New country music literary award
The Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF)
has announced the introduction of a new award for country music
writers and journalists.
Winner of the first Australian Country Music
Literary Award will be presented this July during the Hats Off To
Country Festival in Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital
“We have seen the need for an award of this nature for some time,”
said ACMF President Bob Kirchner.
“The role of the Foundation is to protect and preserve the history
and heritage of Australian country music, and the best way to do
this is, of course, by writing it down.
“And that role, largely, is one that lays at the feet of
historians... those that have undertaken such work in the past and
those that are doing it now,” Bob said.
“With this new award, we will not only be recognising excellence
in contributions to Australian country music via the written word,
but also encouraging today’s writers and historians to do more.”
Recipients of the award will be determined by the ACMF Board. The
award will not necessarily be presented every year.
“We welcome nominations for this award,” Bob said. “The first
recipient has already been determined, but we will be encouraging
a wider input by way of nominations for the future.”
The award will be presented during the Cavalcade of Stars concert
in the Tamworth Town Hall on Friday night, July 7.
Troy’s concert to be first Hats
Three weeks out from the event, Troy
Cassar-Daley’s Up Close and Personal concert at The Pub is a
handful of tickets away from a sellout.
Anyone coming to Tamworth for the Hats Off to Country Festival
planning on picking up a ticket for the show will be sorely
disappointed, so they’d better make alternate plans for the Friday
Since tickets went on sale at Tourism Tamworth, they’ve been
scooped up by earlybirds, not wanting to miss the chance to see
the multiple Golden Guitar winner in the intimate setting of The
Pub, at 99 Gunnedah Rd.
Troy’s support for the concert is 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth
winner, Aleyce Simmonds.
Troy is enjoying a media feast at present, with his starring role
in the Channel Seven series, It Takes Two, where he’s teaching
Home and Away star Kate Ritchie to sing like a bird!
On Monday, June 26 at 9.30pm, Troy will be Andrew Denton’s guest
on the ABC-TV program, Enough Rope.
It’s being touted as Troy’s “most revealing interview yet”, where
he talks candidly about his early years in Grafton, his musical
influences, his family and dreams for the future.
If you’re really quick, you might be lucky enough to score one of
the 10 remaining tickets from Tourism Tamworth. Tickets can be
obtained from the website,
www.visittamworth.com or by
phoning (02) 6767 5300.
Written Friday, June 16, 2006 by Anna Rose, for and on behalf of
the 2006 Hats Off to Country Festival.
The Pub Group
Representing: Felicity Urquhart,
The Baileys, Aleyce Simmonds,
Aaron Bolton & Katrina Burgoyne
Box 7068 MSC Tamworth NSW 2348 Australia
Ph 61 2 6765 4875
Fx 61 2 6762 4304
There has been yet another concert added
to the Hats Off program.
Eric Watson (Selection Records) is staging an album launch concert
in Blazes auditorium at Wests on Saturday, July 8 at 7.30pm.
The star launching the album is longtime Selection Records artist,
Evelyn Bury. Her new album, Let Me Take You There With A Song, is
proving to be "the most popular album ever released on the
Selection label" according to Eric.
Evelyn will be joined on the concert by Ross McGregor and the
Music Fellas, and special guest, Rex Dallas.
Tickets to this event should soon be available from Wests, priced
First artists announced for
Cavalcade of Stars 2006
Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF) has announced the first
round of artists appearing on the inaugural Cavalcade of Stars
concert to be held in Tamworth during this year’s Hats Off To
Country Festival in Tamworth.
Golden Guitar winner and Roll of Renown recipient Rex Dallas will
headline the show to be staged in the famous Tamworth Town Hall on
Friday July 7 from 7.30pm.
Performing with Rex, in the first group of artists to be
announced, will be Clelia Adams, Katie Brianna, Jason-Lee, Brooke
Leal and Alex Watt.
More acts are yet to be confirmed and will be announced shortly.
