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MARCH/APRIL 2021 VOLUME 46 NO 2

troy cassar-daley

FINDING REDEMPTION IN DARK TIMES

(INC.GST)

$ 6.00

teisco WEST

THE GOONGA PROJECT

keiran

LANCINI TRIUMPHANT RETURN

brendan

McMAHON A NATURAL PROGRESSION

TOYOTA GOLDEN GUITAR AWARDS AUSTRALIA 2021 M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

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TNQ'S OWN COUNTRY MUSIC & CAMPING FESTIVAL mareeba, cairns hinterland1-3 october 2021

JOHN WILLIAMSON LEE KERNAGHAN TEX PERKINS ‘THE MAN IN BLACK’ TROY CASSAR-DALEY GRAEME CONNORS SHANNON NOLL BUSBY MAROU THE MCCLYMONTS BRAD COX THE WOLFE BROTHERS CASEY BARNES FANNY LUMSDEN JAMES BLUNDELL FELICITY URQUHART JASMINE RAE DARLINGHURST KIRSTY LEE AKERS JETTY ROAD THE BUCKLEYS SOUTHBOUND RACHAEL FAHIM MISSY LANCASTER COL FINLEY WILL DAY %/$.(2 &21125&+5Ζ67Ζ(/$0%'$9Ζ'+8'621 5$(&+(/:+Ζ7&+85&+0853+< 63Ζ*65287(721<4%$1' &$0Ζ//(75$Ζ/7+(52$'75Ζ33(56<$=0Ζ1'Ζ6$00<:+Ζ7( &$0(521&86$&.$%%Ζ()(55Ζ6&+(/6($%(50$1 -$.('$9(<)(/Ζ&Ζ7<.Ζ5&+(5-(5(0<)/(7&+(5 71475$Ζ/%/$=(56+2:&$6( 3$0$*Ζ55Ζ'$1&(56'((-$<(%8;

TICKETS ON SALE NOW SAVANNAHINTHEROUND.COM.AU 1-3 October 2021

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NEW ALBUM

THE WORLD TODAY “THIRTY YEARS DEEP INTO A STELLAR CAREER, TROY CASSAR-DALEY RELEASES HIS MOST REMARKABLE ALBUM TO DATE.” - SEAN SENNETT

FEATURING THE SINGLE

BACK ON COUNTRY AVAILABLE MARCH 19 TROYCASSARDALEY.COM.AU

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editor’s NOTE

MUSIC UNITES In this issue, we’ve been able to deliver reasonable coverage of a festival that didn’t happen.

Cheryl with The McClymonts, winners of the Golden Guitar Awards Capital News Group of The Year.

Ok. Let’s be honest. It did happen. Just not the way we thought it would and definitely not how it usually is.

F

ortunately, due to the local venues, promoters, artists and musicians working together and following the health guidelines as required, the music came up trumps. So, with that said, we show you some of the fun that was had at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and at the Golden Guitars,

including the red-carpet affair, as well as some of the shows around the town. For too long, people have silently battled mental health issues, putting on a happy face for the rest of the world. Fortunately, in recent years, various high-profile figures have opened up about their own struggles, which helps to destigmatise the condition.

Country star Troy CassarDaley is a warm individual whose sensitivities touch us and one of the reasons why he’s so very popular. He spoke to Susan Jarvis about his new album, and also opened up about some very personal matters that took him to a dark place. It’s a candid look at the star’s life and a reminder of his sensibilities. If you, or someone you know needs support, there are numerous organisations available to reach out to and a good contact list is available at the website healthdirect.gov.au The wheels are in motion at Tamworth Regional Council with various departments commencing preparations for the 50th Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2022. We hope you continue to enjoy the stories we bring you and I encourage your feedback at any time. I can’t wait to see you at a festival real soon. Yours in country Cheryl Brown cheryl@tamworthcountrymusic. com.au

NIKSTA BEYOND ISOLATION OUT NOW Available at record stores Distributed through MGM and iTunes www.niksta.com.au

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MARCH/APRIL 2021 FEATURES TROY CASSAR-DALEY

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GOLDEN GUITAR AWARDS

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ON THE GOLD CARPET

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TEISCO WEST

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KEIRAN LANCINI

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BRENDAN McMAHON

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VAN WALKER

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TOWARDS 2022

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HALL OF FAME

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MANAGING EDITOR Cheryl Brown P: 0407 10 69 66 E: cheryl@tamworthcountrymusic.com.au ADVERTISING Cheryl Brown P: 0407 10 69 66 E: cheryl@tamworthcountrymusic.com.au SUBSCRIPTIONS Linda Bridges T: 0439 406 136 CONTRIBUTORS Allan Caswell, Anna Rose, Bec Gracie, David Dawson, Haley Sheridan, Jon Wolfe, Lachlan Bryan,Lorraine Pfitzner OAM, Peter Coad OAM, Susan Jarvis. PHOTOGRAPHERS Alison Edwards, Andrew Pearson, Anna Rose, Carmen Zerefos, Chasing Summer, Chris Watson, Di Stacey, Jay Seeney, John Elliott, Jon Wolfe, Mic McCartin, Shot By Jake, Tom Cooper, Troy Cassar-Daley.

REGULARS NEWS NASHVILLE NEWS HEAR & THERE WHERE ARE THEY NOW BEHIND THE MUSIC THE SIDEMEN

TRC TEAM Bradley Moffett, Crystal Vero, Jess Fitzsimmons, Kyla Hill.

ONE TO WATCH

ART AND DESIGN Sam Woods

NEW COUNTRY SINGLES

UPCOMING DEADLINES: May/June – 15 March July/August – 15 May

SOUND ADVICE BUSH BALLADS DOWN MEMORY LANE WRITING GREAT SONGS FESTIVALS

PUBLISHER Tamworth Regional Council 437 Peel Street, Tamworth NSW 2340 P: 02 6767 5555

COMING EVENTS LIVE CM SCENE

8 9 36 39 41 42 43 45 46 48 49 51 52 61 52

Country Music Capital News is compiled and published bi-monthly by Tamworth Regional Council, 437 Peel Street, Tamworth NSW 2340. The views and opinions expressed in Capital News are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright 2021 Tamworth Regional Council, ABN 52631074450. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part by any manner or method whatsoever without the written permission is prohibited. All statements made in advertising are the sole responsibility of the advertiser in respect of legal and industrial relations. Printed by Australian Community Media Printing & Distribution, 159 Bells Line of Road, North Richmond. 2754. ISSN 1440-995X. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

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BECCY COLE

NEW HOST OF SNC Multiple Golden Guitar and ARIA award winner, BECCY COLE is the new presenter of ABC Radio’s flagship country music program Saturday Night Country.

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eccy said she had started touring Australia when the program began nearly three decades ago and had felt she had “never been without company” after a Saturday gig, no matter where she was in the country. “As with the two previous hosts, I share an absolute passion for our

genre as well as great enthusiasm for sharing new music from Aussie artists old and new.” Beccy paid tribute to the show’s previous host, Felicity Urquhart, who ended a 10-year run with the program last year. “Felicity has left incredible country boots to fill, her level of warmth and dedication to entertaining the listening audience will be a hard act to follow,” she said. Saturday Night Country can be heard on ABC Regional Radio Saturdays from 10.00pm – 1.00am, via your mobile on the ABC Listen app or on ABC Country – available on your digital radio and TV. Beccy’s son Ricky Albeck began a country program on Radio Adelaide 101.5 on the same day of Beccy’s first show for the season on Saturday, February 13.

HURRICANE FALL ON POINT Newcastle-based band Hurricane Fall are heading in the right direction having signed with Compass Bros Records. Fronted by two extraordinary lead singers, Jesse Vee and Pepper Deroy, the band is already one of Australian country’s hardest working live acts. Their signature high energy shows have made them fan favourites at festivals and B&S’s and they have achieved respectable streaming numbers with their releases to date. Compass Brother MD Graham Thompson said that he is thrilled to be working with the boys and their manager Mike Vee. “Together they’ve worked hard to build a large and enviably young following and I’m very much looking forward to helping them scale up,” he said. Pepper Deroy said; “We’re stoked to be working with Graham and the team at Compass Bros.

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“It’s amazing to have caught the attention of a label that believes in what we have created and is willing to roll their sleeves up and help us make it happen.” The new single, Lost In Us, was written by Seaforth’s Mitch Thompson and Tom Jordan with Nashville-based expat Phil Barton, and produced by Michael Paynter and Michael Delorenzis. The band will hit the road in April with special guest Cass Hopetoun. For tour dates go to hurricanefall. com/tour.

TOP 40 VANDA & YOUNG SONGWRITING FINALISTS

Three country artists are among the top 40 finalists in the 2020 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition. New Zealand’s Kaylee Bell (2012 Toyota Star Maker), Missy Lancaster and Emily Hatton feature alongside established artists Gordi, DMA’s and Thelma Plum each with two songs apiece on the shortlist. Kaylee’s entry That Summer was written together with Taylor Acorn and Andrew Pacheco; Missy’s song Wild was written with Isabella Kearny-Nurse, Robert De Sa; and Emily’s song Why’d You Have To? was written with Timothy Hickey and Lachlan Coffey. The competition opened 11 months ago and received an alltime record 4,061 entries coming from 46 countries, raising just over A$203,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia. More than half of the Top 40 songs were entered by unpublished songwriters, showcasing emerging and undiscovered talent. The 1st place winner will receive a career-changing A$50,000 furnished by APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG; 2nd place of A$10,000 courtesy of Banki Haddock Fiora, 3rd place of A$5,000 courtesy of Aon, and the A$5,000 AMPAL Emerging Songwriter Prize furnished by the Australasian Music Publishers Association (AMPAL). This year’s judging panel includes award-winning songwriter Lior, Dallas Frasca, triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, producer Robert Conley and reps from Amazon Music and Universal Music.

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NASHVILLE

music city

PHOTO: DONN JONES/CMA

NEW MUSEUM FOR

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embership is available to all with various options and privileges. Amazon donated $1 million as a corporate member and will sponsor several initiatives including “A Soundtrack for All: Amazon STEAM Days” which will sponsor local schools’ field trips. A new partnership with Sony Music Group will see a curriculum, course and certification dedicated to black music culture and business, providing students a window into all facets of the music business and related careers. The museum is a 56,000-squarefoot facility that encourages visitors to discover the central role African Americans have played in shaping and creating all genres of American music. From classical to country

NEW PLAYLISTS Discover playlists curated for every occasion through the CMA’s various music streams. From recently released songs Fresh From Nashville that is refreshed weekly to a new playlist called CMA Fan Favourites featuring themed songs chosen by the listener. The curated playlists are available on the music streaming platform of your choice. Browse around to discover your favourites or take a look at some of our faves like Country Songwriters, On The Fringe, Main Stage CMA Fest, CMA Country Christmas, CMA Awards 2020, Country Collabs, Forever Country, Celebrating Women In Country, Country Patio Tunes, CMA Broadcast Award Winners, and more. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

The National Museum of African American Music was officially opened on January 30, following a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Martin Luther King Day, January 19. to jazz and hip hop, NMAAM will integrate history and interactive technology to share the untold story of more than 50 music genres and sub-genres. It will be an unparalleled

institution, unconfined by record label, genre or recording artist, and tell a unique narrative through the lens of black music. To learn more visit nmaam.org

CMA PROVIDES ADDITIONAL FUNDING Furthering its support of music industry professionals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Country Music Association will be continuing efforts through its Music Industry COVID Support (MICS) initiative. The Nashville-based trade organisation has outlined additional funding to five nonprofit partners – Music Health Alliance, Musically Fed, Notes for Notes, Porter’s Call and The Store – which, along with previous non-profit investments, are funded through CMA’s $3 million long-term COVID-19 commitment that began

in early 2020. “Awareness is key. We are leaning on our entire industry to help us share these essential resources with those in need and keep our people healthy and stable,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. In the state of Tennessee alone, more than 50,000 music jobs have been impacted by the health crisis, and that number is estimated to be hundreds of thousands more nationwide. At the onset of the pandemic, CMA donated $1 million to The Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund in addition to a $100,000 donation to Music Health Alliance. CMA has continued to analyse and assess the specific needs of music professionals to determine the most vital resources and services to provide.

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BY SUSAN JARVIS

FINDING REDEMPTION IN DARK TIMES TROY CASSAR-DALEY knows better than most that the hard times often

bring the greatest rewards.

T “I found myself hiding in my studio for hours on end, trying to write my way out of the dark cloud. In the end I slowly found the answers in simply writing songs.” 10

roy said “I think you gain so much from the darker times in life. An old uncle of mine used to say, ‘It’s not all beer and skittles’, and he was so right.” “We all have to face periods of sadness, frustration, feeling as if nothing is going right, but that forges strength and insight, and a new way of seeing things. So you can move forward.” Troy is very open about the last couple of years being among the most difficult of his life. His muchloved father-in-law Ray Edwards died after a long illness, then his own father took his life unexpectedly, and he lost a close friend when musician Glenn Hannah passed away in 2019. “Losing the people I loved was really tough. I’m still coming to terms with it, and still asking questions. It sent me to a pretty dark place, and that had an impact on everything – my work, my marriage, my outlook on life,” Troy said. “People often think I lead a dream life, and of course that’s not the case for anyone. “I sometimes look at other people’s posts on social media and think the same thing. One of the things I’ve realised over the past year

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is that honesty is really important. It’s one of the most valuable things we have.” On top of his grief and loss, COVID-19 hit Troy hard. “At the start of the pandemic, every time the phone rang it was a gig, or a festival, or a tour being cancelled. About a week in, my manager Roxanne Brown called and said, ‘All the work’s gone. You need to go and write a record’. “So I set up a drum kit and a bass in my home studio, and I’d go down there and get creative. Songwriting has always been my happy place.” As it did for many people, though, the pandemic took its toll in other ways. “All the pattern and purpose of life seemed to have disappeared. I really hit rock bottom. Everything I’d known and loved was being taken away. I’d lost my dad, I was losing my marriage and now I was losing my ability to provide for my family. “I was used to getting in a plane and going places, performing, talking to people. All that just disappeared overnight,” Troy said. “I found myself hiding in my studio for hours on end, trying to write my way out of the dark cloud. In the end I slowly found the answers in simply writing songs.”

“But if I’m honest, it needed to happen. I’d been focusing way too much on work, and not nearly enough on my family and home – I think in a way I’d been escaping into work. And of course, once I wasn’t out there working, it all came crashing down. In fact, it became a monumental struggle and the thing that really suffered most was my marriage to Laurel.” Troy says he compensated by turning into a home handyman and fixing things, getting under Laurel’s feet in the process. “One day, after I’d done a lot of songwriting, and fixed yet another chair, she just said to me, ‘Troy, you need to go and make an album.’” Troy knew she was right. And he also knew exactly what kind of album he should make. “I’d had this Americana-style, bluesy record in me for a long time,” he said. “And the moment was right. I’ve made really positive, happy albums in the past, but this time people needed something real, something that resonated with the times. “I went to Matt Fell, who I’ve known a long time – he worked on the demos for Beyond The Dancing – and he knew exactly what needed to be done as the album’s producer.” M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


Photo: Mik McCartin M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

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Photo: Mik McCartin

“If I’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years, it’s that no one is perfect – even if they might look like it on social media. What matters is accepting who you are, flaws, failings and all. It’s in the humanity and the mistakes that you find understanding and beauty. 12

Troy found a track called The World Today that he’d begun during a trip to America a couple of years ago. He revisited and updated it in the light of the events of 2020, and it became the lynchpin and title track of his stellar new album. The World Today is possibly the darkest album Troy has released, but it also has moments of pure light and remarkable redemption. It is also filled with insight, honesty and vulnerability. Part of Troy’s journey in making The World Today involved reconnecting with his roots, his family and his country. “I had a bit more time than usual, and I was able to really sit down and yarn with my family – cousins, uncles, my mum,” he said. “For the last few years, I’ve been part of a Men’s Camp where we went back on country, and spent some time there just reconnecting, talking, being there. It was originally Laurel’s idea, and it has been really important to me.

