Felicity Urquhart & Lee Kernaghan dominate 2020 Golden Guitar noms
Country music’s biggest Aussie awards event returns to Tamworth on January 25.
Kernaghan consolidated his place as top-tier recording and touring act, with his Backroad Nation album and single gaining him nominations for album, contemporary country album, male artist single, song, video clip, heritage and vocal collaboration with The Wolfe Brothers with their song ‘Till It Ends’.
Urquhart ticks off the boxes for album of the year (Frozen Rabbit), song of the year (‘Chain Of Joy’), female artist, single, video clip, heritage song (featuring Shanley Del, ‘Where The Fruit Hangs Low’), traditional country album and vocal collaboration featuring Karl Broadie (‘Slow It Down’).
Other multi-nominees were Sara Storer (7) and Morgan Evans (4) while with three apiece are Amber Lawrence, Brad Butcher, Luke O’Shea & Lyn Bowtell, and The Wolfe Brothers.
Allan Caswell, Ashleigh Dallas, Busby Marou, Cornell & Carr, Gina Jeffreys, Kevin Bennett & The Flood, and Michael Waugh had two apiece.
The finalists were announced today by Tamworth Regional Council and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) at a star-studded event at The Seymour Centre in Sydney hosted by The McClymonts.
In what also served as the official launch of the 48th Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth in January, guests were treated to performances from Kernaghan with Robby X, Urquhart, and 2019 Toyota Star Maker Blake O’Connor.
CMAA chair Daniel Biddle said, “Country music is enjoying a new golden era in Australia, which is a testament to the incredible talent of artists such as those we are celebrating today.
“From the first-time finalists to our legends of the industry, we thank them for continuing to inspire the public with their music and lead the way for Australian country music to shine well into the future.
“Today’s event has certainly set the stage for another incredible night of celebration when the winners are announced in Tamworth on 25 January 2020.”
Also creating excitement were the next generation of headliners.
2019 Toyota Star Maker Blake O’Connor capped off a heavy year, with his debut studio album Everything I Feel landing at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Charts and two inaugural finalist spots; male artist and new talent.
The others in the new talent category also showed strong moves.
Casey Barnes signed with Chugg Music, Sinead Burgess made in-roads in the UK & US markets, Seaforth who are signed to Sony Music Nashville and touring extensively in the US and family group The Buckleys signed with Petrol Records/Universal Music this year and had their debut single ‘Daydream’ reach #1 on the Australian Country Airplay Chart.
The Buckleys, currently writing in Nashville, were taking part on a live Facebook stream for the awards when told of their nomination.
Sarah Buckley relayed to TMN, “It’s unbelievable to think we’ve grown up coming to Tamworth, being so inspired by musicians and songwriters we started busking on Peel Street back in 2011.
“Molly was 9, Lachlan was 10 and I was 12. This is a dream come true.”
She thanked their parents, Chris Murphy and the team at Petrol Records/Universal Music (“It is an honour and exciting to work with you”), CMAA’s Biddle (“for helping introduce us to the right people”) and “our Nashville family who have been so supportive over the past three years.”