Johnny Cash


 Photography:  C.Y Entertainment

Photography: C.Y Entertainment

Dale Hooper and The Tennessee Drifters play the main stage from 8:15pm - 9:30pm

The 2018 Johnny Cash Country Festival is proud to announce, as our headline act for this year’s Festival, The Return of Dale Hooper and his celebrated Tribute to Johnny Cash.

Last year Dale, with his Tennessee Drifters backing band, delivered a spectacular selection of Johnny Cash classics, to the delight of a large, hugely appreciative audience.

Dale’s 2018 performance will occupy a full hour and a half, and we’re excited to announce it will also feature Stanthorpe’s own Elle Rudd, who will sing the parts of June Carter in several of their famous duets.

Dale has been performing the Johnny Cash tribute show for 20 years, and is widely recognised as one of Australia’s top Johnny Cash Tribute Bands. Passionate about Johnny Cash – and about presenting a memorable occasion for his audience at every show – he’ll deliver a selection of songs that he considers to be Johnny’s all time favourite hits, including of course Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire and Orange Blossom Special, to name just a few.

Johnny Cash is unarguably one of the all-time most celebrated Country Music legends in the world. And one of the originators of Rockabilly music. His timeless songs are performed live and played daily on radio throughout the world.

Dale Hooper had the pleasure of meeting Johnny Cash in person during his tour of Australia in 1995 with “The Highwaymen”. Johnny’s advice to Dale was...

If you are going to do something son, do it right!”

And do it right he does!

Dale is a true professional in every sense of the word with many credits to his name. He has made many television appearances and been invited to perform with many of Australia’s greats….such as Slim Dusty, Jimmy Little, Darcy Le Year, Jean Stafford, The Dead Ringer Band, Pixie Jenkins, Smokey Dawson, Slim Newton, N.Z’s Eddie Lowe - just to name a few. And, lets not forget, also with Joanne Cash Yates (Johnny’s sister) plus duets with Tommy Cash, Johnny’s brother. Johnny Cash will be sadly missed, but never forgotten. The music & sound of this great legend is kept well and truly alive by Dale Hooper

So, don’t miss out…on Saturday November 3rd - at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds - all your favourite Johnny Cash hits will be highlighted by Dale Hooper with his superb six-piece band “The Tennessee Drifters”.


Legends of the Opre

The Legends of Opre take to the Main stage from 6:30pm - 7:30pm

The third band of the evenings event will be a very special show …Legends of the Opre  will be a huge  performance of Classic Hits from the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Carl Perkins and other Country legends. Featuring Bruce McCumstie, Trevor Tolton  and Stanthorpe’s own Elle Rudd, all backed by  “The Tennessee Drifters” Show Band. These guys are a totally seasoned bunch of players who live and breathe country rock music. Hailing from the Tamworth area all of them are well known in the Australian music scene.

BRUCE McCUMSTIE…sings Willie Nelson

Bruce McCumstie is well-known around Australia for his performances over many years, paying tribute to the life and music of Willie Nelson.  

He is renowned for his outstanding performances in the production shows “4 Highwaymen”, “Luv Ya Willie”, “Stardust”, "Strictly Nashville" & “Waylon & Willie” as well as the “Ring of Fire” tour.

Bruce has toured around Australia to sell out performances at venues such as Crown Casino in Melbourne, Burswood-Perth Casino. He has also performed to sell-out audiences for multiple Tamworth festivals, the Gympie Muster and many other major events and festivals around the country

Dubbed fondly in the press as “the man Willie Nelson sings like” Bruce is looking forward to performing as part of the “The Johnny Cash Country Festival” in Stanthorpe 2018.

“When Bruce McCumstie walks on stage you will not only hear but see Willie singing to you.”

 “Bruce sounds more like Willie than Willie does”


TREVOR TOLTON…sings Merle Haggard

Trevor Tolton first got his foot in music's door by playing the talent quest circuit during the Tamworth Country Music Festival and following this were scholarships to attend both the Junior and Senior Country Music Academy in 2009 and 2012.

Here he learned a few tricks of the trade that led him to tour with Graham Rodger right across Australia for 9 years playing at festivals and on tours as Graham’s lead guitar player and guest artist.

Outside of the tours with Graham, Trevor performed at many festivals with other artists and as his own act, gradually improving as a guitar player, singer, performer and songwriter.

