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The Muster has broadened its appeal this year, while remaining true to its roots, with a number of artists performing who have boosted their profiles and careers on television talent shows. The depth of talent and the variety of genres shows how much the event has to offer Muster goers, no matter what their musical tastes.

Muster headliner Jessica Mauboy was Australian Idol runner-up in 2006, Lyn Bowtell made it to the top 24 of this year’s season of The Voice, Dean Raywas the runner-up on the 2014 season of The X Factor Australia, Reece Mastin won X Factor in 2011, and Caitlyn Shadbolt placed fifth also on The X Factor Australia, in 2014.

Kelly last performed at the Muster in 2015 and is also a proud Queenslander, so will again be a highlight of the event, with plenty of local supporters.

More info on festival below. Jen chats with Judah to find out about his experience with The Voice and his upcoming performance at The Muster.

So ….King Judah. That is a sweet as nickname. Do you like it?

It is not really one that I would choose! (Laughing)

This week must be completely surreal for you. I read that you had accepted defeat prior to the finals. What is up with that Judah?

I don’t think that anyone that really goes in thinking that they are going to win. I just didn’t believe that I was going to win.

This is not an overnight success for you. Or over season success shall I say. ( Judah laughed) You have worked hard for this success, starting at the age of 10, possibly playing in your bedroom with stars in your eyes, would that be correct?

Absolutely! I played in the pub for the first time when I was 10 and that was 10 years ago now which is quite crazy. My goal was to create music that people liked and something that made people feel something. Pretty much from the age of 15 I hit the road, before then it was local so I didn’t have to travel. I have had the dream of creating music and making an album.


Who was your support and/or inspiration while you were growing up?

My support is defiantly my family, they have always been supportive. I love Country music and my siblings did not like that genre but they have been supportive of me doing music. My parents encouraged me to do what I loved.

Your addition to Gympie Music Muster in August must be pretty exciting. To play at such a prestigious music festival that has Jessica Mauboy headlining this year would be a real honor. Are you stoked?

I am really looking forward to it. I have been a few times but it was always to see people. The crowd there gets quite rowdy and there is a really good feeling and vibe going. I had always wondered what it would be like having that happen to me and I am finally making it happen.

You were runner-up in the 2011 Muster Talent Search, so to take the crown at The voice then head back to Muster must be pretty sweet. Can you tell us your experience of the talent show?

Yes, they have a talent search and I entered and did quite well considering how young I was at the time as I was performing against adults. That was pretty exciting being able to play on such a big stage at such a young age and there was a lot of pressure because of the competition and now it’s going to be a lot more fun there is no pressure in that area, I just need to remain calm and entertaining.

From the list of artists that are playing, will you stay and check some of them out? Can you tell me any of them?

Absolutely, I’m going to be there for the whole festival, I always wonder see how many acts as I can because you can learn from watching. That is what I love about music you don’t have to be performing to improve you can learn from watching other artists. I will definitely see as many as I can.

‘Count on Me’ is a great song that showcases your voice really well. Were you involved in the writing of that song? (I am unsure of the process.) It has a great message.

Not the writing of that one. When they presented the song to me I made it very clear that anything I do I wanted to be authentic. And I carried that through the whole show. I’m not going to say anything or do anything or sing anything if it is not what I would do. I told them this and they came to me with “ Count On Me”. I think it really showed that they listened to what I said and appreciated what I said. Everyone goes through that shadow of darkness and have a hard time or something and you always need someone there to kind of help them through it.

We could talk about your success this week in regards to itunes, Spotify etc but I really want to know what do you have planned for your debut album. What kind of music do you want to write?

I always will have a love for country music and there is definitely going to be aspects of that. I don’t feel pressured to do a particular sound, to me it is not like I need to make things sound country. It varies from song to song. To me it is a different approach and part of it having songs with stories and meaning. I’m really looking forward to it, we are hitting the studio today actually after this interview and we start working on that and I’m really looking forward to it!

Were you ever able to be your true self during your time at ‘The Voice?’ Forget the nerves and just be you?

Absolutely! Every day I was there. That is the approach that I took to it from my first audition and I thought to myself if I am doing this, it is going to be me. The nerves so much did not affect me because of I learned how to handle them and I’ve played a lot of big festivals and playing a lot of those gigs help me controlled my nerves. Being myself was something that I chose to be. if people don’t like me that is their choice and I can make that decision on who I really am.

