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Craig Stewart
Craig  Stewart
NEW MYSPACE SITE - www.myspace.com/craigstewartentertainment

After the success of his debut album 'The Spirit of Australia' (including the release of the title track on ABC Music's debut 'Heartland' CD), Craig is all set to release his second album 'Bellbirds & Blackboys' at both next week's Gympie Muster & next month's Mildura festival.

Carrying on Craig's commitment to tell Australian stories in song, 'Bellbirds & Blackboys' focuses on a trip out to the New England region of New South Wales, where much of his family reside. Featuring 10 original tracks and Craig's first cover - a rocked up version of Raining on the Rock - the album covers a wide range of topics, from stories of the first settlers & bushrangers ('Streets & Headstones' and 'Ten Years In Cockatoo') through to up-tempo tracks about rural life in general ('The Great Divide', 'Bellbirds & Blackboys'), comedy ('We're Real Aussies') and of course a few ballads penned in the poetic style for which Craig has become so well known ('This Bar', 'It's Time To Go', 'This Old Town And Me').

A song Craig feels will hold great appeal to many within the country community is 'There's Only The Two Of Us Here Tonight' - a tribute song to Slim which has been done a bit different. Inspired by his grandfather's love of playing the harmonica to Slim's music late at night, Craig decided to tell the story of an old cocky whose 'old bush mates have gone' through the use of Slim's song titles. Over 30 of Slim's song titles have been interwoven to tell the cocky's story from Slim's perspective, and we have decided to put a full version up on Craig's Myspace site for you all to enjoy.

Craig wanted someone a bit special to sing harmonies for the album, and who better to turn to than his good friend from Bella, Kate Ballantyne. Kate generously contributed her talent for which we are truly thankful. On top of that, the album features a full range of instrumentation, with Craig's regular band lineup (bass guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, harmonica) being assisted by keyboard, piano, pedal steel, banjo, dobro and even a bit of didgeridoo to create something we feel is quite unique - (and would make an EXCELLENT Fathers Day gift - hint hint!)

At the Myspace site: www.myspace.com/craigstewartentertainment  you can also find other audio samples, the latest gig guide, and can even purchase your own copy of 'Bellbirds And Blackboys - 2007 Gympie Muster Limited Edition', of which only 300 are being released prior to the album's national distribution. For those of you who are Myspace users, if you add Craig to your list of friends you will be able to be kept informed via bulletins of all his latest news and shows.

Details of Craig's Gympie and Mildura shows are available at www.muster.com.au  and www.milduracountrymusic.com.au  respectively. In addition, Craig will be making a special appearance at the Kempsey Country Music Festival from 1 to 2pm on Saturday September 8th (Kempsey racecourse).

Thank you for your time, and thank you as always to all the wonderful people we have met through the country music community over the past few years - please come up and say g'day if you are at Gympie, Mildura, Kempsey or any of Craig's other shows advertised on his Myspace page, and roll on Tamworth 2008!

Yours in Australian Country, Ruth & Craig Stewart
Firstly, thank you to all those in the country music industry who have acknowledged the success of Craig's self produced debut album 'The Spirit of Australia'. Craig has been working his way up in the industry over the past five years, appearing in Toyota Starmaker as a grand finalist twice, graduating from the country music college and winning or reaching the finals of various competitions, including the TSA's on several occasions.

What many people may not realise is that Craig was offered the opportunity to be a 'signed artist' with a label several years ago, but did not take up the offer, believing at that time the better decision from a business perspective was to build up his own studio and back his ability to produce his own album.

Since releasing his self-penned album 'The Spirit of Australia' twelve months ago, Craig has been nominated for the Golden Saddle Award, Mildura's 'Rising Star' award and just recently for 'Male Vocal' in the inaugural ICE Awards. (Congratulations to our good mate & fellow college graduate John Stephan for taking out the award - a most deserved winner I'm sure you would all agree, and thank you Deb Minter for opening up yet another opportunity for independent artists to showcase their talents).
In the reviews that followed, Craig was subsequently described as having 'one of the most listenable voices to emerge since the turn of the century'. Referring to his literary efforts, reviewers went on to say 'his songwriting abilities are equally superb - thirteen high quality tracks leave you wanting to hear more and more of this great performer'. We believe this demonstrates two things - firstly, it is a testament to the hard work Craig has been putting into developing his career but secondly - and most importantly - it is a most positive reflection on the Australian country music industry as a whole. The industry has shown they are more than willing to listen to those artists who are obviously putting in the effort and subsequently getting the results of those efforts without necessarily being associated with a major label at this stage. So for that, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

