first show is at the famous Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide on Thursday July 26.

"This is my first tour," Kristy said. "I'm very excited to perform in my home state and catch up with of old school friends and family along the way".

After the Adelaide show, the troupe will head up to the small town of Wilmington before going further north to Leigh Creek and finishing up in Port Pirie.

This year, the Davidson Brothers new album saw them win two TIARAs (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Awards) at Tamworth including Independant Album of the Year, a Golden Guitar Awards finalusr nomination and the Best Bluegrass & Traditional Country gong at the Victorian & National Country Music Awards.

The first single from the album – the title track – also became a hit reaching 15 on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50.

Kristy first came to prominence in 2002 when she won a Nescafe Big Break award and has since made the Toyota Star Maker finals twice, graduated from the Australian College of Country Music and, most recently, released her debut album, From My Eyes with her first two radio singles gaining national airplay. Her debut video clip will be released at the end of this month.

Weblink –

Sharon's single gains European airplay

Sharon Benjamin's current release – Jack Of Diamonds – is currently charting in Europe.

At last report, it was number 25 on the ECMA (European Country Music Association) Airplay Chart.

Sharon says the song has been gaining momentum on the overseas airwaves since it hit the top spot in the The Netherlands most played charts earlier this year.

In other chart news for Jack Of Diamonds, this week it was the number one most played song in Ireland, number five in Germany and four in the Czech Republic. It sits at 13 in the top 50 most played songs in Europe over the past week. The chart can be viewed at...

On the home front, Jack reached number 12 on the National Country Tracks Top 30 and the top 10 of the Mildura Hot Fm Chart.

With this success, Sharon will be releasing a new single for radio next month.

And in other news from the Benjamin camp, Sharon reports she was recently part of the panel for a local fundraising event in Leeton for the Whitton Basketball and Tennis courts. The panel consisted of Sharon, Grant Luhrs, rap artist Mustafus, Melinda Schneider, local muso Pat Sergi and Tim Wedde (from The Flood).

Quiz master for the night was local radio personality Brad George. After the second round, Melinda’s team was ahead by four points, but after completion of the last round, and a clean sweep of correct answers in round three, Tim, Sharon and Grant took out the night as champions!

More than $1,100 was raised on the night and the tennis and basketball courts in Whitton are now completed.

Pictured (from left): "the winning team" – Tim, Sharon and Grant.

Sharon also reports she will be heading to Melbourne for performances at two line dancing events this month. Sharon taught linedancing for a number of years and she is passionate about the music being "perfect for the dancers to scuff their boots to".

The "big one" will be held this weekend at Diamond Creek, the second, a monthly social conducted by Texas Moon in Werribee.

Weblink –

CMC Top 50 – The McClymonts at number one

The McClymonts (pictured) have taken over the number one position on the CMC (Country Music Channel) Top 50 playlist this week with the clip of their current hit Baby's Gone Home.

Tania Kernaghan's Life Don't Get Much Better Than This jumps to two while Gina Jeffreys' Stepped Right In is up two places to three and Adam Brand's number one from last week, Can't Live Without Your Love, is down to four.

Keith Urban's I Told You So is down to six while The Sunny Cowgirls are up two more places to seven with Cuttin' Up B&S Style.

In the top 20, Paul Costa is up two places (14 to 12) with A Lover's Question, followed by James Blundell at 13 (up three places) with Ring Around The Moon, Markus Meier with Matilda Road (up two places to 15), Jayne Denham's Chick Ute (19 to 16), new ABC signing Shea Fisher debuting this week at 17 with Just The Excuse and Dianna Corcoran's Bring It On Home up two more places to 20.

Bullet performers this week include Kasey Chambers, new at 28 with Sign On The Door and new entries include Danny Hooper at 45 with Every Reason.

The full playlist can be viewed at


Kirsty releases Star Maker single

This year's Toyota Star Maker winner Kirsty Lee Akers has released the first single from her prize debut album.

Titled Little Things, the song is the title track from the album which is due to be released on August 4.

This is the first time in the history of Toyota Star Maker that an album recording has been part of the winner's prize. It has been recorded through Compass Bros Records who say they believe Kirsty is a great talent and are excited about working with her on this album and into the future.

The album was produced by Compass Bros boss Graham Thompson who also produced the successful new James Blundell album Ring Around The Moon and many others.

In August, Kirsty will be joining James on his "Ring Around The Moon Tour" which will see them visit NSW, Victoria and Queensland with Travis Collins and Jetty Road.

Weblink –

This week on Saturday Night Country

In a Saturday Night Country (SNC) exclusive, host John Nutting chats to Lee Kernaghan tonight about the new track Spirit Of The Bush featuring Adam Brand and Steve Forde and "the stars of Australian country music".

The single will be heard for the first time on SNC.

America's Porter Wagoner has been appearing on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville since 1957 and, in his 79th year this year, he has made yet another album. Porter joins Johnno to chat about his new record Wagonmaster.

"Peter Pratt (pictured) is a rare thing in Australian country music," John said, "a singer of western ballads and his second album is about to be released."

SNC will have a sneak preview of the new album Never The Less.

Saturday Night Country goes to air from 10pm tonight on ABC Radio throughout Australia.

Weblink –

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007

Brian among three more for ARIA Hall of Fame

It has confirmed that Brian Cadd (pictured), the legendary Australian singer, songwriter, keyboard player and producer who had a strong involvement for a time with the country music industry, is among three more inductees to be included in the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Brian will join Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons and Radio Birdman as the three new inductees who will be inducted with the three previously announced – Marcia Hines, the Hoodoo Gurus and Frank Ifield – on Wednesday July 18 in the Plaza Ballroom at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre.

A key figure in the history of Australian music, Brian has achieved a prolific musical output.

"I've had 40 incredible years in this world of music. During that time I have had the honour to write and record with many fabulous creative people and to perform in front of many wonderful audiences. I can't really imagine how it could have been much better or any more fun. Now being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame absolutely puts the icing on the cake for me. I truly appreciate this honour so very much,” he said.

Weblink –

Dinki Di Tour kicks off this month

Keith Jamieson (left), Reg Poole and Alisha Smith will kick off their 2007 Dinki Di Country Tour this month.

The tour will cover all six states of Australia and the Northern Territory starting at the Kyogle Bowls Club on June 28 and Tenterfield Bowls Club on June 29 (both in NSW) and Pittsworth Town Hall in Queensland on July 1.

It will conclude four months later at the Widgee Balladeers Muster in Queensand on October 28.

Full tour dates can be found in the Country Music Capital News each month, in the and the Balladeers Bulletin and at Keith's website

Keith Jamieson and Alisha Smith will release a new album at the Pittsworth show in July. The album – titled Our Bush Ballad Family – is dedicated to all of the bush ballad fans around Australia and features eight bush ballads from Keith and seven instrumentals by Alisha, one of which she recorded as a guitar duet with Charley Boyter.

The album was produced by Lindsay Waddington at Krosskut Records and features some of Australia's leading musicians.

Bluewater Festival takes off despite natural disaster

Despite the appalling weather conditions and the area being declared a natural disaster following gale force winds and torrential rain, the inaugural Bluewater Country Music Festival at Port Stephens went ahead and attracted about 3,000 people.

Accommodation was almost booked out with some 30 venues featuring entertainment and a total of more than 160 gigs. Only a few shows were cancelled because of artists' inability to reach Port Stephens.

In the inaugural Blue Dolphin Awards for young talent, almost 20 contetsants from various points around NSW entered with judges Roger Corbett, Dale Hooper and Rod McCormack saying the quality was outstanding.

The winners were...

Kaylah Anne from Raymond Terrace who took out the Singer/Songwriter title with Melanie Dyer from Inverell and Makaylie Foodey from Ashtonfield placing highly.

Kaylah Anne also won the Senior Singer section with Johanna Hemara from the Blue Mountains as runner-up and Jessie Fairweather from Cobbitty third.

Melody Pool from Kurri Kurri took out the Junior Singer title with Melanie Dyer second and Makaylie Foodey third.

The Festival will run again over the June long weekend in 2008. Enquiries can be directed to 02 4984 4751.

Weblink –

Photo: Kaylah Anne with judge Rod McCormack.

Chart update – Tim still at the top

Tim McGraw (pictured) retains his strangle-hold on the top spot of the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart this week, for the fourth week in succession with his monster hit, Last Dollar (Fly Away).

Keith Urban and James Blundell remain at two and three respectively with I Told You So and Higher Than Heaven while Tania Kernaghan's Life Don't Get Much Better Than This jumps again from seven to four.

Karen Lynne's Roses In The Snow edges up one more place to five while Carter & Carter's Run Away drops to six and Travis Sinclair's Rockin' The Rig is down to seven.

