Life Membership – SCCMA

In November I was afforded a great honour, in being presented a ‘Life Membership’ of the South Coast Country Music Association. I think my first trip up to that club in Mt Kembla was in 1980/81, having found out about it thru Warren Kelson who was a Plant Operator in the Maritime Services Board, where I worked at the time.

I remember how warmly I was welcomed & how wonderful it was to meet others that loved Country Music. Pretty soon my whole family were going regularly and I was soon singing in charity shows and performing in one of the resident bands.

I have met so many friends thru the SCCMA and many have ended up being life-long friendships (had a bit of healthy competitiveness with a few of them too, although we can all laugh about it now!) It was and IS a very special part of my life. Having performed on that stage for many years alongside my Dad, it was quite a moment to stand there a few weeks ago on that same stage with my own son playing alongside me. I feel very honoured and humbled.

Thank You.

Shine Your Light

Shine Your LightWell, What can I say? It’s wonderful, quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done. I have been wanting to make this album for a while. I even went so far as to put down a deposit, however sometimes things in life don’t happen the way you intend. People let you down and so you’ve got to pick up the pieces and start over. I guess as long as you learn from your mistakes it’s not so bad making them! I guess I was just trusting the wrong people! Once I was back on the right path the pieces just fell into place and this album is truly blessed. Thanks must go especially to Tom T. Hall & Miss Dixie for their endless generosity, talk about Southern hospitality! We are very honoured to be ‘family’ now,.. being a ‘Daughter of Bluegrass’ & all! Special thanks to Annette, for all the help in organising it all & Becky & Chrissy for making us feel so welcome.

This was truly the best recording experience I have ever had and we are going to try our hardest to get back there in a few years and do it all again. Taking producer role this time was Jerry Salley who, even though he was snowed under with all the promotional stuff from his own new release, ‘Showing My Age’ (Buy it, it’s Fabulous!,… really!) he still found time to fit me in. I have never seen a producer work so hard, he gave 300%, did whatever it took, stayed as late as he needed to,.. And never once made me feel it was ‘good enough’ because he had ‘had enough’!! I lost count of how many times the harmony vocals were sung to ensure they were JUST perfect and to his credit, they are!

Due to our limited time in the USA, I left Jerry and Chris Latham to Mix & Master the tracks, and it was sheer joy receiving the final versions. Special mention also here to Rebekah Long, our studio engineer who soldiered on for a solid week often until the early hours of the morn,..never flustered, never faltered, never tiring! The musicians, WOW!, what can I say,.. and WOW! is indeed all you can say when you watch some of America’s best Bluegrass musicians at work. The players included Josh Williams (guitar), Randy Kohrs (resonator guitar), Tim Crouch (Fiddle & Mandolin), Mike Bub (Double Bass) & Aaron McDaris (Banjo) and because of these guys, musically, it is the best album I’ve ever made. Two of the recorded tracks are songs from the pen of Mr Tom T and Miss Dixie, and not only are they both great songs, but they feature my banjo playing whizz (& husband) Marty, on Banjo. He thought recording with all those World class session players might be a bit daunting so he picked two songs only to feature on, but they sound great.

Jerry worked incredibly hard to make this album great and along with his great singing we have Val Storey’s beautiful backing vocals and two special features. The first is a great duet with Bluegrass Gospel singer Daryl Mosley. I met Daryl years ago at the Cherokee Bluegrass Festival & asked him to do this duet at the time. Ok, so it took a few years to organise, but it was definitely worth the wait. Don’t forget to look him up on the net – as he has some lovely solo albums worth having in your collection.

Secondly, on this album I have recorded a version of the famous Dolly Parton song ‘Coat Of Many Colours’ as I thought it would work beautifully in a bluegrass setting. As a surprise for me, Miss Dixie arranged to have their good friend (Dolly’s younger sister & well known gospel singer) Stella Parton, to come in to feature on the song. The song sounds wonderful! Stella did a beautiful job and the connection of having her sing on that song which was written about her mother was just really special to me. It showed incredible generosity on her behalf towards someone she hardly knew. I can still hear Jerry saying ‘I know we didn’t tell you Karen, but I didn’t think you’d mind!’

