Category: Song of the Year


Aussie Scots

Nominated for

Song of the Year – Scotland Lives In Me



With a best friend by your side, anything is possible. Aussie Scots are best friends, “Will and Ian”, band mates and ex-pats from Scotland who relocated to Australia and with them took their lifelong passion for making music.

Aussie Scots write from a variety of perspectives, “Scotland Lives In Me” is the perfect example of how deep they can get with their lyrical content. The song has already resonated with thousands of ex-pat Scots, both in Australia and overseas, as well as Scots living in Scotland.

With passion and candor, Aussie Scots revel in the freedom of song, their self-expression unmatched in its openness to connect, “Scotland Lives In Me” being a perfect example of this.

Hope you enjoy listening to “Scotland Lives In Me”, one of many contributions from Aussie Scots and we hope it stirs up memories of “Home”.

For other music from them please check out their songs on Spotify under “Aussie Scots” and also their YouTube video channel where you can watch a video which compliments the song “Scotland Lives In Me”.

Here’s Tae Us!”

Listen to their music
“Scotland Lives In Me”
YouTube Channel


Ben Ransom

Nominated for

Song of the Year – St Patrick’s Day



Ben Ransom… Powerful vocals, Infectious melodies…Incredible live performer!

Ben has travelled and performed all over the world including a two and a half year stint in Europe with a style that is a blend of pub rock, blues and country. He has performed alongside of Australia’s top recording artists while touring extensively around the country.
Born and raised in Sydney, Ben Ransom, started playing guitar and writing song at the age of fifteen. Growing up, he was constantly exposed to a broad range of music that strongly influenced his own original writing style. It has allowed Ben to draw the listener in on many different levels and connect in a more personal way.

In 1999, Ben left Australia to spend time in Europe, essentially to hone his skills and develop his musical style. He cut his teeth in the heart of London’s West End with a permanent residency in one of the most happening venues at the time. Ben’s down to earth personality and ability to deliver live saw him become one of the hottest, most sought after artists in that scene, bringing “the spirit of a B&S Ball to the heart of London”. Ben toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe before returning to Australia where his passion in music held root.

In 2010, Ben completed his first studio recording, “The Long Way”. While unreleased to this date, Ben says ‘the album was a labor of love that gave him a vehicle for expression and allowed him to explore all facets of his personality through various styles of music. The first single, “Bourbon & Sunsets”, was a runaway hit – peaking at #2 on the Hot Country Top 50 chart and performing solidly on the CMC Top 50.

In 2012 & 2013 he was a finalist in the coveted Toyota Star Maker competition – the same competition that launched the careers of Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell and Samantha McClymont.

After graduating from the CMAA Academy Of Country Music in 2012, Ben completed his debut album, “Slow Burn” with Matt Fell and Glen Hannah. The first single, “Truck Stop Honey”, received national airplay and earned him a nomination for Contemporary Song of The Year at the TSA Awards. The album was released in 2013 to rave reviews and continued to produce hit singles in the form of “Big Country Sky” and “You’re On The Top of My To-Do List”.

By 2013, Ben was touring nationally and appearing at major Festivals and in October of that year, Ben was introduced to international hit maker and multi million record selling producer, Rob E.G. Porter. This resulted in the collaboration on the Jackson Browne classic, “Somebody’s Baby”. Released under Porters’ famous Wizard record label. The track was launched at the 2014 Tamworth Country Music Festival and entered the charts at #7.

While plans were being drawn up for his sophomore studio album, Ben and company performed at the iconic Sydney venue ‘The Basement’ which resulted in the live record, “Ben Ransom – LIVE”. This release saw unexpected hits “One More Beer” and “Mamma I’m Coming Home” become staples on regional radio, while setting the platform for the stellar (studio recorded) single, “Dry Town”. This peaked at #2 on the Country Singles Chart and
by the following year, Ben was named Best Male Rising Artist at the 2016 Southern Star Awards.

In 2017 Ben joined with Country Rocks Records as the first artist signed to their newly formed label.
“Let’s Go Driving”, (an upbeat country-rock smash) was the first release under this new deal, which gave Ben his very first #1 single, staying at the top spot for six consecutive weeks on the Country Tracks Top 40.