A highlight this year was being booked by the Gympie organisers to bring the full band up for the Muster, and being offered a main stage appearance on debut - which was more than we could have hoped for. 'The Spirit of Australia' was the second highest selling album over the first four days of the festival, which was a wonderful result considering a single had not even been released at that time. Again, thank you Mary-Lou and all the team, and we look forward to hopefully being back later this year.

Craig also appeared with Jetty Road earlier in the year, and is set to return with them to Blacktown RSL on Friday 12th January - thanks Paula, Lee & all the boys for the opportunity - top people and a lot of fun to work with!

In December 'The Spirit of Australia' was finally released to radioland via NFS110. Firstly, apologies to our radio presenters for not contacting them yet re interviews - including his Tamworth bookings Craig will have performed 43 shows over the December/January 'silly season' while still trying to fit in the whole Christmas/New Year family thing - we haven't had time to scratch ourselves! We will, however, try to line up some interviews prior to Tamworth next week in support of the single release. Alternatively, if you are a presenter please feel free to drop us a line at craig@craigstewart.com.au to try and arrange an interview. Thank you again to Mike Smith for your support and the track inclusion.

So now we look to January and another round at Tamworth. So without further ado, please find below the Tamworth festival appearances.

Friday 19th January - Central Hotel 12.30pm (With Band)
Saturday 20th January - Tamworth Shopping World 11am, Central Hotel 1pm (With Band), Courthouse Hotel 7pm (With Band)
Monday 22nd January - TREC Outdoor Stage 12noon
Tuesday 23rd January - Locomotive Hotel 2pm
Wednesday 24th January - Treloar Park Tennis Club 10am, Radio Interview with Festival FM @ Coca Cola Park 1.45pm
Thursday 25th January - Celebrity Cricket Match No. 1 Oval (Opening bowler Dobe??) 10am, Buttercup Showcase 7pm
Saturday 27th January - Locomotive Hotel 2pm, Armidale Ex-Services Club 7pm
Sunday 28th January - Maton Showcase, Blazes, 1pm

IN ADDITION - I will be appearing daily outside the Rivers store in Peel Street - check posters/venue for times.

January 12th - Blacktown RSL **With Jetty Road**
January 13th - Harrington Hotel
January 14th - Kempsey Heights Bowling Club
February 2nd - Coopernook Hotel
February 3rd - Port Macquarie Panthers
February 4th - Urunga Ocean View Hotel
February 9th - Finnians Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie
February 10th - Lake Cathie Bowling Club
February 17th - Port Macquarie City Bowling Club
February 22nd - Longyard Hotel, Tamworth
February 23rd - Wests Diggers, Tamworth
February 24th - Wests Diggers, Tamworth
February 25th - Longyard Hotel, Tamworth

Craig and Alby Pool
Finally, we would like to say a big happy new year and thank you to all those who have supported Craig throughout the year, including Maton Guitars, Rural Press Events, Gympie Apex Club, Deb Minter & ICE News, CMAA, Mike Vee, Mike Smith, John Arnold & the Mildura Festival, Bruce Howat, Alby Pool, Helen Kay, all the radio presenters who have played Craig's music and of course all the fans who have attended any of the 150 odd shows we have put on over the past year.

We are still looking to secure bookings for this year's festivals. Any interested parties can contact us either via craig@craigstewart.com.au  or direct on 0438 826849.

Thank you, and come & say g'day in Tamworth!!
Craig & Ruth Stewart

Welcome to our first industry newsletter. If you are receiving this newsletter it is because we would like to make you aware of what Craig is achieving in the Australian country music industry, and invite you to both monitor and hopefully become associated in some capacity with his career.

Craig has well and truly paid his 'musical dues'. He has been performing over 100 four hour shows/year for the past ten years, twice been a Toyota Starmaker grand finalist (2004/2006), twice been a Maton Talent Search grand finalist (2004/2005), is a CMAA Country Music College graduate, is endorsed by Maton Guitars (appearing on their showcase in Blazes at Tamworth this year) and has had 6 of the 13 original compositions on his debut album, 'The Spirit of Australia' reach the finals of both the Tamworth Songwriter Awards and Musicoz Awards.