Rex Dallas is one of Australia’s best known country stars with
four Golden Guitars to his credit. He has been touring and
performing for more than 40 years and was elevated to the Country
Music Roll of Renown in 2000.
Clelia Adams has been taking great strides in her career over the
last year or two in particular and has just been announced as a
finalist in the European Country Music Awards for material off her
latest and widely acclaimed album Heartbeat Highway, the
title track of which also won her a TIARA (Tamworth Independent
Artists Recognition Awards) trophy this January.
Katie Brianna’s most recent major success was as a finalist in the
International Songwriting Competition. She is currently touring
and performing widely to promote her debut, self-titled CD,
produced by Bill Chambers.
Over the last few months, Jason-Lee has been following up his
success at the January country music festival in Tamworth where he
made the grand final of Toyota Star Maker 2006.
Brooke Leal’s successes have been many over the last few years,
including making the finals of Star Maker, winning the National
Year of the Outback Songwriting Award, the 2002 Newcastle Music
Award (Country) and the Australian Independent Country Music
Awards Rising Star award in the same year.
Alex Watt has been gaining a lot of ground in his career since the
release of his debut album Window Down last year. Prior to
that, Alex won a string of awards and accolades over a number of
years, including becoming a finalist in the 2006 Tamworth
Songwriters’ Association National Songwriting Contest, making the
finals in the 2006 Australasian Performing Right Association
Professional Development Awards, making the finals of Toyota Star
Maker 2005 and winning Senior Male Vocal at the Victorian Champion
of Champions in 2004.
The Cavalcade of Stars is a new annual event to be staged as part
of Country Music Capital’s mid-year festival to raise funds for
the proposed new Australian Country Music Hall of Fame to be built
Organisers have kept the admission price to the concert – just
$15, including booking fee – as low as possible in an effort to
make the event more attractive to a wider audience.
Tickets can be purchased from Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300 or
Further information about the concert can be obtained from the
ACMF on 02 6766 9696 or by visiting
Aleyce to open the show for Troy
Tamworth’s prettiest and most talented export, Aleyce Simmonds,
will return home to open the show for Troy Cassar-Daley as part of
the Hats Off to Country Festival in July.
To be staged at The Pub, one of the city’s premier country venues
year-round, this will be an intimate and exclusive affair.
Troy can and has played in some of the biggest venues in the
country, but opted for the intimacy of an Up Close and Personal
concert at The Pub for Hats Off to Country audiences.
Aleyce, who has been living in Sydney since leaving Tamworth last
year, said she was over the moon to score such a prestigious
“I’ve always been a major fan of Troy’s work, so being his opening
act is a real honour and a privilege,” Aleyce said.
Aleyce is no stranger to large stages having just opened the major
concert of the QUT Urban Country Music Festival in Caboolture.
Fresh from a tour with Adam Harvey, another of the headline acts
on the star-studded bill, Aleyce relished the opportunity to get
out and perform to a large audience in such fine company.
Her fellow artists were The Baileys, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam
Harvey, Melinda Schneider, Paul Kelly and the Stormwater Boys and
Lee Kernaghan, who launched his album, The New Bush, before the
Aleyce performed a 45-minute set, accompanied by Daniel Conway on
guitar, closing with Mighty Mighty Love – her single recorded in
Nashville, Tennessee, which was part of her prize package for
winning the 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth.
After her set, Aleyce was kept busy in the merchandising marquee,
signing copies of her single, which was snapped up by fans, as
well as hats, shirts and autograph books.
You can obtain tickets to the Troy Cassar-Daley Up Close and
Personal concert by contacting Tourism Tamworth on 6767 5300 or on
www.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/ticketsales , or purchasing over the
counter from the information centre, corner of Peel and Murray
For further information, or to arrange an interview with Aleyce,
please phone Joan Douglas on 0417 233 713.
Variety the key to cool festival agenda
There’s something to appeal to every musical taste on the
2006 Hats Off Festival program from July 6-9 – with big stars and
those on the rise making their way to Tamworth for the cool,
Since the winter festival began in 2000, it has steadily grown
to become a four-day event, with the Tamworth Camerata Graduation
Concert the first major show on the program, staged in Blazes
auditorium at Wests.
