The 7th annual CMC (Country Music Channel on Foxtel) Awards were held last Thursday night (started writing this blog days ago & then there was a server issue!) & what a night! I'm pretty sure I've been to each awards nights from the humble beginnings in the wine barrel room in the Hunter Valley to this year's awards at the over 1000-seat capacity Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast. 
I love my job but sometimes it can become same ol' same ol - so nights like these where you see the best of the best not only in Australian country music but international acts too, you realise how truly blessed you are - love my job! 
It's always fun catching up with others in the industry too - not only clients, past & present but also... I guess you'd call them colleagues... normally I'm stuck in my office in Maroubra, NSW (so many people still think I'm a Queenslander... um NO!) so it's good to get out & see what everyone else has been up to! 
Highlights for me of course were Little Big Town (even though I saw them in Sydney on the Tuesday night before - can't get enough of them!), seeing Charles Esten (aka Chip - took me a while to realise that's the American nickname for Charles, why not just call him Charlie?? aka Deacon 'Freakin' Claybourne of TV's Nashville) in the flesh and Travis Collins adding 4 (3x solo awards + 1x award with The Outlaws) more trophies to his ever-growing collection (he won three Golden Guitars in January too!) - I've worked with Travis for a while now, so this was very cool - a long time coming but well-deserved! 
Overall a fab night... with performances from Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Travis Collins, Craig Campbell, Troy Cassar-Daley, The McClymonts & Lee Kernaghan was inducted into the Hall Of Fame!  
Huge thanks to the CMC team for always including little ol' KrisKat Publicity in your big night! The future of country music in Australia is lookin' good! 

Look for #CMCAwards reruns on Channel 815 on Foxtel 
1pm AEST Monday April 3rd 
 
 
Keith Urban
© Kris Katsanis, 2016 - Keith live in Sydney
So it's been over a week since Keith Urban toured the country & ended his 71 date RIPcord World Tour down under BUT I can still vividly remember the shows & I listen to Keiffy any chance I get! Our Keiffy (yeah I know he was born in NZ & has lived in the US for years now but we'll claim him any day of the week!) is a true performer in every sense. From the minute he strides on to the stage, you know you are in for a memorable night! His guitar skills are totally underrated & I recommend any guitar nerds to check him out. The energy level of the all-male band never wavers & is totally infectious - when Keiffy tells the entire crowd to jump, every single audience members is bouncing off the floor! Your author was lucky enough to attend both Sydney shows and is hard pressed to pick a favourite... Crowd might have been a smidge more energetic at Qudos Bank Arena but they performed 'I Told You So' at Sydney's new ICC Arena so it's a tough one! While they performed many new tracks from the current album the set lists were peppered with plenty of the hits including 'Where The Black Top Ends' from Urban's self-titled American debut album and 'Stupid Boy' which snagged Keiffy a Grammy award in 2008. The addition of Carrie Underwood to the Aussie leg of the tour was a perfect fit considering the cross-over success of their duet ' The Fighter' - of course this was a highlight of the shows! Carrie is an amazing singer - the girl sure has some pipes! Her rendition of 'I Will Always Love You' in honour of her idol Dolly Parton is simply sublime. Local support act Buchanan were impressive - am sure we will hear more from these guys. Overall two awesome shows - in my humble opinion, you can't leave a Keiffy show without the feeling that you were entertained! Ticket prices are in no way excessive & absolutely worth every penny... Keith Urban = a top night out! 

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© Kris Katsanis, 2016 - Carrie kicks things off in Sydney
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© Kris Katsanis, 2016 - Keith & Carrie live in Sydney
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© Kris Katsanis, 2016 - Keiffy on the geetar
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© Kris Katsanis, 2016 - Keith & Danny Rader
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© Kris Katsanis, 2016 - the boys in the band farewell their crowd
 
 
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Was on my daily walk this morning (see pic of the beautiful but sometimes stinky Gordon's Bay situated between Coogee & Clovelly on Sydney's eastern beaches) and remembered I have some live gigs coming up next week! Not much makes me happier than live music. Have always loved seeing my fav artists live in concert and that feeling just before lights go down is simply the best! Have lost count how many gigs I’ve seen over the years but it’s been over 30 years now. I’d need to ask my mate Linda how many times I’ve seen Keiffy (yep I can’t bring myself to call him Keith, even when googling him, I type Keiffy – ha!) as she’s been a long-time fan and was fortunate enough to see him at the Birkenhead Point Tavern (I think that was the pub) many many moons ago! Most people would dismiss Keiffy as a country crooner (can’t believe I just typed that, it’s something I try & avoid at all costs in my day job!) but he is always entertaining live and is totally underrated on the geetar! His band is consistently tight including one of the coolest dudes on the planet, Mr Jerry Flowers on bass. You never leave a Keiffy show with the feeling that you weren’t entertained… He knows how to connect with the audience and make you live in the moment. Looking forward to doing it all again next week - twice! Make sure you get there early to catch special guest Carrie Underwood! 

The Ripcord World Tour kicked off in Adelaide last night, heads to Melbourne & Canberra before rolling into Sydney next Tuesday at the Qudos Bank Arena & Thursday at the ICC Sydney Theatre (incidentally the first show at the brand new venue)  – more details HERE or at Ticketek