Country Music in Australia

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2015

These may help:
    - make one of Sandra Humphries' gigs at the South Tamworh Bowling Club, 16 or 18 Jan.
    - Check out the the $20 bus pass.  It lasts the whole festival.
    - Leslie Avril fans - Leslie has several shows and she upstairs at the Tudor (get there early).        
    - Rob Wilson - Tomkins Late Night Honky Tonk and Longyard Hotel.
    - Kristy Cox - 16 Jan at opening concert and at Bluegrass Comes To Tamworth, Capitol Theatre, 23 Jan 10am.

Some of our favourites back for sure in 2015: Travis List, Doug Bruce, Rob Wilson, Tomkins Showcase, Tomkins Late NIght Honky Tonk, Legends Long Lunch w/Daniel Thompson and the Toombs Brothers, Sandra Humphries, Leslie Avril, Luke O'Shea, Alby Pool, Hired Hands, Murphy's Pigs, Kerry Kennedy, Wanita, 8 Ball Aitkin, Steve Passfield.

Bus News: For years we bitterly complained about the high charges for multiple rides on the buses at Tamworth, and how in the world the city could put unairconditioned buses with windows that won't open on the 40deg C Festival routes. Continuing this year they have Wrist Bands 10 days for $20, or 1 day for $5, available on all services throughout the Festival, and obtained from Ticket Office in Peel Street, “Hail & Ride” service applies where safe to do so. Fan Tastic!! But the windows probably still won't open.

Plan now to attend for the whole festival Friday 16 January to Sunday 25 . The best country music festival in the world. For your friends who say they don't like country music, tell 'em about the huge variety of quality live music. Book your accommodation now!

Buy the Official Guide as soon as you arrive (or get them to mail it to you). It is put out by Country Music Capital News and Rural Press in December. This guide is a must! About $15. Rural Press phone to order 02 6768 5800.

Get a Wests Festival Membership Card - Phone 02 6765 7588. The card can save you hours of waiting in line at Wests and Diggers and save money with discounts on about everything they sell. The entertainment at Wests features some of our favourite artists.

Buy independent artist's albums - If you really like an artist, buy their album. Yes, you may get a lemon or two, but when you see a five or six piece band in a free show, the leader is making little if anything after paying the band. Buying an album is the effective way to show your appreciation and really helps the struggling unsigned artists.

Driving from Sydney?? - Many fixed and mobile speed radars. Breath testing about every day and night in Tamworth and always on the road out of town on the last days.

Our picks in 2015.
Travis List
- Travis is back from Nashville on his 2015 tour with Golden Guitar nominee Kristy Cox. Call it traditional country. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, Lots of originals from his 5 albums, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site . If you like your bluegrass or just like good music, better try Kristy's new Golden Guitar nominated album!!
Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Awesome traditional American country and originals.
The Allan Tomkins Showcase is our third pick. You must not miss. 22 Jan.
Sandra Humphries Trust me on this, attend one of her first two South Tamworth Bowling Club gigs, 16 or 18 Jan.
Rob Wilson - Tomkins Late Night Honky Tonk Sun 16,20, 24 Jan, - Longyard Hotel, 18 and 19 Jan. There is no 4 Highwaymen show this year.
Luke O'Shea and Medicine Wheel. Don't miss!
Roo Arcus - Family Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015

Leslie Avril - Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals and she is back there this year. Don't miss.
Tex Dubbo - Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 1PM, Longyard, $25 trust me on this one too.
Rob Luckey - Wednesday, 21 Jan 8PM Nundle Memorial Hall
Murphy's Pigs

Hired Hands 1 show.
Also Daniel Thompson with Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs and Mike Carr Legends Long Lunch most days, Chucks Wagon Albert Hotel, Waz E James 1 show?, 8 Ball Aitken, Kerry Kennedy, Texas Rose, Johanna Hemara. You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests".

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2014

Travis List is back from Nashville on his 2014 tour.  His tour gigs are here including 12 appearances at Tamworth Country Music Festival. If you have a copy of his "Cloud 8" CD, hold onto it, as we understand there are none available indefinitely.


These may help:

    - make one of Sandra Humphries'gigs at the Central, 18 or 25 Jan.
    - Check out the the $10 bus pass.  It lasts the whole festival.
    - Leslie Avril fans - Leslie has several shows and she is back upstairs at the Tudor.        
    - Texas Rose back at The Central
    - Four Highwaymen, Monday, 20 Jan 2014 8pm and Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 8pm Longyard Hotel - Goonoo Goonoo Room.

Some of our favourites back for sure in 2014: Travis List, Doug Bruce, Rob Wilson, Tomkins Showcase, Tomkins Late NIght Honky Tonk, Legends Long Lunch w/Daniel Thompson and the Toombs Brothers, Dan Mureau, Sandra Humphries, ,Leslie Avril, Luke O'Shea, Alby Pool, Kerry Kennedy, Wanita, Beccy Cole, Texas Rose, 8 Ball Aitkin, Steve Passfield..

Also: Audry Auld, Mustered Courage,

Bus News: For years we bitterly complained about the high charges for multiple rides on the buses at Tamworth, and how in the world the city could put unairconditioned buses with windows that won't open on the 40deg C Festival routes. For the second year they have the $10 pass for all ten days! They even have some buses that will be air conditioned! Fan Tastic!!

Plan now to attend for the whole festival Friday 17 January to Sunday 26 . The best country music festival in the world. For your friends who say they don't like country music, tell 'em about the huge variety of quality live music. Book your accommodation now! Finally, Australia Day happens during the festival!!

Buy the Official Guide as soon as you arrive (or get them to mail it to you). It is put out by Country Music Capital News and Rural Press in December. This guide is a must! About $15. Rural Press phone to order 02 6768 5800.

Get a Wests Festival Membership Card - Phone 02 6765 7588. The card can save you hours of waiting in line at Wests and Diggers and save money with discounts on about everything they sell. The entertainment at Wests features some of our favourite artists.

Buy independent artist's albums - If you really like an artist, buy their album. Yes, you may get a lemon or two, but when you see a five or six piece band in a free show, the leader is making little if anything after paying the band. Buying an album is the effective way to show your appreciation and really helps the struggling unsigned artists.

Driving from Sydney?? - Many fixed and mobile speed radars. Breath testing about every day and night in Tamworth and always on the road out of town on the last days.

Our picks in 201.
Travis List
- I call it traditional country. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, Lots of originals from his 5 albums, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site | Wests and Diggers gigs. 2014 Travis List gig guide
Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Awesome traditional American country and originals. Great CDs too.
The Allan Tomkins Showcase is our third pick. You must not miss. 22 Jan.
Sandra Humphries Trust me on this, attend one of her first two Central Hotel gigs Friday 18 Jan or Sunday 20 Jan.
Rob Wilson - The 4 Highwaymen and two Tomkins Honky Tonk..
Luke O'Shea and Medicine Wheel. Don't miss!
Leslie Avril - Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals and she is back there this year. Don't miss.
Daniel Thompson with Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs and Mike Carr, 8 Ball Aitken, Lee Forster, Kerry Kennedy, Amber Lawrence, Texas Rose back at the Central. You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests". The only Peter Pratt show we can find is Sa 19th 11am Tamworth Community Center.

 

Tips for the Blue Water Port Stephens
Country Music Festival 2013

The dates for the festival are Friday 7 June to Monday 10 June 2013 - Queen's Birthday long weekend. Be careful of what you are reading, the website often has pages that relate to past festivals.

Accommodation: Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival is very inexpensive if you are willing to stay a few minutes outside the Nelson Bay area or in holiday accommodation.

There are a lot of acts that we don't recognise, so get along and see them, we all know the region for generating great new talent. Here are our tips:

Friday - Craig Stewart - d'Albora Marina 12-3pm, Steve Passfield Mavericks On The Bay, 6pm, $15

Saturday - The 4 Highwaymen - Soldiers Point Bowling Club, 8pm, $22.