In signing with the new label, Ben stated, “I’m absolutely stoked to be part of the ‘Country Rocks’ family – knowing that I am associated with a team that actually walks the walk! These guys are out there putting in the hard slog, which is why their passion for music and ethos of ‘respect’ for the artists is so refreshing”,

The new studio album – “101” was released in January 2018. Two more singles followed, “You’re The Reason Why” and “Same Song, Different Day” both hitting #1 before the huge mainstream hit “Young Years” was unleashed! This saw Ben team up with Australasian icon Sharon O’Neill in a duet of the song that she wrote with her partner Alan Mansfield and previously released by the legendary band Dragon.
Also featuring on the album was some of the last recorded work by legendary guitarist Phil Emmanuel.

Over the summer of 2018/2019 Ben began working on a new album and once again teamed up with producer Matt Fell. Recorded in Nashville and featuring a raft of industry heavyweights, this recording is shaping up to being some of Ben’s best work yet!

One thing is for certain, Ben Ransom, is the real deal and is destined for very big things.



Ella Roberts

Nominated for

Female Artist of the Year – Winner
Song of the Year – Siuil a Ruin – Winner
Song of the Year – Errigal – Finalist



Australian born with Celtic roots, Ella followed her Scottish and Irish ancestry back to the Highlands and Isles and found her passion for Celtic music and song.

Ella was originally trained classically by vocal coach Lilija Sile, winning numerous awards and performing around the Central Coast, Sydney and Melbourne Australia.

At the 2019 Australian Celtic Music Awards, Ella won ‘Female Artist of the Year’, ‘Celtic Song of the Year’ for her original – ‘Elluria’s Lament’, and ‘Celtic Artist of the Year’.

She was also nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media Award for ‘Female Vocalist’ for her rendition of “The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond” produced by Adrian Hannan at the SongStore.

In 2018 Ella was awarded ‘Female Artist of the Year’ at the Australian Celtic Music Awards and was nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media Award for ‘Female Vocalist’ for her rendition of “The Skye Boat Song”, produced by Adrian Hannan.

Since she began her Celtic journey, she has performed at events such as the Australian Celtic Festival, the Australian Celtic Music Awards, the Australian Outlander Fan Gathering, Gathering of the Celts, the Gathering of the Clans, Clans on the Coast and Studio2Stage “Irish Music and Dance Experience” in New York as featured singer.

In April last year, Ella performed with Tim Janis for “Celtic Heart” in York, Maine USA, along with past members of ‘Celtic Women’ – violinist Mairead Nesbitt, vocal talent Lynn Hillary, and the renowned ‘Harp Twins’. The show “Celtic Heart” premiered on PBS Television last year.

She also performed with Irish Dance group “Fusion Fighters” at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ireland, and at the Deutschland Military Tattoo – ‘Royal Music Show’ in Germany.

Ella recorded her first two singles – “Elluria’s Lament” and “North Wind” with Multi Platinum Award Winning Songwriter/Producers Adrian and Barbara Hannan at the SongStore in Melbourne, Australia, and is just about to release her latest single “Errigal” also produced by Adrian Hannan at the SongStore.



The Barleyshakes

Nominated for

Album of the Year for Irishtown – Finalist
Instrumental of the Year for Jessica’s – Finalist
Song of the Year for Farewell to the Gold
Song of the Year for Rosie Reilly



Brewed in Ireland and distilled in Australia, the Barleyshakes are a Celtic band with world music influences who combine
intense energy, beautiful harmony and driving dance rhythms in their live performances. Adored throughout Australia and beyond for their “bent” Irish sound, they are winners of the Queensland Music Award for World Music.

Ever since their inception in the 90’s in Dublin, the Barleyshakes have been turning heads. Their mission, to inject new life into Irish music while honouring the tradition past, was to become a life-long adventure for each member. Their live shows have taken them around the globe and they continue to take audiences on a joy filled ride wherever they perform.

The band use fiddles, flutes, tine whistle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals, bass, bodhran, and drums to create their truly wonderful Celtic sound. They have shared the stage with Lunasa, Metallica, Kila, Joe Cocker, Sharon Shannon, Altan, and Grada, to name a few.

