The Country Music Awards 2016 were presented last night as part of the NZ Gold Guitar Awards at St James Theatre in Gore.
The Warratahs won Recorded Music NZ’s Best Country Music Album (and this year’s Country Album Tui) with ‘Runaway Days’, their seventh studio album , while Mel Parsons’ Alberta Sun claimed the APRA Best Country Music Song award.
Parsons will be disappointed to have missed the ceremony but she was at the time on a plane heading back to NZ from her recent tour in Europe.
“Pretty swell news landing back in NZ to this morning,” she said on Facebook.
The other best song finalists were Wellington’s Eb & Sparrow for Hungry Little Town and previous winner Tami Neilson with The First Man. The pair (Ebony Lamb & Tami), congratulate Warratahs’ songwriter Barry Saunders in the photo above.
Eb & Sparrow were also in the running for the best album trophy with ‘Sun/Son’, alongside Jody Direen‘s ‘Breaks Out’.
For the first time the MLT Songwriting Award was this year given to three winners at once. Gore’s own Jenny Mitchell‘s song Puppet swayed the judges equally to Hokitika/Christchurch songwriter Katie Thompson‘s West Coast, and Joanna Buchanan‘s song The River.