Ref: CMR Nashville Radio – 12.11.14
A sub-tropical island in the South Pacific, Norfolk Island has been on the Country Music scene for over 20 years. Norfolk Island Country Music Association has again pulled out all the stops for their 22nd festival program and line-up. Hot headliner James Blundell from Australia joins Suzanne Lynch from New Zealand. Guest artists Roo Arcus, Anne Kirkpatrick and Tori Darke from Australia, Glen Moffatt and James Ray from New Zealand will also meet and perform on this South Pacific isle.
Fans say there’s a reason they keep coming back to Norfolk. The island is petite and the Country Music experience is up close and personal, throughout the week there’s plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle with performers including a special platinum pass lunch with a performer hosting your table. The relaxed island vibe is nothing short of enchanting for fans and headliners alike.
Acknowledged by many as the act single-handedly responsible for turning a younger demographic of Australians onto country music James Blundell combined the story-telling ethos of country icon Slim Dusty with a rock orientated approach influenced by his love of acts such as John Mellencamp, The Band and The Angels. He was the first young Australian country artist to create an impact on the pop charts and for many years was the nation’s highest selling country artist. James was also the first Australian country act to sign a major label recording deal in Nashville paving the way for the likes of Keith Urban and Kasey Chambers. In addition to his own success he has penned hits for Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty and Jimmy Little. James has been the recipient of numerous CMAA Awards, double platinum, platinum and gold sales awards and is a 5-time ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) Award nominee with one win to his name.
Over the years Australian country music has produced some fine voices but few that have embraced the path of the new traditionalists like Roo Arcus. Roo a working cattleman, suffered the loss of his mother to leukemia, a tragedy only compounded by the severe drought affecting the family’s southern tablelands cattle property. Having recently married with a young family and the farm to rescue he walked away from his singing career. That was 2004 and in the intervening eight years after getting his priorities in order, Roo started to get the itch to return to his first love……writing and singing great country songs. Roo Arcus is back and sounding like a serious contender for the big league, with songs that resonate with authenticity, a voice that can hold its own with the best of them, and a desire to carry the torch for traditional country music into the future.
A recording artist since the age of 12, Anne Kirkpatrick, daughter of revered Australian country music pioneers Slim Dusty and Joy McKean, staked her claim early as a woman of distinctive voice. Emerging from within the ‘First Family’ of Australian country music to claim her own identity and her own following, Anne has been described as a ‘true revolutionary” and “the godmother of Australian new country”. Her 1991 release ‘Out Of The Blue’ was heralded as a watershed album in Australian country music.
To add to this awesome 2015 Norfolk Island Country Music mix, every once in a while a musician comes along whose talent is ageless and who instantly turns heads. Country singer songwriter Tori Darke is one of these artists. Since she stepped into the public spectrum as a 16-year-old, Tori has been dubbed as one of the most promising young country artists on the Australian music scene. Her powerful vocals, heartbreakingly beautiful voice, passionate song writing and mesmerising on-stage presence saw her debut EP and debut album make huge Tori Darke impact.
Organisers say with a line up like this 2015 is not to be missed. Register now with local travel specialist Norfolk Island Travel Centre and ask about special travel packages just released. Prices start from $969 per person ex Brisbane (16-23 May) and $1019 per person ex Sydney (15-22 May or 18-25 May) based on twin share accommodation for a seven night stay. Prices includes return ‘seat + bag’ airfare to Norfolk Island, pre-paid airline taxes, meet & greet at the Norfolk airport, 7 nights twin share accommodation, 7 days car hire (car hire surcharge $20 per day and petrol extra), discount shopping card, complimentary mini- golf and complimentary ‘A Walk in the Wild’. Prices are current today and subject to change without notice. Conditions apply.
Country Music passes are optional and additional cost to holiday package prices. Festival pass prices start from $218 per person, ask Norfolk Island Travel Centre for full details.