After well over a decade together this ensemble know each other intensely and they communicate freely to create something fresh every time they perform. They recently release their 8th album entitled “Irishtown” and it was instantly made album of the month by ABC national radio.




Nominated for

New Talent of the Year – Winner
Group of the Year – Finalist
Song of the Year – Wild Rover



Limerick was established in 2016 bringing together four talented musicians who have a “Reel” passion for hi-energy music. Broadly representing the Celtic rock genre, including originals, classics and Trad tunes, Limerick’s slogan of “Modern Celtic Band” reflects the incorporation of crowd pleasers into their shows to ensure that everybody young, old and in-between are either toe tapping, beer stomping, or up singing and dancing whilst being mesmerised by their roaming “Pied Piper like” Fiddle player.

Limerick have released a 5 track EP called “Up Yer Kilts” which showcases the band’s versatility and live performances and features 2 vocalists, fiddle, piano accordion, guitar, bass and drums. They are now in preparation of recording their second all-new originals EP to be launched March 2020.

Limerick’s live performances have been at some of the best venues and festivals across Southeast QLD and Northern NSW. Limerick have been a featured band at venues such as Finn McCool’s, (One of QLD’s largest Irish Pubs and multi award winner for best entertainment). Irish Club Hotel Toowoomba, Scots in the Bush Festival, International Tartan Day Festival, Festuri Multicultural Festival, The Bunker in Eumundi, Twin Towns Services Club Tweed Heads, Paddy Fest, a St Patrick’s Day festival held annually at Brisbane Eagle Farm Raceway and The Colmslie Big Band Craic Festival. Limerick have established themselves as one of the popular Celtic bands in Australia.

Band Members
Tim Cody – Guitar & Vocals
Belle Hendrik – Bass & Vocals
Melinda Coles – Fiddle & Accordion
Craig Tobin – Drums & Vocals



Gone Molly

Nominated for

Group of the Year – Finalist
Song of the Year – Johnny Come Away
Song of the Year – The Petticoat Crew
Song of the Year – Tavern Duet



Over the last few years, songwriter and vocalist Sally Harris has been quietly building a repertoire of songs that bring together a love of history, mythology, traditional song, tunes and sessions. Together with one of Australia’s most well known and respected folk musicians, Rebecca Wright, and superb multi-instrumentalist Lachlan Baldwin, these stories have been brought to life with exquisite cello lines, blazing bouzouki and heart melting harmonies.

With their eponymous album winning three titles in the Australian Celtic Music Awards 2018 and their song “The Miners Way” announced as a `inalist in the 2019 Queensland Music Awards, Gone Molly are truly unique folk storytellers. Breathing life into colourful characters and tales imagined or discovered, ‘The Mollies’ whisper and roar through the grimy streets of London, over ghostly battle`ields and down into the faerie dells of Anglo-Celtic history. Delivered with a joyful energy and a hint of the theatrical, their live performances are not to be missed!

The Gone Molly eponymous debut album was released in December 2017 and has been receiving radio rotation in Australia, the UK, Canada and the US, and many requests from other folk musicians to cover their songs. Their EP ‘Culloden’ was launched in March 2019, with the title song selected as one of the best tracks of 2019 by the Folk & Roll Radio Show, Scotland.

Queensland Music Awards Finalist 2019 – World/Folk

Winners of four Australian Celtic Music Awards

  • Artist of the Year 2018
  • Celtic Group of the Year 2018 & 2019
  • Producer of the Year 2018 (Pix Vane Mason for ‘Gone Molly’)
  • “I do love their eponymous album… and from it this is a cracking song called ‘The Miner’s Way’. Just cop your whack for this!” – Mike Harding (Mike Harding Folk Show, UK)




