Check out my older blogs!

If you want to read my old blogs and reviews, there are links on this blog – A Country Hattitude,  Countryas and also, I do a blog post each week called Downunder Beats for Bluesandrootsradio.com.

Enjoy!

You’d be surprised at the albums that I have reviewed over the years.

Cheers,

Kaz

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Totally Biased Fan Review: Shanley Del and James Gillard EP

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Waiting for something from these two extraordinary artists was like a kid waiting for Christmas Day to dawn or for a Christian waiting for the Second Coming.

Like all good things, it was worth the wait. Shanley and I are the same age and probably have many of the same influences in our lives. This Kiwi who is firmly planted in Aussie culture, harmonises so beautifully with James, always has. Shanley usually takes the lead and James adds the frosting and the cream. It is lovely to hear James step up on Make you cry. This four song teaser EP is a mix of old and new, including one of my favourite songs of all time, Your Own Sweet Time. Over the last few years, Shanley has slowly edged herself back into performing, especially with Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes.

There is a rumour that there will be an album later in the year, and I look forward to that. These two are two of Australasia’s finest.  James has been in just about everybody’s band and does more back ups than a Mac truck on the Hume Highway.

I have always been a big fan of both of them and James has been a particular idol for me. The two of them together is pretty speccy. Four songs are not enough….more, more, more….please….

This EP is absolutely faultless.

 

Tracks:

Need to talk to you

Make you cry

Your Own Sweet Time

I’ve Got All the Time In The World

Totally Biased Fan Review: Harmony James – Resignation

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The last time that I saw Harmony James LIVE was when she supported Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell in Sydney. I have always loved her music. From small venues to big venues, from alone to supporting Australia’s best to International’s best, she has always been awesome. On the way out of Emmylou and Rodney’s gig, Harmony was packing up her merch and I waved to her as I stood in the cattle crawl queue going out of the venue. She smiled and said Hi Kaz, and everyone in the long line looked at me. “She’s the best.” I told them. They nodded. One guy pat me on the shoulder and said “She stole the show. ” He waved one of her albums at me _ ” I didn’t know her until tonight. Now I know her.”

Harmony has gone into a self imposed hibernation recently, or at least a different path.  When she announced that she finally had a new album out after a long hiatus – there were cheers and comments from everyone. She is a favourite amongst her peers and with those of us who are extremely intelligent. I guess it is what you call a cult following.

I don’t know the full story, it was a change-up, but whatever the reasons, I am glad that Harmony is back.

Such a wonderful team of musicians and great that Lachlan Bryan and D.Caf have a note of encouragement in this. I have seen Harmony support them. What a gig.

This is one of my most longed for albums. I can tell you country music fans, it is sad that we have had to wait so long, but my oh my, it is worth the wait.

 

 

Tracks:

Change

An obvious first up title for this album. A catchy tune with clever lyrics.

Grief

For a sad song, it is surprisingly upbeat. It really shouldn’t be that uplifting!

Little Kindnesses

Really the answer to all of the questions. This woman should be bigger than she is. How remarkable. She is worthy of any International and National recognition. Gobsmacking.

Anna 0 –  Harmony has put a footnote to this song _ Anna O was the code name for Bertha Pappenheim, a psychotherapy patient in the Freud era and one of the loneliest souls to put pen to paper. I really don’t think that I need to say more than that.

The life She Left – One of my favourite songs on the album. Harmony being Harmony. Totally awesome vocals and the words and music are just so high quality. Just bloody magnificent. One of my favourite songs of the year, so far.

The bed That you Made – This song is co-written with my mate, Eightball Aitken. You can tell that from the opening bars….I really didn’t need to read the credits! A bluesy, rich, head wobbling song. Oh yeah.

I can wait – A mellow start and a carefully crafted song. A gentle lilt and and a nice easy vibe. Another fave on this album. Gentle and sweet.

Concrete Shoes: Again…an upbeat rhythm with a deeper, edgey message. It is what Harmony pulls off best.

Can I Be That To You: Maybe something that she learned from Emmylou Harris. Such a sweet, beautiful love song. So tender and heart warming. At the same time, it is an honest plead.

Bird in The Hand: My first love in music is folk music. I think that this song fits that world. I am a 60’s Aquarian child, after all. I am sitting here in my Woodstock shirt, after all!

Harmony James is one of Australia’s ever greatest talents. It is so great to have her back, even if it is just for a little while.

