Country on Keppel keeps the music playing

Country on Keppel will get the party started in November with new dates, a revamped line-up, and a new headline artist.

Award-winning artist and musician Matt Cornell is the newest addition to the line-up to bring country to Great Keppel Island on November 13-15 in a COVID-safe manner.

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 border restrictions, festival organisers have had to postpone performances by Jasmine Rae, Johnny Taylor, Danny Phegan and Aaron Jurd as they would all have to travel from interstate.

Singer-songwriter and musician Matt Cornell wears a number of musical hats as a solo artist in his own right, one-half of Cornell and Carr, and as Adam Brand’s musical director and band member.

Country has not been his only musical home, either: for three years he was a member of iconic rock band The Baby Animals, and has been a member of Richard Clapton’s and Shannon Noll’s bands and has opened for artists including Richard Marx.

Matt is a multiple Golden Guitar and CMC Music Awards finalist and won a CMC Music Award for ARIA Award for Highest Selling Australian Artist with Adam Brand and The Outlaws and he’s keen to make his Country on Keppel debut in two months.

“It’s always exciting being involved with a new festival,” Cornell said.

“Country On Keppel is only in its second year and held in such a unique setting – who wouldn’t want to head to an island, drink cocktails, listen to country music and hang out with likeminded people?

“Do you feel like hanging out on Great Keppel Island with James Blundell, Brad Butcher and a bunch of my mates for some live music and some cold beer?”

Festival organiser Peter Blundell said Country on Keppel offered a unique experience for music lovers.

“There aren’t a lot of other country festivals on an island and the relaxed atmosphere of the festival means fans will have access to the artists,” he said.

“It’s a very family-oriented festival and fans can enjoy the music while being barefoot in the sand or listen to the music and then go for a swim in the ocean.”

James Blundell returns as a headliner and will join other others including Cornell, Butcher, Tony Cook, Saltbush Six, and Anna Farquhar, with more Queensland artists to be announced in coming weeks.

Held on the weekend of November 13-15 at Great Keppel Island Hideaway, the sweet sounds of the best in country music will drift on the breeze across the Capricorn Coast, starting with the Green Brothers Country on Keppel Talent Search on the Friday night with prizes including a Takamine guitar worth $1000 plus a hard case, and a performance at this year’s festival.

From Saturday morning , a mix of award-winning and up-and-coming artists will take to the stage with a focus on contemporary Australian country.

“At a time when it’s all doom and gloom, along comes Country On Keppel,” Cornell said.

“I haven’t performed since January 2020, so I can’t wait to get on stage with my band.

“I’ll be playing songs from all four albums, some Cornell & Carr tunes, and some of my favourite covers – this is going to be one hell of a party.”

For those wanting to stay on the island, accommodation is selling fast, so music lovers are asked to get in quick. Call (07) 4939 2050 for packages and more details or visit Great Keppel Island Hideaway.

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