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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

WEL­COME back to another year of pon­tif­i­ca­tion on the mag­nif­i­cent, the mind­less, the ridicu­lous and the joy­ous as­pects of the global mu­sic in­dus­try. There can be no bet­ter place to start than in Tam­worth, NSW, where, in late Jan­uary, one can ex­pe­ri­ence all four of those com­po­nents in just a short mo­sey along the main street. Yes, it’s time once again for the an­nual Tam­worth Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, which kicked off yes­ter­day in the hub of Aussie coun­try. It should be quite a week and a bit, cul­mi­nat­ing in the an­nual coun­try mu­sic awards next Satur­day night. Al­ready con­tro­versy hangs over the awards, with lead­ing con­tenders Troy Cas­sar-Da­ley and Adam Har­vey pulling out their nom­i­na­tions be­fore Christ­mas for their joint al­bum af­ter fel­low (or maybe not so much now) coun­try stal­wart John Wil­liamson sug­gested their al­bum of largely Amer­i­can coun­try clas­sics wasn’t Aussie enough to be a con­tender. The duo was sched­uled to open the fes­ti­val with a con­cert yes­ter­day, but said they would rather get on with their ca­reers than dwell on the awards up­heaval. Hope­fully there will be no short­age of opin­ions ex­pressed down the city’s Peel Street as the fes­ti­val pro­gresses. Willo, who quit as pres­i­dent of the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia over what he sees as an ero­sion of au­then­tic Aussie con­tent at the awards, has his own gig at Tam­worth Town Hall next Fri­day, where he will be play­ing tunes from an up­com­ing new al­bum as well as true-blue favourites. Other high­lights of the week will be a trib­ute to Slim Dusty, fea­tur­ing Joy McKean and Anne Kirkpatrick, on Wed­nes­day and on Thurs­day the Foggy Moun­tain Jam at the Long­yard, fea­tur­ing Kasey Cham­bers, Harry Hookey and Ash­leigh Dal­las among oth­ers. ANY­HOO, since Tam­worth is a celebration of the great and good of coun­try mu­sic, it seems a per­fect time to come up with ex­am­ples of the best mo­ments from Aussie coun­try’s ex­ten­sive and varied his­tory. As such, un­der the aus­pices of coun­try mu­sic mover, groover and shaker Tom Inglis, a bunch of crit­ics, in­dus­try ob­servers and in­no­va­tors, in­clud­ing yours truly, have taken it upon our­selves to come up with the best 20 Aus­tralian coun­try al­bums of all time. Af­ter weeks of de­lib­er­a­tion and heartache this is the re­sult. Kasey Cham­bers (1999) John Wil­liamson (1986) Graeme Con­nors (1988) 1. 2. 3. 4. (2000) 5. Keith Ur­ban (2002) 6. Paul Kelly and the Stormwa­ter Boys (2005) 7. Anne Kirkpatrick (1991) 8. Troy Cas­sar-Da­ley (2005) 9. Sara Storer (2002) 10. Sara Storer (2007) 11. Kasey Cham­bers and Shane Nicholson (2008) 12. The Ranch fea­tur­ing Keith Ur­ban (1997)

Slim Dusty Har­mony James (2007) Lee Ker­naghan (1993) Lee Ker­naghan (1992)

Kasey 13. 14. 15. 16. Cham­bers (2001) 17. 18. 19. 20. The Din­goes (1974) Roger Knox (1983)

The Flood (1999) James Blun­dell (1992)

Kasey Cham­bers

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