Kansas born country star Martina McBride headlines Nu Country TV at 8 p m next Saturday - August 11 - on C 31.

The show, hosted by Heather Rutherford, will be repeated on Monday at 6.30 am and Thursday at 2 am.

Texan band Lonestar, Georgian quartet Lost Trailers, Queenslanders James Blundell and Natalie Howard and Victorian band Crakajak join McBride on the show.

Martina, born in the tiny town of Sharon, performs her new video of Blessed from her Greatest Hits disc.

She has since released her 10th album Waking Up Laughing.

''I'm grateful to have lasted a relatively long time,'' says McBride, who turned 41 on July 29 and has sold 12 million records over her 15-year career.

''I hope to sing songs that still matter.''

Waking Up Laughing, the second album she produced herself, marks the introduction of McBride as a songwriter.

The mother of three co-wrote three songs on the album but says songwriting isn't her first calling.

Singing is her forte - she has won nine CMA and Academy Of Country Music female vocalist awards and scored 5 #1 hits.

Texan singers Miranda Lambert and Asleep At The Wheel co-founder Ray Benson appeared as judges on the American ABC TV show Six Degrees of Martina McBride on July 30.

The show follows six small-town contestants who are attempting to prove the theory that we are all separated by just six degrees from anyone in the world.

They had to contact people who knew people who knew people who knew Martina.

Not among contestants competing for a record deal was Ricky D. Fissel, 42, who was charged with stalking McBride after two nocturnal appearances at her Nashville home in early April.

CLICK HERE for an historic McBride feature interview from the Diary.
CLICK HERE for a review of Martina's Waking Up Laughing CD


Queensland born singer-songwriter James Blundell soaks up the environs of his rural roots when he writes.

His new song and video clip for Higher Than Heaven were inspired by the Sundown National Park near his family farm at Stanthorpe in southern Queensland.

The former jackeroo and stockman included the song on his ninth album Ring Around The Moon.

"I'm 43 this year, and I've been through a few things in my life that I never expected to have to deal with," Blundell revealed recently.

"I've learnt not to take anything for granted, and I've learnt - this is very Zen - not to be attached to outcomes."

The singer also explained the roots of the Ring Around The Moon.

"To people in the bush, the moon halo, or ring around the moon, always heralds a period of change, usually rain but not always," James said.

"In this case, for our family, it was the harbinger of a particularly trying time. My mother succumbed to Alzheimer's, it basically stopped raining, commodities plummeted, my brother suffered some serious health issues, and by and large we were typical of a lot of families whose history and business practices were tied up in an industry under siege on all sides.

Blundell, twice wed, embarked on a national tour - including the outback and bush with Felicity and Anne Kirkpatrick - to promote the Compass Brothers label album.

Among his new touring partners are expatriate Scot singer-songwriter Karl Broadie and latter day Queenslander Nik Phillips.

Blundell performs with Broadie at New Capers, Hawthorn, on September 29 and then tours Ireland and Scotland with Karl.

CLICK HERE for a Blundell feature interview from the Diary on February 1, 2005.


Fellow Queensland raised singer Natalie Howard has followed her dream from the Gold Coast to Nashville where she now lives.

She left the sunshine state a few years ago and has won widespread exposure in new home Nashville and beyond.

Natalie performs in the video for her song I Don't Want To Live Like That from her album Yesterday's Makeup.

She filmed the video at The Tin Roof - a popular hangout in Nashville.

Natalie wrote the tune with Nashville hit songwriter James Dean Hicks - it reached Top 10 on the Independent Music Network Chart in the US.

Natalie also performed at the 12th Key West Songwriters Festival in Florida again this year.

CLICK HERE for a Natalie article in the Diary on July 5, 2005.


Georgia quintet Lost Trailers won wide exposure when it was booked for one of the famed Willie Nelson July 4 Picnics.

Willie's promoter booked the band after its demo impressed Willie.

The band took its name from the theft of a trailer full of instruments in its first years together.

Now, four stolen trailers down the Lost Highway, the group is enjoying success.

The lads perform a video for their song Call Me Crazy from their fourth album in 12 years.

Lost Trailers self titled BNA-SONY-BMG album follows in the slipstream of indie disc Story Of The New Age Cowboy (2000), Trailer Trash (2002) and Welcome to the Woods on Universal in 2004.

Further info - http://www.thelosttrailers.com/


Texan band Lonestar performs in a video clip for the title track of its eighth album Mountains on Nu Country TV.

It's welcome solace for a band that has lost two key singers in its chart-topping reign over 15 years and now it's BNA record deal.

The Texan quintet, formed in 1992 as Texassee, sold more than six million albums but shrank to a quartet with departure of singer John Rich in 1998.

Pentecostal preacher' son Rich has become a major star since releasing a solo disc and forming Big & Rich and writing a brace of hits for other artists.

Lubbock born singer Richie McDonald, 45, announced he was leaving at the end of 2007 - he has released a solo single God's Still In America.

McDonald, principal songwriter and band focal point, made his announcement after BNA Records severed its ties with the group after Mountains sales peaked at 89,000.

Lonestar debut BNA single, Tequila Talking, was released in 1995 and the band won wide exposure on Nu Country FM with its riveting hit No News.

Other hits included Amazed - #1 hit for eight weeks in 1999 and What About Now - four weeks at No. 1.

Lonely Grill - the 1999 album that yielded Amazed and What About Now, plus the shorter-lived No. 1's Smile and Tell Her - sold three million copies.

In 2001, I'm Already There was #1 for six weeks.

My Front Porch Looking In topped charts in 2003 and Mr. Mom for two weeks in 2004.

Lonely Grill, I'm Already There (2001) and From There to Here: Greatest Hits (2003) all achieved platinum or multi-platinum certification.

The group's next album, Let's Be Us Again (2004), reached gold status and Coming Home (2005) didn't even go gold.

Further Info - http://www.lonestar.mu/


Macedon Ranges band Crakajak has celebrated more than a decade performing with a new CD/DVD Ten.

This release includes 14 new original songs, eight bonus tracks and six music video clips.

The band performs in a video clip for 22 Wheels - it's eulogy to the truckies who risk life and limb daily on our unforgiving highways.

The album has two songs featuring former Little River Band guitarist David Briggs.

Don't Give in to Loneliness - penned by Briggs and former Skyhooks bassist and latter day lawyer Greg Macainsh - features guitar licks and backing vocals of Briggs.

Briggs and Crakajk members Harry Nanos and Tony Arena also wrote B n S Balls and Bundy - a high energy anthem.

Crakajak also created Balls in Bush - a documentary about the B & S Ball culture in Australia.

The documentary features Aussie legend Kevin Bloody Wilson whose albums feature expatriate American pedal steel guitarist Lucky Oceans of Asleep At The Wheel fame.

Further Info - www.crakajak.com

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