Thursday, 12 September 2013

UKCountryRadio Listeners Club Awards - 6th Party

UKCountryRadio Listeners Awards – 6th Party

UKCR 6th Birthday Graphic

On, 1st September 2013, UK Internet station (UKCR) celebrated their Sixth Birthday. Back on 1st September 2007, they ceased their test transmissions and broadcast live for the first time. Just four presenters formed the UKCR team in those early days, Allan Watkiss the station head and former BBC Radio Sheffield presenter (CMA International Broadcaster of the Year 2010), Bob Preedy (ex BBC Radio York), Graham L.Hall and James Gordon – all of whom are part of the present day line-up. claim to have over 20,000 country music tracks in play, many of them by UK artists. Their slogan reads “Playing The Hottest Country Music For The UK”.
Allan Watkiss writes “We have been truly amazed at the vast array and diversity of country music talent that exists in Britain, much of which I was unaware of before the launch of this radio station. Hopefully, we have done our little bit in bringing those artists and songwriters a little bit further into the spotlight”.

When: They celebrated their Sixth Birthday Party on Saturday 7th September with a live concert lined up, along with a three-course celebratory dinner.
Where: The Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel, 33 Packington Hill, Kegworth, DE74 2DF (just off Junction 24 of the M1).
Artists appearing included The Annie Duggan Band, The Kerr Donnelly Band, Nashville singer-songwriter Ashley Robertson and our Listeners’ Club Award finalists Chris Green Project, Thorne Hill and Wayne Jacobs.
Those attending had the chance to vote in the final of UKCR’s Listeners’ Club Award, and the winner was announced towards the end of the night. The votes on the night were added to the online votes secured during the online voting period.
The winner was the song with the most overall votes at the end of the night (Sept 7, 2013).

The 2013 finalists (photo) for Listeners' Club Award were:

1) “Beautiful World” - Chris Green Project >> YouTube - UK iTunes - Amazon UK 
2) “The Goodbye Song” - Ray Peters Band - UKCR Online Store
3)  “Josie” - Sharon King & The Reckless Angels - Audio Track - UK iTunes - Amazon UK
4) “Help Me Find The Strength” - Thorne Hill  >> YouTube - UK iTunes - Amazon UK 
5) “I Want My Daddy” - Wayne Jacobs >> YouTube - UK iTunes - Amazon UK

The Kerr Donnelly Band
The first country act to kick off the live UKCR event was The Kerr Donnelly Band who became very popular playing around the Country Music Clubs in the Cannock and Staffordshire area.
From their website they state: The Kerr Donnelly Band brought a fresh style of original Country and Rockabilly music to the Country Music scene. Over the years The Kerr Donnelly Band recorded ad released 'NO HELP NEEDED' on the A.S.R. Record label. Using the name from the recording studio 'ABBEY SOUND' they recorded all their tracks plus other EP releases.

Kerr Donnelly ("The old man") is an Established British Singer Songwriter Who's Musical style is described as British Country Rock, (Country, Rockabilly, Rock n Roll, Blues, & Ballads), He formed the "Kerr Donnelly Band" in 1987, whose influences Kerr's has stated as "Elvis Presley made me pick up the guitar & Raymond Froggatt made me pick up the Pen". With Andy Purcell on Drums & Martin Holland on Lead Guitar, the band in 2013 is Celebrating 26 Years in the Business 1987- 2013. To date the Band have had various No1's in Charts all over the world (Overplay Country /folk Chart, Airplay Direct Rock N Roll
Chart, Ness MP3 Rock N Roll Charts), released CD's, EP'S & Singles to Worldwide Radio, 4 Tracks on a British Movie Soundtrack "DUST" (Directed by Adam Mason).
Their sad song "Stand In" (YouTube was released to an American record chart and label (unnamed) getting to #15 (possibly Soundclick Alt Country Chart?) and a #1 on the Overplay Country/folk Chart.

