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 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.



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