Paul Costa's A Lover's Question bounds into the top 10 at eight, America's Dierks Bentley is at nine with Every Mile A Memory while Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel are steady at 10 with Ragged Bloody Heroes.

Bullet performers this week include Adam Brand's Can't Live Without Your Love (18 to 15), Jeff Brown's Counting Down The Ks (20 to 17), Melinda Schneider with Stronger (21 to 18), Dianna Corcoran with Stepping Stones (29 to 25) and Casey Watt & Brendon Radford with If I Needed You (30 to 26).

The full chart can be viewed at


Finalists announced for TSA/SEQ Songwriting Comp

Finalists have been announced in the 2007 Tamworth Songwriters' Association South East Queensland (TSA/SEQ) National Songwriting Competition.

And the finalists are...

In Junior Songwriter – Makaylie Foodey with Wrong Side Of Town, Caitlin Harnett with On Your Own, Dana Hassall with Keep On Loving and What It Means and Jade Mellor with Dad By My Side.

In Lyrics Only – A Woman's Scorn by Jeff McCormick, Angel Of The Highway and At The Woolshed Friday Night by Alex Raymer, I Love To Sing Bush Ballads by John Seers, The Jewel In My Crown and Mixing The Lick by Penny B Driver, Nobody's Daughter by Lola P Brinton, On Borrowed Time by Jeff McCormick, Playing Soldiers by Alec Raymer and The Scrub Where The White Cedars Grow by Lin Chandler.

In Open Instrumental – Amamoor Shuffle by Johnny Kaye, Ever The Light by Dash McIvor, Henpecked by Sam Shepherd, Move On by Marcella Taylor and Satori by Dash McIvor.

In Amateur Bush Ballad or Traditional – The Best Part Of A Fair While by Pam Thomasson, Dung On His Boots by Roger Troy, Old Bob by Noel Downs, Nineteen O Two by Ray Poland and Tipper by Noel Downs.

In Amateur Gospel – Hear Me Lord by Pam Thomasson, Little By Little by Maree Samways, She Taught Me To Pray by Jude Rodrigues, Walk Me Home, Precious Lord by Pam Thomasson and You Were Forsaken, Too by Tim Banks & Lisa McNicol.

In Amateur Contemporary Country – Don't Ever Stop Holding My Hand by Pam Thomasson, Easier To Breathe by Connie Neilsen, Lost In The City by Tim Banks & Lisa McNicol, Pen In His Hand by Connie Neilsen and Small Town Affairs by Quinn Hendry.

In Amateur Modern Music – A Place For You by Peter Coleman, Accountability by Maree Samways, Another Day and Dead Man by Kim Jenkins and Frequency Of Love by Tim Banks.

In Open Comedy or Novelty – Big Red Belly Black by Bec Hance & Libby Barter, Billy Can't Come Mustering Today by Johnny Kaye & Alec Raymer, I Got A Little Drunk Last Night by George Sic & Cheyne Mastop, I've Done It by Brent Lillie & P Harris and This Fishy Tale by Quinn Hendry.

In Professional Bush Ballad or Traditional – The Accordion by Doug McIntyre, Bobby's Run and The Mitchell Road Johnny Kaye & Alec Raymer, Rambling Weatherboard Shack by Debbie Beckett and Visions In My Glass by Johnny Kaye & Lefty Fahey.

In Professional Gospel – Follow Me My Children and He Leads Me by Vicki Walsh, Light Your Lamp by Amber E Robinson, My Mother's Bible by Johnny Kaye & Alec Raymer and The Road To Heaven by Amber E Robinson.

In Professional Contemporary Country – In Mind I Buried Our Love Today by Norman Connor, Mistakes by Connie Neilsen, Nobody Waltzes No More by Norman Connor, Old Post Card and Old Post Card by Katrina Burgoyne (pictured above).

In Professional Modern Music – A Minute To Be Mine by Leanne King, Dumped by Katrina Burgoyne, Friendship by Suzanne Gill, Second Gear by Katrina Burgoyne and Touch The Sky by Toni Pollard.

In the Recorded section – Anywhere I Hang My Hat by Graham Rodger, Best Mates by Sarah McMonagle, Close The Door by Casey Watt, Fall For Me by Caroline Taylor-Knight, I Want To Come Home by Sarah McMonagle, My Heart's Always Calling Home by Casey Watt, Saltwater Creek Sliprails by Anita Ree and The Stockyards In The Hills, Thunderbolt and Woman On The Land by Graham Rodger.

Winners in the 12th annual TSA/SEQ National Songwriting Competition will be announced at the Award Presentations & Gala Concert at the North Leagues & Services Club in the Brisbane suburb of Kallangur on June 23.

Headline act on the night will be Bill Chambers with Rose Carleo, Laura Downing, Kylie Hogan, Michael King and Kris Wason with backing by The Smokin' Crawdads.

The Norths Leagues & Services Club is a major sponsor of the competition.

Weblink –


Single release from Ryan

Rising young country star Ryan Sampson from Toowoomba is set to release the first single for his forthcoming, yet to be named debut album.

The Country Music Capital born singer/songwriter will release Super Cool Croc to radio and an accompanying video clip of the song which he co-wrote with Suzanne Wale.

Since starting out as a novice on the South East Queensland festival circuit and attending the Tamworth Camerata in 2002, Ryan has recorded numerous achievements.

In 2004, he was named Overall Junior Queensland Champion of Champion and just one year later claimed the Senior Championship title and automatic entry into the 2006 Toyota Star Maker Quest where he made the grand finals.

The same year he graduated from the Australian College of Country Music, won the Overall Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest and was invited as a return guest to Tamworth’s Buttercup Open House, appeared on Jim Haynes' Bush Brekky Show at Tamworth’s Hats Off Winter Festival in June and at major festivals throughout Australia including the Toyota National Country Music Muster at Gympie and received invitations to the Urban Country Music Spectacular, Charters Towers CM Festival and South Australian Champion of Champions.

Performing in New Zealand and gaining his first international exposure, Ryan was named Male Vocalist of the Year accepting a NZ Gold Guitar Award and an invitation to appear at the Bay of Islands CM Festival.

Ryan's new single will be out in July. The new album will be launched in Tamworth during the Hats Off To Country festival at The Pub on Friday, July 6.

Weblink –

Tori adds more stars

Mt Annan’s Tori Darke returned from Queensland’s Northern Suburbs Country Music Festival earlier this month with the Morris Irving Memorial Trophy, four first places and a second to her growing list of achievements.

Tori competed against other highly successful performers (up to 17 years) to take out firsts in Country Vocal, Australian Composition, Australian Bush Ballads and teamed up with Liam Brew from Caloundra to win the Duo section. The second placing came in Country Gospel.

"The people made me feel so welcome and they treat me like I’m at home," Tori said. "It was an exciting atmosphere with a real sense of friendship all around.  Even though we are competitors we all remember to have fun... and support each other."

Tori heads off to the North Coast for yet another country music festival later this month and then to Tamworth for Hats Off to Country in July.  August will see Tori compete at the Toyota National Country Music Muster at Gympie and then to Parkes, NSW in late September.

She also continues her local gigs and grand final performances with her Country to the T duo partner Taryn Trautsch in and around Sydney.

Weblink –

Den set to relaunch Petersham Inn enterainment

Den Hanrahan has been booked to kick off entertainment at the restored Petersham Inn in Sydney's inner western suburbs.

Den – who is described as a hillbilly, country, soul performer, a "front bar larrikin, singer, songwriter, storyteller, guitar, banjo, harp player and stomp-box stomper" – will re-introduce entertainment to the Inn in semi-acoustic mode on Friday, June 22.

The Petersham Inn on Parramatta Road re-opened a few months ago after restoration which brought the establishment back "to its art deco glory," according to the release announcing the new entertainment program. "In keeping with its heritage (once housing the Pismo Bar and Max’s) the Petersham Inn is now bringing music back to the hotel with acts appearing every Friday night between 8.30 and 11.30." Entry to the venue is free.

Weblinks –,

-I -N -T -E -R -N -A -T -I -O -N -A -L - - U -P -D -A -T -E

ACM to honour Harlan, Waylon, Buck, Dolly and Don

The Academy of Country Music has announced that country music superstars and industry leaders Harlan Howard, Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton and Don Williams will be honoured at a special ceremony in Nashville on June 20.

Harlan, Waylon, Dolly and Don (pictured) will be honoured with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, presented to outstanding pioneers of country music, while Buck will be honoured with the Jim Reeves International Award, presented to an individual, not necessarily an artist, for outstanding contribution to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.

The late Harlan Howard was one of the most influential composers in country music with more than 4,000 songs to his credit and has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names including Patsy Cline, Hank Williams Jr, Reba McEntire and more.

The late Waylon Jennings was known as a renaissance man in country music who crafted a new sound that combined his forceful electric guitar, rough-edged lyrics and diverse range.

