Luke O’Shea and Lyn Bowtell vie for golden trifecta

Luke O’Shea could add to his collection of nine Golden Guitars, after snagging three spots at today’s finalist announcement event in Sydney.

O’Shea released Sing Me A Story, a duet with Lyn Bowtell, in late September, his first release in three years and it is a finalist in APRA AMCOS Song of the Year, Heritage Song of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year. He already has five Heritage Song of the Year Golden Guitars to his name.

The multi-Golden Guitar winner said he was grateful Sing Me A Story has connected so strongly with industry personnel and his country music peers.

“Lyn Bowtell and myself are so very grateful and super appreciative of the support our duet, Sing Me A Story, has received from all aspects of the Australian country music industry,” he said.

“It’s been a long time between drinks for me, personally, and the fact the leading single from my upcoming album has been able to connect with peers and audiences to this extent is very humbling and deeply satisfying.”

O’Shea wrote the song with Felicity Urquhart in front of other songwriters at The DAG Songwriter’s Retreat outside of Nundle and the single heralds a new album for the Sutherland Shire artist.

“A special thanks goes out to the wonderful Felicity Urquhart who I wrote this song with, out at the magnificent DAG Sheep Station Songwriters Retreat and also Sean Rudd who has worked tirelessly on it through it’s many ebbs and flows,” he said.

“It certainly inspires me to keep on keeping on with my aim of singing up this incredible country of ours and I cannot wait to share my upcoming album, There In The Ochre, with you all come the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival.”

Luke O’Shea at the announcement of the 2020 Golden Guitar finalists. Photo: Lisa Williams

Rory Ellis finds his Inner Outlaw

This is a voice that is up there with the very best of them, including the US greats. It aches of life and love, history and memory” – Mike Brady AM.

Rory Ellis unleashes his Inner Outlaw on Friday, October 18 with the release of his ninth studio album.

Inner Outlaw is a collection of 12 tracks of pure Americana, with a touch of Waylonesque attitude that will make your heart sing and your mind wander. It’s dry, minimalist, sometimes appears to fall apart at the seams, but will leave you haunted with a resonance rarely found in modern production.

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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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Livin’ The Dream hits all the Wright notes

Singer-songwriter Kim Wright is Livin’ The Dream with his debut EP hitting the top of the charts on release.

Released on July 22, Wright’s EP Livin’ The Dream, charted at No. 2 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart and No. 28 on the iTunes All Genres Album Charts and is the realisation of a 20-year goal that began when he started writing songs in his early teens.

The title, Livin’ The Dream, is a motto Wright lives by and is more often than not what will come out of his mouth when you ask how he’s going.

“Every day above ground’s a good one and I believe you should live each day to its fullest,” he said.

“The collection of songs represents that theme in my world.”

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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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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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Morgan Wallen gets Up Down Under for CMC Rocks 2019

UP DOWN singer Morgan Wallen is shining proof that life can throw you curveballs when it comes to your childhood ambitions, but your dreams can still come true. He will add to those achievements when he heads to Australian for CMC Rocks 2019 in March.

The US singer-songwriter had dreams of being a professional baseball player, but an injury forced him to change his life direction and now he’s playing the stadiums he dreamed of as a child, just in a different field.


Morgan Wallen will join other international and Australian acts at CMC Rocks 2019. 
Photo: supplied

Morgan has released three singles – The Way I Talk, his latest Whiskey Glasses, but it was his second, Up Down, that caught the ears of new country fans, when he teamed up with chart-toppers Florida Georgia Line.

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Gord Bamford returns Down Under

AS GORD Bamford readies himself for another visit to Australia, Rebecca Belt revisits her chat with the Canadian-Australian at CMC Rocks Queensland 2018.

Catching up at CMC Rocks, Gord said he was excited to be part of such a huge festival and to build on the success off his previous Australian visits.

“Things have really taken a big jump for me and I want to spend as much time as I can here,” he said.

“There are more Canadians here this year than I’ve ever seen and this is as good a festival as I’ve ever seen.”

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Dean Brody’s Australian Dirt Road Stories

AS WE count down to the announcement of the CMC Rocks Queensland 2019 artist announcement, Rebecca Belt revisits some of her CMC Rocks 2018 interviews.

A FLYING visit Down Under in March saw Dean Brody perform twice at CMC Rocks Queensland to the delight of the Australian country music lovers.

Arriving on the Wednesday prior to the festival and leaving on Sunday didn’t give the Canadian singer-songwriter a lot of time in the country, but enough time to leave a lasting impression with new and old fans, alike.

The singer-songwriter said he would love to return to Australia and spend a month or more here to really appreciate the country and soak up the sights.

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