At a country star-studded event on Saturday evening in Tamworth, local artist Kim Cheshire ascended the stairs of the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre to take the Golden Guitar for Alt Country Album of the Year – Looks Like Heaven.
Presenting the award was Henry Wagons. Cheshire was up against some pretty tough competition to take home the win – also recognised for his work on the album was producer Rod McCormack.
First new album in 10 years
As Cheshire strode across the front of the stage it was announced that this is Kim’s first new album in 10 years and the first Golden Guitar as a solo artist.
Cheshire started his speech by saying he hadn’t been on the Golden Guitars stage for 25 years. ‘It’s nice to be here and like Keith Richards says, “at my age, it’s nice to be anywhere”.’
Cheshire thanked the awards organisers, his fellow nominees and the people who voted for me. ‘I should tell you my first band was when I was 12 years old in 1964. And I had my 71st birthday just about four days ago. So don’t throw in the towel anyone. Hang in there.’
Never intended to make an album
Cheshire says he never intended to make this album. ‘I had a few songs I hadn’t recorded over the years and I just thought I wouldn’t mind recording them. So I called up Rod and said, ‘are you interested in recording these tunes?’ And he said yeah, come down and let’s have some fun. I’ll lock out a few days at the studio.
Cheshire said he recorded three songs first in a day and a half and Rod said the studio was free for another two and a half days – so he dug around and found a few more. ‘They went down quick. It kept going on like that for about four days. And he [Rod] said, “Kim, I think he got a new album”. And that was it. I never intended to make an album at all. I was happily growing vegetables and looking after my animals and living in the rural life.’
With an auditorium chock full of thousands of people, Cheshire started his thank yous with his family. ‘I’d like to thank my lovely wife and my best friend Anna, my gorgeous daughter Polly and my boy Johnny, for putting up with me all these years – because it’s a challenge living with someone as single-minded and as philosophically uncompromising as I am. Thank you, guys.
Producer Rod McCormack
‘Now next, the main person I want to thank you for making this record is this guy standing next to me. [Rod McCormack] I’ve been in two bands with this guy. We’ve been friends for 35 years.’
Rod McCormack said that he and Cheshire had made beautiful music together for several decades. ’It’s always a treat. We’re really really grateful to everybody involved and the musicians. We’ve had some incredible players contribute.’
Cheshire finished his speech by thanking everyone who contributed to the win and then with a short tribute to another local muso. ‘Lastly, I would like to thank and dedicate this award to my fellow Northern Rivers singer-songwriter, and precious friend Sara [Tindley] who we lost last week.’