FULL OF TALENT: Check out the SOuthern Downs’ top musos.
FULL OF TALENT: Check out the SOuthern Downs’ top musos.

Top 10 most successful musos from the Southern Downs

The Southern Downs has produced a bevy of cultural legends, with many of the region's talented musicians enjoying acclaim.

From singer-songwriters to bands and country to musical theatre genres, Warwick and its surrounds have been a goldmine of creativity for many.

To determine this list, Warwick Daily News has put awards, acclaim and reach into play:

 

NINE YEAR SISTER

This sister team have called the Granite Belt home for 12 years and inspired many more budding artists.

Their duo and their song, Let the Heart Win, placed first in the Ozhearts Song Contest last year, judged by acclaimed musicians Greg Page from The Wiggles and DJ Tigerlily.

They also regularly perform at local events as well as those in Toowoomba and beyond.

 

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FREE RADICALS

This fun-loving Killarney folk duo can't be overlooked for their efforts in keeping the Southern Downs scene alive.

In 2020, the pair won Most Australian Performance at the Australian National Busking Championship south-east Queensland finals after moving from hospitality to music.

 

JAMES BLUNDELL

A comprehensive list would be amiss without this country phenomenon.

Stanthorpe-born James first rose to prominence after being named "best new talent" at the 1987 Country Music Awards of Australia. Blundell has since released several albums in both Australia and the United States.

His most successful album, This Road, sold more than 145,000 copies in Australia.

In 2019, he was inducted into the Country Music Awards of Australia's Hall of Fame.

 

JOEL ANTHONY

Selling out shows in the UK, Warwick-born folk singer Joel Anthony (aka Joel Briggs) is no stranger to musical success.

Calling upon inspiration from Dave Matthews Band, Passenger and Sigur Ros, Joel has played alongside household legends like Josh Pyke and John Butler.

 

Peter Salata.
Peter Salata.

 

PETER SALATA

With its beautiful rural landscape, it's no wonder the Granite Belt creates killer country musicians like Peter Salata.

Peter has won multiple awards including a Tamworth Golden Guitar and CMA's Songwriter of the Year.

He was also been nominated as a 2020 Queensland Music Awards finalist.

 

WARWICK THISTLE PIPE BAND

Jamming alongside John Farnham, perform the opening of the televised The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo tour and getting the chance to compete in Russia - all while toting bagpipes.

When they performed with Farnsy, the Warwick Thistle Pipe Band was greeted by 11,000 screaming fans, proving this crew has real star potential.

 

NORMA O'HARA MURPHY

Six-time Golden Guitar award winner Norma O'Hara Murphy first called Warwick home 12 years ago and since then hasn't stopped creating musical memories for the region.

Since 2010, Norma has used her skills to create the unforgettable Bony Mountain Folk Festival, where hundreds of music lovers descend on the region to hear the sweet tunes.

 

MATT MANAHAN

The ultimate triple threat, this Stanthorpe-born talent is making waves for his musical theatre work nationwide.

Just recently Matthew won the 2020 BroadwayWorld Sydney Awards for best professional actor in a musical for his work in Hair.

He is also appearing on your screen in Netflix's Official Bureau of Magical Things.

 

Jim and Carolyn Pierce Photo Kerri Moore / Warwick Daily News
Jim and Carolyn Pierce Photo Kerri Moore / Warwick Daily News

 

JIM AND CAROLYN PIERCE

Country stalwarts Jim and Carolyn Pierce helped create an unforgettable Warwick music scene.

The pair organised the annual Ultra Golden Country Music Festival in Warwick since its inception in 2002 and until 2015.

The three-day event allowed country artists over the age of 50 to take the stage and compete against other artists of a similar age.

In 2012, thy were awarded with the prestigious Palms of Honour award.

 

SMOOTH TALK

Made from Stanthorpe and Warwick duo, Ash Moore and Elle Rudd, this pair has a bevy of successes up their sleeve.

Not only being a powerhouse of local events, their song Let it Rain (The Bushfire Song) went viral following the Stanthorpe bushfires.

The pair also performed at the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival.



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