In addition, he can perform at festivals either solo or with the five piece band he formed four years ago with the view to having a 'festival standard' band ready to go for both live shows and studio work.

Since releasing his album late last year, Craig has appeared as a feature artist at this year's Tamworth Festival and Gympie Muster. We believe the fact that Craig was offered a main stage appearance at his first Gympie reflects not only his professionalism, but abilities both as a songwriter and experienced entertainer.

Craig has been enjoying a wave of success since releasing his debut all original, self produced album 'The Spirit of Australia'. Craig has been nominated for this year's Golden Saddle award and Mildura's 'Rising Star' award on the strength of the album and his live shows, and is looking forward to entering this year's TIARAS, TSA's and GG's.

At this year's Gympie Muster, Craig's album was the second highest selling album up until the Friday of the festival, with almost 50 albums being sold at the first show alone. As a 'debut artist' for the Muster, this was a fantastic result.

In addition, the album has now charted at 34 on the One Stop 'Top 50', and as we have been working on his career full time for the past three years, the finances have not even allowed us to release a single yet! It should be noted that this position was achieved prior to Gympie Muster sales, and we look forward to seeing the effect of the muster on next month's chart. The album sales from the Muster will now allow us to further boost Craig's profile by releasing a single through nfs, which we are hoping we will be able to do prior to next year's Tamworth festival if Mike can fit us in.

We are now looking to try and secure bookings for as many festivals, showcases and support gigs as possible, and guarantee Craig's live show can range anywhere from an intimate solo performance in the style of Craig's musical heroes & principal songwriting influences, Graeme Connors & John Williamson, through to a 'dance the night away' five piece country blast, depending on the needs of the audience at your event.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported Craig to date, including Maton Guitars, Vee Promotions, One Stop Entertainment, the Gympie Muster coordinators (especially Marylou & Liz), the CMAA, Deborah Minter, Helen Kay, Bruce Howat & the team at Rural Press Events, and look forward to building long standing associations with fellow members of the Australian country music industry.

If you would like more information on Craig, his website is www.craigstewart.com.au Here you can browse lyrics, download audio (radio presenters, there is a full 320kbps version of Craig's TSA grand finalist song 'From A Country Town' available for you to download and play) and read more about Craig's achievements.

If you would like to discuss bookings & business proposals, Craig can be contacted via craig@craigstewart.com.au  or direct on 02 65596808.
Thank you for your time,
Yours in country,
Ruth Stewart
Grand Finalist - Winner of the Maton Guitar
All songs written by Craig Stewart
Produced by Craig Stewart (except track 12)
Craig Stewart, Warren Brown, Gary Kealey, George Yonon and
Angie Wojeske (Harmonies)
Except track 12
I have finally managed to get my website up and running
(www.craigstewart.com.au) to coincide with my first commercial album release,
'The Spirit of Australia'.

This year will mark my second Toyota Starmaker appearance, which follows two
Maton Talent Search grand final appearances (Gympie Muster main stage),
graduating from the CMAA Country Music College, numerous TSA
semi-finalist/finalist berths (in the professional section of the National
Songwriting Competition), and an endorsement offer from Maton guitars. (Thank
you Maton & Ted Middleton).

I have also managed to secure bookings at this year's Tamworth festival for the
first time as a feature artist in my own right (thank you Central Hotel,
Fitzroy Tavern and Vee Promotions), and will be taking a full five piece band
over with me (The Craig Stewart Band).  Please note I am also appearing in the
Maton showcase at Blazes on Sunday 29th January (full dates and times below).

I am looking forward this year to trying to secure more festival bookings, and
to use funds generated through CD sales to further raise my profile within the
Australian country music industry.

I would like to invite anyone associated with the industry to visit my website
and to try and catch one of my appearances during the festival (listed below).
Unfortunately living on the Mid North Coast of NSW, I do not often get the
opportunity to interact with other people within the country music industry and
so at this stage am a relative 'unknown', despite having been a professional
performer for the past 10 years (primarily as a soloist) with over 1000 paid
gigs now under my belt.

