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Stars shine bright on country music’s golden night

26 January 2019

The 2019 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards celebrated a remarkable year for the Australian country music industry, with a line-up of standout performances by this year’s nominated artists at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC) on Saturday 26 January 2019.

The Wolfe Brothers were the big winners of the night. Taking home four awards from their five nominations, Nick and Tom Wolfe, together with Brodie Rainbird collected the coveted TOYOTA ALBUM OF THE YEAR award for their highly acclaimed fourth studio album, Country Heart, along with CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR and APRA AMCOS SONG OF THE YEAR  for Ain’t Seen It Yet, co-written by the band with Erik Dylan.

The band thrilled the audience, performing their hit single Country Heart, which pays tribute to their country roots and their home in rural Tasmania, where Nick and Tom run their family farm, in addition to their successful career as one of Australia’s leading country bands.

Andrew Swift is also celebrating after collecting two awards from his four nominations. The rising Alt-Country artist won QANTAS NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR for his single Runaway Train and ALT COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR for Call Out For The Cavalry.

Swift’s performance of his upbeat single Runaway Train was a highlight of the evening for the thousands of country music fans that attended the awards.

Kasey Chambers & The Fireside Disciples took out TRADITIONAL COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR for their album, Campfire with the group performing The Campfire Song, which pays homage to Chambers’ upbringing in the remote outback of Australia.

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR went to Travis Collins and FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR went to Beccy Cole.

This is Collins’ 7th Golden Guitar award with his latest album Brave & The Broken receiving high praise. His performance of Its Just Music was very poignant, speaking to the power and importance of story-telling through song and the way it unites us all.

It is the 11th Golden Guitar for Cole and 5th FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR award. Her latest album, Lioness is an all-female outfit, produced and performed by females.

BUSH BALLAD OF THE YEAR went to John Williamson for Please Don’t Forget Me, from his 20th studio album Butcherbird.

HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR went to Troy Cassar-Daley for Shadows On The Hill, taking his Golden Guitar tally to 37. He joins Lee Kernaghan, who also has 37 Golden Guitars, just behind Slim Dusty’s record 38 Golden Guitars.  

The event also saw the awarding of the previously announced 2018 SANITY TOP SELLING ALBUM OF THE YEAR award, which went to country music superstar Keith Urban for his latest album Graffiti U. Earlier in the week, Urban delighted fans by performing a benefit show for drought relief at Tamworth Town Hall.

Morgan Evans won SINGLE OF THE YEAR with his platinum selling single Day Drunk which reached #1 on the Australian all-genre airplay chart in 2018 and still holds in the Top 20 after 32 weeks. 

COCA COLA INSTRUMENTAL OF THE YEAR went to Tommy Emmanuel for Wheelin’ And Dealin’. BLUEGRASS RECORDING OF THE YEAR went to Kristy Cox for Ricochet.

Fanny Lumsden’s Elastic Waistband, directed by Anna Phillips and Sam Brumby was awarded CMC VIDEO OF THE YEAR.

Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart featuring the late Karl Broadie picked up the REGIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR. Outstanding singer/songwriters in their own right, the trio – Kevin Bennett, Lyn Bowtell and Felicity Urquhart performed Every Hello from their latest album Weeds. Their performance was a moving tribute to their friend and collaborator, the late Karl Broadie.

Following an outstanding career spanning over 30 years, James Blundell was honoured with the industry’s most prestigious award – the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown. The award was presented by 37- time Golden Guitar winning artist Lee Kernaghan and Tamworth Country Music Festival co-founder Max Ellis.

“The diversity of talent across the country music industry is well represented tonight. It’s an exciting time for Australian country music,” Dan Biddle, chair of the Country Music Association of Australia said.

Toyota Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Wayne Gabriel said, “On behalf of Toyota Australia, we’d like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners of the 2019 Golden Guitar Awards on their achievements.

“Toyota has been a proud supporter of the Country Music Festival in Tamworth for over 27 years. It has grown to be one of Australia’s most iconic events, a true celebration of a vibrant industry.”

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said, “The Toyota Country Music Festival is recognised world-wide and Tamworth is the heart of Australian country music.

“Through Destination NSW, we will continue to support events such as this. They are incredibly important for our economy and bring enormous benefit to Tamworth and NSW year-round.”

The 47th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards were hosted by Adam Brand and Amber Lawrence.

The 47th Country Music Awards of Australia – the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are proudly supported by Toyota, the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, APRA AMCOS, Country Music Capital News, QANTAS, Regional Australia Bank, Coca-Cola and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA).

The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards are the only industry affiliated country music awards in Australia and the greatest celebration of Australian country music talent.  The awards are the pinnacle event of the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth.





The Wolfe Brothers  |  Producer:  Matt Fell


Sanity Top Selling Album of the Year: Graffiti U

Keith Urban


Alt Country Album of the Year:  Call Out For The Cavalry

Andrew Swift  |  Producer:  Matt Fell


Contemporary Country Album of the Year:  Country Heart

The Wolfe Brothers  |  Producer:  Matt Fell


Traditional Country Album of the Year:  Campfire

Kasey Chambers & The Fireside Disciples

Producers:  Kasey  Chambers, Jordan Power, Brandon Dodd, Bill Chambers, Alan Pigram


Male Artist of the Year:  Travis Collins

Brave & The Broken


Female Artist of the Year:  Beccy Cole



Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year:  The Wolfe Brothers

Country Heart


Regional Australia Bank Vocal Collaboration of the Year: 

Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart feat Karl Broadie

Every Hello


Qantas New Talent of the Year:  Andrew Swift

Runaway Train


APRA AMCOS Song of the Year:  Ain’t Seen It Yet

The Wolfe Brothers  |  Songwriters:  Tom Wolfe, Nick Wolfe, Brodie Rainbird, Erik Dylan


Heritage Song of the Year:  Shadows On The Hill

Troy Cassar-Daley  |  Songwriter:  Troy Cassar-Daley


Single of the Year:  Day Drunk

Morgan Evans


Bush Ballad of the Year:  Please Don't Forget Me

John Williamson  |  Songwriter:  John Williamson


Bluegrass Recording of the Year:  Ricochet

Kristy Cox


CMC Video of the Year:  Elastic Waistband

  Fanny Lumsden  |  Directors:  Anna Phillips and Sam Brumby


Coca Cola Instrumental of the Year:  Wheelin’ And Dealin’

Tommy Emmanuel

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.