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Record-breaking tour to hit the road

Tickets on sale this Saturday. Book @ Ticketek and Ticket Direct

Record-breaking tour to hit the road

PLUS: A thrilling new book, new album and new DVD
PLUS: Country Music Awards

Last time it hit the road, The Highway of Legends tour created history. It became the highest grossing and the fastest selling tour in New Zealand history, entertaining more than 29,000 people in theatres throughout the country.

The legends in Brendan Dugan, Gray Bartlett, Jodi Vaughan, the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band and affable MC Martin Crump are preparing to travel that road again soon, joined this time by Yolande Gibson. She and Brendan will present a stage version of Walk The Line -- Yolande playing the part of June Carter Cash.

The extensive New Zealand tour will begin in Hamilton on October 6, a mecca for country music and host of the inaugural Country Music Awards Showcase on August 26. The legends are expected to feature prominently in the awards to be held at the Founders Theatre to promote and support excellence in country music and to help establish the genre as mainstream in New Zealand.

In celebration of their enormous contribution to entertainment in New Zealand, HarperCollins will publish a thrilling tell-all book Highway of Legends On the Road with the Kings and Queens of Country Music. It will be released on August 18 and is tipped to sell as fast as the tour.

As part of the celebrations, Joy Kirkpatrick -- Australian country music legend Slim Dusty's widow -- will be coming to NZ to launch the tour and awards and book. Joy will have a strong connection to the tour through her long association with the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band who toured extensively with Slim.

A new Highway of Legends album, featuring all their favourite songs, will also be released in time for the tour. Their last album, released by Rajon Records, reached gold status and No 6 on the National Charts (Compilations).


Tickets will go on sale for The Highway of Legends tour this Saturday, August 5. Book through Ticketek and Ticket Direct Tickets range from $49.95 to $59.95.

October 6 Hamilton Founders Theatre
October 8 Tauranga Baycourt
October 9 Taupo Great Lakes Theatre
October 16 Whangarei Forum North Hall
October 18 Pukekohe Town Hall
October 19 Auckland Sky City Theatre
October 20 Auckland Sky City Theatre
October 21 Rotorua Civic Theatre
October 22 Napier Municipal Theatre
October 23 Palmerston North Regent Theatre
October 24 Wanganui Royal Opera House
October 25 Wellington Opera House
October 26 Blenheim Marlborough Centre
October 27 Blenheim Marlborough Centre
October 28 Christchurch Town Hall
October 29 Timaru Theatre Royal
October 30 Dunedin Town Hall
October 31 Invercargill Stadium Southland

Country is king!

Country Music in New Zealand is on fire!, beams Gray Bartlett whose name is synonymous with the genre.

"With the major publicity and platinum sales of NZ-born Keith Urban, and the links with Shania Twain in Queenstown, NZ media is becoming more aware of the massive support for country music throughout our land," he says.

"2006 is becoming the year that shows the growth in not just record-breaking ticket sales, but new recordings by fresh new artists.

"The inaugrual National Country Music Awards for Professional CM Artists, was a huge success, and honours our -greatest legendary talent, and newest stars.

"Keith Urban has helped the marketing of Country Music in New Zealand, simply by being one of the worlds mosrt identifiable Celebrities.

"Country Music never went away, it was and still is one of New Zealands biggest selling forms of music."

Gray Bartlett MBE

Who are the legends?

Gray Bartlett is New Zealand's most famous guitar legend. His career has spanned over 35 years with million selling albums, tours to China, USA, the UK and Australia. A man with unlimited talent, and the discoverer of artists such s Hayley Westenra and Ben Morrison. Equally at home on the classical or electric guitar, his style is proven by his platinum selling albums.

Brendan Dugan -- New Zealand's "voice" of country music. Brendan started recording 36 years ago as a teenager and after many, many albums and touring the world he is still one of the busiest and most popular New Zealand entertainers today.

Jodi Vaughan came to New Zealand 26 years ago from Australia and now calls New Zealand home. From the time she arrived she had instant success and has gone on to become an institution in New Zealand country music. She has toured many countries around the world and recorded many albums.

Yolande Gibson.

"Her voice is pure delight, lifting, and with all the passion you would expect from a New Zealander," Chch Star
"She lets a song speak for itself through her brilliant interpretation" Adelaide Advertiser
"The lady is simply brilliant with an audience" Sir Harry Secombe
"Yolande Gibson is acclaimed as one of the most dynamic and exciting singers New Zealand has ever produced. A prolific recording artist and innovative performer" Sydney Morning Herald
Yolande Gibson was one of the stars of "Thats Country" on TVNZ in the late 80's, and her version of Vince Gill's "Look at Us" is widely regarded as the best ever heard.
This is her first major NZ tour featuring her timeless brand of country music that she loves so much.

Martin Crump: For years he was a chef but when Barry died, Martin came out of the kitchen and became an entertainer. He is now a popular radio personality and has made regular television and live appearances as a performer. Martin remains true to his country boy upbringing and has taken much pride and pleasure in his MC roles at various country music awards and spectaculars. And like his father, Martin too can pick up a guitar and lull us back to our country music roots!

The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band exploded on to the New Zealand folk and country music scene in 1968, the first group to popularise bluegrass music here. In its heyday, anchoring a widely enjoyed TV show on Saturday evenings, touring the country and representing country music three times in a national music awards event, it became one of NZ's best-loved outfits. This also cemented HCBB in NZ television history, as the band to have the most national television appearances ever. After extensive Australian touring with Slim Dusty, the band became the first and only NZ group to play the Grand Ole Opry. Three decades later, the band -- with four founding members -- still enjoys a special place in Kiwi hearts, with a finger pickin' good traditional and original repertoire. To this day, HCBB can still pride itself on being the biggest selling EMI country music group.

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