Their set included “Applause from the Crowd” and "Baby To You(>> Performance videoalong with band favourite "Alone At Night" released in May 2012 (Kdml Records) from their IN THE SPOTLIGHT album which was promoted heavily on

The Kerr Donnelly Band websites:
Their music is available on CD BABY and Amazon UK
Listen to edited highlights of their UKCR 6th Party performance here:

Wayne Jacobs - 2013 Listeners' Club Finalist (introduced by UKCR presenter Peter Fairhead)

About: Wayne Jacobs, aged 51, hails from Kent, UK he is a civil servant whose hobby is a singer, songwriter and performer. While a teenager in the 1980s, Wayne went to night school for three and a half years where he was taught by a folk singer called Pauline. In 2010, Wayne released an EP called "SOUNDS GOOD TO ME". It was produced by Paramount Group in Nashville after Wayne entered their song writing competition and won the Directors' Award.
Wayne performed at the 2011 Listeners' Club Awards when his song “My Tennessee Girl" was voted into the final. Then in 2012 his nominated final song “Kentucky Whiskey” won the Listeners' Club Award which he described as "a dream come true". Most Whisky songs focus on male protagonist’s problems with the demon drink but Wayne reversed the roles penning a song about a wife with a drinking problem.

Wayne fell ill with flu last year and was unable to attend. This year Wayne was in the wars, involved in a horrific motor bike accident on a Scooter 125 losing his back wheel which slid out breaking his wrist and pushed his shoulder joint out so he now has a metal plate which stops him currently playing his guitar but he has found a computer App for a keyboard to enable him to continue writing country songs.
In darting terms Wayne was the first finalist to step up to the oche UKCR presenter Peter Fairhead introduced Wayne to the audience, Peter hosts The Saturday Country Music Goldmine at 9am and 9pm every Saturday - UKCR Showpage 

Speaking of Wayne on the night UKCR station head Allan Watkiss said " You are primarily a songwriter, and it takes a lot of guts for you to get up here and perform because you're not a performer are you". Wayne explained that he writes the songs and has them produced in Nashville and then shares his music with the world. Like many songwriters that is his key strength and not his vocal prowess.
In April 2012, Wayne released his latest and nominated song, a country tear-jerker, titled "I Want My Daddy". The song is inspired by a US TV show Wayne was watching in which a fire-fighter from Davies County, Kentucky, was seriously injured in a crash involving a truck while he was directing traffic. The fire-fighter’s wife and daughter saw the whole thing from the opposite carriageway. The incident shocked the state of Kentucky, and inspired Wayne to write it. The song reached number one at
His nominated song "I Want My Daddy" was released digitally on Dec 28, 2012; available UK iTunes and Amazon UK
Wayne’s live set included "Where We're You" a new song which references to the passing of George Jones which you can hear on
Wayne Jacobs Setlist: "Kentucky Whiskey", "In Cold Blood" (Facebook Video Link),   "Where We're You", "I Want My Daddy"

Wayne Jacobs websites:

Listen to edited highlights of Wayne’s UKCR 6th Party performance here:

Sharon King & The Reckless Angels  - 2013 Listeners' Club Finalist
About: Sharon King is an award-winning Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter who is building a reputation for vibrant, funny, relaxed and intimate live shows.
Her astute observations on Scottish life are carried in contemporary song writing, delivered wrapped in easy banter and peppered with tales of her travels: colours and textures are woven through the narratives by the mandolin, fiddle, viola and voices of The Reckless Angels.
March 2012 saw Sharon supporting music industry song writing icons Gallagher and Lyle to a packed house at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh. "In summer 2012, Sharon released "Nothing=Everything", her fourth album to date. It's her first with the Reckless Angels who are named after her previous album.
Maverick Magazine describing their excellent country-folk album said: “overflowing with beautiful songs that will seep gently into your soul”
The Reckless Angels are Jenny Hill (double bass & BVs), Laura Beth Salter (mandolin & BVs), Rowan Rheingans (fiddle, banjo & BVs), Dutch born Vera van Heeringen (mandolin player & singer) & Scottish fiddler Amy Geddes.
As trio format toured together throughout 2012 and 2013 playing music influenced by bluegrass, old timey and Americana.
Sharon describes their style as “Scottish folk meets country”, bringing “the cowboy spirit back to the glens”

Their nominated song "Josie" was released digitally on Dec 28, 2012 and the Singer-Songwriter-Country album came on
18 July 2012 available on UK iTunes
On Facebook it states: Due to a serious family illness Sharon King and the Reckless Angels will not be taking booking for 2013 / 2014. They were not able to attend the UKCR awards.
You can find an archived interview on - Sharon King MP3