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Troy wrote the first single, Back On Country with the legendary Kevin Bennett, and it is a powerful acknowledgement of connection to place and land, a sense of belonging. “We all have a connection to country – non-Indigenous and Indigenous. We all need to feel that, and take care of country. The power of place also permeates I Hear My River, which Troy began writing while filming the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? The first draft was debuted on the show, and Troy got together with Shane Howard to finish it off. “I played it to a distant relative – an old man who lived on the NSW South Coast – and he started crying. It’s a really powerful song, and it feels like it just came to me,” Troy said. And conversations with cousins have generated several songs about incarceration, its impact and the

human toll it takes – but also the possibilities for redemption. “It was a bit of a theme of this album. Doin’ Time, which I cowrote with Greg Storer, was one of the first songs written for it,” Troy said. “And Parole is a really stark reminder of the challenges facing many men and women today. But the most memorable of these ballads is I Still Believe, a song about hope, strength and resilience – and simple good – in the face of adversity. The beautiful Heart Like A Small Town is classic Troy. It was written with Kevin Bennett, and it is exquisitely crafted. The small town, working-class theme is also evident on Too Big For This Town, and the wonderful South, a sensational duet with Cold Chisel’s Ian Moss. Much of the pain and fragility Troy’s felt over the last couple of years is poured into the achingly beautiful Broken Hearts Can Fly. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


Ian Moss with Troy, putting down the vocals for South

Ted Howard, Josh Schuberth, Troy, Chris Kamzelas, Matt Fell

The raw emotion is tangible, and it is one of the most nuanced and compelling songs Troy’s ever written – again with Kevin Bennett. While Troy’s relationship may have hit a low when he was at his darkest point, he says things are now better than ever. “Ironically, that was partly because I went to Sydney to record for two weeks, then had to go into hotel quarantine for another two weeks when I got back,” he said. “It was the pause we both needed, and I had a lot of time to think. It pretty quickly became obvious how much I missed and needed Laurel, and how much I longed to be home. “If I’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years, it’s that no one is perfect – even if they might look like it on social media. What matters is accepting who you are, flaws, failings and all. It’s in the humanity and the mistakes that you find understanding and beauty. “I’ve learned to live with the M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

frayed edges of life, and to really appreciate that imperfection. Discovering that has been a real gift.” Among it all, Troy gave Laurel a gift: the gorgeous My Heart Still Burns For You, a song he wrote with Paul Kelly as a Valentine’s Day present for his wife. Paul Kelly also joined him in penning the gentle, reflective How You Fall. There are several other memorable songs on this album. One is Drive In The Dark (Be A Man), which Troy wrote for friend and collaborator Jimmy Barnes after reading Jimmy’s autobiography. Another is the compelling Rain Maker, inspired by one of Troy’s great-aunts, who used to have the power to split storms with an axe. “I really wanted to capture the power and energy of that idea, and I loved the story,” Troy said. Now that The World Today is released, Troy is now excited to be focusing on performing live again.

“We thought outside the square last year, and we were able to do a few small shows in Brisbane. We also did some family shows, which were really special – we had a lot of fun rehearsing and planning for them, and it really gave us something positive to focus on,” he said. Troy is currently in the midst of a series of winery concerts with Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil for The Makarrata Project, an album he was invited to be part of last year. He’ll then perform at Bluesfest at Byron Bay, with the Gympie Muster, NQ’s Rock’n Country and the Deni Ute Muster planned for later in the year. He is also planning a tour of Cape York – covering some of the ground he traversed as a young performer with the legendary Brian Young. “I’m pretty excited about getting out there and doing big shows again – it’s been a long drought!” Troy said. But it is a hiatus that has brought many blessings – the greatest of which has been to give Troy a sense of who he is, and who he wants to be. “I grew a beard during lockdown, and there was a lot of grey in there. But when I looked in the mirror, I felt that at the age of 51, I’d earnt that grey,” he said. “These days, the kids call me “Uncle” and one of my great joys is sitting down with them and giving them advice. “I’ve realised I’m becoming an Elder – and I’m pretty happy with that.” TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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The Winners

Fanny Lumsden

FALLOW YIELDS FOR FANNY The 49th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards produced a huge crop of gold for the night’s big winner, FANNY LUMSDEN.

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anny took home a total of five Golden Guitars, three with her album Fallow, produced by Matt Fell, for Toyota Album, Alt Country Album, and Female Artist, as well as one for Apple Music Single [Fierce], and 14

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CMT Video [Mountain Song/This Too Shall Pass] which she directed with her husband, Dan Stanley Freeman. This takes Fanny’s trophy tally to eight. The awards are co-presented by Tamworth Regional Council and

the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA). They were held on Saturday, January 23 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Conference Centre (TRECC) with spectator spots restricted, a virtual red carpet, social distancing in place and many tuning in from afar. Toyota Golden Guitar Awards Executive Producer Peter Ross said it has been an honour to provide M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


Casey Barnes

the industry with a much-needed celebration. “The 49th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards were very different from what we could have ever envisaged when we began planning this year’s awards. Delivered as a fully COVID-safe event, the easy option would have been to cancel the show, but it was this year more than ever, that we truly needed to demonstrate our strength and celebrate the continued success of this industry, and we have been proud to be able to do so.” As the night unfolded we saw The McClymonts receive two Golden Guitars for their sixth studio album Mayhem To Madness. The first for Country Music Capital News Group of the Year as well as Contemporary Country Album bringing the trio’s trophy tally to 15. Mayhem To Madness was the second highest selling new Australian country album of 2020. Luke O’Shea was awarded Traditional Country Album for M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

There In The Ochre and took home Heritage Song with Kevin Bennett for their collaboration, Happy Australia Day. The two awards take O’Shea’s Golden Guitar trophy wins to 13. Travis Collins took home gold for Male Artist for his album Wreck Me taking his tally to eight. It was a huge night for Melody Moko who performed Like Hank Would, the song that secured her the New Talent of the Year award. The awards were hosted by two-time Golden Guitar Award winner Andrew Swift and five-time winner Catherine Britt, and were a celebration of the music, success, and resilience of the industry. Entertaining live and virtual audiences from near and far were on-stage performances from Casey Barnes, The McClymonts, Travis Collins, Dean Perrett, and Melody Moko. Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kirsty Lee Akers and Dianna Corcoran performed John

Williamson’s True Blue. The uplifting tribute to Australia’s frontline workers saw the artists collect the award for Vocal Collaboration. A special performance by Kristy Cox with Tommy Emmanuel, and also Jerry Salley was filmed in Nashville and played on the night. Multi-award-winning singer-songwriter, Shane Nicholson won gold for APRA AMCOS Song for The High Price of Surviving co-written with Leyon Milner to whom he paid tribute to saying how incredibly talented he is; and Coca-Cola Instrumental was awarded to The Weeping Willows, Andrew Wrigglesworth and his wife Laura Coates, for Prelude. Bush Ballad Of The Year was taken home by Dean Perrett’s Six Decks to Darwin that he wrote together with Kelly & Marion Dixon and Ryan Garland; and Kristy Cox received the award for Bluegrass Recording for Finger Picking Good (featuring Tommy Emmanuel CGP), her fifth Golden Guitar. Toyota Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr John Pappas said; “Toyota has been a proud supporter of country music for 29 years, and we would like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners for their fantastic work that continued to prosper throughout a challenging 2020. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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Dobe Newton, Max Ellis, Roger Corbett

Travis Collins

Michael Muchow and Melody Moko

Roo Arcus and Allison Forbes

“As we head towards celebrating 50 years of the festival and Toyota Golden Guitar Awards next year in January 2022, we look forward to continuing our support of country music in Australia and seeing what magic is created by this industry in the coming year.” While applauding the work of the nominees and winners, this year’s awards also highlighted the 50th career anniversaries for The Bushwackers and John Williamson, featuring special performances in celebration of this incredible milestone for these two highly recognised performers. The Bushwackers were inducted into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown, honoured for their energetic writing, performing, recording, and celebration of Australian heritage. An emotional Roger Corbett and Dobe Newton accepted the award and acknowledged the 100+ musicians who joined them on their journey.

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Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia, Mr Dan Biddle said; “Tamworth is the place that annually embraces the emerging, supports the established, and celebrates the long-standing careers of country music artists in Australia. Despite the COVID climate we have all lived through in 2020, there was no exception to this tonight. “We are proud to be a part of this resilient and growing industry, and on behalf of the board of the Country Music Association of Australia, I would like to congratulate all the winners, and everyone involved in the delivery of the 49th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.” The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are the only industry affiliated country music awards in Australia and the greatest celebration of Australian country music talent. The 50th Toyota Golden Guitars and Toyota Country Music Festival will take place from January 14 to 23, 2022.

Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett

Shane Nicholson

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WINNERS

Kevin Bennett

Luke O’Shea

The New Graces and Michael Carpenter

94-year-old Kelly Dixon receives his first Golden Guitar

TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Fallow – Fanny Lumsden Producer: Matt Fell ALT COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Fallow – Fanny Lumsden Producer: Matt Fell CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Mayhem To Madness – The McClymonts Producer: Andy Mak TRADITIONAL COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR: There In The Ochre – Luke O’Shea Producer: Luke O’Shea MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Travis Collins – Wreck Me FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Fanny Lumsden – Fallow COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR: The McClymonts –Mayhem To Madness VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR: Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kirsty Lee Akers, Dianna Corcoran – True Blue BUSH BALLAD OF THE YEAR: Six Decks To Darwin – Dean Perrett Songwriters: Dean Perrett, Kelly & Marion Dixon, Ryan Garland HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR: Happy Australia Day – Luke O’Shea & Kevin Bennett Songwriters: Luke O’Shea, Kevin Bennett COCA-COLA INSTRUMENTAL OF THE YEAR: Prelude – The Weeping Willows BLUEGRASS RECORDING OF THE YEAR: Finger Picking Good (Featuring Tommy Emmanuel CGP) – Kristy Cox NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR: Melody Moko – Like Hank Would APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR: The High Price Of Surviving – Shane Nicholson Songwriters: Shane Nicholson, Leyon Milner CMT VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Mountain Song/This Too Shall Pass – Fanny Lumsden Directors: Fanny Lumsden & Dan Stanley Freeman Apple Music Single of the Year: Fierce – Fanny Lumsden TOP SELLING ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Speed Of Now Part 1 – Keith Urban

Matt Fell, Fanny Lumsden and Dan Stanley Freeman

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gold ON THE

Simone Sordello and Andrew Swift

Peter Simpson and Dianne Lindsay

Jesse Anderson and Kirsty Lee Akers

Jay Seeney

Greg Arneman, Anne Kirkpatrick, James Arneman, Flora Smith

Leyon Milner and Shane Nicholson

Molly, Sarah Grace and Lachlan Buckley

Blake Dantier with Cass Hopetoun

Angus Gill

Michael Muchow and Melody Moko

Zane Banks, Michael Carpenter, JyPerry Banks

Travis and Bec Collins

The New Graces

Back: David Lumsden, Matt Fell, Andy Gott, Tom Lumsden Front: Jenny Lumsden, Fanny, Lucinda Lumsden, Dan Stanley Freeman

CARPET

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Josh Cunningham and Felicity Urquhart

Gold Carpet hosts Casey Barnes and Jasmine Rae

Missy Lancaster

Peter Coad and Lynette Coad

Aleyce Simmonds

Mollie, Sam and Brooke McClymont

Catherine Britt

Hurricane Fall

Dean and Camille Perrett

Allison Forbes

Sue, Roo and Kate Arcus

Liam Kennedy-Clark and Gabi Louise

Blake O’Connor and Sinead Burgess

The Weeping Willows

Southbound

Ashleigh Dallas with Luke O’Shea M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

Amber Lawrence

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BY JON WOLFE

TEISCO WEST

THE goonga PROJECT In May, 2019, remarkably talented musician and music producer GLEN HANNAH took his own life and left a devastated country music industry in mourning, but a small band of friends were determined to finish a recording project that was dear to his heart.

“Steve had to talk me into completing the task, and I knew I needed everyone’s help and knew the others were handling their anger and grief over Glen’s death and getting them involved would help. We ended up using the ‘chick singers’ – Felicity and Lyn – and others because it was a small way for them to also manage their grief.” 20

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lthough Glen was regarded as a fine country music musician he had a desire to create something different and it was a project that was in the works when he died. Fellow musician and singersongwriter Jeremy Edwards explained what the project was and how it came about. “I was writing with Felicity Urquhart and Lyn Bowtell quite a lot and I was up at Glen and Felicity’s place,” Jeremy said. “I didn’t know Glen all that well but one day he came into the kitchen and said ‘How you goin’?’ and added; ‘What do you think about getting a rock band together?’.” “Glen was the sort of person you always kind of said yes to, if anyone else had said that you’d say ‘Oh man, I’d love too but…’ and forget about it, but not Glen.” Jeremy said he thought Glen had asked him because of his broader background in music which wasn’t strictly a country one. “He’d heard my albums and he could hear through to the more

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rootsy stuff, or darker stuff as well, which in retrospect is an interesting kind of through-line that I’ve thought about a lot,’ he said. Glen said he wanted “two brothers, two guitar players ripping out the front, guitars full on but original songs’ which he was sort of doing with the Faceless Men. Eventually he called a dinner and said the band he wanted was ‘Steve Fearnley on drums, because he’s a steam train, Matt Fell because he’s just amazing and needs to break away and you (Jeremy) you’re goin’ to front it and be a poser out the front and I’m gonna play guitar and play my arse off!” Glen pitched a blend of rootsbased Southern rock, the Vaughan brothers stuff and the like Chris Whitley’s music, more out there, sort of darker performers – “and I don’t want any keyboards or any chick singers!” Jeremy said that was so funny because Glen had worked with so many female artists and he just wanted a boy rock band. Jeremy started writing songs the day after the dinner and although Glen’s concept included the band writing as well as playing together

and he came back with six songs in two weeks. “We all got into it and Glen liked the songs and eventually we started recording,” Jeremy said. “We had fun working together and quite often we’d record together and while Glen was engineering he’d ask for a guitar and play something and I’d jump over and engineer and that’s on the album, us handing over to each other and playing the solos.” The initial work on an album was an organic outflowing of music and following the news of Glen’s death, Jeremy went through what had been recorded with Glen playing and chose what songs could be finished and said he was reticent to complete the project but eventually he came to a decision to work on the album. “We had about six songs where Glen was involved and more that he’d at least heard and we were all grieving of course, and continuing working on the album amounted to a kind of release from that grieving,” he said. “Steve had to talk me into completing the task, and I knew I needed everyone’s help and knew the others were handling their anger and grief over Glen’s death and getting them involved would help. We ended up using the ‘chick singers’ – Felicity and Lyn – and others because it was a small way for them to also manage their grief.” Although a multi-instrumentalist, bass duties came down to Matt Fell (also some keyboards) and he worked on putting the songs

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together. Eventually the album was finished under the guiding hands of the band that became Teisco West – Jeremy, Matt and Steve, with Glen’s initial input – and was mixed by Ted Howard and Matt. The album – The Goonga Project – was launched during the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival and it was a slightly ominous occasion. “The skies opened up, it rained, thunder and lightning and wind like never before,” Jeremy said, “and the first song we opened up with was Into The Light, a big heavy, modernsounding rock song and everyone had their theories that it was Glen’s last word – he was either pissed he wasn’t there, he broke the drought, or he was just angry. “It was pretty cathartic for a M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

lot of people when we launched the album – they understood we just needed to make this great big noise and finish this thing that was Glen’s baby. I still think of it as his band, not mine. “But you know, I’m a hundred percent sure he would have loved the album. He would have been cranky that we got girl singers and keyboards but he would have loved it. He’d probably be disappointed that because of his work load before he died that he couldn’t be more involved, but he wanted a big sounding rock record – a big dumb rock record – and that’s what he got!” The Covid-19 pandemic probably meant that the album didn’t get more attention but Jeremy says maybe some people think of it as

a novelty album by people who know the artists’ country backgrounds thinking “It’s who, what??” “There’s a couple of things on there that might crossover and go well with country rock audiences,” Jeremy said. “Your Road’s Your Own with Lyn and Kevin Bennett and a couple of things that drift towards country rock, but a lot of it would scare off country fans.” Jeremy says there is probably enough songs for another album but there are no plans for that to happen any time soon and proceeds from the album are being channeled to Support Act and Glen and Felicity’s daughters Tia and Ellie. So where did the name – Teisco West - come from? “A few days after the dinner I was sitting in a park watching my son play and thinking of band names, running all sorts of names and I think I texted “West Teisco” to Glen because I always loved the name and how it looked in graphics and he had this fabulous guitar made by the Korean instrument maker Teisco – and he said ‘No, it has to be Teisco West, because I want to make it about the sound of that guitar, kinda left of centre, but it’s still got that American West thing’ and he got into this whole thing and I said ‘OK, it’s your thing, man!’” TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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BY SUSAN JARVIS

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or a decade and a half, Kieran had pursued a very different – and highly successful – career, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to be back at the start of a whole new musical journey. “I won Star Maker in 2002, then a few years later I left for London – I hadn’t really performed for 15 years, apart from in a choir,” Kieran said. In that time, Kieran was a high flyer – literally – with Madame Tussaud’s, responsible for setting up new international outlets for the successful business. “I began there as a seasonal contractor, not long after I arrived in the UK, then a job in marketing came up and I ended up working with the global team. It was a really exciting time – I got to travel the world, meeting some seriously famous, incredible people – it was quite surreal,” he said. “Eventually, though, the travel lost its glamour, and it felt like time for a change, so I left and headed back to Australia for three months to see my family, and have a bit of down time.” That coincided with the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Toyota Star Maker Quest’s special 40th anniversary reunion concert. “When I was invited to appear in the 40th anniversary concert, I was a bit doubtful – and then when I got up on that stage it was absolutely nerve-wracking! But I really enjoyed it,” Kieran said. That’s not surprising – the performance was an audience favourite, and one of the highlights of a star-studded show. “When I got back to London, I told a friend about it – I was still buzzing – and he said, ‘We need to put on a show!’” “The next thing I knew he’d booked a theatre in the West End, come up with a show called “Super Songs of the Sixties” – which included lots of country music – and we ended up selling it out! It was pretty mind-blowing.”

