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AUSTRALIA’S QUEEN OF BLUEGRASS ADDS TO GOLDEN GUITAR TALLY & SCORES CMT ADDITION

Australia’s Queen of Bluegrass – Kristy Cox – added to her impressive Golden Guitar Award tally on Saturday night taking out Bluegrass Recording of the Year with her good friend and Australian music legend, Tommy Emmanuel CGP, for their track, “Finger Picking Good”.

The win took Kristy’s personal tally to five Golden Guitar Awards making her one of the most decorated female Bluegrass artists in Australia.

“I am completely blown away and speechless to have received this award for the third year in a row. I love Bluegrass music, it’s where my heart is and this award means so much to me”, said Kristy.

“I can’t thank all those who voted for the track enough for their ongoing support and the industry as a whole. Recording this track with Tommy is one of the highlights of my career so far … he truly is amazing!”

Kristy celebrated under slightly unusual circumstances this year with Covid restrictions rendering it impossible for her to get home to Australia as she traditionally would.

This year, she was snuggled up under a blanket in her favourite pyjamas watching via live stream in Nashville.

“It felt very strange not to be in Australia for the Tamworth festival and the awards. This is the first festival I have missed in over 20 years. Setting my alarm for 2am and watching the awards in my PJ’s was a completely new experience but it didn’t take away from the excitement of the event though … wow, what a night!”

And it didn’t stop there, Kristy, Tommy and her band which also included producer, Jerry Salley, recorded a show stopping performance of the winning song that was played during the awards ceremony showcasing the reason why Kristy Cox is by far one of our greatest music exports.

The performance was so good that CMT Australia instantly added the video across the board to full rotation – airing for the first time on Australia Day.

Kristy’s current album, “No Headlights”, featuring the Golden Guitar Award winning “Finger Picking Good” is out now via Mountain Fever Records.

Benny Allen continues award-winning run

Victorian singer-songwriter Benny Allen has continued his award-winning run at the Australian Country Music People’s Choice Awards.

Although he couldn’t be at the Tamworth Country Music Festival this year, Benny will have a treasured memento from January, taking out the award for Best Bush Ballad with his single, The Battle of Point Nepean.

This follows on from his win in the Australian Country Music People’s Choice Awards last year for Best Video Clip.

“I’m blown away to have had so many people connect with a song about Australia’s first brush with quarantine,” he said.

“It means so much to me, to be included not just as a finalist, but as a winner of one of these prestigious awards. When you look at the historical winners list, it’s humbling to think that my name is being included amongst people that can be identified by their first name in this industry – Troy, Lee, Beccy, Amber and both of the Adams.”

The Battle of Point Nepean is Benny’s first foray into the bush ballad format, chosen for its natural connection to storytelling, but he’s promised it won’t be his last.

“The bush ballad format is something that really appeals to me, particularly as a storytelling format – and I can’t wait to produce more work in this style,” he said.

Benny is working on new music to be released in the coming year.

The Bushwackers given highest Australasian country music honour

The Bushwackers have plenty to celebrate during their Golden Jubilee year after being inducted into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown.

The much-loved lively Australian bush band were recognised for their contribution to Australian country music at the Golden Guitars Awards in Tamworth on Saturday, January 23, with front men Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett overcome with emotion at the announcement.

“This is just incredible,” Corbett said.

“It’s been quite a journey. We first came to Tamworth in 1981 and won a Golden Guitar and we fell in love with everybody in country music. We’ve been thrilled to be part of this community, part of Tamworth and part of this wonderful, crazy thing we do every year. Thank you for this incredible honour.

“I want to pay tribute to this bloke (Dobe) here who never fails to turn up in something crazy to wear and thrash that lagerphone to death and be the front person to all our shows; it’s been quite a journey.”

Newton, who has previously been honoured with an OAM for services to the performing arts as an entertainer and advocate, made a heartfelt speech in front of his industry peers in Tamworth.

“We couldn’t have done it without our amazing family and loves of our lives and all the wonderful musicians who have supported us,” he said.