Sharon King & The Reckless Angels websites:
Celtic Connections 2013 video 'It's a Beautiful Day' 

Listen to a clip of their nominated song and short interview with UKCR presenter Martyn Williams:

Chris Green Project - 2013 Listeners' Club Finalist 

(introduced by UKCR presenter Simon Large) Image Chris with UKCR’s Simon Large, Martyn Williams & Allan Watkiss)
Chris Green Project band before the finals! - Photo

About: Chris Green Project is a country band from Sussex in southern England.
The bands camaraderie is one of its strongest elements. Chris has known Kirsty 10 years and they can read each others mind!
Vera is a long-time friend and Chris' songs developed successful in competitions and Kirsty then joined on vocals.
A 3.1/2 minute Chris Green song can be a painful one month journey to finally craft it. The writing process is inspired by life observations which are scribbled down initially on poster notes and then using a lectern to sit at and balancing a guitar on his lap, Chris begins a songs evolution.
Chris describes his songs as "children" which he nurtures and finally releases to the outside world. The band thrives on original material - "You have to be quite brave and bold to put that out to people" Chris shares.   
The band is made up of Chris Green (songwriter and musician), Kirsty Durkan (main vocals) and Vera Groves (keyboards and manager). Recently a new member, Julia Alkema joined the project and Steve King (guitar) and Steve Hayman (drums) make up their full band line up.
Chris Green Project was originally set up for singers and musicians to record Chris's songs and has now become a band.
They record and produce all their own music, have released two albums to date, and are currently finishing their third which is due out in early 2013.

The band's second album BEAUTIFUL WORLD has also proved to be very popular. Written in varying styles, the album captures heartfelt ballads - such as "Broken Heart" and "Tender Is The Night" which was performed live in the finals of the International Song Of Peace in Tipperary, Ireland.

They were introduced to the Derby stage by presenter and "Doncaster's Very Own" Simon Large (Sat/Suns 2-5pm - UKCR Showpage) They opened with "Which Side Of The Bed" from their album ROAD OF MANY COLOURS. The Chris Green Project showcased new tracks from a brand new album titled GOLDMINE.
Their nominated song "Beautiful World" is available on UK iTunes

Chris Green Project Setlist: "Which Side Of The Bed", "Because Of You" ##, "Paper Moon"##,"Texas" ##, "Beautiful World"
## New tracks from a brand new album titled GOLDMINE (out Sept 7) available from their Music Page

Chris Green Project websites:

Listen to edited highlights of the Chris Green Project’s UKCR 6th Party performance here:

The Ray Peters Band - 2013 Listeners' Club Finalist

About: The Ray Peters Band sees lead singer Ray team up with Shaun Murray on guitar, mandolin and backing vocals and Phil Bennett on fiddle, mandolin and backing vocals.
Ray Peters hails from the Isle of Sheppey. Phil Bennett is from Rochester Kent and Shaun Murray is from Rainham, Kent.
Ray has played many genres of music but realised back in the late 90’s that he really liked country music and bluegrass.
He set out to get a country band together and, after many attempts, formed the Ray Peters Band. Shaun and Ray first met in 2000 they have played together on and off through those years. Ray was introduced to Phil in August 2009 by Shaun and they started rehearsing the band.
The momentum really gathered in 2010 and they now travel far and wide across the UK.
Ray has two new albums - an eleven-track solo album called SOMETHING DIFFERENT and a 16-track album with the band called SINGIN’ PICKIN FIDDLIN.
Both include their UKCR nominated track "The Goodbye Song" which was written by Ray so that the band could play it at the end of their shows to say goodbye to old and new friends at the clubs they play at.
The self penned “Goodbye Song” was included on the promotional Hotdisc #155 (Nov 2011 - Rush Released). The track is voted on by DJs from all over Europe and further afield, but not America. It made a #7 Hotdisc Top 40 and #3 debut on the British & Irish chart on the chart of Nov 6, 2011 with a #4 and #2 peak on Dec 4, 2011 chart 
You can watch a performance on >> YouTube
Find them on Facebook

The Ray Peters Band were unable to attend the UKCR 6th Party as they were playing a gig in Southampton.
Listen to a clip of their nominated song and a short live phone interview with UKCR presenter Martyn Williams:

