It may have been a tough year for local Luke Wheeldon and his band Hurricane Fall, but the year finished on a massive high for them.
Hurricane Fall was nominated for the 2021 Golden Guitar Awards in the Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year category.
They were selected from more than 674 entries across 16 categories and reflect a melting-pot of musical creativity that characterised the year in Australian country music.
The former Hume Conservatorium teacher said it was an amazing achievement.
"We are stoked to be nominated among other artists we like and admire," Mr Wheeldon said.
"Our band released an album called Ain't Leaving back in January and feel privileged to have been picked by a VIP judging panel made up of industry professionals and Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) members.
"Since we were unable to support the album with touring, it was really great to have our work recognised this way."
Hailing from Newcastle, Hurricane Fall is one of the hardest working acts in showbiz and has toured all over the east coast of the country as well as Canada.
The original members of the band formed in 2014 were keyboard and guitarist Tim Tricky, vocalist and bass guitarist Pepper Deroy, vocalist and on the acoustics Jesse Visser and drummer Lachlan Coffey, before guitarist Luke Wheeldon joined the fray in 2017.
The COVID-19 pandemic did affect Mr Wheeldon and his band, but they were able to turn the negatives into positives.
"The majority of our income comes from touring and merchandise sales, so it's been a hard year financially, although Job Keeper definitely helped," Mr Wheeldon said.
"Otherwise, I try to look at the upsides.
"I've had a lot more work in my recording studio and I'm producing a record for an up and coming artist called Jarred Taylor.
"He's a cracking songwriter and I'm enjoying more time being creative.
"There's also been more time with my family and, while talking to people, I'm finding lots of people are saying their priorities are little different now and they are happier."
Tamworth Regional Council and the CMAA will present the 2021 Golden Guitar Awards live on Saturday, January 23, from the Tamworth Region Entertainment and Conference Centre.
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