US ARTIST Elizabeth Cook is in Tamworth for the first time and described it as a "more redneck Palm Springs" and said she loved it.
"The only thing I don't like about Palm Springs is that it's not redneck enough, and Tamworth has that," she said.
"I love the hot weather."
The singer-songwriter has been performing since she was four-years-old and made her Grand Ole Opry stage debut back in 2000 and has appeared more than 300 times on the famous stage.
Elizabeth has released five studio albums including Welder which has been in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 30 and was released in Australia on January 11.
While in Tamworth, she hoped to soak up the warm weather
She will perform at the Capitol Theatre tomorrow ((Sunday, January 20)) night.
Elizabeth said her audience could expect a lot of her original material and old country covers with her band, based on a Johnny Cash make-up, of acoustic and electric guitar, upright bass and no drummer.
"Performing is usually the easiest part of my day," she said.
"The travel is hard and all those other parts are hard, but playing music is the lightest and most pleasant part of my day."
She said she was most excited to get out of the US's cold, wintery weather and experience a hot Australian summer while she was here.
"Coming to Australia is something I've wanted to do, but this time I was invited, so it seemed like a goofd time to come over," she said.
The US singer-songwriter said she hadn't heard a lot about the Tamworth Country Music Festival, but had friends who had played here.
Elizabeth also has an Aussie connection with former Midnight Oil bass player Bones Hillman featuring as part of her band.
A special part of her visit will be broadcasting Music City Roots from Tamworth's historic town hall on Wednesday, January 24, which fellow Americans Jim Lauderdale (who hosts the show) and roots artist David Jacob-Strain.
This is the first time Music City Roots will be performed outside of the US.
"I love the real-ness of country music and the ability to relate to the music," she said.
Elizabeth will be in Australia for three-and-a-half-weeks playing Newcastle, Melbourne and Sydney and said she hoped to fit some sightseeing in as well.
She will paddleboard in Sydney with the sharks, which will be another first for her.
"If the sharks are as friendly as the people, then I've got nothing to worry about," Elizabeth said.
"I also want to spend a few days at the beach."
The year ahead will see Elizabeth working on a new album.