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Competition heats up in Tamworth

Tamworth, day seven, and it's hot, hot, hot - both the weather and the competition as the Golden Guitar Awards loom.

It seems this year, Kasey Chambers is the one to beat.

With six nominations in this year's awards, on the back of last year's album Bittersweet - and with an ARIA award already in the bag - Chambers looks on track to come out with several wins.

As far as three-time Golden Guitar guitar winner, Catherine Britt sees it, Chambers has always been the one to beat.

"Kasey Chambers has so many. And she always takes out the ARIA award as well," Britt told AAP.

LISTEN to Laurel, Gary and Mark's interview with Peter Denahy this morning on 4KQ.

But she also says it's been a big year for a lot of the artists nominated.

"I announced the award nominees in Sydney and as I was going through it I was thinking to myself 'this is a tough year' I will be sitting on edge the whole night wondering who will take home the big prizes," she said.

The singer knows better than anyone how winning the award can change your life.

Nominated for her first Golden Guitar at 14, she felt her win in 2009 for female artist of the year was a long time coming.

"It took me a while to win my first one on my third record.

"I'd been nominated like a million times and every album I'd get a million nominations and I'd be like 'Surely, I'll get one'," she said.

But from there on she's won one nearly every year following.

"It gave you that one thing where you can say Golden Guitar winner when you're touring or bringing out an album, it attracts people to your record and it just changed everything for me.

"And I started winning awards after that," she said.


LISTEN to an exclusive performance by Paul Kelly at the Tamworth Country Music Festival here.

On the other side of the spectrum, Jenny Queen is up for her first Golden Guitar nomination this year for best new artist.

Her album, Small Town Misfits, was produced last year by Aussie country music vet Shane Nicholson.

"He's just got an entire room dedicated to Golden Guitars. He said even if you're sure you're not going to win, write a speech anyway because otherwise you'll just be drunk up there," Queen said.

She said that things are already beginning to change for her since her nomination.

"It's been suggested that things change when you win, without saying 'hold on to your hat kid'.

"But there's even a little more interest since the nominations," she said.

Sitting on the outskirts of Tamworth wearing her best gold cowboy boots, Queen still appears a bit shell shocked about the nomination.

"I hadn't realised that the nominations were that day until ABC tweeted a congratulations to me. I was totally blown away," she said.

All will be revealed at the awards ceremony on Saturday night.


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