The late Buck Owens was one of the most admired country idols of all time. In his astonishing career, he had 26 consecutive hits and was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His influence on country music can be heard today in Dwight Yoakam, Brad Paisley and countless others who carry his legacy and introduce a new generation to his style.

Dolly Parton is by far one of the most popular country icons of all time. From I Will Always Love You to her Oscar nominated song Travelin' Thru, Dolly has many hits spanning her long career. She is also known for breaking down barriers for women in country music.

Don Williams is a legendary singer and songwriter. After seven years with the folk group Pozo Seco Singers, he started a solo career that lead to 17 number one hits. Don also developed a style that had gently paced love songs with simple arrangements, vocals and sentiments.

Weblink –



2007 CMA Music Festival breaks attendance record

The 2007 CMA Music Festival set a new aggregate attendance record in 2007 with 191,154 people attending the four-day Festival which concluded on Sunday.

"It was an amazing event on many different levels," said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Operating Officer, "from the outstanding lineup of artists to our incredibly enthusiastic fans... to the outpouring of support from Nashville and our surrounding communities.

"Each year I find myself saying this, and it is happening again in 2007, but this is the best CMA Music Festival ever."

Aggregate attendance has grown from 124,000 in 2003, to 132,000 in 2004, 145,000 in 2005, to 161,000 in 2006, and now more than 191,000.

The 2008 CMA Music Festival will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 5-8 in Downtown Nashville.

Weblink –

Photo (by Jim Hagans): Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson perform during the 2007 CMA Music Festival.

TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2007

The Pub voted number one Slim Dusty song

A Pub With No Beer has taken out the 2007 Slim Dusty Favourite Songs Poll.

The poll was conducted by Country Music Radio (CMR) to mark the 80th anniversary of Slim Dusty’s birthday (June 13).

Second place in the poll went to Lights On The Hill, third to When The Rain Tumbles Down In July, fourth to Leave Him In The Longyard and fifth to Looking Forward Looking Back.

The top five covered a range of Slim's key songwriters – Gordon Parsons with the Pub, Joy McKean with Lights, Slim himself with When The Rain Tumbles Down, Kelly Dixon with Leave Him In The Longyard and Don Walker with Looking Forward Looking Back.

Rounding out the top 10 were We've Done Us Proud at six (written for Slim by Graeme Connors), Duncan at seven (Pat Alexander), Biggest Disappointment at eight (Joy again), By A Fire Of Gidgee Coal at nine (Stan Coster) and Trumby (Joe Daley).

Other tracks attracting votes, in order of popularity, included You Can Never Do Wrong In A Mother's Eyes, Walk A Country Mile, Indian Pacific, Saddle Boy, Man From Snowy River, Rusty It's Goodbye, Three Rivers Hotel, Camooweal, Cunamulla Fella, Ringer From The Top End, G'day G'day, Plains Of Peppimenarti, Gumtrees By The Roadway, Born A Travellin' Man, Charleville, Where Country Is, Kelly's Offsider, Winter Winds, Things Are Not The Same On The Land, Saddle Is His Home (Tall Dark Man In The Saddle), No Good Truckin' Man, Answer To A Pub With No Beer, I Must Have Good Terbaccy When I Smoke, Sweeney, Losin' My Blues Tonight, Old Rusty Bell, Beat Of The Government Stroke, Married To My Bulldog Mack, When You're Short Of A Quid, Middleton's Rouseabout, Flying Doctor's Ball and Min Min Light.

CMR's Nick Erby said 1,026 entries had been received in the Poll – 683 via the internet, 343 via post. Each voter nominated five songs – each song nominated received one vote.

Over his almost half century recording career, Slim recorded more than 800 different songs.

In an interview with Nick Erby in 2000, Slim said (for him) there were between 40 and 50 standout songs – this poll showed most of the votes went to 17 songs.

NRL pays tribute to Slim

Meanwhile, tomorrow, on the anniversary of Slim's birthday, just (June 13), just prior to the second State Of Origin match in Sydney, the NRL (National Rugby League) will pay tribute to Slim by celebrating the 50th anniversary of A Pub with No Beer.

The special tribute will take place in the form of a video presentation looking back on Slim's life, together with live performances of some of Slim's classics.

Singers on the night will include six time Golden Guitar winner Adam Harvey who will perform A Pub With No Beer, Australia’s first ever number one hit single.

Amos Morris, a 19-year-old bush balladeer from Slim’s hometown of Kempsey, whom many have likened to a young Slim Dusty, will perform the classic Don Walker/Slim Dusty track, Charleville and David and Anne Kirkpatrick will perform one of their Dad’s numerous other classics, Duncan.

"The NRL have been generous enough to support such an occasion," said a spokesman for Slim's record label EMI, "not only by hosting the pre-game tribute, but by also supporting The Slim Dusty Foundation.

"For more than 60 years, Slim Dusty defined the character of Australia. Just prior to his death in September 2003, Slim's family and a group of prominent Australians were working together to set up the Slim Dusty Foundation, to recognise and commemorate Slim's unique contribution to our nation."

The Slim Dusty Foundation is now developing a major national tourist attraction in Kempsey. The Centre will provide a uniquely Australian experience in an environment ranking in innovation, excellence and relevance as one of the most significant of its type in the world. It will incorporate a museum dedicated to the life and achievements of Slim and "the unique, rugged face of Australian culture".

It will house the collection of memorabilia collected from a lifetime on the road and will provide much needed community benefits in Slim's hometown, including employment opportunities, economic development and, once operational, support for young Australian musical talent with scholarships. "It was Slim's dream to give back to his hometown," said the EMI spokesman.

Already the centre has received support from Federal and State Governments and many other organisations and individuals throughout the nation, but further community support is needed to achieve its goal and raise the substantial funds required to plan and construct the Centre.

"The hope tomorrow night is to raise both general public and corporate company awareness, as well as much-needed funds for the Slim Dusty Centre."

The donation line (1800 18 SLIM / 1800 18 7546) will be fully operational throughout the evening or donations can also be made online via the official Centre website

New single for Donella

Recording is almost finished for Donella's first single with new Central Coast (NSW) producer Simon Johnson.

"I am finally getting some tingles down my spine," Donella said, "as I listened to the single with the harmonies by Karen O'Shea and Glen Hannah. I am singing more in my lower register and using my full voice a lot more than I have in the past, and I am really comfortable there."

Donella performed her new songs on Saturday at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club as part of the Port Stephens Blue Water Country Music Festival and will again at the "all girls" show at Hexham Bowling Club this Saturday (June 16).

And for Graham...

After what he describes as a wonderful start to 2007 with three TSA songwriting awards, finalist nominations in the Golden Guitar, TIARA and People’s Choice Awards, Graham has released the first single from his new album Thunderbolt.

Titled Woman On The Land, the single is described as "a beautiful moving ballad inspired while Graham traveled through western Queensland". The self-penned song took out the 2007 TSA Songwriters Salute Award for Bush Ballad of the Year.

"Men on the land have been the subject matter of many a song over the years and I felt that it was my time to honour and record the strength and courage of our Australian woman on the land," Graham said.

Other songs on the album include the title track, the story of the "much admired" Captain Thunderbolt, alias Fred Ward, Salute To RM – a tribute to one of Australia’s icons from the bush – and There's A Hole In The Mozzie Net, taking listeners on "a trip back to when you went camping as a child".

Good fortune is following Graham with the announcement that his award-winning song The Battle Of Long Tan (co-written with Alan McPherson) on the short-list to be included in a major film to be released 2008. "The song is going from strength to strength as Australians recognise the great deeds achieved by our Vietnam Vets during the tumultuous times of the '60s and '70s," Graham said.

Weblink –

And Keri...

Queensland multi award winning country artist Keri McInerney has released a new radio single.

The enterprising singer/songwriter has teamed up with industry mates Golden Guitar finalists Steve Eales (former lead singer of Sovereign, right) and Michael O’Rourke to record a collaborative version of the hit single Stuck In The Middle With You.

Co-produced by Ross Williams, Keri and sound engineer Jason Millhouse, the project unfolded in Brisbane when Keri contacted Michael and Steve to see if they were interested.

The end result: "Keri’s first co-production work is an infectious radio friendly country version of a popular song originally released in 1972 by Stealers Wheel," Keri said.

The single sold over one million copies then reaching number 10 on both the US and UK pop charts.

Descibed as "a dynamic mix, the finished product is an example of Keri’s inspiring lead vocals and Michael and Steve’s exceptional backing vocals saddled with superb harmonies." according to the release issued with the single announcement.

Release of the single, which is also slated for release in Europe and America, coincides with a film clip for television filmed in Brisbane.