    Kissing the Flint

    Nominated for

    Song of the Year – Fare Thee Well Lament



    Fascinated with singing from a very young age, Leah Chynoweth-Tidy began performing professionally in 2012 after learning to play guitar and ukulele. She fronted Gladstone Region bands ded@27, Cosmic String Theory and Dr Trouble for the next few years, most notably at the Agnes Water Blues Roots & Rock Festival with the various line-ups. After all bands went their separate ways, Leah began song-writing originals and performing as a solo artist in 2015 as “Kissing The Flint”, then as a duo with husband Ken at various Gladstone Region venues and events including: Australia Day, 1770 Festival, Agnes Water Blues Roots & Rock Festival, Beach Arts Music, Crow Street Creative, Under The Trees Festival, Queens Commonwealth Games Baton Relay Welcome, Feast on East Cruise Ship public welcome events, various Gladstone pub venues, the Band Together Baffle Creek Bushfire Benefit with Adam Harvey; Great Keppel Island Hideaway; 45 on East Rockhampton; Keppel Coast Arts Creek Sessions, OM (Original Music) Fest and Pie Alley Blues in Yeppoon.

    Leah has twice been selected to appear on stage as part of the RocKwiz National Tour in 2010 and again in 2017 with her voice a stand-out during both selection heats; performing an unrehearsed impromptu song both times out front of the RocKwiz Orkestra.

    She was further chosen on merit in 2017 as 1 of 12 finalists across 3 Regional Queensland locations (1 of 4 participants in Gladstone) to participate in the Queensland Music Festival’s Songs That Made Me mentorship program; supporting emerging female singer-songwriters in regional areas and addressing the under-representation of females in the music industry in general. Mentored by Katie Noonan, Leigh Carriage, Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch, Hannah Macklin and Hayley Marsten, workshops culminated in a public performance on the Gladstone Marina stage with an all-female rhythm section. Leah has also been mentored since May 2018 in voice and song-writing by Tania Doko of Bachelor Girl.

    Recorded with Dave Beacon at High Lion Studio Calliope and showcasing original local artwork, their carbon-negative debut EP “Unconditionality” launched at this year’s 1770 Festival in hard copy and on all major digital platforms. Thanks to support from the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), they also released official music videos for two of the EP tracks that were filmed around their local community with a positive focus on the recovery phase after the 2018 Deepwater bushfire.
    Slave to no particular genre, Kissing the Flint light up any stage with their eclectic repertoire crossing roots, folk, reggae, soul, funk, rock and pop; driven by guitar, bass, drum loops and a versatile, power-house female vocal laced with character, depth and appreciable natural vibrato.

    “Kissing the Flint initially came into my mind as a simple visual image,” says Leah, “but in days of old, to ‘kiss the flint’ also meant ‘to cause a spark’, to ‘light a fire’ – which is what music has done from its very roots. Music sparks emotion, communication, passion, joy, the urge to move, to vocalise. What a fantastic thrill to be able to create musical sparks, to share and affect others positively through what we absolutely love to do. Very few “jobs” allow the opportunity to dress up and get up on stage in front of a live audience – wow, what’s not to love about that?”



    Sadie & Jay

    Nominated for

    Group of the Year
    Album of the Year – A Passing of Seasons – Winner
    Song of the Year – Dust to Ashes
    Song of the Year – Salvation Jane
    Song of the Year – The Lucky Country
    Song of the Year – Leaving the Harbour



    The creative combination of a deeply traditional folk musician with a blues and roots singer gives Sadie and Jay an intimate and enchanting sound. They play beautiful songs with exceptional vocals, glorious harmonies, intricate finger style guitar, bouzouki and double bass. They are influenced by the storytelling nature of the Anglo-Celtic traditions and contemporary folk, blues and roots music which reflects in their collaborative songwriting.

    Born in Scotland and raised in New Zealand, Jay (David J Penman) grew up in a musical family immersed in traditional British folk music. For many years Jay has been a member of four part family A-Capella group The PENMANS. With Welsh heritage, Sadie’s love for singing is instinctive. From jazz & blues to world & roots music, Sadie has performed with accomplished musicians, theatre and cabaret enriching her spellbinding vocal ability.
    For the past six years Sadie and Jay have been performing as a duo in and beyond the Brisbane folk and festival scene. They’ve had two very successful tours in the UK in 2016 and 2018 with a third scheduled for 2020. Most recently they were guests at Upton Upon Severn and Great North Folk Festivals in the UK and they were the headline act for New Zealand’s Hamilton Folk Festival in 2019.
    Sadie and Jay have released three original studio albums, Curious (2015) Rogue Folk (2017) and A Passing of Seasons (2019) featuring several high profile South East Queensland musicians. Their third studio album features refined and spirited historical Australian stories in Sadie and Jay’s characteristic modern folk style.

