Monday, 19 September 2016 Listeners Awards - 9th Party

Glaswegian duo Raintown take home the prestigious award for
 ‘UK Country Artist Of The Year’ & snag ‘UK Country Album Of The Year’.
Wayne Jacobs wins the Listeners’ Club Song Award 
for the 5th year running!

In Brief: 9th Birthday Party and Award WINNERS
UK Country Artist Of The Year: Raintown
UK Country Album Of The Year: WRITING ON THE WALL - Raintown
UK Female Country Singer Of The Year: Zenne
UK Male Country Singer Of The Year: Thorne Hill
UK Country Duo Of The Year: Holloway Road
UK Country Group Of The Year: Gary Perkins & The Breeze

Listeners’ Club Song Award: Paws Of War - Wayne Jacobs

UK Internet Radio Station celebrated their 9th Birthday Party and Awards on Saturday 3rd September 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel (Website), East Midlands Airport. whose claim and unmissable slogan is they play "The Hottest Country Music for the UK, 24 hours a day", stated they enjoyed a fabulous night lined up with a three-course dinner, live performances from Blue Genes, Steve Young, Thorne Hill, Wayne Jacobs, This Is Country, Jacqui Sharkey, Grand Prairie and Gary Perkins & The Breeze, and the presentation of The UK Country Music Awards, celebrating the best in UK Country Music.
It was broadcast live on Nutty Norah kicked off their live coverage on Sat Sept 3rd from the Radisson Blu at 5pm, with DJ Martyn Williams guiding radio listeners through the event itself from 7pm.
A two-hour highlights show scheduled for the end of the month. It will be broadcast on Friday 30th September at 7pm and Saturday 1st October at 4pm.

* Triple UK Country Music Awards finalist Thorne Hill performed an acoustic set on the night. It marked his third time performing at's annual event
* Irish singer Jacqui Sharkey performed a set with a full band. This was an addition to performing her song "Take Me To Paris" which is one of the finalists for’s Listeners' Club Song Award.
* Listeners' Club Song Award Finalists This Is Country and Wayne Jacobs performed their nominated songs "Blonde Whiskey Drinker" and "Paws Of War" respectively.
* UK Country Group Of The Year Finalists Blue Genes (Megan Erica Lee (12yr old; born in 2003), Stephen Shaun Lee (father), Kay Louise Lee  (Mother) See Blog Feature) performed a special set in the hotel's reception ahead of the main ceremony.
They joined previously-announced performers The Danny Lee Band, Grand Prairie, Steve Young and Gary Perkins & The Breeze at what was promised by as their “best Birthday Party And Awards ever”.

WE LOVE LUCY: All glam up and ready to co-host
Lucy Zirins Video EPK - 2016 >> YouTube

As the Internet station celebrated the “best in UK country music”, feasting on a three-course celebratory dinner, and blowing out the candles on their 9th birthday cake, Allan Watkiss CEO of hosted the show along with frequent awards attendee and lovely Burnley native, UK singer-songwriter Lucy Zirins (aka We Love Lucy). The 23-year old (?) combines a mix of original material with blues, soul, folk and gospel numbers in her set with influences drawn from country and jazz (See UKCR 2014 Blog).

1) Voting for all of the Awards were open to everyone until midnight on 31st May.
2) Based on the number of votes, five finalists were identified in each category, with the exception of the UK Country Artist Of The Year category in which ten finalists were identified.
3) The finalists were voted on by a panel made up of's presenters and staff together with people who have held a Gold, Silver or Bronze subscription to since before January 1st 2016.
4) You could only vote once.
The finalists for all seven Awards were announced in a special programme at 12 noon on Sunday 12th June, presented by Charlie Brown. Those finalists went on to a second vote
** NOTE ** Once the finalists had been determined you could ONLY vote for the nominees if you are a Gold, Silver and Bronze Subscriber. To subscribe to it costs £2, £5 or £10 per month via Paypal.

