Thursday, 13 August 2015

British Country Music Awards 2015 Nominees

BCMAwards Nominees (2015)

Updated Mon Aug 17, 2015

The 2015 British Country Music Awards (BCMAwards) Nominees have been announced.
We take a look at:
a) The nominees b) Offer an opinion on the voting criteria
c) Share artist social media reactions and 
d) Shine the spotlight on Horizon award newbies Katy Hurt and Toria Lynn.

BCMAwards Nominees
The 9th BCMAwards show has been rebranded and is now known as the Ascot Lawyers British Country Music Awards.

The nominees for awards were announced on Tues 11th August 2015 initallly via Twitter and Facebook then BCMAwards website.

The winners will be presented with a trophy at the Awards Show on Sunday October 25th 2015.

Headlining the show, all the way from Nashville, is Branch & Dean who will be performing along with Raintown, Honey Ryder, Richard Palmer, Luke & Mel, Laura Oakes, Beau Fuller and more.
The 2015 inductees (or their representatives) will be presented with a certificate and invited to become members of the British

Country Music Hall of Fame at the Awards Show.
They are Lloyd Coles (DJ and radio presenter from Wales); Jackie Storrar (TV and radio presenter from Scotland); Stu Page (Country artist from England).

The BCMAwards stated (See Facebook – Up Country Magazine Press Release)
The general concensus amongst the committee was that the award categories should be shared between the club acts and the aspiring young hopefuls who ply their trade in theatres and honky tonk style venues around the UK as well as on the international stage.
The 2015 nominees were chosen by popular votes via the British Country Music Awards website and via the Country music press. The deadline for voting was July 31st.
** NOTE ** The final voting to decide the winners in each category will be by industry professionals.
The show, to be held at the Concorde Suite, Crane Lodge Road, Heathrow, London, is to be held at the earlier date of Sunday October 25th, 2015.

The BCMAward 2015 Nominees are:

Club Awards

Solo Act:
Jim Worton; Donna Wylde; Darren Busby; Chris Mezza; Bob Keeley.

Dance Act:
Glenn Rogers; Paul Bailey; Alan Gregory; Natalie Thurlow; Richard Palmer.

Act of the Year:
Henry Smith Band; The Thrillbillies; Gary Perkins & The Breeze; 
John Permenter Band; Texas Tornados

Festival of the Year:
Kelso Festival; Rock Ridge Festival; Northern Nashville Festival; 
Quickdraw Festival; Broken Spoke Festival

General Country Awards:
Entertainer of the Year:
The Shires, Ward Thomas, Nathan Carter, Raymond Froggatt, Raintown

Group of the Year:
Dexeter, Raintown, Honey Ryder Band, Henry Smith Band, Gary Quinn Band

Male Vocalist of the Year:
Richard Palmer; Gary Perkins; Ben Earle (The Shires); Nathan Carter; Alan West

Female Vocalist of the Year:
Laura Oakes; Claire McArthur-Bain (Raintown); Sasha McVeigh; 
Crissie Rhodes (The Shires); Carolynne Poole

Duo of the Year:
Ward Thomas, The Shires, Luke and Mel, West & Black, Raintown

Musician of the Year:
Lee Guyler, Justin Johnson, John Permenter, Iain Bradshaw, Andy Kingston

Horizon Act of the Year:
Katy Hurt (S-Songwriter), Toria Lynn, Emma Swindells, The Rising, Outlander

UK Song of the Year:
Luke & Mel (Something About A Woman); The Shires (Made In England);
Honey Ryder (Born In A Bottle); Laura Oakes (Snakes And Ladders); 
Carolynne Poole (I Love You But Shut Up)

UK Album of the Year:
The Shires (Brave); Chris Raddings (Coming Out Of The Shadows); 
Honey Ryder (Born In A Bottle); Sasha McVeigh (I Stand Alone); 
Alan West (All Things For A Reason).