“When I got back to London, I told a friend about it – I was still buzzing – and he said, ‘We need to put on a show!’”

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TRIUMPHANT

RETURN

When he returned to Australia in 2019 for Star Maker’s 40th Anniversary, KIERAN LANCINI had no idea his performance would result in a successful career in music – again. The music bug had wormed its way into Kieran’s life again. “I decided I really should give it a go. Coincidentally, my good mate Tamara Stewart was touring the UK, and we decided to do some songwriting together. One of the tracks we wrote was The Reason, and after Tamara headed back to Nashville, I went to Sheffield and recorded it. The Reason took off, debuting at #10 on the iTunes charts in the UK, and peaking at #2. It also got noticed in Australia, with a number 15 iTunes debut. “It was all very exciting and slightly terrifying. The industry has changed so much, and I’m still not quite sure why everything went so well,” Kieran said. While he’d been home in North Queensland, Kieran cleared a few old boxes out of his room, and discovered a box of CDs of songs he’d written almost 20 years earlier with Kylie Sackley and Phil Barton. Both Kylie (a fellow Star Maker winner) and Phil are now amongst Nashville’s most sought-after songwriters. “I’d kept in touch with them both, and when I found all these great songs, I contacted them and asked if I could record one – or more,” Kieran said. “I eventually chose a track M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

called I Need You, and that became my next single. It also did extremely well – number 9 on the Australian Country Radio Chart, number 6 on the UK iTunes chart and number 15 on the European Hot Disc chart. As well as the country version of the I Need You, Kieran and DJ Argonaut decided to launch a dance remix of the track, which was just sensational. “I met him because I co-hosted a Kylie Minogue podcast called The Diminutive Collection, and I interviewed him for one of the episodes. I really love what he did,” Kieran said. “It’s a testimony to the song that it can work as a country song AND as a dancefloor banger.” Kieran’s resurgent career – like those of all musicians – has had to weather the COVID-19 crisis. In his case, it was personal. I got back from writing with Phil Barton in Nashville in early March 2020 and started to feel sick; it turned out I had COVID-19 – quite early in the pandemic. I spent my 40th birthday incredibly sick in bed, and I’m about to spend my 41st in lockdown. It was the most awful experience of my life – there was a point where I wasn’t sure I’d make it,” Kieran said. “It took me several months to

feel completely OK again, but I’m now pretty much back to normal – apart from being locked down again until early April.” Fortunately, recording studios have been deemed an essential service in England, so Kieran’s been busy recording more singles. “It’s all COVID safe, so the musicians and I have to enter by separate doors, and we all have to wear masks unless we’re actually singing. It’s a fairly different experience from the old days,” Kieran said. His next release is probably the best of his second career – indeed, of both his careers. It’s a power ballad called Hail Mary. The song is quite remarkable – it was cowritten with Phil Barton and it is a sure-fire hit. Kieran’s also recorded two more singles, both of them written back at the start of this century, Crazy Sometimes penned with Kylie Sackley and Phil Barton”, and Roll, a country blues song he wrote with Rick Price and Kylie. “Rick, Rod McCormack and I wrote my Star Maker single, A Matter Of Time, so it’s kind of come full circle,” Kieran said. Fate has stepped in again. Former manager Greg Shaw unearthed a CD of Kylie Sackley songs and gave them to Kieran, who’s planning to release several of them on his forthcoming album, which he hopes will be out by the end of 2021. While he can’t perform live – and won’t be able to do so for the foreseeable future, Kieran says he’s already done some online concerts and hopes to present a few more in the coming months. “These are unusual times, and you need to think outside the square – the online world has really lent itself to creative ways to get your music out there,” he said. Meanwhile, Kieran’s still a little stunned at his unexpected career change – but very excited about what the future will bring. “The way things have happened has been so organic, it almost felt like it was meant to be. So I’m just going to roll with it, give it my best and see what happens.” TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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a natural PROGRESSION

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BY BEC GRACIE

Not many country artists start out wanting to be a glam rock star, but that was BRENDAN McMAHON’s initial musical dream as a teenager.

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hankfully for the country music community, Brendan discovered the storytelling side of music and began writing songs inspired by his travel experiences and observations of people and places. Growing up in Kapunda, near the Barossa Valley in South Australia, his love of music began when he saw an old film clip of Jimi Hendrix on television and knew he had to have a guitar. Borrowing money from his mother (and paying it back at $2 a week) he bought himself a $60 guitar and amp rig from a mate and graduated to fronting rock bands and honed his musical skills before settling in Melbourne. These days he travels often, where he draws inspiration from the cultures, architecture and encounters which provide the flavour to many of his songs. His latest album, No Rush Today, came out in October 2020 as the music industry was still navigating the murky waters of COVID-19 regulations, and Melbourne was surviving under harsh lockdown restrictions. The album debuted at #2 on the Country Albums Chart on iTunes and radio, print and online media. Fans embraced the full-length offering immediately with a #11 debut on the All Genres Albums Chart on iTunes. No Rush Today is Brendan’s fifth album, which cements him firmly in country music while embracing a range of other genres. The album contains plenty of light and shade with tracks reflective of his country, rock and pop influences.

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With a penchant for storytelling songs, this album sits comfortably in contemporary country and the songs leave the listener captivated. The title, No Rush Today, is also fitting as Brendan made the decision to focus more on music in the last 12 months, leaving behind his full-time job. He has released four singles from the album with the first single, Jack charting for multiple weeks on the AMRAP Metro Top 10 Chart. Jack is the story of a nine-yearold boy living in a small country town north of Adelaide who has to move when his dad gets a promotion at work. Jack is forced to leave all his friends, his school and his sport behind and start over. The second and third singles, Takin’ It Today and Sugar Cane Man, which reached #2 on the AMRAP Metro Chart, have had widespread airplay across Australia and great reviews from community radio, with No Yesterdays (the fourth radio single) released from the album. Brendan wrote Sugar Cane Man after a holiday in Cuba. “I was walking through the backstreets of Havana and stopped at a little open-air restaurant where a guy in a stained old shirt was crushing sugar cane into juice using an antique, hand-operated machine. He was putting on a show for the pretty young girls as they passed by… he thought he was very suave and cool,” he said. “The guy next to him, sitting in a plastic chair, was wearing red pants and white shoes and smoking a cigar - I’m sure he thought he was Marlon Brando’s twin brother from the 1950s – it set quite the scene.” Brendan released Wired To

The Moon the fifth single from No Rush Today at the beginning of February and it jumped straight into the top 10 on the AMRAP Metro Chart. The song stems from the typically Irish term Wired To The Moon meaning a somewhat carefree attitude. This track will take you from your childhood memories of spinning around in circles on the lawn until you fell over from being dizzy, to letting go of your inhibitions and singing at full voice in your local pub, to feeling the freedom of skinnydipping in the river. Wired To The Moon is a feel good song about enjoying life and finding pleasure in the little things like the exhilaration of riding a pushbike or watching a sunset. It’s a song that encourages us all to surround ourselves with the ones we love and want to spend our time with. Brendan’s songwriting has evolved over the past five years, seeing him head back to his country roots with his most recent albums. “This direction feels more natural to me and my focus now is to increase awareness and build a solid following in country music through regular releases of new music along with additional gigs and touring,” he said. Brendan said he hoped that listeners would not only tap their feet and dance to songs like Jack and Sugar Cane Man but also tune in to the depth of the lyrics on tracks like No Yesterdays, Brave and Deception. Keep an eye on new material from this talented singersongwriter from the south, coming our way in 2021.

“I was walking through the backstreets of Havana and stopped at a little open-air restaurant where a guy in a stained old shirt was crushing sugar cane into juice using an antique, hand-operated machine. He was putting on a show for the pretty young girls as they passed by… he thought he was very suave and cool.”

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BY LACHLAN BRYAN

POETIC JUSTICE Melbourne’s reputation as a music capital does not rest on the shoulders of its commercial superstars.

“Ultimately it’s more word games than it is poetry. Ninety-nine per cent of the time the music is written first, and I find myself trying to fit lines in to the melody, and then justifying the words later on.” 26

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hilst Paul Kelly and Nick Cave fly the flag on national and international stages, it’s the seemingly endless supply of high-quality songsmiths, plying their trade across the city’s band rooms and front bars, that draws audiences week-after-week, and pulls young (and not-so-young) would-be troubadours to town year in, year out. Whilst many songsmiths come and go, making fleeting but important contributions to the city’s cultural landscape, a few endure – slowly becoming household names (at least in those households whose vehicles proudly bear Triple R and PBS stickers). Van Walker is one such name – a songwriter/poet in the tradition of Dylan and Townes Van Zandt, held in the highest esteem in Melbourne alongside the likes of Suzannah Espie and Charles

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Jenkins, to name just a couple. Ghosting is Walker’s first solo album in a decade, but its testament to his continued respect and popularity that few of us in the know feel like he ever really ‘went away’. In truth, he’s been turning up consistently in bars and at festivals, (most of) the while quietly working away on this delicate, sparse and somewhat literary record. “My mum was a teacher and there were always a lot of books around growing up”, explains Walker over the phone, in the midst of Melbourne’s second 2020 lockdown, “and Dad was a football player but he read a lot too…we were encouraged to read a lot of poems and when you do that, it’s not a pretentious thing… you just start to think in that way.” That poetic ‘way of thinking’ proved particularly handy for articulating pain on Ghosting, a collection of songs written in response to the sudden end of a longterm relationship. Walker himself describes the album as “painfully honest, lyrically”, but is quick to point out that it is “not meant to be a downer” – but rather an exercise in catharsis. Walker’s positive take on a bunch of seemingly sad songs makes

immediate sense to the listener – there is an ever-present sense of hope – and the warm, road-weary raspiness of Walker’s helps to ensure a pleasurable listening experience. Struck as I was by the abovementioned literary nature of the album, I asked Walker if he ever writes poetry – or at least ‘words without music’. I was curious as to whether this might be part of his process. Turns out it’s a question he gets asked a lot. “Ultimately it’s more word games than it is poetry,” Walker confesses, “ninety-nine per cent of the time the music is written first, and I find myself trying to fit lines in to the melody, and then justifying the words later on. There’s a definite difference between songwriting and poetry – they both have form, but songs are a little more strict. And with songs, first of all, it’s all about the sound.” The ‘sound’ that Walker is referring to is of course that interplay between rhyme, rhythm and melody of which great songwriters share an innate grasp. But when it comes to discussing records, the ‘sound’ also applies to the arrangement and production, which Walker entrusted to great friend (and consummate Melbourne artist) Jeff Lang. “There was more stuff recorded – more overdubs and extra parts – that we ended up getting rid of,” says Walker. “Langy is happy to delete things – if you do something and you’re not sure about it he makes you make a choice – that’s just the way he works – and I think that’s given the whole thing a more stripped back, singer-songwriter sound. There’s not a lot of bells and whistles.” Lang’s instincts were good – and they resulted in a timeless record where the song – and the voice – is always front and centre. Ghosting is a fine addition to Van Walker’s already accomplished career – and another thread in the rich tapestry of Melbourne’s singersongwriter tradition. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


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TOWARDS 2022

THE 50TH TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL

FOREWORD

Country music has a long history in Tamworth reaching back into the 1930s. But two of the people who really got country music started in the 1950s were Buddy Bishop and Geoff Brown. Then in 1966 along came John Minson and Hoedown on 2TM, followed by the country music club MCMA/CCMA.

THE STOR Y OF COUNTR Y MUSIC CAPITAL: PAR T T WO

T H E NA M E

In 2011 when we were preparing for the 40th Tamworth Country Music Festival, Capital News invited Max Ellis to write the story about Tamworth and country music. It is based on his own experience and involvement since the mid ’60s and research he undertook over many years. As we countdown to the 50th festival we bring you the story again as a reminder of just why Tamworth is the Country Music Capital. 28

that stuck 1969 TO 1972

By the late ’60s Tamworth’s reputation was becoming widely known among country music followers. Two people who visited the city and liked what they saw were ERIC SCOTT and his wife, HILARY.

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ric had established his Hadley record label in Tasmania and had worked in radio in Melbourne and Moree. After visiting Tamworth, they decided that it would be an ideal place to bring up their young family. Eric, a highly experienced radio presenter, applied and got a job with 2TM and the Scotts arrived in December 1968. It wasn’t long however, before Eric found himself involved in country music again. When the Scotts built a new house in 1970, it incorporated a recording studio for Hadley. Their label, which later carried the slogan “From Tamworth Country Music Capital of Australia”, recorded and sold countless songs by many stars. It attracted and employed many musicians to the city for recording sessions. Resulting record sales all over Australia generated huge awareness for the city. Later as one of the founding

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group at 2TM, Eric played a big role in the creation of Country Music Capital. Another new recording facility appeared in 1968 when Peter Sheedy opened Angelwood studio on the family property at Currabubula. Peter and his brother Mark recorded and released a number of singles and EPs, including a record by Rob Brown, which won Best New Talent at the 1975 Country Music Awards. In 1969, MCMA president Ross Murphy visited Dubbo to set up a new branch, only to end up forming CM Records label with Ken Cameron. Their first release was recorded in 2TM’s “Tin Shed” and featured John “Doc” Riley. Ross’s partnership with Ken was dissolved in 1972 when he started his own label, Opal Records, based in Tamworth. Over the next 40 years he recorded hundreds of artists, including Jimmy Little. “Murph” as he was known, was one of Tamworth’s recording

pioneers, giving many young artists the opportunity of appearing on record. His early enthusiasm and dedication to country music led to the formation of the MCMA and the CCMA and he subsequently contributed as a reviewer, broadcaster and board member of community radio 2YOU-FM. 1969 was a big year for country music in Tamworth. On May 23, Radio 2TM staged a Country Music Spectacular starring Reg Lindsay, Heather McKean, Geoff and Gary Brown, Bob Clark and others to promote The House That 2TM Built charity art union. Admission was a $1 art union ticket. It was a sell-out success, greatly encouraging the small management group at 2TM who had been considering the growing commercial potential for country music. Let me introduce this 2TM group, which was later responsible for creating the events and promotional campaign that would make the city M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


BY MAX ELLIS

First CCMA in 1968 with Doc Riley, unknown, Tommy Emmanuel, Frank Jones, Phil Emmanuel

famous in the decades to come. In addition to John Minson and Eric Scott whom I’ve already mentioned, there was one other 2TM executive with experience in country music. Kevin Knapp had arrived at 2TM in 1964 from 2LM Lismore where he had played the part of “Hotfoot” in the legendary radio hillbilly show, Radio Ranch. As a 2TM executive, Kevin had been involved in creating Hoedown and his skill on the typewriter and behind the microphone was invaluable for what was to follow. Later, of course, Kevin became a legend in his own right as the long-time compere of the Golden Guitar Awards. Station manager at the time was Warwick Higginbotham, son of founder Ernest Higginbotham, who had died in 1967. He was a young man with a background in technical areas, with an energy, foresight and imagination to convince the 2TM board that investment in country music could produce results for both the station and the city. It was a highly unusual approach for any regional radio station where any divergence from the traditional pattern of playing music and news and selling commercials was unheard of. Warwick’s involvement was always hands-on and his enthusiastic support made the whole project possible. Finally, there was me … Max Ellis, whose experience in commercial radio and country music at that M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

time was limited, to say the least. Originally from Canberra, I had worked in various places before ending up as a ski instructor in Norway. After getting married and coming home, I had talked my way into a job at 2TM as a newsman, producing and reading news on 2TM and NEN9 TV before discovering my true vocation in sales and marketing. It was probably my ignorance of conventional broadcasting that allowed me see radio as an incredible marketing tool that could be used to create events like Ag-Quip, the Golden Guitar Awards and the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Of course, there were many other experienced professionals at 2TM who contributed so much to the awards and festival in those early days including the accountant, Peter Smith, assistant manager Del Foote, chief announcer George Arklay and station personality Bob Lipman, to name a few. By the end of the ’60s, there was a strong country music scene in Tamworth. The MCMA branch was active and after the success of the Reg Lindsay Art Union concert, 2TM started staging other country shows in the Tamworth War Memorial Town Hall. Over the next couple of years under the slogan of “Worth Driving A 100 Miles to See” it staged many shows including sell-outs starring Tex Morton and New Zealand’s Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, several Slim Dusty

shows, a couple of Jimmy Little shows, Buddy Williams, Dee Donovan, Johnny Ashcroft and several others. Many of these concerts featured elaborate sets designed and produced by Myer display manager, Ian Fenton and later, Barry Harley. The only flop 2TM acknowledged was on May 25, 1972 when famous American artist Red Sovine, renowned for his huge hit, Phantom 309, appeared in the town hall, the night before a heavily promoted Jimmy Little show. Despite an audience of only 50 people (and tickets were just $2.50 each!), he gave a memorable performance! 2TM’s in-house radio connections and experience were an invaluable promotional asset in those early days. As well as live shows and Hoedown, there was promotion through the long-running National Country Music Jamboree. This was a half-hour syndicated show originally distributed by the MCMA’s Ray Rumble and Mike Lynch. In 1969 it was taken over by 2TM, initially being compered by Eric Scott and from 1971, by Phil Corbett. In its heyday it was distributed to 21 stations plus 9 in New Zealand. It finished in 1975, having spread the word about country music and of course, Tamworth, all over Australia. Two years later in 1977 Nick Erby revived the name for his weekly syndicated program. Tamworth’s reputation was growing. It received a huge boost in 1969 when Colin Munro, at that time a presenter of the extremely popular ABC TV documentary series A Big Country, visited the city. Colin, who later became a stalwart of the country music scene and long-time judge and host of the Star Maker quest, interviewed John Minson whilst on air and filmed Slim Dusty who was doing a show with 2TM in the town hall. On the episode called What’s This Country Music? Slim spoke glowingly of Tamworth and said it was becoming a “centre” for country music in Australia. By then the potential for 2TM and Tamworth was becoming obvious. Eric Scott, in particular, was keen to see the station position itself as a country music centre. In late 1969 the group of five – Max Ellis, Warwick Higginbotham, Kevin Knapp, John Minson and Eric Scott – made the decision. Max, the marketer of the group, came up with the definitive name and the station launched Tamworth as Australia’s Country Music Capital. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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Hilary Scott, Lindsay Butler and Eric Scott

