Jeff Brown wins three awards at Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards

SUCCESS: Jeff Brown at this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival where he was inducted into the Hands of Fame. Picture: Laurie Bullock

SUCCESS: Jeff Brown at this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival where he was inducted into the Hands of Fame. Picture: Laurie Bullock

Wanderin’ Man, the latest album by Queensland balladeer Jeff Brown, picked up three of the major awards at the Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards.

The awards were presented at Pittsworth, in the Darling Downs region of southern Queensland, on Sunday, November 20.

Wanderin’ Man, Brown’s seventh album, won Album of the Year, while he also won the award for Male Vocal with the title track.

Orchid Street, a duet with Anne Kirkpatrick on the album, was named winner of Best Group Duo/Collaboration.

The award for Female Vocal went to Sharon Heaslip, and the Songwriting Award went to John O' Dea and Ray Essery for their composition, The Patchwork Quilt. Written by Essery as a poem, it was put to music by O’Dea and included on his album, Happy Days.

Singer/songwriter Michael Clare took home two awards, winning New Talent, as well as the award for Comedy/Novelty song The Neighbors Turned New Age, from his album 63. Clare was also a finalist for the Album of the Year and Male Vocal awards.

The Instrumental award went to Western Australian guitarist Terry Bennetts for Pardoo Station, and husband and wife duo Mark Lavender and Kathryn Coad won the Encouragement Award.

Three Living Legend Awards were presented to Zita Burns, Rex Dallas and Chad Morgan, while a special award was presented to Alan and Marilyn Luscombe for their assistance with awards and their work with walk-up artists at many festivals.

The awards, held on Sunday at Pittsworth Town Hall, were the culmination of a week-long festival at the Pittsworth Showground, which included performances by Chad Morgan, Rex Dallas, Johnny Greenwood, Bec Hance, Keith Jamieson, Alisha Smith, Kylie Castle, Sharon Heaslip and Gary Fogarty.

Named after the Stan Coster song, By A Fire Of Gidgee Coal, recorded by Slim Dusty, the annual awards have become a major event on the bush ballad calendar.

Stan Coster was boarding at Tatts Hotel in Pittsworth in the late 1950s when he wrote the song.

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