Totally Biased Fan Top 100 for 2018 – The last bit!

20 – Knowing That You’re There – Allan Caswell

19 – Drop on By – 8 Ball Aitken

18 – Tear It Down – Imogen Clark

17 – In the Grooves – Matt Scullion

16 – Baling Twine – Michael Waugh

15 – That’s Why Lonely People Drink – Allan Caswell and Jen Mize

14 – Coromandel Valley – Beccy Cole

13 – Last of The Cassette Men – John Flanagan Trio

12 – Watered Down Man – Riley Catherall

11 – My Voice – Melinda Schneider

10 – A Break in the Clouds – Cathy Dobson

9 – Ransom – Matt Joe Gow

8 – King of The Sky – Andrew Swift

7 – Old Chimney – Brendan Smoother

6. Tennessee Lullaby – Sally-Anne Whitten, Allison Forbes and Rae Beth Moody

5. Sweet English Rose – Kristy Cox

4. Tears on a page – Matt Scullion

3. Sweet Bird of Youth – Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

2. Tough As Geranium – Susan Lily

And the number 1 is……

  1. I’m Gonna Love Her All The Time – Montgomery Church

Kaz’s Totally Biased Top 100 Australian Country Songs 2018 – Part 3

49 – Come Home – James Van Cooper

48 – When Rail Was King – Susan Lily

47 – Loneliness – Kate Hindle

46 – Free John Zarb – John Flanagan Trio

45 – Wild Mountain – Megan Cooper

44 – For A Moment – Michael Waugh

43 – Countrified – Kingsford Smith

42 – Apple Tree – 8 Ball Aitken

41 – In Good Time – Tyson Lucas

40 – Roadside Cross – Matt Scullion

39 – He Talks of Going Back – Dean Perrett

38 – I’m Just A Song – Matt Scullion

37 – Birds In Cages – Tamara Stewart

36 – I’d Rather Be A Highwayman – Adam Harvey

35 – When They Ring The Bell – Montgomery Church

34 – Georgia – Andrew Swift

33 – My Song Isn’t Written Yet – Chalkie White

32 – Set Sail – Casey Barnes

31 – On the Corner of Hope and Divine – Cathy Dobson

30 – A Town Called Lonely – Rose Zita Falko

29 – Best Impressions – Fanny Lumsden and Mustered Courage

28 – Every Hello – BBU and Karl

27 – I Hope That I’m Wrong – Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

26 – Ricochet – Kristy Cox

25 – YOu Can’t Hide From a Broken Heart – Sally-Anne Whitten

24 – Day One of Missing You – Benny Allen

23 – Love Like A River – Melissa Robertson and Ian Burns

22 – Your Anything At All – Imogen Clark

21 – The Harvest and The Seed – Kasey Chambers and Emmylou Harris

 

