Amber Lawrence calls to Bring It Back

All music lovers are counting the moments until live concerts and festivals return, and Amber Lawrence has summed this up in her latest single, Bring It Back.

Written from the perspective of someone standing in the audience with their on a balmy summer night with a drink in their hands and their favourite artist is about to walk on stage.

“Music still hasn’t returned to that point where there are no restrictions and when I wrote the song, I was visualizing myself at Gympie,” Amber said.

“Big festivals have had to cancel and there is so much that goes with that for the artists, support services, food providers and the fans and others involved in the industry.

“For a lot of people, going to festivals and concerts is their hobby where they catch up with their mates and they only know them because they met them in the mosh pit somewhere.”

Although we are all missing the live music scene being what it used to be, Bring It Back isn’t a sad song; it’s a positive message as we look forward to getting back to doing what we love.

“The song has that party vibe that this will happen eventually, but there’s some real nostalgia in it, too, especially for the bigger artists – they haven’t worked for two years,” Amber said.

“I hope it’s got some nostalgia in it for a lot of people. This is a different style for me and is the first song off the album and shows I am moving forward in my sound and pushing the boundaries a little, but Bring It Back is not necessarily representative of the sound on the new album.”

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CMAA ANNOUNCES FIRST EVER ‘ACADEMY X’

JANUARY 9 & 10, 2021

ONLINE EDUCATIONAL EVENT TO FEATURE SUPERSTARS AND LEADERS OF THE COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY

Registrations open now at www.academycountrymusic.com.au.

The Country Music Association of Australia Inc. is proud to announce the first ever ‘Academy X’ online educational event to take place Saturday, January 9 and 10, 2021. The Academy X program will feature superstars and leaders of the country music industry giving students invaluable information on various aspects of the music industry, including songwriting, record labels, publishing, management, festivals and touring, recording, performance, video production and media strategies. There will be a focus on resilience, innovation and mental health in a post-COVID world.

The two-day course will feature key note presentations by country music superstars Troy Cassar-Daley, Brooke McClymont, Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Shane Nicholson, Amber Lawrence, Fanny Lumsden and Caitlyn Shadbolt along with industry leaders including Matt Fell (award winning producer, Love Hz Studio), Julz Parker (award winning producer), Dan Biddle (artist manager and CMAA chairman), Natalie Waller (ABC Music and Events head and CMAA vice-chair), Duncan Toombs (award winning video director, The Filmery), Geoff Bell (agent and promoter, Laing Entertainment) and Simon Johnson (multi-instrumentalist and producer, Hillbilly Hut), as well as Support Act with a presentation on mental health and resilience in the music industry.

Group leaders and mentors for the students will include award-winning artists Lyn Bowtell, Dobe Newton, Roger Corbett, Catherine Britt, Amber Lawrence, Lachlan Bryan, Ashleigh Dallas, Kevin Bennett, David Carter, Jayne Denham and Mickey Pye and they will provide the intensive hands on experience that has been an integral part of The Academy for so long.

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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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Cornell & Carr’s COVID creativity

By Bec Gracie

Cornell & Carr have not let a global pandemic dampen their creativity and there’s new music on the way, following on from their debut album, We Go Way Back.

Before COVID-19 shut down the touring scene, the Golden Guitar finalists were slated to tour with Adam Brand, and had taken on management with Ian “Dicko” Dickson with major plans for the year, but Matt Cornell’s music plans were put on hold when Adam Brand had to take most of the year off for vocal surgery and rest.

“At that point, it was ‘what are we going to do now?’ because Cornell & Carr had the whole year put aside and then the whole world found out about this thing called Corona Virus,” he said.

“No one knew how serious it was going to be and I’d already lost other gigs with my Sydney 80s cruise and various other shows right there and then – they were gone.”

Matt, like other artists, spent time comprehending what this situation meant for his income and career plans in 2020.

