Please help – this is not about me or Donna, this is about helping Felicity and her girls and raising awareness.

for Fliss main.jpg



Hi folks, in its infinite wisdom, Facebook has taken down every post that we have shared of our campaign to help Felicity and her children. Thank you for posting your pics to our personal message banks. Donna Marie will donate $2 for every pic of you ‘singing the phone book’ and I will donate $1. Every cent of this will go to Felicity and her girls to help them out and to raise awareness for their very tough loss. We have already raised a fair bit of tosh and we hope to raise much more by the time Tamworth comes and at Tamworth itself. I have already a box with a fair bit of coin in it. Others have donated as well. I am not sure why Facebook has deleted our pictures, but the charity event goes on…or more aptly, we are helping out a mate. You just need to send us a pic of you and a phone book. Thanks to Gina Timms, Leonie McClure and others who want to do more at  Tamworth. Whatever, Facebook omits, we will submit. This is not about us two fans, this is about helping someone who we care about.  Please help

It is now not just female artists, but all artists and fans who want to help too.

The original idea came from Lachlan Bryan who suggested to me that even the best female vocalist may not be able to sing the  phone book beautifully. So here we are, doing something fun for someone who deserves it.

Let us help Fliss and the girls out.



Countryversial Corner Episode 1


Figured that a picture of duelling banjos would be a good way to start the first installment of Countryversial Corner.

This new blog regular will feature things in country music (particularly Australian) that are controversial. Things that cheese you off, as the old Hey Hey It’s Saturday show used to do.

79 different types of Country Music vs Country and Western

Why is Mildura Country Music Festival finishing?

The problems/good things about Tamworth Country Music Festival and Deni Ute Muster

Qld vs South Australia vs NSW vs Victoria Country Music Scene.

Downloads vs hard copy

Ageist angles

Women vs Men in Country Music.

Exposure vs payment

Crazy fans writing blogs about her favourite artists

You name it and I will explore it. I welcome your input, whether you are a fan or a muso. Bring it on. Suggest it, Tell me your opinions and I will share them.

Love Kaz.



Best Of My Faves – Episode One – Allan Caswell


This will be a regular feature on this blog, Cowgirl Up. I am going to pick 20/21 songs which have been written (and/or) co-written by a singer/songwriter and/or some others. It is actually very hard to get it down to 20 or 21. They will be my favourites by the artist. I am not going to add ones that they wrote for other people, I would be here all day for some artists, including our first guest, Allan Caswell, who has written or co-written for just about every country artist in Australia and New Zealand. I have mentioned some of his co-writers here on his own songs, but not all of them. I hope that you enjoy. My choices are my choices, but it was hard! In no particular order, these are my fave Caswell written for Caswell songs.

AllanatTamworthyoung.jpg Allanyoung Allanmidyears.jpg

That’s Why Lonely People Drink – With Jen Mize (Mexico)

The Roses Fall – With The Weeping Willows (Mexico)

Knowing That You’re There (Mexico)

It’s not over, till it’s over (My Version of the Truth)

One Last Muster (My Version of the Truth)

Shelly’s Song (My Version of the Truth)

Until the Hurtin’ Starts (My Version of the Truth)

Train to Godforsaken  (single)

Hero Just The Same (50 Years in Oz)

His Old Piano (50 Years in Oz)

Golden Days (With the Weeping Willows) 50 Years in Oz

Back When We Had Nothing (50 Years in Oz)

Stolen Roses  (Rules for Love) ****

How Beautiful You Are (Rules for Love)

Lonely Hearts Waltz (Rules For Love)

Want that Back Again (with Michael Carpenter and Felicity) from Carpenter/Caswell

High Hopes from Carpenter/Caswell

Sorry If I’m Dancing Too Close – (Behind Bars)

When We Were Young and Stupid (Sometimes when you lose you win)

Kick The Bucket (It’s a Country Song)

The Next Thing That You hear (It’s A Country Song)

**** Stolen Roses is my favourite Allan Caswell song. He co-wrote this song with Drew McAllister and Geoff Robertson.  Yes I have left out a lot of songs…the man is a legend, Sir Allan, we salute you and all that you have done for Australian Country Music. The songs that I have mentioned here are ones that you have written or co-written for your own albums. There are many others, which you have seen me mouthing at concerts….but I had to limit it to 21.  Thank you for all the other songs that you have written for others and co-written with others for their albums. A lot of these songs were never released as singles, they are just my favourite songs.