Full voting rights will apply for the Awards for the year AFTER you start your Subscription. For example, if you Subscribe during 2016, you have full voting rights in the 2017 Awards. 9th Birthday Party and Awards Nominees & Award Winners 2016

UK Country Artist Of The Year, for an Artist who has demonstrated outstanding achievement during the last year.
Brian Gibson, Chloe Chadwick, Haley Ryan, Jade Helliwell, Paris Georgia, Paul Carella, Raintown * WINNER *, Sarah Lucy Dole, This Is Country, Thorne Hill, Zenne
Raintown’s second 2nd win in category

UK Country Album Of The Year:
BRAVE - The Shires, I STAND ALONE - Sasha McVeigh, NO MORE HOLDING BACK - Thorne Hill, ONE STEP AT A TIME - Hazel Cumming, SECRETS - Jade Helliwell, WRITING ON THE WALL - Raintown * WINNER *
@ukcountryradio Country Album Of The Year is: Writing On The Wall - Raintown

UK Female Country Singer Of The Year:
Chloe Chadwick, Haley Ryan, Jade Helliwell, Paris Georgia, Zenne * WINNER *

UK Male Country Singer Of The Year:
Brian Gibson, Gary Quinn, Paul Carella, Robbie Cavanagh, Thorne Hill * WINNER * Tweet

UK Country Duo Of The Year:
Holloway Road * WINNER *, Luke & Mel, Raintown, The Shires, This Is Country Tweet

UK Country Group Of The Year:
Acoustic Journey, Ash Cooper Band, Blue Genes, Dexeter, Gary Perkins & The Breeze * WINNER *

Listeners’ Club Song Award, for a song promoted through during 2015: **
Blonde Whiskey Drinker - This Is Country, Crash - The Southern Companion, May Day 1916 - Celia Bryce Band, Paws Of War - Wayne Jacobs * WINNER *, Take Me To Paris - Jacqui Sharkey

>> Listen to ALL 9th Birthday Party highlights
14 live performance segments listed using the drop down scroll bar on the right-hand side of the music player. For extended live performance sets scroll below.
PRESS the >> PLAY button and then the SOUND icon and adjust the level with the slider.
Listen to Segments 1, 3, 5, 6 & 8

Segment 1: Allan Watiss & Lucy Zirins

As’s DJ Martyn Williams switched the live broadcast across to the live stage at the Radisson Blu Hotel the station risked losing its worldwide listeners as CEO Allan Watkiss in the opening skit (ala Brad & Carrie) attempted to sing “Happy Birthday” until his co-host Lucy Zirins came to the rescue. This set up the presentation of the 7 awards on the night.

Segment 2: Danny Lee Band perform live

The Danny Lee five-piece band hit the stage with a set which included covers (Eagles: Peaceful Easy Feeling & Take It Easy) and orginals and was described by co-host Lucy Zirins as “absolutely fantastic” 
Listen to their highlights (?) Click PLAY twice:

Danny Lee is a former International Squash Player and Junior County Tennis Champion, but now he devotes much of his time to music. Danny has his own band which plays a unique mix of covers and original songs during each live show.
The band has played at the Edinburgh Festival every year since 2009. You can also see the "Danny Lee Band" at pubs, clubs, festivals and functions throughout the UK.
Danny second album "Fly Drive Dreams" described by as “sensational” was released towards the end of 2012. It featured soothing melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and inspirational musicianship…. Read More

Segment 3: Male Country Singer of the Year Award.

Presented by Staffordshire based singer / songwriter and UK Country Artist Of The Year nominee Haley Ryan (Facebook) saw the first award of the night go to Thorne Hill crowned ‘UK Male Country Singer Of The Year’ following the success of his album NO MORE HOLDING BACK and a number of “superb shows” at the likes of FSA Fest, Buckle and Boots and many more over the summer. stated it was “Fully deserved for one of the stand-out vocalists in UK country”.
Thorne Hill salutes the UKCR crowd

Previously to this Allan Watkiss said on BBC Radio Sheffield there was a lot riding on Thorne’s album with his transition from playing the CMC scene to the singer songwriter UK Brit circuit together with the large investment in recording the album with producer Justin Johnson at Par Street Studios in Liverpool.

UK COUNTRY MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR!!! WHAT? In his fan newsletter Thorne: " So ridiculously overwhelmed to have received my first award of the year. Thank you so much to everyone that voted and for your continued support. UK Country Music is Flying this year and I am loving it."