Kaz’s Totally Biased Top 100 Australian Country Music Songs 2018 – Part 2

Ok, 79 – 50

79 – Pastor’s Daughter – Anthony Taylor

78 – Way Back Home – Melissa Robertson

77 – Runaway Train – Andrew Swift

76 – It Was Always You – Kirsty Lee Akers

75 – Australian Dream – Jess Holland

74 – If I Was Me – Travis Collins

73 – Solitary Mind – Jess Holland

72- Our Souls – Beccy Cole

71 – Old Memory – Rose Zita Falko

70 – Musical Journey – Susan Lily

69 – This Old Mandolin – Adam Toms

68 – Fear Of Flying – Jayne Denham

67 – Preacher Man – Libby O’Donovan

66 – Ravenswood Lane – Kora Naughton

65 – Think My Mamma Loved My Daddy – Cathy Dobson

64 – Highway Not The Dream – Ben Leece

63 – Diana – David Reeve

62 – Coffee Goes Cold – Col Finley

61 – High Horse – Travis Collins

60 – My American Friends – Graeme Connors

59 – Freedom of the Road – Tracy Coster and Beccy Cole

58 – My Rifle, My Pony and Me – Jen and Mark

57 – Be In the Band – Cornell and Carr

56 – Lake House – Brad Cox

55 – My God – Beccy Cole

54 – Bush TV – Catherine Britt and the Cold Cold Hearts

53 – Lay with Me – Adam and Brooke

52 – Bluer than mine – Megan Cooper

51 – Starting Over – Tara Favell and Josh Setterfield

50 – Shine Your Light – Rick Hart

Kaz’s Totally Biased Top 100 Australian Country Songs – 2018 – Part 1

And so it begins. 100 – 80

My fave songs of 2018. Not necessarily singles. Just my fave songs off some cool albums and yes, some singles.

Anyone of these could be shuffled about, so some are not necessarily in order. Some of there are.

100 – That’s The Wine – Jade Holland

99 – One Man – Adam and Brooke

98 – I Like Trains – Catherine Britt and The Cold Cold Hearts

97 – Brand New – Kristy James

96 – Handle Love with Care – Connie Kis Andersen

95 – Heartland – Ben Ransom

94 – Stepping Stones – Dani Young

93 – Live to Be 100 – Kingsford Smith

92 – Homeward Call – Michelle Walker

91 – When I’m With You Tonight – Benny Allen and Renee Jonas

90 – Couldn’t Live Without You – Tyson Colman and Michelle Walker

89 – Tapping – Michael Waugh

88 – Everything to Nothing – Kristy James

87 – In the Morning – Tori Forsyth

86 – Love and Happiness for You – Justin Standley and Evelyn Bury

85 – Hold Me Close – Sami

84 – Forget Him – Marie Hodson

83 – Grandma’s Philosophies – Bec Hance

82 – When You Say I Do – Benny Allen

81 – Broken – Jodie Crosby

80 – Footsteps Coming Home – Kate Hindle

It’s a wrap – My year with Country Music 2018

Dear all,

 

After 96 album reviews, 34 gig reviews and countless articles and The Kazzies, the year for Cowgirl Up is winding to a close. There have been some special events, special moments and some sad ones in our country music calendar. I will be doing my top 100 songs for the year on NYE and my 100 Fave albums in Australian Country Music of all time very soon, but apart from that, 2019 will start with Tips for Tamworth and who knows what else we will have in store.

Thanks to my country music family, most of whom only live a stone’s throw away now. This is a collection of the cream of Aussie Country Music and a bunch of fellow country music tragics who bump into each other at just about every gig, follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter and also follow my Downunder Beats blog posts on bluesandrootsradio.com who have been awesome too. Thanks to Stevie and Anne there and all the gang at the worldwide radio and website. I am learning a lot about other Indie acts all over the world from them and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to promote our Aussie artists. I am very proud to be one of two Aussie representatives on the site.

I have had some technical issues this year, but you can still access Countryas which has half the year of reviews and posts and ones from previous years. Hopefully, Cowgirlup will not have any setbacks in 2019.

Thanks chiefly to the artists who have been so welcoming to me and supportive of my endeavours. Hopefully, I will be on the radio again next year. I have had a few hurdles in getting a timeslot but if not with the station that trained me here, I may be able to get onto another one.  We need to get music out there that people don’t know about.

In the end, I am just a fan who happens to have a great passion for writing about something that she cares about very much and the people who provide that joy through their music and entertainment and their friendship.

Thanks to Bruber who has been a great pal and I really probably couldn’t have been able to attend a lot of gigs and special events without him.

Music has been a lifelong passion for me. My parents always had it playing in the house – totally different kinds of music but it was always playing. My sister plays a mean piano and shares my passion for music as well. I can’t sing or play anything, but I love writing about it.

We have lost a few venues this year, the incredible The Basement in Sydney and The Skylark Room in Victoria, which is sad. Brunswick in Victoria has been awesome, providing lots of venues for country music and music in general. House concerts are also a big thing down here, sadly I missed about 5 or 6 beauties due to illness or having to work.