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Tamworth had celebrated a Festival of Light, based on the fact it was the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to use electric street lighting in 1888. Despite some initial resistance and a good deal of scepticism both in the station and wider community, the name stuck, with the first bumper stickers featuring Country Music Capital appearing in January 1970. 2TM promoted it heavily at every opportunity and gradually over many years the objections about “hick” images faded as the industry and fans threw their considerable weight behind the concept and the visitors and the money rolled in. Everyone connected with country music in Tamworth rapidly adopted the name, using it wherever they could. In a few years, the branding of Tamworth as Country Music Capital was secure and today it is known and recognised by literally millions of Australians. The acceptance of the name and the accompanying commitment by 2TM and all the various elements of the country scene in Tamworth to making the city Australia’s Country Music Capital, was a significant turning point. Up until then there had been no overall plan or objective. The country music activity was just something that happened. With the claim to be Country Music Capital came the responsibility to live up to the title and this meant that

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everyone, in particular 2TM started to look at the situation with a longterm view. As if to prove it was indeed Country Music Capital, activity in Tamworth in the new decade started to increase. The second MCMA Jamboree was held in January and then on April 25, 1970, 2TM staged the historic Cook Bicentennial Concert at Tamworth Town Hall. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Captain Cook’s discovery of Eastern Australia, it was a highly significant milestone in Australian country music, bringing together for the first time in decades the incredible talents of some legendary Australian artists. In the process, it effectively re-launched the careers of at least two former stars, Shirley Thoms and Smoky Dawson, whose professional lives had languished after the excitement of the 1950s. It was compered by John Minson and starred, in order of appearance, Bob Clark, Trevor Day, Buddy Bishop, Shorty Ranger, Shirley Thoms, Smoky Dawson, Gordon Parsons, Smilin’ Billy Blinkhorn, Slim Dusty, Joy McKean, Barry Thornton and guest songwriters Joe Daly, Wave Jackson, Stan Coster and “Mack” Cormack. Backing was by The Oxley Ramblers. There is no doubt that this concert cemented Tamworth’s place at the heart of the Australian country music scene. The momentum continued when

in February 1971 2TM celebrated its 36th birthday with a country music concert in the town hall. The concert starred Johnny Ashcroft, and he was presented with three gold records. He then asked his famous question about why someone couldn’t stage an Australian country music awards. Later this idea contributed to the creation of Tamworth’s famous Golden Guitar Awards. Another significant event took place on June 14, 1971 with the formation of the Capital Country Music Association. This occurred after the Tamworth branch of the Modern Country Music Association became involved in a dispute with its Queensland headquarters over having to remit money to Brisbane instead of utilising it in Tamworth. The new president was 2TM copywriter and entertainer Brian Kelly while VP was Ross Murphy. The CCMA is with us today, their Jamboree and Talent Quest still recognised as two of the festival’s foundation events. In October 1971 there was more innovation when, with the help of businessmen Tony Moroney and Peter Pulley, Eric and Hilary Scott published their first edition of Country Music Express, a bimonthly tabloid newspaper edited by Eric, which ran for 11 issues. The first edition featured a story about traditional rivals Buddy Williams and Tex Morton, reconciling in M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


SHOT BY JAKE

Warwick Higginbotham, John Minson, Max Ellis, Eric Scott and Kevin Knapp with Joy McKean in 2012 at the 40th festival.

Tamworth before heading off on a tour together. Its last issue was June/ July 1973. A new line of “Tamworthia” was launched in 1971 when Bob Hughes (better known as Bobby T Nash), a young man originally from Sydney but now living in Tamworth, wrote and recorded his own tribute to the city at Hadley Studios. T for Tamworth may have been slightly derivative, but its message was loud and clear: “You take a TAM and a W an O and an RTH and that spells Tamworth and it’s paradise!” Bobby’s excellent recording heralded a whole genre of Tamworth songs by a multitude of artists including Smoky Dawson, Norma O’Hara Murphy, Johnny Chester, Tim McNamara, Lindsay Butler, Lawrie Minson and Adam Brand. And they’re only the eight on the special T for Tamworth CD I produced in 2007. There are dozens of others! Another exciting radio project in 1972 helped launch one of the most famous country music records ever to grace the Australian airwaves. The Big T Jubilee was another brainchild of Eric Scott. It was a monthly,

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live, one-hour, Saturday evening broadcast from the Hadley recording studios in Calala and syndicated by 2TM to a number of stations including 3MA, 4CA and 7LA. It was to run for some 13 months. The famous song it launched in its first program was Slim Newton singing Redback On The Toilet Seat. Released in March 1972 on Hadley, it became a smash hit with the EP selling over 100,000 units. As Slim Newton’s doleful ditty reached the ears of millions of listeners, it put smiles on their faces and also put the words “Tamworth, Country Music Capital” into their minds. Overseas, a war was being fought in Vietnam, but even there Tamworth had a presence. For some time in the early ’70s, John Minson produced a weekly half-hour show for Armed Forces Radio featuring Australian country music. Reports say the Yanks loved it, too! By 1972, the Country Music Capital band wagon was well and truly gaining momentum. The vast audience for Australian country music had been proven and the potential benefits for 2TM and Tamworth were already apparent. The city already had a high profile and active recording industry with a national hit song to help sell it. The powerful promotion had built an awareness among musicians and artists tired of being ignored by rock’n’roll-orientated media.

For them, Tamworth offered recognition and rewards: a place where they could be appreciated and praised by their own fans. The people, listening to 2TM’s radio programs Hoedown, National Country Jamboree and Big T Jubilee knew this was a place where there was no discrimination against a genre of music that in other places had fallen from media grace. Slim Dusty was, from the start, a strong supporter of Tamworth and he confirmed this on October 5, 1972 when he recorded his Live In Tamworth album in the town hall. It was released in August 1973 and won several Golden Guitars in 1974. It was a considerable seller in those days when a Dusty album release generally sold around 100,000 units, and of course, the 2TM-promoted show for the recording was another sell-out. But probably the most important factor in moving Tamworth country music onto the next level was the fact that a powerful regional radio network and its principal owners, the Higginbotham family, had made a huge commitment. Radio 2TM had agreed to underwrite the development of the Country Music Capital promotion in the hope it would provide a commercial return in years to come. This commitment included finding and funding a group of enthusiastic, highly motivated, experienced media and marketing professionals, a team able to utilise the valuable technical resources of the network, including radio and TV stations. This 2TM team, with support from industry, artists, musicians, fans and the local community, and building on what preceded it, would spearhead the establishment of a unique event. It would create and utilise powerful promotional images and brands that would become household names around Australia and it would use them to attract tens of thousands of visitors to Tamworth each January. With a firm objective and a powerful engine driving the promotion, the Golden Guitar Awards and Tamworth Country Music Festival were the next logical steps in the now very deliberate development of Tamworth as Australia’s Country Music Capital. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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Adam

Harvey The New Album

Featuring the singles

Highway Number ONe, All for rum & ramblin’ fever (Feat. Lee Kernaghan)

adamharvey.com.au

Out now

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Adam Harvey

Songs from highway one Raechel Whitchurch

TOUR

WITH SPECIAL GUEST

Tour Dates Fri Feb 26, Club Forster, Forster NSW · Sat Feb 27, South Grafton Ex-Servicemens Club, Grafton NSW · Fri Mar 12, South West Rocks Country Club, South West Rocks NSW · Sat Mar 13, Laurieton United Services Club, Laurieton NSW · Thur Mar 25, Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga NSW · Fri ApR 16, Highfields TaverN, Highfields QLD · Sat Apr 17, The Racehorse Hotel, Ipswich QLD · Fri Apr 23, Coomealla Club, Dareton NSW · Sat Apr 24, Broken Hill Musicians Club, Broken Hill NSW · Fri Apr 30, The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel, Hahndorf SA · Sat May 1, Norwood Live, Adelaide SA · Fri May 7, Bathurst RSL Club, Bathurst NSW · Fri May 14, Memo Music Hall, St. Kilda VIC Sat May 15, The Gateway Hotel, Corio VIC · Fri May 21, Club Mudgee, Mudgee NSW · Sat May 22, Forbes Town Hall, Forbes NSW · Sat Jun 5, Centro CBD, Wollongong NSW · Fri Jun 25, C.EX Coffs,Coffs Harbour NSW · SatJun 26, Ballina RSL Club, Ballina NSW · Fri Jul 16, West Wyalong Services & Citizens Club, West Wyalong NSW · Sat July 17, Dubbo RSL Club , Dubbo NSW · Fri Jul 23, Jindalee Hotel, Jindalee QLD · Sat Jul 24, Southport RSL Club, Southport QLD · Fri Jul 30, Astor Hotel Motel,Goulburn NSW · Sat Jul 31, The Oaks Hotel, Albion Park Rail NSW · Fri Sep3, Glen Innes District Services Club, Glen Innes NSW · Sat September 4, Narrabri RSL Club, Narrabri NSW · Fri Sep 10, Canberra Southern Cross Club, Canberra ACT · Sat Sep 11, Club Sapphire, Merimbula NSW · FrI Oct 8, The Capital, Bendigo VIC · Sat Oct 9, Commercial Club Albury, Albury NSW · Fri Oct 22, Inverell RSM Club. Inverell NSW Sat Oct 23, Armidale Ex-Services Memorial Club, Armidale NSW · FrI Oct 29, Caloundra RSL Services Club, Caloundra QLD · Sat Oct 30, Kedron Wavell Services Club, Chermside QLD · Thur Nov 4, Bairnsdale RSL, Bairnsdale VIC · Sat Nov 5, Wonthaggi Workmens Club, Wonthaggi VIC

Buy Tickets adamharvey.com.au/tour M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

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PHOTO: MEGAN BERGEN

KIX

THE HOTTEST COUNTRY

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STEP

BACK

IN TIME You don’t have to wait until the 50th Tamworth Country Music Festival to enjoy country music in Tamworth.

E

xperience country music all year round at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is housed within a unique guitarshaped building at the Paradise end of Peel Street and is home to extensive collections documenting the development of the Australian country music industry and the story behind how Tamworth became known as the Country Music Capital. The complex also includes Walk A Country Mile – an interactive exhibition, and other rotating displays. Learn about all that makes up the rich and unique history of Australian country music and the story of Tamworth at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.

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hear & THERE

ALWAYS ON THE MOVE

Gifted songwriter, singer and guitarist BLAKE O’CONNOR has released his new single, Willin’ And Ready, his first since releasing his #1 ARIA debut album in 2019.

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36

he album was released as a major part of his Toyota Star Maker year, and became the

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gift that kept on giving as he took home the trophy for New Talent of the Year at the 2020 Golden Guitar Awards. Willin’ And Ready was

co-written by Blake, Adam Eckersley & Brooke McClymont. They took inspiration from The Allman Brothers’ Ramblin’ Man and references in verse two “Learnt this life from the words of a rambling man”. It also incorporates influences from Tedeschi Trucks Band and Zac Brown Band. “It has been an awesome journey to bring this song to life. From writing to recording it has been a high energy process that really comes out in the song,” said Blake. “This is where I am at right now. I’m young, ambitious and I’m always on the move with my music.” The song was produced by multi-Grammy Awardwinning producer Nick DiDia (Powderfinger, Bruce Springsteen) and Adam Eckersley at DiDia’s recording studio on the NSW North Coast in Byron Bay. Musicians who joined Blake in the studio were Ben Elliott [drums], Dan Biederman [Hammond], Mike Mills [bass] and Michel Rose [pedal steel] and harmonies were delivered by singer-songwriter Sinead Burgess. Elements of the music video clip were shot live in the studio and produced by Duncan Toombs at The Filmery. Blake, together with Sinead Burgess have recently finished their Silver Linings 20-date tour and from April, Blake will hit the road with multi-ARIA Award winning artist Diesel  for three months before kicking off his own Willin’ And Ready tour with his band and new music.

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hear & THERE

Lynchburg T

he unexpected pairing came about when Waddo and Caswell broke the cardinal music industry rule of never starting a band in the studio. The chemistry was so good, and the songs were coming so quickly and easily that it was an easy decision, and so, Lynchburg was born. Lynchburg, Tennessee, where the whiskey comes from. “Waddo and I found that we came from the same place musically … we both love traditional country music … heartache songs, drinking songs, bluegrass, country love songs, country blues and train songs,” said Allan. “We decided that we wanted to

Legendary songwriter ALLAN CASWELL and multiinstrumentalist and record producer LINDSAY WADDINGTON have been working together on new songs for Caswell and the process went so well they created a new duo. write and play the kind of stuff that made us love country in the first place … we developed our mantra … ‘How Country Do You Want It?’.” Because Waddo plays so many instruments, Lynchburg were able to build the tracks with just the two of them but were also able to draw on a bunch of incredibly talented friends to make the whole Lynchburg thing work. “We both pushed each other. Waddo encouraged me to play more

guitar and I pushed him to sing. On a song like Youngie, our tribute to the great Brian Young, Waddo had to sing it. He left school at 15 to tour with Youngie. That song was his life. “In your career, special moments happen, and Lynchburg is definitely one. There is no surprise Cas is the most recorded songwriter in Australia. I’ve found him inspirational as we pen our life stories into song. As a producer Lynchburg is rewarding, as a musician … it’s fun and as a young songwriter, it’s a privilege. I love being part of Lynchburg,” said Lindsay. The duo isn’t trying to make any big statements regarding country music, they are just writing and playing stuff they love.

D you want access to the most comprehensive and Do ccost-efficient method of distributing your single?

CRS C R PUBLICITY HAS BEEN PROMOTING COUNTRY MUSIC FOR OVER 28 YEARS

Recognised Re by radio stations across Australia and internationally as a leading source of new country co music releases. Contact Tracy & The Big D | E: crs@crspublicity.com | M: 0450 332 105 | W: crspublicity.com Co

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|

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ALBUM OUT NOW

“The Brad Cox and Sammy White solo acoustic ‘Drinking Season’ tour was an accomplishment in and unto itself, taking in everywhere from Bundaberg to Ulladulla. They possess two of the strongest voices in modern Australian country.” DAVID JAMES YOUNG Music Feeds

PHOTO BY ANDREW PEARSON PHOTOGRAPHY

UNDONE

MAY 1 Charters Towers CMF Qld AUGUST 26-29 Gympie Muster Qld OCTOBER 2 Deni Ute Muster NSW 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba TNQld NOVEMBER 12-14 Groundwater CMF Qld 23-30 Super Cruise, Cruisin’ Country 2021

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

ORGANISED BY

CONTACT: Star Maker | Cheryl Brown | M: 0407 106 966 | E: info@starmaker.com.au MEDIA: HSF Artist Services | Tom Inglis | M: 0432 078 084 | E: tom@hsfartistservices.com 38

starmaker.com.au sammywhitemusic.com.au news

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where

BY ANNA ROSE

ARE THEY NOW? BRENT PARLANE

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he New Zealand-born singer-songwriter commanded attention at the 1993 Country Music Awards of Australia, securing a Golden Guitar for New Talent of the Year at the age of 41, with Save A Little Love. A year previously he’d been signed to ABC Music and released the self-funded, self-produced album which was also in contention for 1993’s ARIA Best Country Album, which of course went to Lee Kernaghan’s career-restoring release, The Outback Club. Fellow finalists in this category were Colin Buchanan, James Blundell and the Keith Urban and Slim Dusty pairing, so he was in some mighty fine company in the losers’ circle. That same year he won the Golden Guitar, Brent had been on an entry form frenzy (pre-internet days), going in just about any competition around. He discovered he was a finalist in a category called Old Time (or so he thought) in the TIARAs – the Tamworth Independent Artists’ Recognition Awards. “It was me trying to write a Hank Williams song, real old-style country music, which I felt fitted the category well,” he said. “At the awards ceremony, they announced the ‘Old Timer’s Award’ and proceeded to introduce all these proper old cowboys, with fringed shirts and big hats … oh shit. It was for Old Timers – not Old Time! “Here I was 41 years old and I won the bloody thing! I asked around town the next day to find someone in charge. I was going to give back the award as it was supposed to be for performers over 50.” Despite being on the TIARAs’ Most Wanted List for fake contestants, Brent released a followup album with ABC in 1994, Tex Loves Daisy, before pursuing the independent path he remains on today.