All songs: Music and Lyrics by Harmony James except The Bed That You Made – Harmony James and Eightball Aitken and Anna O – Harmony James (Lyrics by B Papperheim (circa 1910)

Production Glen Hannah

Drums: Josh  Schuberth

Bass: Matt Fell

Guitars, Banjo, Percussion, Bass, Mandolin: Glen Hannah

Dobro: James Church

Backing Vocals: James Gillard and Glen Hannah

Fiddle Eamoh Mcloughlin

Mixing: ted howard

Mastering: Jeff McCormack.

 

Just a little Tamworth ditty….

Small things amuse small minds. I had these words running around my head…

 

Ode to the Capo

Phil said to Lukie “your capo is shit”

“Yeah, I know it, yeah, I know it”

There are gold ones, and silver ones, black ones and blue ones

Every bloody colour of the rainbow

They’ve been left in the boot,

Left in a bag,

Left at home in a different state

Where’s my capo, where’s my capo

Next to “I wrote this song with Allan Caswell”

They all say, where’s my capo

It doesn’t work as well as mine

But I will try it and it will be fine

I think that it is back at the tent

I had it yesterday

I don’t know where it went

Where’s my capo, where’s my capo

I don’t need a capo, says the drummer

“Maybe it would help your playing too!”

The guitarist retorts

Where’s my capo?

In one of my ports

I have a spare, says the new bloke in the band

I’ll give you one because I am a fan

And put some fancy patterns upon it

A guitar looks naked without one on it.

Where’s my capo, where’s my capo

The sound guy has one down the back

The lighting guy drops one from a bulb

Of all of the stories from Tamworth

Of all of the glories from Tamworth

This is the one to be told.

Where’s my capo, I need my capo

The song just won’t sound the same

Where’s my capo, I need my capo

Without one, there’s no hope for fame.

Done and Dustyed – Tamworth Wrap – 2019

The reason why my daily diary stopped at the end of day 3 was that I had too much to see and do and not enough time to write! Overall, these are my thoughts and highlights of the festival in Australia’s country music cap, and my hometown of Tamworth. As I said in my facebook post, I have to stop beating myself up over not being able to see everybody and I do try to see folks that I can’t see during the year. It is also great to catch up with fellow fans in what has become something like a family reunion. Most of my days started on the 7.13 bus and finished at midnight, sometimes a bit before until a bit after. There were some must sees for me this festival. The obvious one is the launch for Mike Carr and Matty Cornell’s album which I will be reviewing soon. Thanks to my friend, I was able to go to the Golden Guitars, where the red carpet was awesome and I was able to witness Andrew Swift win two of the awards that he was nominated for as well as my fellow Tamworthian, Lawrie Minson, winning musician of the year. I was hoping that Imogen would win a gong but I was very happy for the legend that is Beccy Cole, winning for best female artist. The most touching moment was when Karl Broadie’s boys accepted the award with BBU for the collaboration of their late father with the terrific trio. The love and the support that I received from the artists, not just on the red carpet but throughout the festival was amazing. I do what I do because I love doing it, it is my passion, I never really expect anything back, but when a big star says hello to me or thanks me for the little thing that I do, it means the absolute world to me. My favourite gig at the festival is always Country Music Cares at the iconic Town Hall. It is the best line up and it is always for a good cause. I love the songwriters in the round sessions, especially those ones that mix my favourites with some new artists that I get to discover for the first time. I really wanted to see Matt Ward, and since he appeared with my little mate, Rory Phillips and Amy Nelson, I was triple blessed! I wanted to see Chalkie White and his show was awesome. It was great how he had lots of new young talent supporting him, including Kora. I missed my mate Benny Allen’s launch in Melbourne, so it was wonderful to be able to see him in Tamworth. Poor Benny, just about every gig that I went to, Benny was there. It became our joke for most of the festival that I was stalking the poor young man, though it just turned out that we both had the same excellent taste.

I was most impressed with the new Press Club 2340, which is in the old Northern Daily Leader building. Now when the old newspaper building was closing down, I was a might depressed, as it is an iconic building in Tamworth. I am very happy to report that I went there twice, both Allison Forbes’ Medicine Show gigs, (I missed the third due to a clash with Lukie) and it was marvellous. Comfortable seating, lovely intimate venue, not too cold air conditioning and friendly staff. Most of all, the décor is top notch and the music was splendid. Forbesy is always excellent, but the guests were practically handpicked from Kaz’s favourites too.  I got to see and hear Jen Mize, Montgomery Church, Kelly Cork, Megan Cooper, Ben Leece and Michael Waugh there. Apart from Kelly, I have reviewed all of their albums and intend to get Kelly’s soon.