Sunday - Golden Guitar Show – Stuie and Camille, Margie May Hockey, Steve Passfield, Tamara Stewart and more, 7.3.0pm

Tips for the Cessnock Country Music Festival 2012

Our Tips:
Friday - Early wine tasting in Pokolbin then either Rob Wilson at The Caledonia solo or Gina Jeffries.

Saturday -
10:30am to 5pm Tara Naysmith, Mitchell Shadlow, Victoria McGee, Luke Austin, Baylou (Victoria Baillie and Barbara Baillie).
5pm - 8pm Dinner, wine tasting and chocolate in Pokolbin
8pm Not to missed 4 Highwaymen (played to a sold out at crowd in Tamworth)

Sunday - Lee Forster, Steve Passfield, Karen Lynne, Peter Pratt.

This Hunter Valley festival is back again this year! And what better excuse to visit the wine country. All events are at the East Cessnock Bowling Club. (02) 4990 1444.

A fantastic lineup this year!! Artists so far: Gina Jeffreys, Peter Pratt, Karen Lynne, The Apprentices (Makaylie Foodey, Hannah Smith, Kaylah Anne and Georgia White) "4 Highwaymen" (with Bruce McCumstie, Rob WIlson, Alan Bowles and Bryen Willems), Tara Naysmith,Shahnae Pakoti. Mitchell Shadlow, The Viper Creek Band, Victoria McGee, Luke Austen, Baylou (Victoria Baillie and Barbara Baillie), Lee Forster, Slim Newton, Steve Passfield, Dianne Lindsay, Peter Simpson, Kristen Lane; 02 4990 14444.

Here's the poster:

 

Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Cessnock Country Music Festival is very inexpensive (as little as $70 for a room) if you are willing to stay in one of the pubs near Cessnock (Paxton, Ellalong, etc.) and the motels in Cessnock are just not that expensive.

 

Tips for the Central Coast Country Music Festival 2013

 

2013 Program here

Our Artist Tips:

Bill Chambers is back Honky Tonkin' The Lakes Hotel with the best bet for Friday night show. But the best show on Sat/Sun (particularly if the main stage sound men are from outer space like last year) is the Rob Wilson Show, daytime Saturday and Sunday at The Entrance Surf Club, an easy and beautiful walk from the main stage. Rob will have some top country singers as guests. Don't miss Travis List at Club Wyong, Lucky Star and Camille & Stuie. Also, Wolverines, Jetty Road, McAlister Kemp, Melinda Schneider, Craig Morrison, The Pigs, Steve Passfield, Simply Bushed.

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2013

Festival wrapup - Another Fantastic Festival for those who concentrate on the excellent broad selection of music available. Weather perfect except for the first and last day. These folks were better than ever - Leslie Avril back at The Tudor, Travis List, Doug Bruce, Sandra, Darren Carr, Tomkins Showcase, Texas Rose back at The Central, and Luke O'Shea. Chucks Wagon and Waz E James were probably fabulous but the sound men drove us away within 3 songs every time we went to see them. The Albert (both stages) was almost a no go zone due to nightclub blaring sound men. We saw a bit of Roo Arcus - see him if you can.

Travis List is back from Nashville on his 2013 tour.  His tour gigs are here including 12 appearances at Tamworth Country Music Festival. www.travislist.com/.  If you have a copy of his "Cloud 8" CD, hold onto it, as we understand there are none available indefinitely.


These may help:

    - make one of Sandra Humphries' first two gigs at the Central, 18 or 20 Jan.
    - Check out the the $10 bus pass.  It lasts the whole festival.
    - Leslie Avril fans - Leslie has several shows and she is back upstairs at the Tudor.        

Some of our favourites back for sure in 2012: Travis List, Doug Bruce, Rob Wilson, Tomkins Showcase, Sandra Humphries, Daniel Thompson [and his gang of villains - Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs and Mike Carr], Leslie Avril, Andy Baylor, Luke O'Shea, Waz E James, Alby Pool, Kerry Kennedy, Wanita, Michelle Little, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Texas Rose, Chuck's Wagon. We haven't seen Dan Mureau on the list. We have heard that these folks are not performing: Blowfys, Bluegrass Breakfast with the Davidson Brothers although the Davidson Brothes have some shows.

Bus News: For years we bitterly complained about the high charges for multiple rides on the buses at Tamworth, and how in the world the city could put unairconditioned buses with windows that won't open on the 40deg C Festival routes. For the second year they have the $10 pass for all ten days! They even have some buses that will be air conditioned! Fan Tastic!!

Plan now to attend for the whole festival Friday 18 January to Sunday 27 January 2011. The best country music festival in the world. For your friends who say they don't like country music, tell 'em about the huge variety of quality live music. Book your accommodation now! Finally, Australia Day happens during the festival!!

Buy the Official Guide as soon as you arrive (or get them to mail it to you). It is put out by Country Music Capital News and Rural Press in December. This guide is a must! About $15. Rural Press phone to order 02 6768 5800.

Get a Wests Festival Membership Card - Phone 02 6765 7588. The card can save you hours of waiting in line at Wests and Diggers and save money with discounts on about everything they sell. The entertainment at Wests features some of our favourite artists.

Buy independent artist's albums - If you really like an artist, buy their album. Yes, you may get a lemon or two, but when you see a five or six piece band in a free show, the leader is making little if anything after paying the band. Buying an album is the effective way to show your appreciation and really helps the struggling unsigned artists.

Driving from Sydney?? - Many fixed and mobile speed radars. Breath testing about every day and night in Tamworth and always on the road out of town on the last days.

Our picks in 2012.
Travis List
- I call it traditional country. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, Lots of originals from his 5 albums, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site | Wests and Diggers gigs. 2013 Travis List gig guide
Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Awesome traditional American country and originals. Great CDs too.
The Allan Tomkins Showcase is our third pick. You must not miss. 22 Jan.
Bakersfield Glee Club - Their first trip to Tamworth. Mostly traditional American country music.
Sandra Humphries Trust me on this, attend one of her first two Central Hotel gigs Friday 18 Jan or Sunday 20 Jan.
Rob Wilson - The 4 Highwaymen and Fr1 18th Tomkins Honky Tonk..
Luke O'Shea and Medicine Wheel. Don't miss!
Leslie Avril - Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals and she is back there this year. Don't miss.
Peter Pratt - Oasis and Sat 19th 11am Tamworth Community Center.

Andy Baylor & his Cajun Combo at the Southgate - Absolute must-see at least once, if not several times during the festival.
Others w
e like - Daniel Thompson with Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs and Mike Carr, 8 Ball Aitken, Waz E. James, Chucks Wagon, Lee Forster, Kerry Kennedy, Amber Lawrence, Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Texas Rose back at the Central. You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests". The only Peter Pratt show we can find is Sa 19th 11am Tamworth Community Center.

Tamworth Taxis - Moving from venue to venue? Ask for a "callback" and stay in the venue until your mobile rings. Brilliant! The Tamworth cabs are wonderful the first few days and impossible to get the last few days. Their dispatchers are total jerks about not giving you an idea of how long the wait will be; so later in the festival, they'll gladly book a taxi for you, when they know the wait will be an hour. But we recommend the $10 bus wristband we heard about on countrymusicbulletin.com.au.

 

 

Tips for the Blue Water Port Stephens
Country Music Festival 2012

The dates for the festival are Friday 8 June to Monday 11 June 2012 - Queen's Birthday long weekend. Program Here but you must scroll way down to see it. Also, be careful of what you are reading, the website still has lots of pages that relate to the 2010 festival and some pages that relate to 2012 are named 2010.... Very confusing.

Accommodation: Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival is very inexpensive if you are willing to stay a few minutes outside the Nelson Bay area or in holiday accommodation.

There are a lot of acts that we don't recognise, so get along and see them, we all know the region for generating great new talent. Here are our tips:

Friday - Waylon and Willie 8pm.

