In 1996 Marie took to the stage and the rest is history!

Her newly released album, Bitterweeds, is a compendium of bluegrass, traditional country, honky tonk and contemporary sounds. In the album, Marie also performs in duets with Doug Bruce and Rose Carleo. Introduced at The Pub in Tamworth in October, Bitterweeds is produced by Jason Roller from Nashville, Tennessee, and promises to be a huge sucess for Marie Hodson.

Marie Hodson packs gigantic singing talent into her small frame. She was born in Dunedin, New Zealand before moving to Australia in 1988. Her life has had its ups and downs which, together with her talent, has led many to be reminded of Loretta Lynn's. She raised seven children and started singing professionally in 1996, after her children were a bit older. It was only fitting that Marie, whose mother is Irish, has performed with Irish musicians Daniel O'Donnell and the duo of Mick Foster and Tony Allen after launching her maiden album, “Just About Now”. Two singles from the album made it to the Top 20 in the Top 50 Hot Country charts. The first single made it to No. 1 in the USA on the Cashbox Magazine Independent Country Music chart.

In 2006, Marie was a finalist for Top Female Country Vocalist in the 2006 South Australia Champion of Champions competition. In 2008, Marie formed a band, Deep River, which extensively toured South Australia. That same year, she went to Nashville where she produced her second album, “Read Between the Lies”. The first single from the album went to the Top 40 in the European Country charts. It also shot up to the Australian Country Music Radio Top 30 charts and gave her a first Top 10 single.

Marie has moved to Werris Creek in New South Wales and has formed a new band, Riverbender. She performs with Donella Waters in the Dolly/Reba Show and has appeared at the major country music festivals the Gympie Muster, Bunyip Festival, Riverland Country Music Festival, Barham Festival, Mildura Country Music Festival and Tamworth. For the 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival, Marie has put together a show, Friends of the Opry, built around the iconic Grand Ole Opry.

In November, Marie heads for the Mud Bulls & Music rodeo+4x4+country festival in Queensland. December and January 2012 will see Marie and her band at different venues in Tamworth where they will be joined by Merle Haggard's guitarist Redd Volkaert.

Keep an eye on the gig guide to find where Marie will be playing next.

ItsCountry Event Calendar

Marie's MySpace site

Sunday January 8, Red Hill Recreation Reserve, Arthur's Seat Road. For a small community, Red Hill, South of Melbourne puts on a big show. The annual Red Hill Country Music Festival turns the area into a place filled with great music, hot rods, utes and line dancing. The festival features performances by popular artists from the area and around the country. The festival has featured many artists including the Sunny Cowgirls, Doug Bruce, Amber Joy Poulton, the Bona Fide Travellers, Tim Farren and many more.

Red Hill, with a population of a little over 1,000 people gets its name from the red clay that has given this area a special agricultural importance since it was first settled by European immigrants in the mid-19th century. Part of the Old World remains to this day so that games like Pétanque are still played and traditional Australian foods like meat pies and jam donuts are sold in shops. Many streets like Sheehan, McIlroy, Arkwell and Callanan are still named after the people who founded the town.

The climate of the Mornington Peninsula where Red Hill is located led to the establishment of vineyards for grapes like pinot noir, When in season; strawberries, chestnuts and apples can be bought at the farm gate. The smell of roasting chestnuts still permeates the air at a community market held every month from September to May.

Artists included in the 2012 Festival include

  • Marcus Meier
  • Jayne Denham
  • Amber Joy Poulton
  • Peter Baylor's Roadhouse Romeos
  • Roughcut
  • ....stay in touch to hear who else is appearing at the festival

Staged at the Red Hill Showgrounds Reserve, the festival also conducts a Young Talent Segment. This part of the festival showcases up-and-coming young singers and bands giving them a chance to break into the country music scene. The festival also gives fans a chance to meet and greet the artists, buy their CDs in the many booths on the festival grounds and just have a general all-around good time with family and friends.

The Red Hill Country Music Festival is a charity event put on by the Mt. Eliza Lions Club with assistance from Lions on the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston area. Organizers of the event have promised free parking space for Hot Rods and Utes and a Wet - weather alternative should it rain. Guests 14 years old and under are admitted free of charge. Proceeds from the festival are donated to health care services in the area.

Festival Website


In their first gig after their AIADA People's Choice Award win, The Prairie Oysters will be back in NSW on Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October at the Ariah Park Hotel for one of Australia's biggest BnS weekends.

Just one hour out of Wagga, Ariah Park hosts its annual BnS Ball. One of the biggest events in the BnS calendar. Its a weekend when the whole town fires for one massive party.

