Tamworth Country Music Festival: Ashleigh Dallas wins Golden Guitar and is still on cloud nine

Ashleigh Dallas could not wipe the smile off her face or the tears from her eyes after the Golden Guitar Awards last month.

FAMILY EFFORT: Ashleigh and Brett Dallas accept the Golden Guitars for Traditional Country Music Album of the Year. Pictures: PETER HARDIN

FAMILY EFFORT: Ashleigh and Brett Dallas accept the Golden Guitars for Traditional Country Music Album of the Year. Pictures: PETER HARDIN

Not only had the local singer picked up her second Golden Guitar, but she had taken out an award in one of the new coveted album of the year categories, which also meant her father and musical mentor Brett Dallas collected a Golden Guitar for his work producing the album.

“I can’t really put that into words,” Dallas said when asked what it meant to receive a Golden Guitar alongside her father.

“It’s a huge honour, I feel very proud of the album and to be recognised, not only myself but with dad and the band, has been really quite overwhelming.”

The win saw the family become the first to have three generations of Golden Guitar winners, following Brett’s father Rex, who won the first of his Golden Guitars at the third ever awards night in 1975.

After this year’s wins, the youngest Dallas was quick to recognise the effort of her father Brett.

“I feel Dad always should have had more of the spotlight than what he probably has had.

“And I feel for him to get that recognition is amazing, and now we’re the first family to have three generations of Golden Guitars, so that’s pretty damn special,” she said.

“To share that with dad, and my big brother Lindsay Dallas and Adam McCann in the band, it’s a real joint effort.”

Dallas went onto the road as a teenager, playing fiddle in Kasey Chambers’ band, which took her all around Australia, as well as to the USA twice over five and a half years.

She was the opening act for Chambers’ gigs as well as her fiddle player and she became recognised over this time for both her own music, and as a musician.

Dallas later backed other artists, such as Troy Cassar-Daley and Shane Nicholson, then in 2013 released her debut album Dancing With A Ghost, which scored her the Golden Guitar for New Talent of the Year four years ago.

Lighthouse, released at the beginning of last year, was Dallas’ third studio album, and it was a real Tamworth production having been recorded at Brett Dallas’ Kootingal studio, while the album photography and the video clip for the title track were shot by local professionals.

And now it’s a Golden Guitar winning album for Traditional Country Album of the Year.

“I must admit, I did have a teary moment when I walked in and put my new one next to the one I won four years ago,” Dallas said.

“I don’t think you ever get tired of that moment, in fact I think it was more emotional the second time around than the first, and I think that’s because I’m so connected to this album and I’ve made it with some of the most important people in my life.

“And just to get that shining recognition on it is really special,” she said.

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