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HANGING OUT WITH THE OLDIES

and loving it Whatever happened to BRENT PARLANE? Quite a lot, as you will discover.

His first release on the Gibbon Music label, The Closest, came out in a momentous health and personal year for Brent. He was diagnosed with renal failure, the illness that claimed his mother’s life when Brent was only 12, that same year – 1999. Six years of dialysis followed in conjunction with three more albums – Good Man Down (2001), The Happy Note (2003) and Little Revolution in 2006 – the year he received a new kidney. In what should have been a year of celebration, Brent lost his father a month before the transplant, taking the joy from the occasion. However, his dad’s final wishes were carried out when Brent was able to take his two sons on a world trip (thanks to a small inheritance) – which took in Bangkok, Paris and London, topped off with a road trip

across America. Living in inner Melbourne and keeping pretty much to himself, Brent released another album in 2011, This Wonderful Parade. It was about this time he came upon a new way to make a living, using his musical talents in a way he never thought he would, but possibly harking back to that slight indiscretion in the 1990s at the TIARAs … “I started playing at a few nursing homes for the old folks, not really knowing if it was my cup of tea,” he said. “After a while, the work started piling in and I was really enjoying it. This was before the pandemic and I was doing up to 10 gigs a week. “I’d take in a guitar and sing old favourites – you soon learn what they like and don’t like. When I first started, I didn’t know if I could handle it, but when I could no longer do it – I really missed it. “Zoom and Skype didn’t quite cut it for the oldies – you’ve got to have that human contact.” Brent had just done his first gig back the week he spoke to Capital News – and was pleased to be back in the saddle. His latest album in 2016 was the self-titled Brent Parlane Band. He’s still quite active on the scene in Melbourne and can be found on Facebook. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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2021 Golden Guitar Bush Ballad of the Year for

Six Decks To Darwin 5 x Golden Guitar Award Winner

NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE NOW ($28 includes postage) PO Box 54 Kingaroy Qld 4610. Call T: 07 4163 5157 Available on all digital platforms www.deanperrett.com

  

              













           

     

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BY JON WOLFE

BEHIND THE

music MARK JAGO

T

he Country Music Association of Australia introduced a video category into the Golden Guitar awards in 1994 and a number of individuals have since made some amazing clips that inspire and entertain. Chief amongst them is Mark Jago, who has won a number of awards with clips featuring John Williamson and Slim Dusty – more about that later – and others, but the man behind the camera has more than one string in his bow of creative disciplines. “After I went to art school, my first job was as an animater for Hanna-Barbera,” Mark said. “I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator, but there was always music and I played in bands.” Mark designed quite a few album covers in the 1980s and toured with singer-songwriter Ross (I Am Pegasus) Ryan as his guitar tech and lighting guy. “When I was touring with Ross we had a short break in Townsville and I met an editor who suggested I should combine my audio and picture abilities and go into post production,” Mark said, “and I wasn’t that interested in doing that, but to cut a long story short, I’ve spent the rest of my life in a little dark room doing just that!” He started working for EMI in the mid-1980s and did some time in the UK, where he worked on scripts for Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Queen, UB-40, and after returning to Australia he spent the next thirty-odd years working for EMI here. Although Mark had met Slim Dusty previously, when he lived in Arnhem land, he didn’t start working with Slim until later. “The first video I worked on with Slim was Ringer From The Top End,” Mark said. “The vision was shot in the Territory and I was given the footage to edit and then I got asked to produce a clip

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CREATIVE VISION The late 20th century saw the use of video clips to promote and share country music here in Australia with CMT and CMC gaining large followings from the industry and fans. for Charleville for Slim and then asked to do Tropical Fever for John Williamson.” Mark said he has to like a song before he works on producing a video. “And there’s something about a song that maybe inspires you to do something,” he said. “I’ve never done a storyboard or collaborated with anyone. “When I shot Charleville no one knew what I was doing until I’d done it. We shot that in a small community in Rocklea, west of Oberon, which probably has a population even today of under 50 people and then there were about 150 people in town and the pub didn’t shut for two days! “People would say things like ‘That’s Bob, he hasn’t come to town in five years’, and you realised that Bob lived 10 kilometres out of town. That’s when I realised the power of country music and specifically of Slim’s ability to pull a community together.” Mark says one of the highlights of his career was making the video for Looking Forward Looking Back, which won the Golden Guitar for Video of the Year in 2001.

“Even then no one knew what I was doing,” he says. “It took about three months to make. Firstly, it’s an amazing song – I think Don Walker wrote an amazing song. That made my job easier and I think time has been very, very kind to it and its still viewable today. “The thing about most music videos that most people don’t get is to make a successful video you have to enhance the viewer and the listener’s experience of the song and that’s when you’re successful. I think Looking Forward Looking Back is successful because it takes you on an emotional journey.” When the song won Video of the Year in 2001, a single Golden Guitar was given to Slim and although the video director normally receives one, on the night Mark didn’t go home with his own Golden Guitar. In late 2020 the oversight was corrected and Mark was presented his own Golden Guitar, which he displays proudly alongside his other awards. “I was ecstatically happy when I finally got that, the Golden Guitar for Looking Forward Looking Back is very special to me – it’s the one I love the most,” he says. While still doing the occasional video, Mark has spent time lately working on music and is in the process of finishing an album and an EP with a band called Little Incursions – he plays bass and keyboards and is the engineer, producer and co-writer – and of course will produce the videos in his little dark room. When he steps out of that room you might find him collecting honey or the harvest of his own garden and making pickles and other goodies. So, is there anything this incredibly talented, humble man can’t do? “I don’t know how a car works or build a house, but I love growing food!” TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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BY JON WOLFE

sidemen PHOTO: DI STACEY PHOTOGRAPHY

A LW Y N AU R I S C H

THE HIRED GUN Anyone who has been to Tamworth’s iconic country music festival will probably have come across the hot guitar picking of local legend ALWYN AURISCH.

I think if you meet people and you enjoy working with them and they’re writing good songs, you become enthusiastic yourself, and when you’re enthusiastic, more people want you 42

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amworth locals of a certain age will remember him as part of the Craz Brothers lineup that scorched through many-a-covergig for years back in the 1980s and maybe wouldn’t be surprised that, like many a great guitar picker, the first instrument he strummed was the ukulele. “I was given a ukulele when I was about eight,” Al remembers. “I strummed away at it and didn’t know what I was doing and when I was about 12 or 13, my older brother used to bring home records by Slade and Led Zeppelin and bands like that and the music to me was just amazing, it was guitar driven and so then I wanted to play guitar.” After getting a cheap guitar Al received lessons and ended up doing four or five years studying and playing classical guitar and he

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knew early on that he wanted to be a professional musician. “I just sort of knew that was what I wanted to be,” Al said. Before too long he was playing in rock bands but admits to be a “sort of closet country music lover – everybody loved Johnny Cash” – and I had a soft spot for the lyrical content and the storytelling. “In the ’80s I bought Ricky Skaggs’ Highways And Heartaches album with Albert Lee playing guitar,” Al said, “and I went ‘That’s just something else!’” Al soon found himself hooking up with country artist Michael Roycroft after he was approached because Michael wanted to present a more progressive sound. “Michael then introduced me to more country music like Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett and others and then what happens in country music but not the rock industry, you end up

backing other people,” Al said. “It might be on Michael’s show, or at a festival we played at – and we ‘d end up with other people’s repertoires and we’d get used to stepping from one artist to another.” Before long Al became a hired gun, playing with artists or in bands as the guitarist and also acting as musical director for shows and concerts. “My involvement with the Tamworth Country Music Festival was minimal until I started playing in outfits like Michael’s band or the Star Maker band,” Al said. “I enjoyed doing that because I always enjoyed learning new material and I enjoyed the variety that country music had to offer.” Al has found himself in demand for the last four decades as a guitar and bass player and as a producer says he takes the demand factor as a compliment. “I really appreciate that,” he says. “One of the big things is, I think, developing relationships with people in the industry – it’s such an important part of it. I think if you meet people and you enjoy working with them and they’re writing good songs, you become enthusiastic yourself, and when you’re enthusiastic, more people want you. That’s the key with any player who wants to jump in and out of styles and outfits – develop good relationships with people.” Al has his own recording studio and is also busy as a guitar and music teacher and has forged a musical relationship with his wife Sally-Anne Whitten which has seen a number of albums they’ve worked together on garner good reviews. He says he has no regrets about his career and said his accountant, after he had voiced the fact that maybe his account was a lot smaller than some the man’s bigger accounts, said ‘Yeah, but you can play the guitar!’ “No regrets, because I’ve always done what I wanted to do,” he said. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


watch ONE TO

BY SUSAN JARVIS

CASS HOPETOUN

I

t’s a generational change that’s altering the face of the industry and it was very much in evidence at this January’s Golden Guitar Awards. Artists like Fanny Lumsden, Andrew Swift, and Melody Moko have brought a sassy new attitude, a fresh sound – and a DIY attitude. Behind them are a group of equally dynamic young artists, including the talented Cass Hopetoun. In a year when the world turned upside for us all, Cass has managed to turn a brand new career into a stellar success – she’s had a number 1 hit, was a New Talent finalist in the 2021 Golden Guitars in January, and she was even asked to present two Golden Guitars at the awards ceremony. Cass’s background is in musical theatre – she is a graduate of the prestigious NIDA in Sydney – and country music wasn’t even on her radar until she met partner Blake Dantier in 2013. “We started writing songs together, and I just fell into country music – it felt like home to me,” she said. The pair write regularly together, but when it came to stepping on to the stage to perform her songs live, Cass says she experienced a whole new kind of stage fright. “In musical theatre you’re playing a character, performing other people’s songs. When you get up there and sing your own songs, you’re really putting yourself out there,” Cass said. Cass began recording her music, and saw her debut single, the catchy Shots reach the number 4 spot on the Music Network’s Country Hot 50 charts, remaining in the charts for 17 weeks. Her next single, Typical Bride, made it to number 1, cementing her as an artist to watch. The song is contemporary, relatable and very catchy, and has already earned Cass a big following – particularly among younger fans. Now she’s released Fortune Teller, produced by Matt Fell. The song was inspired by a trip to a M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

PREDICTING A BRIGHT FUTURE A new wind is blowing through Australian country music right now. fortune teller in New Orleans, and Cass has infused it with a spooky, jazz-inspired vibe. “And yes, the fortune teller told me I’d be starting a new creative venture and it would go really well – I guess she was spot on!” Cass said. Video has played a big part in launching Cass’s career – and she admits her acting training has come in handy. All three singles feature spectacular videos. “It’s a really visual world now. I figure if I’m going to do it, I might as well do it well,” she said. For Cass, the highlight of the last 12 months was the Golden Guitar Awards. “It was just insane getting nominated for a Golden Guitar, then to be asked to present was incredible. “There’s a real need to change how we build a career these days –

social media and video play such an important part. It also means you have to do an awful lot apart from writing, recording and performing – and I wear all the hats!” Cass laughed. Over the past year, Cass has performed with Shane Nicholson and Andrew Swift and is about to tour with Hurricane Fall. She also has some major festivals in the wind. “The plan is to release an album later in the year, and then to get out there and play live as much as possible,” she said. Meanwhile, her next single, Who Needs Hawaii? – a lockdown song inspired by not being able to travel – is scheduled for release this month. Again, there will be a sensational video, and Cass will keep on riding the wave to the success she so clearly deserves.

“In musical theatre you’re playing a character, performing other people’s songs. When you get up there and sing your own songs, you’re really putting yourself out there.”

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Proud sponsors of the Tamworth Country Music Festival for 42 years 44

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new COUNTRY SINGLES Get your fix of some of the latest new single releases right here. What’s your pick?

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soundADVICE

SOUND ADVICE - album reviews are the reviewers’ own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the view of Capital News or the publisher. Sound Advice will accept unsolicited albums for consideration, but cannot guarantee published reviews. Sound Advice does not review singles. Send 2 CDs together with biography or media release to Capital News, PO Box 555, Tamworth NSW 2340 and email a jpg of the cover to cheryl@tamworthcountrymusic.com.au

CATHERINE BRITT HOME TRUTHS BEVERLEY HILLBILLY

Novocastrian singer-songwriter Catherine Britt mines a deep lode of personal experiences to fuel her 12 original songs on her ninth album. Britt name-checks Hank and George Jones and her parents in entrée I Am A Country Song that segues into sibling Fav’rit Song, eulogising her dad. Equally powerful are reality rooted title track penned with Melody Moko - also co-writer on their maternal parable Gonna Be Mumma. It segues into adolescent maternal memories in Mother. Britt joined Andrew Swift as writer of Make A Diamond and expat Katrina Burgoyne on Me - both accentuating life’s struggles on the flip side of fame. Natalie Henry is co-writer of Original Sin - another maternal metaphor in a spiritual sprint for salvation - while New Dawn, penned with Grace Turner, references 2020 in its survival strategy. Her Country Fan duet with Lee Kernaghan praises loyal audiences while Hard To Love, featuring Jim Lauderdale, is a true romance triumph. Long Way Round, penned with Charlie Collins, uses parental emotions to fuel her rocky but joyous journey fitting finale to a dynamic disc by a supreme survivor. BEVHILLREC 001 DAVID DAWSON

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BEN RANSOM BRAVE NEW WORLD COUNTRY ROCK RECORDS

Sydney singer-songwriter Ben Ransom kept the dingoes from his door working as an anaesthesia nurse in Europe on his first overseas musical invasion in 1999. Now, 22 years down the lost highway, his fourth album is muscular medicine for audiences freed from lockdown after he recorded 11 original songs produced by Matt Fell in Nashville and Sydney. Ransom ignites his disc with country rock anthems Raise Some Hell and maternal paean Mamma Said. He follows his romantic holiday homage Night After Night with bucolic break-up song Brave New World that takes its name from the Aldous Huxley novel. Ben fuelled his Celtic ballad St Patrick’s Day from his Sydney pub gigs. It segues into the angst mood swings of the riveting Never Can Tell and dramatic pandemic driven Coming Down In Spades. Ransom explores diverse shades of love memories in redemptive Rose Coloured Glasses and sensual splendour of laidback lustful lava in I Won’t Be Here In The Morning. He follows with hedonistic Come Back For More, replete with Jackson Browne name check, and Tenterfield launched fiery finale One Of A Kind. Road tested country rock for rural and urban warriors.

