It's been a big year for Toronto singer-songwriter Aaron Jurd.
He is performing at the Deni Ute Muster, Bluewater Country Music Festival and Hats off to Country Festival and his second single, Hard To Breathe, charted in the top 20 of the iTunes Country Songs Chart.
His first single, Set Me On Fire, made it to fifth position on iTunes and continues to enjoy regular radio airplay.
"I'm looking forward to hitting the road with my band and performing to new audiences this year," Jurd said.
"The positive reaction to my original songs has been far beyond what I dreamed, so I'm also excited to release more music later in the year."
Jurd and The Banned will take to the Shoal Bay Country Club stage at 9pm on June 8 for The Bluewater Country Music Festival. The following month, he will play his first Hats Off to Country Festival in Tamworth and in October, a dream comes true for Jurd when he performs at the Deni Ute Muster.
"I watched Alan Jackson on the Deni Ute Muster stage a few years back and dreamed that one day I would be able to perform on such an iconic stage. Little did I know that only a few short years later, that dream would come true," he said.
"We can't wait to play for the Deni Ute Muster crowd and we know how much they like to party, so we're ready to help get them warmed up for Tim McGraw who will play later on the Saturday night.
"I can't wait for the crowd to hear my originals as well as my take on a few country favourites."
Closer to home, you can catch Aaron Jurd and The Banned at West Wallsend Workers Club on May 24.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 countdown has begun and Aussies are being urged to get behind our own Kate Miller-Heidke, who has qualified for the final with her song Zero Gravity. She is now rated fourth-most-likely to win behind Netherlands, Sweden and Russia.
Australia joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015. Our best result to date was in 2016, when Dami Im finished second with song Sound of Silence.
Miller-Heidke has this week released single Ernie, named after her son and originally written for The Hush Foundation which creates calming music for children's hospitals and other stressful environments.
"Having a kid for the first time is an incredible rush of emotions. There's elation, despair, gratitude, guilt, sorrow, hilarity and love," she said.
"Ernie's father and I wrote the song about that onslaught of often contradictory feelings. One minute you are on the verge of collapse, and the next you will be weeping tears of joy. It's a love so intense that it can be scary."
Miller-Heidke has released four studio albums and her debut opera as a composer, The Rabbits,won 4 Helpmann Awards. Her concert with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at Mona Foma 2016 in Hobart won the Helpmann Award for Best Australian Contemporary Concert.
With collaborator Keir Nuttall she has written the music and lyrics to Muriel's Wedding: The Musical, which premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company and will play a return season in Sydney from June 28. It won five Helpmann Awards in 2018.
Miller-Heidke will compete against 25 other performers in the Eurovision final this weekend. Tune in to SBS at 5am on Sunday to cheer her on.
On their way
A reminder: Scottish duo The Proclaimers perform at Newcastle's Civic Theatre next Tuesday, May 21. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek and at the venue's box office.
It's been a busy week for Little May. They have released their long-awaited second album, Blame My Body, a video for single As Loving Should and announced a national tour which stops at the Cambridge Hotel's Side Bar on Thursday, June 27. The album has already spawned singles Lover and Apples. Little May is touring Europe in September in support of The Rubens.
Billie Eilish has wrapped up the Australian leg of her When We Fall Asleep worldtour, performing for more than 33,000 fans at her sold-out headline shows alone. She even stopped off at little ol' Maitland for Groovin The Moo. The festival's organisers must be pleased with themselves for adding Eilish to the line-up when they did, and rightly so. Eilish played at 300-capacity venues on her debut Australian tour in 2017.
A rare treat
Pianist Vittorio Mezza and saxophonist Mark Ginsburg are bringing their Convergence tour to Newcastle on June 4. Recent winner of the US Indie Acoustic Project Award's Best Album of 2018 (Jazz), Convergence was released on Ozella Records in September. Newcastle Improved Music Association hosts guest artists every Tuesday night at The Grand Hotel's Underground.