Woman of song wins gold

AFTER years of plying her craft, acclaimed singer-songwriter Tamara Stewart can finally boast of being the proud recipient of a Golden Guitar.

Stewart, who hails from Mooroopna in rural Victoria and now calls Blacktown City home, took home the award for Vocal Collaboration of the Year at last month’s 41st Country Music Awards of Australia, held on Australia Day at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.

Stewart was up for three awards on the night, including Female Artist of the Year, but says she’s more than proud to share her first trophy with fellow artists Sara Storer and Felicity Urquhart, who joined her on the winning track Women In Song.

‘‘I feel really proud to win, especially in light of what the song represents,’’ Stewart said.

‘‘Women In Song was written in mind as a collaboration, so it was always destined to capture interweaving vocals and an interacting lyric.

‘‘To share my first GG with Sara and Fliss makes the victory even sweeter. They are real mates with real talent and I’m proud to be sharing it with them.’’

Others in the category included Lee Kernaghan, Catherine Britt, Luke O’Shea and Shane Nicholson.

Stewart almost missed her moment of glory, being back stage when the announcement was made, leaving a heavily pregnant Urquhart to accept on her own (Storer wasn’t at the festival).

Luckily the show producers waited for Stewart to take to the stage.

Stewart has long been regarded one of the scene’s most respected songwriters.

Last year she independently released her fourth album, Apple Seed.

Each of its tracks were either written or co-written by Stewart.

Women In Song was written with Colin Buchanan as a tribute to all the women who have helped and continue to shape Australian country music, including industry pioneers such as Thel Carey and Joy McKean.

Ironically, Joy McKean was awarded the first Golden Guitar for the song Lights On The Hill, which she wrote for husband Slim Dusty.

Stewart said the accolade was even sweeter because it was for a piece on which she had also served as producer.

‘‘It was a challenge to produce my own record and really stand in the forefront as an artist,’’ she said. ‘‘Winning the Golden Guitar is beautiful encouragement that I am on the right path. I am already busy writing the next record.

‘‘It’s hard getting the word out there about Apple Seed. I just want people to own the album and to live the songs with me. I’m really proud of it.’’

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