6th to 11th MAY 2025 at the CAPELLA COVERED ARENA

Australia's Country Music Greats

Capella Country Music Festival 2024

Chad Morgan

Chad Morgan (OAM) - Australian Icon

Chad Morgan is the last of the country music legends. He has out-sung, out-drunk and outlived his famous contemporaries.

A one of kind entertainer who can captivate an audience with a story, a joke, or just a facial expression and some of the most original and funny songs ever performed, yet Chad’s moving performance of his song “Bill and Eva” makes time stand still. Fans have tears in their eyes as Chad explains the story behind the song.

A country music pioneer who has played all over Australia, with fans from grandparents to grand children.  A living legend of Australia's entertainment industry, and a true gentleman of Australian country music.

Hillbilly Goats

Australian festival favourites, Golden Fiddle Recipients & 4 times “Bluegrass” Golden Guitar finalists, The Hillbilly Goats, strip back the layers of modern music and transport you on a journey through roots and old-time blues. These guys aren’t just a band – they’re a “show” featuring stories and songs combined with tap dancing, bones, big harmonies and regular instrument changes. They’ve won several awards and have released 4 studio albums specialising in Mountain Music.

The musical twist on traditional songs The Hillbilly Goats are renowned for big harmonies and a heavy presence of hard fiddle and fast harmonica has seen them carving their own niche at major festivals nationwide. “Kick Yer Shoes off, Put Yer Hoe Down & Hang on to Yer Britches!!!”… The Goats are coming to town!

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Amy Ryan

Winner of the Capella Shooting Star 2022 Amy Ryan, is joining the festival for 2023.

Amy is a young girl with big dreams and nothing will get in her way. She may be little but she has a big personality and voice to go with it.

Since the age of nine, she has been fortunate enough to collaborate with iconic Australian and American Country music artists and has performed across the country at festivals such as Music in the Mulga, Back to basics, the Capella Country Music Festival and more.


Dave Hawkins

When you reach the age of 14 and realise, “I don’t ever remember NOT playing a guitar” you know you were born to be a guitar picker. Over the years, Tasmanian-based performer, Dave Hawkins has been honing his skills to be the whole package and bring his style of music to the people.

Tamworth-based country music journalist Anna Rose said, “The first time I saw Dave Hawkins perform here in Tamworth when he was the Entertainer of the Year Runner-up, his energetic performance was exciting then there is the rest of the package, what a great picker and performer. Country music is in great hands while ever Dave Hawkins is picking a guitar.”

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Donella Waters

Donella took to the country music highway by busking on Tamworth’s very own Peel Street back in 1999, with the folowing years jam packed with recording more albums and touring.

After a deliberate break from constant touring and recording saw Donella put her time and efforts into family to become a Mum she made a calculated comeback by headlining at the Nanango Country Music Festival QLD in September.

With 5 albums (3 Country Radio Single Releases) and many collaborations on other country artists albums, Donella is a must see at any gig she plays. 

Dianne Lindsay

Dianne Lindsay

Mention traditional Australian country music these days and no-one is more respected than singer/songwriter Dianne Lindsay. Coming from a very prominent country music family, Dianne works hard to ensure that true Australian country music is alive and well. Touring extensively, running her own shows, co-hosting a weekly country music radio program and with a very busy recording schedule, Dianne has earned a reputation second to none right throughout Australia and is much sought after bush balladeer artist. Dianne is a multi award winning recording artist gaining several Female Vocal and Peoples’ Choice Awards, was inducted to the 2014 Hands of Fame in Tamworth and also to the American ‘Old Time Country Music’ Hall of Fame. Along with husband and lead guitarist, Peter Simpson, Dianne has had four finalist nominations for Golden Guitar ‘Bush Ballad of the Year’.

Each year Dianne is the co-host at the very successful ‘Back to the Bush Concert’ held on the main stage during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. This concert is very popular and has attracted crowds of up to 10,000 people and features our Australian bush balladeer artists.


Peter Simpson

Peter Simpson has always had a love of country music.  His early childhood memories are of sitting around the banks of the Snowy River with his family singing and playing guitar. These days Peter is a well-known and respected country guitarist with a strong leaning to the Australian bush ballad style.

