Monthly Archives: January 2021


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.