THE country music gods smiled on Luke O’Shea this year as he reigned as king of the Golden Guitars on Saturday night.
O’Shea doubled his awards collection, winning three more for Male Artist, Heritage Song and APRA Song of the Year.
Three Brothers (The Great War) and the album, Sing You Up, grabbed O’Shea those pieces of gold to take home, with the former winning Toyota Heritage Song of the Year – his third win in a row for that category.
“Three Brothers is the hardest song I’ve had to write,” he said.
“The supposed Great War was a historic, horrific scar on humanity. They marched off little Englishmen and came back a nation.”
Kasey Chambers and bush balladeer Dean Perrett won two gongs each.
Chambers took out the prestigious Album of the Year award with Bittersweet and Single of the Year for the title track, which she recorded with Bernard Fanning.
This takes her Golden Guitar total to 22.
Perrett picked up two Golden Guitars for Vocal Collaboration of the Year with the multi-award winning Troy Cassar-Daley for My Country, My Land and Bush Ballad of the Year for Bloodwood and Clover.
“It’s about all our heritages and it was a great experience to have Troy on that record,” Perrett said.
One of the hardest-working artists in the business, Amber Lawrence, finally won her first Golden Guitar for Female Artist of the Year for her album Superheroes, which is her fourth album.
“I wanted this so badly,” Lawrence said.
“Dad, the lifesaver, gave me the fighting spirit to never give up.”
The unstoppable all-girl group, The McClymonts (Here’s to You and I) took out Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year on top of their previously awarded Sanity Top Selling Australian Album of Year.
“This is absolutely amazing,” Sam McClymont said.
“We started eight years ago and the Golden Guitars were just a dream.”
Nashville mayor Karl Dean presented them with their award and said he loved Australia and our Country Music Capital.
Former Toyota Star Maker winner Lyn Bowtell won the Alternative Country Album of the Year with Heart of Sorrow, Mustered Courage grabbed a Golden Guitar for Instrumental of the Year for Candle Creek and the first Bluegrass Recording of the Year award was won by Kristy Cox for One Heartbreak Away.
She dedicated her win to her sister, who is battling breast cancer; the Davidson Brothers, who introduced her to bluegrass; the other finalists as well as her fiance Travis List and their baby girl, Adelaide.
Being the country music family, Bowtell also dedicated hers to her loved ones, particularly her mum, who was in the audience.
The Adam Eckersley Band took home the Qantaslink New Talent of the Year award, and last year’s Female Artist of the Year Sara Storer won another Golden Guitar, for Video Clip of the Year with her song Canoe.
“Thanks for having us long-haired mob and accepting us,” Eckersley said on their win.
Duncan Toombes, a member of the Adam Eckersley Band and director of Storer’s video for Canoe, said this was the fourth Golden Guitar they had won together.
“They just speak to me, her songs,” he said.
Thousands of country music fans attended the industry’s night of nights awards presentation concert and witnessed the stars walk the red carpet prior to the announcement of the winners of the 14 Golden Guitars for 2015.
Fans and industry personnel from across the country, and some from overseas, enjoyed the entertainment by country music royalty at the gala concert in the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.
A television special will be broadcast on Southern Cross Ten, with a date to be announced soon.