Thorne is no stranger to the stage, having sung professionally from an early age, enabling him to tour internationally and hone his craft, playing to audiences of a few thousand at a time, as well as a handfuls, at more intimate gatherings. 
His distinctive sound & beautifully crafted harmonies, are testament to Thorne's dedication & love of music. As a consummate professional, this has earned him the respect of the industry's top peers.
Thorne is proud to have showcased his songs (using backing tracks), at the O2 in London at the Country2Country Festival, gathering apparently rave reviews and high praise from the popular press, while earning numerous award nominations and a devoted following.
Country music resonates with Thorne, because it tells stories that evoke emotions and memories, a sensibility that he can relate to as he travels the road of life, finding his own inspiration in new places and the people that he meets along the way.
After hearing the first 5 tracks Throne decided a Debut Album was a no brainer: I hope it makes a mark on the UK Country Scene for me. The fans deserve something awesome and what we have building in terms of artists like Shires, Ward Thomas, Pauper Kings and Raintown to name a few. There is so much more we can do!.

Released 27 Feb 2016
Thorne Hill - No More Holding Back (2015 Thorne Hill)
10 Tracks/ Time: 35:00
Amazon UK - UK iTunes -  
Digipac Artwork 

Thorne Hill's debut album was part funded using the crowd funded Pledge Music platform (See Project) Justin Johnson, a Nashville native guidance has given Thorne Hill a brand new sound! This new EP is going to be like nothing you have heard before!!

Fans were given the opportunity to pre-order Thorne Hill's NO MORE HOLDING BACK and join him on what was slated as an “amazing journey! Enjoy exclusive updates and sneak peeks too”
The time span of the crowd funding was over several months with initially 4% of Goal reached with 135 days remaining
Update: Dec 28, 2015 - 27 Pledgers from Thorne Hill's 1,669 Facebook and 1,828 Twitter followers had raised 62% of the goal! with
60 days left. Then miraculously with one pledge (the 29th) on Jan 18, 2016 it was successfully funded jumping to an over-subscribed 125% of Goal, with 39 days left which still allowed fans to pre-order and support the project.

After the album’s release on 27 Feb 2016 NO MORE HOLDING BACK arrived at #1213 on UK iTunes Album Chart (all genres) and #30 UK iTunes Country albums. It then climbed to #834 UK iTunes (#18 UK iTunes Country) then #612 (#9 UK iTunes Country). As of Sunday Feb 28, 2016 it reached its highest peak at #502 (#6 UK iTunes Country) it then slipped to #20 and by Monday (Feb 29) had fallen to #50. As of Thursday 3 March 2016 it was nowhere to seen on the UK iTunes Country Top 200 album placings
"The UK Country Music scene has been raising the bar over the last couple of years, now that bar has been raised even higher with Thorne Hill's Debut Album. Play this on a road trip and you'll get there faster." 5 STARS Excellent! - Lee Williams, CEO CMR Nashville (President of the British Country Music Awards (BCMAwards)
"...the BEST VOICE I've heard on a Brit stage for more than a decade" - Country Routes Magazine (Print Magazine circa 2013)
"Thorne Hill is a relatively new name to me but I was instantly hooked as soon as I heard his catchy tunes. I count myself as a huge fan and so do many of my listeners.”  - Russell Hill, Express FM
"One of the UK's Top Singers & Writers" - Alan Potter, Tempo FM Radio
"...Very nice voice and beautiful lyrics" - Brian Lewis, Hobart FM

On Sept 11, 2015 the lead-off single “Keep Walking Away” was released on Amazon UK & UK iTunes

Segment 4: Thorne Hill performs a live set.

Back in 2014 Thorne performed at’s 7th Party with Arizona Storm for the night’s finale. It marked Thorne’s last performance with the band and in a bid to go out with a bang and fill party dance floor they threw in some well-known songs by US acts and a few originals. This time round Thorne showcasing his debut album played a stripped back acoustic set featured songs “Catch My Breath”, “Fired Up”, “Fly Before I Drown” and “Open Road”, which drew a “Wow”! from co-host Zirins.
Listen here Click PLAY twice::

Facebook Video: Thorne Hill performs “Fly Before I Drown”:
Find out more using this promo graphic:

iTunes Amazon UK Amazon Homepage Facebook Twitter Image Map

Segment 5: Country Duo of the Year

Triple nominated Finalist and Batley native Jade Helliwell was welcomed to the stage to present the award. The Official video to 'Ask Me To Stay', a song taken from Jade’s upcoming EP 'Forget The Night' has been released produced by Justin Johnson (
In one of the shocks of the night Holloway Road (Jack Cooper and Robert Gulston) beat out BCMAward winners Luke & Mel, hot favourites Raintown, and The Shires heavily promoted by BBC Radio 2.
Essex-based duo Holloway Road’s award came on the back of their “immense progress in 2016”, which has seen them perform at C2C Festival once again, as well as Buckle & Boots where they cranked up the atmosphere in preparation for Raintown’s headlining show. shared: A well-earned award for Jack and Rob who are quickly becoming one of the biggest acts in UK country, consistently impressing crowds with their charisma, energy and stage presence.


