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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Benny Allen spreads bluegrass joy with Lady Luck and Me

In a time when we look to music for joy, Benny Allen’s new single has it in swagfuls, delivered in chart-topping banjo-laden foot-stomping bluegrass banger, Lady Luck and Me.

Benny’s new single debuted at No. 2 on release day, September 4, on the iTunes Country Songs Chart and the iTunes All Genres Songs top 40 Chart.

Anyone who’s come across the Melbourne singer-songwriter will know that Benny exudes positivity and a global pandemic and ensuing lockdown was not going to quash his creativity. He recorded the vocals for his last single, the Battle of Point Nepean, and this new track, remotely with producer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Carpenter in the producer’s chair putting the musical touches to them.

“I really wanted to put something out that was upbeat and positive,” Benny said.

“I generally put out positive songs, although what I tend to write comes out as sad songs and my daughter often asks why are my songs so sad? So, I had this idea of doing Lady Luck and Me as a bluegrass song.”

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Aaron Jurd adds to success with single, Changed

Music is most powerful when it brings out the listener’s emotions, and Aaron Jurd’s new single, Changed, is hitting all the right notes with listeners.

The single is a celebration of good times and the celebrations have started early with Changed hitting No. 8 on the iTunes Country Singles Chart on release on August 2 and being playlisted on Fresh Country on Spotify the same day.

Changed is the third single from the Lake Macquarie singer-songwriter and is the silver lining to Aaron’s first single, Set Me On Fire.

“This single is first reflecting on down times, which everyone goes through, but shows a change in mindset,” he said.

Photo: Tiana Lockwood
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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.

The Viper Creek Band unleashes Beautiful Destruction

Beautiful Destruction is music to the ears of The Viper Creek Band’s fans after waiting nearly three years for the new album.

​​Released ​today, March 1, Beautiful Destruction ​debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Albums Charts and No. 13 on the All Genre Albums Chart and ​sees the Newcastle outfit stretch their musical wings with songs that encompass their ever-growing influences, but still identifiable as The Viper Creek Band’s work.

“I’m just so excited to get it out because I can’t wait for people to hear it,” front man Damien Baguley said.

“It’s feels like forever since the last album (Just Press Play). The songs show off our different influences, but I still think it’s got The Viper Creek Band stamp on it and people are still going to dig it.”

The two singles from the album, Green Light and Australian Girls, have both charted in the top 5 on the iTunes Country Songs Chart and enjoyed extensive airplay with Green Light racking up 500,000 streams on Spotify.

Green Light has an infectious lyric with the premise being a guy asking a girl to take their relationship to the next level, while Australian Girls is an upbeat tribute to strong Australian women and the roles they play in life. With International Women’s Day just around the corner on March 8, Australian Girls is the perfect country music accompaniment.

Other highlights include Tired from the pens of Damien, Brennin Hunt and Skip Black, who also wrote Green Light. Tired has a John Mayer feel to it, while the Shane McAnally-penned Blue Jean Jacket is about lost love and reminiscing about a former flame.

Beautiful Destruction contains some slower ballads and songs reminiscent of not only John Mayer, but also The Eagles and touches of pop music.

Damien co-wrote four songs of the ten songs with Nashville writers as well as Australian artists including Travis Collins and Matt Scullion.

“I just hope listeners don’t want to skip any songs,” he said.

“I think every song has its place and that they want to listen to the whole thing because, as an album, there are a lot of different flavours.”

The singer-songwriter and lead singer is now looking forward to releasing Beautiful Destruction out into the world and hitting the road.

“We have revamped the live show around the album,” Damien said.

The Viper Creek Band will launch the album with a weekend packed with gigs starting in Muswellbrook RSL on Friday night,​ March 1,  the Sydney launch at Rooty Hill RSL on Saturday​, March 2​ before playing for their hometown audience at Edgeworth Bowling Club on Sunday​, March 3​.

​The full album is available on iTunes: https://apple.co/2VqxCbm

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.”
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Tim McGraw will headline the 21st Deni Ute Muster
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Little Man tells big story for country singer, Danny Phegan

THE best songs often come from hard times, and so is the case with chart-topping country artist, Danny Phegan’s new single, Little Man. Released today, November 9, Little Man came out of the stresses associated with the 2006 drought in southern NSW – the worst rainfall recorded for his home town of Walla Walla.

“I wrote this song in the years after that drought while putting in 8 kilometres of new water line. My son Bill was only a couple of years old and always wanted to be with me wherever I went, but he’d be asleep by the first gate,” Danny said.

“I was under a lot of pressure and I remember looking at him and thinking how I wished I could sleep so soundly. Most nights I’d fall asleep starring at the ceiling running sums through my head to get through another month. But I also knew someday he’d get his turn at life’s worries and I don’t want him to be in a hurry to get there.”

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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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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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