Writing and recording with his wife, Dianne Lindsay, Peter himself is now a multi-award winning artist including several nominations for Golden Guitar Bush Ballad of the Year. As a lead guitarist, specialising in the acoustic bush ballad style, Peter has often recorded instrumental tracks with well-known guitarists such as Lindsay Butler from Tamworth. Peter also co-hosts a national bush ballad radio program and is passionate about promoting Australian country music and in writing quality Australian bush ballads and was inducted into the Hands of Fame at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2018.

Jeff Brown

Jeff Brown

Since his early childhood, Jeff Brown has had a love for Australian Bush Ballad music, having grown up in a household where some of the great old pioneers of Australian and American country was the only music played.

In 1997, at the age of 21, Jeff recorded and released his first album “I Remember Gordon Parsons” as a tribute to Gordon.  Jeff’s talents were recognised when he won the Stan Coster Memorial Bush Ballad Award at the Fosters Battle of the Bush during the Tamworth Festival in 1998. This same year, Jeff toured the country with the legendary “Brian Young Show” for 4 months, an experience which helped mould him into the successful entertainer that he is today.

Jeff was placed as one of the “final five” in the prestigious Golden Guitar Awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 1999 with the track “The Old GP” written by Ian Quinn.  On releasing his second album “Poverty Liner” in 2003, Jeff was awarded a place in the “final five” once again, with the single “The Ghost Of Three Rivers” by Keith Jamieson.

In 2005, Jeff released his third album “Mate I’m Feelin’ Lucky” and won the Golden Guitar Award for Bush Ballad of the Year with the track “Where The Yellow Kapocks Bloom” penned by Wave Jackson.

2007 saw the release of Jeff’s 4th Album “Harvest Time Again” which won “Album of the Year” at the Bungendore Stan Coster Memorial Bush Ballad Awards. The final track on this album “In The Wings of the Yard” written by Kelly and Marion Dixon and Jeff, reached the finals at the 2008 Tamworth Golden Guitar Awards for Bush Ballad of the Year.

Jeff has now released his 5th album "Hard To Let Go" which was produced by Stuie French at Swingin Doors Sudios.  The album has been a great success with Jeff winning  a Golden Guitar at the 42nd CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia for "Bush Ballad of the Year" with the song "I Love Australia" written by Keith Jamieson. Jeff also won "Male Vocalist of the Year" and "Album of the Year" at the 2014 Stan Coster Memorial Australian Bush Ballad Awards.

With farming held close to his heart and personal involvement with the transport  industry, Jeff relates to the songs that he sings and delivers them with confidence and sincerity. Jeff has stuck to the Bush Ballad music with a passion and his easy listening voice adds a fresh approach to them.

Dean Perrett_Artist Info

Dean Perrett

Dean Perrett is an Australian Traditional Country Singer / Songwriter from Queensland, Australia.

Dean is one of Australia's Leading Traditional Country and Bush Ballad Artists, He recorded his first album in 1989 and in the following 25 years he has released 12 more albums.

Dean has toured internationally and regularly performs at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and other various festivals and gigs, in cluding the Capella Country Music Festival.

Pixie Jenkins

Pixie Jenkins

Pixie’s fiddle playing is uniquely Australian, and with his amazing energy, storytelling and humour, he has become one of the most recognisable artists in the industry. He’s also one of Australia’s most eclectic and talented entertainers, playing roots, bluegrass and Irish folk styles with an incredible dexterity and finesse.

Pixie has been a support artist and toured and recorded for some of the biggest names in the world, Bob Dylan to Cher; Jimmy Barnes to John Williamson and has been a studio musician on the recordings of 100's of other artists.

He is a multiple Australian Country Music ‘Golden Guitar’ awards winner and John Williamson has stated that “Pixie Jenkins is the greatest fiddler Australia has produced” and Pixie is often referred to as an ‘Icon’ (The Australian 2011) and a “living legend’.

