The finale episode of Series #3 of Nu Country TV on Saturday April 2 features a brace of femme fatales whose music is diverse as their backgrounds.

The orphans - Canadian chanteuse Shania Twain and Louisiana born Mary Gauthier - have taken starkly contrasting paths to success.

Texan troubadour Lee Ann Womack - daughter of a country music DJ - dipped her toe into country pop before returning to her stone country roots.

And Parkes born yodelling sweetheart of the rodeo Dianna Corcoran is following her heart and soul to the U.S. to maximise her songwriting talent.

Atlanta trio Sugarland features a token male its assault on the U.S. charts.

And former Aussie rodeo rider turned singer Steve Gibson has returned to recording here after learning the ropes in the U.S.


Lee Ann Womack charmed us with stone country on her acclaimed 1997 debut disc before making a detour into chart candy.

Now the singer, 38 and mother of two, has reverted to her roots on seventh album There's More Where That Came From (MCA.)

Womack nails her return in Chris DuBois-Chris Stapleton title track entrée - an epic cheating song, replete with twin fiddles and motel message on the mast.

Former singing spouse Jason Sellers joins her on harmony on three songs including One's A Couple and Odie Blackman penned hit I May Hate Myself In The Morning.

Both songs mix drinking and guilt of cheating - her hit tells of a couple who wind up back in each other's arms after imbibing.

Check out the video that features daughter Aubrey, fellow Texan rocking country singer Jack Ingram, manager Erv Woolsey but not Sellers or current husband Frank Liddell.

Her dad Aubry - a disc jockey in hometown Jacksonville on country stations KEBE and KOOI - is still a major influence.

Womack co-wrote Twenty Years And Two Husbands Ago with One's A Couple tunesmith Dale Dotson and prolific honky tonker Dean Dillon.

CLICK HERE to find out more about Womack and source of that song in the DIARY


Mary Gauthier's life echoes a character torn from the back pages of Dylan's Desolation Row.

And, like Dylan, she impales herself in song to maximise the collateral damage of her misspent youth and young adulthood.

Gauthier is a southern belle with a jaded jangle as the central character of songs from her first four albums.

For the record Gauthier, like Mindy Smith, was an orphan raised in a fundamentalist home.

But, unlike Smith, she was a gay teenage junkie living with an adoptive alcoholic father and suicidal mother.

She stole the family car at 15, spent her 16th birthday in detox, lived with six transvestites at 17 and was jailed for theft from in a car wash at 18.

Gauthier fled from sugarcane town Thibodaux and studied philosophy for five years at Louisiana State University.

She later graduated from a Boston culinary school and was arrested for DUI the night she opened the city's first Cajun restaurant - Dixie Kitchen.

After a successful rehab program she channelled her creativity into song by belatedly kick starting her writing career at 35 in 1995.

Gauthier's confessional style was her strong suit on three independent albums.

Now 43 and mentor for Van Diemen's Land refugee Audrey Auld Mezera, she made a video for Mercy Now - title track of her fourth album with producer Gurf Morlix.

CLICK HERE for more on Mary from the DIARY.


Shania Twain's ascent from orphan to country pop princess in the huge international market is the biggest sales success story for a female in the genre.

But Twain and producer husband Robert Mutt Lange had to de-twang her music to leap the moat in Australia.

We interviewed the charming chanteuse several times on her tours - she performs her song Don't on Nu Country.

Twain sold a healthy percentage of her 50 million plus albums after touring here to cash in on her telegenic talent.

Now, the singer whose birth father emerged from the wilderness after her success, has ploughed her profits into real estate in the U.S. and Switzerland and a sheep farming colossus in the New Zealand high country.

Twain and Lange paid $21.4 million for the perpetual lease of Motatapu Station and Mt Soho Station, near Wanaka on the south island.

The perpetual leases are the largest block of South Island high country ever sold to an overseas bidder.

These properties adjoin and straddle the Wanaka basin - her total land area is 24,731 hectares.

Twain's success emulates the hard-knock childhood Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn.

But, unlike her famed mentors, she has not returned to stone country or bluegrass to win back her hard-core fans.

Parton invested her profits in the famed Dollywood theme park and other Tennessee real estate and Loretta settled on her southern Tennessee Dude Ranch and environs.

CLICK HERE for a Twain story from the Diary.


Parkes born country singer songwriter and yodeller Dianna Corcoran won a best new talent Golden Guitar in Tamworth in 2003.

She won the Golden Guitar for I'll Fly Away - first single from her independent debut disc Little Bit Crazy.

It was produced by Adelaide based Quentin Eyers and showcased her sweet soprano and song writing.

Now the singer, on Compass Bros Records, is following fellow Golden Guitar winner Kylie Sackley to Nashville to chance her vocals and writing in the big league.

Corcoran won a $10,000 prize at the 2nd APRA Professional Development Awards in March of 2004.

Dianna joins the hot Aussie posse in Guitar Town - headed by Keith Urban, Sherrie Austin, Jamie O'Neal, Catherine Britt, Jedd Hughes and The Greencards.

She performs her album title track for us.

Further info - www.compassbros.com.au


Former World Champion saddle bronc rider Steve Gibson performs Hey Cowboy from his fourth album Road To Anywhere.

The Hunter valley reared rodeo rider has performed in front of big audiences - the prestigious Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada and Mt Isa Rodeo.

His previous albums were The Wishing Well (1993), The Edge (1995) and Space Cowboy (1999).

Steve, now 45, recorded his latest disc with producer Rod Nicholson in Nashville.

Gibson was featured on Nine Network show Getaway and co-wrote 10 of 12 songs on his new disc showcased at venues diverse as Mt Isa rodeo and Lee Kernaghan's Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton.

The album has been released here by Rajon-Sony and features pedal steel and dobro by Mike Johnson and Larry Franklin's fiddle and mandolin.

Further info - www.countrymusic.asn.au/cc/SteveGibson.html


Atlanta chart topping trio Sugarland took its name from a Texas town after a chance meeting in Georgia.

The trio - formed after a night drinking Martinis - and released its debut album Twice The Speed Of Life last year.

Kristen Hall toured as a guitar tech and later opening act for Indigo Girls and released two singer-songwriter albums on High Street Records.

Kristian Bush was one-half of '90s folk-rock duo Billy Pilgrim, dubbed Indigo Boys.

Hall returned from living in Los Angeles about the time Billy Pilgrim dissolved.

Jennifer Nettles sang in small clubs in Atlanta - she formed Soul Miner's Daughter as a segue to the Jennifer Nettles Band.

The trio performs its hit Baby Girl from Twice The Speed Of Life.

Further info - www.sugarlandmusic.com

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