Weblink –

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007

Col and Col recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Country music entertainer Col Hardy and long-time country music supporter Colin Munro have been recognised with Medals of the Order of Australia (OAMs) in today's Queen's Birthday honours.

Col Hardy's citation reads: "For service to the country music industry as a singer and recording artist, and to the community through the delivery of outreach zoological education programs in regional areas."

Colin Munro's citation reads: "For service to regional Australia through the promotion and preservation of rural culture, particularly through television and radio."

Col Hardy (pictured above) has long been recognised as a pioneer Aboriginal entertainer and recording artist who recorded with the Country Music Capital based Opal Records for some years.

He also won a Golden Guitar at the first Australasian Country Music Awards in 1973 – the Radio Listener Award, the only one of its type ever presented and was inducted into the Country Music Hands of Fame in 1979.

Colin Munro had a long and distinguished career with ABC Radio until his recent retirement.

Among his many direct involvements in country music, Colin was chairman of the judging panel for the Star Maker Quest for 27 years until his retirement from that position in January 2006.

South Australian CM Awards

The 2007 South Australian Country Music Festival wraps up in the state's Riverland today with all major awards and most talent quest activity finalised.

This year's SA Award of Excellence (and Frank Harding Trophy) – determined from section winners of the major talent quest – went to Danielle Mowbray (pictured) with Darin Warner named runner-up.

Additional inductees into the South Australian Country Music Hall of Fame are Doug Bruce, Tom Maxwell and Howard Michael who join the previously announced Alison Hams and Mark Tempany.

John Farrant and Rod Schumann are this year's inductees into the Maple Avenue of Honour which honours those volunteer workers who have donated 10 years or more to the Festival. It was instigated in 2005 by local identity Roly Maple who has himself spent many years working in support of the Festival.

In this year's talent quest, Danielle took out the Female Vocal section while Darin won the Male Vocal section.

Danny Gyory won the Instrumental section, Candy Latham took out Gospel Senior and Theresa-Jane Ritchie won Gospel Junior while Caillen Biggs won the 16 Years & Under section, Australian Bush Ballads and Country Rock sections.

Rebecca Ritchie took out the 12 Years & Under title, Julie Hughes & Georgette Berry won the Duo section, Tiffney Stroh was the winner in the Songwriter section and Anne Rogers was named winner of the Bush Poets section and SA Bush Poet Champion.

Weblink –

ARIA announces key dates

ARIA – the Australian Recording Industry Association – has announced key dates in relation to this year's ARIA Awards and Hall of Fame presentation event.

The dedicated ARIA Hall of Fame event is first cab off the rank on Wednesday July 18 at the Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne's Regent Theatre.

Hall of Fame inductees announced so far are Marcia Hines, the Hoodoo Gurus and Frank Ifield with further inductees, inductors, special musical tributes and host to be announced in coming weeks.

The event will be broadcast on Vh1, available on Foxtel and Austar pay TV, at 7.30pm on Sunday, July 22.

This year's ARIA Awards – sponsored by Motorola and celebrating their 21st year – will be staged at the Acer Arena in Sydney's Olympic Park on Sunday October 28 and broadcast on Network Ten.

This year's announcement of finalists in the ARIA Awards will take place at an industry function in Sydney on Wednesday, September 19.

"More than 1,000 members of the Australian music industry will begin casting their votes on Wednesday August 15, setting the wheels in motion for what is set to be a bumper year for Australian music," said an ARIA spokesman.

Voting will close on Friday August 24. In keeping with tradition, the ARIA Awards "nominations event" will also feature the presentation of this year’s ARIA Artisan Awards for Producer of the Year, Engineer of the Year, Best Cover Art and Best Video.

The ARIA Fine Arts Awards – now in their fourth year as a stand alone event – will be staged on Monday October 15 at the Verbrugghen Hall at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music and broadcast on ABC Classic FM.

"ARIA is proud to present these events which culminate with the 2007 ARIA Awards," said Chairman Denis Handlin. "These are presented to celebrate the excellence in recorded music performances across a diversity of music styles by new and established Australian artists. We look forward to joining with the public and the media to enjoy the music of all the nominees, awardees and inductees, as well as the performances to be featured on the shows."

Ed St John, Chairman of ARIA's Awards Committee said: "2006/07 has represented an incredible period of success and profile for domestic music in this country.  Australians are buying more local music now than at any other time in the history of our industry. This year's ARIA Awards will reflect the depth and maturity of the Australian scene right now – another bumper crop of great acts and great albums."

Tickets to 2007 ARIA Awards will go on sale to the general public (all ages) on Wednesday September 19 and are expected to sell quickly and to capacity. This year’s Awards will feature a total of nine live performances from a selection of Australia’s finest recording artists.

Weblink –

Big Golden Guitar goes on stamps and Monopoly board

Australia Post has released a new collection of stamps featuring the country's giant replicas, including Country Music Capital's Big Golden Guitar.

The "big things" stamp artwork by Reg Mombassa (of pop group Mental As Anything) also features the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the Big Pineapple in Nambour, the Big Merino in Goulburn and the Big Lobster in Kingston.

The stamps depict a motorist and his car travelling across the country with the "big" items featured prominently.

Australia post group manager Noel Leahy said he expected the stamp collection to be a big hit. "How many Australians would have childhood memories of family holidays when mum and dad jammed everyone in the car and they all took off down the highway,” he said.

"On the way, there would be the obligatory stop at the roadside 'big thing' so parents could have a break. I think the 'big things' stamps celebrate a terrific slice of Australian culture and will be quite a memory-jogger for many of us."

Meanwhile, Tamworth learnt last week it was to be included on the Australian-specific "Here and Now" version of the iconic Monopoly board game and a photo of the Big Golden Guitar (right) will represent the city.

Parker Bros, makers and owners of the game, conducted an Australia-wide competition earlier this year to determine which locales should be included, and Country Music Capital got the nod to be included on the fame which was to be officially released yesterday (June 10).

Tamworth tookout one of the three positions allocated to NSW from 400,000 votes cast for NSW cities. The city received 18.1 percent of the vote equalling just over 72,000 unique votes cast by individuals wanting to see Australia’s Country Music Capital represented on the board game.

Beating Australia’s largest city (Sydney) for the remaining two NSW destinations on the board are Broken Hill and The Snowy Mountains. Other prominent locations that are celebrating the success of securing a place on the new Australian Monopoly board include The Sunshine Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, the Barossa, Perth, Kakadu and Lake Burley Griffin just to name a few. (The full results can be found at

TSA comp cancelled

Tamworth Songwriters' Association has announced that the Tasmania & New Zealand Songwriting Contest has, with regret, been cancelled for this year.

An announcement on the Association's website says: "Due to unforseen circumstances and extreme illness in the family of the Co-ordinators of the Awards, they have no alternative but to offer their appologies.

"All material that has already been submitted will be returned as soon as possible."


CMC Top 50 – Adam takes over at number one

Adam Brand (pictured) takes over the number one spot on the CMC (Country Music Channel) playlist this week with the clip of his new hit single Can't Live Without Your Love.

The McClymonts edge up one more place to number two with Baby's Gone Home while Keith Urban's number one from last week – I Told You So – drops to three and Tania Kernaghan rises another place to four with Life Don't Get Much Better Than This.

America's Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood are at five and six respectively with Anyway and Wasted while Gina Jeffreys is up two places to seven with Stepped Right In.

Rascal Flatts is steady at eight with Stand with The Sunny Cowgirls' Cuttin' Up B&S Style rising to nine and Dierks Bentley rounding out the top 10 with Long Trip Alone.

Bullet performers this week include James Blundell debuting at 16 with the clip of his latest release Ring Around The Moon, Jayne Denham's Chick Ute (22 to 19) and Amber Lawrence with The Things That Bring Me Down (29 to 25).

The full playlist can be viewed at


New Zealand award winners

Winners of the 2007 New Zealand Country Music Awards were announced in Gore last week.

The Topp Twins, Jools and Lynda (pictured), were named winners of the RIANZ (Recording Industry Association of NZ) Best Country Music Album Tui Award with Flowergirls & Cowgirls.

Other finalists announced for the award were Warren Love with his album Warren Love Band and Johnny Possum’s Good Time Hootin’ Band’s debut CD Tickets.

For the Topp Twins, it was a second Tui in a professional career dating back more than 30 years. The musical and comedy duo won a Best Country Album Tui in 2001 for Grass Highway.  In addition to receiving the accolades in Gore, Jools and Lynda will be acknowledged at the 42nd New Zealand Music Awards in Auckland in October.

The RIANZ Best Country Music Album Award has been presented since 1983. The inaugural recipient was Suzanne Prentice. The New Zealand Country Music Awards is part of the Gold Guitar celebrations. Attracting more than 5,000 country music fans during the festival, Gold Guitar week is in its 34th year.

