Never before have The Bushwackers arrived at the Tamworth Country Music Festival nominated for five Golden Guitars.
But following the release of their latest album, The Hungry Mile, last year, the veteran band are finalists for Group or Duo, Traditional Country Album, Vocal Collaboration, Instrumental and Heritage Song of the Year.
“We’ve never had that many,” lead singer Dobe Newton said. “Across all the years, three would have been the most, and it’s either been one or two.
“We’re up to about 40 losing nominations, so another five may be some kind of a world record,” he quipped.
Rather than losing, The Bushwackers could potentially more than double their collection of Golden Guitars this year, although Newton noted they were up against some tough competition.
Their three wins over the years have come in 1981 for best instrumental, then in 2010 for bush ballad of the year, and again two years later for heritage track of the year in 2012.
“When you look down and see five nominations you think ‘that’s fantastic’, and then you have a look down at the competition, and you go ‘okay, we may just have to be happy with five nominations’. But it is what it is, and it will be a great night anyway.”
The nomination for vocal collaboration this year is the song Waltzing Australia, which highlights the contribution of migrants to Australian society.
Sara Storer and John Williamson sang lead on two of the verses, with a cast of country music artists also making comeos.
“When Colin Buchanan came up the idea of ‘Why don’t you ask your mates if they’d like to come and sing on the song?’, we thought that was a great idea. We didn’t have to ask twice. Everyone just said they loved the theme of the song and they were happy to be involved.
“And the response out there in fan land has been fantastic.”
The Bushwackers have a busy schedule of concerts again this festival.
On the first Saturday of the festival, the Bushwackers first gig at the Longyard is their annual beach party, where there will prizes for the best dressed beachgoers.
The following day, they will be at DAG Sheep Station for an acoustic show, then on Tuesday afternoon the will play a giant bush dance inside Tamworth Town Hall.
On Friday, the band is back at the Longyard for an Australia Day gig, and on Saturday afternoon before the awards, they will play The Hungry Mile Show featuring their latest songs.
The festival wraps up, as it always does for The Bushwackers, with the Chardonnay Show at the Longyard.
- The Bushwackers are playing at the Acoustic Sessions show at The DAG on Sunday, January 21 at 3pm. Tickets are available from thedag.com.au Contact Longyard for booking details. See gig guide for more details