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2017 Golden Guitar Award Finalists Announced

30 November 2016

2017 Golden Guitar Award Finalists Announced

The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) and the Tamworth Regional Council today announced the finalists for the 2017 Country Music Awards of Australia – The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.

Commencing in 1973, the Awards are the nation’s longest running music awards and play a vital role in developing and promoting Australian country music talent. This year, nominations for the Awards increased by 20 percent on 2016 with the finalists demonstrating the great depth and variety of country music we have here in Australia.

“The Finalists for the 2017 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are a great mix of new faces and favourite country music artists,” said Dobe Newton, Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia. “And whilst it's always good to see some familiar faces, the finalist’s announcement for 2017 has really opened up opportunities for our emerging artists and sets the stage for a very special evening in Tamworth on January 28 when the winners are announced.”

The 2017 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards sees debut nominations for a number of artists including The Weeping Willows with four nominations from their sophomore album Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’. The self- proclaimed ‘Americana Sweethearts’ are up for ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR, BLUEGRASS RECORDING OF THE YEAR (River of Gold) AND QANTASLINK NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR.

Joining them in the ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR category is two more newcomers, Katie Brianna with her album Victim Or The Heroine and The Wilson Pickers with their album You Can’t Catch Fish From a Train. Fanny Lumsden (QANTASLINK NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR, APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR and SINGLE OF THE YEAR), Justin Standley (QANTASLINK NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR), Michael Waugh (QANTASLINK NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR) and Lindsay Waddington (INSTRUMENTAL OF THE YEAR) are also nominated for their very first time.

Nominated for six Golden Guitars, Travis Collins leads the finalist’s field with his album Hard Light. Travis is nominated for ALBUM OF THE YEAR, MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR, TOYOTA HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR (Hometown Calling), CMC VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR (Call Me Crazy), SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Just Another Girl) and APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR (Call Me Crazy).


With stellar individual careers and multiple Golden Guitar Awards between them, Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart are a powerhouse combination and their self-titled album Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart has also been nominated for five awards. The trio are hot contenders for ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR, TOYOTA HERTIAGE SONG OF THE YEAR (Goulburn Valley Woman), BLUEGRASS RECORDING OF THE YEAR (I Hear Them

All), and APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR (Goulburn Valley Woman). With three nominations a piece is Kasey Chambers, Graeme Connors, Luke O’Shea and Kristy Cox.

Chambers, with her song Ain’t No Little Girl and Connors with his song 60 Summers, will compete for APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR, CMC VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR and SINGLE OF THE YEAR. Luke O’Shea is up for ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Caught Up In The Dreaming), MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR and TOYOTA HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR (The Old Man’s Shed) and Cox will vie for FEMALE ARTIST OFTHE YEAR, ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR and BLUEGRASS RECORDING OF THE YEAR with her album Part Of Me that was produced by Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Jerry Salley.

Allan Caswell, Troy Cassar-Daley, Amber Lawrence, O’Shea and The Wolfe Brothers, have each landed two nominations and rounding out the awards with a single entry each is Doug Bruce, Kirsty Lee Akers, Seleen McAlister, Sunny Cowgirls, Warren H Williams & Dani Young, Adam Harvey, Anne Kirkpatrick, Catherine Britt, Dean Perrett, Graham Roger, Jeff Brown, Roo Arcus, Michael Fix, Mickey Pye, Stuie French, The Hillbilly Goats, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Runaway Dixie and Simply Bushed.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the Tamworth Country Music Festival which is supported through Destination NSW, is recognised world-wide and attracts significant visitation to the State.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists announced today for the 2017 Golden Guitar Awards, the most prestigious award ceremony for the Australian Country Music industry,” Mr Ayres said.

“The NSW Government is proud to be supporting the Tamworth Country Music Festival for another three years and we look forward to welcoming the many performers and visitors to Tamworth in January next year for another standout Regional NSW event.”

Tony Cramb, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing for Toyota Australia, commented: “We’re very excited to again be a part of the Golden Guitar Awards, it’s such an important part of the country music industry and something we are Toyota are proud to support. The depth and calibre of the nominees, which includes a number of Toyota Star Makers is a great thing and we’re already looking forward to the big night.”

The Golden Guitar Awards is the pinnacle event of the Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth and for the second year running fans can catch all the action LIVE from Tamworth via the Toyota Country Music Festival LIVE stream at

The Toyota Country Music Festival will be held from Friday 20 to Sunday 29 January 2017 with the 45th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards on Saturday 28 January 2017 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre. Tickets are on sale now and available from

The Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth is proudly supported by the NSW Government though its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Stay tuned updates on the announcers, musical performances, special guests and the latest Golden Guitar Awards news in the coming weeks.

Tamworth Regional Council acknowledges the Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi people, who are the Traditional Custodians of this land. We would like to pay respect to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in and visiting our region.