THE WOLFE BROTHERS
Any history of The Wolfe Brothers that doesn't begin four generations ago isn't quite complete. The revered country duo, comprised of brothers Nick and Tom Wolfe, have become renowned over the past few years for their jaw-dropping live shows and steady ascent to Australian country music's upper echelon. Part of their rise has been due to talent, and a lot of it due to hard work. But the truth is that music is in The Wolfe Brothers' blood. "We come from four generations of farmers and musicians," Nick explains. Their father, the man who encouraged them to start playing and helped facilitate their first shows in their early teens, was a rock drummer. His father played saxophone, touring around the brothers' home state of Tasmania with a family band. And his father — Nick and Tom's great-grandfather — was a fiddle player.
If the musical gene was already in Nick and Tom's DNA, it was their
parents who brought it to full bloom. Their father guided Nick to the
guitar and Tom to the piano, perhaps with "the intention of starting
a band with us," as Tom says. And their mother filled the family home
with music, exposing her children to 90s country staples like Garth
Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus. It was almost an inevitability that the
Wolfe family home would produce two of Australia's finest country musicians.
The abundance of musical influences throughout the brothers' youth
, combined with an innate musicality, have resulted in the development
of a unique yet embracingly familiar sound embedded in nostalgia yet
curious and innovative. If their first three albums were steps towards
the rarefied space The Wolfe Brothers occupy now, it was 2018's Country Heart that gave them the final push. "Country Heart was the first time we've talked about our lives," Tom says of their 2018 triumph. A heartfelt and occasionally melancholic portrait of a tumultuous period in Nick and Tom's lives, Country Heart found The Wolfe Brothers pushing themselves emotionally and musically more than they ever had. "That album has given us so much confidence to go into the next one," he says. "We pushed ourselves last time, and now we're wondering, where can we go this time?"
The answer to that question is "Kids on Cassette" the most conceptually and musically bold record The Wolfe Brothers have ever put to tape. A joyful fusion of country, rock, and pop, "Kids on Cassette" like Country Heart, is a portrait of where the brothers are at this point in time — only this time, it shows them going full speed ahead, pushing forward with no cares in the world. "We're drawing from pub rock, from old country, from new country," Nick explains. "Maybe it's a bit confusing, but we do what we do and write what we love."
"Kids on Cassette" also works as an accurate metaphor for where The Wolfe Brothers are in their career. "This represents the last few years of our journey," Tom says. It also represents where he and his brother want to go. "It's been quite a long time since there's been an Australian country act who's been a huge, huge crossover," adds Nick, signaling, in part, where he and Tom's ambitions lie. Humility is as baked into The Wolfe Brothers' DNA as music is, but it's clear that, at this point in their career, it's time for something bigger: radio crossover, stardom, the massive American market. Tom and Nick Wolfe will always remember where they came from, but "Kids on Cassette" feels like it could take them a step further. It may be far cry from their roots, but as Tom says: "We've never been the kind of band that stays in one lane.".
The Sunny Cowgirls, Sophie and Celeste Clabburn, grew up on a farm in
Hamilton, Victoria. The Clabburn sisters were raised on "Sunninghill",
the family farm at Dunkeld near Hamilton, Victoria, before the whole
family moved to Perth, Western Australia when they were primary school
kids. Their farm was in their father's family a long while, and that's where
they came up with the name "Sunny". After four years of working around
the country and doing the occasional gig, they raised enough cash to
approach well-known Perth record producer Mark Donohoe to showcase
their writing and music.
The Cowgirls lives and careers changed in early 2005 when they secured places as aspiring artists in the CMAA College of Country Music, held before the Tamworth Country Music Festival each year. They then signed with Compass Bros Records and their first album, Little Bit Rusty, reached No. 4 on the ARIA country charts.
Casey Barnes is undeniably one of the hottest acts in Australian country music right
now - from cross-over airplay success to awards (he has won the Gold Coast Music
Awards ‘Artist of the Year’ back-to-back in 2020 & 2021) to charts, streams and sold-out
shows. Rolling Stone Magazine (AU) made the following assessment, “While the last
two years have been bleak for most, Barnes was able to turn musical lemons into
lemonade … a masterful piece of country pop/rock, “Come Turn Me On” is exactly
the sort of song that the phrase “crossover hit” was made to describe.”
