James Johnson, Travis Collins & More Join Monday’s KIX Live!

16 March 2023 | 10:35 am | Emma Whines

Tune in this Monday from 7pm!

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On Monday, March 20 at 7pm, KIX Live will feature performances from James Johnston, Travis Collins, Andrew Swift, Amy Sheppard, Tori Darke, Chelsea Berman.

James Johnston

Growing up in the small town of Wingham on the Mid North Coast of NSW, James Johnston hit the stage at four-years-old for the very first time, performing Friends in Low Places in front of his kindergarten class and begin busking on the streets of Tamworth.

He competed on season 7 of Australian Idol, where he placed third in 2009, played in various bands (including the duo Stomp) and released original music before appearing on The X Factor in 2014. Following his exit from the reality television music competition show, he went to Nashville where his flame was once again reignited for country music.

His debut single Raised Like That peaked at #1 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart and #4 on the Australian Independent chart. It was certified gold in Australia last year, and in doing so, Johnston became the first independent country artist to achieve this milestone in more than 20 years.

Following the success of his follow-up singles Small Town, Country Boys and Same Songs featuring Kaylee Bell, Johnston is nominated for six Golden Guitar Awards. Not only does he top the list for the most nominations, it’s also his first time ever being nominated.

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Travis Collins

Collins is considered one of Australia’s finest country music artists. He burst onto the scene in 2005 with Start the Car, establishing himself as a leading light in Australian songs. 

Nine studio albums later, he is a regular mainstage fixture at Australia’s peak country music festivals and routinely plays to sold-out crowds across the country. He has also toured alongside US megastars Tim McGraw, Luke Combs, Dan Davidson and Billy Ray Cyrus.

He will appear as one of the main stage acts at CMC Rocks from 17-19 March 2023 alongside international headliners Morgan Wallen, Zac Brown Band and Kip Moore. Collins will also open for Midland during their upcoming The Last Resort: Greetings From tour this August-September.

Andrew Swift

Andrew Swift has gone from strength to strength since finding his feet in the Australian country music scene as a Toyota Starmaker grand finalist in 2017. With his debut country album, Call Out For The Cavalry debuting at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Charts, the record saw five singles lifted for release, including Fire & Ice featuring Catherine Britt.

His follow-up album, The Art Of Letting Go, debuted at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Album Charts and was the 5th highest-selling Australian Country album of 2021. Andrew scored nominations for ‘Male Artist of The Year’ and ‘Alt Country Album of the Year’ at the 50th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards in Tamworth, having picked up two awards at the 2019 event – ‘Qantas New Talent of the Year’ and ‘Alt Country Album of the Year’.

His recent singles Young Lovers and The Good Old Days provide an exciting pointer towards what’s to come from Andrew’s forthcoming third studio album

Amy Sheppard

Inspired by her country music upbringings, listening to the likes of The Chicks, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes, Amy Sheppard decided to pack up her pop stylings and fused them with country influences for her debut solo EP, Nothing But Wild, released on September 16.

She spent the past three years writing and building towards this debut solo release, which features the title track, which peaked at #3 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart, and follow-up single, Blue Guitar, which peaked at #2 and currently sits at #12 after 16 weeks on the chart.

While definitely not her first foray into the genre, previously already a Golden Guitar Award winner for her vocals on Lee Kernaghan’s Spirit of the Anzacs, Sheppard has previous experience writing and singing with artists like Kasey Chambers and The Wolfe Brothers.

She also appeared in body-image advocate Taryn Brumfitt’s documentary, Embrace: Kids, alongside other celebrities like Celeste Barber, Alex Noble, Jameela Jamil, and Electric Fields.

Tori Darke

Darke began singing at ten years old and competing in local talent competitions when she was a child. She released her self-titled EP in 2009 and debut album, Dreams & Chances in 2011. It reached #5 on the Australian ARIA Country charts and #10 on the International ARIA charts, with all five singles from the album hitting the Top 10, with three charting at #1.

Her second album, Silver Lining launched to a sold-out audience in Sydney on its release, debuting at #1 on the Australian ARIA Charts, #3 on the Australian ARIA All Genres Chart, and #9 on the ARIA International Country Charts. The album led to her being a top five finalist in the ‘Female Artist of the Year’ category at the 2016 Golden Guitar Awards. She was also nominated for ‘Female Artist of the Year’ and ‘Oz Artist of the Year’ at the 2016 CMC Awards.

Earlier last year, she released her first single in six years. Penned with Jason Duke and Johnny Simmen a few years back in Nashville, Sit In A Bar came from an idea of being in a bar and not getting drunk, not hooking up or anything else you could go to a bar for.

Chelsea Berman

The rising singer-songwriter started performing at the age of 8. Since then, Chelsea has toured extensively and shared the stage with artists including Travis Collins, Brad Cox, Amber Lawrence, Kirsty Lee Akers, The Viper Creek Band, Melanie Dyer and Hurricane Fall.

She released her debut EP, Better Than Ever in 2018, which reached #4 on the iTunes Country Albums chart. The following year, Chelsea was a Toyota Star Maker finalist at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, won the Market the Music ‘Emerging Artist Scholarship’ and an elusive endorsement from Fashion label Racy & Lucky.

In 2022, Chelsea released her previous single Break Up With A Friend which has had over 200,000 Spotify streams – and is her most successful streaming song to date. After playing sold-out shows across the East Coast of NSW with Jake Davey, Chelsea is currently planning a 2023 tour.