(28 March 2016) Holloway Road announce the release of their new EP 'ROOTS' on April 18th

Segment 6: Country Album Of The Year Artist and Female Artist of the Year nominated Paris Georgia was welcomed to the stage. Past blurb has said that the stunning and lovely blonde Paris Georgia (Paris G Tredell) is “simply unforgettable”. Her journey began at the young age of 15 when joining a local talent show. A quote says “we knew the moment that she stood up on stage that we had uncovered something extraordinary”. She released her 5 track EP STRANGER TO YOU on Friday April 17th 2015 on UK iTunes and launched it on the same day at The Tin Music and Arts.  Over the weekend the EP peaked at #2 on the UK Country ITunes Albums chart (#284 overall – See Graphic) even outselling Darius Rucker’s then new album Southern Style!

Previously Album of the Week on Raintown bagged honours for WRITING ON THE WALL (BMB Records UK) first released on 9th Oct 2015 (CD - UK iTunes )

Raintown thanked everyone at awards for naming 'Writing on the Wall' Album of the Year via Facebook (Set volume & play).

The album was produced by Justin Johnson (BCMAward 2015 & 2016 Nominee) at Parr Street Recording in Liverpool.

The much hyped duo comprising Paul Bain and Claire Bain (formerly McArthur) who married in 2014 “launched” a Pledge Music campaign in order to fund the project lighting the fuse the day before Bonfire Night as they set off on a luxury cruise (image) on their honeymoon! Facebook Post : Our home for the next 10 days & we are loving it!

Enjoy themselves in Athens, Cyprus, Rome and Sicilia (tweet) they asked fans (16.6K Facebook Followers) to freely donate and dig deep on an “ambitious campaign” that would be short (40 DAYS) and “not without risks”. 

The project was successfully funded, 116% of target goal raised, by 418 Pledgers which included several presenter and Chris Smith from Country Music People who declared an interest when granting them a glowing 5 STAR Review in the publication:
Chris Smith (Country Music People 5 STARS) ..I must admit as they say in Parlimentary debate declare an interest.. ..the whole package is slick, unpretentious and very professionally delivered – 10 words that also describe this album . Living The Same Old 
Song which in my book is an absolute winner. To be honest none of the tracks are there simply to make the numbers. Every single one has something remarkable about it….Justin Johnstone has managed to capture superb vocal performances from both Paul & Claire and listening to this on a quality sound system you really appreciate the nuances in Billy Decker’s excellent mix.

The Writing on The Wall 5 STARS Verity Moore Maverick Magazine (Nov/Dec 2015)..Great music, neat lyrics and dynamic harmonies...One of the most popular acts on growing UK country music scene..Their fame is surely set to grow as their record is truly excellent. All 12 are memorable with great music and interesting lyrics that tell a variety of stories with genres varying for country to guitar driven POP.

The album boasted twelve new tracks from the multi-award winning husband-and-wife duo who it was claimed are “fast gaining the reputation as one of the hottest country acts in Europe” and that the eagerly awaited 'Writing on the Wall' continued to “cement their place as one of the UK's leading new breed of country acts”. The album is an eclectic mix of lyrical stories, from country to guitar-driven pop.
During its one-month pre-order period it peaked at #13 on UK iTunes Country Album Chart (Sept 8).
After its official Oct 9th release it charted #30 UK iTunes Country (#718 UK Overall iTunes Albums) and by Oct 16th fell #58 then #74 (outside top 1500, overall). The album hasn’t appeared on UK Country iTunes Top 200 chart for the best part of a year.
The "highly anticipated" WRITING ON THE WALL was made available to buy in HMV stores across the UK.
It made a debut at #36 on The Official Scottish Chart (Dated Oct 16, 2015 – Oct 22, 2015) but left the Top 100 chart a week later.
On Amazon UK (dated Sept 26, 2016) the CD was ranked Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,511 in Music and #3629 in Country
The MP3 album version is #24,045 in overall Albums and #875 in MP3 Downloads Country

