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February 2009

Great Tamworth Festival for Jim

The month of January saw Jim involved in The CMAA College of Country Music for two weeks and then flat out for the Tamwoth Country Music Festival over the following two weeks. Jim did ten Big Bush Brekky Variety Shows, had a big success at The Bush Laureate Awards and fulfilled some major commitments as the longest serving Board Member of the Country Music Association of Australia.

• ‘It was my 24th Tamworth Festival in a row,’ said Jim, ‘and one of the best ever. It takes me a while to recover these days but I love starting my working year with that amazing month in Tamworth!’

• Jim’s HUGE book of Australian Popular Rhymed Verse took out the Golden Gumleaf Award for ‘BOOK OF THE YEAR’ at the 14th Annual Bush Laureate Awards. ‘It’s a credit to ABC Publishing for letting me put together the largest collection of Aussie rhymed verse ever published,’ said Jim. ‘It’s one of the best things I ever did and I’m very happy that it has been recognized as a major work and is so popular with lovers of Aussie verse.’

• Both Jim’s show at Wests Diggers and Grant Luhrs and the Bush Poets at Wests Leagues were major successes again thanks to all our wonderful crew and the staff at the clubs.

• ‘People like my stage manager Norvil McClean, Russell on piano and our merch crew of Lorraine, Wenda and Cathy are really the secret of the success of The Big Bush Brekky,’ says Jim, ‘along with the humour, of course. If people aren’t laughing after a good morning dose of Paddy Ryan, Darren Carr and myself and Russell there’s no hope for them!’

•The amazingly talented fifteen-year-old singer and songwriter Melanie Dyer hosted Jim’s shows this year and special guests included Adam Brand, Melinda Schneider, The Sunny Cowgirls, Amber Lawrence, Pete Denehy, Carter and Carter, Sam Hawksley, Dianna Corcoran, Paul Costa, Aleyce Simmonds and NZ duo The Heartleys.

• At Wests the ‘Best Bush Poets’ Breakfast’ shows were again hosted by Grant Luhrs in the air conditioned comfort of Blazes with a crew of the best bush poets in Australia and a special guest spot each day with Katie Brooke, fresh from graduating from The CMAA College of Country Music and looking and singing better than ever!

• ‘Grant Luhrs and Robyn McMillan put the Blazes shows together and managed them this year,’ said Jim, ‘and the crowds really built up as the week progressed. I think people are starting to realize that this is THE BEST Bush Poetry show of the festival and its air conditioned!’

• On the festival’s big night Jim and Melanie Dyer walked the red carpet at the 37th Annual CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia and Jim presented awards to Record Producer of The Year, Record Engineer of The Year and Musician of The Year at the awards.

•‘It was a great honour to present awards to good friends Geoff and Rod McCormack and Michel Rose,’ Jim said, ’but, with my mate and fellow Big Bush Brekky performer Darren Carr hosting the show, I knew I’d cop it in front of 5000 people! If I wasn’t wearing a bright gold suit with shiny green stars all over it, I might have felt safer.’

• All in all Tamworth was a major success for Jim and his crew at The Big Bush Brekky Show. The Best Bush Poets’ Breakfast Show at Wests was also a major success for Grant Luhrs and the Bush Poets.

Jim hopes to see you at:

Feb 11th to 16th - for shows and Bush Poetry workshops along with Greg North and Melanie Dyer and more!
March 6th to 9th – Brekky Shows – Banjo Paterson Tribute Concert and much more - along with Greg North and Melanie Dyer, Olivia Halley and Dennis O’Keefe.
Grey Nomad Gathering – Whyalla SA – March 31 to April 5 with Amber Lawrence.
Melrose Country Music Festival – Flinders Ranges SA
April 18th – with Melanie Dyer and Rustling Russell.

Check out Stone the Crows Festival - held at Wagga Wagga - Every Easter

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