Barry Saunders was announced as winner of the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Best Country Music Song Award for Pale Sun.

New Zealand first heard of Barry Saunders in 1987 with his band The Warratahs and their hit song Hands Of My Heart. Now, 20 years on, The Warratahs are a New Zealand music institution. Still touring and playing shows and festivals, they continue to pull crowds. Pale Sun features on their latest album Keep On.

Other finalists announced for the Song Award were Cameron Clayton with Take A Step Back and Bryan Peters, Ieuan Attewell & Paula Kirkpatrick with Bluegrass Saved The Earth.

The winner was announced at the New Zealand Country Music Awards on Friday 1 June in Gore as part of the Gold Guitar celebrations.

Weblink –

MLT Songwriting Awards

Winner of the MLT (Mataura Licensing Trust) Songwriting Awards were also announced during the Gore festival.

Chanelle Davis (pictured) took out the main award with her song Dear Jon.

Runner-up was Daniel Munro with Simple And Flawed.

The competition carries a first prize of $2,500 cash.

Kaylee wins overall Gold Guitar title

Kaylee Bell (pictured) from Waimate has taken out The Southland Times Newslink Senior Overall Winner title at the Gore Gold Guitar Awards.

Bevan Gardiner from Dunedin was Senior Overall Runner-up.

Section winners were...

Bevan Gardiner from Dunedin – Male Vocal Solo, Kaylee Bell – Female Vocal Solo, Kayla Mahon (Riversdale) – Country Gospel, Bevan & Jayne (Dunedin) – Duet, Melissa Partridge (Dunedin) – Traditional, Kayla Mahon for Country Rock, Ben McDonald (Christchurch) – Instrumental, TKL (Gore) – Group and Vickie Dick (Kaitangata) – Yodelling.

Highest Scoring New Zealand Composition over all sections was Kayla Mahon.

Intermediate Overall Winner was Taylor Cairns from Gore with Daniel Cosgrove from Hamilton as runner-up. Junior Overall Winner was Teisha Seymour from Milton; Forty Plus Overall Winner was Jenny Hantler from Hamilton.

Full details of section winners can be found at

Noel signs to Rajon NZ

In more news from the land of the long white cloud, it has been announced that Brisbane-based New Zealander Noel Parlane has signed to Rajon Music Group NZ.

Rajon Music Group is distributed by Sony Music in Australia and supplies product to major music and DVD retailers including Blockbuster, HMV, K-Mart, Leading Edge, Myer/Grace, Sanity and Target.

The company has recently expanded its operation into New Zealand, Asia and the UK. Distribution is handled by Sony Music in Asia and Sony/BMG in New Zealand.

Multi-NZ Gold Guitar recording artist Noel returned to Australia in March after touring both islands in early February.

Noel’s recording career stretches to 16 vinyl albums and five compact discs.  He has appeared in more than 30 television shows in Dunedin and Christchurch in New Zealand and an American cable network over a period of 15 years.

"The tour went so well that we’re already discussing arrangements for next year," Noel said. "Signing with Rajon Music Group is great news. Being picked up through a major distributor in NZ like Rajon definitely means good news."

Morrie Smith, Managing Director Rajon NZ, said: "Noel Parlane has a long history with country music in this country. He is regarded as one of our foremost male artists who achieved many inroads with his career here in New Zealand and in Nashville. It’s our pleasure to have him on board."’

Noel’s latest CD – No Limits – recorded in Tamworth and produced by LBS Studios' Lindsay Butler is distributed in Australia through LBS Music Robina, One Stop Entertainment and online at

Weblinks –,

This week on "Saturday Night Country"

Melinda Schneider will feature as a special guest this week on ABC Radio's "Saturday Night Country" (SNC).

Melinda Schneider is currently working on a new album and in Nashville writing songs for the work. Host John Nutting talks to Mel about that and the direction she is taking with her songwriting.

Greg Champion (pictured) will also be a special guest talking about his new album and also Saturday Night Country's theme that he wrote and closes SNC each week.

"This week's program continues to pay tribute to the music of Reg Lindsay," said John, "as we showcase a new double CD release called Secrets Of Life."

Saturday Night Country goes to air from 10pm tonight on ABC Radio throughout Australia.

Weblink –

Chart update – Tim hangs on to the top spot

America's Tim McGraw is at the top of the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart for the third week running this week with Last Dollar (Fly Away).

Keith Urban and James Blundell edge up two places each to two and three respectively with I Told You So and Higher Than Heaven while Carter & Carter's Run Away slips to four.

Travis Sinclair's Rockin' The Rig drops to five while Karen Lynne's Roses In The Snow moves up one place to six and Tania Kernaghan's Life Don't Get Much Better Than This jumps from 10 to seven.

Tom Curtain's Chew Like Hell falls to eight, John O'Dea's Old Rusty Ute slips one place to nine and Luke O'Shea & Medicine Wheel move into the top 10 at 10 with Ragged Bloody Heroes.

Bullet performers this week include Paul Costa's A Lover's Question (15 to 11) and Adam Brand's Can't Live Without Your Love (21 to 18).

New entries this week include Dianna Corcoran with Stepping Stones (at 29) and Casey Watt (pictured) and Brendon Radford with If I Needed You (at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air tomorrow night, Sunday, on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at


The "MO" Awards are back

Organisers of the Australian entertainment industry's "MO" Awards have announced there will be an awards presentation this year, the 32nd year of the recognition scheme.

The 2007 "MO" Awards will be staged at Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney on Tuesday, August 28.

Organisers have announced that Bankstown Sports Club, Fosters Australia and Cadbury Schweppes have come on board as Awards sponsors.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the website – or by ringing 02 9674 9569 between 6pm and 9pm on weekdays.

Ticket bookings close on July 13.

Adam and Jim presented with Wagner awards

Adam Harvey (below) and Jim Haynes were presented with Wagner Awards for services to country music at the Windsor Function Centre in outer Sydney on Saturday night.

The night – a major fundraiser for the Cancer Council – has been described as great success with Adam and Jim receiving their awards at the end of the concert. The awards are made for Adam’s charity work and ambassadorship of Australian country music in the USA and Canada, Jim's for helping and encouraging young talent and his involvement with the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) as a Board member now for more than 10 years.

"I was very proud to accept the award on a night when the concert featured two young artists I have had a lot to do with," said Jim, "Tracy Killeen, who I first met at the CMAA College in 2001 and who toured with me when she was part of the Sweeney-Killeen duo and relative newcomer 16-year-old Katie Brooke who I first met at Camerata last year.

"Tracy is going great guns as a solo act and Katie wowed the audience with her vocal quality as she sang and played the Maton guitar we gave her at The Big Bush Brekky in January.

"The concert was a beauty," Jim said, "with Adam and myself joined by Tracy and Katie, along with Bryen Willems, Tall Timbre, Jo Ellis and Doug Adams. The all-star band was led by Jake Lardot and featured old mate James Gillard on bass.

"Having lost my mum to cancer 15 years ago, I was very moved by the hard work Don Wagner and his committee put into this wonderful annual event."

Jim's next major appearance is at the Dreamworld Stampede on the Queensland Gold Coast on Saturday June 23. He will be there with a special Australiana verse and humour show featuring Paddy Ryan and Bill Kearns as well as "a couple of old mates to make some music and tell some funny stories".

Adam, meanwhile, is in America receiving his 2007 Global Artist Award after an extensive tour of New Zealand.

Weblinks –,

Blue Water Country

The first Blue Water Country Music Festival gets underway at Port Stephens (NSW) today.

Running through until (and including) the holiday Monday, the line-up is extensive with headliners James Blundell (pictured), Gina Jeffreys, Anne Kirkpatrick, Sara Storer (pictured) and the Wolverines.

More than 30 venues will feature activity at more than 70 "gigs", most of which will be linked by a specialist festival bus or by the local bus service for a $5 a day ticket. Many will be on the foreshore of Port Stephens as well as cruise boats and the local ferry service.