Saturday - Steve Passfield 10am and 2:40pm, Tamara Stewart 11am and 7:30pm, The Harmonators noon, Kate Ballantyne 2pm, Markus Meier 2:20, Bella 7pm, Sunny Cowgirls 8 $, and Ruckus 9pm.

Sunday - Steve Passfield 10am, 3:40pm and 7:30pm, Alyce Simmonds & Kristy Cox 11am, Carter and Carter 3pm, Markus Meier / Jetty Road 8pm $39, and Ruckus 9:30pm.

Monday - Steve Passfield noon and 3pm.

Tips for the Cessnock Country Music Festival 2012

Our Tips:
Friday - Early wine tasting in Pokolbin then either Rob Wilson at The Caledonia solo or Gina Jeffries.

Saturday -
10:30am to 5pm Tara Naysmith, Mitchell Shadlow, Victoria McGee, Luke Austin, Baylou (Victoria Baillie and Barbara Baillie).
5pm - 8pm Dinner, wine tasting and chocolate in Pokolbin
8pm Not to missed 4 Highwaymen (played to a sold out at crowd in Tamworth)

Sunday - Lee Forster, Steve Passfield, Karen Lyne, Peter Pratt.

This Hunter Valley festival is back again this year! And what better excuse to visit the wine country. All events are at the East Cessnock Bowling Club. (02) 4990 1444.

A fantastic lineup this year!! Artists so far: Gina Jeffreys, Peter Pratt, Karen Lynne, The Apprentices (Makaylie Foodey, Hannah Smith, Kaylah Anne and Georgia White) "4 Highwaymen" (with Bruce McCumstie, Rob WIlson, Alan Bowles and Bryen Willems), Tara Naysmith,Shahnae Pakoti. Mitchell Shadlow, The Viper Creek Band, Victoria McGee, Luke Austen, Baylou (Victoria Baillie and Barbara Baillie), Lee Forster, Slim Newton, Steve Passfield, Dianne Lindsay, Peter Simpson, Kristen Lane; 02 4990 14444.

Here's the poster:

 

Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Cessnock Country Music Festival is very inexpensive (as little as $70 for a room) if you are willing to stay in one of the pubs near Cessnock (Paxton, Ellalong, etc.) and the motels in Cessnock are just not that expensive.

Tips for the Central Coast Country Music Festival 2012

Changes to the program:
Aleyce Simmonds is not on at Lakes Hotel on Friday
4 Highwaymen are on Friday at Doylson-Wyee RSL, 8pm.
Summerland Kings, 1-4pm Friday at Lakes Hotel.

Our Artist Tips:

Thursday: Christie Lamb and Mike Carr at Wyong RSL.

Friday: Very rocky but 2-5 at the Lakes Hotel with Aleyce Simmonds should be the best afternoon act. For honky tonkers, probably one of the best band shows of the whole festival is Bill Chambers 7.30 to 10.30 at The Lakes Hotel. After Bill Chambers, rush over to the always good Travis Collins at The Entrance Diggers or the fabulous Tori Darke at The Entrance Leagues Club.

Saturday: If the main stage has the same sound man as last year, the best daytime Saturday and Sunday show of the festival for country music lovers will be Rob Wilson's 11am to 3pm show (with Stuie French & Camille Te Nahu on Saturday) at The Entrance Surf Club, an easy and beautiful walk from the main stage. Other than that, the talent on offer is huge and hard to pick. Program Here. You'll probably go to the main stage, but if the "night club at 3am" sound man drives you away, don't be afraid to get up and try another one of the fantastic venues. Travis List will be gone back to Nashville after March, so consider wondering over to Wyong RSL Saturday night for four hours of the best in country music. Travis played to huge crowds every night at the Tamworth Festival.

Sunday: Once again, if the main stage has an awful sound man, the best daytime Saturday and Sunday show of the festival for country music lovers will be Rob Wilson's show (Chris.E.Thomas, & Travis List on Sunday) at The Entrance Surf Club. Other than that try Sunny Cowgirls, Lucky Starr, Luke O’Shea, Daniel Thompson, Katrina Burgoyne, Luke Austen, and you might also find The Round Mountain Girls interesting.

The program is here: http://www.theentrance.org/events/Microsoft%20Word%20-%202012%20Program.pdf

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2012

Travis List is back from Nashville on his 2012 tour with a new self-titled CD that you can buy at his shows.  His tour gigs are here including CMC Rocks the Hunter and 12 appearances at Tamworth Country Music Festival. www.travislist.com/ .  If you have a copy of his "Cloud 8" CD, hold onto it, as we understand there are none available indefinitely.

These may help:

    - make Sandra Humphries' first show at the Central, we think it is Saturday 21 Jan 2012 at 4PM
    - Check out the the $10 bus pass.  It lasts the whole festival.
    - Leslie Avril fans - Several "appearances are listed but we think these are the shows that are all Leslie
        Sunday Jan 22nd Golf Club 3 - 6 p.m. $20.00
        Friday Jan 27th Scully Room 8 p.m. Leslie does "Country Hurtin' Songs" $15.00
        Saturday Jan 28th @ The Pub 8 - 11p.m. - The Alternative Awards Night!
    - the Tomkins midnight (11:30pm) shows at Wests are three sets with Redd Volkaert doing one set each night and two other top acts each doing a set each, as follows:
        Fri Sandra Humphries, Alby Pool         
        Sat Dan Murphy, Rob Wilson
        Sun Marie Hodgson, Jason Lee
        Mon Kimberly Bowden, Christie Lamb
        Tue Tori Darke, Craig Morrison
        Wed Stuie, Camille
        Thu Sandra Humphries, Travis List
        Fri Victoria Baillie, Alby Pool
        Sat Amber Joy Poulton Doug Bruce
        Sun Brianna Lee, Rob Wilson Cancelled
    - Cash Only fans - www.cashonly.com.au/news.html

Some of our favourites back for sure in 2012: Travis List, Dan Mureau, Rob Wilson, Tomkins Showcase, Sandra Humphries, Davidson Brothers Bluegrass Breakfast, Daniel Thompson [and his gang of villains - Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs and Mike Carr], Leslie Avril, Andy Baylor, Doug Bruce, Luke O'Shea, Waz E James, Alby Pool, Blowflyz, Kerry Kennedy, Buddy Knox, Jason Lee, Wanita, Michelle Little, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Texas Rose, Archer, Chuck's Wagon.

See below for a partial list of all artists/events.

Whoa, Breaking Bus News: For years we have been bitterly complaining about the high charges for multiple rides on the buses at Tamworth, and how in the world the city could put unairconditioned buses with windows that won't open on the 40deg C Festival routes. Well, probably nothing has been done about the air conditioning, but according to countrymusicbulletin.com.au, you will be able to buy a wristband for $10 that allows you to ride all day. What a fantastic improvement that would be.

Plan now to attend for the whole festival Friday 20 January to Sunday 29 January 2011. The best country music festival in the world. For your friends who say they don't like country music, tell 'em about the huge variety of quality live music. Book your accommodation now! Finally, Australia Day happens during the festival!!

Buy the Official Guide as soon as you arrive (or get them to mail it to you). It is put out by Country Music Capital News and Rural Press in December. This guide is a must! About $10. Rural Press phone to order 02 6768 5800.

Get a Wests Festival Membership Card - Phone 02 6765 7588. The card can save you hours of waiting in line at Wests and Diggers and save money with discounts on about everything they sell. The entertainment at Wests features some of our favourite artists.

Buy independent artist's albums - If you really like an artist, buy their album. Yes, you may get a lemon or two, but when you see a five or six piece band in a free show, the leader is making little if anything after paying the band. Buying an album is the effective way to show your appreciation and really helps the struggling unsigned artists.

Driving from Sydney?? - Many fixed and mobile speed radars. Breath testing about every day and night in Tamworth and always on the road out of town on the last days.

