A COUNTRY music singer scored an amazing double at the British scene’s biggest prize-giving bash of the year.
Gary Quinn, from Leigh, retained his Song of the Year prize and was named Songwriter of the Year at the annual British Country Music Awards (BCMA) in London.
Gary scooped the award for best song for the second year in a row for The Power of Me and You from his crowd-funded debut album, with the tracks also strong enough for him to claim the songwriter’s prize ahead of some of the most hyped names on the UK country scene.
Gary is also looking forward to a busy 2015 as the Heathrow awards bash allowed him to network with several successful musicians and producers from Nashville, with plans for co-writing trips Stateside already taking place.
Gary said: “Coming away with two awards is not too bad at all. I’m particularly pleased with the songwriter award considering the guys I was up against. Some of them have had national radio airplay and are getting a lot of backing.
“The awards are a good chance to review the year and ensure our efforts aren’t going unnoticed.
“It’s also got strong links with Nashville and Steve Wariner came across to headline the performance show. I’ve spoken to him briefly before so it was nice to catch up and hopefully we will write together next time I’m in Nashville.
“The co-writing I’ve already got lined up for next year is at a really high level, so I’m excited about what we can come up with for that.”
The Power of Me and You, which earned Gary the prize for the year’s best British country song, was written in collaboration with Texas musician David C Banning, with ideas being developed via email and online.
Gary says the country music scene is growing rapidly in the UK, with more established fanbases and clubs being joined by newer audiences and venues which are not usually associated with the genre putting on successful acts.
He recently returned with his band to play a hometown show in Leigh and says he would like to perform more gigs in the borough in future.
He said: “I think there’s a big spotlight on country music in the UK now and several acts are going into venues which are synonymous with music in general rather than just country.
“The Leigh show was a good opportunity for people who’ve never been to a country club to see us play. I would love to do more shows here but it’s difficult with venues you have to take over somewhere and turn it into a live music venue for the night.”
For more information about his music visit www.garyjpquinn.co.uk