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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Amanda Heartsong – crystal clear calling

Music can be a calling and a healer for many, as is the case for Queensland’s Amanda Heartsong who is now spreading the word on the power of music, while penning songs inspired by dodgy footwear.

Amanda is a graduate of the 2020 CMAA Academy where she had multi-award-winning artist Catherine Britt as her group leader.

The experience is life-changing for every student and staff member.

“The Academy changed my life massively,” she said.

“It gave me the confidence to have my own voice and I learned to play guitar from Roger. Through that, my whole creativity opened up and helped me with writing songs and feeling confident as a musician.

“The Academy helped me find that tribe and that stops the loneliness because I’ve made connections.”

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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.

Benny Allen not missing a beat with new single

TAMWORTH has witnessed the beginnings of many beautiful songs, and Benny Allen’s debut single, Day One Of Missing You, is no exception and this morning it has debuted at No. 19 on the iTunes Country Songs Chart.
Written with legendary singer-songwriter Allan Caswell in the Country Music Capital, the song came to Benny after an early morning trek to watch the sun rise over Tamworth at Oxley Lookout.
“It was one of those songs that started from nothing,” he said.
“I had just written the song The Lord Above on the drive up to Tamworth because my girlfriend’s dad was in a coma and we didn’t know if he was going to make it. When I sat down with Allan, I had nothing left in me, so he asked me what I’d done that morning and I’d got up and watched the sun rise over Tamworth at Oxley Lookout.
“We hadn’t had a fight or anything, but my girlfriend was going through a lot and I was 1400km away and I guess that was the emotional genesis of the song; feeling that isolation and separation from someone you love.”

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Jemma Beech’s life as a country song on debut album

By Rebecca Belt

FROM the rolling hills of Picton to the mine trucks of Paraburdoo, singer-songwriter Jemma Beech has experienced it all this year, and her experiences have resulted in her stellar debut album, That’s Just Me.

Released on Friday, September 7, That’s Just Me is a culmination of songs from Jemma’s life up to now with plenty of cheekiness and girl power thrown into the mix.

The 25-year-old country artist moved to driving mine trucks in the Pilbara in March this year and her songwriting has flourished.

Working seven days on, and seven days off has meant Jemma can concentrate on music on her days off and dedicate a block of time to her craft and gigs.

“I’ve enjoyed the new experiences that the move has brought,” she said.

“They love having a performer up here because I’ve been able to sing at the Anzac Day ceremony, supported the Johnny Cash tribute show and on a Wednesday night on my weeks off, I go out to Cheela Plains Stations Stay and play around the campfire for the guests and they love it.” 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

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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