The Ninth annual Clermont Talent Contest is on again and from 29 - 30 October you can enjoy music from many new artists hoping to be the recipient of one of the great prizes awarded. The overall open winner of the festival will receive $1000.00 whilst the Junior & Juvenile winners will receive $250.00 each. Prize money for each section is 1st $100.00 2nd $60.00 3rd $40.00.


As befits the grain and cattle capital of the region, Clermont in Queensland sits on gentle slopes above Sandy Creek and Hoods Lagoon. The town, about 800 km. north of Brisbane, traces its history to the early-1800's, but it was not until 1861 that it shot to prominence when gold was discovered by some shepherds in Hoods Lagoon. Prospectors flocked to Clermont and even more followed when copper was found in the Next year. This led to the establishment of Copperfield, the first copper mine in Queensland. Within three years, there were more than 3,500 people in the area. But the gold and copper were soon exhausted and the economic activity began to wane. However, enough remained so that together with coal, sheep and beef the town survived the downturn. About 3 km. from the town's center, a museum houses relics from the gold rush, coal mining machines from that era and a pioneer's hut made from slab timber. Prospecting, or “fossicking” for gold is still a favorite activity of visitors to Clermont and fossicking kits are sold at the Clermont Caravan Park. Other attractions in the town are the Clermont Club, one of the earliest gentlemen's country clubs in Queensland, and the St. Mary's Roman Catholic church from 1890, a survivor of the devastating floods in Clermont's history.


The following decades were turbulent times for Clermont. In the 1880's, about 4,000 Chinese were working the gold and copper mines triggering race riots which resulted in the Chinese being removed from the fields. Then, several years later, about 400 soldiers had to be brought in to separate striking shearers and non-union labor.


Summer storms, Sandy Creek and Hoods Lagoon all combined to put Clermont under constant threat from floods. Fifteen people died during a major flood in 1870. Five more floods followed until 1916 when the town's worst flood in history swept away houses, sent people clambering up trees to escape the rushing waters and drowned 65 persons. To remind everyone of this catastrophe, a large cement tree was erected on the old Clermont's main street. The tree monument has a white mark on the upper part of the trunk to show the height of the flood waters. After that, the townspeople decided to move the town to a more elevated area where it now stands.


Today, Clermont is the home of the Blair Athol Mine, where modern day mining operations can be observed. The mine is due to be replaced by Rio Tinto with a $750 million facility. When the new mine reaches its full operational capacity in 2013, Clermont will become the country's largest thermal coal producer with more than 12 million tons of coal a year.


Clermont stages a yearly country music talent contest, In 2011, the 9th contest, which is for amateurs only, will be held on October 29 – 30 at the Clermont Civic Center. There will be a walk up night on Friday, October 28 at the Clermont Hotel Motel, nicknamed the Hoey Moey. On Sunday, a Poets' breakfast will be held at the same location.


Admission is $15.00 for a weekend pass or $10.00 daily.


Food and drinks will be available all weekend.


Nominations close on Friday, 21 October 2011, and nomination packs can be obtained from:

Secretary, Vicki Holmes

E: [EMAIL=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.[/EMAIL]


The venue for the Latrobe Valley Country Music Festival is the Glengarry Victoria Recreation Reserve. Main Event: Saturday 5th November, 2011 from 12pm til late: Open Mic Night: Friday 4th November, 2011 from 6pm til late.


Glengarry is a small Village 5 minutes drive from Traralgon. You will find Latrobe Valley in November to be warm, casual with plenty of 'stars'.



This second annual Country Music Festival in the Valley continues to cement this festival as one of the biggest and best Country events to hit regional Victoria. A great line up of artists will be performing on Saturday from 12 to 12 :




  • McAlister Kemp
  • Amber Joy Poulton
  • Bec Hance
  • Rick Bartlett
  • Tom Maxwell
  • 8Ball Aitken
  • Danny Hooper
  • Tracy Killeen
  • Harry Hookey -Harry is a local boy who won the Telstra Road to Tamworth 2011.




There will be an open mic walk up on Friday 4th - 6pm till 10ish, and camping on site is available. Browse the market stalls filled with all sorts of interesting goodies and there is still room if anyone wishes to have their own stall. (Call me for further details Dawn : 0412 161 419).




Let your children enjoy their special entertainment and don't forget to enter them into the competition for best country dressed kids! There are several sections from tiny tots to under sixteen.


