The hugely successful International Songwriters Shows will return to CMC Rocks the Hunter in 2014, organisers Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, Chugg Entertainment and Foxtel’s Country Music Channel (CMC) announced today.
Introduced for the first time this year, the shows featured a unique opportunity to see some of the biggest singer/songwriters in country and roots music up close and acoustic, playing their biggest hits and telling the stories behind their creation. This format was made famous in Nashville at legendary venues like the Bluebird Cafe.
The shows proved a huge hit at the 2013 festival, with both shows packed out to standing room only. This year, there will be an extra incentive to get in quickly, as both shows will feature a performer who is not part of the lineup on the main stage or CMC Oz Artist Stage.
Performing at both shows and acting as Master of Ceremonies will be Jim Lauderdale (USA). The two-time Grammy winning Americana legend has penned hits for artists as diverse as George Strait, Elvis Costello, Dixie Chicks, Gary Allan and Patty Loveless.
On Saturday March 14 from 1pm to 3pm, Jim will be joined by Craig Campbell (USA), Paul Thorn (USA), Jedd Hughes and Mike Carr.
On Sunday March 15 from 2pm to 4pm, Jim will be joined by Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson from Love and Theft (USA), Kevin Bennett and Catherine Britt.
“I have seen many huge shows and concerts in the USA, however some of my very favourite nights of live music have been at songwriters shows in Nashville,” said promoter Rob Potts.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring this format to CMC Rocks the Hunter and feature some of the very best songwriters in the business. We were delighted it was a hit with the fans this year and to have it return as part of the festival in 2014.”
Due to the incredible popularity of the songwriters shows this year, organisers have decided to institute a ballot system to guarantee 50 lucky festival ticket holders and their festival buddy Express Entry and reserved seats for each of the shows.
Anyone with a CMC Rocks the Hunter 2014 ticket can register in the ballot by simply emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘International Songwriters Shows Ballot’ and tell us your full name, type of ticket (Friday/Saturday Ticket or Sunday Ticket or 3 Day Ticket) and Booking Reference Number. Fifty people will be chosen at random from the list of registered ticket holders to have Express Entry for themselves and a friend (who must also be a registered ticket holder) for one of the International Songwriters Shows. The remaining seats in the barrel and bottling shed (which is also home to the late night campers’ bar) will be open to all festivalgoers on a first in, best-dressed basis.
There is extra incentive to get in quick, as these shows will feature Mike Carr and Catherine Britt in their only festival performances.
Now in its seventh year of operation and fourth year in the Hunter, CMC Rocks the Hunter festival has established itself as the biggest International Country and Roots Festival outside of North America and one of the premiere events on the Australian music calendar.
CRAIG CAMPBELL (USA) has put a fresh take on the traditional country sound, racing up the US charts with hits both heartfelt (“Family Man” and “Outta My Head”) and cheeky (the smash “Fish”). The singer-songwriter’s warm baritone and laconic sense of humour has seen comparisons to Alan Jackson, and the Georgian was warmly embraced by Aussie crowds during his two previous trips down under – and local stars like Troy Cassar-Daley, with whom he recorded a hit duet.
Hailing from Mississippi, famed troubadour PAUL THORN (USA) is acclaimed by his legions of fans for his unique combination of wry, quirky lyrics and a swampy blues-rock sound that electrifies live crowds. With his distinctive Southern twang and songs that are equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, Paul Thorn is set to grow his fan base even further with his CMC Rocks debut next March.
Rolling Stone described JEDD HUGHES as an “Aussie guitar slinger who can “shred nasty and croon pretty”. Now living in Nashville, this accomplished singer/songwriter/musician has gone from performing with Patty Loveless and Keith Urban, to releasing his own acclaimed album, Transcontinental, producing our own Morgan Evans and writing hit songs like the Urban #1 ‘Put You In A Song’. Following the rapturous reception to his jaw-dropping performance at the festival in 2012, we’re thrilled to have him back in his home country and back on our stage!
MIKE CARR is the most ubiquitous songwriter in Australian country music. If you’ve bought an Aussie country record in the last decade, chances are he has written a song on it. Adam Brand, McAlister Kemp, Melinda Schneider and Buddy Goode are just some of the stars that have had hits with Mike Carr songs. The Golden Guitar winner is a dynamic and charismatic performer in his own right, acclaimed for his two albums – the self-titled ‘Michael Carr’ and ‘Legend’. He has been a fixture of the CMC Rocks festivals as co-host and we are thrilled to have him join the songwriters show.
Two-time CMA nominated duo LOVE AND THEFT (USA) combine influences as eclectic as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Maroon 5 to create a sound all their own. Comprised of singer-songwriters, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson (who have also written hits for other performers like Martina McBride), Love and Theft has taken the country world by storm since the release of their self-titled album, following the #1 hit lead single, “Angel Eyes”.
Golden Guitar winner KEVIN BENNETT is a legend of Australian roots music. Whether he’s with his ARIA nominated roots-rock band The Flood or playing the unflinchingly honest songs from his acclaimed solo albums, Bennett has carved out an enviable reputation as a songwriter and performer, with his powerful, soulful voice the perfect vehicle for his unique, personal lyrics. Since recently discovering his indigenous heritage, Bennett has been working on an autobiographical album exploring his multi-faceted cultural heritage
Since releasing her debut EP at the age of fourteen, CATHERINE BRITT has grown into one of Australian country music’s most acclaimed singer/songwriters. Championed by Elton John, Catherine spent years immersed in the Nashville scene, producing two brilliant albums before returning home to Australia to write the next chapter in her musical journey. Golden Guitar Awards and two more great albums followed, with Catherine releasing her first retrospective collection this year, the career spanning The Hillbilly Pickin’ Ramblin’ Girl…. So Far.
CMC ROCKS THE HUNTER 2014
FRI 14 MARCH – SAT 15 MARCH – SUN 16 MARCH
3 Day Ticket – Adult (15 and above) $269
3 Day Ticket – Child (Ages 4 to 14) $134
Friday/Saturday only Ticket – Adult (15 and above) $159
Friday/Saturday only Ticket – Child (Ages 4 to 14) $79
Sunday only Ticket – Adult (15 and above) $159
Sunday only Ticket – Child (Ages 4 to 14) $79
Free admission to children under 4 years & accompanied by an adult.