Our picks in 2012.
Travis List
- I call it traditional country. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, Lots of originals from his 5 albums, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site | Wests and Diggers gigs. 2012 Travis List gig guide
Dan Mureau - Central Hotel 20, 21, 27. We think this is the best uptempo country show in Australia.
The Allan Tomkins Showcase is our third pick. You must not miss. 22 Jan.
Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Awesome execution of traditional American country; mostly shuffles.
Rob Wilson - Full show by Rob at Wests 11:30pm Sat 21st and Sunday 29th and The 4 Highwaymen on Wed 25th.
Peter Pratt - If you like Western Music you'll love Peter. Just gotta find out where he is playing. If you do, go see him. Probably the best in Australia for this type music. Wait till you hear his whistling!! Site . 20th, 22nd, 27th Oasis Hotel.
Luke O'Shea and Medicine Wheel. Don't miss!
Blow Flyz - Fantastic "colonial and traditional Australian music".
Leslie Avril
- Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals. Various venues in 2012. Don't miss.
Sandra Humphries Trust me on this, attend the Central gig on 21 Jan.
Andy Baylor & his Cajun Combo at the Southgate - Absolute must-see at least once, if not several times during the festival.
Others we like - Peter Busher, Daniel Thompson with Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs and Mike Carr, 8 Ball Aitken, Waz E. James, Chucks Wagon, Lee Forster, Kerry Kennedy, Amber Lawrence. You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests".
Peter Busher
- at the Longyard on 25th.
I know it is bluegrass... and it is early... but breakfast with the Davidson Brothers at 8AM at Wests Leagues is always great.

Tamworth Taxis - Moving from venue to venue? Ask for a "callback" and stay in the venue until your mobile rings. Brilliant! The Tamworth cabs are wonderful the first few days and impossible to get the last few days. Their dispatchers are total jerks about not giving you an idea of how long the wait will be; so later in the festival, they'll gladly book a taxi for you, when they know the wait will be an hour. But we recommend the $10 bus wristband we heard about on countrymusicbulletin.com.au.

 

 

Tips for the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival 2011

The dates for the festival are 10 to 13 June 2011 - Queen's Birthday long weekend.

Accommodation: Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival is very inexpensive if you are willing to stay a few minutes outside the Nelson Bay area or in holiday accommodation.

No sign of a proper program yet. But so far:
Beccy Cole
Steve Passfield
Aly Cook
Katrina Burgoyne
Brothers3
Ryan Sampson
Dale Hooper
Jayne Denham
Mark Wells
Bob Corbett

Tips for the Central Coast Country Music Festival 2011

11-13 March 2011. Artists include: Amber Lawrence, Catherine Britt, Ceddy McGrady, Chad Shuttleworth, Chicken Train Skifflers, Christina George, Col Finley, Dale Hooper, Daniel Thompson, Des Morgan, Felicity Urquhart, Gayle O’Neil, Garry Lowe, Katrina Burgoyne, Gina Jeffreys, Greg Bain, Lianna Rose, McAlister Kemp, Mike Carr, Rob Wilson, Round Mountain Girls, Ryan Sampson, Slim “Redback” Newton.

Our Artist Tips:
There are quite a few acts that we haven't seen (and usually don't recommend only because we haven't seen them) but about an equal number not worth seeing. If you get to a venue and don't like the artist, leave and check out another venue!

Frdayi: If you have only seen Gayle O'Neil solo, it would be worth it to see her fronting a band; Katrina Burgoyne; Travis Collins with Liam Brew and Jason Lee. If you can get over to Gosford, The Highwaymen is a definite goer.

Saturday: Rob Wilson with Marie Hodson, Margie-May, Donella Waters, Stuie French & Camille Te Nahu 11am at the Surf Club; then Daniel Thompson; The Toombs Brothers, Catherine Britt; Gina Jeffreys; Luke O'Shea; and for nighttime -Travis Collins with Tori Darke & Dianna Corcoran should be awesome.

Sunday: Rob Wilson with Tara Naysmith, Angela Hayden, and a Waylon & Willie Tribute 11am at the surf club; Amber Lawrence and Felicity for sure at the main stage. Over at Club Tuggerah Sunday at 1pm  is music on the green with Lisa White and Highway One featuring Brad Bergen, Andy Toombs,  Hannah Smith and Makaylie Foodey.

The program is finally here: http://www.theentrance.org/events/PDF/cmf%202011%20Program.pdf

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2011

16 January update - So far the music is better than ever and most of are favourites are back. Somehow all the feral sound men that ruined the gigs last year are gone. We haven't run into a bad sound man yet. Must see Travis List; Dan Mureau; Doug Bruce; Peter Pratt; Daniel Thompson, Mike Carr, & Duncan Toombs; Luke O'Shea, Sandra Humphries [see at The Central only, (better than ever)]; Andy Baylor; Tomkins Showcase Thursday; Leslie Avril, Davidson Brothers Breakfast, Blow Flies (better than ever), and Kerry Kennedy.

Also catch Wanita (go to beginning of first set), Waz E James, Buddy Knox Blues Band (better than ever), Lee Forster, 8 Ball Aitken, Texas Rose, Mark Lucas and the Dead Setters, Peter Busher, Johnny Greens Blues Cowboys.

Some of our favourite artists are back from last year and some have been picked up by the top venues. Travis List is back at Wests or Diggers daily; Dan Mureau at Wests? or Diggers and The Central (but maybe only 3 shows on 14th, 16th, and 21st?); Doug Bruce at Fitzroy or Central almost daily; Peter Pratt at The Oasis (16th and 18th 4pm at The Oasis); Daniel Thompson, Mike Carr, & Duncan Toombs at Legends 11AM daily; Luke O'Shea at The Services Club almost daily; and Sandra Humphries at The Central (Sandra is appearing a lot but take my advice and get to one of her shows at Central on 15th, 19th, or 20th); Andy Baylor at Southgate Daily, 4pm. And of course DO NOT MISS The Tomkins Showcase at Wests on Thursday 20th January.

Also catch Waz E James at Albert or Joe MacGuires most days,

ARTISTS FROM 2010 WE LIKED
Travis List
- I call it traditional country. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, Lots of originals from his 4 albums, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site | Wests and Diggers gigs.
Dan Mureau - An awesome uptempo country show Lots of great bands in the evenings at the Central Hotel last year but Dan Mureau was the best. One of our top two shows of the festival. Only three shows: 16th at Central, 18th and 19th at Diggers.
The Allan Tomkins Showcase is our third pick. You must not miss, Thurs. 21st.

Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Awesome execution of traditional American country; mostly shuffles.
Rob Wilson - One show at the Family Hotel.
John Stone - Rocked up country from Tootsies, Nashville, Tennessee.
Peter Pratt - If you like Western Music you'll love Peter. Just gotta find out where he is playing. If you do, go see him. Probably the best in Australia for this type music. Wait till you hear his whistling!! Site
Luke O'Shea and Medicine Wheel at The Services Club - Don't miss! His bands may vary from year to year but his talent always overfloweth!
Blow Flies - Fantastic "colonial and traditional Australian music".
Leslie Avril
- Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals. Mostly at Oxley Bowling Club this year.
Sandra Humphries - Three shows at the Central and one show at the family (not in the Program: 5:30pm Friday 22 Jan) and other appearances. You must get to one of the Central gigs!
Andy Baylor & his Cajun Combo at the Southgate - Absolute must-see at least once, if not several times during the festival. On at noon, Monday thru Saturday, Southgate Inn. An all-star line-up!
Others we like - Daniel Thompson with Duncan Toombs and Mike Carr at noon starting the 19th at Good Companions, 8 Ball Aitken at various venues, Chucks Wagon almost daily at various venues, Gleny Rae (Junes or with Playboys), Lee Forster, Sarah Carroll (she is appearing in several acts such as Junes and Pirates of Beer, just ask around to find her gigs), Kerry Kennedy, Amber Lawrence , Prousty (Dave Proust, bush poet) and Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys. You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests".
I know it is bluegrass... and it is early... but breakfast with the Davidson Brothers at 8AM at Wests Leagues is always great.

