A surprise Golden Guitars nomination found two old friends from the Gold Coast pitched against each other in an unlikely scenario.

Nobody was more surprised by Amy Shark’s nomination for Apple Music Single of the Year than Amy Shark herself.

The singer took to social media to share her surprise, posting: “Whatttt. Never thought an indie pop girl from the GC would be recognised at the Country Music Awards!”


Also nominated in the same category is old friend – and fellow Gold Coast resident – country artist Casey Barnes.

“I’m a huge fan of Amy’s, and we’re great mates,” Casey told Tone Deaf this week.

“We’ve known each other for many, many years… We both started out playing at different venues and pubs and stuff on the Gold Coast, doing the same thing for a long, long time, so we’d cross paths.”

These days, when their paths don’t cross at Currumbin, it’s award ceremonies like the APRAs or the Gold Coast Music Awards, where the pair had been duking it out for the Artist of the Year award.

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“Funnily enough, Amy’s now ineligible because she’s been inducted into the Hall of Fame – I think she’s won it two or three times now,” Casey said.

“So she’s now in the Hall of Fame and I’ve won it the last two years.”

There are more surprise connections between the pair.

“Brad Hosking, who now plays in her band and has done for the last few years, originally played bass with me for quite a while,” Casey said.

“And my new album that’s coming out in February – I recorded all my vocals at his studio, and he produced the vocals there.”

Ironically, both Amy and Casey have been nominated for their (very different) versions of love songs.

It’s Amy’s ‘Love Songs Ain’t for Us’ (featuring Keith Urban and Ed Sheeran) up against Casey’s ‘God Took His Time on You’.

“It’s not necessarily a religious song or anything like that, it’s more a metaphor, whether you’re religious or not; it’s just almost the ultimate compliment you can give your partner to say that you’re just perfect,” Casey said.

“We knew at the time that we had a really special song and the response has been by far the biggest response I’ve had to a single.”

Acknowledging some stiff competition in both of his category nominations – including ARIA-winning Troy Cassar-Daly – Casey joked, “At least Amy can’t beat me in Male Artist of the Year – she can’t get me there!”

January’s 50th Golden Guitar Awards ceremony in Tamworth will also be a celebration for Casey, who is kicking off his biggest tour so far and releasing a new album early in the new year.

He will also be playing Bluesfest for the first time – alongside Amy Shark.

“I’ve wanted to be on that lineup for yonks,” he said.

“It’s definitely been a bucket list to tick that one off and we’re lucky enough to be playing two shows for Bluesfest and some other great festivals throughout year – some I can’t mention yet. It’s going to be an exciting year.”

Watch Casey Barne’s ‘God Took His Time on You’:

YouTube VideoPlay

50th Golden Guitars Award Nominees

Apple Music Single of the Year
Amy Shark ft. Keith Urban – ‘Love Songs Ain’t for Us’
Casey Barnes – ‘God Took His Time on You’
Morgan Evans – ‘Love is Real’
Shane Nicholson – ‘And You Will Have Your Way’
Troy Cassar-Daly – ‘Back on Country’

CMT Video of the Year
Fanny Lumsden – ‘Dig’
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham – ‘Spare Parts’
Luke O’Shea ft. Ashleigh Dallas – ‘Long Way Round’
The Wolfe Brothers – ‘Kids on Cassette’
Troy Cassar-Daly – ‘Back on Country’

Bluegrass Recording of the Year
Angus Gill – ‘Always on the Run’
Kristy Cox – ‘Person of the Year’
Montgomery Church – ‘Flowers on My Doorstep’
The Weeping Willows – ‘Black Crow’
Kim Cheshire – ‘Looks Like Heaven’

Bush Ballad of the Year
Allan Caswell – ‘Don’t Shed a Tear for Me’
Angus Gill – ‘The Easy Way’
Dean Perrett – ‘My Fire’
Dianne Lindsay – ‘Just Let Him Be’
Tracy Coster – ‘Common Sense’ 

Heritage Song of the Year
Andrew Farriss – ‘With the Kelly Gang’
Matt Scullion – ‘1868’
Michael Waugh – ‘Dirty River’
The Wolfe Brothers – ‘Small Town Song’
Troy Cassar-Daly – ‘I Hear My River’

Coca-Cola Instrumental of the Year
Angus Gill & Lindsay Waddington – ‘Musterin’ Season’
Davidson Brothers – ‘Golden Plains’
Montgomery Church – ‘Little William Brown’
Pete Denahy – ‘Bubbles in the Airlock’
The Weeping Willows – ‘Southern Gothic’

New Talent of the Year
Camille Trail
Cass Hopetoun
Darlinghurst
Raechel Whitchurch
Sammy White

Female Artist of the Year
Amber Lawrence
Ashleigh Dallas
Catherine Britt
Hayley Jensen
Jayne Denham

Male Artist of the Year
Andrew Swift
Brad Cox
Casey Barnes
Shane Nicholson
Troy Cassar-Daly

Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year
Cornell & Carr
Darlinghurst
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham
Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes
The Wolfe Brothers

APRA AMCOS Song of the Year
Adam Harvey – ‘Lindeman Again’
Amy Shark ft. Keith Urban – ‘Love Songs Ain’t for Us’
Shane Nicholson – ‘And You Will Have Your Way’
The Wolfe Brothers – ‘Kids on Cassette’
Troy Cassar-Daly – ‘Back on Country’

Vocal Collaboration of the Year
Catherine Britt & Lee Kernaghan – ‘Country Fan’
Kaylee Bell & The McClymonts – ‘Before I Met You’
O’Shea, Kristy Cox, Travis List, Troy Kemp, Camille and Stuie, Jedd Hughes, Katrina Burgoyne, Sam Hawksley – ‘I Still Call Australia Home’

Traditional Country Album of the Year
Adam Harvey – Songs from Highway One
Angus Gill – The Scrapbook
Matt Scullion – Aussie As Vol 2
Michael Carpenter and The Banks Brothers – Introducing
Raechel Whitchurch – Finally Clear

Alt Country Album of the Year
Andrew Swift – The Art of Letting Go
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham – The Song Club
Troy Cassar-Daly – The World Today
Michael Waugh – The Cast
Shane Nicholson – Living in Colour

Contemporary Country Album of the Year
Brad Cox – My Minds Projection
Catherine Britt – Home Truths
Darlinghurst – Darlinghurst
Jayne Denham – Wanted
The Wolfe Brothers – Kids on Cassette

TOYOTA Album of the Year
Adam Harvey – Songs from Highway One
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham – The Song Club
Shane Nicholson – Living in Colour
The Wolfe Brothers – Kids on Cassette
Troy Cassar-Daly – The World Today