As the dust settles on the biggest country music festival in the southern hemisphere, news of many more winners is filtering through after the big Golden Guitar Awards night last month.
And three of the most significant talent quests conducted at Tamworth every year are those held at the hugely popular Coca Cola Park (otherwise known as Hands of Fame Park) where the grand tradition of free walk-up entertainment was pioneered almost 40 years ago.
The Mid North win Battle of the Bands
The Mid North (pictured) has taken out the longest running “battle” – the 2014 Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands title.
From Bellingen, NSW, The Mid North – made up of Cath Cooper on vocals, John Woolhouse on mandolin, fiddle and vocals, Jamie Sampson on double bass, Scott Collins on vocals and guitar and Bill Faulkner on banjo – was named the judges’ number one choice from six bands performing in the Grand Final on Saturday afternoon (January 25).
Second place went to Murphy’s Pigs from Nundah, Qld, and third to White Walkers from Belmont in Newcastle, NSW.
The winning band received $1,000 prize money plus a paid gig at the 2015 Tamworth Festival at one of The Pub Group’s leading hotels. Second prize was $300 with $200 for third. All finalists also received a subscription to Capital News, Australia’s number one country music magazine.
“As the years go by, it has been fascinating to watch the ongoing high standard of band entrants that continue to take the full sound of country music to new heights,” said Kate Nugent spokesperson for organisers Rural Press Events.
The Yamaha Battle of the YoungStars Grand Final was staged on Friday January 24 with seven-year-old Sonny French from Jannali in Sydney taking out the Junior Section (9 years and under), 12-year-old Kay-Lea Brown from Piambong, NSW, the Intermediate (10 to 13 years) and 16-year-old Liam Kennedy-Clark from Ashburton in New Zealand the Senior Section (14 to 17 years).
Sonny’s favourite instrument is the guitar and his favourite artists are Michael Jackson and his parents Stuie and Camille French, multi Golden Guitar award winners.
Kay-Lea started singing at age seven, then took up the guitar at eight
Liam wowed the judges with his outstanding performance.
The first place winner in the Young Stars Senior, Intermediate and Junior sections each received $250 cash, Yamaha guitars valued up to $1,099, YoungStars promotional bag, cap, stickers and Yamaha t-shirts, in addition to “bragging rights”.
“Each day of the YoungStars competition unearthed amazing young talent of singers and musicians from all over Australia and New Zealand,” said Kate.
The Coca-Cola Battle of the Bluegrass Grand Final was staged on Thursday January 23 where winners were announced before an enthusiastic and exciting full house audience.
Under 17 winner was Chloe Nott from Tamworth, Country Music Capital, playing banjo. One of Chloe’s favourite artists is Earl Scruggs and her all-time favourite song is Flint Hill Special.
Senior winner was Alan Shirley who hails from Tumut in NSW, also playing banjo. Alan started performing only two years ago in 2012.
“From a field of four finalists in each section, the Coca-Cola Battle of the Bluegrass showcased the power and passion in Australian bluegrass performance,” Kate said.
Winners each received a Yamaha GL1 guitalele plus $250 cash prize, Capital News subscription, certificate and “bragging rights” as the Best Under 17 and Best Senior Bluegrass Players at the 2014 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
For further information about the 2015 Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands, Yamaha Battle of the YoungStars or Coca Cola Battle of the Bluegrass, can be obtained from the organisers Rural Press Events on 02 6768 5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Story courtesy Rural Press Events.