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NZ Country Music Awards

NZ Country Music Awards Honour Kiwi Nashville And Tamworth Favourites

The best in NZ Country music song writing and recording has been acknowledged in Gore at the NZ Country Music Awards.

‘Tamworth’ by Jools Topp has been named the APRA Best Country Music Song and Shane Warner received the RIANZ Best Country Music Album Tui Award for Absolutely.

Presenting the Best Country Music Album Award, the president of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Adam Holt,said the calibre of finalists was excellent.

“Gore turned on another memorable Gold Guitar Week, showcasing the best Country music New Zealand has to offer. Shane fully deserves the Tui this year. He’s a success story here in New Zealand and in the country music capital of the world, Nashville.

“Presenting the award has again been a privilege, especially when it goes to someone who’s not only a talented performer, but also a gifted song writer and vocalist,” adds Mr Holt.

Nashville resident Shane couldn’t make it to Gore so his Tui award was accepted on his behalf by friend and fellow musician Peter Cairns. Peter also performed ‘Just Don’t Get It’ from Shane’s winning album.

The Tui award is now in its third year at Gold Guitar Week giving country artists the undivided attention they deserve.

In 2005 Shane Warner was named International Entertainer of the Year, International Male Vocalist of the Year and Absolutely got the nod for Most Promising Album of the Year at the North American Country Music Awards.

Shane has performed at one of Country music’s hallowed halls the Ryman Auditorium, home of the original Grand Ole Opry, and also made several US primetime TV appearances.

The other finalists in the Best Country Music Album category are both South Islanders. Ron Mitchell didn’t have to travel far for the awards - the Gore resident was a runner-up with Low Down Country and Jacqui Watson from Oamaru was the other finalist with Uncut.

In its second year, the APRA Best Country Music Song award has gone to Jools Topp – musician, actor, horse enthusiast and one half of New Zealand’s iconic comedy duo the Topp Twins.

‘Tamworth’ is about the major Australian Country music event The Tamworth Country Music Festival, one of the most successful annual gigs on the Twins’ calendar. Much loved in New Zealand’s own Tamworth, the Twins played to delighted Gore locals last week, while in their absence tonight the winning song was performed by sisters Andrea Cruikshank and Lisa Cruikshank-Urlich.

Anthony Healey the director of APRA says the Best Country Music Song Award was created to properly acknowledge song writers in the genre.

"The introduction of this award means we can proudly honour one of the latest wonderful songs that Jools Topp has produced in her career,” says Healey.

“‘Tamworth’, with its ebullient melody yet melancholic lyrical edge, is a perfect gem of a Country song.”

Jools has come a long way since opening with her sister Lynda for Split Enz and busking in Auckland in the ‘80s. In 2004 she received the MNZM from the Governor General for services to entertainment.

The other finalists for Best Country Music Song were local man Aaron Jury for ‘Wyre St’ and Robert Joass of The Shot Band and The Hobnail Boots for ’Dead In The Water’.

Gold Guitar Week convenor Phillip Geary says the Country Music Awards are the icing on the cake of the week-long festivities.

“It’s a fun week, and it’s great to top it off by presenting the awards from APRA and RIANZ. Both Shane and Jools are a credit to New Zealand music at home and overseas. We in the Country music community have always known the wonderful talent in New Zealand and with these awards, the rest of the country are realising that too.”

Additional information:
The RIANZ Best Country Music Album Award has been presented since 1983. The inaugural recipient was Suzanne Prentice. Last year’s inaugural APRA Best Country Music Song Award was won by Kylie Harris and John Griffen.

The Gold Guitar Awards now in their 33rd year. Up to 5000 people attend Gold Guitar Week and around 700 artists enter the various categories of the awards.

Shane Warner will be acknowledged at the main New Zealand Music Awards in Auckland on 18 October, 2006.


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