Finally a couple of special mentions, firstly to Becky & Chrissy for keeping us comfortable and well fed (too well fed!,. those desserts were scrumptious and unfortunately my only weakness, ah well, back to the treadmill for me!), and secondly to ‘Miss Heather’ & ‘Mr Tim’ who allowed William to spend days with them at their home school during those weeks and do many more exciting things than sit in a boring old studio and listen to mummy sing (ho hum!). In closing I have got to say it really is a great album – far better than I could ever have imagined. I hope all of you who give it a chance, agree!

Karen Lynne & Allen Caswell Win TSA Award

KarenLynneLocal Blue Mountains Singer/Songwriters Karen Lynne and Allan Casswell take home the Top TSA Award “Contemporary Country Song of the Year” in the Annual Tamworth Songwriters Association (TSA) National Awards for their co-written song ‘The Road the Brought Me Here’

Karen Lynne & Allan Caswell have jointly won the 2012 TSA “Contemporary Country Song of the Year” Award (the highest honour in the Professional section) for ‘The Road the Brought Me Here’ at the TSA Annual Awards Night held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in NSW, Australia. This is the second time Karen has won this section, previously winning in 2001 with a song ‘The Rush’ co-written with Blue Mountains Singer/Songwriter Pat Drummond. The track which won is a biographical song about Karen’s life in the music industry, from her humble beginnings in her local Country Music Association in Wollongong, and on through a journey of over 25 years. The song poignantly concludes with a moving summation of the most important things she has learned, particularly the real meaning of ‘success’ in this industry, a fact too often overlooked by the punters who chase only the ‘Golden Guitar’ winners, and the Country Music Industry heads who control the look & sound of the ‘next big thing’, signed to their Record Company Labels and treated to record company royalty for a few years until they find someone new.

With lines like “I still do it for the music, it’s the only thing that’s real” and “Every audience I play for & the people that I meet, that’s the part that matters most to me” this song comes from Karen’s heart, but is beautifully crafted by Allan Caswell, easily one of Australia’s top Songwriters & songwriting craftsman. At last count, Caswell has had well over 900 songs published and over 500 recordings of his songs released world wide by artists of the calibre of Cilla Black, The Irish Rovers, Patti Page, Slim Dusty, James Blundell and The Living End. He has been awarded 6 Golden Guitars at Tamworth (and a finalist 28 times), 2 Gold singles and an ARIA for “On the Inside”, as well as 1 platinum and 4 gold albums for his writing and production work on the hugely successful children’s albums by Don Spencer. It’s a very moving song and most definitely ‘real’ Country Music. Unfortunately, due to his Tamworth Festival work commitments Allan was unable to be present to collect his Award.

Coopers Golden Saddle Award

Grand Finalists announced for the Coopers Golden Saddle Award 2006.

The Rotary Club of Galston have announced the 2006 Grand Finalists who will be appearing at the Galston Country Music Festival on Sunday September 10th 2006, they are:-




These three grandfinalists come from a pool of 12 talented finalists who this year are as follows:- Paul Costa, Carol Donovan, Ronni Rae Rivers, Amos Morris, Craig Stewart, Karen Lynne, Amber Lawrence, Drew McAlister, Peter Pratt, Sweeney Killeen, The Atherton Bros and John Stephan.

Each year the decision in regard to the Grand Finalists becomes harder for the Rotary Club of Galston as the standard is so high and this year was no exception. The 2006 Grand Final looks set to be one of the most exciting on record. Presenting the award this year will be International Recording Star and Living Legend KEVIN JOHNSON, (Rock And Roll I gave you the best years of my life, Man of the Twentieth Century, Bonnie Please don’t go etc). Kevin will also be performing some of his songs for his many fans and is looking forward to being part of Sydney’s most successful Festival.

All three Grand Finalists, will come to Sydney on September 10th to perform at Fagan Park, Galston, to compete for prizes which include, a beautiful handcrafted Golden Saddle Trophy courtesy of Coopers Brewery, Cash, a Certificate of Excellence, A Production Package courtesy of Herm Kovac, Publicity for the next twelve months and an invitation to come back to the Festival held in 2007 as a Special Guest Artist to perform.