On Saturday night, Lee Kernaghan, with a brand new album in tow,
will present a concert at Tamworth Town Hall, ably supported by
his Golden Guitar-winning sister, Tania, and the stunning
On the Friday night fans will have the opportunity to catch up
with 2006 Male Vocalist of the Year Troy Cassar-Daley – Up Close
and Personal – with an intimate concert at The Pub. Unlike most
concerts at The Pub, this is a $25 ticketed show.
There’s traditional style country with several bush balladeers
performing at selected venues, such as the Oasis Hotel, Lindsay
Butler Studios’ auditorium, SouthGate Inn’s Scully Room and at The
Brian Howard’s Wire Strainers, Brian Young, Tom Maxwell and Ernie
Constance, and the Young Balladeers – Amos Morris, Nathan Charlton
and Matt Manning – will take you on a sentimental journey through
Australia’s past, with their story-songs of the bush and its
More contemporary country can be found at venues such as The
Albert, where Matt Scullion and the Lost Moments feature and
Tamworth’s newest musician in residence, Jeff “Gibbo” Gibson kicks
off proceedings on Thursday night.
At the Central Hotel, there’s a jam-packed program with the Jason
Lee Band, Alex Watt Band, Dan Mureau and the Contractors and the
Rod Dowsett Band turning up the heat from Thursday through to
Goodtime bush music is the order of proceedings at Joe Maguire’s
Pub, with Festival favourite, Sydney band Simply Bushed providing
the entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Tamworth Services Club showcases two of its favourite acts from
January – the Col Finley Band and Luella, the foxy lady who fronts
the Blue Heeler Band. Luella is giving her band the weekend off,
so it’s pure Luella, for the enjoyment of members of the Marius St
establishment and their guests.
Wests is always a major player in January and has enlisted classy
local acts The Rockerfellas and The Baileys, along with imported
bands, Buckshot and The Pigs, to round out their Hats Off program
at Wests and Diggers.
January Festival favourite Bill Chambers returns to The Pub for
his very popular picking sessions on Saturday and Sunday, while
new discovery The Huckleberry Swedes will make their official
Tamworth debut in a late night show on Friday and an 8pm Saturday
gig at The Pub.
The Tudor presents a mix of country and middle of the road, with
classy soloist Dave Craz performing on Friday night and Sally-Anne
Whitten on Saturday.
The Longyard’s regular entertainment on Thursday night features
Paul Albert and on Sunday at lunchtime, you can relax under the
grapevines enjoying the smooth style of Rob Breese.
Two package shows of interest to balladeer fans are the Brian
Young Show at SouthGate Inn on Sunday at 3pm and the ABBA/Bronze
Bust Fundraiser at that same venue on Saturday afternoon.
The Capital Country Music Association presents its Winter Junior
Talent Quest at the Family Hotel, with performers 16 years and
younger, taking their turn on stage, vying for prize money and
trophies over the two-day event.
Lindsay Butler Studios, on the Goonoo Goonoo Rd, now has a museum
for visitors to browse through. Their popular Morning Tea Concerts
are always a hit, with the best of Lindsay Butler, Shaza Leigh and
special guests entertaining patrons.
If country is not your cup of tea, the Imperial Hotel’s
entertainment roster should appeal, with The Core and Newcastle
band, True Lies rocking the joint from Thursday through to
See you in Tamworth – for Hats Off 2006.
If you’re planning on visiting Tamworth for the Hats Off Festival,
phone Tourism Tamworth on 6767 5300 to inquire about accommodation
For further information, visit
[Prepared in Tamworth April 12-4-06 by Anna Rose]
Country Music School July 1st - 6th 2006
For accommodation enquiries,
the wonderful staff at Tourism Tamworth are more than willing to
assist you. They can be contacted on 02 6767 5300 and you can
click on the link below to view their accommodation database.
