What a big few days! I travelled a couple of hours on the train to Melbourne from Moe for a long weekend of music! Friday night was great. I got to catch up with some fellow country music tragics and attended the Surrey Hills Music Festival - which showcased an eclectic mix of music. My main reason for going was to hear and see my good mates, The Weeping Willows. As per usual, they were marvellous. They seem to be getting better and better every time that I see them and they were only a few miles from their home, which seemed to fit with them even better. They have had a busy year and this Americana duo are just smoking hot at the moment.
On Saturday, I had a special treat, per invitation of one of our other finest duos, The Long And The Short of It. I can't say too much at the moment but there is an article in the wind about the afternoon that I spent with them and their very special project. This project is such a wonderful thing for Indie Artists in Victoria. I am so excited and proud of Patsy and David and very honoured to be allowed to witness this great achievement.
On Saturday morning, I went to the markets in Melbourne where I heard the wonderful sounds of a young male duo. The review of their album will be up on my blog soon. The buskers in Melbourne are just a cut above anyone that I have heard singing in the streets. Quite often stars of the future are found on their streets and/or they are already well known and just do an appearance or two for free in public.
On Sunday, I went to see and hear the Rick Hart Trio. I have been trying to see Rick for a long while. His new album is reviewed on my blog, CountryAs and it is definitely one of the albums of the year. It crosses a few genres, but Rick's twang keeps him in the country zone. It was a wonderful afternoon and a great weekend, confirming my belief that our country music industry is in good hands and they are the most generous, incredible folks that I have ever known.
Tuesday brought with it one of the biggest days on the Country Music Calendar in Australia. The announcement of the Golden Guitar Nominations. These awards are like the CMAAs or American Country Music Awards. Tamworth, where they are held as part of the two week festival is the Sister City of Nashville. We even had the mayor over from Nashville to present at the awards! There were a few nice surprises and a few old favourites in the nominations. (Picture below of nominated artists). Lots of great Indie Artists were nominated. Especially thrilled for Carter and Carter, Brad Butcher, Michael Carpenter, Gretta Ziller, Shane Nicholson, Darren Coggan, Davidson Brothers, Aleyce Simmonds, Fanny Lumsden, Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence, Dean Perrett (Freshly married on the weekend!), Allan Caswell, Small Town Romance, Luke O'Shea, Matt Cornell, Matt Fell, Michael Fix, Drew McAlister and most of the artists who were nominated. I am a bit sad for a few folks who I feel should have been there, but it must be so hard to get it down to 5 nominations in each category.
I also do reviews on overseas artists, and though I am a bit fussier on who I review in that category, I do have some beaut reviews coming up in the next few weeks. Obviously, I want to showcase our wonderful Aussie artists whom most of the world know nothing about or very little. I hope to spread the word about our world class musicians. Just because we are from a land down under, it does not mean that we don't have some amazing folks here.
I am working on about 8 reviews at the moment in the lead up to the Kazzie Awards that I do each year and a few little guest spots on Community Radio.
Lots more to come soon! Hang on to your hats!