Tamworth Buses - The biggest disappointment of the whole festival. The buses last year were not air conditioned and the main windows can't be opened (what genius thought up that idea) making a daytime ride of more than 5 minutes a sweatfest. In the daytime, to go between town and the farther out places like Wests and The Pub, cough up the money and take an air conditioned cab. At $4 per person to travel even 500 metres in the bus, cabs are often cheaper!

Tamworth Taxis - Moving from venue to venue? Ask for a "callback" and stay in the venue until your mobile rings. Brilliant! The Tamworth cabs are wonderful the first few days and impossible to get the last few days. Their dispatchers are total jerks about not giving you an idea of how long the wait will be; so later in the festival, they'll gladly book a taxi for you, when they know the wait will be an hour. When you get fed up with the cabs - Travel Bug 0401 946 041.

Ken Date's 2010 Tamworth report. Watch the excellent slide show and then click the "Tamworth" tab.

 

Tips for the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival 2010

Here is the program. When we checked, it was in a format that was very difficult to read.
http://www.bluewatercountrymusic.com.au/ .

These band gigs look good:
Friday: Tracy Killeen
Saturday: Sandra Humphries, Bill Chambers, Adam Harvey
Sunday :Warren H. Williams,

 

Tips for the Cessnock Country Music Festival 2010

May 21, 22 and 23, 2010.
This Hunter Valley festival is back again this year! And what better excuse to visit the wine country. All events are at the East Cessnock Bowling Club. (02) 4990 1444

Festival Program

Check back with us closer to the event and we'll try to get the times your favourite artists are performing.

Friday Paul Costa and Victoria Baillie 8pm, $.
Saturday
10:30am to 5pm Tara Naysmith, Lee Forster, Holly Wilson, Grant Richardson, Jodie Crosby, Steve Passfield, and The Bob Katz; Gold Coin.
8pm The Wolverines. $20?
Sunday
10:30am to 5pm in The Auditorium: Lisa White, Kel-Anne Brandt, Bob Pigott, Makaylie Foodey, Mitchell Shadlow, Donella, Darren Coggan; Gold Coin.
10:30am to 5pm in the Bistro Lounge Ernie Constance, Lynette Guest, Slim Newton, Christina George, Greg Bain, Allan Lavender, Ken “Chainsaw” Lindsay, Charley Boyter & Band; Gold Coin.

Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Cessnock Country Music Festival is very inexpensive (as little as $70 for a room) if you are willing to stay in one of the pubs near Cessnock (Paxton, Ellalong, etc.) and the motels in Cessnock are just not that expensive.

Tips for the Central Coast Country Music Festival 2010

Artists include Adam Harvey, Amber Lawrence, Beccy Cole, Camille Te Nahu, Stuie French, Travis Collins, Angela Hayden, Bella, Bill Chambers, Bruce McCumstie, Catherine Britt, Chicken Train Skifflers, Chris James, Dale Hooper, Daniel Thompson, Duncan Toombs, Andy Toombs, Garry Lowe, Jonah’s Road, Lucky Starr, McAlister Kemp, Mike Carr, Nicki Gillis, Paul Costa, Pixie Jenkins, Summerland Kings, The Rough Diamonds.

Are you sceptical about going to see the old favourites from the early Rock and Roll days? Well don't worry about Lucky Star, he still has IT.

Late night transportation: Nothing! Have a designated driver or you are out of luck. We believe the last bus service leaving The Entrance is at 10PM. Taxi's are pretty much not available (they always seem surprised that there is an event on).

Our Artist Tips:
There are quite a few acts that we haven't seen (and usually don't recommend only because we haven't seen them) but about an equal number not worth seeing. If you get to a venue and don't like the artist, leave and check out another venue!
Friday - 7pm to 8 Bill Chambers then more Bill Chambers or Bella. An alternate is Jetty Road at Central Coast Leagues Club. But you couldn't go wrong with Angela or Lucky Starr.
Saturday - Don't miss Catherine Britt and Beccy Cole. 11am-3pm free entry for Rob Wilson, Camille Te Nahu, Stuie French, Tara Naysmith and LeAnne King at the Entrance Surf Club. From 1:15 Memorial Park Stage with Daniel Thompson, Paul Costa, Catherine Britt, Beccy Cole performing with Duncan Toombs; 6-8 Chris James, 8:30pm Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence. Also, Ronnie Rae Rivers on at Mingara.
Sunday - 11am-3pm free entry for Rob Wilson, Travis Collins, and Angela Hayden at The Entrance Surf Club; and 3:45 - 5 Adam Harvey at Memorial stage or Luke 'Shea at Sails.;

The program is here (when you get to the page, scroll way down to the program).

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2010

21 January update: Daniel Thompson at Goodies, Excellent! Peter Pratt, wow! Blowflies, superb! Gleny Rae, outstanding!
15 January 2010 update: We have seen Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters twice and they have become one of our favourites. Traditional American country, mostly shuffles. This cover band is fantastic. Dave Moore on steel guitar. Flawless execution we usually only see later in the festival. 10 out of 10. Kerry Kennedy and John Stone are better than ever.
31 Dec 2009 update - We just received our official program and virtually all of our favourite artists are back. See the artists section below.

ARTISTS
Travis List
- See the band (this year including Brad Rose on lead guitar and Warren Nielsen on pedal steel) every day, usually at Wests main bar but at various times. I call it traditional country. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, Lots of originals from his 4 albums, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site | Wests and Diggers gigs.
Dan Mureau - An awesome uptempo country show Lots of great bands in the evenings at the Central Hotel last year but Dan Mureau was the best. One of our top two shows of the festival. Only three shows: 16th at Central, 18th and 19th at Diggers.
The Allan Tomkins Showcase is our third pick. You must not miss, Thurs. 21st.

Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters. Awesome execution of traditional American country; mostly shuffles.
Rob Wilson - One show at the Family Hotel.
John Stone - Rocked up country from Tootsies, Nashville, Tennessee.
Peter Pratt - If you like Western Music you'll love Peter. Just gotta find out where he is playing. If you do, go see him. Probably the best in Australia for this type music. Wait till you hear his whistling!! Site
Luke O'Shea and Medicine Wheel at The Services Club - Don't miss! His bands may vary from year to year but his talent always overfloweth!
Blow Flies - Fantastic "colonial and traditional Australian music".
Leslie Avril
- Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals. Mostly at Oxley Bowling Club this year.
Sandra Humphries - Three shows at the Central and one show at the family (not in the Program: 5:30pm Friday 22 Jan) and other appearances. You must get to one of the Central gigs!
Andy Baylor & his Cajun Combo at the Southgate - Absolute must-see at least once, if not several times during the festival. On at noon, Monday thru Saturday, Southgate Inn. An all-star line-up!
Others we like - Daniel Thompson with Duncan Toombs and Mike Carr at noon starting the 19th at Good Companions, 8 Ball Aitken at various venues, Chucks Wagon almost daily at various venues, Gleny Rae (Junes or with Playboys), Lee Forster, Sarah Carroll (she is appearing in several acts such as Junes and Pirates of Beer, just ask around to find her gigs), Kerry Kennedy, Amber Lawrence , Prousty (Dave Proust, bush poet) and Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys. You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests".
I know it is bluegrass... and it is early... but breakfast with the Davidson Brothers at 8AM at Wests Leagues is always great.

Tamworth Buses - The biggest disappointment of the whole festival. The buses last year were not air conditioned and the main windows can't be opened (what genius thought up that idea) making a daytime ride of more than 5 minutes a sweatfest. In the daytime, to go between town and the farther out places like Wests and The Pub, cough up the money and take an air conditioned cab. At $4 per person to travel even 500 metres in the bus, cabs are often cheaper!