Visit the website (I found this didn't work in Firefox so use Explorer) Latrobe Valley Country Music Festival


Beccy Cole has released her much anticipated 7th studio album, 'Songs and Pictures' it showcases the real woman, artist and the exceptional songwriter that she is.It had been almost four years since she has recorded music and she calls Songs & Pictures her 'coming of age' album.


Ever since she started on stage when she was 14 years old, Beccy Cole has been piling achievement on top of achievement and award after award. Music-wise, she even had the right parents. Born in Glenlg, South Australia, her mother is Carole Sturtzel, for many years the acknowledged “Queen of Country Music” in the state, and her father Max a great crooner and recognized tap dancer.


Joining her mother's band Wild Oats, Cole did the rounds of the South Australian circuit going on tours with name stars like Willie Nelson, Kenny Rodgers, Glenn Campbell and Don McLean, then joined the Dead Ringer Band. In 1993 she won the Toyota Star Maker Quest and followed this up in the succeeding year by taking home the Golden Guitar for New Talent. In 2006, she won a Golden Guitar for Female Artist of the Year, then three more in 2007, for Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year and APRA Song of the Year. She has also been honored by the Country Music Association with an Entertainer of the Year award.


Cole has three Gold albums and a long string of hits which have brought her to the top of the Australian country music scene. However, she is best loved for her song “Poster Girl” which won her the three Golden Guitars and which she dedicates to the Australian servicemen. She went to Iraq on tour to entertain the troops assigned there and sang the song for them at the parade on ANZAC Day in 2007. Cole teamed up with Gina Jeffreys and Sara Storer and the three of them, as The Songbirds, had three years of highly acclaimed performances. Attracted by the idea of “strong women with something to say” Cole, Chris E. Thomas and Kate Ballantyne put together “The Sheila Sessions” which showcases talented and successful women celebrating memorable moments in female song history.


A vivacious, energetic entertainer, Cole is known for her sense of humor and her ability to keep the crowd on its feet. She has been highly praised for her stints as emcee at events like the Golden Guitar Awards and the Heart Awards of the Variety Club. She appears regularly on the television quiz show “Spicks and Specks” and on the TV program “The Wiggles”.


Cole has a soft spot for up and coming country music artists. She has been a tutor at the College of Country Music and an Ambassador in the Telstra Road to Tamworth talent development program. But she can be strong and uncompromising on matters she feels strongly about. She has proudly performed for the Australian Prime Minister, but in 2007 sparked some controversy when she refused to sing for then US President George W. Bush.



As an entertainer, multi-award winner, chart-busting country music singer, TV celebrity, mentor, nationalist, advocate and all-around nice person, Cole has covered it all in a spectacular way. It's no wonder that the country music industry chose her as the first contemporary female artist to be included in the Golden Guitar Wax Museum in Tamworth.


The video clip on ItsCountry is "Shiny Things" from her Songs and Pictures Album.


Visit the Event Calender for her upcoming gigs at Event Calendar


Or find our more about Beccy at Beccy Cole


The Queen of Country Music is coming to town with her 'Better Day' World Tour. Her tour dates span 8 November-1 December 2011. Current concert dates are:


  • Nov 08 Perth, Burswood
  • Nov 12 Adelaide, Entertainment Centre
  • Nov 15 Sydney, Acer Arena
  • Nov 19 Hunter Valley, NSW Hope Estate
  • Nov 20 Hunter Valley, NSW Hope Estate
  • Nov 22 Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
  • Nov 23 Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
  • Nov 25 Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
  • Nov 26 Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
  • Nov 27 Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
  • Nov 29 Sydney, Acer Arena
  • Dec 01 Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena


Dolly Parton, the acknowledged Queen of Country Music, was born on January 19, 1946 in Sevierville, Tennessee into what she called, in her own words, a “dirt poor” family. She was the daughter of a tobacco farmer, and they lived in a rustic, dilapidated one-room house. One of twelve children, she often had to wear clothes which her mother had to sew out of rags. She sings about their poverty in her hit song “Coat of Many Colors” and she recounts how her mother had to boost her spirits regarding this coat of rags by telling her the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. She has kept this coat and it now hangs in a museum in her theme park Dollywood.


Ranked in 1998 by Nashville Business as the wealthiest country music star, Parton has kept the memory of those days alive as her inspiration to share the fortune built up in the course of her career with those less fortunate. The linchpin of this philanthropy is the Dollywood Company through which she invested much of her earnings in her native East Tennessee. Like many places in the Appalachian region which have always been economically depressed, Parton's investments helped uplift the area. Partnering with the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, she became co-owner of the theme park Dollywood, which is the 24th most popular theme park in the USA.