Their first single “If This was A Love Song” received plays on the BBC, interviews with CMR Nashville and a Spotlight Weekend on The video was #1 on the CM&T International Chart Show (Formerly SKY 261/ FREESAT 402).
After over 5 years Raintown were finally played Nationally on BBC Radio 2 on Bob Harris Country on Dec 4, 2015 via single "If This Was A Love Song" .
"Really, really good new UK country music....It is very, very good isn't it, the brand new album from Raintown" – Bob Harris (OBE)
* Note * The album did not appear on the Official UK Top 100 Album chart and it hasn’t made an appearance yet on UK Top 20 Country Albums a chart on which’s 2015 UK Country Album Of The Year: "From Where We Stand" by  Ward Thomas spent  78 weeks on and The Shires who have logged over 60 weeks with their GOLD album BRAVE with sales in excess of 100,000 copies.
Outside of the 400+ Pledgers it seems retail sales have been small for Raintown's album despite the fact the 2014 BCMAward Entertainers of the Year and Group of The Year holders have over 18,000 followers on FACEBOOK alone.

The official WRITING ON THE WALL album release coincided with a 5 date UK headline tour (4 outside of their hometown Glasgow). Their tour band consisted Scott MacPherson (bass); Stevie Lawrence (frequent guitar player), Chris Howard, Justin Johnson (drums), Peter Christopherson and a notable mention Scott Poley (2016 BCMAward Musician of the Year nominee) who is the co-star musician on the album and on other 2016 BCMAward nominated projects (Thorne Hill, Narn, Samantha Lloyd). Poley (Electric & Steel) who is part of Justin Johnson’s Parr Street studio session players also has writing credits on WRITING ON THE WALL and played guitar for Raintown at the Brooklyn Bowl Stage during C2C2015 Festival and for their BBC Radio 2 Country live session.
Despite having an album to promote Raintown haven’t performed very many gigs since October 2015. On March 8th they rounded out a Time Out London & W21music pre C2C event in London. They played the Kings Tuts Pop Up stage at C2C Glasgow and headlined King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (capacity 300) on Friday 10th June. They headlined the Friday night June 24th Buckle & Boots Country Festival. They excitedly announced they would be performing a full band support opening for POP act Runrig in London on Thurs 21 July 2016 at the 2,000 capacity Shepherds Bush Empire (Shepherds Bush Green, Shepherds Bush W12 8TT London). Also in July they were one of the acts to play ButeFest (Meadows Road, PA20 0ED Rothesay).
In August they performing at The Famous Grouse House (Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016) and on Sun 28 August 2016 they opened along with their BCMAward nominee pals Dexeter for The Shires at The Civic Hall, Cottingham Event
On September 12, 2016, in acoustic trio mode, they opened for Josh Kelley at Òran Mór tonight in Glasgow.
"That's a really good tune" Steve Cherelle BBC Radio Essex/ BBC Three Counties Radio
We've got some brilliant duos about havent we" Keith Greentree BBC Radio Norfolk (Sunday Oct 4, 2015)
If the call "bring me the next Shires" ever goes up this husband and wife team should be the first in line - Douglas McPherson Country Music People
Marie Crichton BBC Radio Shropshire "Homegrown which is great....very contemporary sounding country music, high quality UK band"
I've had the album in the car now for a couple of weeks and I have to say it's one of the best albums I've heard in 2015. My favourite track, at the moment, is 'See You Again', but there isn't a bad track on the albumcurrently alternating with Carrie Underwood …- Simon Large ( Presenter & Writing On The Wall Pledger)
"Fantastic live..fantastic UK Country" Chris Stevens - Country Weekly
This fine album is surely set to glow as the record is truly excellent. WRITING ON THE WALL sure to be a massive hit with current fans (Maverick Nov/ Dec)

Raintown signed a management deal with Peter Conway Management back in August 2014. After winning numerous country awards in 2014 their good friend CEO Allan Watkiss met up with to present them with their engraved UK Artist of the Year award. He asked:
You are hoping that Peter will take you where you want to go, where do you want to go”
Paul Bain responded: “We want to be at the very top, we want to represent UK Country music on the International scene. We do want to be playing in Nashville at CMA Fest in LP Field, we want to be out on tours in Europe, we want to go to Australia and touring” and slightly retreating on their CMA winning ambitions said “we want to be at least in consideration for CMA Awards”.
Listen here (first broadcast on on Dec 26, 2014):

Two years on none of this has happened with no mention of relocating from Glasgow to Nashville in a bid to get exposure in America and signed by an American Label. The dream goes on!

