Long before two likely lads from the country came along and stole the hearts of Joy and Heather McKean, the sisters were superstars. Hosting their very own Melody Trail radio show on 2KY every Saturday night for over eleven years, the girls bravely followed the ‘stars in their eyes and the songs in their hearts’ blazing a trail, that went on to establish the very corner stones of the Australian Country Music Industry.

As was the time, with love and marriage, when Reg Lindsay and David Gordon Kirkpatrick locked into their passion and vision of the world – both women put themselves and their careers behind their men. As expressed in my song “The Drover’s Wife”, I’ve long been fascinated by the strength and resourcefulness of the Australian woman; pioneering women that had multi-functioning tasks as tough and as integral to that of the pioneering man.

Joy McKean is one such woman and after reading her book, I’ve Been There (& Back Again), I was incredibly inspired to ‘sing her up’. Using her words and utilising the titles of some of her original songs I’ve attempted to tell her story in a cryptic, poetic way that will hopefully take the listener a few times around to figure it all out.

As I do with all my songs, I played “Lady of the Land” to my wife in a very early and raw format, and she made me swear that if I ever had the opportunity to play the song to Joy live, I should. As the universe conspires, I ended up having the chance a few short weeks later, in the beautiful Tamworth Town Hall during the 2013 Roll of Renown concert. I was understandably nervous for a few reasons; I was about to sing a song that I felt was still evolving, I was also singing as Joy, using her words and her song titles telling her story, back at her. What if I got it wrong? What if she hated it?

Anyway, it was a sold out show, but as far as I was concerned, there was only one woman there. Afterwards, Max Ellis came up and asked me to wait around after the show, for Joy had asked to meet me. Thankfully, she enjoyed the song and was touched by the sentiment but also, as expected, asked for a copy of the lyrics. After explaining a few of the more cryptic lines and expressing my intentions with the song, Joy gave me her complete blessing and has also allowed rare archives of her personal and musical journey to be used in a powerful video to marry the song visually.

Joy McKean; writer of some of Slim Dusty’s biggest hits, winner of the very first Golden Guitar, manager, agent, promoter, multi-instrumentalist, author, co-driver, offsider, cook, mother, grandmother, matriarch and still to this day – a powerhouse in the establishment of the Slim Dusty Centre. Enough about the fella, I want Joy McKean’s story to be told, and I strongly urge all who wish to be astounded and inspired to purchase and read her book I’ve Been There (& Back Again) – And true to Joy's nature - it’s the one that features Slim on the front cover.- Luke O’Shea

LISTEN TO A SAMPLE TRACK [MP3]http://itscountry.com.au/music/Luke O'Shea - 01 - Lady Of The Land.mp3 [/MP3]

The Dalton Gang burst onto the Australian music scene in April 1995 and their polished sound and well crafted arrangements have been impressing audiences ever since.

Their first performance was at Melbourne’s Dallas Brooks Hall as support for American country star Don Williams. Not only did the audience want to hear more of this talented threesome, but Don and his band commented that ….”The Dalton Gang sounded more like a hot five piece band than a trio…”

The Dalton Gang have been the backing band for Beccy Cole, Deniese Morrison, Noel Watson and Johnny Chester. Late in 1995 the band formed the core of Johnny Chesters touring band and accompanied him at the Twin Towns Services Club N.S.W and early in 1996, toured Tasmania for ten days, including two nights at Wrest Point Casino. With “Chess” they were also part of the support for Merle Haggard at the Myer Music Bowl.

The Dalton Gang continue working around clubs, pubs, festivals and private functions in and around Melbourne and country Victoria. With 3 lead vocalists the repertoire is extensive, catch them live, you won’t be sorry.

The Dalton Gang

Leo Dalton : Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin.

Stuart Lees : Drums, Lead Vocals

Helen Stewart : Bass, Lead Locals

Dalton Gang Facebook page

A farm gate near Grafton in Northern NSW will swing open on October 28 to allow an estimated 500 music fans to the first Clarence Valley Country Muster – a festival that’s capturing the imagination of people across the nation.

The open-air muster will run until November 3 on a property at Calliope (pronounced Kell-Eye-Oh-Pea) near the historic river port of Ulmarra – about 13 kilometres north of Grafton.

It won’t be just a feast of country music led by legendary headliners Ted Egan and Terry Gordon, an inductee into the coveted Entertainers’ Roll of Renown, the muster will also serve up country hospitality including a canteen packed with mouth-watering, home-grown produce.