‘Light It Up’ is the follow up to the hugely successful album ‘Town of A Million Dreams’ which was released in March 2020 – debuting at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Album chart and #16 on the All-Genre ARIA Album chart and achieving nominations for ARIA Country Album of the Year, an APRA for Country Work of the Year and four x 2021 Golden Guitar Award nominations. ‘Town Of A Million Dreams’ has spent over 80 weeks on the ARIA Australian Country Album chart to date and Casey’s catalogue has amassed over 30 million combined streams, making him one of the highest streamed artists in Australian country music today.
Produced by Melbourne based production team MSquared (Michael Delozrenzis and Michael Paynter), ‘Light It Up’ is Casey’s latest offering and features ten new original songs, all co-written by Casey with MSquared and Nashville based singer/songwriters Kaci Brown and Sam Gray.
Executive Director of Chugg Music, Michael Chugg AM, commented, “Casey’s rise over the last two years has been impressive, with mainstream radio now coming on board and a growing fanbase in international markets. ‘Light It Up’ will be his biggest album and tour yet and the Chugg Music team are proud to be taking Casey’s music to the world.”
Amber Lawrence is a 5 times Golden Guitar winning Australian singer-songwriter who captures the nation’s attention and heart with her uplifting songs of self-belief, love, family and ordinary Australians.
Whilst many musicians and artists stagnated through 2020 due to the effects of Covid-19
shutdowns, Amber’s creativity thrived and she launched her ARIA number 2 charting DVD
– Amber Lawrence Live, collaborated on three separate releases, including the successful
re-imagination of True Blue alongside Aleyce Simmonds, Dianna Corcoran and Kirsty Lee Akers,
(winning the Golden Guitar in the 2021 CMAA Golden Guitar Awards) and to finish the year,
she release her third children’s Album ‘The Kid’s Gone Country 2’, which became a number
2 ARIA charting Country Album!
In 2019 Amber Lawrence launched her 6th studio album, Spark – nominated for CMAA Album
of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year. It was also the second highest selling country album for 2019 (behind Lee Kernaghan).
In 2018 just took home 3 of the most prestigious Golden Guitar awards at the CMAA Golden Guitar Awards!! APRA Song of the Year, Single of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the year, for the song ‘Our Backyard’, a collaboration with Travis Collins.
A former Qantas Airways employee, and Chartered Accountant, Amber risked it all in 2008 to pursue a career in music. The risk paid off in 2015 when Amber was awarded the iconic and prestigious ‘Female Artist of the Year’ award for her song ‘Superhero’, at the 2015 CMAA Golden Guitar awards – the highest accolade for country music in Australia. This was quickly followed up with the Country Music Channel 2015 ‘Female Artist of the Year’ Award. This was the first time in history that an artist has won both awards in one year.
2017 was an extremely busy year for Amber. She was asked by the American Australian Association to perform in New York to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Amber performed the anthemic song ‘100 Year Handshake’ in front of dignitaries and celebrities including President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Ambassador Joe Hockey, John Travolta and hundreds more. Amber wrote and recorded the commemorative song ‘100 Year Handshake’ for the event, which, as of March 2019 has been released as a single and video clip.
Amber was also extremely honored to receive an Australia Day Bronze Achievement Award for her contribution to War Veterans and their families, via her work with RSL DefenceCare.
Not one to sit around with spare time, Amber has released two children’s albums in the past few years – the first ‘The Kid’s Gone Country’, was quickly followed up by her acclaimed Christmas release ‘Aussie Aussie Christmas’. These albums have filled a huge gap in the Australian country music market, and have seen Amber perform her ‘Kid’s Gone Country’ show Australia wide.
Amber is also a mentor to young artists in the Australian Music industry and has provided free entertainment and mentoring in over 300 schools Australia wide, as part of her ‘Be Your Own Superhero’ program. Amber has a strong connection and affiliation with children, with her first children’s album “The Kid’s Gone Country” released with a number 1 iTunes hit (“My Big Mack Truck”), in May 2016.