International Song of the Year:
Toby Keith (35 Mph); Brandy Clark (Stripes); Little Big Town (Girl Crush); 
Miranda Lambert (Little Red Wagon), Darius Rucker (Homegrown Honey)

International Album of the Year:
Striking Matches (NOTHING BUT THE SILENCE); 
Lee Ann Womack (THE WAY I'M LIVIN'); Reba McEntire (LOVE SOMEBODY); 
Brandy Clark (12 STORIES); Darius Rucker (SOUTHERN STYLE)

International Act of the Year:
Luke Bryan, Striking Matches, Brandy Clark, Lee Ann Womack, Darius Rucker

Hall of Fame inductees:
Lloyd Coles, Jackie Storrar, Stu Page

Show tickets, at £20 per person, are now on sale via the Secretary, 74 Green Lane, Lofthouse, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF3 3QH.
Tel: 0113 282 0614 or via the website at

On Saturday August 15, 2015 Keith Greentree on BBC Radio Norfolk (“Rodeo Norfolk”, Sat 9am – 12, BBC Page) read from a press release and announced some of this years nominees and he also stated that the 2015 BCMAwards included "part fan and part industry voting for the very first time" Listen below:


BBC Radio Essex “Big Country Show” country presenter (BBC Page)/ country artist Steve Cherelle has confirmed he will again compère at the awards and lovely West Australian singer-songwriter Caddy Cooper whose musical style is described as being a mix of blues, country and folk will co-host. “This will be a fab nightshared Cherelle.

Caddy tweeted ‏@CaddyCooper Great news gang!! It's official! I'll be joining @SteveCherelle as we co-host this year's…

Leading the way with six BCMAward 2015 nominations are The Shires (Ben Earle & Crissie Rhodes) getting nods for Entertainer, Duo, Male & Female Vocalist, Album and Song of the Year. 
THE SHIRES: Crissie Rhodes (L)
& Ben Earle (R)

Last year they won the Horizon Act but the spear-heading Country/Pop hot duo have gone on to far greater achievements and are UK’s biggest country selling act by a country mile of any worldwide country artist so far in 2015 (Over 52,000 copies sold of album BRAVE since its March release). 

They have played numerous major festivals, BBC Radio 2 have playlisted many of their songs, they made 5 National TV appearances and made their Grand Ole Opry debut in Nashville in June 2015 during the CMA Festival activities.

The 2014 BCMAward Entertainer of the Year winners, husband & wife Glasgow act Raintown have received four nominations in 2015, again in the Entertainer, Duo, Group and Female Vocalist categories the latter was won in 2014 by Claire McArthur-Bain (Raintown). On what has been a fairly quiet year in terms of the number of gigs and headline events they have played will see their sophomore album WRITING ON THE WALL released in September. This crowd-funded album via Pledge was launched in November 2014 and it will mark their first album in over 5 years! They support the album release with 5 headline tour dates in October supported by Group of the Year nominees Dexeter and other UK acts. 

The gorgeous 35-year Shania-esque Carolynne Poole received her first nominations snagging two for Female Vocalist and her BBC Radio 2 “C” playlisted single “I Love You But Shut Up” gets a nom for UK Song! 

The "Little bit Country..A little bit Rock n Roll" Leeds singer-songwriter and former 2012 X Factor contestant has also just released another single to radio titled "Standing on Top of the World" getting airplay support from Sir Terry Wogan.

Folk/Rock turned “country” outfit Honey Ryder Band receive their first BCMaward nominations bagging three for Group, UK Song (Born In A Bottle) and UK Album of the Year (Born In A Bottle). 
“Drink With Me” will be the first single from the album. "We wanted to write a summery feel good song about hanging out with friends and partying, inspired by the bright lights of Downtown Nashville", explained lead singer Lindsay O'Mahony. "We had just come back to our hotel after a fantastic night at a bar called Pucketts, where we feasted on deep fried green beans and drank beer out of jam jars, and felt inspired to write, so we started jamming and within a few hours the song was pretty much finished. We then recorded it a few days later over at Ocean Way".
Honey Ryder’s sophomore POP album MARLEY'S CHAINS was a big hit on BBC Radio 2 and achieved album of the weeks on the likes of Smooth Radio and Music Week. With hits such as 'Fly Away' and 'Marley Chains' the album received huge support all over the world, and 'Born In A Bottle' is apparently sure to share the same success.
Honey Ryder Live Dates:
Sep 03 The Earl Grey Inn, Leek
Sep 05 Weyfest, Farnham
Oct 18 Fort San Antone Festival, Preston
Oct 25 British Country Music Awards

