Former Mississippi boxing champion Paul Thorn and singing actor Tim McGraw headline Nu Country TV this Saturday June 22 at 9.30 pm on C 31.

Thorn, making his debut Australian visit next week, shares billing with Tim - son of late baseball star Tug McGraw - who has toured here twice.

Pistol Annies singer Ashley Monroe returns to the show, repeated Monday 3 p m and midnight and Thursday at 1 am, with San Francisco band Train.

Prolific Tennessean singer-songwriter Will Hoge debuts in Behind Bars - edited by Blaize Warden.

And expatriate Texan Doug Bruce, now living in Bendigo, and Sydney bluegrass band The Pigs return to the show you can also see on Catch-Up TV on the Channel 31 web page.


Paul Thorn first made international TV when he fought world middleweight boxing champion Roberto Duran at Atlantic City casino in New Jersey in 1988.

But the singer harvested hay from Duran's hay makers when he recorded his 1997 album title track Hammer & Nail about the bout.

It preceded the Tom Russell tune The Eyes Of Robert Duran - also recorded by the late Chris Gaffney - and a favourite on Nu Country FM.

But this time we feature the video for the title track of Thorn's sixth album Pimps & Preachers on our TV show on the eve of Thorn's Melbourne debut at Northcote Social Club - near our old studios on Beer Can Hill.

Thorn, 48 and father of two children, will perform his song live in Northcote on June 23 and Hallam Hotel on June 25.

"Well, the album title isn't just a title, it has meaning for me," says Thorn who shares his Tupelo roots with both the late Elvis Presley and Tammy Wynette.

"My dad was a Pentecostal minister with a congregation but my uncle was a real pimp, and I don't mean someone who dresses flashy, I mean a man who had a stable of women that he dropped off on the corner in the morning, picked them up in the evening, and they gave him money. He's not proud of that and that's not something he looks back on and is proud of doing, but as a child he and my daddy were my mentors so I was literally schooled by Pimps and Preachers so I understand about the dark and the light of life because of that."

CLICK HERE for our exclusive interview with Thorn in the Diary.


Singing actor Tim McGraw performs the video for his 33RD #1 hit One Of Those Nights from his 12th album Two Lanes Of Freedom on this week's show.

McGraw has already scored his 34th chart-topper with Highway Don't Care featuring Taylor Swift and expat Australasian superstar Keith Urban - a guest in our Beer Can Hill studios before the great fire of June 26, 2010.

Tim, 46, and Mississippi born singing spouse Faith Hill, 45, have toured here twice since he played one of the lead male roles opposite Sandra Bullock in the gridiron movie The Blind Side.

McGraw, whose dad Tug was a baseball star, also played the male lead opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in recent movie Country Strong.

Tim, father of two daughters, punctuates albums and tours with other movies Dirty Girl with fellow singing actor Dwight Yoakam, Four Holidays with Yoakam and Robert Duvall who had a cameo in Crazy Heart, Friday Night Lights and Black Cloud.

CLICK HERE for our membership page to win Tim's new album Two Lanes Of Freedom and previous disc Emotional Traffic.

CLICK HERE for a review of Two Lanes Of Freedom in the Diary on March 12, 2013.


Ashley Monroe was not idle between her two solo albums and matching pair with Miranda Lambert and The Pistol Annies.

She climbed on board for a riveting video and vocal performance with Californian roots band Train.

We feature their video for Bruises from sixth album California 37 in this week's Behind Bars.

Train consists of core trio Pat Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford (guitar) and Scott Underwood (drums).

The original lineup - Monahan, Stafford, Underwood, Rob Hotchkiss and Charlie Colin mainstream success with debut album, Train released in 1998 with hit Meet Virginia.

Their 2001 album, Drops of Jupiter contained lead single Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) that won two Grammy Awards in 2002.

It was certified double platinum in the United States and Canada - third album, My Private Nation (2003) was platinum in the United States with the hit Calling All Angels.

The band released fourth album, For Me, It's You in 2006, with new members Brandon Bush (keyboards) and Johnny Colt (bass) and then went on a three-year hiatus.

In late 2009, Train released Save Me, San Francisco with three singles - six time platinum hit Hey, Soul Sister, If It's Love and Marry Me reached #3, 34 and 34 on Billboard.