Amber is the face of iHeartRadio Australia Country, hosting the show each week, a guest presenter on Channel 9’s ‘Getaway’ and the co-host of the CMC Music Awards in 2017 – live on Foxtel, and the 2019 Golden Guitar Awards. of courswinner
Three-time Golden Guitar nominee, Jayne Denham is one of Australia's most admired and sought-after country rock performers. Her impressive and relentlessly energetic live shows have earned her countless opportunities performing for VIP crowds at Keith Urban's Sydney shows in conjunction with appearing as a featured artist at all of the major Australian country music festivals including CMC Rocks, Deni Ute Muster, Gympie Music Muster, and the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Having gone from strength to strength with her most recent two singles - Porch Party
(featuring Jasmine Rae and Amber Laurence) spending weeks in the Australia's Country
Hot 50 Radio Chart and achieving Top 5 status; and Black Coffee and White Lines garnering
over one million streams across all platforms in its four weeks (including the video featuring
the iconic Ice Road Truckers) Jayne is poised to return to the live scene with a dynamic that
has defined every one of live shows, which she performs with her rocking four-piece band.
In 2017, her high-octane reputation caught the attention of US promoters, who invited her to
perform at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas, leading to a demand for her to be constantly touring America for the past two years.
Also known for her trucking songs, her deep connection with American audiences and the trucker community led to Jayne becoming Ambassador for the Women In Trucking Association, in the US.
Jayne has written and recorded with some of the biggest names in the business including producer Brian White, and writers Jerry Salley, Phil Barton, and Jennifer Schott, Jayne recorded her most recent album, Calamity, in the home studio of Rascal Flatts' Jay De Marcus, who played bass on the album.
With her ability to tell a story that captures the imagination through her songs, Denham has scored four #1 smash hits in Australia, six Top 10 songs in the National Country Charts, 12 videos that have reached the Top 30, including a number 1 placement for Hung Up on You, which garnered a million streams within 6 months of release. Jayne has also been nominated for six Country Music Channel (CMC) and Three Golden Guitar Award finalist placings.
Jayne has released four albums Sudden Change in Weather (2008), Shake This Town (2010), Renegade (2013) and Calamity (2018). The single, Chick Ute, from her debut album charted at #2 in Europe and Norway, #4 in Italy, #5 in the Netherlands and Denmark and #12 on the European Country Music Association Chart. Soon after the release of Sudden Change in Weather, Jayne Denham won the Australian Independent Country Music Award for Best Rising Star.
Jayne's strong connection to the trucking industry has also earned her sponsorship from companies including Wickham Freight Lines. She has three promotional semi-trailers that can be spotted on Wickham Freight Lines' trucks up and down Australia's East Coast.
A loveable bard of the road, a soulful troubadour, a heavily tattooed
mountain of a man with a penchant for touring in tiny caravans –
Andrew Swift is many things. Something he can never be accused
of is complacency. His prolific and well-deserved accolades - accumulated
in healthy succession since his 2017 turn as Finalist in the prestigious
Toyota Star Maker competition - are testament to his extraordinary
work ethic and prodigious talent. With 2018's Call Out For The Cavalry
scoring Swift two CMAA Golden Guitars, his latest album The Art Of
Letting Go has gained Swift a further two nominations, for Male Artist
of the Year and Alt Country Album of the year, at the 50th CMAA Golden
Guitar Awards in 2022 and has already racked up four top 10 singles,
2 CMT #1s as well as debuting #1 on the ARIA Australian Country chart
and #25 over all genres and was the 5th highest selling Australian Country album of 2021.
Embraced whole-heartedly by Australia’s country music scene, Swift's musical background speaks to an unexpectedly diverse journey. A shuffle played, genre defying, jukebox of wild assortment - Swift’s creative resume covers not only country sub-genre staples such as Americana and bluegrass; but also power-pop, punk-rock and indie. A far cry from the fully formed, self assured sweetheart of Tamworth we know and love today. And yet, once aware of this smorgasbord of creative influence, it’s hard for the listener to unhear the coming together of unbridled grit and pop sensibilities punching through the soaring melodies and proficient song craft.
Swift’s curious nature has arguably influenced his output. 2018’s #1 ARIA Australian Country debut Call Out For The Cavalry launched Swift as an undeniably accomplished storyteller. Touring the album that spoke of Runaway Trains and Reckless Desires, Swift hit the road ferociously with some of the biggest names in Australian country. Sharing stages with The Wolfe Brothers, Catherine Britt and Shannon Noll to name just a few, Swift continued to hone his craft picking up new influences along his travels.
Swift’s 2021 release The Art Of Letting Go demonstrates this evolution of Swift as an artist. Produced by the mighty Matt Fell (Shane Nicholson, Fanny Lumsden) and written in collaboration with a wealth of international talent, the album is drenched throughout with rich sonic textures exuding equal parts gut-wrenching heartache and limitless joy. A powerful document of love, longing and loss the record includes hit singles Head Full of Honey, Say The Word feat. Cass Hopetoun, Right On Down & Never Meant To Break Your Heart.
