Country Music SA, which used to be known as the South Australian Council for Country Music, is an organization whose aim is to promote all facets of country music in South Australia. It does this by increasing the awareness of government, companies and individuals about country music in Australia through projects it conducts around the year.

The CMSA conducts various competitions in the events it holds and gives out awards to honor outstanding country music performers in different States. One of these events is the Champion of Champions to discover the best senior and junior country music artist of the year. Winners in first or second solo competitions in recognized talent quests qualify to compete for career development opportunities and participate in other talent competitions around the country. Winners in the Junior category receive the Cindy Shelton Memorial Award for a scholarship to the Camerata College in Tamworth.

Another program is the APRA South Australian Song of the Year Awards competition run by the CMSA and sponsored by the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA/AMCOS). The competition is open to all songwriters who live in South Australia. Participants can compete in two sections: Traditional (bush, ballads and folk) or Modern (commercial and contemporary) giving young songwriters an opportunity to be heard, judged by professionals and published.

Another scholarship that the CMSA awards is the Rocky Page Memorial Scholarship in honor of the man who founded the Riverland Country Music Festival. The award entitles the scholar to attend the CMA's Country Music College in Tamworth, a key to a prestigious career in country music.

The winners of the APRA Songwriting Award, the Rocky Page Memorial Scholarship and the CMSA Industry Award are announced at the South Australian Showcase, a special concert held to highlight South Australian talents in country music. Professional country music artists from all over Australia are invited to the Showcase to perform and mentor the young talents participating in the event.

The Annual South Australian Country Music Festival is the high point of country music activities in the state. Dubbed “The Friendly Festival”, it attracts thousands of fans not just from other parts of the country but from overseas as well. The festival features the SA Country Music Awards, a Country Music Hall of Fame and a Hands of Fame park. The 34th Annual South Australian Country Music Festival will be held on June 1 – 11, 2012 with competitions in twelve sections over two days. The winners in the sections will compete for the SA Award of Excellence in what is the biggest festival of its kind the South Australia.


The Monash Hotel Sat 26, The Bass Hotel Sun 27

The Prairie Oysters are back in Melbourne and playing at Dooley's Bar at the Monash Hotel this Saturday. Come along for a great night of music and dancing and enjoy the great meals and hospitality of the crew at the Monash Hotel. Free admission

Band starts 9pm till late

Great meals available from bar or bistro

Kids under 18 not permitted.

If you can't make it on Saturday night, head down to the Bass Hotel and spend a pleasant Sunday arvo at one of Victoria's true country pubs.

Band starts 2pm

Great meals available from bistro

Kids welcome

Taylor Swift and Adele dominated the American Music Awards last night (20th November) winning three gongs each.

The Someone Like You songstress, who has unable to attend the event after having throat surgery, won the pop/rock prizes for best female and best album for 21, as well as being named as this year's adult contemporary artist.

Swift, who beat Adele to the coveted artist of the year accolade, also bagged trophies for favourite female country artist and best country album for her Speak Now LP.

Speaking of her wins, Swift said: "This is one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me. I have no idea what I'm supposed to say. I did not think this was going to happen. You have no idea what this means to me."

Not everyone was lucky enough to take home an award, as Lady GaGa and Lil Wayne were left empty-handed.

As well as Adele and Taylor's big wins, Nicki Minaj picked up two rap/hip hop prizes for best artist and best album, while Katy Perry won a special award for becoming the first woman to achieve five US No.1 singles from one album, Teenage Dream.

Usher, Beyoncé and Rihanna were also among the winners, as the likes of Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson and Chris Brown performed at the event.

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The career of the Malpass Brothers, Christopher and Taylor, is right in step with those of the country music stars they have idolized since they were children. The siblings were introduced to country music by their grandfather who taught them the songs of Hank Williams, Sr., Porter Wagoner and Ernest Tubb whose music they have tried to perpetuate. He also taught them to play the songs of Grammy Award winner, BMI icon and Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard who was to play an important role in their careers. The brothers have opened for Haggard across the USA and Canada, and appeared onstage with Willie Nelson, Hal Ketchum and Doc Watson among other country music greats.