Of course, I never miss Lukie, (O’Shea) that is, but I have never met a Luke that I didn’t like, and I also saw Luke Dickens (album launch, review soon), Luke Austen (with the Legends’ Lunch). Sally-Anne Whitten was awesome as usual and I was so glad that Sal and Al won awards in the ICMAs. Sadly, I couldn’t be there, but that would have to be one of my favourite things that happened at the festival, well deserved and overdue.

I always start my official festival duties by going to the ladies of country, and Gina Timms had a great line up again, including Sandra Humphries who had several farewells to Tamworth with her impending retirement. It was great to finally meet Gayle O’Neill and Clelia Adams, whom I have had a bit to do with but I have never met them in person.

The April Family were obviously on my to do list, and I had quite a front row position at their gig, almost claiming to be the 5th member of the band (Kylie’s hubby has to be the 4th!).

My air triangle got a bit of a work out at some gigs, as did my air guitar but I had trouble keeping up with 8 Ball and Alwyn Aurisch!  It was lovely to see Col Finley who spent a large amount of the festival in hospital. Chris and Michael were quite amazing filling in for Col at various gigs, they should be well praised for their efforts. The Bearded Blokes at Nia’s Songwriters’ Sessions was one of the highlights for me, spent with a good mate and starring Allan Caswell, Mitch Power, Pixie Jenkins and some bloke called Andrew Swift!

Another historical and sometimes hysterical event was the family reunion of Beccy Cole, Lyn Bowtell, Tania Kernaghan and the much welcomed return of the one and only Gina Jeffreys. The gig was sold out and it was on the same night as many big gigs, including that Keith bloke. I was so glad that I went. I was in one of the back seats, but I was there.

Another highlight was the gig that was on just before that one. Brad Butcher and Felicity Urquhart. It was funny, emotional and full with beautiful songs and a crowd who appreciated both of these fine talents.

I had to clip the end of the gig before those two so that I could get to them, but it was a beauty too. I have never been backwards in coming forward about how much I love and admire Melody Moko. With the fabulous Woman Enough – Americana Women gig, she led some amazing women in song. Megan Cooper, Gretta Ziller (whom I missed but I get to see all of the time in Victoria), special guests Catherine Britt and Tori Forsyth and I was blown away by Natalie Henry and some amazing young talents who also appeared.

Kristy Cox wore a cape for the whole festival. If there ever is a Superwoman of Country Music, this chick is it. She organized 100’s of gigs (it seemed like it), flew in from America with hubby Trav List and young Adelaide, 8 months pregnant in Tamworth heat and knocked them dead on the red carpet in a Peta Lawrence outfit (I think!). She is truly an amazing lady. All of the shows that I went to of her gang’s – Bluegrass, Great Country Love Songs and the first of the Tamworth Opry’s were wonderful.

One of my big surprises of the festival was Fred Smith. I went to see Carter and Carter at a Songwriters’ gig and Fred and Megan were the two other songwriters and both were awesome. Fred was particularly fabulous. He pretty much stole the show. I thought Merelyn and David were going to fall off their chairs from laughing so much. He had us near tears or speechless some minutes with his experiences in Afghanistan and then cracked us up with a thousand one liners. If you get to see Fred, please do. I had to rush off to another gig, otherwise I would have hung around for a chat.

Kerry Kennedy and Michael Bryers are two other faves who I try not to miss and they were just awesome as always.

It was good to see Kate Hindle, happy and healthy and doing really well. Angus Gill and I had a lovely chat and I am very much looking forward to his new album. My sister from another mister, Melissa Robertson hosted a cool range of talent, including Ian Burns, Kylie Adams-Collier, and one of my country music sons, Adam Toms.

Some of the fans were disappointing. Whinging about the heat – it is January, Australia, Summer….yes it is hot. Whinging about just about everything. People would have killed to have been there.

It was lovely seeing the Golden Guitars remember Rob Wilson in the In Memoriam segment and with Graeme Connors, Catherine Britt and The Cold Cold Hearts singing a Connors/Michael Carr song as they honoured those whom we lost, it was definitely a poignant moment.