It was good to be able to go to Hats Off in July in Tamworth, and I am looking forward to the festival next month. As always, it will be hard to go to everything but I am going to try to see as much as possible.

There has been some incredible music this year, the last three years in Australian Country Music have been huge. It was very hard judging the Kazzies, there was so much wonderful stuff out there. And it is so diverse.

When everything else is falling apart, country music is always there to buoy me up and the fabulous people who sing and write and play it.

Usually at the Kazzies, I make special mention of some people who have contributed in an extraordinary fashion, not just on the record or on the stage, but also away from all of that. The Entertainers of the Year, The Weeping Willows have achieved so much this year on stage and overseas but they are also great human beings, not just as my friends but for all that they have done for The Black Dog and for their support of other artists. Amber Lawrence, the new mum, has not stopped this year, not even when she was heavily pregnant. Every fundraiser had her on the phone or behind a microphone, every festival had her performing at it. She gives so much and she is pretty talented on top of it! Brad Butcher and many others did so much during the drought appeals. Thanks to all of the artists who contributed music, donations and support to our farmers. Aleyce “I will slow up” Simmonds did her usual hard work promoting others and the Tamworth Country Music Scene. To all of the radio presenters on Community Radio and the Country Music Programmes, thank you for playing our artists and promoting their gigs. To all of the organizers of the festivals and the photographers, writers, and producers who work so tirelessly.

To all the Superfans who won purple guitars this year and the many others who support the artists, thank you for all that you do, not just as punters but also as merch folks, promoters, photographers and writers.

It has been a big year for babies in Australian Country Music this year, thus we may have a new generation of country musos on our hands!

It is hard to single out artists this year, but folks like Andrew Swift, Imogen Clark, Sally-Anne Whitten, Montgomery Church, The Weeping Willows, Kristy Cox, Beccy Cole and Melinda Schneider have done some amazing things on and off the stage and record.

There are a lot of new talents about and people who I keep discovering. The Bens have been dominant this year, particularly in the last part of it. Some amazing young talents like Rose Zita Falko, Riley Catherall and many others are coming through. Reliables like Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Allan Caswell, Matt Scullion, Beccy Cole, Marie Hodson, Adam Harvey, Jodie Crosby,  Adam Toms and others produced terrific albums, some after a bit of a break.

The Matts were also strong, not just Mr Scullion but also Mat Black, Matt Ward, Matt Joe Gow and Matt James did some great stuff with promise of more next year.

There are lots of new albums coming out next year and I am looking forward to them.

Col Finley had a huge year this year too, with his The Collective album and all that went with it.

It is sad that Sandra Humphries is retiring, but I understand. She has been entertaining us for a long while and hopefully, she will return as she is still young and has a lot more to offer us. There is an old saying though that goes “leave ’em wanting more”. Thanks Sandra for everything. I am glad that I got to see you in July and will see you in January.

Bush Ballads and Heritage songs are stronger than ever and the Alt. Country Music scene is huge, particularly here in Victoria.

I am looking so forward to Tamworth, catching up with friends and some great music.

Thanks again everyone for your support and for following my ramblings. If I could do more, I would.

Much love and all the best for 2019. Keep it Country.

 

Kaz

Totally Biased Fan Review: Chris Williams – Brand New Fire

Chris Williams Brand New Fire

This is a fine example of Country Rock. Chris has a varied pack of influences. You can tell that my listening to his music. It is indeed guitar driven but unlike some lesser country rock offerings, Chris’s music has balance. He is a fine vocalist and I am tempted to wager a few bets that he could sing just about any style.

The first song on the EEP, is City Lights, the current single and the obvious standout track on this production. It has a real Summer of 69 feel, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Bryan Adams was an influence, though he is not listed on his page as one. Tom Petty and Keith Urban are, though, and you can hear that too. It is a catchy, feel good, rocking song.

This 5 track EEP (extended extended play), is a bit of a teaser. I think the timing of the release is good. As Summer starts in Australia (albeit a bit late in Victoria this year), it is a good soundtrack to hot road trips and a day at the beach. The guitar work on here is quite awesome, particularly on Shining on You which has some great lyrics too.

