Month: March 2019

Video premiere: ‘King of This Country’ by Copperline

image001Sydney band Copperline have a brand-new single and a video to go with it, making its debut right here right now. ‘King of This Country’ is the second track off the band’s debut album, Rusty Fords and Weatherboards, produced by the prolific Shane Nicholson at Sound Hole Studios. The track tells a country music story – of a protagonist who grew up with country music, trying to make his own break.

Speaking about the track, singer Brad Christmas said, ‘I did a show in a town called Hill End, in the Central West of New South Wales, where I shared the stage with an old country singer. He’d won a Golden Guitar as a kid with his family band but life hadn’t treated him so well since. He told me more and more of his story during the night and I realised I had to write a song about it.’

Watch the video below:

‘King of This Country’ is, in some ways, a companion piece to Felicity Urquhart’s 2009 track ‘Girl in the Mall’ (from Landing Lights). Both are tales of Tamworth, and of country music, with ostensibly different outcomes for their protagonists – although there is poignancy in both tunes. 

The video was produced by Jess Gosling and shot in Portland, just outside of Lithgow in New South Wales.

See Copperline live:

Saturday 27 April 2019: Baroque Bar, Katoomba

Sunday 9 June 2019: Moshpit, Newtown

Rusty Fords and Weatherboards is available now:

Apple Music | BandcampiTunes | Spotify

Gympie Music Muster 2019: first line-up announcement

kaseychambers43.jpgThe Gympie Music Muster is one of Australia’s most popular festivals. Held each year in Amamoor Creek State Forest in the Queensland Sunshine Coast Hinterland, it’s two hours north of Brisbane and 40 minutes from the popular Noosa Heads.

This year’s Muster runs from Thursday 22 August to Sunday 25 August and the several compelling reasons to attend have just been revealed: namely, the announcement of headliners Kasey Chambers, The McClymonts and James Blundell.

They’ll be joined by fan favourites Luke O’Shea and Felicity Urquhart (who is the 2019 Gympie Muster Ambassador), as well as Tex Perkins and former INXS songwriter Andrew Farriss, who is making his country music debut (the full first line-up announcement appears below).

Gympie Music Muster Program Coordinator Emily Murphy says that the 2019 line-up stays true to the Muster’s 38-year tradition of grassroots country favourites and also offers audiences the chance to get to know emerging artists. 160830_Universal_McClymonts_Shot07_0252 - REDUCED.jpg

In addition to the main-stage action there will be intimate Songwriter Sessions, an all-star guitar-shredding jam, line and rock ’n’ roll dancing and instrument workshops.

One ticket price gives Muster attendees free camping and multi-venue access. Run by the community, for the community, the Muster is a not-for-profit charity event which has raised in excess of $15 million for charities Australia wide since its inception.

For more information, and tickets, go to

Full first line-up announcement:


Kasey Chambers
The McClymonts
Tex Perkins and The Fat Rubber Band
James Blundell
Felicity Urquhart
Luke O’Shea
Saltbush Six
Andrew Farriss and the Rainmakers
Jeff Lang
8 Ball Aitken
Allan Caswell
Kaylens Rain
The Wilson Pickers
Davidson Brothers
Caiti Baker
Simply Bushed
Chad Morgan
Col Finley
Kirsty Lee Akers
Murphy’s Pigs
Amy Nelson (CAN)
Paddy McHugh
Melody Moko
Anna Scionti
The Dungarees (CAN)
James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Linc Phelps
Natalie Pearson
Scarlet’s Way

More to be announced soon


Single release: ‘I Wonder What You Kiss Like’ by Natalie Pearson & Brook Chivell

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 12.57.23 pmA duet can be an irresistible thing – especially when the voices are well matched and the song allows the singers to not only inhabit the feel of it but sound like they actually enjoy singing with each other.

The DNA of ‘I Wonder What You Kiss Like’, the new song from Brook Chivell and Natalie Pearson, sets it up with excellent foundations: it’s written by the Wolfe Brothers (who make regular appearances on this website) and NZ singer-songwriter Kaylee Bell, and the entwining of such country rock and country pop pedigrees makes for a catchy, joyful song that is the perfect platform for Chivell and Pearson, who not only sound like they’re having a ball on this tune but who each understand the restraint needed to let the other shine, so that the song comes out the winner.

The song comes after a very successful 2018 for both artists, who had chart success with their respective singles and performed at country music festivals across the land, including Tamworth, Groundwater, and Deni Ute Muster and Gympie Music Muster.

Watch the video for ‘I Wonder What You Kiss Like’ below or listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Single release: ‘Crazy’ by Danielle Todd

Danielle Todd | 1-2.jpgThe song title ‘Crazy’ is, of course, familiar to country music audiences thanks to Patsy Cline – but Canadian singer-songwriter Danielle Todd has reinterpreted the word in a completely different countrified way, creating a gloriously upbeat song that’s about being  crazy in love rather than love lost.

In ‘Crazy’ the Nashville-based Todd has created an earworm that you won’t mind having. Her instincts as a performer – which is a more-than-full-time job, with Todd paying gigs up to seven days a week – have no doubt helped her create a song that is hard to resist; it’s also clear from the vocals that she knows how to communicate through song, with a strong, joyous sound.

Watch the video for ‘Crazy’ below or listen to the song on:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Single release: ‘I Got You’ by Megan Sidwell

i-got-youMegan Sidwell is a New Zealand artist now living in Melbourne. Her debut EP, Forever on a Sunday, was released in 2013, prior to her relocation across ditch. Sidwell has certainly created an impression in Australia, taking out the Battle of the Bands at the 2016 Tamworth Country Music Festival and making the finals of the 2017 Toyota Star Maker competition. At the most recent Tamworth festival she played a remarkable 16 shows.