The Malpass Brothers hail from Hillsboro, North Carolina, USA and started when Christopher, the elder of the two, began performing solo at seven years old. Coming from a church-going family, their band blends in a lot of gospel music with traditional country which is the hallmark of their sound. Taylor Malpass says that they eschew the different variations of country music that have risen through the years and try to keep traditional country music alive. “The older stuff is really what we are carriers of”, he states. Christopher handles lead vocals most of the time except for those songs which are the favorites of Taylor. Music with his Gibson mandolin is Taylor's forte although his electric guitar sometimes comes into play.

Their big break came when The Malpass Brothers opened for Merle Haggard in North Carolina in 2008. In addition to the impression that the brothers' music made on him, Christopher reminded Haggard of Lewis Tally who had signed up Haggard for a recording contract in the 60's. Within weeks, the Malpass Brothers were part of Haggard's gigs. When not with Haggard, the brothers perform with their own band, bringing to fans around the country the sounds of their heroes like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jimmie Rodgers, Waylon Jennings and Ernest Tubb. The brothers are backed by a hot band that includes their father on upright bass.

Gospel music has a favorite spot in the repertoire of the Malpass Brothers. They staged a live gospel concert at the Methodist Church in Seven Springs, North Carolina which was recorded and released as one of their five albums. Performances at church homecomings are a regular part of their circuit in addition to traditional music festivals. Overseas, the Malpass Brothers perform in roots music programs in Scotland and Ireland. They were special guests at the 10th Thomas Fraser Festival held in honor of the Country and Western and R&B musician from the Shetland Isles. For the Malpass Brothers, following in the footsteps of their idols is a continuing journey, regardless of where those idols might be.

Check out their video on ItsCountry and catch them on Frank McHugh''s Radio show That's Country every Sunday 12 noon - 3 pm streamed live.

Twelve year old Taylor Pfeiffer has been awarded Third Place in the “Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF) 2011 National Songwriting Competition” in Category 1. Taylor won this Award with her first composition called “I Love My Style” a song about her love of playing the banjo and country music. Taylor won $200 worth of musical equipment, a certificate and a $100 grant for her school to spend on musical equipment.

The ACMF received thousands of entries from around Australia, which were judged by a cross section of industry professionals. Marking its ninth year, the ACMF National Songwriting Competition is an annual, free competition open to all Primary and Secondary school children in Australia (reaching more than 11,000 schools).

With her prize money, Taylor intends to buy a new banjo!

In July, Taylor graduated from the “2011 CMAA Australian Academy of Country Music – Junior course” in Tamworth and is looking forward to the 40th Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

Taylor Pfeiffer is already a hit with the country music crowd. But, that's probably to be expected if you start playing the banjo when you're only seven years old. Born in August 1999, Pfeiffer comes from Clare in South Australia. She fell in love with the banjo after hearing it on a TV show, studied it for four years, then talent and serendipity took over.

Deciding to try her luck at the 2011 Tamworth Music Festival, she auditioned for Melinda Schneider's “Schneider Idol”. She was invited to compete – the youngest contestant to perform onstage before a large crowd at the festival. While trying to fix her banjo, Pfeiffer found Laurie Minsen to fix it for her without knowing that Laurie is Lee Kernaghan's banjo player and guitarist. While busking at Tamworth, Hamish Davidson, of the Davidson Brothers, noticed Pfeiffer and joined her. Impressed by her talent, he invited her to perform with the Davidson Brothers at their Bluegrass Breakfast show.

At Tamworth, Taylor appeared as a special guest on seven shows and got herself the nickname “The Banjo Girl” from an enthusiastic audience. She was a guest, among others, on the Runaway Dixie Show at the Balladeer's Homestead, the S.A. Tamworth Showcase at the Hands of Fame Park and Andrew Clermont's Bluegrass Showcase at the North Tamworth Bowling Club. While performing at the A.B.B.A. Star Quest at Diggers, Pfeiffer played Slim Dusty's “Saddle Boy” on the banjo. In the audience was Slim's widow Joy McKean who told Pfeiffer how much she loved the performance.

Pfeiffer's love for the banjo probably comes from her grandmother who was a banjo player, too. Although Taylor also plays the drums the banjo is her favourite instrument and she looks forward to learning how to play the Julian banjo. She plays bluegrass and country but Australian country is her favorite and she looks up to the likes of Casey Chambers, Slim Dusty and Melinda Schneider.