Country music’s big night was a great success last night, returning to normal after two years of Covid-19 disruptions, with the youngest ever winner picking up a Golden Guitar and a surprise win for male artist of the year.
Amber Lawrence was named female artist of year, acknowledging her two decades at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“Twenty years ago, I put in a leave request form at my job at Qantas and said ‘I’m going in a talent quest’ and everyone thought that was ridiculous,” she said.
Last year’s female artist of the year, Tamworth born Ashleigh Dallas, won Traditional Country Music Album of the Year with In The Moment.
Melbourne’s Andrew Swift was named male artist of the year, a surprise win that came despite him not releasing an album in 2022 and receiving no nominations in other categories.
“I cannot express how grateful I am that you guys keep me doing what I am doing,” Swift said.
The Gold Coast’s Casey Barnes backed up last year’s ARIA award win by winning his first Golden Guitars, taking out Album of the Year and Top Selling Album for Light it Up, and describing the win as “so surreal”.
Nominated for a whopping 6 awards, Wingham boy James Johnston went home with two: Best New Talent of the Year and Vocal Collaboration of the year with Kaylee Bell.
Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley were the big winners on the night, netting three awards: song of the year, single of the year, and group or duo of the year.
Their daughter, ten-year-old Tiggy Heart Eckersley has become the youngest-ever winner at the Golden Guitars, taking home a trophy for co-writing Song of the Year — Star of the Show — with her parents and friend Dan Biederman.
When accepting the award for Single of the Year, McClymont paid tribute to her family.
“A big thank you to my Mum… and my late father Peter who we lost last year. He’d be so excited right now,” she said.
“And to the most important people in our life, Harry, Tiggy and Ellery… our children. Thank you so much, you make us keep going.”
WINNERS AT THE 2023 GOLDEN GUITAR AWARDS
* Album of the year: Light It Up, Casey Barnes
* Male artist of the year: Andrew Swift
* Female artist of the year: Amber Lawrence
* Alt country album of the year: Looks Like Heaven, Kim Cheshire
* Contemporary country album of the year: Wiser, Lyn Bowtell
* Traditional country album of the year: In the Moment, Ashleigh Dallas
* Song of the year: Star of the Show, Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley
* Single of the year: Memory Lane, Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley
* Top selling album of the year: Light It Up, Casey Barnes
* Group or duo of the year: Brooke McClymont and
* Vocal collaboration of the year: Same Songs, James Johnston and Kaylee Bell
* Bluegrass recording of the year: Good Morning Moon, Kristy Cox
* New talent of the year: James Johnston
* Bush ballad of the year: Out on Killarney, Dean Perrett
* Heritage song of the year: South East Queensland, Luke O’Shea
* Instrumental of the year: Soda Cap Boogie, The French Family Band
* Video of the year: South East Queensland, Luke O’Shea
Top image: Adam Eckersley, Tiggy Heart Eckersley, Brooke McClymont and Dan Biederman with their awards.