Sidwell now has a debut album due for release in 2019. From that album she has released the single ‘I Got You’, an irresistible country rock track with a lovely melody. It was written and recorded in Nashville, and produced by Sam Hawksley, who’s had his own multiple Tamworth appearances in the past.

Listen to ‘I Got You’ below or on:

Apple Music | iTunes |Spotify

Single release: ‘Wendy’ by Hayley Marsten

image003 (2)Queensland singer-songwriter Hayley Marsten released her EP Lonestar in 2017 and revealed herself to be in possession of an abundance of talent and humour, a fantastic singing voice and a hint of quirkiness. All these were evident during the set I saw her play at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival; also clear was the fact that she’s a truly great entertainer.

During that set Marsten played a new song that she said was inspired by her mother – whose name we discovered the first time she sang the chorus. ‘Wendy’ is a tale of heartache told with self-awareness and without self-pity, and includes Marsten’s exhortation to herself to be ‘a little more like Wendy’ – and you should listen to the song to find out what that means. You should also listen to it because Marsten is an emerging artist who should have everyone’s attention.

‘Wendy’ was written with the magnificent Lyn Bowtell; the pair also collaborated on Marsten’s ‘Coming Home’ (from Lonestar), which reached #1 on the Kix Country Chart and #21 on the Australian Country Airplay Charts.

Marsten is currently running a Pozible campaign to fund her debut album – given that these sorts of campaigns are essentially pre-ordering an album, and also given that the high quality of Lonestar and ‘Wendy’ is a good indicator of what to expect on the album, funding this album comes with very little risk. If you’d like to support Marsten’s campaign, go to:

Listen to ‘Wendy’:

Apple Music | iTunes | Spotify

Interview: Ryan Daykin

image001.jpgVictorian singer-songwriter Ryan Daykin has just released a new EP, Keeping Secrets, that combines his wonderful voice with his songwriting talents to produce something that will please country fans and also satisfy those who love a great pop hook. I spoke to him recently about his new work.

The last few years you’ve written with a lot of people, you’ve played so many different places. Do you just manage your time really well?

I’ve kind of had to, jamming as much as I possibly can into the short periods of time I get off. Occasionally I might throw in a cheeky long weekend here or there if I have to. I’ve managed to squeeze a lot into the time [laughs].

You have, absolutely. Even just the list of people you’ve written with is extensive.

I’ve been very fortunate to do a few courses in the Country Music Academy, songwriter retreats at the Dag [in Nundle, NSW] and stuff like that, which I squeeze into my annual leave. And the Tamworth Country Festival and doing multiple things while I’m up there. You learn what you’ve got to do to keep going.

I guess you also need to have that commitment to your mission, in a way, and keep the focus on what you want to achieve.

Exactly. I think you’ve got to really, at the end of the day, that’s the one thing that keeps you going. So you’ve got to really be focused on what the end goal is.

When did that passion for country music start – that vision for wanting to have a career?

Well, it was really probably about 2010/2011 was when I started getting paid to play music. I was, like, I’m doing something I like and I could get paid for it.It was a fascinating thing [laughs]. Then I went to the Country Music Academy in 2012. I applied for that not thinking that I was going to get in, to be honest, and I managed to get in on scholarship. That really kicked it off. And I’m not surrounded by a lot of musical people where I am, so I don’t have a lot of musical conversations with people, I don’t have the ability to talk about the industry or stuff like that as much here. But when I went there I thought, Oh, these people get me, they understand what I’m looking for, they understand what I want to do. And they’re all the same.So it opened up a whole new network of people and avenues to explore.

Continue reading “Interview: Ryan Daykin”

Video premiere: ‘Hillbilly Cider’ by Jed Zarb

Tunecore Hillbilly.jpgAhead of the official release of new single ‘Hillbilly Cider’ by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jed Zarb, the single – and video – are having their premiere here today. And while summer is technically over because Australians like to say it ends on 28 February, seasonally it’s hanging around until the March equinox … which means we can still say that ‘Hillbilly Cider’ and its video are perfect late-summer fare: up tempo, good humoured, and highly entertaining.

The single – which follows ‘Mountain Man’, released late last year – was inspired by the Hillbilly Cider Brewing Company, whose cellar door is in Zarb’s back garden in the Blue Mountains region of  New South Wales. Zarb can see the daily operations of the apple orchards and cider shed from his house; over time, he says, ‘I romanticised the operation into poetry and then a song.’

The song features and is co-written by Dani Young, and the video was directed by Australian actor Aaron Jeffery, who became well known to Australian audiences thanks to the long-running TV series McLeod’s Daughters and Water Rats. Jeffery also makes a cameo in the video, which was filmed in Bilpin in the apple orchard that inspired the song. The rest of the cast, however, aren’t actors – they’re Bilpin locals, enjoying the song just as much as you will.


Single release: ‘Hades’ by Emily Hatton

Emily Hatton Hades Cover.jpgMelbourne-based singer-songwriter Emily Hatton has been performing and singing since the age of five, and since then she has been honing her skills – and deploying them in a very impressive debut single, ‘Hades’. This is a country pop gem that is about the dark side of a relationship – specifically, the dark side is a person, represented by Hades, the god of the underworld. While the gods of Ancient Greece don’t often turn up in songs, Hatton uses the metaphor wisely and well.

Growing up, Hatton listened to Fleetwood Mac and James Taylor, and in her late teens started to become influenced by the Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss. With those country artists she shares an ability to convey emotion in an authentic way, leaving the listener with a sense of connection and understanding of her story. ‘Hades’ is a great debut single and hopefully there will be more songs to follow.


Watch the video below or listen on:

Apple Music | iTunes |  Spotify