Merv's golden Tamworth touch
HE MAY be a star when it comes to plucking his guitar, but for Merv Maltman it was putting pen to paper that stole the hearts of judges and revellers alike at the Tamworth Country Music Festival last week.
The Warwick singer/songwriter took out a Golden Guitar for his song Channel Country Ground, performed by Lee Kernaghan and Dean Perrett.
Maltman won the prestigious award in the Best Bush Ballad category and said he still could not believe it.
"It's still sinking in that I actually won a Golden Guitar," he said.
"It's the highest accolade to win in the country music industry in Australia."
Maltman said his song was nominated by Perrett and Kernaghan who begged him to let them take on the song as a duet.
He said it was written about an ex-ringer who wanted to return to the channel country ground.
"I wrote it just before the floods happened about the channel country ground and how it was full of water, then the floods came - it was almost like a premonition," Maltman said.
He spent seven years on the road, touring with other musicians as a support act, and in 1982 became the first Australian songwriter to complete an album of songs recorded by someone other than himself.
"Then I left the music industry for 22 years and only got back into it four years ago," Maltman said.
He hopes to continue writing and recording and is available for gigs and functions.
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