Country music show with local connection

Fans of country music will be taping their toes this Saturday at the National Country Music Awards at the Founders Theatre.

Described as one of the most prestigious events on the country music calendar, this year’s Awards have a local connection with Jenny Haultain, who is secretary of Kiwi Pro-Am Country Music, the show’s promoters.

Jenny, with family connections in both Horsham Downs and Gordonton, became involved with the Awards when a friend asked her to help out with a little ‘admin’.

“The next thing I knew I was secretary and this is my third show. This year they have taken a big leap up in the entertainment arena and it’s been a steep learning curve – dealing with international contracts and riders has been an eye opener but well worth doing.”

Juice NewtonFor the first time in the history of the event, an overseas artist will be taking part – American pop and country singer/songwriter Juice Newton whose NZ Top-10 hits included Angel of the Morning and It’s a Heart Ache. (Click here for Juice Newton singing Angel of the Morning.)

“Many may not remember the name but how about those smash hits in the 1980s – including Queen of Hearts and The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known) – all of which will be sung on the night to bring back the memories. We’re thrilled to be bringing her to New Zealand.”

Ms Newton also had 14 Top-10 hits in the US, hit tracks in much of Europe, the UK, Canada and Australia, plus has won numerous awards.

Jenny says Kiwi Pro-Am Country Music is all about helping amateur and professional country artists fulfill their potential in the many genres that country music encompasses.

“Today we have country rock, country gospel, country blues etc. Many people are surprised that some of their favourite songs are classified as country, in fact.”

Other artists performing on the night include 2013 Horizon Award nominees Cameron Scott, Joshua Gray and David Shanhun, Telstra Road To Discovery winner Gena Rose Bruce as well as winners of the 2012 National Country Music Awards, Jody Direen, Kylie Price, Trevor V Stevens, the Heartleys, Aly Cook and 2013 Toyota Star-maker Songwriter winner Kaylee Bell.

To get a taste of what country music is about come along to Vue Bar, Skycity from 8pm on Friday (16 August) when many of the Top Award nominees will be performing free.

  • The National Country Music Awards will be held in the Founders Theatre, Hamilton this Saturday (17 August) at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available at Ticketek.

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