HATS OFF TO COUNTRY 2004
Cnr Bridge & Belmore Streets, Tamworth
CAPITAL COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION
12th Winter Junior Talent Quest
SCROLL DOWN FOR RESULTS
The Junior Overall winner –
Julieanne Handcock (2004), from Newcastle NSW, 2nd place-getter
Jared Scott (2003) from
Tamworth, and 3rd place-getter Kimberley Bowden (2004) from Tully
are all Camerata graduates.
On the way to achieving this success Julieanne won the Junior
and Australian Country sections,
and as a result has won one of the two Tamworth Regional Council
scholarships to Tamworth
JOEL BLACK PLAYING FOR JULIEANNE HANDCOCK
Kimberley Bowden (2004)
won the Country Rock section, and the Luke Newland Memorial Award.
DAISY MAY WEGNER
CRUISE & ACE SCHULDT
KATE- LOUISE JUDD
KARLEE SIMMONDS WITH ALEYCE SIMMONDS
PLAYING GUITAR FOR HER
CCMA 12th WINTER JUNIOR TALENT
JUNIOR MALE VOCALS
1 - PATRICK WEBSTER
2 - ACE SCHULDT
3 - JARED SCOTT
JUNIOR FEMALE VOCALS
1 - JULIEANNE HANDCOCK
2 - KIMBERLEY BOWDEN
3 - DAISEY MAY WEGNER
1 - CANDICE ARLOTT
2 - DAISEY MAY WEGNER
3- JULIEANNE HANDCOCK
1 - SOPHIA JONES & JAROD SCOTT
2 - ACE & CRUISE SCHULDT
3 - PENELOPE SOMERVILLE & PATRICK WEBSTER
JUNIOR COUNTRY ROCK
1 - KIMBERLEY BOWDEN
2 - TAYLOR CAIRNS
3 - CANDICE ARLOTT
JUNIOR AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY
1 - JULIEANNE HANDCOCK
2 - TAYLOR CAIRNS
3 - KIMBERLEY BOWDEN
1- PENELOPE SOMERVILLE
2- ACE SCHULDT
3 - JARED SCOTT
JUVENILE MALE VOCALS
1- ROWAN SCOTT
JUVENILE FEMALE VOCALS
1- EMMA ROBERTS
3 - BONNIE RILEY
JUVENILE COUNTRY GOSPEL
1 - COURTNEY ELSLEY
2- NATALIE BUTCHER
3 - BONNIE RILEY
JUVENILE COUNTRY DUET
1 - NATALIE BUTCHER & BONNIE RILEY
2 -EMMA ROBERTS & COURTNEY ELSLEY
3 -MAKAYLIE & JORDAN FOODEY
JUVENILE COUNTRY ROCK
1 - NATALIE BUTCHER
2 - EMMA ROBERTS
3 - ROWAN SCOTT
1 - EMMA ROBERTS
2 - BONNIE RILEY
3 - ROWAN SCOTT
1- EMMA ROBERTS
2 - ROWAN SCOTT
1 - KIRSTY LEE AKERS
2 - PENELOPE SOMERVILLE
3 - CANDICE ARLOTT
1 - MERCURY SEVEN
2 - JARED SCOTT GROUP
3 - PENELOPE SOMERVILLE GROUP
- DEANNA SAMIN
- GENTLEMAN GEOFF BROWN
- CANDICE ARLOTT & PATRICK WEBSTER
- RAY SOMERVILLE
- EMMA ROBERTS
- LUKE NEWLAND MEMORIAL
- KIMBERLEY BOWDEN
- JUNIOR OVERALL
- 1- JULIEANNE HANDCOCK
- 2 - JARED SCOTT
- 3 - KIMBERLEY BOWDEN
- JUVENILE OVERALL
- 1 - EMMA ROBERTS
- 2 - BONNIE RILEY
- 3 - NATALIE BUTCHER
- FAMILY HOTEL
- CANDICE ARLOTT