Valley's talent rules at Tamworth
CLARENCE Valley musicians continue to dominate the country music industry, with officials joking that it must be ‘something in the water’ that keeps the stars flowing.
Local girl Tullara Connors wowed the audience with her instrumental piece at the closing night of Tamworth’s Country Music festival on Sunday.
The 16-year-old, who began her music career only three years ago, made her claim to fame after winning the instrumental section at Tamworth’s Jamboree Concert and going on to beat other finalists to secure her spot in the prestigious night of awards and celebrations.
Stepping onstage and performing to a crowd of 3000 just before former South Graftonian and 2010 starmaker Luke Austen took to the stage, Tullara played her own rendition of John Butler’s Ocean on the guitar.
“It was an amazing experience and I have never done anything like it before,” she said.
“Seeing myself on the big screens was a huge adrenaline rush.”
Star treatment didn’t end there for the Ramornie student, who was invited by fellow country music star Tamara Stewart to play with her at her gigs after she saw Tullara busking at the week-long music festival.
“It was amazing being able to play on that stage and the people I met there will definitely have an impact on me and my performing,” Tullara said.
“It was overwhelming how nice and encouraging the people were there, and I was stoked to have been picked by Tamara. It was an all-round great atmosphere.”
The latest country music star in the industry, Luke Austen, put the musical talent coming out of the Clarence Valley area down to the caring community and the creative flair of its musicians.
“It’s just a really creative area here and you don’t get criticised for being original,” he said.
“Talent gets nurtured by the community here, which inspires young talent to get up and do their thing and have the confidence to step out.”
Grafton’s McClymont sisters are a regular act at the annual festival and their latest album has climbed to number two on this week’s ARIA album charts.
Samantha McClymont agreed with the presenter of the closing ceremony that the Valley was over-represented in terms of its country musicians.
“We always say there must be something in the Clarence Valley waters because we have a lot of very creative and artistic stars coming from the area and the town allows for that,” she said.
“There are so many outlets for musicians to be creative and play their music.”