I can imagine Chris working with fellow Australian Country Rockers Adam Toms and Ben Ransom – they would make a pretty cool trio, actually! Collaboration, boys?

Live in the Moment was probably Chris’s “take notice” song, and it sits pretty in the middle of this EEP.  There is enough country in this EEP to call it Country Rock, unlike some other folks who tend to concentrate more on the rock side of country rock. There is a bit of twang there and lyrics to suggest that it is country related.

Chris has been able to score himself some regular gigs at the Crown in Melbourne, which is no mean feat. His music is polished, his voice is strong and the production on this EEP is top notch.

He could easily crossover into the rock charts, but I hope that he doesn’t, as I see a few avenues that Chris could go down in Country music in Australia if this Melbourne muso is willing to be a bit flexible. All of the tracks are good road songs and travelling songs. It is not an album to mellow out to, it is a toe tapping, shoulder shifting rollicking EEP.

He is every bit as good as Keith Urban when Keith is at his best.  I would like to hear Chris mix it up a bit more with some other tempos, but other than that, this is a first class offering.

 

 

Tracks:

City Lights

Shining on You

Live in the Moment

Speed of Light

Beautiful World

Here’s some “‘splainin'” Lucy about some of the Kazzies’ categories

Hi gang,

Just thought that I’d better explain some of the more obscure categories in yesterday’s Kazzies, and/or why I called them what I called them.

There were some new ones and some that I didn’t put in this year. One popular one in the past has been The Flying The Flag award, which goes to Aussies who are spreading the word overseas about our great country music. There are a set of fairly well known artists who have been doing this for years and then there are some who have been quietly making inroads and others who aren’t so well known doing some small but cool stuff in the U.S.A. and Europe.  Congrats to all of them.

The Tom Fauvette/Phil Emmanuel Musos award is named after two wonderful guitarists who we lost way too young this last year. It will remain named that way (after several name changes in the past) to honour two great guys.

The Audrey Auld Courage in Recording award was slightly renamed this year. Audrey was an amazing singer/songwriter, whom we all miss very much. We were around the same age and she was a wonderful talent. She fought a long and tough battle without any fuss and with a lot of courage and positivity. The Pub at Tamworth honours her by naming the café after her. I don’t usually add the Recording bit, just courage, which has been displayed by many of our country musos, presenters etc over the years. This year, I changed it slightly, as Three artists had tough recording tasks. Cathy Dobson put together a stunning album which I keep stuffing up the title about, Tales From A Suburban Housewife, which is a very honest and thought provoking album. Melissa Robertson did the same with her very open book album, “A Little Country Life” which is heartbreakingly honest and must have taken a lot to write. Rick Hart’s tribute to Tom and the amazing courage that it took him to help put together the Country Rocks The Black Dog event, deserved a mention too.

Special mention here should go to Chalkie White (who also won one last year) and Kalesti Butler who have been through some pretty tough stuff lately and have been inspirational in the way that they have handled it all.

The Hot Shots one is about the up and coming artists who approach everything with enthusiasm, passion and work hard in various ways to achieve it. They also have a high energy rate!  Benny and Rose were obvious choices this year. Last year, Phoebe Jay and Rory Phillips won the award.

For those who don’t know the John Flanagan Trio song, Last of The Cassette Men is about Paul Kelly.

The Mall of Fame is my Hall of Fame. I figured that I would extend the building because there are so many great musos, producers, media folks that belong in there. I might have to make it the palace of fame soon.

 

 

Summary of The Kazzies – Purple Guitars 2018

To make it a bit easier! These are the “Winners” Nominations are all on the blog.