    Richard Grainger – British folk singer/songwriter & Festival Director
    “Sadie & Jay – fabulous duo, highly professional with exquisite arrangements of songs in the folk and acoustic style. Sadie is a beautiful singer and is the double bass player, while Jay provides expert well worked guitar accompaniments. Both take lead vocal and their harmonies make the hairs on the back of your head curl.”

    Alison Bell – Vice President of The Brisbane Folk History Project
    “This is the third album by Brisbane based duo Sadie and Jay and it is possibly the best of Australian contemporary folk music that you could purchase. Few artists pay such exquisite detail to the total soundscape. This album will leave delightful sounds echoing in your head long after you have stopped listening to the actual tracks…”

    Robin Brew – Hamilton Folk Club NZ
    “This all too temporary importation demanded my attention from their first offering, not only for their superb musicianship, lovely use of dynamics, vocal shading etc but really topical, relevant and brave songwriting about issues that need raising.”

    CURIOUS 2015
    “Ellen’s Lullaby” FINALIST for ‘Song of the Year’ 2019 Australian Celtic Awards
    “Trinity” FINALIST in DUO Category 2018 Blues&Roots International Song of the Year
    “Taking My Time” FIRST PLACE 2015 Illawarra Folk Festival Song Competition
    “Why Would You” Top 30 OPEN 2015 Australian Songwriters Association Awards

    ROGUE FOLK 2017
    “Song Already Written” FIRST PLACE 2018 Great North Folk Festival
    “Rogue Folk” #7 Top 10 FOLK ACOUSTIC 2018 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
    “Red Red Dirt” Top 30 AUSTRALIA & COUNTRY 2018 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
    “Long Way From Lost” FIRST PLACE 2017 Illawarra Folk Festival Song Competition NSW

    “Verandah” #4 TOP 10 FOLK & ACOUSTIC 2019 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
    “Leaving the Harbour” #5 Top 10 FOLK & ACOUSTIC 2019 Australian Songwriters Association Awards
    “Dust to Ashes” Top 30 AUSTRALIA 2019 Australian Songwriters Association Awards




    Mick McHugh

    Nominated for

    Song of the Year – A Million Stars



    “There’s a candle burning in the dark – always a glimmer of hope.” Mick McHugh

    Indie folk artist Mick McHugh has stepped out and stepped up with the release of his debut studio album, for which he crowd-funded $19,000. ‘A Million Stars’ was released on 16th February 2018, and showcases him as the well-rounded, matured singer songwriter and musician that he’s spent the past decade refining.

    The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for the Australian based singer/songwriter, performing to sold out audiences after picking up three coveted support slots with Aria Award winning indie-pop darling Amy Shark, as well as an East Coast tour with Irish folk singer/songwriter Damien Dempsey. The lead single ‘Not in Kansas Anymore’ (co-written with Goanna’s Shane Howard) saw McHugh win the Best Music Video award at the NCEIA Dolphin Music Awards …the prize resulting in a day’s recording in Pete Murray’s Kicks Iron studio. The song was also a finalist in the Great American Song Contest and a semi-finalist in two categories in the International Songwriting Competition. McHugh topped it off by signing a Digital Distribution deal with ABC Music.

    ‘A Million Stars’ is a statement of an album, McHugh as an artist not afraid to address tough issues, hardships and plight, but at the same time, layering it in his trademark hope – for Mick McHugh, this album is just the beginning.

    “Mick McHugh connects with the important elements of music – his songs and his audience.”
    Amy Shark
    “There is a vulnerability in his voice that expresses the deep fragility of our world and the times we’re living in.”
    Shane Howard




    Norma O’Hara Murphy

    Nominated for

    Female Artist of the Year – Finalist
    Song of the Year – Patriot Games



    Norma O’Hara Murphy has been described as a ‘National Treasure’ after a Folk Club performance in Melbourne.