BARRY GIBB & FRIENDS

GREENFIELDS - THE GIBB BROTHERS SONGBOOK VOL 1 CAPITOL

Having heard about this a while ago, it was a welcome inclusion in my inbox just before Christmas and as a long-time Bee Gees and country music fan, I hoped it would live up to my expectations – and it does. It’s a very simple premise – add country singers to classic Bee Gees songs and everyone’s a winner. Barry is joined by Keith Urban (I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You), Jason Isbell (Words Of A Fool), Dolly Parton (Words), Tommy Emmanuel and Little Big Town (How Deep Is Your Love), the amazing Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (Butterfly) and the highlights for me, Alison Krauss on Too Much Heaven and Sheryl Crow on How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. The respect that the performers have for these tunes shines brightly and the arrangements should please a wide range of tastes and although featuring some of country music’s best, they won’t drive away the true Bee Gees’ fans and will no doubt garner a whole new band of fans. UMA/SKU 486254 JON WOLFE

SALLY BALFOUR

CLARA CROCODILE INDEPENDENT

A family album with a very eclectic twist. Buckle up with this one, you’re about to head off on one helluva adventure. It’s not your standard country music playlist, but with the likes of Warren H Williams on the list of collaborators, Sally Balfour’s debut release won’t leave country fans disappointed. It’s a story fit for parents and kids as you’re taken on a journey through song and narrative, with some great themes of Australiana, told through the story of Clara the Crocodile, who escapes from her cannibalist parents.  An interesting concept, but Balfour somehow makes it all work, in fine form combined with vocals and the narrative on each song, while transporting you to Central Australia. The album offers something for lovers of all genres to connect with, from reggae to pop, gospel and soul. But while it all might seem like fun, games and adventure, there are some brilliant hidden themes about finding your place in the world and starting fresh. Something to sit and enjoy with the whole family or perhaps to put in the CD player while taking a family road trip.  www.sallybalfour.bandcamp.com HALEY SHERIDAN

CR1005 DAVID DAWSON

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ADAM HARVEY

SONGS FROM HIGHWAY ONE SONY MUSIC

At a time of pandemic travel restrictions, this album is like a long, cold drink on a hot day. It instantly transports you to another place and time, when hitting the road was easy, and the world was there to explore. It also paints a picture of a bittersweet moment in life – when the kids have left home, and there is a taste of freedom in the air. Songs like Darwin Nights, Red Dirt Town, All For Rum and the catchy title track made me long to be out there again. But the real power of this album is in its personal songs – Lindeman Again, written for Adam’s father, Sixteen Summers about children growing up, and Bandits On The Rum, a song for the Grey Nomads. There are two fabulous covers – Ramblin’ Fever featuring Lee Kernaghan, and Angel of Goulburn Hill, with a cameo from Slim Dusty. Better With Time, featuring Beccy Cole, Darren Coggan and Felicity Urquhart is a real highlight. This is a warm, wonderful album that soothes the soul and gives us hope that soon we’ll be out there on the road of life again. SMA SUSAN JARVIS

CYRIL GREEN

TONY SMITH

KATIE BRIANNA

NIKSTA

INDEPENDENT

INDEPENDENT

STANLEY RECORDS

INDEPENDENT

INHERITANCE

I’m a sucker for a good instrumental album and especially one that showcases someone who has earned his chops playing with some of the biggest names in Australian country music. Cyril’s pedigree goes back to the times he played with Jimmy Little, Reg Lindsay and a swag of others right up to Troy Cassar-Daley and on this recording he pays tribute to them and overseas favourites as well. As my old mate Mort Fist used to say, there’s some ‘tasty’ music here – 23 tracks ranging from Guitar Boogie to Wheels, Armstrong to Yorta Yorta Man and Misty to Over The Rainbow. Produced by Colin Bale at Armidale’s Beechwood Studios, the recordings are a real family affair with Cyril’s son Tony on bass and guitar and grandson Anthony on guitars as well as one track featuring great grandson Antwone on drums. Long-time New England country fans will no doubt be aware of Cyril’s legacy to our music and this project is a fitting reminder that we need to honour the past, the players and the heritage that music affords us. www.beechwoodstudios.com.au JON WOLFE

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STIR THE EMBERS

Born and raised at Balcatherine Station on the Lower Darling Murray Basin, Tony sings of what he knows and add to that time spent behind the wheels of big machinery, there’s a wealth of real material to write and sing about. His musical career was cut short 20 years ago by family tragedy but now he has released this new album that will stir the hearts of true bush ballad and country fans. His voice echoes that of John Williamson, but it is his own, and his songs are sure to earn him a new following. Check out Caterpillar Heart, Smoke And Mirrors and the bluegrassy Dirt Kids for starters, and then move on to his take on playing music, The Ghost Of This Guitar. Produced under the guidance of Simon Johnson at Hillbilly Hut the players allow Tony’s songs to ring true and clear. This release has already won a few accolades from the industry and it heralds a new voice in the mix of true Australian country music and I hope radio picks up on this. tonysmithmusic.com.au JON WOLFE

THIS WAY OR SOME OTHER

BEYOND ISOLATION

This third album from Katie solidifies the promise she showed with previous releases and marks the true emergence of a talented singersongwriter in the alt-country genre. Recorded mostly live in the studio the sound is intentionally raw, full of feel and Katie’s own reality. It opens with the dark Making Believe and finishes nine tracks later with the strange and stark Bird. In between there’s the single Wedding Ring, the just plain strange Boots, the easily accessible Win/Lose and the highlight You Only Come To See Me In The Dark. Country fans will find this genre-bending … but there’s a simple truth behind the lyrics that will find a home with alt-country fans first, but maybe worm their way into the hearts of other fans with a few spins. Released on Australia’s premier alt-country/Americana label, Stanley, Katie has found her place and producer Adam Young brought in a band that understood the songs and the singer and played to her strengths and the end result is one of purity and determination.

Niksta performs on the edge of country, mixing rock and popinfluenced tracks with alt-country. As a singer-songwriter, Nicole Keipert aka Niksta, won’t be kept in any musical box, and seamlessly drifts through the genres as the songs dictate, from the rocky sounds of Contagious Love and Shoot Me Now to the carefree, easy listening feel of My Heart. This is an album written by an obviously strong woman who even sings about how she doesn’t want to play it safe because she’s a rebel, and this is reflected in this collection of 10 songs on Beyond Isolation. Niksta is not only a singer-songwriter, but also plays guitar, drums, piano and even French horn – we may get to hear this on future albums. From the rocking guitars to the alt-country sound of these tracks, Beyond Isolation is an album for those who don’t want their music put in a box of any particular genre, and their country more on the indie rock side.

STANLEY SEG2021-17CD JON WOLFE

MGM/ITUNES BEC GRACIE

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bush BALLADS

BY PETER COAD OAM www.bushballadeers.com.au

SPOTLIGHT ON BUSH BALLADS AT GOLDEN GUITARS The annual Golden Guitar Awards went ahead in January, despite this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival not going ahead officially.

A

highlight of the night was the Bush Ballad of the Year win for Dean Perrett and songwriters Kelly &

REG LINDSAY MUSEUM OPENS The Reg Lindsay Memory Barn was opened in January by Ros Lindsay. Reg Lindsay’s musical career embraced Australia and international circuits and it has taken Ros around four years to put together the tribute to her late husband, Reg, creating a museum on her property near Spring Ridge, NSW.

FESTIVALS COMING UP With faith of a better year, festivals are pressing forward again in 2021. The Gunnedah Country Music Muster will be held from March 23 to 28 which features artists Grant Luhrs, Bob Easter, Rob Breese, John Lynch, Anita Ree, Max Maher, Kevin Goodbun, Geoff Clapson, Rex Baldwin and Val Williamson.

HARTWOOD COUNTRY MUSIC & CAMPFIRES Held from April 2 to 4, artists appearing this year are Royden Donohue, Rodney Vincent, Dean Perrett, Rachel Jillett, Tom Maxwell, Runaway Dixie, Peter Coad & The Coad Sisters, Dale Hooper, The Hartwood Band, and Bush Poets Ray Essery & Jack Drake, with compere Barry Williams. 48

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Marion Dixon, and Ryan Garland. Following Dean’s emotional speech, Kelly addressed the industry and fans who were in attendance acknowledging his very first Golden Guitar trophy at the age of 94. The song has achieved great chart success since its release in 2020 and is one from Dean’s new album Kind Seasons. No doubt it will be spun a lot more now. Dean is looking forward to touring this year and promoting his new release. Congratulations to you all.

TERARA COUNTRY MUSIC Held at Terara, just out of Nowra, NSW, this year’s annual event will be held March 18 to 21 and will showcase Rod and Rhonda Owen, Lachie and Georgia, Craig Adams, Brian Letton, Meryl Reinhard, Peter Coad The Coad Sisters & Jim Hermel, Anita Ree, Kingsley Day & Christine Day, Jenny Bronson, Ged & Trudy Hintz, Lance Birrell, Joe Musico, George Farnham, Bryce Rawings, Dennis Dorsett, John & Christine Smith, Joe Reeves, Royden Donohue, Robyn Gleeson, Owen Blundell, Peter Dawson, Ernie Constance, Michelle Fox, Darcy Gage & Ally Decean, The Old Times Backen Band, and Terara Trio Band: Kingsley Day, Rob Breese and Trevor Letton.

TSA AWARDS The TSA awards which are usually held during the Tamworth festival were streamed via YouTube due to Covid-19. My congratulations to all the award winners and to Duncan Hill and the team for a job well done. I was very fortunate to pick up the TSA Bush Ballad of Year with my song Two Old Bushmen. Other results can be found on another page in this issue of Capital News.

BALLADEERS HOMESTEAD 2022 It was strange to not be part of the fabric of the 2021 Tamworth country music; not running the Balladeers Homestead and meeting up with everyone as part of the festival but we all look forward to the 50th Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2022 and a return to a big celebration and happy times again. I attended the 2021 Golden Guitars and it was certainly strange to see how quiet Peel Street was.

BUNGENDORE STAN COSTER AWARDS Although the 2021 Bungendore Award winners were yet to be announced at time of writing, my congratulations to the winners. Due to Covid, the awards announcements will be available via YouTube with video clips of entire songs by the finalists being shown.

ARTISTS TOURING I am pleased to note that artists are returning to the circuit again. 2020 was a tough year for the music industry particularly for artists who depend solely on music as an income, so keep an eye out for artists touring your state and support them if you can.

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down

BY LORRAINE PFITZNER OAM

MEMORY LANE

DESREE ILONA CRAWFRD

S

he joined other family members and was part of The Melody Kids on Radio 4BU Bundaberg. She learnt classical music on piano from the age of 6, and from the age of 11, taught herself to play guitar. Her father was posted to Amberley, near Ipswich Queensland during WWII requiring the family to relocate. Desree was entertaining professionally by the time she was a teenager, playing venues throughout south east Queensland, solo and as the trio We Three with her mother and brother Donny. When she finished high school, she continued to work in clubs and hotels across Brisbane and Ipswich for a short time. She recorded her first single with eight-piece band The High Chapparalls in 1970 for the Dayman’s Sunshine Label (Festival). Mama Sang A Song, written by US star Bill Anderson, featured a monologue by Bob Brindley, with all other band members on harmonies and the flip side was Washed My Face In The Morning Dew. The band worked with some of the greats, including Roy Orbison, The Platters, The Hawking Brothers, and Johnny O’Keefe and supported Slim Whitman when he toured Australia. In 1974, she recorded Stranger In My Place and an up-beat version of I’m In Love With A Country Boy. Ian Betteridge took Desree to meet Ken Cameron of CM Records in Dubbo NSW. She recorded her first album, Rodeo Queen, in 1978 with Ken Cameron and Lindsay Butler at the producer’s desk. The album was a good seller so they recorded a second album Now Loneliness Remembers. Unfortunately, only 77 copies were pressed before CM Records folded. In 1981, Desree and her manager went to Canowindra in New South Wales to record the albums under

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LIFETIME LIFE TIME OF

dreams fulfilled

DESREE-ILONA CRAWFORD was just four years old when she

started performing. the G.O.F.A.A Records Australia label – The Cowgirl & The Spaceship, Here Am I, and I Run Alone which featured Wayne Horsburgh. Why Country Songs Are Sad is a compilation of 16 tracks from several albums chosen by R.R.R. and released in the late 1980s. Desree followed it up with a vocal collaboration with Lisa White recording the album Girls Night Out for Nev Nicholls’ Nicholls & Dime label. Another vocal collaboration was with Olive Bice. The pair were hosting shows together at the Tamworth Country Music festival in the 1980s and early 1990s and recorded two albums – Nobody Lives Here Anymore and Take Time. Prior to the 1997 festival, I

approached Desree, to inquire if there might be some work for America’s King of the Dobro, Tom Swatzell. Desree and Tom went on to record the album Many Dreams which was released the following year and to capitalise on the release Desree travelled to the USA where she and Tom went on a five weeks promotional tour before performing at the Jimmie Rodgers Festival in Meridian, USA for 10 days. In 1998, she fulfilled a lifetime dream to record a family CD with 21 tracks making up Desree, Family & Friends Part Of Love CD that was released on Outback Records. Desree, together with her family, recorded Homespun Country which was released in 2003. In 1983, Desree was inducted into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth and in 2017 she was awarded an OAM for services to country music. To celebrate 50 years of recording in 2020, Desree released a new album Beautiful Memories & Beautiful Dreams, engineered by Steve Sparrow.

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L IA N OW

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INCLUSIONS: ACCOMMODATION 2 NIGHTS HOTEL / 3 NIGHTS CAMPING ONSITE FESTIVAL TENT INCLUDES STRETCHER BED, PILLOW, SLEEPING BAG & BLANKET, CAMPING CHAIR & TABLE FESTIVAL TICKET | 2 BREAKFASTS | DAILY HAPPY HOUR DRINKS DAILY SHUTTLE INTO BIRDSVILLE | VISIT THE ICONIC BIRDSVILLE PUB TRANSPORT TO & FROM THE BIG RED BASH DEPARTING BRISBANE &TOOWOOMBA drive & arrive also available for those wanng to join us but drive themselves.

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writing

BY ALLAN CASWELL

subjects matter GREAT SONGS

I

have been known to rudely say, “There is, and I think you should write it.” Every song needs a good idea but not every idea deserves a song. If I don’t have an idea, I usually don’t even try to write a song. I never push it. From time to time the subject will change as we are writing it and sometimes, if we start with a good tune, a subject idea will emerge out of all the mumbling and stumbling, and we have a direction. I believe that when you write a song, you write it to touch the person hearing it not to touch you. That said, if it doesn’t move you … it is unlikely to move other people. There are ideas everywhere. A great songwriter learns to be a great eavesdropper. Subject ideas are there waiting for you to use them there’s really no need to recycle stuff you hear every day. Some subjects can lie dormant at a conscious or subconscious level waiting for a time they can become the subject for a song. My friend Lindsay Waddington and I were writing for an album project we are working on. Waddo mentioned a line his dad had been using for over 40 years … “You don’t get bitter … you just get better” … it was so good that after Waddo carrying it around for 40 years … we wrote it in 45 minutes. No matter how important a subject is, it doesn’t always work as a song. Apart from touching your audience, you also need to entertain them. Some ideas are too confronting to be entertaining. I was asked by Freedom From Hunger to write them a We Are The World

If you are a songwriter, by now you are probably really sick of people saying, “There’s a song in that”. -type song … I struggled with it until I watched a documentary, they had made about a market garden they had built in Eritrea in the middle of a famine and a war. They used donated seeds and simple irrigation and grew enough to feed an orphanage. This positive idea and the fact that it was a plan to take the idea all over the famine-ravaged areas gave me the idea for The Garden. The song was not only a hit but also won the Song Of The Year Golden Guitar in 1986. Ultimately the idea became a good subject for a song … because it was positive, and people could believe in it. After continually avoiding writing songs about domestic violence because the subject was confronting, Drew McAlister, Seleen McAlister and I wrote She’s Getting Stronger

which was a hit for Seleen. The song starts at the end of a bad relationship when the women in question had found the courage to take the kids and leave. Its subject isn’t domestic violence … it is surviving it. When you come up with your subject and find a hook to sell it … there’s half your song. Answers to questions like “What am I going to write about? Look for subjects that will touch people and make them feel something. If it’s something that touches you by all means write it but express it in a way that people can identify with. Causes are great but anything political is capable of alienating 50% of your audience. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them … that’s what being an artist is about … just know the risks. Don’t be scared of love songs, pop songs, drinking songs or sad songs … just find a new way of saying it. Let’s not try to write last month’s hit. Let’s just write a great song … we can worry about what to do with it later. See you next month … maybe.

If you have questions regarding upcoming songwriting workshops or my “one on one” private songwriting coaching service (based on the Gold Coast), my books Writing Great Song Lyrics, My Version Of The Truth, Secrets Of Stronger Songwriting or if you would like to host a workshop contact me on 0419 218 988 or at allan@allancaswell.com

ALLAN CASWELL

SECRETS OF STRONGER

SONGWRITING Allan Caswell’s latest book Secrets of Stronger Songwriting is available now For information: allan@allancaswell.com

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festivals

Buddy Goode

Adam Harvey

Anna Rose, Charyl Walsh, Ray Essery, Maree Keating and Janene Duncan

Aleyce Simmonds

Bill Chambers and Allison Forbes

Andrew Swift

CLAYTON’S THE FESTIVAL YOU HAVE WHEN… Despite the cancellation in September 2020, of the Tamworth Country Music Festival by Tamworth Regional Council, an opportunity arose for the Tamworth region venues to recommence entertainment – COVID-safely of course – as restrictions lifted. The city was buzzing with concerts and performances by numerous Golden Guitar winners 52

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e saw artists and venues connecting and the Tamworth Music Scene organically grew to a miniature unofficial festival which took place over what should have been the 10-day 49th festival in January.

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Now that it’s all over and – so far so good – there are no signs of COVID cases we can congratulate all involved for making venues a safe place to attend. More than 100 artists performed over 10 days at 22 venues with a weighted local population enjoying the shows which included the 49th Golden Guitar Awards.