Segment 7: Grand Prairie performed a live set. Click PLAY twice:’s host DJ Martyn Williams described Grand Prairie as “very loud but brought the house down with their brilliant music” in sound-check.
Together for 30 years Grand Prairie are well known on the London Function and pub scene. In over 20 trips to the USA they have opened for Aerosmith, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson, Johnny Fogarty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) Alabama, Clint Black and in 2015, Trace Atkins.
Grand Prairie won the UK Country Radio "Group Of The Year" award in 2015. Two original tracks from their album "This Ain't Reno" reached No.1 in the radio stations charts, they being "This Is What I Get For Loving You" with Jenny on lead vocal and "Get Me On The Plane" with Rob on lead vocal.
Grand Prairie consist: Jenny Ormonde (Vocals, harmonica, flute and accordion), Rob Wilson (Vocals and bass), Howard Tibble (Drums). See more at: Grand

Loved by Allan Watkiss and Grand Prairie are frequent performers at the awards.
Vocally this performance fell very flat and contained a very poor rendition of Canadian country and folk singer Rita MacNeil’s song "Working Man" which was a No. 11 hit in the UK back in 1990. Despite this Allan Watkiss described the set as “fantastic”

Segment 8: Country Group Of The Year Award Artist of the Year nominee Sarah Lucy Dole came to the stage to present the award.
Sarah Lucy Dole has one of the finest Americana voices this country has heard in a long time” - Alan Cackett (Editor)
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire born Sarah started writing original songs from an early age and has since showcased them and supported artists from across the globe; these include Chip Taylor (Angel in the Morning) with Carrie Rodriguez, Al Perkins (The Band, The Eagles, Bob Dylan) with Kevin Montgomery, Gail Davies (the first female record producer in Country Music), Glen Tilbrook (Squeeze), Susan Gibson (Wide Open Spaces), and Sally Barris (Little Voice).
The award went to Gary Perkins & The Breeze a band who have been together 23-years. They now limit their appearances to playing 24-30 shows a year (many than the vast majority of new British country acts) 

Segment 9: Interview with producer/ musician Justin Johnson’s host DJ Martyn Williams managed to grab a word with the producer who has had a busy year working with many British acts. Justin said he strived to get good product out and grow the UK scene.

Segment 10: Jacqui Sharkey performs “Take Me To Paris”

Jacqui Sharkey is a singer/songwriter based in Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland. She has performed on the Phil Mack tour shows. She performed her great Listener Club Song of the Year nominated track “Take Me To Paris”.
The track is taken from her Oct 1, 2015 released 13 tracks Country, Easy Listening album SHINE (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - - Jacqui >>)
Jacqui's third album, 'Shine' is a blend of New Country with shades of Country Rock, Ballads and Blues and features some of her own self-composed songs, other original tracks and a few familiar cover songs.
Scots born Jacqui Sharkey has continued to attract attention globally since the release of her debut album, 'A New Dawn' , in 2011. Her voice has been compared to artists such as Kathy Mattea, Anne Murray, Karen Carpenter and Joan Baez, and much of her own self-composed music is unique in style. Her debut single, 'Take Me To Paris', from her new and third album, 'Shine', was slated to be a huge success, introducing Jacqui to a wider audience and creating anticipation for the long awaited album

Segment 11: Wayne Jacobs performs “Paws Of War”

The True Story Behind Wayne Jacobs “hit song”: Wayne was inspired to write this true story about a stray dog named Sheba in a country song, naturally because of his love for Country Music.  The stray dog, Sheba just wandered onto an American base in Afghanistan one morning and stayed. She eventually went on patrols with the soldiers who took an instant liking to her. They fed her out of their own army rations and it wasn’t too long and she had a litter of seven puppies. When the solders left Afghanistan, a charity called “Guardians of Rescue” paid to have all eight dogs flown to JFK airport in the USA where seven of the soldiers from the base were each given one of Sheba’s puppies
Wayne was so excited about recording Paws Of War” that he had it produced in Nashville by one of Nashville’s top music producers, Tom Manche.