It became the festival where just about everybody on every stage said the immortal words “This is a song that I wrote with Allan Caswell”. It never gets old. It is a true reward to one of the most gifted people in this country and a man who honoured me with calling me his friend and singing my favourite Allan Caswell song, Stolen Roses at one of the songwriters’ gigs. Ironically in the same round, Paul Costa sang my favourite Paul Costa song and Chris and Michael who were standing in for Col Finley, sang my favourite Col Finley song. What are the odds?

There were gigs that I didn’t get to, but I averaged 7-10 every day with more than one person on each gig.

Special thanks to Leonie M for giving me one of my most special moments, not only at the festival but in my life. I cherish my award, for mainly what it represents, all of the folks that I write about.

Seeing 8 play on a 2 string guitar, Mike Carr calling Matty Cornell Fanta Pants, Imogen Clark saying all of the beautiful things to me on the red carpet, the great moments with the Custards, (Montgomery Church), the love and support that I received from so many, with special mentions to my April Family and The Weeping Willows who sang a song for me on my birthday, to my besty Tracey Cook and my landlady and old and dear friend E.J for her generosity, and Shirley and P my chauffeurs, thank you.

I came home with a cold, so I have been a bit slow with the writing – but have reviews of Shanley Del and James Gillard, Mike Carr and Matt Cornell, Luke Dickens, Ian Burns, Chloe Styler, Clint Wilson, Bill Chambers, Michael Bryers and Amanda Cook coming up. Really getting excited about the future offerings from Felicity Urquhart and some others, including our Lukie O’Shea and in the post is Harmony James new album.

Despite all the moaning and groaning from some quarters, Tamworth was fab. I had a great time catching up with old mates and making some new ones, and seeing and hearing some great gigs. I haven’t listed all of them, but I will be mentioning them from time to time. We missed all of those who couldn’t make it this year. Congrats to all of those who won and were nominated for awards  – there were a few different presentations – and it has to be said, on every street corner, in every crowd, and on every stage, we spared a thought for Al Slade and Rob Wilson. You were there, fellas.

Thank you Tamworth, love ya.

Totally Biased Top 100 Australian Country Albums of All Time – (well,in rough order)

This was the toughest list that I have had to put together. I have promised it for a while, if nothing else, it may get people curious to try out some of the albums on here. I had to leave out lots of favourite artists and albums and I tried to look at the albums from a few perspectives. I chose albums that were not “Greatest Hits”, that would have added another 4,000 to the list. I had to look at them a bit critically and make sure that they were balanced albums. I chose singer/songwriters generally over people recording other people’s songs, though there are a few covers here. I tried to cover a few styles and I wanted to pick albums where every song was great….not just half the album or where all the songs were just “good”. There are some current albums, like Andrew Swift’s album that I am sure will hit this list one day. A lot of these albums have been played thousands of times and I actually have them on cassette or record, they have been part of my life for that long. I didn’t go through all of my 6,000 cassettes so I am sure I have left off some! A lot of these albums have stood the test of time for me. They are albums that I play over and over and I never get tired of them. It was hard choosing a Troy C-D album…..I like a lot of them, same with Adam Harvey, Luke O’Shea, etc. Some of them naturally popped into my head, I didn’t have to think about them too much. The order is not exact, bar from the first 10, they are just my 100 favourites, I guess. I am sure this will change again.

So here goes.

