Darren Coggan focused on The Wide Horizon

By Rebecca Belt
THE Wide Horizon could well be one of the most highly anticipated albums on the Australian country music calendar for 2017.

Singer-songwriter Darren Coggan is back with a range of songs that blend to form a work that makes you want to slide it into your car stereo and hit the road. As well as celebrating the country we live in and a couple of songs that have defined Australian music, The Wide Horizon also celebrates Darren’s love for his wife and children.
“The album overall is a really very accurate representation and picture of who I am in my life,” Darren said.
“With Peace Train (the Cat Stevens show), I have travelled a lot and it’s opened my eyes to a new audience and new way of performance and reaching out to people. This album really represents those last few years.” Continue reading

CMAA announces junior academy class of 2017

THE Country Music Association of Australia will welcome another 24 students to its Junior Academy of Country Music in Tamworth in July.

The 24 students will travel from as far away as Western Australia and as close as Loomberah with Tamworth local, Harriet Oates attending.

Hailing from five Australian states, 13 hail from NSW, seven from Queensland, two from Victoria and one each from South Australia and Western Australia with 20 females and four males in total.

The students range in age from 12-17 and five are attending the singer-songwriter’s course on scholarships and there are three instrumental course students.

2016 CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music students and tutors. Photo: Northern Daily Leader

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Ty Herndon gets honest before Tamworth concert

By Rebecca Belt

THE 1990s produced some of the absolute best country artists around, particularly when it comes to the US. Among the artists at the forefront of this amazing decade of country was Ty Herndon and now he’s coming to Australia for the first time. Not only is he coming to Australia, but Tamworth is firmly in his sights.

Ty plays West Tamworth League Club on Sunday, May 7 from 7.30pm.

“I know that Australia loves country music and I’ve never played in Australia before, so I’m just looking forward to people seeing my show and meeting super cool people,” he said.
He’s made sure that he and partner, Matthew, have time to soak up as much of Australia as they can, as well as work, so he’s got the Golden Guitar firmly on his radar and said he hoped to visit some children in hospital as he does in the US.

The trip to Australia came about after discussions with his publicist.
“She said there were some people interested in Australia and before she even got the sentence out of her mouth, I said yes,” Ty said.
“It’s been on my bucket list for many years and I’m old friends with Keith Urban.”

Photo: Jeremy Ryan

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Beccy Cole and Adam Harvey inspired by classics

AFTER the success of The Great Country Song Book I with Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey approached his good mate Beccy Cole to duet with him on the second edition and they’re taking it on the road.

Adam Harvey said the live show was going to be fun for him and the audience as Beccy was a one-of-a-kind entertainer.
“Hardest part is trying to keep her focused because she just cracks me up,” he said. “The hardest part for her is having to look at me and sing those love songs.”

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NeillyRich is Here Now Forever

THE wait is over for NeillyRich fans are they get ready to release their album, Here Now Forever,  on Friday, April 28.

HERE Now Forever is an album that captures the personalities of NeillyRich. The exciting duo, made up of Matthew McNeilly and Amelia Richards, earnestly describe their music as having a ‘modern feel with an old soul’ just like them.

“It is a country album at heart that dabbles in the blues, rock and pop. It really has something for everyone,” McNeilly said. “No two songs on the record are similar.” Continue reading

Nashville headed to Tamworth

AUSTRALIAN-BORN, US-based singer-songwriter-actress, Clare Bowen, today announced that she will include Tamworth on her extensive ten-date concert series around Australia in July.

Last year, Clare embarked on her debut Australian tour and sold out seven East Coast dates almost instantaneously. This year she includes Tamworth on July 11 where she will play Blazes in Wests as well as some of the country’s premiere theatre venues, beginning at Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre on Monday, July 3.

Perhaps best known for her leading role as Scarlett O’Connor on the US prime-time TV series

Clare Bowen is headed to Tamworth. Photo: Maarten de Boer/Contour, Getty Images

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Gympie Muster Music promises top music for mates

THIS year’s Gympie Music Muster line-up is the quintessential Australian music experience, featuring 100% homegrown Aussie talent. Headlining the dynamic all-Australian line-up of this year’s festival is two time ARIA Award winner, multi-platinum selling artist and one of our most successful female vocalists, Jessica Mauboy.

“I have always dreamed of playing the Muster” said Jessica. “This is an honour and a thrill and I am going bring my best country A-game.”

Now in its 36th year, this iconic music event is one of Australia’s largest charity festivals, and this year’s line-up is not to be missed. 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.
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Rory Ellis pushes boundaries on One Skin

By Rebecca Belt

RORY Ellis is pushing the boundaries with his eighth album as he celebrates a new chapter in his life through his style of alt-country.

Rory Ellis - Colour 2

UK journalist Brett Callwood described Ellis’ voice as making the hairs on your arms stand up “simply by opening his mouth and uttering a few throaty words” and likened him to Leonard Cohen. His vocals complement the stories and songs on One Skin, demonstrating the diversity of Americana music as Ellis takes listeners on a journey woven through country, blues and folk and the ever-present chromatic harmonica.
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Lee Kernaghan’s silver anniversary for The Outback Club

By Rebecca Belt
IT’S HARD to believe it’s been 25 years since The Outback Club was released, but Lee Kernaghan celebrates in style tonight, March 26 at CMC Rocks Queensland. He will launch The 25th Anniversary Album tonight on main stage in front of about 15,000 country music fans.

Released on Friday, March 24, the album has already met with rave reviews and debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Chart.
“Launching and releasing an album is always a pretty special occasion – like the birth of a baby,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of good feedback from people on social media.”
Kernaghan said, although he had released plenty of album over the years, there was still a “little bit of trepidation”, but he felt comfortable that this album would be well-received.
“There are nine duets on the album, so I knew that if the album wasn’t well-received, I had plenty of other people to blame,” he laughed.

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