Tamworth Taxis - Moving from venue to venue? Ask for a "callback" and stay in the venue until your mobile rings. Brilliant! The Tamworth cabs are wonderful the first few days and impossible to get the last few days. Their dispatchers are total jerks about not giving you an idea of how long the wait will be; so later in the festival, they'll gladly book a taxi for you, when they know the wait will be an hour. When you get fed up with the cabs - Travel Bug 0401 946 041.

Ken Date's 2009 Tamworth report. Watch the excellent slide show and then click the "Tamworth" tab.

Recommendations for Saturday 16 January 2010
8 Davidson Brothers
10:30 Waz E James Albert and/or 11 Doug Bruce Fitzroy or 11 Finn McCool Wests
12:30 SANDRA HUMPHRIES Central 10/10
2 Smokin Crawdads Fitzroy
3:30 BLOW FLIES Courthouse 10/10
5 Travis List Wests and/or Chucks Wagon Joe Mcguires
7:30 Dan Mureau Central 10/10 must see at Central. Only gig at Central.
10:30 Kerry Kenedy Services
Midnight John Stone Wests

 

Recommendations for Friday 15 Jan:
8 Davidson Brothers
11 Finn McCool
12 Handpicked
12:30 Doug Bruce
1:30 8 Ball Aitken
2 Wildseed
3 Texas Rose
3: 30 Kerry Kennedy
5 Blow Flies or John Stone
8 Alby Pool or Gleny Rae
Midnight Travis List

 

Tips for the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival 2009

5 to 8 June 2009 long weekend.

Troy is the Headliner, which is all we need to know to book our accommodation.

Some of the artists are: Harmonators, Bella, Rob Wilson, Dale Hooper, Ruckus, Bella, The Pigs, Handpicked, Dianne Lindsay, Morgan Evans, The Wolverines, Kelly Hope, Pat Drummond, Karen Lynne, Wildseed, Kaylah Anne, Steve Passfield, Victoria McGee, Kate Ballantyne, and Ruckus.

Our schedule for the various nights will probably be:
Friday:
Start the night with Bella and move to Handpicked. However, if you have never seen The Pigs, and you have a good sense of humour, see The Pigs.
Saturday: Kaylah Anne at noon, but we'll slip away to see one of Victoria McGee's shows. Nick Cesta. In the evening Kirsty and Tracy are definitely the go.
Sunday: Kelly Hope, Wildseed, Pat Drummond & Karen Lynne, Kate Ballantyne, Rob Wilson, Kaylah Anne Band, Toy Cassar Daley(9pm).

Tips for the Cessnock Country Music Festival 2009

May 22, 23 and 24, 2009.
Wow, This Hunter Valley festival has gotten better again this year! And what better excuse to visit the Hunter wine country. Artists we like:

Saturday: Chic Frontier (Aleyce Simmonds, Amber Lawrence, Kirsty Lee Akers), $25, The Davidson Brothers Band $Gold coin.
Sunday: Karen Lynne, Pat Drummond, Peter Pratt, $Gold coin.
We think the best way to enjoy this festival is to invite a number of friends, get yourself accommodation at your favourite wine country location (make reservations now), and set up your winery tours and chocolate-eating forays around the festival shows you'll attend.
The Reg Lindsay, tribute on Friday will have artists including Reg’s daughter, Dianne Lindsay.

Unlike Tamworth, accommodation for the three nights of the Cessnock Country Music Festival is very inexpensive (as little as $70 for a room) if you are willing to stay in one of the pubs near Cessnock (Paxton, Ellalong, etc.) and the motels in Cessnock are just not that expensive.

Tips for the Central Coast Country Music Festival 2009

4 March update: Lyn Bowtell is on at Diggers, Sunday.
28 Feb Update: The Chicken Train Skifflers are now at The Lakes Hotel, 2-6pm Sunday.
Festival dates are 6, 7, and 8 March 2009.

Artists include Gina Jeffreys, The Sunny Cowgirls, Travis Collins, Dale Hooper, Talia Wittmann, Feral Swing Katz, Steve Passfield, Tamara Stewart, and Lucky Starr.

Are you sceptical about going to see the old favourites from the early Rock and Roll days? Well don't worry about Lucky Star, He still has IT.

Late night transportation: Nothing! Have a designated driver or you are out of luck. We believe the last bus service leaving The Entrance is at 10PM. Taxi's are pretty much not available (they always seem surprised that there is an event on).

Our Tips:
There are quite a few acts that we haven't seen (and usually don't recommend only because we haven't seen them) but about an equal number not worth seeing. If you get to a venue and don't like the artist, leave and check out another venue!
Friday - Lucky Starr (old rock and Roll) or Craig Stewart (country). Either one of those acts will be grand.
Saturday - Do not miss Travis Collins and Gina Jeffreys. Also Lucky Starr, Angela Hayden, Tamara Stewart, Talia Whittmann, Matt Zarb at the Lakes Hotel (although we haven't seen Matt), Chicken Train Skifflers, and Steve Passfield. Kelly Hope at the Dam Hotel N. Wyong (3-6pm for the Ute show.)
Sunday - . Angela Hayden on the double decker bus. Get ur tickets early boys, Angela says she is getting married soon..... We may go on multiple trips on Angela's bus trip on Sunday. Also fabulous are Feral Swing Katz, Matt Frost, and The Sunny Cowgirls. We understand that Daniel Thompson organises some of the afternoon sails stage artists. Daniel starts off at 11:30 and then brings up several great acts including Kelly Hope. Daniel, and Duncan Toombs also have their wonderful acoustic gig at Bay Club Bateau Bay starting at 1:30. And finally, The Chicken Train Skifflers, 2-6pm at The Lakes Hotel should be tons of fun and good music. Also, Lyn Bowtell is on at Diggers.

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2009

Updates:

10 Jan: Honky Tonk nights at Family Hotel dates.
Other updates - TC's Hamburgers. Corrections on the list of gigs below. Gig lists for Dave Proust, Dan Mureau, Sandra, Sarah Carroll, Luke O'Shea, and Kerry Kennedy.

Plan now to attend for the whole festival. The best country music festival in the world. For your friends who say they don't like country music, tell 'em about the huge variety of quality live music.

Buy the Official Guide as soon as you arrive (or get them to mail it to you). It is put out by Country Music Capital News and Rural Press. This guide is a must! The mailed out version was $10 and included CD.

Get a Wests Festival Membership Card - Make your second stop at Wests to get your festival membership card. Phone 02 6765 7588. The card can save you hours of waiting in line at Wests and Diggers and save money with discounts on about everything they sell.

Buy independent artist's albums - If you really like an artist, buy their album. Yes, you may get a lemon or two, but when you see a five or six piece band in a free show, the leader is making little if anything after paying the band. Buying an album is the effective way to show your appreciation and really helps the struggling unsigned artists.

Update: last I saw, TCs was no longer open 24 hours. TC's Hamburgers on Goonoo Goonoo Rd across from the nursery. Open 24 hours. Pretty good food. See you there at 3:30am most nights after West's honky tonk shows.

Driving from Sydney?? - Many fixed and mobile speed radars. Breath testing about every day and night in Tamworth and always on the road out of town on the last days.