  1. Family Tree – Melinda Schneider.  I have said this before, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise! One of the most balanced albums of all time. It has some very personal, emotional songs and some funny ones and some tongue in cheek ones. Yes, Melinda is one of my favourite people but in all honesty, I have dissected this album many times and I really can’t fault it.
  2. Bottle Tree Lane – Brendon Walmsley. Again, this one is an amazing mix of songs and Brendon’s vocals are never better than they are on here. Probably the album that I have played most over the years.
  3. 3 – Amber Lawrence. This album ironically, is at 3!  I love this album so much. It has some beautiful songs on it and it really is a treasure, like its maker
  4. From The Bottom of A Well – Brad Butcher. This album won a lot of 2017 Kazzies and I have praised it endlessly on Social Media. I think that it is an album which people love no matter what kind of music they follow. I think this album will go down in Australian Music History as one of the finest albums ever written. Brad Butcher’s vocals are awesome.
  5. Michael Carr – Michael Carr – The most unoriginal title of an album, but one of the finest in Australian Country Music.  Without Michael Carr and Allan Caswell, we may not have many singer/songwriters in this country in our genre. The songs that they haven’t written, they have co-written or they have inspired many songwriters to write. It is hard to split this top ten for the same reason – they are pretty all darn near perfect.
  6. Hell Breaks Loose – Shane Nicholson – I love all Shane’s music, but this was the album that made him shine most. I play this so much that my neighbours know the words to every song. Shane Nicholson songs are complex, multi-layered and thoughtful. They are often the hardest to review because to do them justice, you have to study them hard. The study is worth it.
  7. Sweet Rebecca – Beccy Cole. I have all Beccy’s albums and there are a couple on here, and in a perfect world, I would have loved to fit a few more in. She is also the artist that I have seen the most in concert. This album is her most balanced. It has a bit of everything, like her concerts have. She makes you laugh and she makes you cry and she makes you think. Legend.
  8. The Happiness Tree – 2 album set – Darren Colston – This is a double treat. There is an album of Darren’s most loved songs and then there is an album of new songs. Darren is one of our most underrated singer/songwriters. He has one of the most unique and beautiful voices in Australia and he can write a damn fine song. This is a wonderful collection. A good introduction to his music for the L plater.
  9. Frontier – Craig Stewart – After constant nagging from a certain fan, Craig is working on a follow up to this album. It is a very clever album. Each song depicts an event or era in Australia’s History. As it only takes you up to a certain time, it was only fair that another album should be written! It is a beautifully crafted album which I think every Aussie should have in their collection. Craig has a fantastic voice, particularly for songs of this nature. It is a rare treat.
  10. Rules For Love – Allan Caswell. There are a few more well known Caswell albums on this list, but this one gets the number 10 slot chiefly because it holds my favourite Caswell song, Stolen Roses. It has some great duets on here and some of Sir Allan’s more romantic songs. A gem.
  11. What We Know Now – The April Family. I have listened to music my whole life and no album has surprised me as much as this album did. I knew Michael from his association with Karl Broadie and knew his name around the traps. When I was waiting outside the Tamworth Town Hall in 2017, to go into Country Music Cares, this exotic young lady was walking in. We don’t get many women looking like that around Tamworth. It was a face that I was going to remember, but not just for how cool she looked amongst us average looking denim wearing folks. Then I met them inside during the break….Kylie, Casey and Michael. “We have a new album coming out this year. ” Then I bought this album that they had, without hearing anything, not realising that this was the “new album”. The rest, as they say, is history. I have seen them live a few times now, and they know how much I love them. Three very different folks who have produced one of the best albums in Australian Country Music history.
  12. Sideshow – Michael Bryers. If the last album was my biggest surprise, this album was the least surprising for me. I knew that it was going to be great because for about 6 years, I had been hearing every track on the album at gigs. Finally, we were rewarded with this amazing album. It was worth the wait.
  13. Queen of Boomtown – Gretta Ziller This woman could sing the phone book. She has the most amazing voice and she writes songs which are all very different and she covers just about all of the 79 types of country music. I call her the Queen of Melbournetown and she is. She is one of the hardest working, versatile performers in country music and this album is genius.
  14. The Wreckage – Melody Moko The woman of many last names has many talents. This fine album produced by her husband and magnificent muso, Michael Muchow, and another awesome talent, Catherine Britt, is a masterpiece. The songs are incredible and Melody is in fine form. One of the best albums of the last few years and a very underrated one.
