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    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    Queensland music talent set to impress North American folk scene

    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Queensland music talent set to impress North American folk scene

    Local artist Chris Pickering and folk duo Cloudstreet will represent Queensland at the internationally renowned North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance (Folk Alliance) music festival in Memphis, Tennessee, this month.

    Trade Minister John Mickel said that this latest overseas expedition involving Trade Queensland would reinforce Queensland’s growing reputation in the world’s contemporary music arena.

    “Queensland has a rich vein of musical talent and the State Government is committed to giving artists such as Chris Pickering and Cloudstreet international exposure at high profile music events,” Mr Mickel said

    “The Bligh Government achieves this goal with the help of Trade Queensland’s contemporary music export strategy, QMEx.

    “The invitation for Cloudstreet and Chris Pickering to play at this festival is an excellent promotional experience and will provide invaluable networking opportunities with high level industry professionals,” Mr Mickel said.

    “In its 20th year, the North American Folk Alliance music festival is recognised as an international launch pad for emerging artists.

    “Music industry professionals from around the world gather at the conference each year to network, enjoy traditional music and discover original musical talent.

    “Last year the Folk Alliance selected 200 artists from around the world to showcase their talent during the International Folk Alliance Conference which attracted 2000 people, of which around 40per cent were industry professionals.

    “The sheer size of the US market combined with the professional attitude industry representatives bring to the North American Folk Alliance music festival further highlights North America as a key market for QMEx and Queensland’s contemporary music industry,” Mr Mickel said.

    A major part of the QMEx strategy is to further expand performance initiatives to help artists break into the North American music market.

    Trade Queensland, though QMEx, also continues to provide industry support and guidance to Queensland music success stories including Operator Please, The Boat People, The Grates and An Horse.

    About the artists

    Cloudstreet

    Nicole Murray and John Thomson of Cloudstreet present high quality concert performances of new Australian folk music.

    Incorporating traditional and contemporary influences from England, Ireland and Australia, their music is engaging, exciting and fun. Cloudstreet's trademark is their innovative use of two-part vocal harmony, supported by guitar, wooden flute, concertina and percussion.

    Having played at major festivals across Australia and toured extensively in the United Kingdom and New Zealand in the past five years, Cloudstreet has gained a following as one of the most exciting and entertaining acts on the contemporary folk scene.

    Chris Pickering

    With strong melodies and insightful lyrics, award-winning musician Chris Pickering is already redefining the alt-country genre.

    The singer-songwriter has been seducing audiences throughout the country with his distinctive sound that combines soaring melodies with lyrics that paint vivid pictures of life in – and out – of the country.

    Chris Pickering is accomplished and versatile. His musical ability and song writing skills, along with his exciting stage presence, make him a musician to keep an eye out for.

    Media contact: 3237 1944