The 2019 Country Music Awards finalists include some of the country’s finest releases of the last year, the album and song categories both dominated by female artists whose music readily straddles radio-defined genre boundaries.
The winners will be announced at the NZ Country Music Awards in Gore on May 30.
Jenny Mitchell released her sophomore album ‘Wildfires’ at the end of 2018 and in the past 18 months has toured the southern coast of Sweden, dozens of cosy Irish pubs, Australian cities, and towns throughout NZ. The19-year-old Gore local is planning a NZ tour later this year. Bonus Mitchell family fact: Her father Ron is up against his daughter for the MLT Songwriting Awards this year.
Jamie McDell‘s album debut ‘Six Strings & A Sailboat’ went on to win the 2013 NZ Music Award for Best Pop Album. Time spent time writing and recording with Australian producer Nash Chambers in 2017 resulted in ‘Extraordinary Girl’, her third studio album, which features other well-known country music locals including Kasey Chambers and Tami Neilson. Her song Paint On A Sign is also in the running for the APRA Best Country Music Song, a sweeping song featuring Australian country music legend Bill Chambers.
A previous winner of multiple Country Album Tuis, Tami Neilson last year released her sixth album ‘Sassafrass!’ to critical acclaim. Her track Manitoba Sunrise at Motel 6 is also in the running for the Best Country Music Song award – and for good reason.
Described as “a fire-breathing belter on her own terms” by Rolling Stone, Tami has had an hectic year with a touring across North America, Europe and NZ – including recent sold out shows at both the Auckland Town Hall and the Wellington Opera House.
Third finalist for APRA’s Best Country Music Song is Slow Train Creek by southerner Holly Arrowsmith, a track from her second album, ‘A Dawn I Remember’, which earned rave reviews and comparisons to Joni Mitchell. Holly has previously won a Tui for Best Folk album for her first record, ‘For The Weary Traveller’, in 2016.