Segment 12: Kelly Michelle from This Is Country performs “Blonde Whiskey Drinker”

Next up one halve of the This Country duo Kelly Michelle came to the stage to perform her Listener Club Song of the Year nominated track.
This is Country UK was formed by Kelly Michelle and Pete Storm in 2012. The show is designed to keep traditional country music alive and pay tribute to the original legends of this genre. Kelly Michelle and Pete Storm also write and produce their own music. This is Country have performed all over the United Kingdom and Europe for the past 4 years.
This is Country made their international debut in September 2015 when they took their show to Sudbury Canada, the show was a complete success and they have been invited back to perform in 2016. Website

Segment 13: Steve Young performs a live acoustic set. Click PLAY twice:

The Welwyn Garden City based singer-songwriter and guitarist who teaches at a music school in Bishop's Stortford at De Rosa Music (Website | Facebook) took to the stage to perform a solo acoustic set. His set included “In My Dream”, “Nurture” and Home For The Summer” from his album TROUBADOUR.

See BLOG POST (28 July 2016) Acoustic premiere Steve Young's “Home For The Summer”

Segment 14: Female Country Singer of The Year Award

Steve Faragher from Anthem Publishing (Piccadilly House, London Road, Bath BA1 6PL) presented the award. He has been working on a brand new launch for Anthem Publishing (Website). exclusively announced his brand new quarterly music magazine focusing on country titled COUNTRY MUSIC.
It’s out on the 28th of September it’s going to have lots of great country music in it. We love country music, we hope it going to be the place where great writing meets great music. I’m so excited because I’ve interviewed The Shires, Ward Thomas, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Lucie Silvas all for the first issue, it’s going to be immense” shared Steve. It will be on sale in W.H.Smith, HMV, Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s.
About: Anthem is Britain’s fastest growing publishing company by copy sale revenue. We are the UK’s only publisher of both music-making and music-listening magazines. Key brand MusicTech has the UK’s largest multi-platform audience of any music-making magazine
Female Artist of the year: Zenne
Zenne (WebsiteFacebook | UKCR Artist Page) described as one of the hardest working and the Honky-Tonkyest gal in UK country music took home the Female Country Singer Of The Year award. She was a finalist last year in the category (won by Sasha McVeigh)
Zenne (Zenne Kober) hails from the north-east of England. She plays guitar and is said to sing “with a powerful voice in a gutsy style”
According to her website Zenne is ranked as being an Accomplished Guitarist with the ability to Perform in a more Laid back Acoustic style.
"Country Gal" with a Gutsy Unique Style
Promo Facebook Video, Set Volume, click Play:
Zenne was working on a self-penned EP which is due to be released soon. we’re enjoying tracks from her second album of covers called “Play The Song”. It was released in May and includes mainly upbeat, lively songs with a couple of classic ballads thrown in for good measure.
Listen to her 4 samples at
Former printed Country Routes Magazine wrote " Musically, she's very good and when did you last see a Gal play an acoustic song? This was the part of the show we most appreciated. The Backing track switch was flicked off and in it's place Zenne plays acoustic guitar and uses a foot stomp for back-beat. This gutsy gal stamped her style on Heather Myles, Lorrie Morgan, Danni Leigh and Kris Kristofferson's music. The Latter a crackin' acoustic version of, Me and Bobby Mcgee. On the strength of this performance Zenne is gaining the title of, HonkyTonkiest gal in Country Music UK, If there's a more talented female musician playing our Northern scene's stages, then point her in our direction.
Watch >> Video: Performing a cover of of Carlene Carter's "Every Little Thing Zenne" at Rock Ridge Festival in 2013.

Her show includes material from Heather Myles, Danni Leigh, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, Carlene Carter, Pistol Annies, Chely Wright, Dwight Yoakham, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire etc entwined with some classic Country hits from the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Buck Owen and George Jones.

Her Debut appearance on SKY TV (Keep It CountryTV) in 2016 has created lots of attention.
Listen to The C&W Country Music Show with special guest Zenne Kober on Mixcloud

Segment 15:  Jacqui Sharkey performs a live set
Click PLAY twice:

Jacqui Sharkey was joined by The Salt Creek Band from Birmingham Pat McGrath on drums, Andy Greene on electric guitar, Adam Harding on keys and Steve Heffernan on bass. Jacqui hadn’t seen them in two years and they had only ever played once together with a completely diverse song set. They didn’t even have time to rehearse. “We’re on a wing and a prayer here” said Jacqui
They opened with Waylon Jennings’ 1971 classic “Good Hearted Woman” and threw in "Two More Bottles of Wine" recorded by Emmylou Harris and written by Delbert McClinton. Ballads rather than up-tempos are Sharkey’s forte and she showcased her velvety soulful vocals when showcasing tracks “You’re the Reason”, “Chicago”, “I’ll Be Missing You” and “Arabica Blues” all drawn from her 2015 album SHINE (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - - Jacqui )

Segment 16: Listeners Club Song Award’s “broadcasting legend” and very own Nutty Nora top the stage to present the Listeners Club Song Award.
Regarding the standard of the music in the room she said “It’s absolutely fantastic you couldn’t get better country music anywhere we’ve got it just as good here. I’ve never known it as good as this country music is on the rise in the UK”

UNSTOPPABLE: Wayne Jacobs won Listeners Club Song Award for the fifth year running thanks to his 11,000 loyal fans.

