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Catch a Rising Country Star

Catch a Rising Country Star

Who: Brendon Walmsley
Where: Hexham Bowling Club
Author: Jade Lazerevic
When: Saturday March 16, 2002

This guy has what it takes. ONE of Tamworth's Golden Guitar award winners will perform in an all-star country music concert at Hexham Bowling Club on Saturday night.

Nominated for six Golden Guitar awards at the 2002 Tamworth Country Music Awards, Brendon Walmsley will perform at Hexham with fellow musicians Adam Harvey and Sara Storer. Walmsley achieved six nominations at the 2002 CMAA Tamworth Country Music Awards including Song of the Year, Heritage Song of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Vocal Collaboration of the Year and Bush Ballad of the Year.

But it was not the first time Walmsley had been noted for his talent.

He has picked up numerous awards including Toyota Star Maker, Golden Guitar for Best New Talent and New Songwriter of the Year at Tamworth Songwriters Awards.

But his talent has come from years of experience with country music.

In 1998, Walmsley graduated from Tamworth College of Country Music which allowed him to pursue his career in country music.

His music explores many Australian themes and his latest album Never Say Never features songs about the Flying Doctors Service and the Anzacs.

Although the opening track Never Never was inspired by the founder of the Flying Doctor Service, it is equally about the never-say-die spirit of many Australians.

'When John Flynn started, the outback was a huge area to cover by land and medical help was often too far away,' Walmsley said.

'He just had this fantastic attitude about getting things done. If he wanted to get it done he would make sure it happened, no matter what.'

Another track on the album titled Adam features much the same sentiments and is a tale that listeners can relate to and understand.

'The story of Adam is absolutely true and I'm sure most people can identify with it,' Walmsley said.

'He's a bloke I used to share a flat with, a really nice fella but the kind of person who'd never clean up, leave his stuff all over the place and wash maybe once a month.

'The thing that really surprised me is that he got married!'

Walmsley said he even performed the track for the first time during the wedding reception, just to make sure the bride knew what she was in for.

Much of Walmsley's music is very down to earth and covers issues that listeners can easily relate to.

He also involves his family in recording projects - his mother Judy and brother Nathan both collaborated on the track Aussie Jack. The track, which is a tribute to an Anzac soldier who landed on Gallipoli beach in 1915, was an idea that his mother had.

'It was always a very special event for our family,' he said.

'Mum got the idea from one of the old returned soldiers who used to read a story about Anzac Day and the landing at Gallipoli.'

Although he is quickly becoming one of Australia's major stars of country music, Walmsley remains unaffected by his fame and continues to reside in his hometown of Roma.

True to his lifestyle, Walmsley speaks of the importance of his roots on the album and focuses on a sense of belonging.

Walmsley wrote the track Stay Where You Are with fellow Queenslander Graeme Connors and expresses his strong feelings for his home.

'I've always believed in staying where your roots lie,' Walmsley said.

'Just being surrounded by people who support you, family and friends. There's been pressure for me to move to a bigger city but I think you've got to stand your ground.'

Walmsley will perform at Hexham from 8pm on Saturday night with Storer and Harvey.

Tickets are available from the club for $16 adults and $10 children.

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