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Kylie Hogan

Kylie listened to an eclectic mix of music growing up.  She taught herself to play guitar, and started to write songs.  Her first song “County Kind of Girl” was picked up and recorded for the soundtrack of Troy Dann’s Outback Adventures television series. Kylie started appearing on some TV talent quests and from there was asked to start performing with the band “Silver Wings”  She then went on to be one half of the Rock duo “Kiss This” and also performed in the Rock/Pop group “Omni Pop”   Kylie is a versatile performer and was always a devout fan of Patsy Cline of whom she unconsciously leans toward vocally.  At many rock and pop gigs that she was doing in her early years she was regularly asked “Can you do any Patsy Cline songs?  You have a voice that could sing Patsy Cline”

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Andrew Ryan

Andrew shows an Interest and talent in writing life in Poem and Song. Andrew began his journey writing poetry with his children as the family ventured on road trips across Australia in 2012.

When daughter, Amy Ryan showed an interest in singing and playing guitar Andrew did also. They began to write songs together and haven’t stopped since that day some six years ago.


Chad Morgan Junior

Chad Morgan Junior has been writing songs for years but has only recently put the songs down on CD.

Playing most of the instruments he has finally got something to hang his own hat on.

As part of the upcoming Capella Country Music Festival, Chad Jnr will be taking the stage with his father to perform some of these tunes live for their fans.

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Paul Ricketts

Paul Ricketts is a Singer / Songwriter from rural Qld. His style of country music could be described as Australiana Bush/Heritage with a bit of a progressive approach.  

As well as being a vocalist, Paul is also a guitar picker and has had some great opportunities to play lead guitar alongside Dean Perrett at a handful of festivals and door shows.  With a new single and music video coming out later in 2024 Paul has a very busy and exciting year, and a place in the Australian country music scene, ahead of him.

The Gunbarrel Highwaymen

Terry Gordon_Artist

Terry Gordon (OAM)

Terry's combination of comedy, country music and comparing skills have been entertaining audiences for over 50 years. A regular at music festivals from afar as Wisconsin USA to across Australia and New Zealand.

Terry gained much acclaim and respect for hosting the TV program “Must Be Country” in the 1980s. 2005 saw him receive the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to Australian country music. and in 2012 he was inducted into the Roll of Renown in Tamworth.

Reg Poole - Artist

Reg Poole (OAM)

The Gentle Giant of Country Music, Reg Poole has been elevated to the Roll of Renown, and received an order of Australia medal in 2006.

He has been in the art of entertainment for over three decades and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

The three times Golden Guitar winner is one of Australia’s most well-known and loved bush balladeers.

He is also a talented award-winning songwriter who has toured this vast land many times over.........

Owen Blundell - Capella Country Music Festival

Owen Blundell

Owen is multi-talented with his character sketches, yodelling, and harmony vocals all backed up by his rhythm and lead guitar picking.

His sometimes eccentric approach to live performances keeps the audience enthralled.

Owen is based in the Snowy Mountains Region and has been the recipient of multiple music awards during his career whilst recording numerous albums and CD’s.

The Capella Country Music Band

Mixhel Rose

Michel Rose

In Australia, we call him The Man of Steel … because Michel Rose is arguably the finest pedal steel player of his generation.

Michel began his musical journey at age eight in his homeland of Mauritius, receiving a Dutch-made Egmond acoustic guitar.

The family moved to Australia when Michel was 14 and his love affair with guitars continued until he heard the instrumental break in Misty – and that was it.

He purchased his first pedal steel – a Sho-Bud single neck – and began practising, trying to get that same sound he’d heard on Misty.

In the late 1970s, Michel wandered into Landis Music in Park Street, Sydney and asked the salesman if he knew any bands in need of a pedal steel player.

Call it fate, if you will, but that salesman was Bruce McCumstie, and Bruce was very keen to have a steel player in his band.

About a decade later he joined Beaudesert band, playing alongside Peter Johnson, Robbie Brown, English John Green (UK) and Terry Philpott.

His first steel session was on 1981 Star Maker winner Leanne Douglas’s Don’t It Make You Wanna Cry, which won her the New Talent Golden Guitar the following year. He then played on each successive Star Maker release.

When bands were allowed to enter Star Maker, Beaudesert was a finalist in 1982, the year Lee Kernaghan took out top honours.

Michel became a sideman to the ultimate Aussie star when he joined Slim Dusty’s Travelling Country Band, touring with the king for the first time for two years.

Always loving session work, Michel was thrilled to play on Jimmy Little’s reggae hit, Beautiful Woman, which featured Tim Finn’s studio band.

