WHO'S PLAYING: Muster line-up draws fans and vans from afar
THE sixth Clarence Valley Country Muster is close to take-off.
Held on the picturesque property of organiser Wendy Gordon, the tiny close-knit farming community of Calliope near Ulmarra is becoming accustomed to the annual population explosion that occurs for a few days in late October.
And as it nears fever pitch in the Gordon household, Wendy said the enormous undertaking didn't faze her too much.
"I have a very good team around me so that's the main reason I don't panic but I do have a few mini meltdowns at 4 o'clock in the morning,” Wendy said.
"Did I remember to do this, do I have enough toilets, do I have enough toilet paper? There are lots of little things to think about but it's all looking good and I'm really looking forward to it.”
This year's main attraction is the award-winning Beccy Cole who will arrive on Saturday, October 27 for a show that is going to be something special according to Wendy.
"It's her birthday that day so how nice is that? We will have to do something to celebrate that night,” she said.
To help get the party started Cole will also bring an enormous entourage as part of the Aussie Road crew tour.
"There will be about 70 vans that have been following her the whole way for three weeks. They started in South Australia visiting different towns and will finish at the muster,” Wendy said.
While she said they were "ready to rock and roll” there's still a few more things to do in the lead up to the event that kicks off on October 22.
"We've been mowing and whipper snipping madly and we'll start marking out the sites this weekend,” she said.
Wendy said every passing year since they started five years ago there had been a record attendance and this year was shaping up to follow that trend.
"There are a lot of vans coming in. I'd love to think we'll have 800 by the start of the muster. We're up to about 690 now and still have two weeks to go,” Wendy said.
She said her property transformed into a small town during the muster and according to her calculations of two people per van plus day visitors coming in to see Beccy, the expected numbers were astonishing
"There will be 2000-2500 easy. It's like our own Woodstock except in the beautiful Ulmarra area. You look out in the paddock now and there's nothing there, it's hard to believe in two weeks it's going to be caravan city.”
Tickets for the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster, October 22-28 are available via the muster's website.
2018 Muster artists
FOR more than 25 years, Beccy Cole has been delighting Australian music fans with her unique brand of true entertainment. The South Australian star's glowing warmth, husky tones, bawdy sense of humour and hundred-watt smile have helped make Beccy one of the nation's best-loved and most celebrated artists.
With 10 Golden Guitars (Country Music Awards of Australia) to her name (including four for Female Artist of the Year), as well as multiple ARIA Top 10 Country and Top 40 Mainstream albums, a Top 10 DVD, three gold-certified releases, and more than a dozen No.1 Australian country singles, Beccy Cole is one of Australia's most successful singer-songwriters. She is also a most sought after live performer, having a reputation for bringing an audience to fever pitch and quite often, stomach clutching laughter.
Beccy Cole's latest album, 'Lioness' is nothing short of stunning. A collection of self-penned, personal and poignant songs perfectly displaying Beccy's strength of character, huge heart and razor sharp wit. Beccy is back with a new sound, new band and new outlook on life beyond 40.
Australia's International Country Entertainer, Wayne Horsburgh is back and performing in Australia after dividing his time between home and the US for 25 years. At the annual Australian Entertainment 'MO' Awards this year, Wayne was named Entertainer of the Year and Country Performer Of The Year.
Born and raised in Benalla, Victoria, Wayne started singing and playing guitar at just eight years old. Some of his early musical influences were Frank Ifield, Wilf Carter and Slim Whitman - hence the love for yodelling. Having become a full time performer in 1976, he toured Australia with the legendary Buddy Williams in 1978 and moved to Sydney with the dream of becoming a successful entertainer and travel the world. He has certainly achieved that and more across his 42-year career.
With his elevation to the Roll Of Renown, his name now has a permanent place in the history of Australian Country Music.
Four albums, a string of No.1s, touring nationally as well as five years in America, performances at every major Australian country music festival. It's been an incredible ride for former Graftonian Col Finley.
A singer, songwriter born in the Clarence heartland, Finley epitomises the Australian spirit, on stage and off, Col gives it all he's got. The working class man's, country music hero, Finley speaks of tough times, good times, heartache and love.
He recently released a double album The Collective, a musical reflection that spans his 25-year career.
Victorian born and Queensland based, Kiara Rodrigues is the very essence of diversity. Her compelling tones and vibrant personality leave her audiences mesmerised. At just 25 years of age, her performances emulate a sense of maturity well beyond her years.
With TV appearances on Young Talent Time and a finalist X Factor Girls in 2014, Kiara Rodrigues is certainly no stranger to the stage. Her achievements include being crowned Triple World Champion (Country, Gospel, Rock) at the World Championships of performing Arts 2010, and 2011 Aristocrat Entertainer of The Year. She is also the youngest ever graduate of Tamworth Camerata (Now the Academy) at age 10.