Friday 28 Oct: Local rock duo Infinity will be opening show. The boys and girls from Bodyheat Australia will then be putting on their own kind of show and The Prairie Oysters will hit the stage to tear it up until late.

Saturday 29 Oct: Bar opens at 5am. Yes.. 5am! Infinity and The Prairie Oysters will be rocking out all day from lunchtime until 6pm when the Ariah Park BnS kicks in.

Sunday 30 Oct: A leisurely Sunday afternoon recovery gig till 4pm..

If you're in the area come along. This is massive!!!

On Friday September 2, 2011, Rough Cut won the 8th annual Les Keats Memorial Award for the most popular band as voted by the members of the Country Music Guild of Australasia. They were one of 19 bands to perform at The Guild during the year 2010-2011.

Rough Cut consists of Mark “Yorkie” Crossley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Mark Woolridge (lead guitar and vocals) Bruce Baker (bass and vocals), Tony Patricks (drums) and Mike Burke (pedal steel).

This was the 4th award won by Yorkie - the other three with the Prairie Oysters in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Don't miss your chance to catch Yorkie and Roughcut at one of their much sought after appearances .. this Friday 28th October at the Pascoe Vale RSL!

Rough Cut Country Band featuring Dave Moore on Pedal Steel.

40 Cumberland Road Pascoe Vale, Victoria.

Book early for seating Keith (03) 9338 7902

Upcoming Roughcut gigs:

FRIDAY 23 DECEMBER 2011(you will need to book for this one!)

Rough Cut Country Band

Pascoe Vale RSL

Book early for seating Keith (03) 9338 7902


Rough Cut Country Band






Entry $25 - Pensioners $20 Under 14 free

Show 9am-6pm

Australia's country music capital is to have its very own Commemorative bronze statue of Smoky Dawson in Peel Street, the heart of Tamworth. The commission has been given to Australian Sculptor Tanya Bartlett from Shortland, who was also involved in the Light Horse Memorial in Tamworth and the statue of Don Bradman in Bowral.

Herbert Henry Dawson, affectionately known to country music lovers as “Smoky Dawson” was born in Collingwood, Victoria on March 19, 1913. After spending his early years in an orphanage in Warrnambool, he tried rough riding, cycle racing and practicing music. In 1934, he formed a Western group and toured Australia. His band the South Sea Island Boys ushered him into the world of hillbilly music, yodeling and radio. Dawson served with the Australian army's Entertainment Unit during World War II, using his talent to cheer and comfort the country's servicemen. After the war, he married “Aunty June” (real name Florence “Dot” Cheers) whom he had met at radio station 3KZ where she had a children's program. An elocution teacher, broadcaster, radio actress, producer and drama coach, Dot had founded the Melbourne program “Carols by Candlelight” to raise funds for children who were polio victims. Together, they formed an inseparable duo that supported each other's career all through the years.

Dawson jumped into recording sessions and went on tour, at times with Stan Gill's Rodeo, yodeling, cracking whips, whirling the lasso, trick shooting and throwing knives. He acted in films, wrote songs and sang them and became a star on the stage, radio and television. Smoky and Dot travelled to the USA in 1952 to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee at the invitation of their close friends American country music legends Roy Acuff and Wesley Rose. Turning down an opportunity to become a Nashville star, Smoky and Dot returned to Australia. Upon his return, Dawson started his radio show “The Adventures of Smoky Dawson” patterned after that of Roy Rogers in the USA and earning for him the sobriquet of Australia's first singing cowboy. The show ran for ten years over 69 stations in Australia, and Smoky became the hero of countless children throughout the country, thrilling them with his heroics. In the meantime, Dot continued with her children's programs.

In 1978, Dawson was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to country music. In 1983, he was named to the Australian Country Music Roll of Renown. Smoky and Dot became the first Life Members of the Country Music Association of Australia.

In 1988, Smoky, with Trevor Knight, won the Heritage Golden Guitar. The Next year, the pair followed up by winning a second Golden Guitar. Dawson was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005, the same year in which he released his last album making him the oldest recording artist in the world.

During his life, Dawson was an active Mason and Rotarian. He supported the Children's Hospital Bear Cottage Foundation, the Stockman's Hall of Fame, to which he donated his first electric guitar, and the Australian Country Music Foundation. His home the Smoky Dawson ranch in the Sydney suburb of Ingleside which was sold to the HASG Armenian School now sports a Smoky Dawson ranch-style gate which has become a tourist attraction.