The album was certified gold and sold 954,000 units.

Since 2008 Jerry Becker (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) and Hector Maldonado (bass, guitar, percussion, backing vocals) have been touring and recording with the group around the world.

In 2012 Train released California 37 - first single Drive By reached #10 on Billboard and was Top 10 in the UK - first Top 20 single since 2009.

CLICK HERE for an Ashley Monroe feature in the Diary on May 27.
CLICK HERE for our Membership Page to win her CD Like A Rose.


When Tennessee troubadour Will Hoge wrote Another Song Nobody Will Hear he hadn't countered on being discovered here in Australia.

We feature his video for the song in Behind Bars.

Will, 41, has released eight albums and several live discs and EPS but is best known for writing hits for others.

He hails from Civil War town Franklin and attended Western Kentucky University to study history planning to become a high school history teacher and basketball coach.

Hoge left university after realizing he wanted to write songs and be a career musician.

Will almost died in a scooter accident in 2008 while recording his album, not so cryptically titled The Wreckage.

He was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in critical condition - he had surgery immediately upon arrival for numerous broken bones (ribs, sternum, shattered femur, knee cap, shoulder blades) and lacerations to his face, arms, and torso requiring over 200 stitches.

Hoge recovered to write hits for Lady Antebellum and the Texan Eli Young Band who toured here with singing actor Tim McGraw and singing spouse Faith Hill.

Will co-wrote Eli Young Band #1 hit Even if It Breaks Your Heart before releasing 2012 EP Modern American Protest Music.

The seven-song project includes Jesus Came To Tennessee and ends with topical tune The Ballad Of Trayvon Martin - and touches on religious and political issues.

"I have a feeling that Modern American Protest Music will instantly cause a reaction because these are hot button issues for a lot of folks," Will admits.

"I don't want to fool people into thinking this is another Will Hoge country/rock record about girls, this is something very different. I'm not looking for people to agree or disagree, it's a personal expression from me as a songwriter."

Hoge also recorded the opening theme song You Make Me Happy for CBS sitcom Still Standing and appeared at the 2013 Grammy block party in Nashville with Kip Moore.

Further info - http://willhoge.com/wired


Sydney bluegrass band The Pigs bring home the bacon with their video for Kanye West song Gold Digger - the tune they performed on Australia's Got Talent.

The band, one of the big hits at the 37th Port Fairy folk fest in March, are joined in their limo by some sultry sweethearts of the rodeo.

They show how chappies in Sin City deal with dames dating back to the Rum Rebellion in the song from 2012 album The Great Bluegrass Swindle.

You can catch The Pigs at the inaugural three day Broadbeach Country Music Festival from June 21-23.

The Pigs share their name with a Bristol punk rock band formed in 1977 and have appeared on ABC TV shows Rage and Spicks' N Specks.

Further info - www.thepigs.com.au


Expatriate Texan Doug Bruce found true love with a Bendigo belle before he fled the Lone Star state and headed south to the Victorian gold fields.

This week Doug and his band The Tailgaters perform the video for latest single Thank God I'm A Cowboy from third album Made That Way.

Doug landed here three decades after his dad Dale toured here as bassist with Red Steagall & The Coleman County Cowboys.

Luckily, Dale and Texan rodeo legend Red played the Cross Keys Hotel in Essendon many moons before an underworld double murder at an Auskick clinic near the pub.

In the audience for Dale and Red were Van Diemen's Land exports The Singing Kettles and revered rock writer and retailer Dr Pepper, aka David Pepperell.

You can catch Doug next weekend at the inaugural Broadbeach country music festival on the Gold Coast.

CLICK HERE for Tonkgirl's Gig Guide for full details.


We need your support to return to air in December on Channel 31 to celebrate our 21st series of Nu Country TV.

Australian record companies and artists have joined forces to help our survival.

We have new CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing your membership.

They include singing actors Willie Nelson and Tim McGraw, Voice judge Blake Shelton and singing spouse Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Gary Allan, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Slim Dusty, Felicity and many more.

We also have the latest John Fogerty and John Denver all-stat tribute albums and DVDS by Miranda and fellow chart topper Lady Antebellum.

CLICK HERE for our Membership Page for full details.

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