2023 main stage line up
Pop icon, actress, musician, role model – Jessica Mauboy is a quadruple threat with a conscience, a woman with serious acting chops and multiple accolades, an accomplished songwriter and piano player, and she owns her effervescent and incredibly engaging energy.
Prone to an impromptu acapella and a raucous and instantly recognisable laugh, Jess has not left our screens, radios or minds since she burst onto TV is 2006.
Thanks to the juggernaut that is Eurovision, the globe soon got to know the particular tone, pitch and delivery of this proudly Australian Indigenous woman, someone we already knew and loved as our own prodigious R ‘n’ B trailblazer, who has expertly made the mix of R ‘n’ B, pop, funk, soul, hip hop and dance her infectious signature sound.
You’ll know a Mauboy song when you hear it because Jess makes every song her own, each tune laced with trills you instantly recognise as hers.
In 2022 Australian music icon John Williamson will celebrate his 52nd anniversary in the entertainment industry and foresee winding back on his regular touring. But not before he completes a grueling schedule of catch-up postponed concerts due to COVID.
When John Williamson wandered into Melbourne’s GTV9 studios in 1970 with a guitar under his arm, little did the Mallee farmer realise he’d make a 50+-year career out of singing and performing. His performance of ‘Old Man Emu’ (the first song John had ever written) on Channel Nine’s New Faces program resulted in a number one single for five weeks and a recording deal. It also marked the appearance of a striking new talent: an unofficial custodian of Australian stories.
Like a roly-poly across this vast continent, few people have travelled it like John. It has been his inspiration; encapsulating in song the beauty, wonder and, sometimes, heartbreak of life Down Under. From boabs to billabongs and snowy mountains to sandy beaches, the Mallee-born songwriter’s 52 albums–including 20 original studio albums–have traversed Australia like a dust-covered road train, deftly moving between larrikin humour and touching pathos.
His accolades include the ARIA Hall of Fame, an Order of Australia, 28 Golden Guitar Awards, Australian Roll of Renown induction, not to mention over 5 million albums sold and thousands of shows performed. In January 2022 a life-sized bronze statue in John’s image will be unveiled in Tamworth on the final Saturday of the festival; a significant reminder of his presence that stays in Tamworth long after the last note has been played.
Perhaps John’s greatest legacy is making Australians proud of their country and of who they are. So, don’t miss him at the Deni Ute Muster this October.
When the entire music industry began to re-emerge after a difficult few years, Beccy Cole suffered one of the worst years of her life personally. Adam stayed in constant contact with his good friend and suggested that they record a new album together, hence the creation of a new duets album “The Great Country Songbook Volume 3”, along with an Australia wide tour.
Beccy said in a beautiful post on social media ” A few months ago when I wasn’t doing so well, my friend Adam Harvey checked in on me every week or so. He asked if there was anything he could do and I said ‘you could tour with me again, they are my happiest times.’ So he changed his year around and orchestrated this whole project. A new album, and a tour. He said if I got better he would tour with me till the bloody wheels fall off! That’s what you call a friend.”
In summary, the Great Country Songbook Volume 3 is about two best friends getting together again to record some of their favorite classic country songs. Recorded at the Music Cellar on the NSW Central Coast with engineer Jeff McCormack, Adam and Beccy relished in the role of producing the project.
With 2 ARIA #1 albums and 3 CMAA Golden Guitar Awards to his name – most recently Male Artist of the Year 2023 – Andrew Swift is one of Australia’s most discerning storytellers.
His debut album, ‘Call Out For The Cavalry’, earned him a whopping 4 Golden Guitar nominations in 2019 – not bad for an upstart – from which he took home gongs for Alt Country Album of the Year and New Talent of the Year.
His sophomore effort, ‘The Art of Letting Go’, came three years later, after a signing with ABC and a whirlwind of touring alongside some of the genre’s biggest names – The Wolfe Brothers, Catherine Britt and Shannon Noll, to name a few.
The new record became the 5th highest selling Australian Country Music album in 2021. Hits like ‘Head Full of Honey’ and ‘Say The Word’ spun light-hearted stories of courtship and calamity through a sonic lens that pushed the boundaries of the genre.