“Now that this has happened, I can die a happy man.”

Their induction to the Roll of Renown was a highlight of the COVID-adjusted Golden Guitar Awards ceremony.

Both Corbett and Newton are also known for their songwriting skills and Newton co-wrote verses of the popular “We Are Australian” anthem with Bruce Woodley of the Seekers.

The Bushwackers won their first Golden Guitar In Tamworth in 1981 and have been regulars in Country Music Capital and on stages all over Australia ever since.

The Roll of Renown was instigated in 1976 by Radio 2TM with a presentation to pioneer Tex Morton.

Awarded to people who have made a lasting and significant contribution to Australasian Country Music, The Bushwackers bronze plaque was the 52nd to be placed on the commemorative rocks outside the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.

Tamworth mayor Col Murray and Roll of Renown committee chair and industry veteran Max Ellis presented the award to Newton and Corbett.

The plaque includes the words: “A household name, The Bushwackers hold a unique place in the hearts of so many proud Australians.”

Ian Burns – Tamworth awards haul

Ian Burns has proven his talents and popularity in the Australian country music scene this month, taking home two awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The Macarthur singer-songwriter won the Tamworth Songwriters Association Local Heroes Song of the Year for Think Again, co-written with Mary V I Harrison and David Carter.

Ian then added to his Tamworth accolades, winning Best Male Vocal in the 2021 Australian People’s Choice Awards.

“I am overjoyed and really honoured,” he said.

“Thanks. Particularly, to my wife, Susie, for all her support throughout the years, and to everyone who had faith in me and voted. Thank you to my co-writers of Think Again, Mary VI Harrison and David Carter.”

This is not the first time he has won an award from the Tamworth Songwriters Association, previously winning the TSA National Songwriting Contest for Alt/Blues/Bluegrass.

The Local Heroes category in the TSAs was previously an ANZAC section to mark the centenary of World War I, but now honours all heroes in our community.

“Think Again struck a chord with people because it’s a song about never giving up no matter how much is going against you,” he said.

“It is about the fighting spirit of Australians meaning that we will get through adversity and come out bigger and stronger than ever.”

Ian plans to build on this award-winning success with more releases to come in 2021.

Golden duo for Luke O’Shea

Thirteen is lucky for some, and for Luke O’Shea, it’s brought plenty of gold his way at the 49th Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth.

The Sutherland Shire singer-songwriter picked up his 13th Golden Guitar on Saturday night, January 23, after winning Traditional Album of the Year and Heritage Song of the Year.

This marks O’Shea’s seventh win in Heritage Song of the Year and his first Album of the Year category Golden Guitar.

Fellow multi-Golden Guitar winning singer-songwriter Kevin Bennett shared the Heritage Song of the Year win with O’Shea, for their collaboration, Happy Australia Day, while O’Shea’s album, There In The Ochre, won Traditional Album of the Year.

“This album, There In The Ochre, has been without a doubt the hardest and most rewarding album I have ever made,” he said.

“It was started more than three years ago and then life just got in the way – three teenage daughters and a complete house renovation saw all my creative juices and finances focused on other things. But, through the shared passion of some of my all-time favourite musicians and people on the planet, it finally came together.”

O’Shea recorded There In The Ochre across more than 12 different studios over three different states with the skills and ability of people including Lyn Bowtell, Ashleigh Dallas, Kevin Bennett, Brad Butcher, Amber Lawrence, Chris Matthews, Bill Risby, Michel Rose, Clare O’Meara, Stuie and Camille French, Damien Cafarella, Lachlan Bryan, Luke Herbert, Benjy and Soni Pocock, Phil and Lana Doublet, and Sean Rudd who pulled it all together.

“I have always loved the craft of making an album – the light and dark, the ebb and flow, and even though that doesn’t get as appreciated in this world of digital downloads, this album is dedicated to those who love to listen to the whole story – the book,” O’Shea said.