Entertainer of the Year: The Weeping Willows

Best Album of the Year – All Categories: Montgomery Church – In The Shadow of the Mountain

Hall of Fame Entrants: Sandra Humphries, Luke O’Shea, Col Finley, Melinda Schneider, Beccy Cole

Funniest Musos: Mitch Power and Susan Lily

Special Purple Guitars to Superfans: Helen Naylor, Bruce and Monica, Bruber, Jenny Keck

Quote of the Year: Don’t Be A Dickhead – Kasey and Bill Chambers

Female: Imogen Clark and Sally-Anne Whitten

Male: Andrew Swift

Male Album: Call Out For The Cavalry – Andrew Swift

Female Album: Collide – Imogen Clark and Burgundy Street – Sally-Anne Whitten

Female Song: Tough as Geranium – Susan Lily

Male Song : Tears on a page –  Matt Scullion

Best Male Songwriter: Matt Scullion

Best Female Songwriter: Cathy Dobson

Trad Original Song: I’d Rather Be A Highwayman – Adam Harvey

Best Collaboration: Tennessee Lullaby – Sally-Anne Whitten, Allison Forbes, Rae Moody

Video: Adam Toms – Too Young To Know Better

Duo/Trio Song of the year: I’m Gonna Love Her All The Time – Montgomery Church

Duo /Trio Album/EEP: Montgomery Church: In The Shadow of A Mountain

Off The Cuff Album – Libby O’Donovan – Back to Broken Hill

Best Band Song: Sweet Bird of Youth – Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

Best Band Album: Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes – Some Girls Quite Like Country Music

Country Rock Album: Ben Ransom 101

Concept Album: Cathy Dobson – Tales From A Suburban Housewife

Audrey Auld Bravery in Recording Award – Melissa Robertson, Cathy Dobson and Rick Hart

John Minson Radio Presenter: Cathy Dobson and Clint Wilson

Best Radio Show: Jukebox Junkie – Beth Brown

Producer: Damien Cafarella

Band of the year: Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

Duo of the year: Montgomery Church

Stan Coster Aussie Song: Old Chimney – Brendan Smoother

True Blue Aussie Album – Michael Waugh – Asphalt and The Oval

Best Gig: Andrew Swift, Megan Cooper, Mitch Power and Gretta Ziller at Bruce and Monica’s

Special Event: Country Rocks The Black Dog – Newport Bowling Club

Best Cover song: Jen and Mark – My Rifle, My Pony and Me

Most Read Album Review: Benny Allen – Never Knew I Was Country

Bluegrass Album – Ricochet – Kristy Cox

Bluegrass Song – Ricochet – Kristy Cox

Best Song About/Mentioning Someone Famous: John Flanagan Trio – The Last of The Cassette Men

Best Train Song: Runaway Train – Andrew Swift

Tom Fauvette/Phil Emmanuel Muso of the Year: Alwyn Aurisch

Most Unique Gig of the Year – The Brendans at Carmen’s Hats Off – Brendan Smoother and Brendan Nawrocki

Best Drinking Song; That’s Why Lonely People Drink – Allan Caswell and Jen Mize

Wendy Wood Shower Song: Apple Tree – 8 Ball Aitken

Karl Broadie More than a song award: Melinda Schneider My Voice

Spiritual – Beccy Cole – My God

Trad Album: Bec Hance – Philosophies

Nathaniel O’Brien Rising Star  – Riley Catherall

Nathaniel O’Brien Rising Star Album – Benny Allen – Never Knew I Was Country

Nathaniel O’Brien Rising Star EEP – Riley Catherall – Venture in Vain

Hot Shots: Rose Zita Falko and Benny Allen

International Album of the year – Male – Joshua Hedley Mr Jukebox

International Album of the year – Female – Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere

 

The Kazzies 2018 – Part 7 – The pointy end

Best Female Songwriter 2018:

Cathy Dobson

Best Male Songwriter 2018:

Matt Scullion

Song of The Year – Male

Nominations:

Drop on By – 8 Ball Aitken

Old Chimney – Brendan Smoother

If I was Me – Travis Collins

King of The Sky – Andrew Swift

Be with you tonight – Ben Ransom

Tears on A Page – Matt Scullion

Day One of Missing You – Benny Allen

Watered down Man – Riley Catherall

For A Moment – Michael Waugh

My Song isn’t Written Yet – Chalkie White

Knowing That You’re There – Allan Caswell

Ransom – Matt Joe Gow

Pastor’s Daughter – Anthony Taylor

And The Purple Guitar Goes To: 

Matt Scullion – Tears On A Page

Female Song of The Year:

Nominations:

Hold Me Close – Sami

Ravenswood Lane – Kora Naughton

You Can’t Hide from A Broken Heart – Sally-Anne Whitten

Solitary Mind – Jess Holland

Tough As Geranium – Susan Lily

Tear It Down – Imogen Clark

Coromandel Valley – Beccy Cole

My Voice – Melinda Schneider

Fear of Flying – Jayne Denham

Way Back Home – Melissa Robertson

Bluer Than Mine – Megan Cooper

Birds in Cages – Tamara Stewart

Sweet English Rose – Kristy Cox

It was Always You – Kirsty Lee Akers

Brand New – Kristy James

A Break in The Clouds – Cathy Dobson

Broken – Jodie Crosby

Loneliness – Kate Hindle

And the Purple Guitar Goes to:

Tough As Geranium – Susan Lily

Best Female Album

Nominations:

Free Spirited – Susan Lily

A Little Country Life – Melissa Robertson

Tales From A Suburban Housewife – Cathy Dobson

Philosophies – Bec Hance

Ricochet – Kristy Cox

Burgundy Street – Sally-Anne Whitten

Wild Mountain – Megan Cooper

Lioness – Beccy Cole

Collide – Imogen Clark

Jodie Crosby – Jodie Crosby

Miss Demeanour – Jess Holland

And the Purple Guitar Goes To:

A tie!  Sally-Anne Whitten – Burgundy Street and Imogen Clark – Collide

Best Male Album

The Nashville Tapes – Adam Harvey

I’m Just A Song – Matt Scullion

Mexico – Allan Caswell

Break, Rattle and Roll – Matt Joe Gow

Call Out For The Cavalry – Andrew Swift

The Collective – Col Finley

No Wonder The World is Exhausted – Ben Leece

In The Meantime – Brendan Smoother

Coming Home – James Van Cooper

Never Knew I was Country – Benny Allen

Music Man – Anthony Taylor

101 – Ben Ransom

The Asphalt and The Oval – Michael Waugh

And the Purple Guitar goes to:

Call out for the Cavalry – Andrew Swift

Best Male Vocal:

Andrew Swift

Matt Scullion

Allan Caswell

Adam Harvey

Michael Waugh

Brendan Smoother

Ben Ransom

James Van Cooper

Benny Allen

Col Finley

And the Purple Guitar goes to:

Andrew Swift

Best Female Vocal:

Nominations:

Cathy Dobson

Sally-Anne Whitten

Susan Lily

Melissa Robertson

Megan Cooper

Imogen Clark

Beccy Cole

Jess Holland

Kristy Cox

Bec Hance

And the Purple Guitar Goes To:

(Can’t split them!) Imogen Clark and Sally-Anne Whitten

 

Album of the year from all Categories

Montgomery Church – In the Shadow of The Mountain

Mall of Fame: Sandra Humphries, Luke O’Shea, Col Finley, Melinda Schneider and Beccy Cole

Funniest Musos: Mitch Power and Susan Lily

Special Purple Guitars to: Bruce and Monica, Bruber, Jenny Keck and Helen Naylor – Superfans.

Quote of the year…..Bill and Kasey Chambers – Don’t Be A Dickhead!

ENTERTAINERS OF THE YEAR:  THE WEEPING WILLOWS

Three overseas tours, got married, went to just about every festival in Australia, had day jobs, supported just about every act in Victoria plus Kristy Cox, never stop, never seem to tire, always smile and care and above all, they are very talented and they are ours.

Thanks to my beautiful Country Music Family for your encouragement, support and care. I wish that I could help you all more and give you all real awards.