Inspired by the likes of John Williamson, Slim Dusty, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and everybody else in between, Trevor continues to tour all over Australia, from the coastal cities to way out into the outback.

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ELLE RUDD…sings classic country hits with Legends of the Opre

Elle started performing around the age of seven, at school fetes and fundraisers. She then went on to sing and play keyboards with her father’s band "Back to the 80's" in Canberra.

Elle, for a number of years headed up local Stanthorpe band Sound Supply, performing as lead vocalist and keyboard player. She also runs her own vocal training clinic in Stanthorpe for up-and-coming performers in the area.

She has recently started a solo venture singing and playing keys and loves performing 80's hits but also has a soft spot for country music and Australian Classic rock songs.

the SugarShakers

Main stage at the Showgrounds from 5pm - 6pm

The second main stage band for the evening are Brisbane Rockabilly and Swing outfit The SugarShakers.

With their own high-energy brand of music, The SugarShakers represent the styles and sounds of the late forties and early fifties, playing a wide variety of styles including Rockabilly, Swing, Blues, Country, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and a touch of Mexicana.

Their live show typically includes covers by artists such as Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin, Patsy Cline, Pat Ferguson and many more.

The last few years have seen them supporting big name acts like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Imelda May, as well as playing numerous Festivals around the country, including appearances at The Big Day Out.

Emma-Rose and this four piece ‘filly-billy’ band The SugarShakers always deliver a rockin’ great time.


Heartworn Highway

Main stage at the Showgrounds from 3:45pm - 4:30pm

Stanthorpe Piazza from 12pm - 12:45pm

Heartworn Highway are the first main stage band (also having playing earlier in the day at our music showcase in the Stanthorpe Piazza).

Singer-songwriters Diego Zaragoza and Trent McNamara first met some years back. Both based in Northern New South Wales, these kindred spirits spent much time singing harmonies to old favourites, and crafting a sound of their own - melding Country, Bluegrass and Americana backgrounds into finely honed, harmony-laden songs.   

With the addition of double bassist Al Brooker-who previously played with the likes of Paul Kelly and Nick Barker - and recently - joined fiddler and vocalist Maria Stratton, the band has developed its own personal sound, and the Heartworn Highway family is now complete.      

Diego also recently had the pleasure of being part of John Carter Cash’s backing band when Carter Cash performed recently at a sellout show in Bangalow NSW in May 2018. (John Carter Cash is Johnny Cash’s son.)

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Paul Rye

The Johnny Cash Country Music Festival is very happy to announce the return of Paul Rye is the front man vocalist & guitarist for Cashville Band. A very popular Johnny Cash Show Band around for years based on the Gold Coast. Cashville performed back in 2014 in Stanthorpe and went down a treat. Paul is a true Johnny Cash fanatic and loves performing his tunes and it will be great to have him back.

Paul will be doing a set of Johnny Cash Classics from 11:15am He will  also be one of the judges for our Man in Black competition also taking place at the Piazza that morning.



Stanthorpe Piazza - 10am - 11am - free

Blue Violets are Janelle Makings & Michelle Fajdiga make up 'Blue Violets'.

Blue Violets present feel good & upbeat Rockabilly vibes that bring lots of smiles & toe-tapping, along with a sultry jazz lounge mood for evening events, although they are known to turn up the Rock 'n' Roll when dancing is required!

They have been performing together for the past 5  years and in that time have made regular appearances at the Jumpers & Jazz festival in Warwick.

Janelle also performs with various other Rock cover bands around the region.  Janelle and Michelle are long time musicians with many years of experience between them. Performing as the Blue Violets, their unique and humorous presentation style, promises to entertain our audiences of all ages in such a way that leaves them happy and feeling great.

Blue Violets very much look forward to being a part of this year’s Johnny Cash Country Festival.

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David Iliffe

Breakfast Presenter on ABC Southern Queensland,

David will be our MC at this year’s show

David is very much looking forward to hosting this years event.

After nearly thirty years making a living behind a microphone, David still gets a buzz in those seconds before the red light goes on to remind him he has one of the best jobs in the world. Presently David is the breakfast presenter on ABC Southern Queensland.

David loves storytelling in its many forms both as a consumer and practitioner, and loves nothing more than settling in for a nice long chat with someone and then sculpting it into a great story.

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