“Being an independent artist, I’m always brainstorming with myself about where I could play and booking gigs and when it first hit, I didn’t know how to compute things until I was talking to Natalie Gauci and she said something that resonated with me. She said, ‘you’ve just got to surrender to this and you’ll be okay’ and it was like the weight of the world had been lifted.

“I had to stop living the way I lived, looking for work, promoting, thinking of ideas on how to promote shows and I just accepted it, then I was able to approach it with a completely different mindset.”

Photo: Tania Smith

Duo partner, Mike Carr, reiterated this, as he had Cornell & Carr touring plans, as well as a tour with Adam Harvey locked in and was compering all of CMC Rocks this year, but surrendered to the situation and his ARIA Award winning alter ego Buddy Goode embraced comedy to deal with it to help himself and keep his social media followers smiling in those initial dark days.

“I did my last gig on March 14 and it’s been a long time since I had this much time off, so it was a case of what do you do?” he said.

“For the first couple of weeks I was creating Wuhan Wuhan The Musical.”

Check out Buddy Goode on Facebook if you haven’t yet caught this musical masterpiece.

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Lindsay Ell offers healing and inspiration with new album, Heart Theory

A major health scare and opening up about sexual assault as a teenager makes for a moving album for singer-songwriter and guitar shredder Lindsay Ell.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more personal, heart-wrenching, and inspiring album than Heart Theory, released today, August 14.

Working through the seven stages of grief, this is a concept album best consumed from start to finish, rather than in bites.

“I was about halfway through writing this record when I realised I was writing these songs in the order of how I was feeling them,” Lindsay said.

“As human beings on the planet we go through transformation in our lives and I thought how cool would it be to write a record in order of the seven stages of grief.”

The singer-songwriter who knows how to shred a guitar with the best of them, works through grief from shock to denial and all the way down to acceptance, and opens up to her listeners as they travel the journey with her.

“I want to inspire them to go through this with me because I feel like the past three years, and particularly the last year, has been transformative for me,” Lindsay said.

“I had a massive health scare and finally wanting to talk about my story as a little girl, I’ve gotten to know myself – we always think we do, but we get to know ourselves deeper and deeper as we get older and there is such a beautiful quality in that.”

The Canadian artist, who now calls Nashville home, opened up about her rape at 13 years old, while visiting Youth For Tomorrow to launch their music program.

“I sat down with 12 other little girls and I told them my story and I heard them tell their stories,” she said.

“These are stories that are so horrific. This happens far more in our society than we want to realise and by not talking about it, we are allowing that shame and guilt to continue, but we can help each other heal and become strong through talking about it.”

Lindsay Ell at CMC Rocks 2019. Photo: Rebecca Gracie
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Adam Brand releases inspirational album, Speed of Life

If, like many of us, you’ve followed or been part of Adam Brand’s career over the past 20-odd years, you’ll know he’s always true to himself as an artist, and his latest album, Speed of Life, takes this even further.

This down-to-earth approach has won over thousands of supporters and this week Speed of Life sits at No. 1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart and No. 6 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

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Taylor Moss serves up sassy Chaser

Sassy country star Taylor Moss has served up the Chaser to her two hit singles, You Ain’t Getting A Song and Ain’t No Girly Girl.

The Queensland singer-songwriter’s latest single, Chaser, raced up the charts on release, is nearing 100,000 streams worldwide and has been added to playlists in Australia and the US with plenty of women in country playlists jumping on board with support.

“I’ve got this very feminist girl power approach to my songs,” Taylor said.

“I’m stoked that women are understanding what I’m saying because I’m one of those people that if you tell me I can’t do it, I will.”

Taylor wrote Chaser in her first writing soiree with Golden Guitar winner Andrew Swift.

“I contacted Andrew Swift during the first lockdown to see if we could write via Zoom and I had written in my notes, ‘I need a chaser’,” she said.

“We have very different genres – him being alt-country and me in pop country, but we thought we’d give it a go and wrote the song within a couple of hours. The t-shirt I was wearing during that Zoom said ‘Now that I’m sober, you ain’t that fine’ and it all came from there.