Ward Thomas who were sadly mostly overlooked by the BCMAward panel in 2014 being just solely nominated for album of the year (FROM WHERE WE STAND), which they won, have this time received two nods in for Entertainer and Duo. Their new single “Guest List” is currently on the BBC Radio 2 “A” playlist.
Watch this fun Facebook video of Ward Thomas in The Chris Evans Breakfast Show studio in a Friday morn good old sing-a-long!

Last years Duo of the Year winners Luke & Mel have again been nominated in the category with an additional nod for UK Song of the Year for their standout track “Something About A Woman” which they performed live last year:

Sasha McVeigh who has shared and graced the stage with some of the biggest names in country music at major festivals in America this summer deservedly gets her first two nominations for UK Female Vocalist and Album of the Year (I STAND ALONE; 12 Tracks (CMP June 2015; 4 Stars) CD - UK iTunes)

Other BCMAward newbie nominees include Laura Oakes Female Vocalist / Song of the Year (Snakes And Ladders) and Northants/ Leicestershire based Dexeter (Group of the Year). Five new names made the The Horizon Act of the Year nominee listing Katy Hurt (Singer/Songwriter), Toria Lynn, Emma Swindells (Wolverhampton singer), The Rising and Outlander (who received rave reviews at the Wolvestock Festival)

Country Routes Blog Reaction & Observations
The Good, the Bad and the Baffling

1) We congratulate Ascot Lawyers for their exclusive sponsorship (Find them: WEBSITE - FACEBOOK ).

2) We notice that several categories are missing compared to 2014. 
There are NO awards this year for:   
Irish Act of the Year, Radio Act of the Year, European Act of the Year, International Services to Industry, People’s Choice or Hotdisc.

3) The BCMAwards stated that “2015 nominees were chosen by popular votes via the British Country Music Awards website and via the Country music press. Visiting the British Country Music Awards website several times we found no means to vote online and reading the most popular UK publication Country Music People saw NO enclosed voting forms. Did we somehow miss the voting window? Following numerous Brit country acts on social media we have yet to find any artist evidence or feedback that alerted their fanbase to vote for a BCMA nomination. Fans can also not campaign by submitting their "For Your Consideration" to the "industry professionals". 
CMA Award winning Broadcaster and CMR Nashville CEO Lee Williams is still as we understand  the current BCMAward President but do not know who or how many others are involved in determining the outcome?
We are also surprised that a different UK Song of the Year for The Shires rather than "Made In England" wasn’t the top voted choice? (Note: Nashville Grey Skies was nominated but didn’t win in 2014)
We reached out to w21Music who designed the BCMAwards website and we’re told: The Club Awards were voted in the magazines as far as I'm aware, there was no online voting.

A few years ago The BCMAwards committee was believed (but could not be confirmed) to consist of an all male self appointed panel of six: Lee Williams, Malc T. Allan (chairman of British Country Music Hall of Fame), Rob Davis (Publisher & Editor; Up Country and Cross Country magazines), Roger Wild (Copper Kettle Promotions), Les Evans (NAM agency) and Jim Duncan (Wolvestock Festival promoter/ WCR FM 101.8 (Wolverhampton Community Radio) Country presenter). If anyone knows just how many and who the 2015 "industry professionals" are who will determine the winners we would appreciate the information and up date this page.

