Deni Ute Muster took place on 30 September and 1 October 2022.
It’s been almost a month since we braved the Deniliquin heat and made our way to NSW’s two-day festival, the Deni Ute Muster. With a line-up chock-a-block full of country music superstars and newcomers, not to mention a full program of entertainment including bogan bingo, wood chopping, carnival rides, driving competitions and more, there was something for everyone!
While it was impossible for us to catch everything and see every artist perform, here are five acts who impressed us at the Deni Ute Muster (who aren’t Brad Paisley, because obviously!). We based this list on overall likability, ability to draw and hold a crowd and general showmanship.
Coming off his appearance on The Voice Australia as part of Keith Urban’s team, where he performed Niall Horan’s This Town and won over the judges, turning three chairs, and Australian music lovers everywhere with his authenticity and Australian humour and turns of phrase, we caught the end of Danny Phegan’s set to find a huge crowd of enthusiastic fans.
Having released a slew of singles including What A Life with Matt Scullion, Little Man, The Halfway Hotel and the current Fight Song as well as his album From Where I Stand in 2017, we predict we’ll be seeing Phegan on a lot more festival line-ups to come.
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Proving he’s always a bridesmaid and never the bride (jokes - we love you, Shannon!), special mention goes to Shannon Noll who won over the crowd by downing a shoey like a legend and daggy dancing with his dad bod on show. Noll’s superpower has always been his ability to not take himself too seriously, whether that be with his energetic rendition of Waltzing Matilda, hosting mass singalongs of his familiar hits like What About Me and Lift or speaking about the importance of mental health.
Noll was – and is always – the perfect addition to the Deni Ute Muster line-up.
Two of Australia’s most respected singers, musicians and songwriters, Ian Moss and Troy Cassar-Daley are musical legends in their own right but put the two together and it is pure magic. Performing some of each other’s greatest hits together including Moss’ Tucker’s Daughter and Bow River as well as Cassar-Daley’s Born To Survive, Moss and Cassar-Daley recently wrapped up their Together Alone tour but will return in 2023 for one final show as well as the Red Hot Summer Tour.
Earlier this year, the duo released a five-track limited edition EP recorded live at Freight Train Studios, which includes their collaboration South and a cover of Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine.
There’s a reason proud Gamilaraay woman Loren Ryan was a Toyota Star Maker finalist in 2022. She wowed us not only with her angelic voice but singing in both English and her traditional Aboriginal language, Gamilaraay brought an element of originality, uniqueness and soul to the festival like no other. Hailing from Tamworth in north-west New South Wales, Ryan grew up celebrating her culture with friends and family, showcased in her set with songs like Yilalu, Little Darlin’ and Silver and Gold.
Earlier this year, she achieved her first iTunes #1 single Eventually. She also released the kid’s country album Songs for Charlie as a tribute to her daughter. The album incorporates words and verses in the Gamilaraay language and the musical backing of the didgeridoo and clapsticks.
You know those artists that you can just tell are so grateful to be on stage? Like that happiness just radiates out of them and it’s so infectious that you can’t not have a good time when you’re watching them? That, to me, was the Round Mountain Girls. With the addition of Amity Brand on the fiddle –words cannot describe her craft – the band is comprised of Chris Eaton, Stephen Lovelight, Mark Oats, Francois de Klerk and Chris Willoughby.
If you haven’t heard of Round Mountain Girls before, we sure to check them out on a festival stage near you. They’ve already rocked the likes of Tablelands Folk Festival, Bluesfest, Agnes Blues and Roots Festival and Groundwater Country Music Festival, and here’s to many more!
You can find out more about the Deni Ute Muster via their official website here.