“It all came together because I bought that t-shirt in New York, I wrote it with the right person and it was just one of those things that worked.”

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Casey Barnes releases ultimate love song

If you’re looking for a song to dedicate to the one you love, Casey Barnes has you sorted with his latest single, God Took His Time On You.

The Gold Coast singer-songwriter wrote the track about 12 months ago with Nashville songwriting partners Kaci Brown and Sam Gray.

It’s appropriate I spoke to Casey this week about the song, as he and wife, Michelle, celebrated their 15th anniversary.

“This is the ultimate tribute to your partner because it’s saying that whoever made you took their time because you are perfect,” Casey said.

“Sam said he’d been tinkering on his guitar with different melodies and Kaci was riding on the ride-on mower when the idea came to him, so went in and said, ‘I’ve got this amazing idea for a song and we need to get Casey on Zoom’.

“When they played me the initial idea, I loved it and the song wrote itself; we all knew it was a special track.”

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Ray of sunshine from Daniel Reeves’ World Learning

Melbourne singer-songwriter Daniel Reeves brings us World Learning – the song we all need right now.

Written five years ago when he was re-assessing his career and life plans, World Learning could have been written for everyone experiencing life during lockdowns and dealing with a worldwide pandemic.

Daniel wrote World Learning after being on the road for a long time as a professional musician and wanting to re-connect with his friends and family.

 “While friends were celebrating milestones, I was missing them all because I was on the road and I was tired because I couldn’t see very far in front of me at that time, so I came back to Melbourne because I wanted to ground myself and re-connect with them and myself,” he said.

“The way I look at it is you have to close one door to open another and I loved being back with my friends in a place I absolutely loved, which was the Thornbury area, which is renowned for music and art.”

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Cornell cruises into a musical 2021

Just when you thought COVID had ruined your chances to have fun in early 2021, Matt Cornel is sailing in with the perfect antidote – a harbour cruise and his famous Mojito Club.

Cornell is known for his top-notch musicianship, connection with his audiences, and his ridiculously fun harbour cruises with the next one locked in for March 20.

Featuring special guests, Baylou, the music will be pumping for four hours (as will the food, included in the ticket price) from 7pm, with the refreshments flowing and there’ll be as much COVID-safe fun to be had, as music lovers can handle.

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Ian Burns – Tamworth awards haul

Ian Burns has proven his talents and popularity in the Australian country music scene this month, taking home two awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Kicking off in style, Macarthur singer-songwriter won the Tamworth Songwriters Association Local Heroes Song of the Year for Think Again, co-written with Mary V I Harrison and David Carter. Ian then added to his Tamworth accolades, winning Best Male Vocal in the 2021 Australian People’s Choice Awards.

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The Bushwackers given highest Australasian country music honour

The Bushwackers have plenty to celebrate during their Golden Jubilee year after being inducted into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown.

The much-loved lively Australian bush band were recognised for their contribution to Australian country music at the Golden Guitars Awards in Tamworth on Saturday, January 23, with front men Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett overcome with emotion at the announcement.

Dobe Newton OAM and Roger Corbett of The Bushwackers were honoured at the 2021 Golden Guitar Awards, being elevated to the Australasian Roll of Renown. Photo: Tamworth Country Music Festival
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Golden duo for Luke O’Shea

Thirteen is lucky for some, and for Luke O’Shea, it’s brought plenty of gold his way at the 49th Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth.

The Sutherland Shire singer-songwriter picked up his 13th Golden Guitar on Saturday night, January 23, after winning Traditional Album of the Year and Heritage Song of the Year.

This marks O’Shea’s seventh win in Heritage Song of the Year and his first Album of the Year category Golden Guitar.

Fellow multi-Golden Guitar winning singer-songwriter Kevin Bennett shared the Heritage Song of the Year win with O’Shea, for their collaboration, Happy Australia Day, while O’Shea’s album, There In The Ochre, won Traditional Album of the Year.

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