4) We feel that a similar method to the America’s Country Music Awards (CMA's) should be adopted by the BCMAwards committee in having an eligibility period such as June 2014 - June 2015. Brandy Clark's album 12 STORIES was our favourite one in 2013 (released Oct 2013) and the single “Stripes” came out earlier that year. Yet now it gets 2 noms in 2015. On the other hand only PledgeMusic funders and magazine reviewers will have heard the new Honey Ryder album (Born In A Bottle). Its only just been reviewed in August’s Country Music People and it’s still not available for purchase or pre-order online yet it has managed to get both an Album and Song nominations.

5) We are a bit baffled as to how UK acts can receive doth Duo and Band/Group nominations. The Voting criteria is much looser than the CMAs. Eg Superstar acts Florida Georgia Line can only get noms for Duo and not Group and visa versa for Lady Antebellum.  
A duo should be clearly defined as: An act composed of two (2) named people, both of whom normally perform together and neither of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist. The Award therefore  based on the musical performance of the duo as a unit on an album.
A group should be clearly defined as: An act, composed of three (3) named or more people, all of whom normally perform together and none of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist.
Raintown receive nominations in both categories though their frequent hired guitar player Stevie Lawrence is not an official member and nor is their doggie Bella (Westie) who is much loved by Raintown’s Facebook fans but might of won a BCMA Social Media Personality of the Year if there had been one, such is her popularity!! 
Their pal Gary Quinn known as a Irish solo singer-songwriter has got a nod in the Group section.

BCMAward 2015 Horizon Act 
New To You Spotlight Features

Katy Hurt
She is a completely new name to us so we found out more!

KT - Katy Hurt @KT_Hurt13 tweeted A huge thank you to the @BCMAwards for the nomination of New Horizon Act & @W21Music for your incredible support  #ukcountrymusic

Country Pop/ Country Rock Windlesham native Katy Hurt is a pretty 18-year old London born singer-songwriter but grew up between there and New York, listening to a variety of music from heavy rock to country; Arabic to Spanish.
Katy Hurt (BCMAward Horizon Nominee)
She was strongly influenced by the old 50s and 60s country classics, but enjoys contemporary superstars like Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert.
Music started to get serious for her when, at the age of 13, she had the pleasure of spending time in Memphis and whilst at Sun Studios got the chance to record a cover version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”; in the same place where Elvis recorded his first hits.

Next stop for her was Nashville where she spent many hours knocking on doors in the hope that a record company would take a demo.
She has spent time working with producer Martin Smith at Mu Music, The Laundry Rooms in Sheffield.

They recorded several songs including Katy's first POP single ‘Wait For You’ (2013 Mu Recordings; >> Listen soundcloud - Spotify), which was released on June 4, 2013 on iTunes, 4 days after her 16th birthday.

In 2014 she visited the Sunshine Corner Studios with producer Smiley, to work on ar 4 track EP BLUE SNAKE which dropped on UK iTunes on June 23, 2014 including songs "Just a Little", "Devil's Intuition", "Valentine" and "Blue Snake". She described the EP as very personal to her penning songs that captured experiences of places, people and reflective feelings.

She finished her A Levels during summer of 2015 with plans to head back into the studio to record some new material with the support & help of ACM/ Metropolis Studios, London.
Watch her sing >> "Holding On To You" (Miranda Lambert cover, written by Lambert, Jessi Alexander and Ashley Monroe; Album: Platinum) to a backing track at Magna Carta 800 in Egham, Surrey (published June 13, 2015; 200+ views)
Check out her Photo Gallery

Listen to Katy's music:
Sounds Like (Reverbnation): Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jana Kramer?

In this 2014 BCMwards photo Katy is seen with 2015 Musician of the Year nominee Justin Johnson the producer/ drummer, a native of the Pacific Northwest in America ( produced BCMAward 2013/ 2014 winners RAINTOWN’s Pledge funded album at Parr Street Studios.  (Coldplay, John Mayer) in Liverpool, was by sheer coincidence on hand to present the award!
CONNECT with Katy Hurt:
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Toria Lynn

With her heart set on the sounds of Nashville, Toria Lynn is a young female Country/Pop artist whose smooth vocal runs and country twangs are making a presence in the UK, and have gained attention from fans far and wide.
The lovely Toria Lynn

Hailing from Wigan, a small town west of Manchester, Toria spent her days listening to her idols such as LeAnn Rimes and Faith Hill and her current favourite is Miranda Lambert.