Previous winners have been Darren Colston, Rob Wilson, Mark Tempany, Double-Decker Dave, Michael King, Dave Debs, Colin Greatorix and Tracey Faith.

Please contact Tony & Vikki Page (02) 9653 2483 e-mail

Festival Organisers, or Helen Kay 02 9651 1741 e-mail, Director Coopers Golden Saddle Award 2006 for further information or Interviews.

Festival Patron – Frank Ifield


Announcing Our Little Arrival

williamJust letting you all know that Martin & I have a new little baby boy! William Aaron Louis came into the world on Wednesday May 31st, 2006 and we are all doing OK considering the world-wind we’ve been through in the last few days.

Please accept my apologies for not letting you all know sooner. He’s very little and has had some feeding problems so we have been through a period of regimented 3 hourly feeds and there’s still a bit of mucking around involved in his feeding at present which has made it a ’round the clock’ vigil that hasn’t allowed for much else to be done, so please forgive me if you don’t hear much from me over the next few months (and that includes answers to emails you’ve sent me in the last 2-3 weeks. There are many to go through and they will take time. I’m told his feeding should get better and all will calm down eventually.
(P.S. He’s 6lb 7oz & gorgeous!)

Best wishes & keep us in your prayers.
Karen Lynne (Louis) & Marty.

Apology from Karen Lynne

AlbumReleaseJust sending my sincere apologies out to all my friends and supporters out there who have gone to the web site for information in the last 6 months or so to find it not updated. 2005 was an incredibly busy year what with an overseas tour, a new album and now a baby on the way!,.. as a result I wasn’t able to organise the regular updates. We are finally getting ‘back on track’ and so if you bear with us,.. and keep checking in on us now & then over the next few months you should finally see the changes happening that have been sorely due over the last few months. The most important thing is that I have released a beautiful new album and it is now listed on the album page and we will be endeavouring to get the song samples up very soon. I’m so very sorry!,.. especially if you’ve been a new ‘listener’ and have been looking for the new album,.. but I thank you for your patience so far. of course if you need any info on the new album,.. or just want to say Hi!,.. email me on

Karen Lynne wins “Female Vocal” Award

Award2003Shoestring Records Singer/songwriter Karen Lynne has taken out the Top Award for “Female Vocalist” at the 7th Telstra Country Wide Southern Stars – Australian Independent Country Music Awards at Mildura last weekend. These awards, held annually in Mildura, are considered the most prestigious awards in Australian Country Music of Independent Artists – being those artists not signed to major recording labels. These artists of whome it must be noted take total responsibility for all their recording, promotions, sales and bookings etc and without management or such assistance, this can be a formidable task.

In additions to 4 finalist nominations in previous years, Karen was also named as a finalist this year in both the “Single of the Year” and “Heritage Track of the Year” categories, giving her a total of 3 finalist nominations in all, and came hot on the heels of the award win earlier this year at the Victorian Country Music Awards for “Best Independent Release” for her previous collaborative effort – a bluegrass album with Sydney band “Acoustic Shock”. Whilst strikingly different, her new album, with it’s mainstream country sound, has been well received and has gained rave reviews to date.

Her winning song “This Man I Love” was the first single released from her latest album titled “Second Wind”. This single also recently achieved Top 5 status on the Australian National Country Music Chart and following the song’s release in UK and Europe, the song remained in the UK/Europe DJ voted Top 10 most played songs chart for nearly two months.

The album contains a healthy share of Australian penned songs including a choice few from Karen’s own hand – cowritten with previous collaborator Heather Field and also with Mark Selby, Ashley Gorley and Keith Anderson. Produced by Herm Kovac, the album has a beautifully warm and polished sound with compliments but does not overpower the gentle vulnerability of Karen’s superb vocals and extra richness has been added by some great duets with well known Australian Country artists, Bill Chambers and Grant Richardson, with an equally pleasing result.

This album is set to expand and consolidate her fanbase enormously, it’s a great Australian Country Music recording and is already proving to be one of the major coutnry albums of 2003.

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