Now with two lauded albums under his belt Swift has established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Described as “... an Australian songwriting heavyweight - with a powerfully evocative voice to match” by Country Update, Swift continues to enthral. However, aside from the musical recognition Swift is a man who cares deeply and cares genuinely; appointed Official Ambassador for Gundagai’s iconic Tuckerbox Dog in 2019, this accolade speaks volumes as to the substance of the man. It reminds you that for every barnstorming belter of a song Swift releases it’s the little details in life that matter - these nuggets of humility along the way that are remembered. Swift is a damn good musician; but he’s also a damn good man.
Jonny Reid began writing and playing music at the age of 15
with friends as many do in a “Garage band” with his childhood
friend and long term band mate/ songwriting partner Ryan
Mcmullan (Ed Sheeran, Foy Vance).
Having opened for music legends such as Ritchie Sambora (Bon
Jovi) and Nanci Griffith (USA) Reid has already gotten a taste of
touring life. Two sold out headline Australian shows followed
supported by Jonny Reid’s incredibly talented touring band of
Nikki Dagostino, Joe Southwell, Luke Stamenkovich & Stuart
A finalist in the upcoming “Male Artist Of The Year” at the WA Country Music awards Jonny Reid has welcomed the critic’s praise that he has gained this year following the release of his Debut album ‘Another Life’ which was an iTunes country chart number 1 here in Australia. Having already has performed across the Australian Music Festival scene this year with major festivals such as Tamworth Country Music Festival in NSW and Blues at Bridgetown in WA before heading to the uk and Ireland for the festival season there this July/ it’s set to be an exciting few months ahead for the Irish man before his appearance back in his home of WA and at Mandurah Country Music Festival this October.
Michael Ward has spent the majority of his life in the South West and
this is quickly evident when listening to his material. His music of
acoustic coastal roots shares stories of local country watering holes,
his love for the coast, his girl as well as comedic takes on past romantic
pursuits. His music features fast flurries of guitar hammers and pulls
to contrast deep grooves that compel the feet to dance along. His
vocals range from deep Nick Cave baritone narratives to soaring John
Butler to add further texture to his show.
Teaming up with long time percussionist and close friend Erion Gordon on Cajon they are a formidable force. High energy, witty banter and engaging on stage charisma which is the spoils of decades of live shows all across Western Australia. One of the memorable shows Michael recalls was on the back of a truck in a paddock in the wheatbelt, playing through a dust storm kicked up by the utes doing burnouts in the top paddock.
Releasing his next studio EP release later this year and embarking on a National Tour the Mandurah Country Music Festival is a great opportunity to see his big energy on the big stage.
From singing for the legendary Joy McKean and Kasey Chambers,
to opening the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival, Sally Jane
is quickly ticking off her bucket list, and that was just part of 2020!
The West Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist also won the People’s
Choice category at the Western Australian Country Music Awards
and she’s also opened for Adam Brand, Kasey, and Fanny Lumsden
at the Red Country Festival and she’s also performed with Adam
Harvey in Tamworth and won Junior Vocalist of the Year at the
WA Country Music Awards in 2019.
Country music was always going to be Sally’s home after growing up on a healthy diet of long road trips accompanied by the music of Adam Harvey, Kasey Chambers, and Brooks & Dunn.
“I’ve always sung,” she laughed. “The story goes that mum and dad used to send me to the back paddock to sing and pick up sticks so they could get some peace.”
When she turned 15, Sally began performing at the pub in Serpentine before her dad stumbled across The Academy, an intensive music course run in Tamworth.
“We got everything together in a week and I applied for the junior academy, and was accepted, so we travelled across the country to attend,” Sally Jane said.
Since then, Sally has also graduated from the senior academy, in January 2020.
It is the love of performing and sharing that joy with others that keeps her performing.
“When I’m on stage, it makes me really happy because I love singing to people,” she said.
“I especially love when the audience is singing along to my songs, seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces and everyone have a good time; it’s a lot of fun.”
The Serpentine, WA, artist released her latest single, Kiss you When the Rain Comes, in December 2021, charting at #1 on the top 10 AMRAP Regional Chart and Sally Jane will release her debut EP in 2022.
Sally Jane’s ultimate goal is to be a successful full-time country artist.