Gympie's Graham Rodger in line for Golden Guitar

Country music star Graham Rodger is proud to represent Gympie as a finalist of the 2013 Golden Guitar Awards for his latest song, Looking Back.
Country music star Graham Rodger is proud to represent Gympie as a finalist of the 2013 Golden Guitar Awards for his latest song, Looking Back. Rowena Robertson

GYMPIE-born country music songwriter and recording artist, Graham Rodger, has once again secured a finals berth in the 2013 Golden Guitar Awards in Tamworth.

This puts Graham in the top five bush ballad artists across Australia.

It is Rodger's twelfth finals nomination in the awards, spanning a long and successful career in country music.

His song Looking Back from his latest Album Stronger For It All, has secured this latest berthing.

"I'm very proud to represent my home town Gympie in the awards", Rodger said.

"I feel this latest album is my best to date and offers me the best chance I've had in the awards."

The song, Looking Back, is a brief look at the life through the eyes of Australian cattle king, Sid Kidman, as an old man.

Rodger read The Cattle King several times and said he was extremely moved when reading the last few pages of the old man recalling an amazing life.

He recently won the Gidgee Coals Award in November at Pittsworth for Best Male Vocal, taking his amazing total of major awards in the Australian Country music scene to 58 over the past fourteen years - many of these recognising his writing skills.

"It's been an amazing journey. I never dreamt that when I started writing for Slim (Dusty) and other country artists I would end up recording for myself.

"It was a hard decision to give up a very rewarding career as an ambulance officer to record my first album, Steering Wheel Drovers."

Rodger then hit the road with the support of his wife Deidre and has never regretted making that decision.

"I've made lots of loyal friends and supporters and seen most of Australia," he said.

Rodger only recently returned to live in the Gympie area.

He won three awards under his belt at this year's Golden Guitar Awards in January - the Tamworth Songwriting Award for best bush ballad; People's Choice Award for best male vocal and People's Choice Award for special vocal event - a duet titled An Affair of the Heart with Sara Storer.

A vocal supporter of the Australian Institute of Country Music, Rodger has held several concerts in the Institute's Apex Auditorium, with part of the takings given back to the music school.

With 11 albums and several DVDs, Graham is always on the go.

His motto is, "There's no time to rest on your laurels in this business."

Rodger will be performing again at the AICM next year so keep an eye out for this local event.

For more information visit grahamrodger.com.au.