    The release of Norma’s new Celtic album (Bloodlines) reminds us of that special quality that is within, to truly capture and bring out a whole new chapter for this Aussie Singer/Songwriter, third generation Irish/Australian.

    There has always been a folky/Irish flavour with Norma’s songs but with this collection comes an unashamed pride for Ireland and all she stands for. There is a much more serious and deeper reflection on the place and the role in the world of Irish/Celtic music. Norma explores and indeed challenges some of the old traditional views and some of the long held prejudices.

    Patriot games is a personal favourite and in good conscience Norma felt the need to bring the song into the here & now, as well as adding that wonderful Australian flavour that is such a defining part of Norma’s Songwriting. “My name is O’Hara”, the opening line of Patriot Games, is in fact Norma’s maiden name. However putting aside the (O’Hara) connection for now because the main inspiration for this album (volume one) of Bloodlines is the family history on Norma’s Mothers side, the Hungerford’s. It is found to be a treasure trove of amazing tales of Medieval Castles, Medieval knights & warriors, legendary battles, serious connections to ancient Kings – totally fascinating. It has inspired some songs on this album – full of gems – as well as some wonderful old classics and of course some great original lyrics woven into some of these gems. This is a collection to remind us all of where we came from, our heritage, our own history & reminding us all we should appreciate our musical heritage and celebrate the wonderful gift of song as Norma celebrates her own special gift passed on down through the centuries.

    This collection is to remember & pay tribute to both her parents and her grandparents who were pioneers of this land and are the ones who sailed over from Ireland & giving the entire family the opportunity to live in this wonderful country. This collection marks Norma’s fifteenth album and it is nominated in the Australian Celtic Awards for 2020. One of the most original artists & Songwriters of our time Norma continues to bring so much joy with these wonderful songs & stories and we all look forward to the next exciting creation from this genuine National treasure.



    String Loaded

    String Loaded Celtic Fiddle Band

    Nominated for

    Celtic Artist of the Year – Winner
    Group of the Year – Winner
    Album of the Year – Continuous Line – Finalist
    Instrumental of the Year – Cooley’s Reel
    Instrumental of the Year – Highland Cathedral
    Instrumental of the Year – Carolan’s Draught
    Instrumental of the Year – Cock of the North/100 Pipers/Bonny Dundee – Winner
    Instrumental of the Year – O’Keefe’s Slide/Congress Reel
    Song of the Year – Parting Glass
    Song of the Year – Leather Wing Bat
    Song of the Year – Wild Mountain Thyme – Finalist
    Song of the Year – All For Me Grog
    Producer of the Year – Ray Blissett – Continuous Line



    2018 Australian Celtic Instrumentalist of the Year

    String Loaded are a multi-award winning Irish & Celtic Fiddle Band from Newcastle, Australia.

    “The beauty, skill and infectious energy of the girls’ fiddle playing and singing will leave you spell bound and fill your heart with joy.”

    The band features the feisty fiddle playing sisters, Gabi and Liv, supported by Ray, on guitar and Jen on bodhran and telling the stories behind the tunes. The bands energy and passion for their music is evident in their award winning albums and particularly in their exciting live shows. String Loaded have performed at Festivals and shows around the world including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, Fiddle Festival on the Orkney Islands & the infamous Woodford Festival.

    Over the past 10 years this high energy family band has established themselves as an authentic, professional, high class Irish & Celtic Concert Band. They are best known for their upbeat and passionate Irish, Scottish, Bluegrass fiddle music and singing. Think … Toss the Feathers, Riverdance Music, Whisky in the Jar, Devil Went Down to Georgia, Scotland the Brave, Danny Boy … This band will deliver a concert that has universal appeal for all ages and bring a smile of joy to everyone.

    “Thank you String Loaded. Your Irish music was world class! We are looking forward to seeing you again next year.” Alaistair Murphy

    Every festival, corporate presentation, concert, wedding needs an Irish Jig and a Scottish Reel! String Loaded perform a mix of traditional and contemporary tunes and songs, with a very exciting sound.

    No Irish theme party is complete without the excitement and passion of ‘live’ fiddle music!!