“That is you, you magnificent country music audiences and for that I am eternally grateful and determined to keep on creating music and stories that might entertain, console and challenge, so thank you for letting me be me.”

In terms of challenging songs, the award-winning Happy Australia Day is meant to educate and encourage listeners to think about the significance of January 26.

“Without doubt, the Heritage Award is the category that inspires me the most,” O’Shea said.

“The Heritage category gives you the opportunity to tell stories, to sing up our distinct and unique past, our history and its people – warts and all.”

O’Shea said songwriting allowed him to celebrate the pride he has for our country and share the love and inspiration it provided and wanted others to feel it too.

“To be given the honour of this award means so much to me because that means somewhere, somehow, through some line or melody I was able to connect with you,” he said.

“Happy Australia Day is not a pretty song but, like it or not, it is our history and we have to own it. It was written with the great Kevin Bennett – a Kamilaroi man – not to shame or embarrass, but to educate.”

O’Shea is a school teacher and wanted more facts known about our pre-European history and our shared history, both black and white.

“Through learning about these remarkable Indigenous Australians, it is our hope that you might gain a new and valuable perspective of our past so that you might better understand where we are at currently so that, together, we might make better informed and more compassionate decisions about our future united – as one, and perhaps one day get to share a true Happy Australia Day.”

O’Shea has also just released a new single with Golden Guitar-winning Tamworth singer-songwriter Ashleigh Dallas called Long Way ‘Round.

IAN MOSS ANNOUNCES ONE GUITAR ONE NIGHT ONLY 2021 NATIONAL TOUR

Ian Moss, with a touch that can be as delicate as a butterfly, has rightfully earned his place as one of the world’s premier guitarists. Coupled with a voice as smooth as honey and exquisite tenderness, Mossy has been mesmerizing audiences in Australia and overseas for well over 40 years.

The One Guitar, One Night Only 2021 National Tour will be the first time that Mossy has played to his beloved fans acoustically in theatres in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane in 5 years.

Tickets to Ian Moss’ One Guitar One Night Only 2021 National Tour go on sale at 9.00am local times on Friday, 4 December 2020 from ianmoss.com.au/tour.

A pre-sale for members of the Ian Moss Fan Club commences from 9.00am local times on Wednesday, 2 December until 9.00am on Friday, 4 December. You can sign up for the Fan club here.

Performing all the songs you know and love from Bow River, Georgia and Tucker’s Daughter to Broadway from Ian’s latest, self-titled album and plenty more, don’t miss your chance to see a true master at work.

Mossy is offering fans the opportunity to purchase VIP tickets to each of the shows which will give them the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and watch Ian’s soundtrack and run a few songs on stage. They will also have exclusive access to a meet and greet with Ian to have a chat and grab a photo with him after soundcheck (no filming or photographing will be possible during soundcheck so everyone can just sit, listen and enjoy this unique experience).

Included with the VIP Experience tickets (one per person/ticket price) are:

– An exclusive “meet and greet” with Ian Moss during soundcheck
– VIP “One Guitar One Night Only” lanyard
– VIP Limited Edition “One Guitar One Night Only” tour poster
– Ticket to the show and best seats available (where applicable)

Numbers are strictly limited to 30 at each show (subject to venue seating).

Fans are reminded to only buy tickets by following the direct ticket links listed below and not from unofficial reselling sites like Viagogo that often lead to rip offs.

All venues will be operating under COVID capacities so get your tickets quick!

THE RED HOT SUMMER TOUR ANNOUNCES SECOND LEG OF ITS 2021 FESTIVAL RUN WITH DATES IN VICTORIA, NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The 2021 RED HOT SUMMER TOUR is already sought-after, with three of the shows selling out in the first week of sale. Audiences in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have been eagerly awaiting news of shows in their regions, and now the RED HOT SUMMER TOUR has added a second leg to its 2021 run with more shows added to the second half of the year.