Thorne Hill - 2013 Listeners' Club Finalist

About: Thorne Hill spent 10 years touring worldwide then decided it was time to plant his feet firmly on British soil and follow his lifelong passion, country Music!
He joined one of the UK’s top live country bands ARIZONA STORM in April 2009.  He leads the band through a set featuring a rich mix of timeless classics and contemporary songs from many of the major US artists.
 Hill is already well established as a professional session singer and is an exciting newcomer to the country music circuit.
Thorne has been described by Country Routes magazine as "One of the finest vocalists heard in UK country". He continues to perform with Arizona Storm, one of the UK's top live country bands and Thorne has teamed up with producer/songwriter Andrew Kay and some of the world's finest session musicians for the first single release from his forthcoming debut album.

"Help Me Find The Strength", a contradiction in terms, with an upbeat rhythm but lyrically downbeat, is available to download worldwide via iTunes, Spotify, eMusic and all the other major download sites. The music video will also be available on iTunes. It was released as a single on the promotional Hotdisc #166 (Oct 2012) making a #24 Hotdisc Top 40 and #8 debut on the British & Irish chart Oct 7, 2012 it peaked at #10 peak and #2 on the British charts of Nov 4, 2012 and was blocked of a No.1 slot by “How's The World Treating You" from Paula Macaskill / Keith Macleod.

Carolann B presenter and "Yorkshire's first Lady of Country Music" introduced Thorne Hill to the Yew Lodge Hotel stage. Join Carolann Ladies Night on the third Friday of each month at 8pm, repeated the next day at 5pm - UKCR Showpage 

Before presenting Thorne Hill with his certificate for his UKCR nominated song “Help Me Fin The Strength” Carolann paid tribute to Brit Country music circuit saying: “This evening we have been entertained by some fantastic songs both written in the UK and in the US but ladies and gentlemen I think that the talent we have on our shows far surpasses anyone else that we have anywhere in the world. We’ve got some fantastic British songwriters, they’re in this room tonight and it proves that they are the best because they have got to the top of the tree in this years Listeners Club Award 6th Party
It was not Thorne's plan to  exclusively showcase "Help Me Find The Strength" at the 5th Party in 2012 and then return in 2013 - "It was a pleasant surprise" he shared. The song written by Yorkshire man Andrew Kay, who now works in Dubai, can be viewed on >> YouTube
Thorne is working on a new project of his own creation working with an "amazing producer" to suit both him and the current commercial market. Dedicated fans left messages of support from around the world including the Philippines and Maryanne in Sunny Fort Myers Florida, USA! .
Once again Thorne showcased brand new original material, this year from TOMORROW, the "much anticipated" debut EP which finds him teaming up with producer Christopher Barn. 

Thorne Hill Setlist: "Watching You" (Rodney Atkins cover) "Tomorrow" ##, "Graveyard Shift" ##, "Help Me Find The Strength"
## From forthcoming 5 track EP TOMORROW available for pre-order on UK iTunes Nov 3, 2013 -

Thorne Hill websites:

Listen to edited highlights of the Thorne Hills best bits at the UKCR 6th Party performance here:

Ashley Robertson – Special Guest

Ashley Robertson Canadian born singer-songwriter and Nashville based artist is a two time winner of European CMA Vocalist of the Year. She was on a UK tour which started off in Hammersmith in London at The Regal Room (Read review) , on September 6th where she started her set by inviting UK singer-songwriters Rachel Button and Fiona Culley to join her on stage for the song "Heatwave", written by all three – See Flyer Image.
Attending UKCR's 6th Birthday Party as a very special guest Ashley showcased this song along with 3 tracks from her latest album START AGAIN and a couple from 2008 set WOMAN IN THE WHITE DRESS, plus some well known covers from her favourite and inspirational female artists  
Her song “Woman in the White Dress”, a favourite of mine, written by Ashley, became part of the soundtrack for the Sundance Institute film “Compliance”, handpicked by director Craig Zobel. The film debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and got picked up by Magnolia Pictures for wide release. 
Ashley not only possesses a lovely spoken voice but a sweet and beautiful fragile vocal. I’m sure she will have won over new fans both at the event in Derby and those listening online.