Who will it be next time?



The Single Life


Hey folks, Sorry, I have been busy reviewing albums, going to gigs and my normal work. I have a bit of catching up to do. For those who don’t know, this is not a country music dating post or a post about my love life this is about single releases, as has been pointed out to me that not everybody can afford to put out albums and E.Ps and EEPs. Also, many put out singles and then put an album together later. Singles are a bit like a teaser, I guess.

Two folks who do not need an introduction in Australian Country Music have been touring together and have released a single. A match made in heaven, me thinks….I am of course talking about Luke O’Shea and Lyn Bowtell with Sing Me A Story. Also, another great pairing, Sir Allan Caswell and D.Caf, with a bluegrass number which is refreshing and a little unique, called Bad Politics. Top little number that. I am not sure if it will be on Sir Allan’s next album or if it will just be a single. One of my favourite songwriters, Matt Scullion has released a very Australian song which explains our special language, called Slanguage. It is very clever.

Leonie played a very interesting single the other day called Mamma by Kerryn Fields. The Kiwi who lives in Melbourne now has a familiar voice, a rich folky kind of sound. Mamma is a rippa of a song.

Talking about great duets, Andrew Swift and Gretta Ziller finally released a single a few weeks ago called Second Hand. Wonderful song.

Emma Jene released a new album yesterday but she recently released Feel So Good, which is the first single off the album. She is going from strength to strength.

Aly Cook also released an album this week but her single Red Dirt Road Trip has been released too. A very Aussie song from this forever visiting Kiwi.

Hayley Marsten released a new album recently, but the smash single, Red Wine, White Dress is just as fine.

There are some fine songs being released. Please let us know if you are releasing a new song….and I will post it and get it out there!


Totally Biased Fan Review: Trisha Yearwood – Every Girl

Trisha Yearwood Every Girl.jpg

I recently read where Trisha had thought of never recording another album. What a tragedy that would have been. Anyone who knows me and my love of music, would know that I have been a massive fan of Trisha Yearwood from the beginning. I know that I have a lot of favourites, but Trisha has always been in my top 3 American women country music singers. In recent years, she has concentrated on other areas, with successful careers as a tv cook and writer of cookbooks as well as other media activities. Of course, she has taken time out with husband, Garth Brooks as well.

Trisha had nothing else to prove, she had done it all in country music, but she has a gift that keeps on giving. From the very first track on here, which is a common theme in 2019 – Whiskey drinkers are big in country music – she announces herself back to country music. That big, haunting voice that sends chills down your spine.

She mixes it up here with some signature power country ballads and some more up tempo tracks. There are some gems here and she sings with some of country’s other finest as well.

Of course, being a ballad gal, I tend to lean toward those ones, but it is a great balance. I have always found a connection with Garth and Trisha for reasons other than just country music. Garth is one year older than me and Trisha is a year younger. I am in a country music sandwich, but it is a nice place to be. It means that I can relate more to their songs, their words and where they are coming from.

The duets involve Kelly Clarkson, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless and Don Henley….not too shabby, hey?  The song with Garth is somewhat quirky and a song that would be difficult to sing for us mere humans, as there are some vocal gymnastics here. It is a very catchy song. Trisha and Garth have been singing duets together for years. It seems even more apt now.

