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?”

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Luke O’Shea and Lyn Bowtell vie for golden trifecta

Luke O’Shea could add to his collection of nine Golden Guitars, after snagging three spots at today’s finalist announcement event in Sydney.

O’Shea released Sing Me A Story, a duet with Lyn Bowtell, in late September, his first release in three years and it is a finalist in APRA AMCOS Song of the Year, Heritage Song of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year. He already has five Heritage Song of the Year Golden Guitars to his name.

The multi-Golden Guitar winner said he was grateful Sing Me A Story has connected so strongly with industry personnel and his country music peers.

“Lyn Bowtell and myself are so very grateful and super appreciative of the support our duet, Sing Me A Story, has received from all aspects of the Australian country music industry,” he said.

“It’s been a long time between drinks for me, personally, and the fact the leading single from my upcoming album has been able to connect with peers and audiences to this extent is very humbling and deeply satisfying.”

O’Shea wrote the song with Felicity Urquhart in front of other songwriters at The DAG Songwriter’s Retreat outside of Nundle and the single heralds a new album for the Sutherland Shire artist.

“A special thanks goes out to the wonderful Felicity Urquhart who I wrote this song with, out at the magnificent DAG Sheep Station Songwriters Retreat and also Sean Rudd who has worked tirelessly on it through it’s many ebbs and flows,” he said.

“It certainly inspires me to keep on keeping on with my aim of singing up this incredible country of ours and I cannot wait to share my upcoming album, There In The Ochre, with you all come the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival.”

Luke O’Shea at the announcement of the 2020 Golden Guitar finalists. Photo: Lisa Williams

Aaron Jurd and The Banned make Nambucca debut

AARON Jurd and The Banned have new songs to share with music lovers and they’re bringing them to Nambucca Heads on June 1.

This will be the first show on the North Coast for Jurd, who hails from Lake Macquarie and the bowls club audience is in for a treat.

“I’m so excited to play at Nambucca Heads Bowling Club with The Banned,” he said.

“I’ve just released my second single and I can’t wait to play it, my other originals and lots of people’s favourites at the show.”

Jurd’s single, Hard To Breathe, debuted in the top 20 iTunes Country Songs Chart on release day, April 12, and his debut single, Set me On Fire, charted at No. 5 on release in September last year. He will be performing these among his originals and everyone’s favourite country, rock and pop songs with musicians Carmel Smith and Ric Durand of The Banned.

As well as performing regularly in the Central Coast and Hunter Valley area, Jurd completed a short tour of the Riverina area in April, and is working hard to get his songs in front of new audiences. Aaron Jurd and The Banned have performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, country races and have just been announced for performances at the Deni Ute Muster, Bluewater Country Music Festival in Port Stephens and Hats off to Country in Tamworth coming up.

It’s not all about music for the singer-songwriter on this trip, as he plans to explore and embrace as much of the local area as he can on this visit.

“I haven’t been to Nambucca Heads before, but I’ve heard a lot about the area and how beautiful it is, so we will try to do some sightseeing while we are there,” Jurd said.

“I’m really looking forward meeting the locals and playing some songs for them.”

With a voice that leaves audiences raving about his performances and songs that make you want to get up and dance, you won’t want to miss this show at Nambucca Heads Bowling Club on Saturday, June 1.

Keep up-to-date with all of Aaron’s news on Facebook.

Tim McGraw headlines Deni’s 21st birthday celebrations

Australia’s iconic Deni Ute Muster turns 21 next year and organisers are thrilled to announce that international country superstar, Tim McGraw, will headline the event to be held on 4 and 5 October 2019. Tim McGraw has sold more than 50 million records and dominated the charts with 43 worldwide #1 singles. He’s won 3 Grammy Awards, 16 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, 11 American Music Awards, 3 People’s Choice Awards and numerous other honours. He also starred in and narrated the hit movie “The Shack” as well as roles in “Friday Night Lights” and “The Blind Side.”
Tim McGraw will headline the 21st Deni Ute Muster
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Tom Curtain takes top independent honours

SINGER-SONGWRITER Tom Curtain’s trophy shelf is groaning after adding another four accolades to his name at The Southern Stars Australian Independent Country Music Awards in Mildura on Saturday night.

The Katherine country artist couldn’t ask for a better year than 2018 after winning Independent Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Independent Artist of the Year.

These come on top of two Golden Guitars in Tamworth in January for his song and video for Never Never Land with Luke O’Shea. A few short months ago, he also got married to Annabel McLarty, making 2018 a year that’s hard to beat.

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Morgan Wallen gets Up Down Under for CMC Rocks 2019

UP DOWN singer Morgan Wallen is shining proof that life can throw you curveballs when it comes to your childhood ambitions, but your dreams can still come true. He will add to those achievements when he heads to Australian for CMC Rocks 2019 in March.

The US singer-songwriter had dreams of being a professional baseball player, but an injury forced him to change his life direction and now he’s playing the stadiums he dreamed of as a child, just in a different field.

Morgan Wallen will join other international and Australian acts at CMC Rocks 2019. 
Photo: supplied

Morgan has released three singles – The Way I Talk, his latest Whiskey Glasses, but it was his second, Up Down, that caught the ears of new country fans, when he teamed up with chart-toppers Florida Georgia Line.