Ashley Robertson Setlist: "Start Again" #, "Finished With You" (single) # *, "When You Go to Sleep"##, "Woman in the White Dress" ##, "Lay With You" #, "Heatwave", "Still The One" (Shania Twain cover), "The Lucky One" (Alison Krauss cover) , "White Liar" (Miranda Lambert cover)  
# From August 1,  2012 release START AGAIN Amazon UKUK iTunes  
## From her October 3, 2008 album WOMAN in the WHITE DRESS - UK iTunes

Ashley Robertson websites:

Listen to edited highlights of the Ashley’s lovely UKCR 6th Party performance here:

Listeners' Club Award Winner 2013 Announced

UKCR presenter Will "Big Dawg" Downie (Saturday from 6pm UKCR Interactive Show) introduced Wayne to stage, the winner from the 5th Birthday Party in 2012, to find out who the winner was for 2013. Wayne didn't have his reading glasses with him on to relate to the audience who the 2013 champ was but he humorously discovered it was himself to land back to back victories!
Wayne presented with his trophy - Photo

Press: News Shopper article
Wayne Jacobs UKCR Listeners Club Winner 2013 with
UKCR Station head supremo Mr.Allan Watkiss!

Watch "I Want My Daddy" performed live at UK Country Awards 
ceremony on >> Facebook

**  Buy this year's winning song "I Want My Daddy" on UK iTunes and Amazon UK   **

Listen to Wayne Jacobs UKCR 6th Party presentation here:

Annie Duggan Band – Special Guests (introduced by UKCR station head Allan Watkiss)

About: Blurb: For the past 10 years Ann Duggan has slowly but surely been building a sizeable following on the U.K music scene. It would be true to say that it wasn’t until her early twenties that Ann ever considered a career in music.
In fact until then, she hadn’t even sung in the bath, much less performed in public, but a chance meeting with Norfolk based songwriter Colin Granger was to change the course of her life. Having been persuaded to road test some of his songs with him in local folk clubs and festivals she embarked on a journey from which there was to be no looking back.
Annie has established herself as one of the most distinctive voices on the UK live circuit, gigging extensively throughout the country to increasingly enthusiastic crowds. Ann’s voice has taken her from the East Midlands to Chicago and the Mississippi. Along the way she has formed her own band and recorded 4 celebrated albums.

Some of those present at UKCR 6th Party had come from far afield including Boston Massachusetts, Michigan U.S and a couple from Winnepeg Canada and the Annie Duggan band had made huge efforts to get there from 2 junctions down the M1 motorway!
The Annie Duggan Band were finalists at UKCR's Listeners’ Club Award Fourth Birthday Party on September 17th 2011 which was won by Rita B.
Annie might have been “Full of puddin'”, but she and her 6th Birthday party meal had settled nicely into her country stride with her Annie twist-country-style she described as coming from a journey “via blues, folk and jazz genres
With current band members, that includes Rob Hines (guitars), Rich Paling (bass) and Paul 'Slim' Williams (drums) Annie is able to perform with various line ups to suit any venue or show style.
Allan Watkiss welcomed her and the band to the Derby stage saying "its time to crank this party up...every time they perform for us they are fantastic"
Kicking off with "Shooter's Last Ride" from the album IF I KNEW THEN she followed up with a cover of Lucinda Williams "Passionate Kisses" and as Babestation TV awaited for some of us Annie and her band kept the ukcountryradio Party crowd "entertained" into the late night and early hours.
Find them on Facebook, Watch their video of  “Cold Hearted Lover”  - ARTIST WEBSITE

Listen to a flavour of the Annie Duggan Band experience! Tweets:

Will Downie @BigDawgUK Well done @waynejacobs777 second year in a row winner if @ukcountryradio #listenersclubaward
Thorne Hill @Thorne_Hill Having a blast @ukcountryradio Awards!!
Thorne Hill @Thorne_Hill @waynejacobs777: Wayne jacobs 2013 listeners club winner 2013” Well done Wayne!!!

Ashley Robertson @RobertsonAshley All dressed up for the UKCountryRadio party! Photo

Congratulations to all the Finalists and to the Winner of the UKCR Listeners Club Award 2013 Wayne Jacobs. 
Could this second successive win be the "ladder" to stardom for Jacobs!

Happy 6th Birthday! We Love Ya!

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