Swift’s forthcoming album, ‘Lightning Strikes and Neon Nights’ – slated for release on April 28, 2023 – is his most daring yet. Produced by the incomparable Matt Fell (Troy Cassar-Daley, Fanny Lumsden), it mixes Swift’s signature grit with retro Andrew Swift soundscapes and contemporary rhythms.
Despite his meteoric ascent he’s immensely passionate about helping those following in his footsteps. It’s this same compassion that earned him the mantle of official ambassador for Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox.
Both a wayward vagabond and a sweetheart, his songs brood on gut-wrenching heartache and revel in limitless joy. He’s a master performer and one hell of a guy.
Casey Barnes kicked off 2023 with a bang, picking up Golden Guitar Awards for Toyota Album of the Year and Top Selling Album of the Year for his latest album, Light It Up. The ten-song album also received the 2022 ARIA Award for Best Country Album. Debuting #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Album chart and #3 on the All-Genre Australian Album chart, Light It Up features five smash hit singles including “Come Turn Me On”, “God Took His Time On You”, “Get To Know Ya” (all of which reached #1 on the CountryTown Hot50 chart) and recent singles “Kiss Me Like You Mean It” and “Small Town”
Catherine Britt has a voice that instantly gets your attention… but unlike others, it is the craftsmanship of this singer/songwriter who unashamedly boasts a worthy story to tell that truly keeps her audience enthralled.
She has lived a life in the world of entertainment most will never experience or dream of! The Aussie girl from the coal works of Newcastle uprooted herself at 17 years old and moved for six years to Nashville TN (USA) where she gained a deep knowledge of country/roots/folk history as well as touring extensively and releasing top 40 Billboard hits.
The hottest artist paving his own way in the music industry right now, James Johnston drops his explosive new hit ‘GOT IT GOOD’.
The track comes fresh off the back of his performance at the 2023 Tamworth Country Music Festival, where he played his debut headline show to a capacity crowd at TRECC – a show that was not only the largest ticketed concert at the festival but sold out in record time.
Johnston closed the night at the 51st Golden Guitar awards, where he was awarded two Golden Guitars – New Talent of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year for ‘SAME SONGS’, a duet with Kaylee Bell.
Five-time Golden Guitar nominee Jayne Denham is one of Australia’s most admired and sought-after country rock performers. Her 5th Album WANTED came out of the gate firing all the bullets, reaching #1 Aria Australian Country Album and #2 on the Air Australian Indie charts after Jimmy Barns. WANTED has been hailed as a Country rock Opera full of sound effects and is a musical journey with a big serving of spaghetti Western on the side. The album landed her 2x Golden Guitar Awards for Female Artist of the Year, and Contemporary Album of the
Year. Denham has scored 4 #1 smash hits in Australia, 6 Top 10 songs in the National Country Charts, 12 Top 30 videos, and 6 Country Music Channel (CMC) nominations. Fun fact – Jayne recorded her album Calamity in the home studio of Rascal Flatts’ Jay De Marcus, who played bass on the album.
Jayne is signed to Velvet Stone Management, a division of Dead Horse Branding based in Sydney and Nashville, TN.
Lee Kernaghan is Australia’s most loved country music identity and an outback icon. He is credited with reinvigorating Australian Country Music by synthesising traditional country themes with his own brand of rural rock and images of an evolving regional culture.
Songs like The Outback Club, Boys From The Bush, Hat Town, She’s My Ute, Outback Club, Backroad Nation and Australian Boy are now modern day anthems for a generation of Australian’s living and working on the land.
Lee has achieved a staggering 40 #1 chart hit songs over his career and has been awarded 38 Golden Guitars. His live concerts are a high powered, electric celebration of all things Australian delivered through Lee’s songs.
Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins has enjoyed phenomenal success with her irresistible melodies, seering lyrics and an authentically striking voice. She was just 21 when her 2004 debut, ‘The Sound of White’, exploded in Australia. The nine-times Platinum, six-time ARIA Award winning album was the first of her five domestic #1’s. Her 2007 follow-up, ‘On A Clear Night’ followed with another chart topping single, ‘Steer’, plus RIAA gold-certified U.S. breakthrough hit, ‘Where I Stood’.
