Tamworth Fanfest 2006 scored a major coup - snaring major U.S. singer songwriter David Lee Murphy and former Sons Of The Desert singer Drew Womack.

Murphy, 48, is riding high in the saddle after landing his song Living In Fast Forward on superstar Kenny Chesney's huge selling 9th album The Road And The Radio (BNA-SONY-BMG).

The singer also has nice earners in wry What's Not To Love and I Can Live With That, penned with Ira Dean and Kim Tribble on the third Trick Pony album R.I.D.E.

When Murphy last toured here with Lee Kernaghan in 2003 he was reeling from death of his mentor Waylon Jennings, 64, on February 13, 2002.

The gregarious singer had written four songs with the legendary outlaw just four years before he died.

They included Tryin' To Get There, title track of Murphy's fourth album - his first in seven years.

Murphy is touring to promote the disc, released here by local indie label Vital, and featuring Loco - the only hit for the now defunct Nashville division of Koch.

The booking of Murphy is manna from heaven for Aussie peers - he has written a brace of songs with artists diverse as Melinda Schneider, Adam Brand and Felicity.

It's the type of cross fertilisation craved by festivals such as Tamworth.

CLICK HERE for a feature on Murphy from the Diary on May 29, 2005.


Texan singer-songwriter Drew Womack has also released two solo discs since the demise of his Lone Star state chart band Sons Of The Desert.

Like Murphy, he's a prolific writer - his songs have also been big earners for other artists including Chesney who topped charts with his tune She's Got It All.

Drew also joined unrelated multi Grammy award winner and fellow Texan Lee Ann Womack on I Hope You Dance - her joint hit with Sons Of The Desert.

Sons of the Desert

The singer, born in Brownwood, population 15,000, fronted Sons Of The Desert for 13 years and wrote the hit Whatever Comes First - title track of their 1997 debut disc.

He also wrote their other hit singles Hand of Fate and Leaving October.

That album also featured Womack originals Bring On The Angel, Colorado, When It's Right, Promises, Devil On Both Shoulders and Burned In My Mind.

Womack's writing partners include fellow Texan stars Rodney Crowell and Radney Foster and regular Aussie tourist Kevin Welch.

Drew and brother Tim, graduates of San Angelo Central High, formed Sons of The Desert at McClennan Community College in Waco - long time home of singing actor Billy Joe Shaver.
But the band split with its label Epic after a dispute over the Dennis Linde smash hit Goodbye Earl.


Sons Of The Desert performed the song for three years and recorded it ahead of the Dixie Chicks.

But their parent label pulled rank and released the Dixie Chicks single and video first on sister company Monument.

The Dixie Chicks version was a hit and Sons Of The Desert walked the plank at Epic.

"They promised us it would be our single and it didn't happen," Womack said of Epic
before the band signed a seven album deal with MCA in 1999.

< Drew Womack

MCA then released Sons Of The Desert second album Change in 2000.

The Womack Brothers and bassist Doug Virden wrote Goodbye To Hello and Drew also co-wrote I Need To Be Wrong Again and That's The Kind Of Love You're In for Change.

But in January 2002, Sons of The Desert interrupted their tour to begin recording their ill-fated third album.

By then the group dwindled to three members - the Womacks and Virden - and split with MCA and launched a lawsuit against the label.

Disenchanted, Drew Womack returned to the Texas Hill Country with wife Tara and son Max in 2003.

Womack released his self-titled debut solo disc in 2004.

Tara partnered with Drew in penning jaunty To Her and Back and brother Tim plays guitar on Waiting On a Bullet.


Womack performs Toyota Country Theatre on Wednesday January 25 from 9 am- noon in a concert featuring Queensland born singer-songwriter James Blundell.

The former Mortlake jackeroo and world traveller is joined on the bill by young guns Jake Nickolai, Travis Collins, Tom Curtain and Jetty Road.

Murphy headlines the Thursday January 26 concert from 9 am-noon with multi award winning writing partner and Nu Country TV guest host Felicity.

Also on the show are Hamilton born Sunny Cowgirls, neighbouring Lake Bolac reared Neil Murray, Geelong born and Harcourt reared multi-instrumentalist and singer Pete Denahy and dynamic chanteuse Samantha McClymont.

The artists are among the 11 Tamworth 2006 Golden Guitar finalists featured at the eighth annual Fanfest.

It kicks off on Sunday January 22 at Tamworth Town Hall with two Fresh Faces of Country concerts featuring Amber Lawrence, Katrina Burgoyne, Ben Hazel and Shay Fisher.


Murphy's U.S. Top 5 hit Loco is the entrée song on The Stars Of Fanfest 2006 CD released on January 15 through Vital/Rajon.

Womack contributes his song Hey Daisy on a 21 track CD that also features Victorian artists diverse as the Davidson Brothers, Nickolai, Murray, Denahy, Paul Costa, Billy Bridge and Sweeney Killeen.

Other acts include Harley Smith, Tom Curtain, Felicity, Travis Collins, Mike Carr, Michael Fix, Jetty Road, Samantha McClymont, Camille Te Nahu and Stuie French, Jane Saunders, Amber Lawrence and Tracy Coster.


FANFEST publicist Ronda Toner has given Nu Country TV doubles passes to the January 25 concert headlined by Womack, Blundell, Nickolai, Collins, Curtain and Jetty Road.

We also have copies of the collectors' item 21-track CD The Stars of Fanfest 2006.

You can win double passes and/or the CD by being a member of Nu Country TV.

CLICK HERE for details on our Membership page.

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