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Country Music Guide

Friday 6 September 2013

Country Music Guide

With just under four months of 2013 left, the year’s country music calendar is rounding out with some of the biggest US exports and our very own homegrown legends. From the newest CMC Rocks festival with Alan Jackson, Gold-selling Australian artists Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey to the record-breaking non-profit Deni Ute Muster, here’s the 12 country events we recommend you check out before the year is up.

1) Alan Jackson and Sara Evans will headline this year’s country juggernaut CMC Rocks North QLD on September 28. Now in its sixth year, the CMC Rocks festival brand has established itself as the biggest International Country & Roots Festival brand outside of North America. The festival’s sister event CMC Rocks The Hunter will be headlined by US country heavyweight Toby Keith in March next year.

2) Troy Cassar-Daley, McAlister Kemp, Chelsea Basham and more are set to perform the Sydney Country Music Festival this Saturday at historical site Bella Vista Farm.

Great Southern Blues Festival Narooma returns to the Bill Smythe Memorial Oval this October. US acts like Chris Cain and The Holmes Brothers with Australian acts like Ash Grunwald and Lime Cordiale will head up the three-day event. The festival has a strictly limited capacity as part of its approval conditions, fans of blues and roots in an intimate setting should get in quick!

3) The award-winning Deniliquin Ute Muster celebrates all things Australian and the icon of the ute. Over two days next month, punters of all ages can experience live music from the legendary Alan Jackson, Australian favourite Kasey Chambers, who took country to the pop charts in 2002 and upcoming duo The Sunny Cowgirls while celebrating all this Australian. The not for profit event is the largest of its kind in the world and even wrote itself into history claiming the Guinness Book of Records title for the largest parade of legally registered utes in the world.

4) Two of our most respected singer-songwriters and musicians, Neil Murray and Jim Moginie, will perform One of Those Tunes – a selection of songs spanning three decades at Milton Theatre on September 21. Neil and Jim have contributed extensively to our musical heritage as founding members of the Warumpi Band and Midnight Oil, and established individual careers outside of those iconic entities.

5) Performing just three arena shows while here for CMC Rocks, the Alan Jackson 2013 Tour will take in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Along with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Jackson has written and recorded more than 20 US #1 hits. He has sold close to 60 million albums worldwide, and scored nearly 40 Top 10 hits in Australia; four of those #1s spent a month on the top of the ARIA Chart. His ballads are just as show-stopping as his upbeat tunes and with a career that spans over three decades, the 54-year-old's latest show is a must see.

6) Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival kicks off again over the October long weekend. Apart from the opening show with Shane Nicholson, Christie Lamb and Brothers 3, all entertainment is free.

7) Award-winning country artist Amber Lawrence and label-mate, X-Factor 2012 runner-up, Jason Owen have joined together for the Islands in the Stream tour. The tour sees them take in Windsor, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

8) The 23rd annual Pioneer Valley Country Music Festival is three days of non-stop country next month at Wests Leagues Club, Walkerston with Golden Guitar winner Troy Cassar-Daley headlining the Saturday night concert and the Talent Quest which awards over $20,000 in prizes.

9) The award-winning Munna Creek Country Music Festival may only host 800 punters this year, but for the community event, it’s a vast increase on last year’s attendance record of 600. Held over four days next month, the Maryborough festival will this year attempt to break the world record for the greatest number of Lagerphones played at the same time.

10) Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey topped the ARIA Chart in June with the release of The Great Country Songbook. The traditional collaborative record was bumped down to #2 just 24-hours later by Kanye West’s Yeezus – an alleged data error. Regardless, the record reached Gold status in just 5 weeks and the pair have been filling venues across the country ever since. With just five dates left, this is one double-header you don’t want to miss out on.

11) Charley Pride is a timeless everyman who is revered by his musical peers and adored by countless millions of fans around the globe. Still touring to sell out crowds, Pride’s voice is as good, if not better than ever. The US country legend will stop in Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Toowoomba, Mackay, Gold Coast and Brisbane this November.

12) 52-year-old Arkansas singer-songwriter Iris Dement is considered one of the finest artists of her generation. Back with her first record in 16 years, Dement will perform career-spanning sets in Melbourne, Sydney and Meeniyan this December.