Qualified chef Peter Watters, who runs a farm near Calliope, will be tempting hundreds of pallets with the best of locally-produced beef, vegetables and fruit.

Muster organiser Wendy Gordon owns the Calliope property that will host the ground-breaking muster.

“The response has been fantastic,” Wendy says. “I believe that guests from all over Australia will not only relish the work of the performers, but will enjoy the country fare and the hospitality that only the bush can deliver” .

“The area around here is rich in history and has opened its arms to a country music muster that will become an annual event. I have no doubt about that.”

And there can be no doubt that a raffle over the week-long festival will also attract plenty of interest. Internationally-acclaimed Queensland artist Peter Hill has donated an oil painting to the cause. The $3000 landscape painting called Green Valley will hang on someone’s wall after the event. Proceed from the raffle will go to the Ulmarra Public School.

The first Clarence Valley Country Muster begins with a meet and greet and walk-ups from October 28. The main event is on November 1, 2 and 3. It coincides with Grafton’s famous Jacaranda Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors to the Clarence Valley every year.

Details of the muster are available from Wendy Gordon on 0432 741947

(email: [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] www.cvcmuster.com.au www.facebook.com/CVCountryMuster (updated daily).

Latest update from the Country Music Guild of Australia by Frank McHugh


Michael is a local from Oaklands Junction who has recently recorded 5 tracks with producer Brendan Marolla of Bounce Studios here in Melbourne.

He will have a 6 piece band behind him on Friday the 13th with three lead instruments - Anthony Taylor (from Queensland) on lead guitar, Brendan Marolla on keyboards and Dave Moore on pedal steel.

Add drums, bass and rhythm guitar and you have one of the biggest bands to ever grace the Pascoe Vale RSL stage.

Michael was my special guest on “That’s Country” last Sunday.

Tune in to 98.9 FM or listen online at www.northwestfm.org and hear the interview plus tracks from the new CD.


Rough Cut will be back on September 20th, then Colin Jones and his new band The Gentlemen Of Country on September 27th. Colin has fronted many great bands over the past 30 years including Billy Jack, Texas Touch and Jones And Co.

More on our website including photos, band line-up and links to YouTube clips and other websites.

Please forward this email to anyone you know who enjoys going out to see LIVE country music

As always, check our website for who’s playing and get the latest information on The Guild www.northwestfm.org/countrymusicguild

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, just send me back a reply with the word REMOVE in the subject line.




Frank McHugh

Public Relations

Country Music Guild of Australasia (CMGA)


Radio Program: “That's Country”

Sundays 12 noon - 3 pm

98.9 North West FM, Hadfield 3046

Studio Phone: (03) 93044 989

Australian Super-Duo McAlister Kemp have today unveiled the first song from their new album project, plus new album release details with ‘Harder To Tame’, to be released on January 17, 2014.

In just under 4 years, McAlister Kemp have quickly established themselves as the premier duo in Australian Country Music… becoming giants (literally) of the genre.

They’ve topped the ARIA Country Charts, appeared in the ARIA Mainstream Top 20, won a Golden Guitar, have two fan-voted CMC Music Awards to their credit, two APRA Award nominations and scored an ARIA nomination for their most recent album ‘Country Proud’.

They’ve also started to grab international attention, having performed with US Country Stars Big & Rich during the recent US Summer at the Country Thunder Festival in front of 40,000 people in Wisconsin.

McAlister Kemp have become a major touring act in regional Australia, off the back of their explosive live show, songs that touch on real issues and core values and a brand conducive to obtaining genuine and loyal fan connection.

McAlister Kemp will take their music to the world with their new album ‘Harder To Tame’, which will a be “game changer” for Australian Country Music and the Australian music market generally.

‘Harder To Tame’ is an unapologetically cutting edge mainstream country single, produced by Nashville’s most sought after emerging producer Jeremy Stover – the producer of the current Justin Moore Billboard country hit ‘Point At You’ in the USA.

“Harder To Tame’ launches with a new direction for MK! This album is the album we always wanted to make with a collection of powerful songs recorded with hit-making producer Jeremy Stover in Nashville. It's a new chapter in our career we can’t wait to take to our fans,” say McAlister Kemp.

McAlister Kemp’s new album ‘Harder To Tame’ will be released on January 17, 2014.

The new single ‘Harder To Tame’ is at media and on iTunes now.

Upcoming Appearances

September 7 – Sydney Country Music Festival


October 5 –Mountview Music Muster - Stanthorpe QLD


September 28 – CMC Rocks North Queensland – Townsville QLD