The ever-popular Victorian show at Mornington Racecourse will kick off the second leg of the RED HOT SUMMER TOUR in October, with four dates added in New South Wales, a date for Canberra music-fans and then a final 2021 show in Bendigo, Victoria in November. The shows feature and all-star line-up with Jimmy Barnes, Hoodoo Gurus, Jon Stevens, Diesel, Vika & Linda and Chris Cheney. Tickets for the COVID-safe shows go on sale on Thursday 3rd December.

Promoter Duane McDonald says fans in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT have been flooding social media with queries on when dates will be announced for them. “We have been blown away by the support for the 2021 RED HOT SUMMER TOUR,” he says. “Since we announced the first run, we have been contacted daily about when fans in other states will have a chance to attend the festival. We were working on dates for Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT from the very start, however we needed to make sure we worked well in-line with Government restrictions to provide the festival in a COVID-safe way. We are stoked to be able to announce these shows for our long-time supporters in those areas.”

Bringing together an enviable line-up of Aussie acts was paramount for the organisers, and Duane says everyone onboard for the 2021 run can’t wait. “We are excited to have the opportunity to hit the road in 2021 bringing some great music experiences that the RED HOT SUMMER TOUR has been sharing with audiences for over a decade,” he says. “Bringing together our mates in the music industry and taking the tour around Australia has always been special, but next year’s run is going to mean a lot to everyone. We’ve invited some of the artists who have been championing the tour from the very beginning and know everyone can’t wait to put on an incredible show. We look forward to making new musical memories for the next decade and can’t wait to see all the music-lovers who have supported us over the years at one of the shows in 2021.”

The 2021 RED HOT SUMMER TOUR line-up hardly needs an introduction to audiences, it features Australian music royalty. Jimmy Barnes, affectionately known by all as Barnesy, is the heart and soul of Australian rock and roll. He released his 17th solo album, My Criminal Record, in 2019 and recently dropped a new single, the haunting co-write with Don Walker Killing Time, which featured the Australian Chamber Orchestra. His third book, Killing Time: short stories from the long way home, debuted at #1 on the non-fiction book charts.

Hoodoo Gurus are one of the country’s favourite bands, melding together their distinctly Australian sound with a big chunk of punk attitude, making them a formidable force for more than 35 years. This is a band that helped give loud guitars a new lease of life, back when synthesisers ruled the airwaves back in the early ‘80s. The Gurus are still going strong releasing three new singles this year – Answered Prayers, Hung Out To Dry and Get Out Of Dodge – and have a new album, and 40th anniversary celebrations, scheduled for 2021.

After a sell-out tour in 2019, Jon Stevens returns to thrill audiences far and wide with the Noiseworks & INXS Collection, which pays homage to the bands that helped cement him as Aussie rock royalty. With a career that spans more than four decades, Jon has a swag of solo hits to his name, as well as songs which have become all-time favourites from his time with bands Noiseworks, INXS and the Dead Daisies. His performance will feature hit after hit and have punters on their feet from start to finish.

Diesel brings a special show to the stage in 2021, with Re-injected 30thAnniversary. It is hard to believe that it has been little over three decades since the release of his debut album Johnny Diesel and the Injectors. Since then Diesel has released a swag of albums and forged an impressive solo career, but has always had a soft spot for the classic singles spawned from that original release. His 2021 show will revisit the essence of that record, including singles Don’t Need Love, Cry In Shame and Soul Revival, to name a few, as well as other beloved hits from throughout his career.

Vika & Linda have long been revered for their soulful vocals, and their most recent album Sunday (The Gospel According to Iso), which smashed onto the ARIA charts in 2020 at #2, highlights they truly are an Australian treasure. Their previous release – Akilotoa – Anthology 1996-2004 – hit #1 on the ARIA Charts in 2020 also. As inductees in the Music Victoria Hall of Fame in 2019, they have been nominated for four ARIA awards, and have collaborated vocally on numerous #1 albums. They recorded three classic albums with The Black Sorrows, and have six studio albums, two live albums and a chart-topping Anthology to their name.

