Fanny Lumsden wins five Golden Guitars
Fanny Lumsden swept the Golden Guitar awards with five wins, while the Australian country music sector was united in looking ahead at new opportunities.
The awards were held for the 49th year, at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre on Saturday night (January 23). Hosts were Catherine Britt and Andrew Swift.
Long0time sponsors Toyota, Yamaha, Visit NW and 4XXX Gold were this year joined by Apple Music and Coca-Cola.
This year saw a satellite link to Melbourne at the Fitzroy Bowling Club as the likes of Gretta Ziller, Henry Wagons and Lachlan Bryan couldn’t make their annual trek to Tamworth.
Lumsden, who went in with seven nominations, took Album and Alt-Country Album of the Year for the breakthrough Fallow, produced by Matt Fell.
Made in a stone building on their Snowy Mountains property as her first for Cooking Vinyl, it made an ARIA Top 10 debut and late last year won the Best Country Album ARIA.
She also took Female Artist of the Year, Apple Music Single of the Year for ‘Fierce’ ,and Video of the Year for ‘Mountain Song/This Too Shall Pass’.
Lumsden dedicated her win for ‘Fierce’ to “the farming women who helped keep this nation together from the ‘40s to today.”
The Video of the Year for ‘Mountain Song/This Too Shall Pass’, which Lumsden co-directed with her husband Dan Stanley Freeman, had footage of neighbours affected by the bushfires.
The McClymonts kicked off the night with ‘I Got This’ and brought their tally of Golden Guitars to 15, with wins for Group and Contemporary Album for Mayhem To Madness which reached #3 on the ARIA Top 100 and was produced by Andy Mak.
Brooke McClymont apologised for her croaky voice: they returned to gigging last week after 12 months, and admitted she wasn’t gig-ready.
Other winners of the night were:
Male Artist of the Year: Travis Collins
Song of the Year: ‘The High Price of Surviving’, Shane Nicholson, Songwriters: Shane Nicholson, Leyon Milner
Traditional Country Album of the Year: There In Ochre, Luke O’Shea, Producer: Luke O’Shea
Vocal Collaboration of the Year: Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kirsty Lee Akers and Dianna Corcoran, ‘True Blue’.
Bush Ballad of the Year: ‘Six Decks To Darwin’, Dean Perrett, Songwriters: Dean Perrett, Kelly and Marion Dixon, Ryan Garland
Heritage Song of the Year: ‘Happy Australia Day’, Luke O’Shea & Kevin Bennett Songwriters: O’Shea, Bennett
Coca-Cola Instrumental of the Year: ‘Prelude’, The Weeping Willows
Bluegrass Recording of the Year: ‘Finger Picking Good’, Kristy Cox, (feat Tommy Emmanuel CGP)
New Talent of the Year: Melody Moko, ‘Like Hank Would’
The 12 performances included Casey Barnes, Kirsty Cox with Tommy Emmanuel (from Nashville), Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kirsty Lee Akers & Dianna Corcoran, Travis Collins and Shane Nicholson.
The spirit of the Golden Guitars underlined the new talent coming through, with Darlinghurst, Melody Moko, Allison Forbes, Cass Hopetoun and The New Graces given their dues and with first wins going to Melody Moko and The Weeping Willows.
There was also excitement of what 2021 would bring, following on the tenacious creativity that took place within the lock-outs, border closures, bushfires and droughts.
Travis Collins told the industry it was producing some of its best music. “There’s so much incredible talent out there at the moment.
“Despite a really, really disturbed and crazy time, I think this room managed to put out some of the best standard of country music that we’ve had in a long time, so I’m proud to be in this community.”
The McClymonts admitted the challenges of 2020 made them more determined to have something ready with which to tour with this year.
“It just made us realise even more how much we loved singing together and how much we missed it and we just wanted to be together to sing.
“We’re so excited about country music and the future of where we’re going.”
Multi-award winning producer Matt Fell observed to loud cheers of concurrence: “There’s a lot of joy in the music we make.”
Pictured: Bushwackers inducted
There were some moments of looking back through the rearview mirror.
There was a celebration of John Williamson’s 50th year in the business. He assured his band: “We’ve got a few miles in us yet”.
Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett of The Bushwackers joined the Roll of Renown.
Corbett recalled their first Golden Guitar win in 1981, their first visit to the Tamworth festival. “We’ve been thrilled to be part of this community and part of Tamworth and part of this wonderful crazy thing we do.”
Mind you, he noted: “It did take us 29 years to win our second Golden Guitar.”
An emotional Newton blurted: “Now this has happened, I can die a fucking happy man.”
The Buckleys, one of the presenters, wore all-white in tribute to their late mentor Chris Murphy, who was laid to rest earlier that afternoon.
Sarah Buckley said: “We certainly wouldn’t be standing here without the guidance and the passion and the hard work and the belief that Chris Murphy had in us.
“He was so much more than the chairman of our record label [Petrol], he was our mentor, our best friend, he’ll always be our guardian angel.”
The Golden Guitars were livestreamed on the Tamworth festival’s Facebook page, website and YouTube channel, and the ABC Landline Facebook page.
The ABC broadcast a 90-minute special at 12:30 pm the next day.