  15. Cry Like A Man – Anne Kirkpatrick – The girl who would be Queen, our Queen Anne. How could she miss? From one of Australia’s most famous families, let alone Australian Country Music’s famous families, Anne was either going to sink or swim. Not only did she swim, she swam a marathon, and she still is doing that. She has been a trailblazer for many Australian Country Music female singers and this album is one of the reasons why.
  16. Prodigal Son – Luke O’Shea – It is no secret that Lukie is one of my favourites and it is hard sorting out which album of his comes first, let alone deciding which ones fit into the 100. This one contains my second and third favourite Luke songs, so it was an obvious choice in the end. It probably contains more well known tracks than any of his other albums.
  17. Life and Breath – Wendy Wood – One of Australia’s finest songwriters and a woman with a voice that haunts and heartens, this album is just incredible. I did get a sneak peek to this one and I knew that it would be a beauty. Perhaps one of the surprises on this list to many, but listen to it and you will know why.
  18. Every Minute – Carter and Carter – Together with Allan Caswell, I think that they have just about taken out every award at Mildura, and this album (I own all of theirs) is my favourite. It does have my favourite Carter and Carter song on it, Candlelight and Kisses but it is just a good all ’round album and an incredibly uplifting one.
  19. Before Darkness Comes-A-Callin’ – The Weeping Willows – I had never seen a couple on film that have more chemistry between them than Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward until these two. This album is the album that won lots of Kazzies but more importantly, saw them skyrocket to huge success with Golden Guitar nominations and national and international acclaim. An amazing follow up to Til The North Wind Blows, which flew under the radar a bit but is also on this list.
  20. The Mountain – Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes.  These guys can’t do any wrong in my book. Every album that they produce is amazing. This is a fine work of alt. country fabulousness and a well respected album amongst their peers.
  21. Listen To The Words – Luke O’Shea and the Medicine Wheel – The title track is my favourite Luke O’Shea song. This album is one of Luke’s finest and it was one of the first that I had heard from him. Still a favourite, though I have all of his albums.
  22. Cautionary Tales – Harmony James – One of the most beautifully written and polished albums on this list. The absolutely incredible talent that Harmony James has in producing this album is thankfully going to be released to us again this year for a long awaited new album. In the meantime, listen to this, it is food for the mind and music for the heart.
  23. More than meets the eye – Aleyce Simmonds  I love all of Aleyce’s stuff, but this album as a whole is her best. It has more variety, more style twists and it is a very honest and personal album. Deservedly the album that received so much acclaim.
  24.  There to Here – Drew McAlister – Drew’s first solo album and I still believe that it is his best. This album should have won him the GG for Best Male Vocal that year. At least he was nominated.
  25. A Good Place – Doug Bruce – Doug doesn’t make bad albums – every one of them is terrific. This is the one that I play the most.
  26. This Here Cowboy – Roo Arcus – I could listen to Roo all day. He is so easy on the ears. Roo is the real deal.
  27. Cowboys and Sunsets – Roo Arcus – I put these two together because I found it hard to split them. I usually put them on together on my stereo and they tend to blend together. They are like Siamese twins really…with cowboy hats on.
  28. Then There’s Me – Diana Corcoran Probably, technically, the best country female voice in Australia (when she is not living overseas!). This album is my favourite of hers, though I love them all. The girl from Parkes is doing great things overseas.
  29. Driver’s Seat – Tracy Killeen A wonderful near perfect album. One of the best and most underrated female talents in this country. Brave is one of my favourite songs.
  30. Wild One – Sovereign I came across this band by accident. One of the few country music acts in Australia that other people knew about before me. One of my most often played albums.
  31. Too Far Gone – Catherine Britt – One of our finest and bravest. Forever evolving and now a veteran of Australian Country Music, despite her young age and fresh outlook on life and her music. This is a classic.
  32. Legend – Mike Carr – Title says it all really. Then, I am totally biased. A truly amazing album. Mike has only done two solo albums. He is too busy helping everyone else out.
  33. Stories Through Time – Billy Bridge – One of the albums that started the ‘concept’ idea. The album has launched a thousand singles….well, it seems that way. A ripper of a story album.
  34. Till The North Wind Blows – The Weeping Willows – I go through moods where this is my fave Willows’ album and then other times when the other one is. I think overall, the one up a bit higher is a better album, but this one has a couple of my absolute faves on it.
  35. What’ll Happen To Me Now? Allison Forbes – Some people would argue that this is not really an album….I call it an EEP, and extended, extended play or a mini album. Close enough. Quality over quantity. Two of my favourite Australian Country Music songs on this little gem. Just an awesome little album.
