THE darling of Australian country music, Catherine Britt, can't wait to perform at one of her favourite festivals of the year.
At just 25, Catherine is already a Gympie Muster veteran. Her debut performance was with Kasey Chambers at the tender age of 16. A natural talent, Catherine was inevitably invited back to play the following year, and has now performed at the Muster about five times.
So it was without a second thought she accepted this year's invitation to return in celebration of the festival's 30th birthday.
With her fifth album on the horizon, Catherine has been busy “writing songs and finishing them before the year is up” and is welcoming the distraction of performing once again.
“I love the Gympie Muster. It's one of the best festivals in the world. I try and get on the bill every year. I've been doing it pretty much every second year,” she said.
“Tamworth is always great and a good chance to catch up with all your mates, but there's no festival quite as special as Gympie is. It's very different and unique.”
Asked what exactly made the Gympie Muster special to her, Catherine said the location, atmosphere and the people.
“Well it's in middle of nowhere so that's a good start.
“I love the whole camping vibe and the set ups. Really, everyone puts in so much effort.
“That's the really cool thing.
“Every year I go around and check out their campsites, but this year I'm only coming up for one show on Sunday this time.
“Usually I do a few shows and a little side gig. It's a bit of a shame I'm in and out.”
Catherine is only able to make a whirlwind visit, but her performance on the Main Stage is expected to make it up to her fans.
The petite blonde spent six years in Nashville and has toured, performed and recorded with some of music's most respected names including Paul Kelly, Sir Elton John, Tim Rodgers and Kenny Chesney.
Her fourth album, released in 2010, has produced three number one singles – Can't Change A Thing, Sweet Emmylou, and I Want You Back.
These brought her more CMAA and ARIA nominations for Country Album of the Year, her fourth consecutive, and Most Popular Australian Artist while also awarded the 2010 CMA Global Artist of the Year.
This year Catherine received her first APRA nomination for Can't Change a Thing and was again nominated for CMC Artist of the Year.
Catherine was also named in the top 12 finalists for Australia's most prestigious Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition this year, for Sweet Emmylou, placing second overall.
Country Music Channel (CMC) has announced that Catherine will join the channel to present a new series of Alt Country, to become the first person to ever host a video clip-based program on the channel.
In October she will appear at the 2011 Americana Festival in Nashville where she has been officially invited to perform. But right now, the Optus Gympie Music Muster is foremost on her mind.
Personally, musically and career-wise, Catherine is “really happy with how things are going”.
And yes, she is still single. “I just haven't found the right man,” she said, no doubt to the delight of many a male fan.
“Gympie rocks, and I can't wait.
“I'm really looking forward to being a part of the 30th birthday celebrations.”