Chris Cheney is revered as one of the country’s most phenomenal guitarists, and as lead-singer of rockabilly band The Living End, has been touring the world for more than three decades. Responsible for penning the smash hit singles Second Solution / Prisoner of Society, All Torn Down and Roll on to name a few, he has released eight studio albums with The Living End and have a massive fan base not only in Australia, but also the United States and United Kingdom.

Tickets for second leg of the 2021 RED HOT SUMMER TOUR go on sale at 9am on Thursday 3rd December. Tickets for the first leg of the tour are on sale now. Tickets are only available through Ticketmaster. Punters are advised not to purchase tickets from Viagogo or other Third Party Sellers, as fraudulent tickets will not be honoured.

Tom Curtain, Lee Kernaghan and Sara Storer tribute to Joy McKean vies for Heritage Song of the Year Golden Guitar

She Gave Us The Song, a tribute to Joy McKean, is in the running for the 2021 Golden Guitar for Heritage Song of the Year.

Kelly Dixon and Garth Porter penned the song, a collaboration between Tom Curtain, Lee Kernaghan and Sara Storer, featured on Tom’s latest album, We’re Still Here.

The song has already featured at the Golden Guitar Awards presentation, with Tom, Sara, Lee, Troy Cassar-Daley and Lyn Bowtell joining forces at the 2020 event for the finale song in front of music royalty.

“It was humbling to get up there with those amazing artists and perform the song in front of a packed house, but having Joy sitting in the front row was very nerve-wracking,” he said.

“It’s an honour to pay tribute to Joy through this song with Lee and Sara because she has done so much for country music and for Slim Dusty and is a great songwriter in her own right.

“It’s particularly special to have She Gave Us The Song in the top five finalist tracks of the Heritage Song of the Year category in the year the Slim and I documentary also paid tribute to the contribution Joy has made to Australian country music.”

Tom won Heritage Song of the Year with Never Never Land in 2018, with Luke O’Shea.

To view the performance of She Gave Us The Song at the 2020 Golden Guitar Awards, click here.

Tom is preparing to start his In The West tour in December, which will take him and his Katherine Outback Experience horse and dog show through Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory if border restrictions allow.

ONLINE EDUCATIONAL EVENT TO FEATURE SUPERSTARS AND LEADERS OF THE COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY

The Country Music Association of Australia Inc. are proud to announce the first ever ‘Academy X’ online educational event to take place Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 January, 2021. The Academy X program will feature superstars and leaders of the country music industry giving students invaluable information on various aspects of the music industry, including songwriting, record labels, publishing, management, festivals and touring, recording, performance, video production and media strategies. There will be a focus on resilience, innovation and mental health in a post-COVID world.

The two-day course will feature key note presentations by country music superstars Troy Cassar-Daley, Brooke McClymont, Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Shane Nicholson, Amber Lawrence, Fanny Lumsden and Caitlyn Shadbolt along with industry leaders including Matt Fell (award winning producer, Love Hz Studio), Julz Parker (award winning producer), Dan Biddle (Artist Manager and Chairman, CMAA), Natalie Waller (Head of ABC Music & Events and Vice-Chair, CMAA), Duncan Toombs (award winning video director, The Filmery), Geoff Bell (Agent & Promoter, Laing Entertainment) and Simon Johnson (multi-instrumentalist and producer, Hillbilly Hut), as well as Support Act with a presentation on mental health and resilience in the music industry.

Group leaders and mentors for the students will include award-winning artists Lyn Bowtell, Dobe Newton, Roger Corbett, Catherine Britt, Amber Lawrence, Lachlan Bryan, Ashleigh Dallas, Kevin Bennett, David Carter, Jayne Denham and Mickey Pye and they will provide the intensive hands on experience that has been an integral part of The Academy for so long.

The Academy (previously known as the CMAA Academy of Country Music) has operated from Tamworth since 1997, normally running for two weeks preceding the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth. The news of the move to the online format follows the announcement that the Tamworth Country Music Festival will be suspended for 2021 in light of restrictions due to COVID-19. This is the first time in the 24-year history of The Academy that an in-person event will not take place in January.