In 1996, she set up the Dollywood Foundation. Partial to charities which encourage literacy, the Foundation established and runs the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. An enrolled child receives one book every month from the time it is born to the time it enters kindergarten. Naturally, the program started in Sevier County but it has expanded to 566 counties in 36 states in the USA. Overseas, the program has been installed in Canada and in the United Kingdom. Every year, the Library distributes over 2.5 million books to children, all for free.

In 2006, Parton contributed $500,000 to a new hospital and cancer center in Sevierville. She also staged a concert attended by 8,000 people to raise funds for the hospital, named after Dr. Robert F. Thomas, the physician who delivered her. In addition, she has worked on fund raising events to help the American Red Cross and charities involved in HIV/AIDS programs.


Parton's generosity has not gone unnoticed. She was given a Partnership Award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recognition of her efforts to preserve the bald eagle. Among her other awards for


philanthropic activities are the Award for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; AAP Award from the Association of American Publishers; Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the first time it was ever awarded to an individual; Galaxy Award given by the American Association of School Administrators; the Chasing Rainbows award from the National State Teachers of the Year; and the Child and Family Advocacy Award of the Parent and Teachers National Center.



In 2009 the little girl who had to go to school in a dress made out of rags delivered the commencement speech at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's College of Arts & Sciences and was awarded a Doctorate of Humane and Musical Letters, honoris causa, the second honorary degree ever given by the university.

The Tenth Annual

Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival

21st - 23rd October 2011



Ranked as one of the most popular country music events in Australia, the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival was conferred the status of a Regional Flagship Event in 2011 by the New South Wales Tourism Council as an acknowledgement of its being a “premier acoustic music” event. Scheduled for October 21 – 23, 2011, the festival is a three-day celebration of Folk and Bluegrass music with concerts, workshops, square dances, jamming around the campfire and a lot of fun for the young and not so young. Surprising for an Australian country music event, alcohol, tobacco and pets are not allowed at the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival.



For a long time, it was thought that the town's name was given by the explorer Major Edward Parke after an opposing Spanish general named Don Dorrigo (which undoubtedly explains the name of the town's present day newspaper). Actually, the town's name was derived from the Indigenous Australian word for “stringy bark”. Dorrigo, situated on the Dorrigo Plateau almost 800 meters above sea level, was settled in the 1860's by timber cutters looking for Red Cedar. Logging, which was the area's original source of revenue, was eventually replaced by the dairy industry. Today Dorrigo is a town with less than 1,000 people.


A quiet, friendly old country town, Dorrigo has many art galleries and cafes and the whole place exudes an old world charm. A picturesque place, Dorrigo's natural attractions include the cascading Dangar Falls and the Dorrigo National Park, 11,732 hectares with an abundance of tropical flora and fauna. There, one can find old buttressed figs, giant tallow woods, many Australian cedars and over 250 species of plants. The place is also home to many native birds, like lyrebirds, pitas and bowerbirds. At the park's Rainforest Centre, an interactive display presents the evolution of rain forests and provides an insight into animal and plant life there. Lookout vantage points offer a spectacular view of the Bellinger Valley. The Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum is also located in the town. A private collection of railway vehicles from government and private sources, it is one of the largest of its kind in the world.


The Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival will be holding its tenth event this year. A magnet for many of Australia's old-time, folk and bluegrass musicians, the festival prides itself in being a relaxed, friendly occasion for the whole family to enjoy and learn. In the Myrtle and Currajong tents, many workshops are held covering the fiddle, old-time banjo, vocal harmony, bluegrass banjo and song writing presented by experienced performers. Special workshops for children are conducted for things like Bollywood Dance, singing and storytelling.


Among the featured artists at this year's festival are: Bluegrass Parkway, The Bushwackers, The Lurkers, Coolgrass, Hunter and Suzy Owens, Ami Williamson, Barefoot Folk Orchestra, Dear Orphans, Spot the Dog, Evan Mathieson, Iness Campbell and Present Company, Fat Wombat, Ewan McKenzie Duo and Shiny Top Strings.


Just some of the featured artists for 2011 are:



  • Bluegrass Parkway
  • The Bushwackers
  • The Lurkers
  • Coolgrass
  • Hunter and Suzy Owens
  • Ami Williamson
  • The Barefoot Folk Orchestra
  • Dear Orphans
  • Spot the Dog
  • The Perch Creek Family Jug Band
  • Ewan MacKenzie Duo,
  • Innes Campbell & Present Company
  • Big Bug Trio,
  • Fat Wombat

Visit their website for more information


Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival