KIRSTY LEE AKERS HEADLINES NU COUNTRY TV
Hunter Valley singer-songwriter Kirsty Lee Akers headlines Nu Country TV on Saturday September 29 at 9 pm on Channel 31/Digital 44, with an evocative tribute to a teenage cancer victim.
Texans Ray Wylie Hubbard and Kevin Fowler and Eric Church return to the show repeated Sunday at 11.30 pm and Monday 3 pm.
Expatriate Queenslander 8-Ball Aitken performs a High Water video he recorded in Texas on the program filmed and edited by Laith Graham.
Latter day Hunter Valley singer-songwriter Travis Collins and Texan troubadour Kacey Musgraves perform two songs with the same High Horse name but vastly different themes.
Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.
Further info - https://www.c31.org.au/
KIRSTY LEE AKERS PLANTS FLOWERS FOR A TEEN ANGEL
Kirsty Lee Akers headlines our show with her tribute to fellow Hunter Valley singer Hannah Rye who died at 15 of cancer.
Kirsty, 33, wrote her song for Hannah's funeral and released her evocative video House Full Of Flowers (Hannah's Song) on the first anniversary of her death.
Hannah was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at 13, was a music student of Kirsty's in remission and asked her to write a song for her funeral when cancer returned.
Rye, a student at Kirsty's old school Kurri Kurri High, was accompanied by Newcastle Knights NRL star Trent Hodkinson to her school formal finale that was brought forward.
During her remission Hannah appeared in Kirsty's video Ain't That Kind Of Girl.
House Full Of Flowers (Hannah's Song) is on Kirsty's fifth album Under My Skin.
ERIC CHURCH FINDS A DESPERATE MAN – RAY WYLIE HUBBARD
North Carolina star Eric Church honoured Texan co-writer Ray Wylie Hubbard with a cameo in his new outlaw video clip.
Redneck Mother creator Ray Wylie, now 72, worked phones and tested the merchandise to expand his role as a video villain.
They joined forces in Desperate Man - title track of Church's seventh big selling album.
Church name dropped Hubbard in the title track of his sixth album Mr Misunderstood.
Eric, 41, is a prolific chart topper - his sixth #1 hit was Raise Em Up with expat Australasian superstar Keith Urban.
In mid-2017 Church underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot caused by a birth defect that put his top rib bone too close to his collarbone, causing thoracic outlet syndrome.
“There's a major vein that runs through there," Church said, "and when I would raise my arm, it would pinch it and damage the vein."
That damage caused a blood clot, the vein trying to heal itself, but it kept growing and creating pressure, without Church knowing.
One night at his North Carolina home in June his left hand "was not responding like it should.”
It was swollen and he noticed that his arm was "noticeably red and enlarged."
Church Googled his symptoms and headed to hospital.
An ultrasound revealed the blood clot in his chest and need for emergency surgery.
"I said, ‘Can it kill me?'" Church recalled. "And the doctor said, ‘Today.'"
Church was admitted to ICU at Duke University Hospital in Durham , North Carolina .
"That was really when it hit me," Church says.
"To them, I was going to die.”
Church spent three days in recovery from surgery and doctors took out his top rib a week later.
"Normally, if you're athletic and have thoracic outlet syndrome, you'll start having issues at 21, 22, 23,” Church explained.
“Others, though, don't learn about the issue until they just fall over in the shower.”
Church spent summer of 2017 in rehab and doing physical therapy.
He has scars from the incident but no long-term damage.
“I can still play guitar,” he quipped, “and I play golf better than ever.”
KEVIN FOWLER MOVING ON
West Texan Kevin Fowler hosted dance classes with a difference in his latest video.
Kevin, 52 and father of three daughters, hails from Amarillo but missed the break-in before the break dance in Moving On from his eighth album Coming to a Honky Tonk Near You.
It's a vast contrast to when he headlined the annual Littlefield country music festival in late Waylon Jennings home town in July.
Our Ringwood archivist Barbara Dowling used her Mayoral key to attend her 18th festival.
On a previous visit to the town where the late Highwaymen member was born Barbara presented the mayor Eric Turpen with a decorative boomerang.
But, unlike the boomerang, Barbara's passport didn't come back when lost at Tullamarine Airport on her return home after a 36 hour flight.
Despite the passport being found the same day and interview with Barbara by 3AW breakfast hosts - country music loving lawyers Ross Stevenson and John Burns - DFAT bureaucrats destroyed it.
It was too late to enlist services of Ned Kelly who was honoured by Waylon on the 1980 movie soundtrack composed by late Playboy cartoonist and satirist Shel Silverstein.
Waylon died at 64 on February 13, 2002, as his Texan peers Billy Joe Shaver and singing crime novelist Kinky Friedman toured here.
His protégé Fowler's hits include Beer, Bait & Ammo, Hip Hop In a Honky Tonk and Santa Got Busted by the Border Patrol.
The latter was inspired by Waylon's Highwaymen partner - Shotgun Willie Nelson's drug busts - and features a cameo by Asleep At The Wheel singer Ray Benson.
Kevin also recorded Don't Touch My Willie about his hero - singing actor Nelson who turned 85 on April 30.
Fowler has a penchant for booze songs - The Lord Loves a Drinking Man, Beer Season, Long Neckin' (Makes for Short Memories), Drinking Days, Ain't Drinking No More, Beer Money and All The Tequila in Tijuana.
Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Sammy Kershaw and fellow Texans George Jones and Mark Chesnutt recorded Beer, Bait & Ammo - title track of his 2000 album.
Chesnutt also cut The Lord Loves A Drinking Man.
Fowler writes songs driving his pickup at his ranch near Junction - he calls them "presents from the song Gods."
"Those seem to be the best ones," he said of songs including Cheaper To Keep Her.
He penned Ain't Dead Yet and Now You're Talkin' with frequent Aussie tourist David Lee Murphy and drinking anthem I Pulled a Hank Last Night and Honky Tonk Junkie .
Further info - www.kevinfowler.com
8-BALL AITKEN FINDS HIGH WATER IN TEXAS
Former Queensland cane-cutter and banana picker 8-Ball Aitken recorded his latest album at Yellow Dog Studio in Ray Wylie Hubbard's latter day home town Wimberley in the Texan hill country.
It was also the locale of his drought breaking dream in his vivid video for High Water from his 10 th album Swamp Blues.
Ray Wylie and guitarist son Lucas also live in Wimberley where Billy Joe Shaver once hung his hat before moving to Waco - hometown of Grammy winning actor, banjo ace, author-comedian Steve Martin.
Frequent Aussie tourist and acclaimed singer-songwriter Kevin Welch also called Wimberley home before moving to the south coast of NSW with his Australian wife.
Welch joins a vast cast including Margo Price, Kasey Chambers, Shane Howard, Weeping Willows , Joshua Hedley, Little Georgia , Alan Pigram, Diesel and others at the second Australian Americana Music Honours at the Thornbury Theatre on Thursday October 11.
Former Atherton Tablelands troubadour 8-Ball, now 36, toured Australia this year before returning to Texas to promote Swamp Blues.
KACEY MUSGRAVES MOUNTS A HIGH HORSE
Texan troubadour Kacey Musgraves mounts her elevated equine in our High Horse double shot to close the show.
Kacey, 29, led her office revolt against puny pen pushing peers as she perfected lasso use in High Horse from her seventh album Golden Hour.
She dismounted and became an Uber driver to rescue Texan singing spouse Ruston Kelly when he was locked up in Nashville police cells for DUI in January.
Kelly made the most of his time behind bars to write a new song for his second album that follows debut disc Dying Star that he recorded at Sonic Ranch way out west in El Paso.
He performed latest video clip Jericho with the aid of a spray can in recent episode of Nu Country where he and Kacey honoured the late Johnny Cash with their adaptation of the poem To June This Morning that started as an ode by the man-in-black to his second wife June Carter Cash from 2016 book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems.
Johnny died at 71 on September 12, 2003, and June died earlier that year on May 15 at 73 after many Australian tours.
TRAVIS COLLINS TELLS BELLE TO DISMOUNT
Cessnock singer-songwriter Travis Collins hails from sheep country south of Sydney but switched steeds when he moved to Hunter Valley coal and wine country.
Collins suggested his belle dismount in his High Horse video on sixth album Brave & The Broken, released on August 17.
The singer reflects on a broken relationship seen through a mate's eyes.
“ Brave & The Broken isn't just an album title, it is all of us,” says six time Golden Guitarist Travis who was born in Macquarie Fields.
Collins wrote or co-wrote all of his new songs - collaborators included Nashville tunesmiths Jason Duke and Dave Turnbull.
“We didn't approach these songs with a checklist and rulebook and I'm proud that it really shows here,” Collins, now 33, revealed of the disc produced in Nashville by Luke Wooten.
“I just tried to write as real, relatable and honestly as I could, and we recorded what felt right. You know, the kind of songs we crank on the weekend, songs that make you think of someone or a song which takes us somewhere. Songs that put a lump in your throat, a smile on your face or a tear in your eye. All of us are brave and broken, depending on the day, and that is what I wanted these songs to be.”
Collins and former Qantas accountant Amber Lawrence also joined forces in their video for Our Backyard - title track of their seven song EP.
Travis busked on the mean streets of Campbelltown as a teenager before winning 2004 Tamworth Starmaker Quest and writing songs in Nashville and touring the U.S. and Europe .
He has lived in Cessnock - hometown of wife Rebecca - for seven years and graced Nu Country with Perth born, Colac and Wallington raised singer Adam Brand's Outlaws .
Travis also appeared with his lost love lament in Just Another Girl from fifth album Hard Light .
HOW TO KEEP NU COUNTRY ON AIR
We need your support as we celebrate Nu Country TV's 37th series with Australian record companies and artists teaming to ensure our survival.
You can win Kip Moore's third album Slowheart , thanks to EMI promotions chief Dave Parker, and Blake Shelton's 12th CD If I'm Honest from Karen Black and Tony Midolo at Warner Music.
We also have other CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing membership.
They include Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and late larrikin legend A.P. Johnson.