Two talented local artists made a name for themselves this year at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Musician Kahlia Martin has been playing at the festival for a couple of years and this year local photographer Klae McGuinness tagged along to capture some images of her on stage.
Kahlia was invited to perform with Australian singer-songwriter Beccy Cole.
“The first few years I was in a set band and this year I was more of a hired musician, playing with a number of different artists,” Kahlia told The Cobar Weekly.
“I played two shows with Beccy Cole.
“I had previously played one show with her in December last year at the legendary Newcastle venue ‘Lizottes’.
“Beccy discovered me at the Trundle Bush Tucker Day in September last year. She was the headline act for the event and I was part of the support band that played after her.
“She happened to hang around and watched our first set, then approached me in our break and told me how much she loved my playing.
“She also asked if I was playing with anyone full time, and if not, would I be interested in working with her. Of course, I said yes!”
With the help of a media pass, Klae was able to get up close to a lot of country music stars, some of whom he’d met when they’d previously played gigs in Cobar.
He was also introduced to a promoter who helped him to get access to one of Lee Kernaghan’s shows.
“And everything just snowballed from there,” Klae said.
With a new Canon camera in hand, Klae was able to shoot from the front row, from on stage close to the artists and also on the Red Carpet at the Golden Guitar Awards.
After posting his photos on social media, he gained the attention of a number of artists including Christie Lamb, The Wolfe Brothers, John Stephan and Lee Kernaghan.
And that’s led to further work for Klae who’s been invited to take more photos at a Wolfe Brothers concert in Victoria later this month; Christie Lamb has asked for a promo shoot; John Stephan would like Klae to work with him on his album cover; and Klae’s also been invited to work with Outback Magazine.
Kahlia’s recently been working with emerging artist Jess Holland and has some big events coming up this year include headlining the Trundle Bush Tucker Day, the Tunes on the Turf Festival at Dunedoo and supporting Shannon Noll at the July Duck Creek Races.