No stopping Lyn Bowtell

By Rebecca Belt
MULTI-GOLDEN Guitar finalist Lyn Bowtell is the embodiment of the show must go on mantra. Not one to let anyone down, the singer-songwriter has been unwell since mid-December and hospitalised three times since but kept up all music commitments. She directed the CMAA Academy of Country Music for the first two weeks of January then threw herself into Tamworth Country Music Festival appearances and shows.
Last Sunday, though, she was again hospitalised, spending Sunday night and Monday in Tamworth Hospital.
“I was watching Toyota Star Maker, being the 20th year since I won, and supporting all the people who has entered,” Bowtell said.
“I sat down with the students from the academy and we got to half time and I stood up to get dinner the pain hit severely.”lyn-bowtell-damon Continue reading

Country music meets bowls

THE Wednesday of the Tamworth Country Music Festival saw me juggle publicity commitments for artists and defence, do an interview as I returned to being a journalist, write stories and play lawn bowls for the country music team against the Tamworth Regional Council mayor’s team.
It is a different look at the festival for me this year, after more than a decade of writing about it, and I’m loving the new perspective.
I spent time with the talented Adam Brand who has a surprise for his fans with his new album, which comes out in a couple of weeks. It’s upbeat and fun and encompasses everything that Adam is about.img_3234 Continue reading

Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart hit the stage tonight

WHILE their country music mates were still rolling into Tamworth, two-thirds of Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart were well and truly acclimatised to the city by the time festival arrived.
The trio hit the stage today, Wednesday, January 25, at Wests from 5pm in Blazes Showroom after Kevin Bennett and Lyn Bowtell have spent two weeks at the CMAA Academy of Country Music as group leader and director, respectively.
The way the three stars in their own right sing together is magical and this show is not to be missed.
Their album is up for five Golden Guitars and Bowtell is up for a further two with other projects.
“We don’t expect anything, so when you get something, it’s amazing,” Bennett said.
“We worked really hard on this album.”bbu Continue reading

Peel St – a must-see experience

Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban busking on Peel St for charity... I was there and about 15. Photo: Northern Daily Leader

Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban busking on Peel St for charity… I was there and about 15. Photo: Northern Daily Leader

TODAY, Tuesday, brought me a fairly quiet day in relation to shows and music. I spent most of the day in the CMAA office/ media centre writing and organising interviews, but I love that I can still enjoy the sounds of Peel St, or the Boulevard of Dreams.
Many people may think buskers are on Peel St because they can’t get a gig elsewhere, but that’s not always the case. For many, it is a starting point, but for others it is where they love getting in touch with their fans in the closest possible way – right at their level on the street at the mercy of the crowds. Continue reading

Fly, Doctor, Fly

TONIGHT’S blog post is dedicated to all those artists who take time out of their massive Tamworth Country Music Festival schedules to play at charity events for free. They expect nothing in return except the knowledge they are contributing to a worthy cause.
After a day on Peel Street and writing stories and press releases at the very warm media centre, I spent the evening at the Fly Doctor Fly fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Tamworth’s own Brendan Nawrocki organised it after he and I both shaved our heads for the cause in October last year. He decided he could do more and he proved that in bucket loads tonight.img_2597 Continue reading

Inspirational Sunday

AS MUCH as I love the festival, today it stepped up a notch with a chat with the always lovely Luke O’Shea and the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final in Bicentennial Park.
Earlier today, I sat down to have a chat with Luke about his work with Defence Care as an ambassador with Amber Lawrence, and about his three finalist placings in the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia. Australian country music is full of so many talented and intelligent singer-songwriters and Luke would have to be up there with the best of them. These artists are not afraid to shy away from the big issues in the world and the things that matter to them, personally, and affect everyone in the nation. They are a major inspiration to this little country journo.luke-cruisin-country-bec Continue reading

Family-friendly festival fun

TODAY was one of the best days at the Tamworth Country Music Festival I have had.
It began with the announcement of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Hands of Fame inductees at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. Brendon T.Moylan and Floreena Forbes were inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Amber Lawrence, The Davidson Brothers, Ginger Cox and Gary Ellis.img_2023 Continue reading

Matt Henry launches first album – Love Without Co-Dependency

By Rebecca Belt
THE Tamworth Country Music Festival is the ideal place to launch new product for artists, but for Matt Henry, this moment has been 20 years in the making.
Love Without Co-Dependency is an album that’s been 20 years in the making and was released on the first day of festival, January 20.matthenrylovewithoutcodependency
“It seems like it’s been a long time coming because I started recording with Shane (Nicholson) in December last year for two weeks then went back to him in May and recorded more,” Henry said. “I’ve been working on these songs for a couple of years.”
Henry said choosing the songs was a collaboration between Nicholson and himself as he wrote and sent him a bunch of songs and Nicholson chose the songs he believed were the strongest to formulate a sound and create the album.
“I was probably listening to a lot of Americana and bluegrass while I was writing, so there is more of that sound on the album,” Henry said. “In America, it’s been a really strong, solid sub-genre of its own for a long time and now, in Australia, it’s growing.”
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And the rain tumbles down

TAMWORTH is not known for it’s wet climate, but the weather gods made camping, outdoor concerts and street busking as uncomfortable as they could today as storms and rain streamed into town quicker than caravanners.

After working this morning, we braved the downpours and headed to Peel St to check out what the buskers had to offer this afternoon. However, there were only a few who decided to play in all weather conditions. Although there wasn’t a lot of music to be had at times, the city is full of people coming to soak up the country music atmosphere and we have it in droves.

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