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CMC Rocks Queensland 2019 artists announced




Thomas Rhett is among the headliners announced for CMC Rocks 2019




*Campers entrance only


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More Tamworth tix to come

It may be the Queen’s Birthday public holiday in many states, but the Tamworth Country Music Festival is giving country fans the gifts with more shows on sale for the biggest country music festival in Australia on Monday, October 1.

With existing tickets in high demand, festival goers will be pleased to hear that additional shows are now available to add into their schedules for the 47th Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth.

Adam Brand returns with his festival-favourite show, the Birthday Bash

The DAG Sheep Station, Capitol Theatre and Tamworth Town Hall are just some of venues that will be drawing in the crowds as tickets for popular artists including The Pigs and Sara Storer and collaborations for Australian & Great Britain Country Showcase and Songwriters Retreat Showcase come up for grabs from Monday.

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Dean Brody’s Australian Dirt Road Stories

AS WE count down to the announcement of the CMC Rocks Queensland 2019 artist announcement, Rebecca Belt revisits some of her CMC Rocks 2018 interviews.

A FLYING visit Down Under in March saw Dean Brody perform twice at CMC Rocks Queensland to the delight of the Australian country music lovers.

Arriving on the Wednesday prior to the festival and leaving on Sunday didn’t give the Canadian singer-songwriter a lot of time in the country, but enough time to leave a lasting impression with new and old fans, alike.

The singer-songwriter said he would love to return to Australia and spend a month or more here to really appreciate the country and soak up the sights.

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Gympie Muster raises more than $150,000 for charities

The 37th annual Gympie Music Muster has wrapped up for another year after more than 1700 volunteers, working around 15,000 hours, built a once-in-a-lifetime Muster experience.

The biggest not-for-profit festival of its kind in the country ran from August 23-26, 2018 and raised more than $153,000 for charity and community groups with the Muster’s grass-roots passion for giving back to regional Australia growing stronger.

Early reports suggest around $25,000 was raised for this year’s official charity partner Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia across the four days, with the Muster’s own Biggest Ever Bloke’s Lunch event a sellout. A further $128,000 was donated to more than 30 local community groups.

“The PCFA have been overwhelmed by the support and success of this year’s Muster,” PCFA spokesperson Peter Duffy said.

“The Muster board, staff, Apex, volunteers and entertainers have been fantastic. In addition, to the broader Muster community and crowd who have been so generous, we say thank you. Men in regional Australia are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer, so the opportunity to raise awareness in this community has been invaluable. 

“The funds raised will help PCFA to continue to provide research, awareness and support to the men and families affected by prostate cancer.”

The 2018 festival also saw increased sales of four-day passes, with an aggregate audience of 22,000 patrons. Muster-goers enjoyed three days of warmth and sunny skies, with light rain on the Sunday a welcome break to the dry spell.

A mix of iconic crowd favourites and new program elements kept audiences happy, with The Wolfe Brothers, John Williamson, Travis Collins and Lee Kernaghan bringing record crowds to the Muster hill on Friday. Crowds packed into the festival’s new workshops and panels, and rocked out to the newly-expanded Blues program.

“With a program that we tried to pack with variety, it’s difficult to pick just a few highlights,” Program Director Jeff Chandler said. 

“However, some were just so outstanding that they were simply the talk of the festival: undoubtedly Lee Kernaghan’s main stage performance to a massive crowd on the hill will go down as one of the most memorable of his career, while the highly entertaining Melbourne Ska Orchestra had the audience dancing like never before seen at the Muster. 

“The Vox Guitar Jam set a high bar for all future jams with unforgettable performances by Albert Lee, Tim Gaze, Ian Moss, Troy Cassar-Daley, Minnie Marks and Lloyd Speigel, who, in my opinion, was one of the real ‘finds’ of the festival for many patrons.

“Despite a wet start to the last day of the festival, the finale, which featured some of the biggest stars on the line-up performing ‘Songs I Wish I’d Written’, was definitely one of the most memorable ends to the event patrons have witnessed.”

Lee Kernaghan had the Muster crowd in the palm of his hand.

The Vox Guitar Jam had the Jim Beam Blues Bar packed to the rafters on Saturday, highlighting some of the best guitarists in the scene with two hours of pure shredding including rock legends Ian Moss, Tim Gaze, Albert Lee (UK) and many more.

Ian Moss shared the stage with fellow guitar legends at the Blues Bar.

Saturday night also saw long-time member of the Muster family Troy Cassar-Daley take to the main stage, with a special guest appearance from his wife Laurel, whom he met at the Muster 25 years ago. His performance also saw him dust off some of his iconic hits, previewing exclusively at the Muster from his greatest hits album to be released later this year.

Troy Cassar-Daley and his wife, Laurel, are an institution in the Muster community.

“A Gympie Music Muster is always something special, but there was something extra special about this one,” headliner Beccy Cole said. 

“There is nothing like taking the stage and entertaining a Gympie crowd; they are already feeling fantastic just by being here. What a privilege it was to present our songs, old and new, to this wonderful audience.”

With this year’s festival done and dusted, patrons can look forward to plenty more Muster spirit in 2019.

Held in the Amamoor Creek State Forest in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland, two hours north of Brisbane and 40 minutes from Noosa, the Muster is the perfect way to kick back and enjoy some of the country’s best talent. An unmissable and uniquely Australian event, one ticket price gives Muster goers free camping and multi-venue access to all performances, to experience everything Australia’s biggest country music celebration has to offer.

It also gives a multi-million dollar boost to Queensland’s tourism sector every year, providing an economic boom for the region.

To book tickets for next year visit

– press release