The Academy has been an important steppingstone in the careers of hundreds of artists including Jessica Mauboy, Brooke McClymont, Sara Storer, Travis Collins, Amber Lawrence, Adam Eckersley, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Judah Kelly, Kylie Sackley, The Sunny Cowgirls, Ashleigh Dallas, Melanie Dyer, Imogen Clark and many more. Academy X is set to continue that tradition and give a fresh group of emerging artists and songwriters the chance to connect with some of the best in the business and forge long-lasting connections with their peers.

The Academy Director, Lyn Bowtell and General Manager, Roger Corbett (both multi award-winning singer-songwriters) are excited by the opportunity to continue the important educational experience that The Academy provides, albeit in an online setting.

Corbett said, “Academy X is available to artists and songwriters from Australia and the world. From past Academy students looking to refresh and expand their careers to first time students gaining insights into the country music industry, they’ll be able to gain inspiration and insight from this amazing line up of key-note speakers and hands-on group leaders.”

Bowtell added “Students can expect the same passion and focus that our lecturers bring to the in-person version of the Academy and we look forward to nurturing the next crop of country music stars in a post-COVID world”.

CMAA Chairman, Dan Biddle noted, “We thank all of the key-note speakers and mentors who will come together to deliver an online presentation which will educate and unite our emerging country music artists.” He added “We look forward to The Academy returning to Tamworth in a physical capacity when restrictions ease and until that time, Academy X will provide the platform our industry needs in order to foster new talent for the future.”

Registrations for Academy X open at 11am Friday, October 16

with early bird pricing available until Monday, November 30

To register or for more information, visit www.academycountrymusic.com.au.

Manning Riverstage Opening concert fundraiser for the Australian Children’s Music Foundation

A major concert fundraiser hosted by the Rotary Club of Taree will take place on Friday 6 November
2020 (7pm-9pm) – at the new Rotary/Lions Manning River Stage at Queen Elizabeth Park.
The “Riverstage Opening” event will showcase the magnificent foreshore entertainment space – with
monies raised going directly to support the incredible work of The Australian Children’s Music
Foundation (ACMF) within the Taree Schools Group.
Pending government regulations, the event will see as many people gather along the banks of the
river as restrictions permit. To allow for greater access and donations, the concert will be made
available online via live Stream-a-thon, enabled by Pluto Entertainment.
The Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF) is a not-for-profit organisation inspiring
creativity and imagination by providing weekly music education classes and instruments to
disadvantaged children and youth at risk throughout Australia.
The ACMF has been delivering life-changing music programs to Manning Schools for almost a decade
at: Chatham High School, Chatham Public, Manning Gardens, Taree High, and Taree Public – with the
continued support of the Future Generation Investment Company, and Manning Valley Rotary Clubs.
The charity was founded in 2002, by singer/songwriter and talented entertainer, DON SPENCER
OAM. For over 18 years Don has worked to provide long term music education to disadvantaged
children across Australia.
Local teachers, Matt Zarb, Brad Bunyan and Stuart Lovell motivate, educate, and inspire school
children through a broad variety of music tuition, such as singing and song-writing, percussion,
drumming, guitar tuition, the forming of school bands, and music for special needs units. The ACMF
recently introduced a bushfire relief music program within the area, to aid the healing and recovery
of children and families affected.
Don Spencer will be present at “Riverstage Opening” concert – accompanied by a line-up of
outstanding music acts, including Rob Mills (who will compare the event pending Covid Government
restrictions), Casey Donovan, Darren Jack, James Johnston, Keanu Jai Live, Jake Davey, the
Taree High Support Unit, and a sensational performance by ACMF music students.
The “Riverstage Opening” concert presents an opportunity for local audiences to contribute to a very
important cause: benefiting the emotional and mental health of children, through music. For more
information, visit: www.acmf.com.au