Fortunately, two very special anniversary events went ahead and they were The Bushwackers Celebrate 50 Years and Adam Harvey’s 30th Anniversary Concert. The Bushwackers were extremely touched to be presented with the Roll Of Renown honour at the Golden Guitar Awards before unveiling their plaque the following morning. The city was buzzing with concerts and performances by numerous Golden Guitar winners including Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Ashleigh Dallas, Bennett, Bowtell, Butcher & Urquhart, Catherine Britt, Darren Coggan, Fanny Lumsden, John Krsulja, Lawrie Minson, M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


festivals

Andrew Clermont Supper Club

Brock Curtis

Kathryn Jones

Prousty

Brad Butcher, Brendan Radford, Felicity Urquhart, Lyn Bowtell, Kevin Bennett

Matt Scullion at Hogs Breath

Shanley Del and James Gillard

Luke O’Shea, Matt Scullion, Tracy Coster, Travis Collins, and The McClymonts. John Krsulja was both host and guest artist at two songwriting shows – Allison Forbes and Luke O’Shea – at The DAG Sheep Station, both with surprise guests including Shanley Del and James Gillard. The Bill Chambers Sessions, Fibber’s Ave A Go Show, Bush Poets with Ray Essery, Errol Gray, Bill Kearns and Dave (Prousty) Proust, and the 23rd Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club, staples of the festival, were able to go ahead to grateful audiences. Tamworth entrepreneur Chris Watson and his team promoted M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

the Single Builders Present Tamworth’s Big Country BBQ to aid Ronald McDonald House, Tamworth featuring a long list of popular artists at Tangaratta Vineyard, hosted by Darren Carr and Ron Trundle, presenter at Today’s Country 94.1. ARIA winners Andrew Farriss (INXS) and Buddy Goode performed at Moonshiners and also at the Big BBQ along with Casey Barnes, Viper Creek Band, Liam Brew, Southbound, Judah Kelly, Mickey Pye, Darren Carr, Mike Carr and many others. Top notch country music could be heard just about anywhere including at the local tourist parks – Austin and City Lights – that

Casey Barnes

Shyanne Irwin, Sally-Anne Whitten, Rae Moody, Alwyn Aurisch

featured Darren Coggan, Jamie Lindsay, Shyanne Irwin, Tommy Miller, Kathryn Jones, Sally-Anne Whitten, Alwyn Aurisch and Rae Moody and the poets. Finding new talent at the festival is the favourite thing to do for most visitors and this year was no exception with Jarred Taylor, Jamie Lindsay, Brock Curtis, Freddie Bailey-Cook, and Charlie Fittler tuned up. Rob Breese served up more than his exceptional food at his popular Square Man Inn, presenting a number of dinner shows that included Graeme Doubleday, Kathryn Jones, Brian Letton, Shelley and Lawrie Minson and the singing chef himself. Brendan Smoother and Brendan Nawrocki held their Two Brendans’ songwriting concert and Chris Watson & Dare 2 Dance conducted line dancing workshops. An Australia Day Concert was held on Tuesday, January 26 catering for the locals and featured the new recipients of the Roll Of Renown The Bushwackers, plus Mark Atkins and The Cover Bandits.

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Mickey Pye

Sean Rudd, Hugh Curtis, Brad Bergen, Roo Arcus, Kate Arcus, Michel Rose, Aaron Pye, Ray McCoy

Kirsty Lee Akers

John Krsulja

Andrew Farriss, Lyn Bowtell, Luke O’Shea, Ashleigh Dallas

Liam Brew

Barnaby Joyce, Ros Lindsay & Max Ellis at the Reg Lindsay Memory Barn

Freddie Bailey-Cook

Darren Coggan at Austin Tourist Park

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNERS The 2021 Australian Country Music People’s Choice Awards were presented online from Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital, on Thursday, January 21. Della Harris was named winner of Best Female Vocal while Ian Burns won the Male Vocal category. Brothers3 were successful again as Best Group and Graham Rodger took home Best Voters determined that The Silverline Lehnen, was Best Song while Benny Allen was presented with the Bush Ballad award Ian Burns 54

Best Video went to Souly Us announced winner of Most Promising Future Star. In the broadcast categories, Ray McCoy of Country Music Capital’s 88.9 FM was named Most Popular Country Music DJ while Alan Gilmour’s “Australian Country Songwriters Show” on todayscountry94one won Most Popular Country Music Radio Program. The event was live-streamed via Facebook and can be viewed at Capital Country Radio’s YouTube channel.

Dellas Harris

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Brian Letton receives his award from Lorraine Pfitzner

TSA WINNERS ANNOUNCED Winners in the annual Tamworth Songwriters’ Association (TSA) Songwriter Salute Awards announced on Tuesday, January 19.

T

he event was delayed due to

but eventually went to air via Youtube and can now be viewed on-line at any time at tsaonline.com.au. Country Song of the Year went Night After Night Country Song Award. Ben also won the Country Rock Song award Mamma Said. Local Heroes Song of the Year was won by Ian Burns, Mary Harrison & David Carter Think Again. The songwriting team of Cass Hopetoun & Blake Dantier were announced as winners of the New Songwriter of the Year title Typical Bride home the Country Ballad Award Room Full Of Strangers. Felicity Dowd was a double winner taking home the Novice Song Writing Award with Blue Skies

J Y/PFREI L B R2U MAANRUCA HR/A 0A 2 1R Y 2 0 2 1

When The Party Is Over. Kevin Pye won the Lyrics Only The Sepia Soldier, Stan Lenz was successful That Little Church On The Hill Tony Smith won the Bluegrass Dirt Kids. Lucie Tiger took home the Country Blues Song Award while John Howie won Comedy/Novelty Song Tittybong. Peter Coad won Bush Ballad Two Old Bushmen of the Year went to Wendy Wood Do It All Over Again. Rodney Walker and Lynette Guest were honoured with the TSA’s Tex Morton Award and Brian Letton was presented with the Song Maker title. During the presentation, long-serving TSA member and committee member Athol Latham was presented with Life Membership.

CHAD MORGAN TO HEAD

capella FESTIVAL

Chad Morgan is set to headline the 2021 Capella Country Music Festival which will be held from Thursday, May 6 to Sunday May 9, 2021. Known to some as the godfather of country music, Chad Morgan OAM, who recently turned 88, will leave patrons wowed by his humour and talent. Terry Gordon, Pixie Jenkins and many others who will provide great entertainment on main stage. The festival will include a Walk-Up Artist Program and Talent Competition, at the CWA Dinner on Friday where someone will be crowned the 2021 Capella Country Music Shooting Star. The winner will perform on the program on Saturday and Sunday, as well as receive a one-on-one mentoring session from an Australian artist. In addition to the music, the running of the camels in the Capella Camel Cup will take place, Food and drinks and amusement rides will be available throughout the weekend and with Mothers’ Day being celebrated on Sunday, the Bush Poet’s Breakfast is especially for mums. The Capella CWA will be catering on the Friday night and there’ll be a bush cooking demonstration by Ranger Nick and David Hudson. Information regarding tickets and accommodation can be accessed at the website capellaevents.com.au

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savannah

TROPICAL COUNTRY

IN THE ROUND

Tropical North Queensland’s Savannah In The Round led the way, with its Savannah Summer Series teaser show in October 2020, becoming the first COVID-safe country music event in Australia.

Route 33

Darlinghurst

“Mareeba will be the place to see the biggest names in country music, while experiencing First Nations culture.” 56

The McClymonts

T

his coming October long weekend – October 1-3 – Savannah in the Round, featuring acts that are current, and on the tip of everyone’s lips, will take place at the Kerribee Park Rodeo Grounds in Mareeba. Organisers have added another 18 Aussie country artists to this inaugural event, including Brad Cox, Tex Perkins: The Man in Black, Shannon Noll, Kirsty Lee

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Akers, Southbound, Rachael Fahim, Missy Lancaster, Col Finley, Will Day, David Hudson, The Roadtrippers, Yazmindi, 2020 Toyota Star Maker Sammy White, Abbie Ferris, Chelsea Berman, Jake Davey, and Felicity Kircher. These new additions join a long list of country stars including Australian icon John Williamson, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, James Blundell, Graeme Connors, The McClymonts, Fanny Lumsden – winner of five trophies at the 2021

Golden Guitar Awards, The Wolfe Brothers, Casey Barnes, Busby Marou, Jasmine Rae, Darlinghurst, Jetty Road, The Buckleys and many more, make this an exciting show with over 40 performers. Sound Australia’s James Dein said; “It has been a tough time for everyone over the last year, but Savannah In The Round is committed to making sure Australia has a large-scale country music event in 2021 and we are proud to show the strength of Australia’s great talent pool. MY/ AR HR /A L 2021 JANUAR FC EB UPARRI Y


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Fanny Lumsden

Busby Marou

Graeme Connors

Lee Kernaghan

“With the capacity to add international talent as borders open, Savannah In The Round will serve the country music community and shine a light on the beauty of the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region, not just in 2021 but for years to come.” The event will not only boast its musical line up, but also host an Indigenous cultural program, community entertainment, local produce and goods, paddock to plate, and a full range of accommodation options, from drive-in campsites and ‘on-site ‘glamping’ tents right through to luxury options and transfers through accommodation partners in Cairns and Port Douglas. “This spring, Mareeba will be the place to see the biggest names in MAANRUCA HR/A 0A 2 1R Y 2 0 2 1 J Y/PFREI L B R2U

country music, while experiencing First Nations culture in Queensland’s Year of Indigenous Tourism,” Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said. “As we unite and recover from COVID-19, major events like Savannah In The Round are an opportunity to celebrate our resilience, while showcasing homegrown artists and contributing to regional economies. “I hope Queensland and interstate attendees extend their stay beyond the long weekend, supporting local tourism operators, while exploring the many natural splendours of the Tropical North.” Tourism Tropical North Mark Olsen said Savannah in the Round would give country music

James Blundell

Brad Cox

fans a compelling reason to holiday in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region. “A dose of great Aussie music combined with a week or more exploring the accessible outback, the Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest rainforest will help beat the pandemic blues,” he said. Originally scheduled for the Queen’s Birthday Weekend in 2020, Savannah In The Round was postponed during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the safety of patrons, artists and workers, and later reimagined as the Savannah Summer Series mini-festival. As country music continues to explode around the world, Savannah In The Round will be 2021’s biggest Australian live country music event and you won’t want to miss it. Tickets are on sale now via the website savannahintheround.com.au

** Kasey Chambers was previously announced to perform however due to a rescheduled tour date clash, she will no longer be performing. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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Casey Barnes

Diesel

Don Walker

Shane Nicholson

Adam Brand

The Buckleys

you’re invited to

GYMPIE’S 40TH BIRTHDAY 26-29 AUGUST 2021 TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW MUSTER.COM.AU

Plans for the 2021 Gympie Music Muster are well underway with more artists added to the already top shelf list.

T

“Even if you hated country music you would love the Gympie Muster, and I reckon it would turn you.” 58

he allAustralian artist announcement is just another reason why you won’t want to miss out on the celebrations. Headlining the second announcement is multi-awardwinning country star Adam Brand. Brand is no stranger to the muster and can’t wait to return for the 40th birthday celebration. “Even if you hated country music you would love the Gympie Muster, and I reckon it would turn you.” “Whenever people ask about music musters around Australia you

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always reference the Gympie Muster because it is unique and such an incredible event.” “I am just really happy to be on this huge muster line-up.” Joining Adam in the announcement are Shane Nicholson, Don Walker, James Blundell, The Bushwackers, Casey Barnes, Diesel, The Buckleys, Jasmine Rae, Tania Kernaghan, Warren H Williams, Hurricane Fall, Drew McAlister, Darlinghurst, The Pigs, The Badloves, 8 Ball Aitken, Mason Rack Band, Raechel Whitchurch and Gympie’s own Caitlyn Shadbolt with Tex Dubbo

making an appearance. Previously announced artists are Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Troy Cassar-Daley, Graeme Connors, Busby Marou, Wolfe Brothers, Travis Collins, Felicity Urquhart, The Black Sorrows, Tex Perkins & The Fat Rubber Band, Adam Harvey, Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont, Fanny Lumsden, Ash Grunwald, Amber Lawrence, Fiona Boyes, Lloyd Spiegel and Marshall & the Fro. The Main Stage will be opening up from Thursday afternoon right through to Sunday evening. Four-day Gympie Music Muster passes, including free general camping sites can be obtained from the website muster.com.au/tickets MY/ AR HR /A L 2021 JANUAR FC EB UPARRI Y


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Fanny Lumsden

Busby Marou

Graeme Connors

Lee Kernaghan

“With the capacity to add international talent as borders open, Savannah In The Round will serve the country music community and shine a light on the beauty of the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region, not just in 2021 but for years to come.” The event will not only boast its musical line up, but also host an Indigenous cultural program, community entertainment, local produce and goods, paddock to plate, and a full range of accommodation options, from drive-in campsites and ‘on-site ‘glamping’ tents right through to luxury options and transfers through accommodation partners in Cairns and Port Douglas. “This spring, Mareeba will be the place to see the biggest names in MAANRUCA HR/A 0A 2 1R Y 2 0 2 1 J Y/PFREI L B R2U

country music, while experiencing First Nations culture in Queensland’s Year of Indigenous Tourism,” Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said. “As we unite and recover from COVID-19, major events like Savannah In The Round are an opportunity to celebrate our resilience, while showcasing homegrown artists and contributing to regional economies. “I hope Queensland and interstate attendees extend their stay beyond the long weekend, supporting local tourism operators, while exploring the many natural splendours of the Tropical North.” Tourism Tropical North Mark Olsen said Savannah in the Round would give country music

James Blundell

Brad Cox

fans a compelling reason to holiday in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region. “A dose of great Aussie music combined with a week or more exploring the accessible outback, the Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest rainforest will help beat the pandemic blues,” he said. Originally scheduled for the Queen’s Birthday Weekend in 2020, Savannah In The Round was postponed during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the safety of patrons, artists and workers, and later reimagined as the Savannah Summer Series mini-festival. As country music continues to explode around the world, Savannah In The Round will be 2021’s biggest Australian live country music event and you won’t want to miss it. Tickets are on sale now via the website savannahintheround.com.au

** Kasey Chambers was previously announced to perform however due to a rescheduled tour date clash, she will no longer be performing. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

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ISLAND getaway There’s something about summertime that makes listening to music better—especially when you’re lounging down on the beach.

Jasmine Rae

T

he warmth of

sound of the ocean waves, the smell of the salt in your hair...few things are as relaxing Now in its third year, Country On Keppel, Australia’s only country music festival on a tropical island, returns from July 15 to 18 with a host of music stars and newcomers, and can deliver.

Multi-award winner, ARIA nominee and chart-topper Jasmine Rae will headline the festival, along with SaltbushSix, Cornell & Carr, and country music icon James Blundell. They will be joined by Golden Guitar winner Brad Butcher, and Jonny Taylor, Danny Phegan and band, Aaron Jurd, Melissa Lukin, and Bella Mackenzie, the inaugural Green Brothers Country On Keppel Talent Search winner. Jasmine was forced to postpone her 2020 performance due to COVID-19 border restrictions and is looking forward to all systems go this July. James Blundell has played both of the tropical island festivals since its inception in 2019, and was integral to the event coming to fruition. “I knew from the moment the idea was floated that Country On Keppel would be a runaway success - relaxed atmosphere, great music, and a stunning location all combine to make it a unique and memorable experience,” he said. “Country On Keppel is now my

favourite event of the year with great, new, and exciting artists and some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia, complete with a very relaxed atmosphere, so you’d better make sure you get yourself there.” Country on Keppel 2020 was one of the few music festivals to be held in a year marred by festival cancellations due to the global pandemic, and was a major success, doubling the 2019 patronage. Festival organiser Peter Blundell is looking forward to welcoming more country fans to the island. “There aren’t a lot of other country festivals held on an island and the relaxed atmosphere of the festival means fans have access to the artists and everyone is here to mingle and have a fun weekend,” he said. The festival will announce the rest of the performers in early March. The Green Brothers Country on Keppel Talent Search will open proceedings on Friday, July 16, before the festival begins on Saturday morning, July 17. Entries for the talent search are now open and festival tickets and accommodation packages are all on Island Hideaway.

subscribe AND SAVE SUBSCRIBING JUST GOT EASIER CALL 0439 406 136 WWW.CAPITALNEWS.COM.AU

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COMING events MARCH 2021 1 from Feb 26

32nd Nannup Music Festival | Nannup | WA | E: info@nannupmusicfestival.org | W: nannupmusicfestival.org

1-21 from Feb 19 Adelaide Fringe | SA | E: buzz@adelaidefringe.com.au | T: 08 8100 2000 | W: adelaidefringe.com.au 5-8

Port Fairy Folk Festival March Concert Series | Vic | Contact: Office Manager Natasha Mills | T: 03 5568 2227 | E: admin@portfairyfolkfestival.org | W: portfairyfolkfestival.com

11-14

2022 - 45th Port Fairy Folk Festival | Vic | Contact: Office Manager Natasha Mills | T: 03 5568 2227 | E: admin@ portfairyfolkfestival.org | W: portfairyfolkfestival.com

7-13 (2022)

Macksville Music Muster | NSW | Camping available | M: 0402 512 116 | E: enquiries@macksvillemusicmuster.com.au | W: macksvillemusicmuster.com.au

18-20 (2022)

25th Blue Mountains Music Festival | Katoomba | NSW | General Enquiries T: 02 4782 6694 | E: info@bmff.org.au | bmff.org.au

18-21

Terara CM Campout | 146 Millbank Road | Terara | NSW | Artists: Rod and Rhonda Owen, Lachie and Georgia, Craig Adams, Brian Letton, Meryl Reinhard, Peter Coad The Coad Sisters & Jim Hermel, Anita Ree, Kingsley Day & Christine Day, Jenny Bronson, Ged & Trudy Hintz, Lance Birrell, Joe Musico, George Farnham, Bryce Rawings, Dennis Dorsett, John & Christine Smith, Joe Reeves, Royden Donohue, Robyn Gleeson, Owen Blundell, Peter Dawson, Ernie Constance, Michelle Fox, Darcy Gage & Ally Decean, The Old Times Backen Band, and Terara Trio Band: Kingsley Day, Rob Breese and Trevor Letton | Contact: Owen M: 0402 475 987 or Tracey M: 0419 985 799 | Facebook: teraracountrymusiccampout

CANCELLED

CMC Rocks QLD | Willowbank Raceway, Ipswich | Qld | E: info@cmcrocks.com | W: cmcrocks.com

23-28

Gunnedah CM Muster | Gunnedah Showground | Artists: Grant Luhrs, Bob Easter, John Lynch, Anita Rae, Max Maher, Rob Breese, Rex Baldwin & Val Williamson, Kevin Goodbun, and Geoff Clapson | $20 per person per day | Camping available | Contact: Rex Baldwin | M: 0428 486 134 | Gunnedah Show Society T: 02 6742 1867.