The line-up of artists appearing includes reigning Toyota Star Maker Kirsty Lee Akers, Roo Arcus, Leslie Avril, Backtrakkin, Greg Bain, Melissa Bajric, Jessica Belle, Lyn Bowtell, Lou Bradley, Karl Broadie, Brooks & Magee, The Brumby Boys, The Bushwackers, Michael Carr, Nick Cesta, Bill Chambers, Steve Cheney, Lee J Collier, Donella, Rod Dowsett, Pat Drummond, Bob Easter, Wayne Elliott, Ted Everingham, Nicki Gillis, Johnny Greens Blues Cowboys, The Harmonators, Joanna Hemara, Dale Hooper, Humdinger, Vic Jefferies & Kathy Edwards, Pixie Jenkins, Dean Johnston & The Renderers, Ken Jones, Mick Jones, Alan Kash, Kerry Kennedy & Double Barrel, Nick Kingswell, Trevor Knight, reigning Golden Saddle title holder Amber Lawrence, Diane Lindsay, Ken Lindsay, Michelle Little, Mark Lucas, Rob Luckey & the Lucky Bastards, Karen Lynne, Danny Mack Band, Phil Mahoney, Makaylie, Kaylah & Melody, Marsh & Lee, Bruce McCumstie, Victoria McGee, Midnight Riders, Slim Newton, Amanda O’Bryan, Greg North, Steve Passfield, Bob Pigott, Alby Pool, Donna Raye, Noel Riley, Rough Diamonds, Ruckus, Charlie Saliba, Aleyce Simmonds, Bob Skelton, Sam Smyth, Anthony Snape, Sounds of Shadows, Rob Simpson, Juzzie Smith, Staye, Duncan Toombs, The Whiskey River Band, Lisa White & Highway One, Wildseed, Bryen Willems, Bec Willis and John Wilson.


Buskers will feature throughout the festival plus a talent quest – the Blue Dolphin Awards (entries close today).

A special feature of the Festival will be two cruises on Sunday (June 10) with entertainment and entertainment stops.

Weblink –


Kasey wins 2007 Country APRA

Kasey Chambers has taken out the 2007 APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Award for Most Performed Country Work with her song Nothing At All.

Kasey won the award from Troy Cassar-Daley's Going Back Home, Lee Kernaghan's New Bush (co-written with Garth Porter and Colin Buchanan), The McClymonts' Something That My Heart Does (written by Brooke McClymont and Erik Bernholm) and Travis Sinclair's Midnight Run (co-written with Garth Porter).

Most Performed Blues & Roots Work went to Songbird, written and performed by Bernard Fanning.

Song of the Year went to One Crowded Hour, written by Glenn Richards, performed by Augie March, while Songwriter of the Year was awarded to Wolfmother (Andrew Stockdale, Myles Heskett and Christopher Ross.

A full list of winners will be available at

Troy to release "best of" album

Troy Cassar-Daley is set to release a "best of" album in July through EMI Music.

Born To Survive – The Best Of Troy Cassar-Daley is described as "a luminous collection of 20 songs tracing Troy’s career from his first major label recording – Dream Out Loud – to his new single Everything Is Going To Be Alright".

Thirteen of the 20 songs on the album reached number on Australia's national country music singles chart the Country Tracks Top 30 and many secured accolades from ARIA Awards to Golden Guitars.

Troy has earned a reputation as one of Australia’s finest country performers, honing his craft over the course of 20 years and six studio albums.

"Troy Cassar-Daley has an incredible personal story," said the release announcing the new album, "one that has borne itself through his songs. As a child of an Aboriginal mother and Maltese father, his childhood is the stuff of legend – growing up in Grafton, running away to live with his father in Surry Hills, teaching himself to play guitar, his mother’s work on the railways, his beloved grandmother… all are factors in the rich tapestry of his life which heavily influenced his songwriting.

"Troy has grown from these humble beginnings to become one of Australia’s most loved and recognisable performers – culminating in his recent star turns on Standing On The Outside – The Songs Of Cold Chisel performing Bow River and his appearance on the TV series "It Takes Two".

With Born To Survive comes the new single, Everything Is Going To Be Alright, a song co-written with Don Walker and featuring vocals from Paulini, Dave Gleeson, David Campbell and Wendy Matthews, Troy’s peers from "It Takes Two". It will be at radio next week.

Troy himself sums up the release of his "best of" most succinctly: "Six albums down the line, you should be able to put together a compilation that gathers the best stuff you’ve put down and have it be pretty good."

Weblink –

Favourite Slim Dusty Songs to be announced this weekend

The 80th anniversary of the birth of the legendary Slim Dusty will be marked this weekend with the announcement of the results of a Slim Dusty Favourite Songs Poll conducted by Country Music Radio (CMR).

Eighty of Slim’s most popular tracks were chosen for the poll and more than 1,000 registrations were received. All 80 tracks received at least two votes with 17 attracting the bulk of the attention.

The most popular tracks came from all seven decades Slim recorded in, ranging from his first recording When The Rain Tumbles Down In July (1947) to A Pub With No Beer (1957), By A Fire Of Gidgee Coal (1964), Biggest Disappointment (1974), We’ve Done Us Proud (1987) and Looking Forward Looking Back (2000).

"This is the most interesting Slim Dusty Poll I’ve been involved in," said CMR’s Nick Erby. "We had 1,026 voters, making it the biggest poll. And, with people voting for five favourites, we expected a broad range of votes. That happened, however the bulk of the votes went to the top five with the two most popular songs gaining 20 percent more votes than number three and only one point separated the two most popular tracks."

The five most popular songs (in alphabetical order) are A Pub With No Beer, Leave Him In The Longyard, Lights On The Hill, Looking Forward Looking Back and When The Rain Tumbles Down In July.

The full results of CMR’s Favourite Songs Poll, including which ended up at number one, will be showcased on CMR this Saturday, Sunday and Monday Nights across the Super Radio Network in NSW and Queensland.

Slim Dusty was born June 13, 1927, and, in addition to playing the most popular tracks, CMR this weekend will feature Slim Dusty interview highlights each night.

Drought sufferers to receive leg up from Muster charity

Drought affected communities are being invited to apply for funds raised through this year's Toyota National Country Music Muster.

Festival organisers say around $100,000 will be up for grabs from the proceeds of merchandise sold through the Muster's 2007 Rural Aid Appeal.

Muster Coordinator Brian Sansom says not for profit groups focused on alleviating drought related issues within their local communities would be eligible to apply.

"The suffering of rural communities through drought has always been an issue close to our hearts at the Muster as that is how the Rural Aid Appeal initially kicked off," he said.

"In 1993, Australia was suffering the worst drought on record and in response to national cries for help the Apex Club of Gympie decided to support the national drought appeal by nominating all funds from the 1993 Muster to aid in the fight.

"Fourteen years on, more than $1.2 million has been donated to a variety of charities through the Rural Aid Appeal," he said.

Brian also announced that each successful community group to receive funds would be invited to nominate a family to attend this year's Toyota Muster as a guest of the event.

"One community organisation will also be awarded a new Toyota Hilux SR 4 litre V6 manual petrol pickup including air conditioning and all on road costs," he said. The car is valued at $27,000 and has been donated by Toyota to be presented to the winning charity at this year's Toyota Muster on August 26," he said.

Application forms are available by contacting the Toyota Muster office on 07 5482 2099 or via the Muster website at

Closing date for applications is July 20.  Successful applicants will be advised by August 3.

-I -N -T -E -R -N -A -T -I -O -N -A -L - - U -P -D -A -T -E

CMA Music Festival gets underway this week

America's CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival gets underway in Nashville this week with attendees expected from all over the world.

Last year, people came from 27 countries in addition to all 50 states of America, to take part in what organisers describe as a giant country music party.

On Monday (June 4), the fourth annual CMA Global Artist Party served as an unofficial kick off to the Festival hosted by Jace Everett and showcasing seven artists from Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The CMA Music Festival proper runs from tomorrow (Thursday, June 7) to Sunday (June 10).

The Global Artist Party this year featured Australians former Toyota Star Maker Travis Collins (pictured) and this year's Telstra Road to Tamworth winner Morgan Evans, Gord Bamford, Aaron Pritchett and Shane Yellowbird from Canada, John McNicholl from Ireland and Lucie Diamond from the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, AristoMedia (run by Aussie ex-pat Jeff Walker) staged the third annual Global Acoustic Afternoon, hosted by Adam Gregory of Canada and featuring Troy Kemp, Briana Lee, and Mark O'Shea of Australia, Shannon Lee Briggs and Deric Ruttan of Canada, Ruud Hermans of The Netherlands and Andreas Silver of Sweden.

"Both the CMA Global Artist Party and the AristoMedia Global Acoustic Afternoon are wonderful events enjoyed by our attendees," said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Operating Officer.  "We appreciate the great job that Jeff Walker does in organising and booking these international concerts."

Weblink –


Porter comes back with new album

Nashville country music legend Porter Wagoner has made a comeback with the release of a new album.

Wagonmaster is the 79-year-old singer, songwriter and bandleader's first country album in seven years, following a series of gospel releases. It was produced by fellow country musician Marty Stuart.

"I just want the record to be the best one I've ever done, because it could be the last one I ever do," said Porter who suffered an abdominal aneurysm last July.

"I feel like you should get better all the time and I try to do that. I try to improve my stage appearance and improve the songs that I write and perform on stage. I just try to keep getting better as the years go by."

Porter was presented with the International Fan Club Organization (IFCO) Tex Ritter Award during the organisation's 40th annual FunFest at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Monday night in the leadup to the 2007 CMA Music Festival.