There are very few singers that could tackle some of these songs – it is not just about having a strong voice, it is being able to get your tongue around the phrases and rhythm changes. Trisha has always been a musician at that and at 55, the voice and the cleverness of her delivery has not changed.

When Lonely Calls is made for Trisha. Jeffrey Steele wrote this beautiful song that Trisha belts out from the rooftops.  There are some great writers on here, Gretchen Peters, Karla Bonoff being the most famous, but also a variety of not so well known ones whose songs totally fit Trisha.

Peters’ The Matador has incredible musical arrangements….to complement Trisha’s vocalisation.

I’ll Carry You Home is stunning, Trisha at her absolute finest. This could easily be sung in church. It is heartbreakingly beautiful.

Unlike many of my other favourites, Trisha is not a songwriter, as such. She doesn’t do many covers but she does have many folks lining up to sing their untouched originals. With a voice like Trisha’s, you don’t need to write!

Drink up is another fun song – not a traditional drinking song, but it is a clap along, sing along song with a very catchy tune.

It is a given that I would love the song with Patty, as she is one of my all time faves too. To have them both singing together, well that is just the cream rising to the top. It is the kind of song that you would expect them to sing together. They have a similar approach to songs and they harmonise so beautifully.

Trisha displays all of her talents on here – funky, bluesy, pure country, big, big, country ballads, quirky ditties and some country pop (to a point!). She is soulful and she changes the mood constantly. There are sad songs and happy songs and ones in between. When you hear a Trisha song, you know who is singing it. She has one of the most powerful voices in music – any genre.

The album finishes with the Don Henley duet, Love you anyway. As you would expect, these two voices together are simply magic. The song is sad and moving and piano driven.

I am so glad that Trisha decided to record another album, and she has just started another tour. It would be lovely to see her and Garth here in Australia together…..or separately….just get on a plane, you two!  This is a stunning album. An absolute gem.

Fourteen tracks is very generous. Please don’t make it your last album.




1. Workin’ On Whiskey
2. Find A Way
3. Home
4. Every Girl In This Town
5. Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (Featuring Kelly Clarkson)
6. What Gave Me Away (Featuring Garth Brooks)
7. Something Kinda Like It
8. When Lonely Calls
9. Matador
10. I’ll Carry You Home
11. Drink Up
12. Bible and A .44 with Patty Loveless
13. Can’t Take Back Goodbye
14. Love You Anyway (Featuring Don Henley)

“Workin’ on Whiskey”
Dave ThomsonJessica MitchellPatricia Conroy
“Find a Way”
Lucie SilvasJulian Emery
Karla Bonoff
“Every Girl in This Town”
Erik DylanConnie HarringtonCaitlyn Smith
“Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” (featuring Kelly Clarkson)
Gordie SampsonSilvasTroy Verges
“What Gave Me Away” (featuring Garth Brooks)
Blair DalySilvasVerges
“Something Kinda Like It”
Adam WrightShannon Wright
“When Lonely Calls”
Jeffrey Steele
“The Matador”
Gretchen Peters
“I’ll Carry You Home”
“Drink Up”
Hillary LindseySampsonVerges
“Bible and a .44” (featuring Patty Loveless)
Terri Jo BoxAshley McBrydePatrick Savage
“Can’t Take Back Goodbye”
“Love You Anyway” (featuring Don Henley)
Mike Reid


Produced by Garth Fundis.


Totally Biased Fan Review: The Sunny Cowgirls – Happy Days (EEP)

Sunny Cowgirls Happy Days

These two have been few a few life changes in the last few years….all of that and their life stories are explained in the second track, here, Sunny Days. The two sisters are always bright and breezy and pure country.

They add Lee Kernaghan’s big hit, Hat Town, here but it has a different edge to it and the rest of the songs are written by one or the other Sunny Cowgirl. When you have a song called Raining Pineapples as your first song, you know that it is not going to be too heavy.