According to the website Blurb: She enjoyed line dancing (introduced to her by her Mum) in her local club. However, her passion for country music quickly soared from singing into her hairbrush to singing in national competitions.

Her passion and drive for music saw her venture on numerous projects throughout her teens, from performing in the West-End, to travelling to LA. Her performane with her band saw her win the OPEN MIC UK finals in Manchester, against an ever growing pop industry. Speaking about her performance, Toria expressed "This is just the start, there is so much more to what I can do".
Determined to be seen as more than a performer, Toria began to pen her first EP, with her first song “Country Came Country Did” being a message to show that anybody can do what they set their mind to, and she certainly did. With her growing confidence and fan base, Toria is found performing in clubs and festivals around the UK. In pursuit of happiness and with a voice described as “a young Joan Baez”, Toria is establishing herself well on the UK Country scene.
Her self-penned COUNTRY CAME COUNTRY DID EP, produced by Sugar House Music by Adrian Hall (Producer/Songwriter/Musician), was released on Nov 28, 2014, with a pending album slated to follow.
Her debut track ‘Told You So’ released Dec 5, 2015 has aired on BBC Lancashire and BBC Manchester and is available as a digital download from Amazon UK (MP3 Bestsellers Rank: #860,874) and UK iTunes Listen on Spotify
W21 Music wrote: "Country Came Country Did" is the amazing, debut EP from Toria Lynn, We love this EP so much and it really showcases her fantastic vocal range and songwriting ability.  Her first single off the EP "Told You So" will launch Toria into 2015 with a bang.  She's one to watch for sure, we love her”.
Check out the story behind her music, with live versions of the EP! >> YouTube
The Full EP is still only available at

Apparently she has growing interest from management both in London and Nashville. After performing at country clubs and festivals over the last year, Toria and her band are excited to venture further, and the Country to Country festival would be the perfect opportunity to perform to what she calls ‘the extended country family’.

Watch Toria Lynn and former BCMAward winner Gary Quinn perform a Randy Travis cover duet of “I ToldYou So” at Saint Josephs Hall, Mather Lane, LEIGH
One to Watch in 2015? Follow her on her next chapter
“You can tell why she's going to be successful ... like Scarlett from Nashville, it's gonna happen , you're get right to the top!” (Joe Wilson, BBC Radio Lancashire)
Listen to her interview with Joe Wilson on BBC Radio Lancashire first broadcast on Dec 12, 2014.

Toria recently supported BCMAward Group of the Year nominees Dexeter at Fort San Antone in Preston
On Sat Aug 22, 2015 she will support US/ UK touring W21 artists Sarabeth & Glen Mitchell at Gullivers in Manchester and plays the Wigan Live Festival on 28/29th of August. 
She was delighted to announce an event in collaboration with W21Music when Toria will appear along with Katy Hurt, Narn, Kim Tink, Hayley Ryan and Emma Moore. It will take place at Gullivers, MANCHESTER (109 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LW) on Sat 10th October, 2015  described as "a Night of Amazing Country Music featuring 6 of the UK's Finest Female Country Singer/Songwriters in an Intimate Setting" Tickets just £5.50 online purchase HERE
CONNECT with Toria Lynn:
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Discover & Explore with our 18 track BCMAward 2015 SPOTIFY Playlist

Social Media BCMAward 2015 Reactions

Pete Woodhouse the W21Music Owner and Founder "The Home of UK Country Music"/ Web developer posted and tweeted: Woooooooo Luke and Mel have been Nominated for Duo of the Year at the BCMAwards, 2 Years in a Row?? We Hope So

BCMAwards Nominees: Facebook Announcement

Wolvestock posted: Congratulations to Donna Wylde BCMA nomination on Solo Act of year Twice winner of Female Vocalist of Year at BCMA + posted Congratulations to Outlander - Band Page and Emma Swindells Nominated Horizon Act of the Year:BCMA 2015

The Shires posted: We have been nominated for 6 @BCMAwards. 6!!! Thank you so so much. Can't wait for the awards show!