The release of her EP I'm Gonna Be Fine was received with abundant success as the title track soared to #5 on the Australian Country iTunes Chart. Her fresh and contemporary sound is equally matched by her ability to deliver the timeless classics, making her an ideal ambassador for country music.
Tumut born Owen Blundell loves to sing and has always tried to promote his music through his live shows. A true industry survivor, Owen has embarked on a solo one man quest to take his music to encompass not only Australia but the rest of the world via the internet and double his touring schedule.
With mentors such as Slim Dusty, Reg Poole, Terry Gordon, Michael Crawford, Chris and Angie Pritchard, he has appeared on the Ray Martin Show, Sixty Minutes and various other TV shows over the past 15 years.
An all-round entertainer, Owen often features impersonations of many well known artists, the most popular of these being Frank J Spencer.
Singer, songwriter, comedian, yodeller, award winner, Owen Blundell is quick witted, unpredictable, and is described by many as the funniest and most energetic comedy act to come along in years.
Charmaine Pout made her first appearance on TV on Channel 7 aged 11. She also appeared on many special concerts and stage shows in around Sydney, Newcastle and Goulburn as part of the Follies Revue and The National Variety Company.
Charmaine moved from Sydney to Forbes in the 1960s and began a career in country music which by this time she was travelling the talent quest circuit notching up a hoard of awards.
Her smooth vocal quality and laid-back, easy-listening style works across many genres and her talent ranges from lead vocalist, to yodelling, gospel music, bush ballads and original songwriting.
Born in Taralga, Terry Gordon was just five when his father took him to see Tex Morton's Wild West Show. He decided there and then that he was going to be a country music star and by age 16 he was playing guitar in a band and by his early 20s was working as a solo performer on the Sydney pub circuit.
Apart from appearing on national and specialised variety shows, Terry had his own live weekly TV show in Tamworth in the mid-1980s. He was inducted into the Hands of Fame at Tamworth in 1981.
Terry was honoured with the coveted award of Country Music Entertainer of the year 1993, not only as a tribute to his touring and recording success, but also as a mark of respect for his 30 continuous years as a performer. Since beginning his distinguished recording career, he has released 25 singles and 20 albums.
Terry's versatility as a balladeer, songwriter, bush poet, comedy performer and TV host has established him as one of country music's finest entertainers.
He has criss-crossed the length and breadth of Australia literally dozens of times and performed in all kinds of venues - from weather-beaten tents to the most modern TV studios and entertainment centres.
On stage he has worked alongside such local CM legends as Tex Morton, Chad Morgan, Slim Dusty and just about all the greats of the industry. In 2005 Terry was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his services to Country Music. He is also husband and helper to Clarence Valley Muster queen Wendy Gordon.
Justin is a multi-award winning Australian country music singer-songwriter and entertainer. Justin shot to national prominence appearing as a Top 12 finalist on the Australian X Factor in late 2012 on his quest to find his missing children. Justin is now recognised by millions of people as a great musical talent and big-hearted man.
Justin's singles consistently chart in the Top 10 of the Australian Country Tracks Top 40. He regularly tours festivals and clubs in Australia and overseas. Known for his distinctive voice and impressive vocal range, Justin's affable nature and talent for song-writing, yodelling, Indigenous songs, comedy songs, beautiful ballads and story - songs, continues to endear him to audiences across the country.
Craig Giles has spent year of constant touring, has a string of successful albums and hit-singles plus endless awards and accolades that just keep coming, has well and truly earned this entertaining artist a prominent place amongst the cream of Australian entertainers.
Craig is acclaimed as 'Mr. Versatile', by media and fans alike, owing to his ability to adapt his rich voice to his immense and varied repertoire of songs, which spans the spectrum of ballads through to all styles of country and on to the ever popular 50s-60s rock'n'roll.
Craig's performances have been enjoyed Australia wide and internationally, including New Zealand, America, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Alaska.
Lindsay Waddington has been a professional touring and session musician for many years.
He made his career as one of Australia's busiest country drummers having toured with and backed most of our leading artists.
For more than a decade Lindsay has toured with Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh and prior to that spent several years with The Brian Young Show.
Waddo, as he is affectionately known as within the industry, made the transition to become a multi-instrumentalist and entertainer.
He received the Queensland Gold Medallion Award for Queensland Musician of the Year in 2005 and continued his success to receive the same award in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 making a record breaking six consecutive years in a row.
Waddo is an integral part of any show, and has built a growing following not only from his guitar and mandolin skills but for his larrikin wit and light-hearted comedy.
Digger Revell is a pioneer of Australian rock'n'roll who enjoyed a dozen Top Ten10 hits in the 1960s and 70s and made 60 national television appearances.
His early band The Denvermen was one of the premier Australian surf-instrumental groups of the early 1960s. The group began by organising its own dances but gained national prominence thanks to appearances on the ABC's pioneering rock'n'roll TV show Six O'Clock Rock hosted by Johnny O'Keefe.
Digger Revell today is a master showman who never fails to deliver a show that has his audiences on their feet demanding more.
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