The work hard/play hard nature of their songs is still there, especially in a song like Cuttin’ Up B & S Style. It is not an easy song to sing along too…bit like trying to sing along to I’ve been Everywhere!

This EEP is a bit more autobiographical than a lot of other albums from these two. Maybe that is why they only made it an EEP, rather than a full album…so that they could leave a few songs left for future chapters!

Cowboy gets you foot stomping or line dancing. It is a Yee Ha song for sure.

As mentioned earlier, they do a version of Hat Town, which is a smokier, deep south kind of version. I really like it.

Rousy’s Life is a hand clapping, foot stomping, ute driving, horse riding kind of song. The kind of song that you dance to after a few beers.

An enjoyable, fun little EEP. The girls are back.



Raining Pineapples (Sophie Clabburn)

Sunny Days (Celeste Clabburn)

Cuttin’ Up B & S Style  (Sophie Clabburn)

Cowboy (Celeste Clabburn)

Hat Town (L. Kernaghan/C. Buchanan/G.Porter)

Rousy’s Life (Sophie Clabburn)


Totally Biased Fan Review: Emma Jene – Erosion

Emma Jene Erosion

I have followed EJ since her first album. I didn’t quite get to see her as a young pup in musical theatre, but at least since she was 16. She has certainly grown up. I affectionately call her my country music grand daughter, as I am old enough to be and we have bumped into each other enough over the years to be fairly close. The songs are great showcases for Emma Jene’s big voice and as Amber Lawrence once said, you can feel every note. The subjects are getting into the ‘big girl’ stuff now. She was wise to sing songs suited to her age when she was younger, unlike some others, and she is doing the same now.  There are a couple of songs on here which involve drinking….which she doesn’t do, unless this is a new thang, (ha!)….not that there is anything wrong with that, but she tackles a few older subjects. I think that it is a sign of mature artist and she does it subtly and with class.

The beautiful voice and heart of this girl shine through. The songs are sometimes powerful, sometimes light and breezy. Each album that Emma Jene produces is a little bit different to the last one. She is not resting on her laurels, she is evolving as all good artists do.

I don’t have the solid copy of the album or the credits, but I know that Angus Gill (appropriately, my country music grandson) had a fair bit to do with the production side of things here, and sings a duet with E.J on this album too.

E.J’s influences are many, but I know that Beccy Cole and Dolly Parton are two of them. The delivery of her songs is becoming more powerful and stronger with each album and  she learns from her mentors and her peers and her heroes. I have watched her grow up on the stage and on record and she always pays attention to those who have done the hard yards.

Emma Jene is not afraid of hard work. Her life is full and varied and she gives lessons as well as taking them. She has had a clear vision since the beginning and she is willing to give it her all to achieve those dreams.

Apart from the duet with Angus, Fly on the Wall, I love Homebound Greyhound, Alone and Feels So Good best, though I do like all of the tracks. Erosion is just amazing. Such a beautiful song.

Emma Jene is a great role model for lots of young artists coming through and indeed lots of young people.

Emma Jene is still a very young artist. You have to wonder how far she will go when she is this good at such a young age.

This album is lyrically and instrumentally polished and a quality effort. The sky is your limit…..but nah, E.J, you can go beyond that.

Enjoy folks.



Feels So Good

Boy Meets Girl



Caught Between the Left and The Right

Fly On The Wall – (featuring Angus Gill)

Homebound Greyhound



Just Go

Totally Biased Fan Review: Fingerprints – Rod McCormack


This album is amazing on so many levels. We often think of Rod as a producer, musician, co-ordinator of big events and we aren’t aware of his own individual talent as a singer and master instrumentalist of his own work. We finally have his wife, Gina Jeffrey’s releasing a new album after a long time and now we have this masterpiece by the man himself.

On this mammoth effort, Rod has written or co-written every song. His vocals are put to the fore and his musicianship and production are top notch, as you would expect from one of Australia’s best producers and instrumentalists.

