It was a family affair at the Golden Guitar Awards celebrating the very best in Aussie country music.
The ceremony is the pinnacle of the Tamworth Country Music Festival in NSW's north east, and in 2023 returned to its original Saturday night slot on the final weekend of the 10-day event.
In 2022, the awards were hosted in April during a shorter festival period due to COVID.
Country power couple Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley were the stars of the show, picking up the most awards of any artist, and making them the evening's biggest winners.
Mr Eckersley told the Leader on the red carpet that they felt like stars just being nominated.
The music duo were joined by daughter Tiggy, who won a Golden Guitar for writing the riff in Star Of the Show, which won Song of the Year.
"We said to her, 'Tigs, do you mind if we write a song over your riff?'" Brooke said.
The song is also about Tiggy - her parents said she keeps them in line.
"This is the beauty of country music," Brooke said.
"I love that country music brings families together, and we can all celebrate this together."
Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley also won Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year, and Apple Music Single of the Year with Memory Lane.
Tamworth local and reigning Female Artist of the Year 2022 winner Ashleigh Dallas took out the gong for Traditional Country Album of the Year.
She credits her family for her love of traditional country.
"I just grew up in a family full of country music and it's just the sound that I've always been around," she said.
"I think it's just where I feel naturally drawn to.
"That art of storytelling and being wrapped around in a musical melody."
Despite not winning the title of Female Artist of the Year 2023, Ashleigh told the Leader on the red carpet before the ceremony, she was ready to cheer her fellow nominees on.
"I'm here to celebrate what we've done as a team and a family," she said.
Ashleigh lost the Female of The Year title to Amber Lawrence, who said on the carpet that winning would make the 2023 festival "absolutely" the best one she's ever had.
The win joins the list of achievements for Amber in 2023 - she celebrated her 20th anniversary in the country music capital, was inducted into the Galaxy of Stars and was the ambassador for the Golden Gig.
The Best New Artist category was brimming with tough competition. Star Maker 2022 winner Max Jackson and James Johnston, whose ticketed show at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC) sold out, were both among the nominees.
It was James who ultimately took out the gong.
Despite the musician attending the ceremony in 2022, this year was his first time ever being nominated.
"And it's the first time being here in January, and it's definitely a different feeling about being here this time," he said.
He was also among a small pool of artists to be nominated for six awards.
"There is so much talent in all these categories, to be nominated, and especially to have the six nominations," he said.
"I'm pretty honoured that I've gotten that."
James was also awarded Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Kaylee Bell for Same Songs.
Hosting the evening was eight time Golden Guitar winner and 2023 nominee Travis Collins, and 2023 Star Maker winner Tamworth's very own Loren Ryan.
It was "really important" for co-host of the carpet Loren to have one special guest attend the event.
The 'Koori King of Country' Roger Knox walked the red carpet.
It was significant for Loren to celebrate "the things that [Roger has] done for country music and First Nations people," she said.
Mr Knox said he has sang his song Streets of Tamworth in Canada, America, and France, and that kids aged two still sing it to him.
"As long as I'm breathing, as long as I'm dreaming, as long as I'm telling stories, yes, it'll be there with me all the time," he said.
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Mr Knox is an Aboriginal musician who started his career in Tamworth, and has been performing and making music for more than fifty years.
Mr Knox said it was "great" to be there.
The Toyota 51st Golden Guitar Awards were presented on Saturday, 21 January 2023 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.
Performers included James Johnston, Amber Lawrence, Casey Barnes, Ashleigh Dallas, Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, Kaylee Bell, Lyn Bowtell, Luke O'Shea, Travis Collins, Andrew Swift, Melinda Schneider, Dean Perrett, Kristy Cox, and Kim Cheshire.