23-24

Country Music Rush | Oakey Cultural Centre | Contact: Dell Lowein | T: 0417 728 182 | E: lowien77@bigpond.com | W: gardencitycountrymusic.com.au

CANCELLED

Annual Penrith Working Truck Show | 8am-4pm | Museum of Fire | 1 Museum Drive | Penrith | NSW | T: 02 4731 3000 | E: admin@museumoffire.com.au W: pwts.com.au

APRIL 2021 1-5

Easter Long Weekend– 32nd Annual Byron Bay BluesFest | Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm | Byron Bay | NSW | W: bluesfest. com.au

1-5

Roma’s Easter In The Country | Featuring Lee Kernaghan & The Wolfe Brothers | M: 0459 521 196 | E: info@ easterinthecountryroma.com.au W: easterinthecountryroma.com.au

2-4

Hartwood Campfires & CM | Artists: Royden Donohue, Rodney Vincent, Dean Perrett, Rachel Jillett, Tom Maxwell, Runaway Dixie, Peter Coad & The Coad Sisters, Dale Hooper, The Hartwood Band, and Bush Poets Ray Essery & Jack Drake, with compere Barry Williams. Contact: Tom Maxwell | M: 0456 780 824 | E: info@hartwoodfestival.com.au | W: hartwoodfestival.com.au

8-11

The Man From Snowy River Bush Festival | Corryong | Vic | Contact: Festival coordinator Jennifer Boardman | T: 02 6076 1992 | E: admin@bushfestival.com.au | W: bushfestival.com.au

9-10 (2022)

9-5 Dolly Parton Festival | Narromine | NSW | W: narromineregion.com.au/dolly-festival-narromine | Contact: Susie Rae

21-25

Historic Boondooma Homestead The Original ‘Spirit of the Bush’ – Traditional Balladeers & Heritage Muster | Various artists | General Inquiries: 07 4168 0159 | W: boondoomahomestead.org.au

28-May 2

Weethalle Country Music Muster 2021 | Weethalle Showground, Teamster Drive | Weethalle | NSW | Contact: Gayle Clark | M: 0428 757 337 | E: allangayleclark@bigpond.com | Facebook: fb.me/weethallecmmuster

29-May 2

Mayworth – Australia’s Largest Line Dance Festival | NSW | Contact: Chris & Gemma Watson | W: mayworth.com.au

M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

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LIVE music SCENE 8 BALL AITKEN

MARCH 6 Exchange Hotel, Kilcoy Qld 7 The Kenmore Qld 14 Yamba Golf & Country Club NSW 18 Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney NSW 19 Lazybones Lounge Restaurant & Bar, Marrickville 20 Currarong B&R Club NSW 21 The Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler, Lower Portland 23 Old Bank Restaurant & Bar, Dubbo NSW 25 Lizotte’s, Lambton NSW 26 Flow Bar, Old Bar NSW 27 The Oaks Motel, Albion Park Rail NSW 28 Tattersalls Hotel, Goulburn NSW MAY 1 Café Guitar, Toowoomba City Qld 30 Mt Coot-tha Songwriters Festival, Toowoong Qld JUNE 26 Fraser Coast RV Park, River Heads OCTOBER 30 Woodgate Hotel Blues Rock Fest

ABBIE FERRIS

Rising Star Showcase OCTOBER 1&2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

ADAM HARVEY

MARCH 12 South West Rocks Country Club NSW 13 Laurieton United SC NSW APRIL 16 Highfields Tavern Qld 17 The Racecourse Hotel, Ipswich Qld 23 Coomealla Club, Dareton NSW 24 Musicians Club, Broken Hill NSW

ALEXIS AND SUZIE

MARCH 5 Drift Bar, Caloundra Qld 12 Coolum BC Qld 17 Drift Bar, Caloundra Qld 19 Marcoola Surf Club Qld APRIL 3 Drift Bar, Caloundra Qld 17 Marcoola Surf Club Qld 18 Drift Bar, Caloundra Qld 23 Cooroy RSL Qld 28 Drift Bar, Caloundra Qld

AMBER LAWRENCE

**Love & Lies Tour w Catherine Britt MARCH 5 Hamilton Hotel NSW** 6 Racehorse Hotel, Booval NSW** 7 Highfields Tavern NSW** 12 Harmonie German Club of Canberra, Narrabundah ACT** 14 Lizotte’s, Lambton NSW** 19 Casino RSM Club NSW** 62

20 South West Rocks Country Club NSW** 26 Dubbo RSL Memorial Club NSW** 27 Sandigo Hall, Narrandera NSW** APRIL 24 The Deniliquin Club NSW**

12 Kirwan Tavern, Townsville Qld 13 Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns Qld 16 Allenstown Hotel, Rockhampton Qld 17 Harvey Road Tavern Gladestone Qld 18 Bay Central Tavern, Hervey Bay Qld 26 Wauchope RSL NSW*** JULY 1 Lizottes NSW*** 2 Windsor RSL NSW*** 3 Dubbo RSL NSW*** OCTOBER 2&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

BO’NESS

MARCH 6 Mornington CMF, Mount Martha Vic 26-28 Country Rocks Festival, Bungendore Vic

ANDREW FARRIS

APRIL 9 Royal Hotel, Queanbeyan NSW 10 Heritage Hotel, Bulli NSW 16 Lizottes, Newcastle NSW 17 Manly Leagues Club NSW 22 & 23 Brass Monkey, Cronulla NSW 24 Paddington RSL Club, Sydney NSW

ANDREW SWIFT

MARCH 6 Road To Roma Qld 10&11 Oodies Cafe, Bundaberg Qld 13 Ballina RSL NSW 14 Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast Qld 15 The Junk Bar, Brisbane Qld 20 Little Alberts, Bathurst NSW 26 Tumut River Brewing Co, Tumut NSW 27 Country Rocks Festival, Bungendore NSW APRIL 9 The Royal Hotel, Queanbeyan NSW 10 Heritage Hotel, Bulli NSW 16 Lizottes, Newcastle NSW 17 Manly Leagues, Manly NSW 23 Paddo RSL, Paddington NSW 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic MAY 1 Neon Horse, Stanhope Vic 2 BM Music Bowl, Bacchus Marsh Vic 7 Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury Vic 14 Nightquarter, Sunshine Coast, Qld 15 Fitzy’s, Loganholme Qld 16 Wallaby Hotel, Mudgeeraba Qld 21 Freo Social, Fremantle WA 22 The Charles Hotel, North Perth WA 28 The Gov, Adelaide SA

BLAKE O’CONNOR

Guest on Diesel’s tour *w Sinead Burgess ***Full band show MARCH 5 Wollongong Centro CBD NSW* APRIL 23 Coffs Golf Club, Coffs Harbour NSW 24 Maclean Bowls NSW MAY 13 Wallaby Hotel, Mudgeeraba Qld 14 Fitzys Loganholme Qld 16 The Royal, Nundah Qld 21 Sooki Lounge, Belgrave Vic 22 Northcote Social Club Vic 28 Spring Lakes Hotel Qld 29 Bribie Island Hotel Qld JUNE 11 Mt Pleasant Tavern, Mackay Qld

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BRAD COX

APRIL 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

BRIAN LETTON

MARCH 5 Port Lincoln BC SA 7 Smoky Bay Community Club SA 10 Quorn Anglican Hall SA 11 Commercial Hotel, Cowell SA 13 Milang Institute SA 14 NCMA Clubrooms SA 15 Moonta Town Hall SA

BUSBY MAROU

OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

CAMILLE TRAIL

OCTOBER 2&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

CASEY BARNES

APRIL 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

CATHERINE BRITT

*Album Launch **Love & Lies Tour w Amber Lawrence MARCH 5 Hamilton Hotel NSW** 6 Racehorse Hotel, Booval NSW** 7 Highfields Tavern NSW** 12 Harmonie German Club of Canberra, Narrabundah ACT** 14 Lizotte’s, Lambton NSW** 19 Casino RSM Club NSW** 20 South West Rocks Country Club NSW** 26 Dubbo RSL Memorial Club NSW** 27 Sandigo Hall, Narrandera NSW** APRIL 24 The Deniliquin Club NSW**

CHELSEA BERMAN

Rising Star Showcase OCTOBER 1&2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

CHRIS MATTHEWS

MARCH *Tom Curtain’s In The West Tour 5 Waikerie SA* 6 Clare SA* 7 Melrose SA* 10 Hawker SA* 11 William Creek SA* 19 Alice Springs NT* APRIL 7-11 Way Out West Festival, Winton Qld 23-26 Adora Downs Country Rock N Blues, Toowoomba Qld MAY 6 Oodies, Bundaberg Qld

CHRISTIE LAMB

OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

COL FINLEY

OCTOBER 1&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

CORNELL & CARR

MARCH 26-28 Country Rocks Festival, Bungendore NSW

DANA HASSALL

MARCH 12 Kambri Precinct, ANU, Canberra ACT

DARLINGHURST

APRIL 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic OCTOBER 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

DAVID HUDSON & THE DIDGERALIA BAND

OCTOBER 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

DEAN PERRETT

APRIL 2-4 Tambar Springs NSW 6-10 Winton Qld MAY 22-23 Wyper Park Scout Camp, Bundaberg Qld JULY 10-11 Cunnamulla Showgrounds Qld

DIANNE LINDSAY

MAY 15 Bouldercombe Park Qld 21 Wyper Park, Bundaberg Qld

DICKO’S COUNTRY SPIT ROAST

*Dinner & Country Show MARCH 25 NightQuarter, Birtinya Qld APRIL 29 NightQuarter, Birtinya Qld

ERROL GRAY

SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1


**All subject to COVID-19 health restrictions. Capital News recommends that you check with the venue prior to attending any performance so as not to be disappointed if it’s not on.

FANNY LUMSDEN

JASMINE RAE

APRIL 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic OCTOBER 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

FELICITY KIRCHER

OCTOBER 2&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

Rising Star Showcase OCTOBER 1&2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

FELICITY URQUHART

MARCH 11 Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar, Tamworth NSW 12 Lizotte’s, Lambton NSW 13 Armatree Hotel NSW 14 Mullaley Memorial Hall NSW 25 Rathmines Theatre NSW APRIL 24 Mossvale Park, Berrys Creek Vic 25 Archies Creek Hall Vic MAY 6 Lizotte’s, Lambton NSW 7 The Music Lounge, Wollongong NSW 8 Bowral BC NSW 14 Harmonie German Club, Canberra ACT 27 The Triffid, Brisbane Qld 28 Imperial Hotel, Eumundi Qld 29 Maleny RSL Qld JUNE 3 Oodies Cafe, Bundaberg Qld 4 The Goat Cafe & Bar, Rockhampton Qld 5 Seabreeze Hotel, Mackay Qld OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

GARY FOGARTY

SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

GRAEME CONNORS

OCTOBER 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

HILLBILLY GOATS

APRIL 6 Winton Way Out West Festival Qld 16 The GAS - Goats Acoustic Sessions, Brooweena Qld 23 Adora Downs Station, Toowoomba, Qld MAY 1 Wintermoon Festival, Mackay Qld 7 Casino RSM NSW 13 Music in the Mulga, Eulo Qld JUNE 11 Yungaburra Pub Qld 12 Cardwell Jetty Hoedown Qld NOVEMBER 23 Cruisin Country Supercruise, ex Sydney NSW

JAKE DAVEY

Rising Stars Showcase OCTOBER 1&2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

JAMES BLUNDELL

APRIL 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic OCTOBER 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

JETTY ROAD

ROUTE 33

OCTOBER 1&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

SALTBUSHSIX

SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

KASEY CHAMBERS

MARCH 6 Mornington CMF, Mount Martha Vic APRIL 1 Bluesfest, Byron Bay NSW JUNE 27 500 Miles of Music, Leigh Creek SA

TOM CURTAIN’S KATHERINE OUTBACK EXPERIENCE

KIRSTY LEE AKERS

OCTOBER 1&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

LIAM BREW

SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

LUCIE TIGER

MARCH 11-12 Sappho Wine Bar, Glebe NSW 14 HMAS Platypus, Neutral Bay NSW 25 Sappho Wine Bar, Glebe NSW APRIL 9&23 Sappho Wine Bar, Glebe NSW

MERILYN STEELE

MARCH 20 Ramsgate Foodie Markets NSW 27 Peakhurst Foodie Markets NSW JUNE 27 Caringbah Markets NSW JULY 4 Petersham RSL NSW

MURPHY’S PIGS

OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

NORMA O’HARA MURPHY

SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

RAECHEL WHITCHURCH

SAMMY WHITE

MAY 1 Charters Towers CMF Qld AUGUST 26-29 Gympie Muster Qld OCTOBER 2 Deni Ute Muster NSW 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld NOVEMBER 12-14 Groundwater CMF Qld 23-30 Super Cruise, Cruisin’ Country 2021

SHANNON NOLL

OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

MARCH *guest Chris Matthews 5 Waikerie SA* 6 Clare SA* 7 Melrose SA* 10 Hawker SA* 11 William Creek SA* 19 Alice Springs NT*

TONY Q

OCTOBER 1-3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

TRAVIS COLLINS

MAY 1 Charters Towers CMF, Showground Qld 7 Warialda Show NSW 15 Cessnock LC NSW SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

SINEAD BURGESS

w Blake O’Connor MARCH 5 Wollongong Centro CBD NSW

SOUTHBOUND

OCTOBER 1 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

SUSAN KEENAN AND ALEXIS SAWFORD WITH CONTRABAND

MARCH 7 Bluff Bar, Alexandra Heads Qld 20 Beachmere Festival Qld 26 Tewantin Noosa RSL Qld

TAYLOR MOSS

SEPTEMBER 23-26 Texas CMF Qld

THE BUCKLEYS

OCTOBER 3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

OCTOBER 1&2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

ROSS WEBB

THE BUSHWACKERS

MARCH 19 Crookwell Hotel, NSW

THE ROADTRIPPERS

THE WOLFE BROTHERS

OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

LEE KERNAGHAN

THE MCCLYMONTS

OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

\JOHN WILLIAMSON

APRIL 24 Gippsland CMF, Mossvale Park Vic OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

2021

APRIL 5-9 Way Out West Festival, Winton Qld

TROY CASSAR-DALEY

MARCH 13 Hope Estate, Pokolbin NSW 17 Stage 88, Canberra ACT 20 Mt Duneed, Geelong Vic APRIL 3-4 Bluesfest, Byron Bay NSW AUGUST 27-29 Gympie Muster OCTOBER 2 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

WILL DAY

OCTOBER 1&3 Savannah In The Round, Mareeba Cairns Hinterland TNQld

TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L

news

63


1264KM ON A TANK. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. 1

Usually when things sound too good to be true, they are. But not this headline act. Toyota Hybrid. With outstanding fuel economy you can travel an impressive distance without needing to stop to fill up. And there’s absolutely no need to plug them in because Toyota Hybrids charge as they drive by using their engine or energy captured when decelerating or braking. That means the only thing you need to worry about for 1264kms¹ is what star performer you will listen to next. Search ‘TOYOTA HYBRID’

1 Estimated distance of 1264kms based on combined ADR fuel consumption rate of 3.4L/100km. Achieved in test conditions. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle condition and options/accessories fitted. Fuel consumption data provided for comparison purposes only. Source: ADR81/20 for Toyota Prius model. TAMw ORTH C O U N T R Y M U S I C C A P I TA L news 64

M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1

Profile for Country Music Capital News

Tamworth Country Music Capital News - March/April 2021 Volume 46 Issue 2  

In the March/April 2021 issue, country star Troy Cassar-Daley spoke to journalist Susan Jarvis about his new album, and also opened up about...

Tamworth Country Music Capital News - March/April 2021 Volume 46 Issue 2  

In the March/April 2021 issue, country star Troy Cassar-Daley spoke to journalist Susan Jarvis about his new album, and also opened up about...