THERE will be a decidedly Novocastrian flavour to this year's socially-distanced Golden Guitar Awards when they're held in Tamworth on January 23.
Newcastle's queen of country and five-time Golden Guitar winner Catherine Britt will co-host the event with Andrew Swift, which will be live-streamed through the ABC's Landline Facebook page, broadcast on ABC Country radio and replayed in an edited 90-minute version on ABC TV at 12.30pm on January 24.
Cessnock's Travis Collins, former Newcastle Americana artist Melody Moko and Central Coast's Shane Nicholson will be among the live performers, as will be Kurri Kurri's Kirsty Lee Akers, who will perform John Williamson's True Blue with Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, and Dianna Corcoran.
Collins is expected to be one of the biggest winners on the night after he received six nominations following the release of his eighth album Wreck Me last year. He's been nominated for Best Album, Best Contemporary Country Album, Male Artist and the track Rainy Day is in the running to win Song Of The Year, Best Video and Best Music Single.
Moko has been nominated for Best Alt-country Album, Female Artist and New Talent for her second album Two Kids & A Radio.
Newcastle country-rock band Hurricane Fall were nominated for Best Group or Duo and Akers could win Vocal Collaboration for True Blue.
Due to the COVID-10 pandemic the Tamworth Country Music Festival won't be officially staged this January for the first time in its near 50-year history.
However, an unofficial festival will continue with various music venues around the city booking gigs. But if you're travelling north to take a waltz down Peel Street, you'll be disappointed.
Busking is banned due to COVID along the famous music strip.
COLLINS WARMS UP
YOU won't need to travel to Tamworth to catch Travis Collins as the six-time Golden Guitar winner will perform at Wallsend Diggers' Mezz Bar on January 22, the night before the Australian Country Music Awards.
The performance is expected to feature cuts from Collins' Wreck Me - Acoustic Sessions, which was released on December 4.
BOTTS SCREWED ON
THE re-emergence of COVID-19 in Sydney over the holidays and subsequent NSW border closures meant the cancellation of The Pierce Brothers' show at the Cambridge Hotel on Friday.
Suffice to say there were plenty of disappointed people, particularly as The Pierce Brothers' support was Byron Bay surf-folk artist Jack Botts.
Luckily for Newcastle fans Botts has announced his own show at 48 Watt Street's Small Ballroom on February 14 to promote his latest single 18th Floor.
Felipe Baldomir and Dusty Boots will be joining Botts to ensure a night of chilled-out vibes and melodic tunes.
WALLSEND'S Hiss & Crackle Records boast one of the best collections of vinyl in this city and owner Mitchel Eaton has provided another reason to head out west.
Lachlan X. Morris and Boots Porter, known as The Shadow Cast, will be performing an instore residency every second Saturday of the month going forward.
Technically this Saturday is the third Saturday of January, but the boys will be kicking off the two-hour residency from 11am.