You may ask 'what makes a country song?' Is it the bush ballads from aeons ago, when Banjo Patterson penned his words to his poems, the Slim Dusty and Stan Costners of the day, who related stories in song of places, stockmen, truckers and more, or is it the everyday Aussie who picks up a guitar and composes a tune to the words he or she has in the heart? Answers are as broad and as long depending on the listener or the writer, but what we all know is, when a song catches your emotions and takes you on a journey, then that is a country song.
Although we may have followed on from many American Country artists, Australia and its artists are unique, born in the land down under, fiercely protective of the outback, our heritage and those who paved the way for a better lifestyle. Australian Country Music is now standing on its own feet and showcasing to the world that we have our own style, stories to tell and unanimous in our appeal.
The Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh Show
Touring Queensland - The Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh Show (Photo courtesy of Ashley Cook)
is touring through rural Queensland in March 2022 and is coming to a town near you. The band comprises of Lindsay Butler OAM, the Master of the Country Guitar, Shaza Leigh Australia's First Lady of Song, Peggy Gilchrist Queen of the Country Piano and Queensland's very own Ashley Cook, Bush Balladeer.
So, who are these artists and what are their stories?
Established in 1975, the Order of Australian Medal is given to those who have shown outstanding achievement and service in their respective fields. Lindsay Butler OAM
received this prestigious award for his services to Country Music and was also elevated to the Roll of Renown as the greatest Australian Country Guitar Player of his era. Lindsay's sound is the most recorded and recognisable and has been featured on thousands of recordings, which has also inspired young pickers to play the guitar.
For seventeen years, Lindsay toured with Slim Dusty as his guitarist and has continued to forge one of the most significant careers of any musician in Australia. He has released over thirty career albums, awarded "NSW Musician of the Year" and on four occasions the "National Male Artist of the Year" on radio.
A Concert Coming Soon, Not to Be Missed (Photo Courtesy of Shaza Leigh's Facebook Page)
Not only this, but Lindsay and wife Shaza have the largest family-owned and operated recording studio (Lindsay Butler Studios)
in Australia, where they have help aspiring artists to be heard and their songs recorded on vinyl, ultimately assisting their careers to also take off.
With a career spanning thirty years, Shaza Leigh
is known for a gifted performer, powerful vocalist, talented musician and leading songwriter with over two hundred and twenty published songs to date. With introductions in The Hands of Fame, Australian CM Wall of Honour,
Women's Wall of Fame in Tamworth, Shaza has received nine Golden Guitar Nominations and awards for her singing and songwriting, which include 'National Female Artist of the Year' for four years and is the reigning "QLD Female Vocalist of the Year". To have won the latter award twelve years running, shows the superb talent and tenacity Shaza has as a seasoned professional and specialist concert performer.
I first met Ashley Cook
as one of the country artists performing on the Great Western Play & Stay Tour 2021
and quite quickly realised that he was able to tell a story in song exceptionally well, to the point where the listeners experienced the emotion from the words being sung.
Ashley Cook playing on The Great Western Play & Stay 2021 Tour (Author's Photo)
Ashley has released six highly acclaimed albums, which have achieved various awards including "National Bush Ballad of the Year", five-times "Old Bush Balladeer of the Year", Gold Medallion Media Awards in Tamworth, The Australian Country Music Wall of Honour
and also crowned "National Male Artist of the Year" on radio.
Hailing from Thangool
in Western Queensland, Ashley understands the hardship of the land, its legends and the respect shown to those who have gone before and others who will continue into the future. He has a strong music career and is well-known in the industry.
has been touring exclusively with Shaza Leigh & Lindsay Butler for the past decade as part of their touring show as well as featuring on almost every LBS Music release playing piano and strings. She has also released two award-winning solo instrumental awards, five Musician of the Year titles, one National Female Artist of the Year and more recently a duet instrumental album with Lindsay Butler OAM and won the People's Choice Award for Best Vocal or Musical Event of the Year. Peggy has dedicated her life to being a professional musician and brings enormous energy to each performance with her lively and spirited personality.
Peggy Gilchrist (Photo courtesy of Peggy Gilchrist's Facebook Page)
If you would like to hear these amazing artists and learn more about their life stories, the Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh Show kicks off in March with the first concert in Gympie on Friday 11 March 2022 at 7.30pm, Senior Citizens Centre. From there they visit rural towns of -
Saturday 12 March 2022 – Senior Citizens Centre, Maryborough at 2.00pm
Sunday 13 March 2022 – Bundaberg Railway Hotel, Bundaberg at 1.00pm
Friday 18 March 2022 – Biloela Anzac Club at 7.30pm
Saturday 19 March 2022 – Rockhampton CDCMA Hall at 1.00pm
Sunday 20 March 2022 – Bororen Community Hall at 2.00pm
Thursday 24 March 2022 – Tom's Tavern, Townsville at 2.00pm
Friday 25 March 2022 – Home Hill Community Sports Club at 7.00pm
Saturday 26 March 2022 – Mackay Senior Citizens Centre at 2.00pm
Tickets range between $25 - $30 and can be purchased at the door. Please ring Toni on 0429 558 382 for more information.
Mark these dates in your calendar so you do not miss out.