ARTISTS:
Travis List
- See the band (this year including Bob Howe on lead guitar and Warren Nielsen on pedal steel) at Wests main bar usually the midnight show. I call it traditional country. We have heard Travis' latest CD and it has some spectacular original music which he should include in his show. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk!
Dan Mureau - Lots of great bands in the evenings at the Central Hotel last year but Dan Mureau was the best and it is all uptempo country. One of our top two shows of the festival.
Andy Baylor & his Cajun Combo at the Southgate - Absolute must-see at least once, if not several times during the festival. On at noon, Monday thru Saturday, Southgate Inn. An all-star line-up!
The Pigs - Must see The Pigs at least once.
Rob Wilson in a show with others. You probably will only get a taste of Rob's music in the show but Rob's albums are all terrific. We buy lots of albums at Tamworth but Rob's are the few that I play year 'round.
Peter Pratt - If you like Western Music you'll love Peter. Just gotta find out where he is playing. If you do, go see him. Probably the best in Australia for this type music. Wait till you hear his whistling!! Site
Luke O'Shea - Don't miss! His bands may vary from year to year but his talent always overfloweth!
Blow Flies - Fantastic "colonial and traditional Australian music".
Leslie Avril
- Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals. At Oxley Bowling Club this year.
Sandra Humphries (get her new album for sure!, see gigs below and note there are really only three gigs with a full Sandra show).
Others we like - Lee Forster, Sarah Carroll (see below), Briana Lee, Kerry Kennedy (see below), Amber Lawrence (only show Diggers 23 Jan), Dave Proust (bush poet, Appearing just about every day, mostly at The Hogs Breath), Lonesome Train (Rockabilly). You should also see Wanita at least once but you must get to the start of her show due to numerous "guests".
I know it is bluegrass... and it is early... but breakfast with the Davidson Brothers at 8AM at Wests Leagues is always great.

Tamworth Buses - The biggest disappointment of the whole festival. The buses last year were not air conditioned and the main windows can't be opened (what genius thought up that idea) making a daytime ride of more than 5 minutes a sweatfest. In the daytime, to go between town and the farther out places like Wests and The Pub, cough up the money and take an air conditioned cab. At $4 per person to travel even 500 metres in the bus, cabs are often cheaper!

Tamworth Taxis - Moving from venue to venue? Ask for a "callback" and stay in the venue until your mobile rings. Brilliant! The Tamworth cabs are wonderful the first few days and impossible to get the last few days. Their dispatchers are total jerks about not giving you an idea of how long the wait will be; so later in the festival, they'll gladly book a taxi for you, when they know the wait will be an hour. When you get fed up with the cabs - Travel Bug 0401 946 041.

Ken Date's 2008 Tamworth report. Watch the slide show and then click the "Tamworth" tab.

Here is a gem we found among the chaff: Noon, 21 Jan at The Community Centre. Rob Wilson, Angela Hayden and Peter Pratt. $15. Don't get discouraged early in the show.... They are worth the wait.
Sarah Carroll [In the guide under Chris Wilson, Sarah Carroll & The Pirates of Beer]- 18 Jan 9:00 pm The Courthouse Hotel, 19 Jan  7:00 pm The Courthouse Hotel, 20 Jan 8:00 pm North Tamworth Bowlo??, 21 Jan 10:30 pm The Courthouse Hotel, 22 Jan 7:00 pm The Courthouse Hotel, 23 Jan 7:30 (11:00 pm)?? The Courthouse Hotel, 24 Jan 7:00 pm The Courthouse Hotel.
Sandra Humphries - 16 Jan 12:30 pm Central Hotel,17 Jan 12:30 pm Central Hotel, 18 Jan 1:30 pm Central Hotel, [With others - 16 Jan 8:15 pm Wests Leagues, 20 Jan 8:00 pm Capitol Theatre,   21 Jan 4:00 pm The Pub, 23 Jan 8:00 pm The Family Hotel]
Luke O'Shea - Tamworth Services most days.
Kerry Kennedy - 22 Jan 10:30 pm Tamworth Services Club, 24?? Jan 1:00 am Courthouse Hotel, 24 Jan 12:00 pm Tamworth Sevices Club
Dan Mureau - 17 Jan 11pm Central Hotel, 21 January 7:30PM at The Albert, 22 Jan 11pm Central Hotel, 23 Jan 11pm Central Hotel, 24 Jan 11pm Central Hotel, 26 Jan 7:30pm Central Hotel.
Dave Proust - Most days, usually at Hogs Breath 9am.

Brad

Tips for the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival 2008

17 April update: The lineup keeps getting better and better! So many great acts we worked up a dream schedule below.

Accommodation: Unlike other festivals, accommodation for the three nights of the Blue Water Port Stephens Country Music Festival is very inexpensive if you are willing to stay a few minutes outside the Nelson Bay area or in holiday accommodation.

The artists we like are Beccy Cole, Kerry Kennedy, Travis Collins, Rob Luckey, Amber Lawrence (Big Bush Brekky and Chic Frontier), Rob Wilson, Dave Proust (bush poet), Kirsty Lee Akers (Chic Frontier and Beccy Cole show), Kaylah Anne, Dianna Corcoran (Chic Frontier), and Victoria McGee. Be sure to get over to Kerry Kennedy's gig. We don't see him a lot in NSW but in a small room he's one of the best shows around! We aren't much on bush poetry but Dave Proust is world class! See him if you can. Also consider the "Working Class Country" Concert with Paul Costa, Travis Sinclair, Melanie Dyer, and Jim Haynes.

We loved the double decker bus with onboard entertainment at The Entrance Festival. Check the artist schedule when it is published for an artist you like and get your tickets early. Best $6 you'll spend.

Dream schedule:
Friday: noon Kaylah Anne, Ride the toboggan all afternoon, 7 Handpicked, 8:30 Kate Ballantyne, 10 The Pigs.
Saturday: White Pointer fishing at Stockton Beach until 1PM, 1 Amber Lawrence, 2 Working Class Country Concert or Kel Anne Brandt, 5 Lisa White, 8pm this is difficult...a bit of a drive to Rob Luckey or it must be Kerry Kennedy. Double Decker Bus 2 or 3:30.
Sunday: 9 AM Dave Proust for sure!, 4 Chic Frontier, 7 Rob Wilson, 8 Beccy Cole of course but many of you have seen her touring the region lately, if so then 8 Rukus or Rob Wilson who started at 7. Double Decker Bus 1.30pm, 3.00pm or 4.30pm

 

Tips for the Cessnock Country Music Festival 2008

This is a pretty small festival but what better excuse to visit the wine country. Our tips are:
Friday: Carter and Carter with Donna Boyd $15 (both acts are favourites of ours)
Saturday: Lisa White, Rob Wilson, and Amber Lawrence, 10.30am to 5.00pm, all free. Then Saturday night The Feral Swing Katz $20 (Stuie French and Camille TeNahu). We saw Stuie and Camille at The Entrance Festival where they were the best act of the entire weekend but haven't seen them billed as Feral Swing Katz lately.
Sunday: All shows on Sunday are free. During the day 10.30am to 5.00pm are Alby Pool, Melody Pool, Kellie Cain, Victoria McGee, and Sharnee Fenwick at East Cessnock Bowling Club while at the Cessnock City Bowling Club are The Balladeers. Sunday night at the Cessnock Ex-Services Club at 6:30pm it's contemporary country (with a bit of bluegrass thrown in) with Lachie Davidson of the Davidson Brothers Band, Kristy Cox, and Rob Wilson.
Let's hope in at least the paid shows the musos are able to do enough practice that they don't have to resort to music stands.

Tips for the Central Coast Country Music Festival 2008

FRIDAY

My pick for Friday night will have to be dinner and the Chicken Train Skifflers at the Lakes Hotel. I recall they were pretty entertaining last year. The colourful local clientele at the Lakes always make the night very interesting.

SATURDAY

Are you sceptical about going to see the old favourites from the early Rock and Roll days? Well don't worry about Lucky Star, He still has IT; 10AM Sails Stage.

Angela Hayden at 11 AM is a good singer, a spectacular yodeller and very entertaining. Her version of the the 1934 Tex Owens song "Cattle Call" is the best

The cattle are prowlin',
The coyotes are howlin',
Way out where the doggies bawl.
Where spurs are a jinglin',
And the cowboy is singing,
His lonesome cattle call.

1:40 - 2:30 Memorial Park Stage - Camille TeNahu & Stuie French - Don't miss

4:30 - 5:45 Melinda Schneider!!

If you haven't seen The Pigs, and you have a good sense of humour, you must be at the Budgewoi Soccer Club at 7:30.