Emma Swindells posted: I have been so blessed this year with playing at C2C, performing a variety of live shows and festivals, radio interviews and now a BCMA nomination. There are so many people I want to thank, if I have not said it enough before I am so thankful for all the support/ time and energy people have invested and for every like and comment. It is much appreciated.
A special thank you to; Pete Woodhouse, Paul Quinton, Charlotte Board, Ken Meakin, Jim Duncan, Ash Cooper Band for supporting me from the outset , Dan Schofield and Andy Watson for their amazing pictures and to all the radio DJs who have been playing my music. Last but not least to my new band mates- Rich, Joe and Laura

Laura Oakes posted: Oh my gosh, I have some news! I woke up to find out that I have been nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year at the British Country Music Awards!! Thank you soooo much to the BCMA's!  Amazing to see so many good friends nominated too!!  See you on October 25th!!!

Luke & Mel posted We just got word that we have been nominated for TWO BCMAwards this year! Duo of the Year and Song of the Year for 'Somethin About a Woman!! Thanks so much to everyone who continues to support us, we love you! L&M x

Outlander Band posted: We are exceptionally proud to announce that we have been nominated for the Horizon Act of the Year at the BCMAwards! To be considered for this award is an honour, and we would like to thank everyone so much for all of your help and support this year, and for making this possible!

Brandy Clark's team posted: Congrats to Brandy on her first ever British Country Music Awards! "Stripes" has been nominated for International Song of the Year, "12 Stories" has been nominated for International Album of the Year and Brandy has been nominated for International Act of the Year! The Awards will be held Oct 25, 2015 in London.

Striking Matches posted: We are BEYOND honored to be nominated for TWO British Country Music awards!! And along with such incredible company!!Wow. We're about speechless! THANK YOU to our incredible fans in the UK, and the BCMAs!! ‪#‎honored


Tweet: @BCMAwards #BCMAwards

Ward Thomas tweeted @wardthomasmusic Just sound checked checked here at Snape Maltings and found out we have been nominated for Two BCMA awards! Eeek!!!

The Shires tweeted @theshiresuk We have been nominated for 6 @BCMAwards. 6!!! Thank you so so much. Can't wait for the awards show!

Acoustic Journey tweeted @AcousticJourney Right that's tickets and hotel booked for the BCMAwards! Time to celebrate this raft of UK talent in October!
Acoustic Journey tweeted @AcousticJourney Congratulations to all the BCMAwards nominees! See you there on the night!

Gary Quinn @GaryQuinnMusic retweeted BCMAwards Thanks to The BCMAwards for including The #GQBand in the #GroupOfTheYear nominations. Good luck to all nominees! 

Laura Oakes tweeted: Oh my gosh, I have some news! I woke up to find out that I have been nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year at the British Country Music Awards!! Thank you soooo much to the BCMA's!
Amazing to see so many good friends nominated too!! See you on October 25th!!!

Toria Lynn tweeted @ToriaLynnMusic Incredibly honoured to have been nominated for Horizon Act at the @BCMAwards ! Well done to everyone who got nominated!

The Rising tweeted @TheRisingMusic We are honoured to have been nominated for the 'Horizon Award' at this years @BCMAwards Thanks for the recognition guys.

US duo Striking Matches tweeted @strikingmatches strikingmatches retweeted BCMAwards AND this!! So awesome!!

w21Music tweeted @W21Music Woooooooo Luke and Mel have been Nominated for Duo of the Year at the BCMAwards, 2 Years in a Row?? We Hope So

CEI Events tweeted in March @CEIEvents SO EXCITED to be an official sponsor at this years #BCMAwards #ukcmchat
CEI Events (website) are a UK Country Music Event co-ordinator & artist promoter who work with UK, USA & Canadian artists. IEWP qualified and also a member of the CMA.

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