The award saluted his contributions to country music and devotion to country music fans worldwide.

Widely recognised also for his television work in America (his television program the Porter Wagoner Show provided an early boost to "fledgling new singer" Dolly Parton in 1967), some of Porter's hits have included Carrol County Accident and Green, Green Grass Of Home (he was the first to have a hit with the song made more famous later by Tom Jones).



Line-up for Big Country Jamm announced

An all-star line-up has been announced for the Big Country Jamm, a Jamm 4 Genes event in support of Jeans for Genes Day, to be held at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club, Sydney, on Thursday, August 2.

Performers will be, in alphabetical order, James Blundell, Karl Broadie, Beccy Cole (pictured), Morgan Evans, Nicki Gillis, Adam Harvey (pictured), Jonah's Road, Nick Kingswell, Drew McAlister, The McClymonts, Stacey Morris, Jake Nickolai and Nik Phillips.

Country Music Roll of Renown and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee and true Aussie music legend Frank Ifield will co-host the event alongside wordsmith and country comedian Jim Haynes. Channel Ten weatherman and country music afficionado Tim Bailey will kick the night off. And it is rumoured that 94-year-old Aussie country legend Smoky Dawson might make a guest appearance.

The Jeans for Genes Day helps fund The Children’s Medical Research Institute in its quest to discover the genetic makeup of diseases like epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and cancer.

Canturbury-Hurstone Park RSL is sponsoring the even. "When approached to be the venue, Entertainment Manager Denis McNamara had no hesitation," said a spokesman for the organisers.

Tickets for the night are $40 and available at the Club, in person or by phone on 02 9559 0000.

Weblink –

Matt's debut album released

Matt Scullion's long-awaited debut album – Put It Down To Experience – was released at the weekend.

Undoubtedly one of Australian country music’s most promising emerging talents, Matt released his album through MRA Entertainment.

With his own style of music and "plenty of attitude, Put It Down To Experience is a bold first album," according to a spokesman for MRA, "including CMC chart toppers Hard Earned Money and Giddy Up.

"Put It Down To Experience takes you on a 13 track musical ride, showcasing an eclectic mix of songs and Matt’s extraordinary ability as a singer/songwriter.

In 2006, Matt was thrust into the spotlight when his tongue-in-cheek debut video clip for Hard Earned Money became a top 20 hit. A number of awards and nominations followed, including being a finalist in two categories (Best Country Artist and Best Folk Artist) at the 2006 MusicOz Awards and being nominated for a TIARA (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition Award) for First Thing On My Mind.

This year has already been a very busy one for Matt with his nomination for a Golden Guitar for Vocal Collaboration (with Lawrie Minson) for Hard Earned Money and winning the ICE (Independent Country Entertainer) Award for Best Country Rock Performance for Giddy Up which, as the second single from the new album rocketed up the CMC charts peaking at number two within weeks of release.

Weblink –

27th festival a major success for Northern Suburbs CM Club

The Northern Suburbs Country Music Club (Brisbane, Qld) staged a highly successful festival at the Gaythorne RSL Club in Mitchelton at the weekend.

"With the rising costs of fuel and general living expenses, to have more than 250 acts in two days from as far north as Mackay and as far south as McLean and Sydney in NSW, has established this event as one of the most successful on the country music festival calendar," said Festival Director Leisa Bye.

Contestants competed for more than $2,500 in prizemoney in front of capacity crowds during the two days.

The overall performer gong was given to Ali Hinchcliffe (pictured), a member of Logan-based Cane Country Music Club "who was a popular choice with the crowd with her earthy voice and amazing stage presence!"

Junior Overall winner was Dana Hassall of the Dalby Country Music club "who wowed the audience with her beautiful voice and amazing songwriting ability," Leisa said.

"The talent that is in this industry is amazing and country music fans should attend a festival and witness the abilities of these fine emerging artists... definite Golden Guitar winners of the future."

Mark and Alison for Hall of Fame

Talented Whyalla singer/songwriters Alison Hams and Mark Tempany will be honoured with induction into the South Australian Country Music Hall Of Fame at the South Australian Country Music Festival and Awards in Barmera over the coming June long weekend.

Organisers say Alison's induction is a result of her "dedication to her country music career for over 15 years, and her fine reputation as a performer, singer, presenter, songwriter and top class musician."

Festival Co-ordinator Dot McDonnell, said: "Alison has progressed steadily from being a multiple talent quest winner to become a major force in the Australian independent country music industry – and she's played a proud role in promoting South Australia in her travels to perform around Australia and overseas. She has maintained a strong connection with assisting young musical talent through her school student tutoring, talent quest band provisions and her conducting of music workshops for youth far and wide – so we consider her an extremely worthy inductee!"

In November last year, Alison won a prestigious SA Great Award for the Arts in her home Flinders/Outback Region and she says her inclusion on the SA Hall of Fame is "simply the most memorable and meaningful surprise" in her career. Alison's previous 18 months included providing the national support (along with husband Mark Tempany) for UK country artist Charlie Landsborough on his 2006 Australian tour and supporting Kate Ceberano in Adelaide.

Organisers say Mark "has established his reputation as one of the finest vocalists and songwriters in the Australian country music industry over many years and by far-reaching national and international touring commitments. With five highly successful all-original independent albums and numerous radio hits to his name, he has maintained a steadfast dedication to being an independent artist who creates in his performances a unique and powerful connection with his listeners."

Both Alison and Mark have been Toyota Star Maker Grand Finalists and winners in major international songwriting contests including the Unisong International Song Contest and the UK Songwriting Competition. Between them, they have self-produced 13 albums and sold close to 20,000 copies of these nationally and internationally.

Mark first came to the Riverland Country Music Festival in 2004. Alison has maintained a much longer connection and been integral in recent years as part of the official Talent Quest and SA Country Music Awards Bands. Alison also had early success as an amateur in this talent quest which laid a strong foundation for all she has achieved since.

Previous inductees into the Hall of Fame include Slim Dusty and Kasey Chambers.

weblinks –,

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2007

Kylie wins Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year quest

New Zealand's Kylie Austin has taken out the 2007 Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year title.

Auckland-based Kylie won the 13th annual quest at Norfolk Island on Thursday night and also took out the award for Most Promising Artist.

Kylie main prize was $4,000 cash while the Most Promising award gives her $5,000 worth of recording time at the Peter Van Gent Studio.

It's the third time the Trans Tasman Entertainer of the year award has been held by a New Zealander – the title has previously been won by Paul Sharplin of Christchurch and American James Ray, a New Zealand resident.

Runner-up in the quest was Australia’s Penelope Sommerville from Mildura.

Kylie is a long-standing member of the Eastern Districts Country Music Club in Auckland and is a 2005 graduate of the Australian College of Country Music.

She has enjoyed success both in New Zealand and Australia winning the 2004 Toyota National Country Music Muster Talent Search, the 2006 Gold Guitar Awards in Gore as part of the North team versus the South and 2006 New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year Overall Runner Up.

98.9 FM supports Brisbane’s Steel Guitar Convention

Brisbane's 98.9 FM radio station has come on board to support the city's Steel Guitar Convention later this month.

"This year’s event is expected to be something special," organisers say.

"With the support of 98.9 FM, the Steel Guitar Convention is likely to become an annual gathering of Australia’s and some of overseas' finest steel players."

General Manager of the radio station Tiga Bales will present awards during the 2007 Convention at Kedron Wavell Services Club on Saturday, June 24.

Two of Australia’s steel guitar legends will be the first to be inducted into the newly created Queensland Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

Tipped to appear as a special guest at the Convention is Australia's own reigning Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year Jean Stafford. The triple Golden Guitar winner is a dedicated fan insisting on pedal steel on all her albums. 

Jean said: "If you don’t have a steel guitar then it ain’t country."

Inside goss says it'll be a great day with a few surprises for country music fans.

Click here for weblink.

Mackay radio relaunches country format

Murri FM serving Mackay, Sarina and the Whitsundays in North Queensland, relaunches today as MY105, being promoted as "the hottest country and most singable classic songs of all time".

"We have done the research and discovered what the community wanted most from its radio station," said Station Manager Stephan Kent.

The station's format will be made up of "quad music breaks" – "four songs in a row".

"We have been very selective in the songs we intend to play," Stephan said, "the playlist will be around 4,000 tracks giving a huge diversity to the music we play, and you won’t hear the same songs over and over on MY105.

"Our listeners will be exposed to the very latest releases from across the country mixed with staples like Keith Urban, Lone Star, Gretchen Wilson, The Wilkinsons, Carrie Underwood, Tracy Lawrence and Friends, Adam Brand and so on."

The station will also launch an interactive website which will have "lots of information about the music we play including the Top 30 and the current playlist."

