Nu Country TV features an exclusive interview with superstar Atlanta duo Sugarland this Saturday August 16 at 8.30 pm on C 31.

Lead singer Jennifer Nettles and fellow group singer-songwriter Kristian Bush talk of life on the road including concerts at Fremantle, Thredbo and Byron Bay.

Series #10 editor Sean Tierney filmed the interview in the opulence of Crown Casino - a contrast to their funky Melbourne concert locale Northcote Social Club.

Nettles and Bush reveal details of their success and making of videos for their huge hits Stay and Just Might Make Me Believe on a show that is repeated on Thursday at 9.30 a.m.
and Saturday at 4.30 a.m.

The interview coincides with Sugarland topping Billboard rock and country charts with its third album Love On The Inside.

The regular edition of the album topped U.S. country charts on debut with sales of 314,000.

It also bumped Miley Cyrus from the top of U.S. Billboard rock charts in its second week with sales of another 171,000.

The sales splurge was primed by onstage appearances of Nettles with U.S. superstar Kenny Chesney on their joint tour to sing Stay.

Nettles boyfriend Clayton Mitchell is the guitarist in Chesney's road band.

She divorced first husband Todd Van Sickle in March 2007, but now she is dealing with the new concept of dating while famous.

Nettles and Bush speak about recording their third album Love On The Inside that has produced the new hit All I Want To Do.

The album was released this month in two different versions to build on their first two albums that have surpassed five million in sales.

A live version of Life in a Northern Town is on a special version of the disc released on July 22.

They recorded the track on tour with Little Big Town and Jake Owen.

The "deluxe fan edition" includes 12 regular tracks and five bonus tracks with a CD booklet, as well as access to download exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.


Sugarland co-founder Kristen Hall, 46, wrote or co-wrote every song on Twice The Speed Of Life before walking the saccharine plank in 2005.

The album achieved double platinum sales success by selling more than two million copies.

But on July 29 this year Hall sued her former band for $1.5 million for her share of profits derived since the members parted ways in December 2005, as well as interest, litigation costs and unspecified damages for what the complaint calls the defendants' "de facto dissolution" of the partnership.

In essence Hall claims she was excluded from the profits.

Noting the three original members worked to build Sugarland's success from mid-2002 until December 20, 2005, the lawsuit states, "Hall contributed significant time, effort, energy and passion toward the creative and commercial success of Sugarland."

Hall has since pursued her songwriting - she has written for Louisiana born Mary Gauthier who played the Northcote Social Club in 2007 with Steve Young.


The writ had not been lodge when we did our interview.

Instead Nettles and Bush spoke of other co-writers on the new disc including country veteran Bill Anderson who collaborated on quasi-gothic Joey.

Nothing specific is spelled out in the lyrics, but in this increasingly foreboding tale, you know that something horrible has happened to Joey, who is now apparently dead.

The narrator keeps asking herself all the "what if" questions?

"What if I took the keys? What if we never fell in love?" The mournful chorus is simply "Joey I'm so sorry/Oh can you hear me/Joey I'm so sorry." And she sadly asks, "Did you reach for me?"

Other co-writers include Bobby Pinson, who wrote hit Want To and Tim Owens, who co-wrote Settlin with Sugarland, and Kenny Chesney's guitarist Clayton Mitchell.

The duo and seven-piece band road-tested the Appalachian-flavoured We Run and Operation: Working Vacation in Australia.

But not the dirge-like Genevieve, waltz Already Gone and Take Me as I Am narrated by the character of a motel maid.

And there's a sardonic ode to seven times wed and frequent Aussie tourist Steve Earle.

CLICK HERE for review of Love On The Inside
CLICK HERE for a previous Sugarland feature in the Diary on March 3, 2008.
CLICK HERE for the Northcote Social Club review in our concert section on March 18, 2008.


North Queensland singer-songwriter 8 Ball Aitken is a fiery addition to Nu Country TV with the video for his song Cyclone Country.

Aitken wrote the song about a cyclone that wreaked havoc in far north cane-fields and banana plantations.

"It captures the energy and danger of the place, and I hope also reflects how much I love it," 8 Ball revealed.

The singer is unique in many ways - he is one of 12 children from a family on the Atherton Tablelands.

And he plays slide, lap and pedal steel, dobro, banjo and mandolin on third indie album Rebel With A Cause.

With flaming red hair cascading down his ample shoulders, the singer looks like a latter day incarnation of country comic Rev Billy C Wirtz - a staple on Nu Country FM.

But the singer, who recently toured Europe, has vastly different ancestral roots.

His family came out from Scotland several generations ago, and Aitkenvale near Townsville, is named after them.

8 Ball has lived an exciting 26 years as latest in a long line of farmers from Mareeba in Far North Queensland.

"My music comes from deep within who I am and where I'm from," says the singer who was a finalist in the 2008 Tamworth Star Maker Quest.

"There's more to country music than a kind of broad view of the outback. Regional Australia is a vital part of who we are as a nation, that's what my music represents. It comes from the unique landscape of the Mareeba delta - steamy, bouncing off the remnants of extinct volcanoes and booming through the cane-fields."