I am now desperately trying to raise my profile further within the industry
through airplay of my CD and appearances at more relevant industry
showcases/festivals, and if any of you can in any way help me out (or know of
anyone who can)  it would be most appreciated.  As stated, I have appeared
extensively as a soloist on the pub/club circuit, am now endorsed by Maton, and
know I can deliver a fantastic support show (either solo or with a band) that
can vary from an intimate acoustic session based around original stories and
lyrics to a full blown stage show.

I can be contacted via www.craigstewart.com.au (where I have audio downloads
available of my original compositions) or direct on 0438826849.  Please note I
am going to Tamworth today so may be out of email contact intermittently until
the end of the month.

Tamworth festival appearances are listed below, and if you have got this far I
would like to thank you for taking the time to read this email, and again I
apologise for the mass mailout at this time due to time constraints.

Have a great festival, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours in country music,
Craig Stewart
Category Winner - Modern Country 1
  Craig Stewart has been performing as a soloist along the east coast of NSW
and South-East Queensland over the past decade. During this time he has
gained a solid reputation as being one of the most dynamic and versatile
entertainers on the pub and club circuit, with well over 1000 gigs now under
his belt.

Born and bred in Port Macquarie, with several generations of family in both
the Port Macquarie and Tamworth regions, it was inevitable that Craig would
emerge on the country music scene.

In 2001, Craig attended the Tamworth Country Music Festival armed with a
couple of his original compositions to 'see how they would go'. In the first
two talent quests he had ever entered (the Cavalier and K-Mart Jazzer Smith
quests), Craig placed first and runner-up respectively.

What followed was a guest appearance alongside Elizabeth Lord, who had been
judging one of the quests and approached Craig after his performance, saying
that he had 'left her spellbound'.

   Craig's subsequent achievements within the country music industry are a
testament to not only his abilities as a songwriter and entertainer, but the
belief the industry itself appears to have in his future.

Travis Collins and Craig
These achievements have included:
Appearing as a top ten Grand Finalist in 2004 Toyota Starmaker

Graduating in 2004 from the CMAA Country Music College

Appearing twice as a Grand Finalist in the Gympie Muster Maton Talent
Search (2004/2005). In 2005 Craig was awarded a $2000.00 Maton guitar in
recognition of his achievements.

Craig was subsequently asked by Maton if he would consider being one of
their 'endorsed' players, and appear on their behalf in the 2006 Maton
Showcase during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Craig gratefully
accepted both offers.

Craig has been booked to appear with his band at several venues as a
feature act during the 2006 Tamworth Country Music Festival

Craig's song 'From a Country Town' was selected from over 500 entries as
one of only five grand finalists in the professional section of the Tamworth
Songwriters Association's National Songwriting Contest. Craig has had
several other original compositions reach the finals in this competition.

Another of Craig's compositions, 'The Spirit of Australia', was selected
as one of only six songs to be recorded by Garth Porter during the 2004
Country Music College.

Craig has appeared on other showcases alongside the likes of Beccy Cole,
Lynn Bowtell, Karen O'Shea, Tamara Stewart, Col Finley, Tanya Self, Wayne
Law, Michael King, Mark Tempany and Travis Collins

 Winning the 2003 Drover Music/LBS Fanland Star Search competition.

The feedback Craig has received from the industry since his 2004/2005
Tamworth and Gympie appearances has been phenomenal, ensuring the next year
will be busy, with plenty of writing and recording whilst still performing
several times each week - either by himself or with 'The Craig Stewart
Band'. Craig has scheduled a commercial release of his debut album for late
Ph:(02) 65596808 0438 826849 (Mob.)
23rd - Hastings Hotel, Wauchope
24th - Finnegan's Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie
30th - Harrington Hotel
31st - Rydges, Port Macquarie
1st - Wauchope Country Club
7th - Central Hotel, Tamworth **With Band**
8th - Harrington Hotel **With Band**
14th - Finnegan's Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie
15th - Finnegan's Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie **With Band**
3rd - Wauchope Country Club
4th - Harrington Hotel
5th - Kempsey Heights Bowling Club
11th - Port Macquarie City Bowling Club
17th - Hastings Hotel, Wauchope
24th - Town Green Inn, Port Macquarie
26th - Wauchope Country Club
2005 Gympie Muster
Gympie Muster 2005