Wolfe Bros were hoping for their first Golden Guitar win, they picked up four instead
The Wolfe Brothers’ four-stroke win at country music’s Golden Guitars was a popular one with the audience at the awards.
They were held on January 26 in Tamworth’s Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre and hosted by Adam Brand and Amber Lawrence.
The Wolfe Brothers took out best group/duo while Country Heart trumped album of the year, contemporary country album of the year and lead single ‘Ain’t Seen It Yet’ – about their home life in Tasmania – won song of the year.
They were up for five nominations – second to the seven notched up by Kasey Chambers & The Fireside Disciples – after losing 13 nominations in past years.
“A few years ago, we drove into Tamworth in Tom’s clapped out Commodore,” brothers Nick and Tom Wolfe and their childhood friend Brodie Rainbird recalled.
“We were in the streets handing out flyers to our gigs, and everyone ran in the opposite direction from us!”
Country Heart was a record on which “we challenged each other” with “a pretty lofty vision” which took “a big leap of faith.”
Country Heart was a significant win because it proved a musical twist in direction, with new producer Matt Fell.
It reflected their own personal growth as they had to decide what to do with their father’s farm which had been in the family for four generations.
Country Heart, which debuted at #2 first week on the ARIA country chart, also reflected the subtle shift of a new generation of artists reshaping the sound of Australian country music.
The generation gap was emphasised when a stunned Beccy Cole won female artist from young contenders Imogen Clark, Tori Forsyth, Kristy Cox and Missy Lancaster.
“Those babies!” she quipped. “They’re probably asleep…or they’re texting their friends, ‘Some old chick won’.”
Cole won for Lioness – a project written, performed, produced and marketed exclusively by females.
Newcomer Andrew Swift gave up his day job last year, telling his boss “I want to work as hard as I can so I can get a Golden Guitar nomination.”
This year he received four nominations and had two wins.
The on-stage speeches were about the wear and tear on personal relationships after travelling long distances to perform (“it’s not like you can go home after a show in Parramatta”), and respect for those who came before.
Kasey Chambers, recalling how her Campfire recalled the family’s nomadic ways in the plains when her father would hunt foxes for dinner and her mother would cook them over the campfire.
With its win bringing her tally to 24 Golden Guitar wins, Chambers thanked Emmylou Harris for guesting on a track.
“A dream come true and one of my favourite moments of my whole life.
“I literally grew up sitting around a campfire and listened to Emmylou Harris voice more than anyone else.”
The late Karl Broadie won his first Golden Guitar after Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart’s ‘Every Hello’, which he featured on, had a win.
The top selling album was co-presented by Anne Kirkpatrick: her father Slim Dusty had been in the ARIA chart for 1,000 weeks, 15 years after his passing.
The category was won by Keith Urban’s Graffiti U, marking his 13th Golden Guitar win.
“Un-fricking-believable!” he responded from the backstage of Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.
Urban returned to Tamworth four days before to play a fundraiser for RuralAid and finished the sold-out club show giving away his guitar to a young fan.
Lee Kernaghan shouted out to his record producer Garth Porter who that day was awarded an Order of Australia.
James Blundell, the 52nd recipient of the Australasian Roll of Renown since Tex Morton became the first in 1976, said, “We’re an amazing race of people, we’re tough and resilient.
“The more we write about that and keep it in place, the better.”
THE WINNERS WERE:
Album of the year: Country Heart, The Wolfe Brothers
Single of the year: ‘Day Drunk’, Morgan Evans
Song of the year: ‘Ain’t Seen It Yet’, The Wolfe Brothers
Group/duo of the year: Wolfe Brothers
Male artist of the year: Travis Collins
Female artist of the year: Beccy Cole
New talent of the year: Andrew Swift
Traditional album of the year: Campfire, Kasey Chambers and The Fireside Disciples
Alternate country album of the year: Call Out For The Cavalry, Andrew Swift
CMC video of the year: ‘Elastic Waistband’, Fanny Lumsden
Musician of the year: Lawrie Minson
Vocal collaboration of the year: Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart feat. Karl Broadie, ‘Every Hello’
Bush ballad of the year: ‘Please Don’t Forget Me’, John Williamson
Heritage song of the year: ‘Shadows on the Hill’, Troy Cassar-Daley
Instrumental of the year: ‘Wheelin’ and Dealin’’, Tommy Emanuel
Bluegrass recording of the year: ‘Ricochet’, Kristy Cox