  36. Butterfly – Susan Lily – Some of the best written personal songs on this album. An artist who just keeps getting better and this was an early offering. Amazingly versatile singer.
  37. I’m Stronger – Sandra Humphries – An artist who is retiring early gets both the next two spots. Not much between these two albums though they are very different on several levels. I think one kind of leads into the other.
  38. Walk in Circles – Sandra Humphries  See above!  Truly one of the finest singers in this country and many think that she is the best.
  39. Golden Road – Keith Urban – One of our greatest exports. I do like the early stuff best. This is one that he did half way through his career, probably one of the first big albums overseas. Still has some great songs on it.
  40. Sugar Talk – Adam Harvey I have all of Adam’s albums and this is my favourite. There are some that are nipping at its heels, but this does it for me.
  41. Warnings and Wisdom – Jen Mize – We adopted this gal from Vegas and I am so glad that we did. Such a wonderful album from first til last.
  42. 50 years in Oz – Allan Caswell – This album was co-written with many of Allan’s friends who also feature on this chart. It was a landmark album for Allan, as the title says but also because it was probably his most winningest album.
  43. Sing You Up – Luke O’Shea – The usual feast of fabulous songwriting from one of the leaders of the pack.
  44. Dusty Smiles and Heartbreak Cures – Catherine Britt – An early gem from one of the Queens of Australian country music.
  45. Foolish Things – Amber Joy Poulton – A.J, like Sandra Humphries has the ability of making a classic sound like something new and something new sound like a classic. This is a perfect example of that.
  46. Live at Lizottes – Beccy Cole – The first album that I put on when I am going on a long trip. It is like a little concert that you can take with you. The cd also had a dvd with it, doing just that, so it was a bonus.
  47. Camille and Stuie – Tahi – The finest effort from these two, though all of their stuff is great. Fabulous guitar playing from Stuie and beautiful vocals from Cam.
  48. Colin Buchanan – Edge of The Kimberley – I haven’t played this album for a while but I used to play it a lot. I recently put it back on and it has stood the test of time. Still an awesome album.
  49. December Moon – Tania Kernaghan – Still my favourite Kernaghan, and I can’t wait to see her in Tamworth this year. I just about played the silver colour off this album. Some of my favourite Aussie tracks on this one….it doesn’t get much more Aussie than this.
  50. Hard Light – Travis Collins – I have all of Trav’s albums and this is definitely his best.  Totally deserving of all the accolades that he received.
  51. Ricochet – Kristy Cox. I love all of her albums but this has the most variety. It shows her versatility.
  52. Stronger – Melinda Schneider – Melinda is at her best when she is writing about things that she has lived through. This is a wonderful album which has some strong and tough messages.
  53. Barricades and Brick Walls – Kasey Chambers – I have all of Kasey’s albums and I am very proud of what she has achieved. This is my personal favourite.
  54. Rattlin’ Bones – Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson – Together and alone, these two are hard to beat when it comes to Australian Country Music.
  55. Darren Coggan – The Wide Horizon – He records very few albums but they are all top notch. This won a swag of awards at Mildura and deservedly so. One of the most versatile artists in Australia.
  56. Albany – Jo Caseley – One of those artists whom you know very little about then want to buy everything that they have recorded. A very emotive album. Top shelf.
  57. Lighthouse – Ashleigh Dallas – Another album from country music royalty. One of the most dominant families in Australian Country Music and one of the most talented. Ashleigh is about to deliver a member of the 4th generation! Born with a fiddle in hand, no doubt! An incredible album from an artist who performs beyond her years.
  58. Roovolution – The Bob Corbett Band – We played this album a lot on community radio and with good reason. The Toyota Starmaker Winner produced his best album here.
  59. Rebel With A Cause – 8 Ball Aitken – I love 8’s albums but this remains my favourite, though his current one may give it a push one day.
  60. Out of The Blue – Anne Kirkpatrick – Many prefer this one over the one that I mentioned previously, but they are both great, just different.
  61. What we might be – Michael Waugh – One of the most honest songwriters around. This album made me laugh and made me cry. His latest album is pretty good too.
  62. Mexico – Allan Caswell – In time this one will rise higher. It is a labour of love with some of his mates from “Mexico” – Victoria and a few others. Prepare for a sequel.
  63. In This Life – Paul Costa – I had a Paul Costathon the other day to make sure that I was picking the right one. It just edged out another couple.
  64. Darren Colston – Darren Colston – A fabulous album by one of my favourite guys.
  65. Come By Chance – Darren Colston – I put these two together. We are lucky as a lot of the songs from these two albums are featured on The Happiness Tree album double, but I put these in to cover the songs that aren’t there.