SUNDAY

All worth seeing on the sails stage at various times: Daniel Thompson, Matt Frost, Grant Richardson, Jessica Belle.

Well worth seeing on the Memorial Park Stage: Amber Lawrence.

The Wolverines Free on the Memorial Park Stage. 3 - 5 PM - Don't miss..

Late night transportation: Nothing! Have a designated driver or you are out of luck. We believe the last bus service leaving The Entrance is at 10PM. Taxi's are pretty much not available (they seem surprised that there is an event on). Also, even though the Wyong shire web site proudly announces the night owl bus service, the night owl fares, and the bus schedule...it doesn't run! Good luck!

Saturday 8 March update:
10 out of 10: Stuie and Camille, Lucky Starr, Angela Hayden.
Very entertaining: Chicken Train Skifflers Hillbilly Band.
Scott Dann and Wayne Nuku...not sure what that was about.
Melinda Schneider - Great singing, but most or all the band had music stands...Why would the band (some top players) for the headline act need music stands? Not paid enough to practice? Somebody didn't send out a set list in time? It's a free show, so who cares?

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2008

24 Jan 2008 Festival update
Artists:

Rob Luckey and the Lucky Bastards - 10/10
Travis List - 10/10
Ray Hoff - Great to have his wonderful music back. Most gigs in big venues where his impact is lessened, but see him anyway. Boogie Woogie.
Lonesome Train - RnR 10/10
Sarah Carroll with Pirates of Beer - What a fantastic surprise seeing her for the first time. Thanks for the tip Smithy. Sarah was teamed up with Pirates of Beer just for this festival. Hopefully we'll find Sarah at some other gig.
John Stone - Sort of Hard Rock meets Hillbilly Tunes but what a great show!
Busses - Still unairconditioned and windows that won't open.
Cabs - Moving from venue to venue? Ask for a "callback" and stay in the venue until your mobile rings. Brilliant!

Don't make the same mistake I made and judge a band by the poor sound system/operator at these stages: Fitzroy Tavern, Outdoor stage at Loco.. The artists are probably very much better than they sound at those stages.

2008 Tips

ARTISTS:
Travis List
- See the band (this year including Anthony Stewart on lead guitar and Warren Nielsen on pedal steel) at the Diggers and Wests main bar various times through the festival. I call it traditional country. Some great original country music. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk!
Rob Luckey and The Lucky Bastards - Lots of Honky Tonk favourites done in Rob's own style, often better than the original. Don't leave until you have heard Rob's versions of "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive" and "Long Black Veil". Get in early; Robs last Tamworth show is Wed 23 Jan. His shows are at the Southgate and Albert.
The Pigs - Must see The Pigs at least once.
Rob Wilson is back at Tamworth, albeit in a four hour show with many others; The Col Thompson show ($15). You probably will only get a taste of Rob's music in the show but Rob's albums are all terrific. I buy lots of albums at Tamworth but Rob's are the the few that I play year 'round. Also in Col's show are Billy Bridge (great country voice) and Angela Hayden ("Cattle Call" wow,).
Peter Pratt - If you like Western Music you'll love Peter. Just gotta find out where he is playing. If you do, go see him. Probably the best in Australia for this type music. Wait till you hear his whistling!! Site
Luke O'Shea - Don't miss! His bands may vary from year to year but his talent always overfloweth!
Blow Flies - Fantastic "traditional Australian music", but not exactly country.
Leslie Avril
- Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals.
Dan Mureau - Lots of great bands at the Central Hotel last year but Dan Mureau was the best.
Ray Hoff is back - If his boogie woogie is as good as previous years, a show not to miss!
Others I like - Lee Forster, Casey Watt, Briana Lee, Andy Baylor & his Cajun Combo at the Southgate, Kerry Kennedy, Amber Lawrence, Nicki Gillis, Dave Proust, Sandra Humphries. Lonesome Train Rockabilly (Just don't buy a drink at The Courthouse with ice in it....). You must also see Wanita at least once (Albert).

This might be the biggest night of the festival - Sun 20 Jan 5PM to 3 AM Diggers - Casey Watt followed by Travis List followed by The Pigs.

I know it is bluegrass... and it is early... but breakfast with the Davidson Brothers at 8AM at Wests Leagues is always great.

Ken Date's 2007 report. Check out the pics and then click the "Tamworth" tab.

Brad

One Tip for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2008

Plan now to attend for the whole festival. The best country music festival in the world. For your friends who say they don't like country music, tell 'em about the huge variety of quality live music.

Tips for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2007

Post Tamworth Report: There were so many superb free shows, we only had time in 9 days to attend one paid show; Travis Collins and he was tremendous. Our top shows were those mentioned below plus Dan Mureau at the Central, Harley Smith, Amber Lawrence, Peter Pratt, Casey Watt, Andy Baylor, Alby was great at the Southgate, Gleny Rae Virus and her extraordinary guest list, Johnny Green, Leslie Avril, and Luke O'Shea puts on a fabulous show for a 4-piece.

4 Jan 2007 update: These free shows are even better than last year: Travis List, Andy Baylor, Rob Luckey, Blow Flies, Lonesome Train. Unfortunately some of the young women of country, even the ones up for the "new star" type awards, have put together bands that haven't practiced, don't gel, and are plain boring; if you like the ladies of country, stick to the girls who have been around a while. Travis List's remaining shows may feature the top country guitar player from both NSW and SA; some amazing guitar picking exhibitions plus the extraordinary vocals. A great place to eat at 2AM - TCs Hamburgers on Goonoo Goonoo Rd across from the nursery.

ARTISTS:
Travis List
- See the full band at the Diggers and Wests main bar various times through the festival. I call it traditional country. Some great original country music. Lots of Merle Haggard, some Mavericks, and great vocals. This will be one of the best shows of the festival. Honky Tonk! Site | Wests gigs
Rob Luckey and The Lucky Bastards - Lots of Honky Tonk favourites done in Rob's own style, often better than the original. Don't leave until you have heard Rob's versions of "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive" and "Long Black Veil".
The Pigs - Do not miss the Pigs. Great entertainment every late night at Diggers.
Peter Pratt - If you like Western Music you'll love Peter. Just gotta find out where he is playing. If you do, go see him. Probably the best in Australia for this type music. Wait till you hear his whistling!! Here are some of his gigs: Tues 23 Oasis Hotel 6pm, Wed 24 Oasis Hotel 2pm, Thur 25 Oasis Hotel 4pm. Site
Blow Flies - Fantastic "traditional Australian music", but not exactly country.
Red Hot Poker Dots
- Playing exclusively at Joe Maguires. Behind the wild look, these folks are great musicians.
Bill Chambers and Trev Warner - With a full band these guys together are as good as it gets. The show at the pub is great.
Leslie Avril - Leslie upstairs at the Tudor is one of my all time favourite gigs from previous festivals.
Dan Mureau - Lots of great bands at the Central Hotel last year but Dan Mureau was the best. Looks like somebody else noticed because he has moved up to the the Coyote Ugly Bar for a night. The Central Hotel Tamworth gigs are finally up!
Others I like - Briana Lee, Victoria Baillie, Nicki Gillis, Dave Proust, Sandra Humphries, Sweeney Killeen, Barramundi Brothers (great music but last year they talked more than they sang), Aurish & Kachel. You must also see Wanita at least once (City Tavern, Albert). You must see Texas Rose at least once! She is back at the Central this year. Lonesome Train (Just don't buy a drink at The Courthouse with ice in it....).

Joe Maguires has airconditioned their stage area (it used to be an oven on a hot day) which is great.. Unfortunately the acoustics were terrible with a huge echo, probably from the windows behind the artists? Sit near the back of the room and it does sound OK.
I never could figure out why I didn't like bands that played at The Fitzroy Tavern...After hearing a couple my favourite bands at the Fitzroy, I realize it isn't the bands...it is the acoustics or sound system.

For some great nostalgic photos of country stars, go to Helen's Tamworth Rage Page .

Brad