Thanks once again to online voting prior to the final round of votes it was probably already done and dusted helped by the likes of social media guru Ken Meakin posting on Facebook groups and his Wild Horse Promotions family.

Wayne won the 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015, 2016 Listeners Club Song Award with his country songs called “Kentucky Whiskey” “I Want My Daddy”, “In Cold Blood”, “May We Never Forget” and now “Paws of War” All Wayne’s Award winning songs he writes are produced by Dana Jordan from Blue Room Studios, Justin Morgan and Tom Manche. Wayne does not sing on the recorded tracks

He seems to have convinced numerous DJs that he is the singer when introducing the songs to their listeners. It’s akin to playing Trisha Yearwood singing “a Bus To St.Cloud” and introducing it as Gretchen Peters (the writer)

In his newsletter Wayne Jacobs shared: I'm so excited about winning a national country music award for the fifth year running, with my true military country song called "Paws Of War" on I was nominated as one of the five finalist for the Listeners Club Song Award through voting over three months also on the night you could vote as well. We all had to perform our country songs live on the radio station in front of live audience which was an amazing experience. When all the votes were added up and it was announced that I had won, I just could not believe it.
Also on Sunday 28th August 2016 I performed my "Falling Feather song" and "Yankee Boy Blues" in front of four judges hoping to get through to the live stages of Open MicUk Regional Final.

Wayne’s hit song entered the AirplayExpress chart at #17 after being released for only 48 hours. The following week (July Week 29) he had rocketed to #1!

Segment 17: Lucy Zirins performs

She played “Mercy” taken from her Nov 2, 2015 released EP WHAT'S IN FRONT OF ME (Gingersnap Music)
6 Tracks/ Time: 20:55 Country/ Folk CD - Website - MP3 - UK iTunes -
The E.P features 6 new original tracks recorded and mixed by Jim Knight of Knight Time Studios, Ealing, beautifully complimented by hand painted cover artwork by artist Nick Huck (who is Lucy’s brother-in-law!), commissioned especially for the project.
Self-penned and produced, the E.P was written mostly in the first few months of Lucy's transition from her small town home in Lancashire to West London where she is currently based. "What's in Front of Me" followed her debut album "Chasing Clocks" for which Lucy received airplay on both BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6, as well as having a live performance of track "Goodnight" picked up from a BBC Introducing session and syndicated by the BBC Mark Forrest Show.  which goes out to more than 1 million listeners.
The album received critical acclaim, predominantly from the country, folk, blues and roots press with Maverick Magazine awarding it 4 stars saying: "There are not too many debut albums as promising as this" (4/5 stars) and R2 Magazine praised the album for it's "modern folk-tinged country" sound and Lucy's vocal delivery.

Segment 18: Artist Of The Year

The Blue Genes were welcomed enthusiastically to the stage to present the biggest award of the night.

Blue Genes are a British Contemporary Country trio. The band consists of twelve-year old Megan Erica Lee, who is the daughter of  other members Stephen and Kay Lee. “Something You Can Kiss” their debut single from their EP was recorded by Justin Johnstone. CEI Events wrote: It's an awesome feel good song by this family trio!
On Dec 3, 2015 their 6 tracks EP SMALL TOWN RUMOURS dropped  Amazon UK - UK iTunes -
On 4th Dec it made a #32 debut on UK Country iTunes reaching #20, falling off Top 200 by 7 Dec.

Megan Erica Lee announced the winner as Raintown their second time having won Artist of the Year 2 years ago.
Paul Bain and Claire Bain will be celebrating again in October when they are expecting their first baby (a girl).

Segment 19: The Gary Perkins band perform a live set.
The 2016 UK Country Group Of The Year Gary Perkins & The Breeze took to the stage to round out the evening events.
The set included a cover of Josh Turner’s 2014 No.28 charting single "Lay Low"   

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