  66. Livin’ The Dream – Dan Murphy – One of my go to albums, especially on a long trip. Countryas.
  67. Let Me In – Rick Hart – One of my more recent favourites, not only on stage and on record but also as a friend. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.
  68. One of These Days – Mitchell Shadlow – I remember when this album was released, Anne Kirkpatrick thought he was the next big thing. There were a few hitches but he has returned to the fray. This was extra special.
  69. Gina Jeffreys – The Flame – A classic album if there ever was one. And she’s coming back.
  70. Holding My Breath – Adam Toms – Recently back in the saddle, all of Tomsy’s albums are cool. This one is special for me.
  71. Tea for Three – Saunders, Kane and Del – This was the Australian equivalent of Dolly, Emmylou and Linda getting together. An amazing album, beautiful songs and harmonies.
  72. There’s Another Way to Where You’re Goin’ – John Flanagan – Australia’s answer to James Taylor but songs with a distinctive Aussie flavour. Never one to mince words, this is an incredible album.
  73. Victim or the Heroine – Katie Brianna – This one could have gone a bit higher. An amazing singer/songwriter with so much to give. Wonderful album.
  74. Small Town Big Shot – Fanny Lumsden – A woman who has taken the Australian Country Music by storm. Incredible songs and vocals. Her shows are ones out of the box.
  75. Airborne – Kalesti Butler – An album that surprised everybody, a totally different shift in style for Kalesti but it was a winner. Critically acclaimed.
  76. Connie Kis – Connie Kis Andersen – Some wonderful songs and still one of the most played albums on community radio.
  77. Collide – Imogen Clark – Imogen is still very young, but she started younger!  An amazingly talented singer/songwriter from the first, this is her latest and best offering.
  78. True Believers – Troy Cassar-Daley – Hard to pick one, this one has most of my faves on it.
  79. Tales From A Suburban Housewife – Cathy Dobson – This one will go into the Hall of Fame one day. Such an inspirational person and singer/songwriter. A great mentor.
  80. If I Want To – Jasmine Rae – Another hard album to write, I’m sure but a magnificent piece of work and hopefully we will continue to hear from this amazing young lady.
  81. Can’t settle for less – Adam Harvey I could list all of Adam’s albums here, but I would have to kick out others!  Always gives albums that are a mix of fun and love and good times.
  82. I’ll Sing You a Song – Lloyd Clarke – another mini album. Such a wonderful songwriter and singer. I hope that Lloyd, Darren Colston and Craig Stewart get together one day and record something. I can hear it.
  83. Heart of sorrow – Lyn Bowtell – A woman who cracks me up one minute and makes me cry the next. Awesome talent with a big, fabulous voice.
  84. I’m Just A Song – Matt Scullion – Latest release from a veteran songwriter. He’s just one of the best. This is pretty well faultless.
  85. The Collective – Col Finley – A wonderful recording of lots of old and new songs, some done slightly differently. It is a celebration album and one worth celebrating.
  86. Life Gets In the Way – Rose Carleo – She’s more of a rocker these days, but this is what she does best. An exceptional album.
  87. City Bound Trains – Paddy McHugh – Love this album and everything on it. Every song means something and tells a great story.
  88. In the Shadow of the Mountain – Montgomery Church – This is a new favourite, pretty much sweeping most of my awards last year. I think that it will continue to grow in my heart.
  89. The Bad and The Beautiful – Rod Dowsett – Once a Tamworth regular, this fella can entertain everyone. Smile is one of my favourite songs ever, on the strength of that song alone, it makes it into my top 100, but there’s more!
  90. Faster – Liam Brew – This was my favourite album in the Kazzies a few years ago and still a fave. Looking forward to hearing some more music from Liam at Tamworth.
  91. Carpenter Caswell – Carpenter Caswell – Self titled collaboration which was a great hit in 2017. Combining two very talented Aussies to make a very special album.
  92. 1959 – Lee Kernaghan – I loved Lee’s earlier stuff. This remains one of my favourites, especially the title track.
  93. Dusty Sky – Dean Perrett – With bush ballads, heritage tunes and bluegrass really hitting its straps these days, this guy is one of the most consistent in all three. I love this album.
  94. Keep On Drivin’ – Benn Gunn – This album is a lot of fun. Drinking songs, ballads and a bit of cheekiness. A crowd pleaser.
  95. The Truth About Us – Seleen McAlister – She never has a bad record. She has had lots of ups and downs, the stuff that good country songs are made of. There is always honesty in her songs.
  96. This Corner – Travis List – If you want country, this is country. A fabulous album with a great mix of songs.
  97. Some Girls Quite Like Country Music – Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes. This one could be anywhere on this list, as most of these albums could be, in the end, they are just my fave 100. And it was not easy.
  98. Sell My Soul – Sally-Anne Whitten – A great album from a Tamworth Sista.
  99. Believe – Aleyce Simmonds – A wonderful album from Aleyce. She doesn’t release many albums, but when she does, it is always a beauty
  100. Together with my guitar – Brendan Nawrocki – Another new favourite, the more I play it, the more that I like it.