Missy remains one of Australia’s most revered voices. 2018’s ‘Solastalgia’ probed the existential crises that come with climate change and was accompanied by a stadium tour with Ed Sheeran while her work on the soundtrack to the acclaimed TV Series “Total Control” earned her several songwriting awards in 2022 and inspired the Total Control mini-album. Most recently, Missy received the Melbourne Prize for Music 2022. The triennial award honours Victorian artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian music and to cultural life.
Travis Collins has long led the charge in the Australian country music fold with his soulful voice, earthy sound, and unique gift for piloting both sophisticated, heartfelt ballads and supercharged country-rock floor-fillers.
Since bursting onto the scene with Start the Car in 2005, Collins has fast established himself as a leading light in Australian song. 2020 saw the release of award-winning album Wreck Me marking a personal milestone for Collins with a No. 1 ARIA Country Chart position and debuting in Top 10 of the ARIA Album Charts. Wreck Me also landed Collins his second ARIA Awards nomination for Best Country Album and his 8th Golden Guitar Award.
The triple CMAA Male Artist of the Year and CMA Global Artist Award-winner has toured alongside US megastars Tim McGraw and Luke Combs, and recorded with Nashville’s best and brightest, including super-producer Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley/Brad Paisley). Nine studio albums later and Collins is a regular mainstage fixture at Australia’s peak country music festivals and routinely plays to sold-out crowds across the country.
Recent years have seen Collins expanding his sound, songs, and live show still further, promising even bigger, better, and brighter things ahead – both onstage and in the studio. Mid 2022 Collins released chart topping single One of Them Nights. In early 2023 Collins will return with a brand new album release … stay tuned for more from this country powerhouse!
Tim Freedman’s alt-country project The Whitlams Black Stump Band sees Tim and long-time drummer Terepai Richmond joined by an A Team of roots musicians, reconstructing the best of The Whitlams’ repertoire with a smattering of new songs and classic Americana from Kris Kristofferson to Neil Young and The Grateful Dead.
The act debuted at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2022, then wound their way down the East Coast from Cairns to Queenscliff in a three week tour that cemented their musical bond. The five piece band features Rod McCormack and Matt Fell, two CMAA Producers of the Year, on banjo and bass, and young gun Ollie Thorpe on electric and pedal steel guitar.
The 2022 singles “The Day John Sattler Broke His Jaw” and “Blow Up the Pokies” became staples on Country radio, and with their new track, “Kate Kelly (featuring Felicity Urquhart)”, highlight their ethos of telling Australian stories to Australian audiences. The band is gearing up for the release of their full length album in January, 2024.
With 55 Gold Guitars and 10 ARIAs between them, you’ll want to catch this exciting collaboration on the ground floor.
Last year you saw Zara Lindeman playing the Bundy Bar, the Iron Jack Bar and on the Day Stage. Since then, Zara released her debut single ‘A Pony I Can Trust’ and her second single ‘She’s Back’. Both tracks hit number #1 on the iTunes Country Charts. ‘A Pony I Can Trust’ landed at #3 on the AIR 100% Independent Single Chart. ‘She’s Back’, co-written and produced by Gareth Leach, reached #2 on the AMRAP Regional Chart and was played on ABC Country. Both songs gained national and international airplay and were added to renowned Apple Music editorial playlists.
Having grown up on an alpaca farm outside Deniliquin, Zara began her musical performance journey playing around Northern Victoria and Southern NSW, gigging at pubs, clubs, weddings and private and corporate events.
Growing up Zara was exposed to various music genres but found herself drawn to the country music sound. Her influences include Kasey Chambers, Dolly Parton, Missy Higgins, Carly Pearce and Carrie Underwood.
In January this year, Zara graduated from the CMAA Senior Academy of Country Music, where she was mentored by multi-golden guitar-winning industry professionals including Dobe Newton, Lyn Bowtell, Roger Corbett and Kevin Bennett.
Opening Tamworth’s Toyota Park Stage with fellow CMAA Academy of Country Music graduates, and playing Tamworth’s Toyota FanZone Stage are recent highlights in Zara’s career, as was playing the Muster Day Stage in 2022.
Stepping up to the Main Stage, Zara will entertain you with her unique style of country music.