Justin Robinson from Sydney NSW, and Gayle O’Neil from Watanobbi on the NSW Central Coast, have taken out the FINAL of the Silver Saddles – Country Music’s brand new talent competition, on Saturday at the Sydney Country Music Festival.
All of the Finalists in the 2014 Silver Saddle talent competition (Justin and Gayle, Blake Dantier Band, Goldheist, Ellen Amy and Rachael Fahim) performed to a very high standard in front of an enthusiastic and supportive audience.
Judges were deadlocked, taking longer than an hour to decide the overall winner; a title that was finally awarded to Justin Robinson, however, because the competition was so close, judges and festival organisers decided to award an Honorary Mention to Gayle O’Neil, resulting in both artists receiving the coveted prize of a paid performance on Main Stage next year at the 2015 Sydney Country Music Festival.
Justin, originally from Nashville Tennessee brought his own brand of high energy Southern Rock Country to the Festival. Backed by his band, he performed 4 originals; Live it Up, Need Your Love, Willow, and The Little Things.
Gayle performed 5 originals on guitar, with guest guitarist Michael Muchow: Freedom, My Kinda Heaven, Every Little Memory, Welcome to the Neighbourhood and Free as a Bird from Gayle’s new album, which will be out next year.
‘It is the intention of the Silver Saddle talent competition to seek out Sydney’s own breed of Country Music artists who reflect a distinct sound with that ‘Sydney’ edge – all unsigned artists of course, and in need of their own big break. By awarding the opportunity of playing to thousands at the following year’s festival, we aim to contribute to that much needed exposure – to help get their name and their music out there’, says competition coordinator, Donna Boyd.
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