Overnight, the station plans to give listeners online and locally the ability to log in and select "the music" using a new interactive "request music" software developed by the station.

"From midnight to 5am, anyone will be able to log in and see our entire playlist of music... then it's as easy as ticking the track they want to hear and it will be scheduled for the next music break," Stephan said. "This is real interactive radio."

Hats Off official program released

The official program for the upcoming Hats Off to Country Festival in Tamworth has been finalised and is now available for downloading.

Co-ordinated by Tourism Tamworth, the 2007 Hats Off to Country festival will run from Thursday July 5 to Sunday July 8 and already looks like it will be a resounding success with more than 80 artists taking part.

"This equates to more than 60 shows and over 150 hours of entertainment," said a spokesman for the organisers.

The main event is a special tribute concert titled The Golden Guitar Salute To The Songs of John Williamson starring Jeff Brown, Lindsay Butler, Beccy Cole, Tracy Coster, Gina Jeffreys, Sara Storer and Brendon Walmsley with compere Jim Haynes and John himself.

It will be staged at 8pm on Saturday July 7 at the West Tamworth League Club.

The official program can be downloaded here.

Weblink –

CMC Top 50 – Keith hits the top

Keith Urban (pictured) has hit number one on the CMC (Country Music Channel) playlist this week with the clip of his latest hit I Told You So.

Australians dominate the top three spots this week... Adam Brand edging up one place to number two with Can't Live Without Your Love while The McClymonts are up two more places to three with Baby's Gone Home.

Carrie Underwood's number one from last week – Wasted – is down to four while Tania Kernaghan is up one place to five with Life Don't Get Much Better Than This.

Gina Jeffreys' new single Stepped Right In enters the top 10 at nine while The Sunny Cowgirls' Cuttin' Up B&S Style is at 11, Paul Costa's A Lover's Question at 16, Markus Meier's Matilda Road at 18 and James Blundell's Higher Than Heaven is at 19.

Bullet performers this week include Jayne Denham's Chick Ute (26 to 22), Dianna Corcoran's Stepping Stones (28 to 24), Amber Lawrence with The Things That Bring Me Down (32 to 29), Peter Denahy's The Bloke Who Serves The Beer (39 to 36), Tom Curtain's Chew Like Hell (40 to 37), Angie Whiteley's Brightest Light (41 to 38), Tony Morris' Small Town (42 to 39), The Greencards' Waiting On The Night (44 to 41), Kimber Sparks' Somewhere Between (45 to 42), Allan Caswell's A Little Bit Of Country In Us All (46 to 43), Steve Passfield's Goin' It Alone (47 to 44) and The BobKatz with Sweet Water (48 to 45).

New entries to the playlist this week include Drew McAlister with Along For The Ride (in at 48) and The McClymonts with Something That My Heart Does (at 50).

The full playlist can be viewed at


One Stop Country signs the Wolves

One Stop Country has announced the signing of the Wolverines to an exclusive distribution deal for their latest albums, Good Times, Making Tracks and Wolverines And Roses.

"We are very excited about working with the Wolverines," said One Stop Country Manager Katania Young. "The band has such an amazing ability to bond with their audience. Their tongue in cheek humour and dedication to make music fun really connects them to their fan base. They are constantly on tour and with One Stop Country’s reach to retail stores in regional Australia, we feel that this will be a great union. Getting their music to their fans."

The Wolverines are well known for their work with charities and the trio – John Clinton, Chris Doyle and Darcy LeYear – are about to set off on their "Sail For Kids Tour" which starts at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney, snakes its way up the coast to end at Silkwood in Far North Queensland.

In true Wolverines style, the tour will raise money for Kids In Need.

The next month will be a busy time for the Wolverines with the preparation of their Sail For Kids Tour and their performance at the first ever Stampede Festival at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast on June 23.

Weblink –

Chart update – top three unchanged

The top three places remain unchanged on the Country Tracks National Top 30 Singles Chart this week... Tim McGraw at number one with Last Dollar (Fly Away), Carter & Carter at two with Run Away and Travis Sinclair at three with Rockin' The Rig.

Keith Urban's I Told You So jumps three places to number four, James Blundell is steady at five with Higher Than Heaven while Tom Curtain's Chew Like Hell drops back to six and Karen Lynne jumps to seven with Roses In The Snow.

John O'Dea's Old Rusty Ute is steady again at eight while John Williamson's Wildlife Warrors: It's Time falls to nine and Tania Kernaghan's Life Don't Get Much Better Than This zooms into the top 10 at 10.

Bullet performers this week include Paul Costa's A Lover's Question (19 to 15), Jonah's Road with Counting Down The Days (28 to 25) and Gina Jeffreys' Stepped Right In It (debuting at 27).

Other new entries this week include Harmony James (pictured) with Tailwind (in at 29) and Craig Giles' A Million Teardrops (at 30).

The Top 30 Countdown goes to air tomorrow night, Sunday, on CMR (Country Music Radio) on the Super Radio Network.

The full chart can be viewed at

FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2007

JW campaigns against Awards change

Australian country star John Williamson is campaigning against a proposed change to the Golden Guitar Awards.

In an open letter to the Australian country music industry, he says...

"I write as an individual, proud Aussie; not as President of the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA).  I am just one voice.

"Members of the Association are about to be asked to vote on several Golden Guitar Award changes, including the APRA Song of the Year.  It is this one that concerns me most.

"Should an Australian receive a Golden Guitar for a song that is co-written, say 50 percent, with a foreigner?  I say NO.

"I don't say an Aussie shouldn't co-write with a foreigner, but that that song shouldn't be eligible for a Golden Guitar. Why?  Because already there are Golden Guitars awarded to Aussies who record in Nashville studios, using American musos, American producers etc.  The APRA Song of the Year is the last straw.

"Surely the CMAA is there to support the AUSTRALIAN Country Music industry.  It's up to the judges, but the trap is that I can see up-and-coming Aussie talent being discouraged to use our studios, our musos, our producers etc (who, I might add, are as good as any in the world, but refreshingly different) and also think they have to co-write with an American to make it.

"Our songs should reflect our unique culture.

"I can already hear the “Australianness” disappearing from our Country Music.  We do have our own sound.  We do have our own character that is unique and should be encouraged.  Why?  Because otherwise we might as well be just another branch of an American industry.  This is not McDonalds.  This about being proud of who we are.  Our kids need that more than anything else.  What message are we giving them?

"Do you care?  Or is it just about making it in 'The States'?"

It is not known what specific changes are being proposed for the Goiden Guitar Awards except for those that were widely publicised last year.

At that time, the CMAA suffered a widespread backlash from members and the broader country music industry, particularly for lack of consultation and for not giving sufficient notice for the changes.

All of the major alterations to the Awards were reversed although several minor cosmetic changes were retained.

The Association is circulating the now proposed changes – which have not been made public – to members for decision.

The change highlighted above by John – probably the most controversial – relates to the allowance of songs co-written by non Australian writers to be nominated in the Awards.

Riverland Festival starts today

The South Australian Country Music Festival will be held throughout the SA Riverland from today until Monday, June 11.

The Festival hosts the SA Country Music Awards and talent quest which will run from Friday, June 8 through to Sunday, June 10. Awards include inductions into the SA Hall of Fame, inductions into the Maple Avenue of Honour and Life Membership. The talent quest has 12 sections with competition held over three days in four venues.

Winners of all sections will compete for the SA Award of Excellence at the SA Sunday Spectacular on Sunday, June 10 at the Riverland Field Day Site Exhibition Hall, Barmera.

The South Australian Country Music Festival & Awards has, for the past 29 years, remained the biggest and the most prestigious of its kind in the state.

Stars of the 2007 Festival include Billy Bridge, Doug Bruce, Bill Chambers, Andrew Clermont, Kristy Cox, The Davidson Brothers, Rorden Donohue, Laura Downing, Alison Hams, Danny Hooper, Kelly Hope (pictured), Graeme Hugo & Ironbark, Tom Maxwell, Rebecca Lee Nye, The Sherrahs, Mark Tempany, Darin Warner, Peter Warner and bush poet Bob Magor.

Presentations will be made at the South Australian Awards Concert on Saturday, June 9 in Bonney Theatre, Barmera.

Weblink –

Troy on "Better Homes & Gardens" tonight

Australian country star Troy Cassar-Daley and his "country abode" will feature on the 7 and Prime networks' "Better Homes & Gardens" tonight (Friday, June 1).

Troy will show program host Johanna Griggs around and introduces her to his family.

Multi Golden Guitar winner Troy's most recent foray in the spotlight was on the television singing program "It Takes Two".

A number of major upcoming appearances will be at Leonora in Western Australia, The Dreaming Festival on the Woodford Folk Festival site and the Stampede at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

Weblink –

© Copyright 2007, ICMB Publishing