When Jean Stafford entered the EMI studio to record her debut on that label, Burning Bright, Michel was there, alongside producer Rod Coe.

He re-joined the TCB for the mammoth Bicentennial tour and played on several Slim Dusty albums, in between his heavy schedule of session and touring work.

He played on all of Graeme Connors’ early albums, apart from A Little Further North, and toured with him for several years.

Michel’s distinctive pedal steel can be heard on Anne Kirkpatrick’s ground-breaking album Out of the Blue and her successive albums, and most of Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey and Gina Jeffreys’ albums.

When UK guitar guru Albert Lee came to Australia, Michel was more than happy to be sideman on his national tour – twice in fact and when LeAnn Rimes did her first Australian tour, Michel was in the band.

He has worked extensively with Australian film composer Peter Best on soundtracks for ABC TV series and movies, including Doing Time For Patsy Cline, which won an Australian Film Institute award for Best Original Music Score. He also played on the movie soundtrack for My Mother Frank , which won the Australian Screen Sound Guild Soundtrack of the Year.

One of Michel’s favourite bands has been the Feral Swing Katz, which he formed with Stuie French after they discovered a mutual love of old western swing tunes.

In 2002, Michel was invited to the International Steel Guitar Convention in St Louis, Missouri. The Feral Swing Katz (with Felicity Urquhart out front) performed at that show and smashed all
records, receiving four standing ovations, previously unheard of in the history of that event.

Michel re-joined the Slim Dusty Family Tour, playing dates in NSW and Queensland, and played on the live album, Reunion.

He’s also played on a single for kd lang, Our Down Will Come, which she performed at the Sydney Gay Games, and played in US country star Jann Browne’s Australian touring band.

Greg Page invited Michel to Nashville to play on his album, Taking Care of Country, a salute to Page’s Elvis fascination, utilising the majority of Presley’s TCB Band. And when Catherine Britt
went to America in 2018 to record her first Universal release, Catherine Britt and the Cold Cold Hearts, she took her favourite sideman along.

Having long been based in Sydney, Michel and wife Tracey made the move to the Gold Coast in 2016 where he’s in constant demand for session and festival work.

Despite the lack of gigs in 2020 and 2021, Michel has managed to keep busy with session work and even scored a cameo role on the big screen, which we’ll hopefully see in 2022 when Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis movie is released.

If you’re chasing a sideman to the stars, look no further than Michel Rose. He’s worked with them all.

Author: Anna Rose

Kelvin Nolan

Kelvin Nolan

Professional Australian guitarist based on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Toured and worked with many of Australia's country legends. Country guitarist who has worked with many of Australias best artists including Slim Dusty, Chad Morgan, John Williamson, and internationals Charlie Landsborough and Jett Williams (daughter of the legendary Hank Williams) to name a few. He was part of the Tamworth recording scene for many years and now resides on the gold coast with Adi Burgess (an accomplished vocalist in her own right).

Peter Lee_artistProfilePic

Peter Lee

Peter started playing drums at the age of 10 at local dances in his hometown in country Victoria.

Peter moved to Melbourne with his high school mate Peter Cupples in their late teens, and after playing in the local Melbourne music scene with several bands, went on to form what has become the iconic Australian band "Stylus".

Stylus had a number of award-winning albums, and toured nationally with music acts such as George Benson, Suzi Quattro, Little River Band, Average White Band, Renée Geyer, Sherbert, and Paul Young, just to name a few.

Stylus also appeared regularly on national television shows such as Countdown, Hey Hey It's Saturday, The Midday Show and many others.

Since moving to Queensland many years ago Peter formed and has managed the respected Blue Heeler band which has toured Australia-wide with acts such as Billy Joel, Merle Haggard, Tina Turner, James Blundell, Don Williams, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Lee Kernaghan and Luella Widt.

Gus Fenwick_Artist

Gus Fenwick

Gus Fenwick has been a professional bass player for over 50 years.He has toured or recorded with: Brian Cadd, Sara Storer, John Denver, Graeme Connors, Gina Jeffreys and many more great artists.