8 Ball's first two albums 8 Ball (2004) and Odd Ball In (2006) are available through MGM which also has Rebel With A Cause, produced by Garth Porter.

Aitken says his stage name dates back to a night in a Cairns pub when a snooker ball (an 8 ball,) landed on the stage very close to him.

It was no accident that after the fracas that followed, 8 Ball had a new name.

Aitken is a well-travelled troubadour.

He has performed three times in Fiji for Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Japan.

"The Japanese audiences love their country music. I originally went over as a cultural ambassador for the Queensland government and kept getting invited back. For many of my fans there, my music is Australia," 8 Ball said.

He toured the United States last year and then Singapore.

This year he performed at The Cavern Club in Liverpool - launch pad for the Beatles - during a 2008 European tour that included BBC exposure before concerts in Finland, Poland and Japan again.

Overseas audiences enjoyed his diverse originals including Hands On Top Of The Wheel, written for 8 Ball's stepfather, who goes by the name of Q Ball.

Other autobiographical favourites include The Party, Guitar Man, The Other Side, Yellow Moon and Cowboy Movie.

Further info - www.8ballaitken.com


Veteran outlaw band The Dead Livers return with live footage for the Nu Country TV theme song Up And Down The Line.

The vintage song comes a 1982 at famed Tamworth Workers Club - a venue where a later version of the band was banned after gigs with InPress cartoonist Fred Negro's Gravy Billies.

On that occasion the band, now celebrating 30 years in the saddle, featured expatriate Kiwi Tex Nobody.

That was a different line-up to the band who also shared stages with Amazing Rhythm Aces, Leon Russell & the New Grass Revival and Charley Pride on Aussie tours.

The sextet mainly performs on the Shipwreck Coast with regular gigs at the historic Stump Hotel in Port Fairy, Mickey Burke's in Koroit and other landmarks.

Lead singer Marty Atchison, writer of Up And Down The Line, lives in Portland and co-founder bassist-writer Mick Schack directs operations from Koroit satellite suburb Yarpturk.

Schack, who performs in six different country combos, also guests with fellow Dead Livers guitarist and Nu Country technician Rodger Delfos in Snowy Townsend's Bona Fide Travellers.

CLICK HERE for a feature on The Dead Livers in the Diary on October 25, 2003.
CLICK HERE for Nu Country Records to buy the Dead Livers debut CD Greatest Misses and sequel Reaching To The Western Sky.


We have more good tidings for viewers wanting to join Nu Country TV and keep us on air in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and New Zealand.

Major independent label Compass Brothers has donated autographed copies of Adam Brand's seventh disc Blame It On Eve for viewers who become Nu Country members or renew their membership.

The CD has a bonus DVD of the making of the album and video clip of Get On Down The Road that we aired on our show.

Adam also did an exclusive interview with Nu Country TV that we have broken up into two episodes during Series #10.

We have limited supplies of Adam's big selling CD-DVD so please email us first at music@nucountry.com.au so we can allocate your reward.

Adam performed at Crown Casino in Melbourne on August 2 with Compass Brothers stable-mates James Blundell and The Sunny Cowgirls.

CLICK HERE for the Adam Brand interview from the Diary on March 3, 2008.


We also have the latest CDS by Aussie stars Melinda Schneider and Catherine Britt as a reward for new members and renewing members.

Melinda hosts an upcoming episode of Nu Country and has donated copies of her fifth CD Be Yourself.

And Catherine and her record company ABC-Warner provided copies of her third CD Little Wildflower.

We have limited supplies of Melinda and Catherine's big selling CDs so please email us first at music@nucountry.com.au so we can allocate your reward.


We'll feature highlights of the Kacey Jones-Becky Hobbs concert at the Noise Bar as a preview for our special later in this series.

Kacey Jones has donated autographed copies of her acclaimed tribute CD to the late, legendary Texan singer-songwriter Mickey Newbury to Nu Country.

Nu Country has featured the CD video clips San Francisco Mabel Joy and Lie To Me Darlin' featuring Texan singer-songwriters Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Payne.

The CD - released here in July - is one of many rewards for viewers to become members or renew their much-appreciated memberships.

Kacey also autographed tee shirts and posters for Nu Country members.

For your $22 membership and postage you can take your pick of Kacey memorabilia. We have limited supplies so please email us at music@nucountry.com.au first.


We also celebrated Shotgun Willie Nelson's 75th birthday on April 30 with a special giveaway of his collectors' book.

We have limited stock of Willie Nelson - The Collected Writings Of A Living Legend - The Facts Of Life And Other Dirty Jokes.

The book, featuring yarns, jokes and Willie Nelson song lyrics, is the latest addition to our prize treasure trove.

It's available for viewers wanting to become members or current members wishing to renew membership.

Please email us at music@nucountry.com.au for a chance to win a copy of this book with your membership.

We also have autographed copies of Mike Brady's new album Country To Country and others by Troy Cassar-Daley, Tania Kernaghan and Arizona singer Billy Wyatt.

CLICK HERE for our Membership Page.

top / back to diary