There is no mistaking this album for pure country, with some high quality bluegrass thrown in and some wonderful duets and a real mix of slower and more up tempo songs.

If you love your guitars and fiddles and mandolins and banjos, then they are all here. I have to say, though that the quality of Rod’s vocals and the songwriting are the surprises here. Why did Rod take so long to give this kind of gift to our ears? Who knew? Often behind the scenes or looking after everybody else, Rod shines in the spotlight here.

This album is a marathon, an amazing one. Every track is special and original. It is hard to pick standouts, as they are all so beautifully crafted and presented.  I have witnessed Rod’s work since he started out with his brother Jeff, and the long hair and quietly playing away with his distinctive style for others. This is quite a gem.

Another Tinsel Town, Double Rainbow, Fingerprints (with Gina), Wherever You Go with Claire Lynch are probably amongst my favourites, but there are so many fine tracks. On the bonus edition, there are 19 tracks. It is a feast of superb instrumentals and songs that will have you humming, strumming and tapping your feet.

This is a classy and classic offering of amazing country music. In a year of wonderful surprises this has to be amongst the biggest.  More, Rod, More.


Tracks: (Bonus Edition)

Shimmers (R McCormack and G McCormack)

Another TInsel Town (RMcCormack, T Thompson, S Gay)

Brand New Friend (R McCormack, R Bourke, E Adeline)

Covering Your Tracks (R.McCormack, T Lunsford, W. Denney)

Fingerprints featuring Gina Jeffreys (R.McCormack, J.S. Sherrill)

Timeless Traveller (R. McCormack)

Ballad of Willie Johnson (RMcCormack, D. Johnston)

It takes Years (R.McCormack, R. Bourke, E Adeline)

Another Nail (R.McCormack, T Lunsford, W Denney)

It Was Love featuring Clare Lynch (R. McCormack, G Jeffreys, C Majeski)

Wherever You Go (featuring Claire Lynch) (R.McCormack, G. Jeffreys, C Majeski)

Double Rainbow (RMcCormack, J.S. Sherrill)

One Teardrop Away – featuring Tomi Lunsford (R.McCormack, T. Lunsford, W. Denney)

Bonus tracks:

I’m Still Here – (Rod and F. Koller)

Winter Worn (Rod and J.S. Sherrill)

Better Than That (Rod, J.S. Sherrill, E Adeline)

Lock and Key (R.McCormack, T Thompson, S Gay)

Sweetwater (Rod)

Puttin’ Out Fires (Rod, F Koller)

Produced by Rod McCormack

Assisted by Scott Paschall

Mastered by Jeff McCormack

Dave Pomeroy Upright Bass

Andy Leftwich – Mandolin, Fiddle and Tenor Guitar

Aubrey Haynie – Fiddle and Mandolin

Rob Ickes and Justin Moses Dobro

Templeton Thompson – Backing Vocals

Larry Franklin – Fiddle on One teardrop away

Rod McCormack – Guitar, Banjo, Papoose, Vocals and Backing Vocals.

Totally Biased Fan Review: Jetty Road – Because We Can

Jetty Road Because We Can


Jetty Road have gone through a few transformations throughout the years but I honestly think that this is their best album yet. It is produced by one of my favourites, Michael Carpenter, which probably adds to it. They were always going to be in good hands with M.C. This album shows a certain maturity to it….like red wine getting better with age and a well made cheese. Nothing cheesey about this album, however. This is a well crafted and well balanced album with some great country rocking tracks and some gentle ballads.

I was lucky enough to see Jetty Road at a house concert on the weekend, so I received a taste of this album before I played it. Having Brooke McClymont co-write a couple of tracks with Jetty Road is a huge bonus.

Bumps and Bruises is a standout track amongst a bunch of terrific songs. Heart of Mine and This is Us are favourites as well.

Parenthood, a bit of time out doing other things and time and tide have obviously added a new quality to their songwriting and a new angle or two.

