Greetings! And so to the Spring edition and the onset of festivals everywhere starting with the Gympie Muster – although Queensland’s winter run of festivals is gaining increasing impetus and the Broadbeach CM Festival at close of July was a blinder with attendee numbers almost double on last year and absolutely perfect weather for the […]

Shania Twain

By Mikaela Bella. It took that self-instructive horse sense for Shania to finally commit to the challenge of releasing Now. Baulked by turbulent years of illness and a traumatic separation from her longtime songwriter/producer and husband, the highly anticipated follow-on from Up! has been fifteen years in the making. But, Man! Doesn’t it feel good […]

Rascal Flatts

By Mikaela Bella. There’s been a lot of talk about Back to Us echoing the nostalgia of early Rascal Flatts sounds and albums? “I’m not saying this because it’s our latest album and it’s my job to plug it – but I’d put Back to Us right up there with any of the best we’ve […]

Shane Nicholson

By Gareth Hipwell. To paraphrase the Beatles: picture yourself in a tinnie on a river. Tumbledown fishing shacks – boxy fibro cubbies hemmed-in by dense bushland – crowd parcels of verdant lawn, while the languid Hawkesbury licks at shelves of oyster-encrusted rocks along the shoreline and the wavelets patter against the broadside of an anchored […]


By Gareth Hipwell When I ask Mark and Jay O’Shea for a brief run-down on the two years since Country Update last caught up with them, the duo’s response leaves me marvelling at their relaxed and chipper demeanour (narrating some background noise for my benefit, Mark explains that, “Jay’s just emptying the champagne ice bucket!”) […]

Brad Butcher

By Scott Lamond. A vibrant if small selection of flowering splendour stretches for sunshine on the balcony of Brad Butcher’s inner-city apartment as the lyrical genius plants himself on the lounge inside to talk about a brand new album that is by far his best work to date. The pansies and impatiens in bloom remind […]


This quarter’s Notes from Deep Down South come to you from a little further north – about two hours flight (and 10 degrees Celcius) to be precise. It’s late July and my band and I find ourselves on the Gold Coast for our second consecutive Broadbeach Country Music Festival – alongside fellow Victorians The Weeping […]


“G’day You Mob!” It’s probably the most common greeting bandied about up in the Kimberley, often to the consternation and confusion of people from southern parts. You see the dubious look cross their faces … “What did he just call me?” If you take the literal meaning, ala the Oxford Dictionary, it’s a large crowd […]


Bangalow Bluegrass Festival/Mullum Fest/Out on the Weekend It sometimes feels like either the years are getting shorter, I’m lapsing into dementia or music festivals are no longer solely a summer activity; these days they seem to be appearing with ever increasing frequency during the yearly calendar, with The Bello Winter Music 2017 Festival in Bellingen […]


This issue is written to you from the tropical island of Kauai in Hawaii where I’ve (Lachie) been lucky enough to escape the Australian winter for two weeks. Haven’t found any bluegrass yet but they do have a 24/7 modern country radio station and I’ve heard the occasional steel guitar (or Hawaiian guitar) which is […]