Born in Auckland N.Z. Gus was a founding member of the Layabouts and went on to join the Aussie Pleazers. He came to Australia in 1969 to join The Action who were resident at The HawaiianEye, Sydney. Gus first came to prominence as a bass player with Brian Cadd and the Bootleg Family in the early 70s. Before that, he had been with Phil Manning's Band of Talabene and Healing Force. Starting as a session player at Armstrongs (later AAV) in 1973 he has played on countless recordings and toured with many well-known Australian artists including Brian Cadd, Russell Morris, Swanee, Normie Rowe, The Flood, Gina Jefferys, Col Joye, Mal Eastick, Kevin Borich Express, Doug Parkinson, Julie Anthony, The Hawking Bros, Johnny Chester, Doc Span, Harii Bandhu and Bob Abbott and the Fabulous Green Machine.

2024 featured guests and support


Gary Fogarty

Gary Fogarty has succeeded in doing what most of us aspire to, turning his ‘passion’ into a full time pursuit. After years of hard work and dedication to performing Bush Poetry, Gary can now legitimately lay claim to be one of Australia’s most popular and busy Bush Poets. In a very short stint in bush Poetry Competitions, Gary won the Inaugural Australian Bush Poetry Championship and several other major competitions before moving into the professional sector of entertainment.

A regular performer at some of this country’s major Festivals for many years now, Gary has taken the next step and as a member of the Australian Performing Arts Team has taken his craft to an international audience, claiming a Silver and Two Bronze medals at the prestigious World Championships of Performing arts in the USA.

The life for a bush poet is never dull and Gary balances his time between guest performances at well- known Festivals such as Gympie, Tamworth, Mud Bulls and Music, and Booyup Brook, conducting writing and performing workshops for both school children and adults, corporate entertainment, voice-over work, roving announcing at Festival such as Chinchilla Melon Festival, Tara Festival of Culture, Australian Camp Oven Festival, and Gayndah Orange Festival, compeering a wide variety of events, as well as dabbling in song writing and composing Customised Poems for a growing client base.

While the entertainment industry is notorious for being fickle and no performer can take their future in the industry for granted, it would appear that with a long list of achievement and awards behind him, a burning desire to continue searching for ways to improve and that lifelong passion for his craft, that Gay Fogarty will be a part of the entertainment scene in this country for a long time yet.


Ranger Nick

Considered a dinky-di Aussie character who walks his talk with no dull moments, Ranger Nick’s colloquial language and unique sense of humour have earned him the reputation of the entertaining Bush Cook. Keeping heritage and traditions alive, he combines educational information with bush poetry, yarns and ballads during his camp oven cooking demonstrations.

Appealing to young and old, he leaves a lasting impression wherever he goes and is a conversational point long after the show has finished.


Sam Burgess

Country music festivals don’t appear out of thin air. They require extensive planning and coordination with a dedicated team of professionals who all have a role to play.

We would like to acknowledge team member Sam Burgess.

Sam, with her wealth of knowledge and expertise in the country music scene, is the co-ordinator for the Capella Country Music Festivals walk-up program.

Sam is approached regularly to organise and/or judge talent quests all over the country, including Tamworth, Gympie, Charters Towers and countless country music clubs, so we are thrilled to have her looking after our Capella Shooting Stars.

Mentoring and supporting younger artists coming through the ranks is also one of her great passions, advising on material choices and career pathways, navigating the complexities of a sometimes difficult industry. We feel very fortunate to have Sam Burgess on our team. Thank you Sam.

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Kevin 'Strapper' Ivory

With all that needs to happen at a festival, we are so pleased to have such a great team on board.

Things require extensive planning and coordination with a dedicated team of professionals who all have a role to play. so we would like to acknowledge team member Kevin 'Strapper' Ivory

Kevin, with his wealth of knowledge and expertise in the country music scene, is the Artist co-ordinator and stage manager for the Capella Country Music Festival. He will be there throughout making sure that everything runs smoothly, that the artists have everything they need and that the audience has the best time possible. 

Kevin's many years in the industry as both promoter and manager put him in the perfect position to run this aspect of the festival, so a huge thanks!


Join Australia's Greatest

Play with Australia's Greatest Artists at the Capella Country Music Festival. Walk-Up Artists are welcome to put their name on a whiteboard and take the stage. The talent search competition runs for 4 days and the winner will join the Main Stage on Saturday and Sunday!


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