Nicholson pours Love and Blood into new release

By Rebecca Belt

A PRODUCER handing the reins of his own album to someone else can be a daunting experience, but it’s a plan that’s working out for Shane Nicholson and Matt Fell. Shane’s latest album, Love and Blood, sees Matt back in the production chair and Shane taking on the role of solely being the artist.

“Making my record, is not something I do in my studio anymore because I enjoy the process more if I’m just an artist,’ he said. “I did more of that this time and went down the same path.”

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BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music celebrates

WEDNESDAY may be hump day in the rest of the world, but at the CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music, every day is a party and we’re on the downhill run to our amazing graduation concert at 7pm on Friday night at Calrossy Anglican School.

Everywhere you turn at the academy, there is music. There are small groups going over the songs they will perform that they may have written together, there is the band rehearsing their songs and learning charts and there are full-on rehearsals happening in the hall in preparation for one of the biggest nights of the students’ careers so far.

With rehearsals for the grad concert in full swing, the tension and nerves are almost palpable no matter where you go on campus, but it all makes for an amazing experience. This is all mixed with media interviews and today another four students appeared on radio with Jon Wolfe and Jodie Crosby. Continue reading

BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country getting to pointy end

I’m a day late with this update, sorry. Day 4, Tuesday, was the biggest day at academy thus far. I can’t believe we’re halfway through already!

Tuesday brought with it more co-writing with Allan Caswell and Aleyce Simmonds as well as the group leaders and the students have been writing with their peers. I’m amazed at the calibre of the songs these young people are coming up with. I would find it very difficult to write a news story with someone else, let along pour my emotions or my story out into a song with someone else’s input. I am truly amazed by their talents. Continue reading

BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music talent astounds

DAY 3 dawned in below zero temperatures as is the case at this time of the year in Tamworth, but the talent and music coming out of this CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music is hot, hot, hot.

The biggest news on the block was former student Judah Kelly’s win on The Voice. There were massive celebrations here last night in the boarding house, with cups of tea as it’s a dry academy.

Today we had the company of Allison Forbes again, along with fellow Tamworth artist Aleyce Simmonds and Allan Caswell was back in the writer’s hot seat. Joining us to chat about media and country music magazines was Country Music Capital News manager Cheryl Byrnes. Continue reading

BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music Welcome

THE students, parents, group leaders and support staff members have moved in and the CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music is up and running. Coming from as far away as Western Australia and Tasmania, the students are in for a treat during their eight-day intensive course.

Excitement was high as they all arrived in Tamworth on Friday night and Saturday moved into their rooms at Calrossy Anglican School on Saturday morning. The students and parents all got to know each other on Saturday afternoon as the students ran through songs for the show on Saturday night at The Pub.

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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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