The girls vocals are stronger than ever and Julian’s multi-skilled talents on several instruments along with Michael Carpenter’s musicianship make their sound bigger and better.

I have always liked Jetty Road, and considering that I am more of a mellowed out listener, that is somewhat unusual, but this album takes an even bigger turn for the better. It is a polished, full bodied album with something for everybody. The album moves fast, from the title track, Because We Can through to the last track, Wild and Free. You will be doing some Hey, Heys and and some swaying, clapping and humming throughout the album as it changes tempo.

A quality album by a quality band. Hey!


Because We Can

No Heartbreaks

Bumps and Bruises

Soakin’ Up the Sun*

Heart of Mine**

I don’t wanna be alone tonight

This is us **

Wild and Free

Produced and mixed by Michael Carpenter

Mastered by Rick O’Neil


Lee Bowman – Vocals and Acoustic Guitar

Paula Bowman – Vocals

Julian Sammut – Electric and Acoustic guitar, piano, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano, Vocals

Michael Carpenter – Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Bass, Banjo, Ebow Mandolin, Electric Piano

All songs written by Bowman, Bowman and Sammut, bar *with Chris Pelcer **with Brook McClymont and without Sammut


Totally Biased Fan Review: Matt Scullion – Aussie As


To me, the Bruce Woodley/Dobe Newton song, I am Australian, is the ultimate Aussie anthem. However, after that, if I want someone to draw me a musical picture of Australia, I have two go to men, Michael Waugh and Matt Scullion. They pick up on the little things and the big things that make our country and our people tick. Chances are, if you played this album to a lot of people overseas, they would look at you very strangely and say, “What the hell does that all mean!”. We are a unique country with unique people. We have ways which are not understood by many outside of Australia, apart from some Kiwis and a few Canadians (my experience!)

Matt explains our language beautifully and humourously in Slanguage. The man has a way with words, in normal speak and in slang. Like Michael Waugh, he takes something simple and expands on it, makes it interesting and something that we can all relate to.  They can both be sensitive and funny.  They both have written a similar song – Matt’s Big and Michael’s Big Things……talking about the Aussie obsession for building big monuments to our icons. Michael’s song goes off in another direction in the end, but they both contain familiar Aussie landmarks and that same sense of Aussieness.

Aussie As was a hit as soon as it went on our airwaves. It hit a nerve with many of us, (a good one), it described our ways and our quirks very effectively, with a tune that is catchy.

Throwing Darts is more of a mellow song with a message, in a different tone than the first few. It is very much ‘a never give up song’.

Ulladulla Sticker is a little reminder of where Matt comes from. It could work for anyone, just replace Ulladulla with Tamworth or wherever you have come from in Australia and it will have the same flavour.

Dead Roo will be a singalong song at gigs but also a reminder of a familiar site on Aussie roads, sadly.

Clutch Start brings the tone down again, though it is a song of hope. It is about the days when we are a bit flat and we need a little help to get back on track.

Where’s Pete Denahy? Ha! Love The Aldi Song. I think a lot of us are guilty of going in there for a loaf of bread and coming out with other things. It has even become a meme on facebook!

Matt mixes it up with Deeper than I thought, which, like others on this album is a bit mellower. It shows how many layers there are to Matt’s writing.

Shout the Land a drink, sung with some of our very best, is a great way to end this album, with a shout out to all of those who need rain and a break to the drought. Nothing probably explains our country better at the moment than this song.

Matt Scullion is one of our finest writers. This album is not only a testament to that statement, but also to his Aussieness. Beaudy, mate. Karen Kaz loves this album, it’s a Rippa.





Aussie As


Ulladulla Sticker


Throwing Darts

Dead Roo

Clutch Start

The Aldi Song

Deeper than I thought

Shout the Land a Drink – with James Blundell, Tania Kernaghan, Simply Bushed and Drew McAlister.