That is great for you to know that at your age. I wish when I was 20 I knew that!

In your time at The Voice have they given you tools to deal with any negative feedback? We all get it and it is important to be able to take a step back and have ways to deal with it.

Yes, there is always that easy option of just blocking them. There is support there, and they have a whole social media team if needed and also if it got really bad they had a psychologist on hand if somebody needed. The Show did everything they could to make it a pleasant time at the show.

I have seen you describe Delta as the dream coach, can you pick one thing that her coaching enhanced your voice and take us through the process?


That is a hard question, there was not one thing that she helped me with my voice, I think it was a confidence thing. She has a very different way of coaching, she made me feel really uncomfortable. I am not much of a hugger or showing affection kind of person. The entire time she would coach she was always hugging and always pushing that boundary and making me open up a bit more and starting to accept that kind of thing. I am not a dancer, I don’t dance but she would make me dance. She would do that to help me grow as a person and now I have more confidence and belief in my own talent and I do put that down partly to the way she coaches.

I know you had have loads of interviews this week. Can I ask is there one question that you have felt has not been asked but you are keen to share it?

No I think I have answered everything!

Can you describe in 5 words why people should head to the Muster to catch your set?

Because it will be awesome!

Great! Thanks Judah. Hope Muster is a great experience for you. Now go and make that record!Picture1



Jessica Mauboy
Adam Brand – Busby Marou – Graeme Connors

Amber Lawrence – Travis Collins – Sunny Cowgirls
Catherine Britt – Fanny Lumsden – Troy Kemp

Caitlyn Shadbolt – Dean Ray – Adam Eckersley Band 
Reece Mastin – Davidson Brothers – Kirsty Lee Akers – Hillbilly Goats  – Bondi Cigars
Anne Kirkpatrick – Bushwackers – Mason Rack 
Chad Morgan – Missy Lancaster – Travellin’ Still
The Songs of Slim Dusty with Pete Denahy & the Travelling Country Band

Kaylens Rain – Chelsea Basham – Melanie Dyer – Joe Robinson 
Hussy Hicks Georgia Fall – Judah Kelly – Hurricane Fall 
The Killer Queen Experience – Viper Creek Band – Fred Smith
Kaylee Bell – Pete Denahy – Lyn Bowtell – Matt Cornell – Karin Page
Amber Lawrence With ‘The Kid’s Gone Country’ Show – Christie Lamb
Kyle Lionhart – Blues Arcadia – Linc Phelps – Liam Brew
Tim Wheatley – Darren Middleton – 8 Ball Aitken – Shelley & Lawrie Minson
The Electric 80’s – Jodie Direen – Simon Kinney Lewis Band

Bob Abbot & The Fabulous Green Machine – PC & The Biffs – Rachael Fahim
The Mercurys – The Faceless Men – Casey Barnes – Mitch King – Luella Widt Freya Hollick – Route 33 – Emma Beau – Seleen Mcalister – Mason Hope 
Alice Benfer – Mark Porter – Karrie Haywood – The Rock ‘N’ Roll Boys
The Muster Poets – Australian Institute Of Country Music 
Eighties Themed Party Night – Gympie Blues Club 
The Songwriters Sessions – ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’ 
Toyota Starmaker Showcase – Fender Guitar Jam – 15 Minutes Of Fame
The Newgrass All-Star Showcase – Rock ‘N’ Roll Dancing – Line Dancing
The Music Makers

Held in the Amamoor Creek State Forest, the 2017 Muster will feature more than 100 artists in more than 300 performances across multiple stages. The artists cover a range of genres including country, bluegrass, folk, blues and rockabilly. An unmissable event for music lovers, one ticket price gives Muster goers free camping and multi-venue access to all performances to experience everything Australia’s biggest country music celebration has to offer.

Run by the community, for the Community, the Muster is a not-for-profit charity event which has raised in excess of $15 Million for charities Australia wide since its inception. Proceeds from this year’s Muster will again go to charity partner Mates4Mates to help Australian Defence Force personnel with mental and physical injuries as a result of their service.

The Muster runs from Thursday August 24 to Sunday August 27, 2017.

To book tickets visit or phone:
1300 GET TIX (1300 438 849).

Count on Me’ is available to download and stream on Apple MusicHERE.

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