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Six years ago this week, Rick was a Grand Finalist in the TOYOTA STARMAKER contest at Tamworth Country Music Festival, NSW, Australia. It was an interesting week, with Rick having just finished a string of shows from Queensland to Sydney with only one day off to gear up for the Tamworth Festival.

Here’s a look back at the crazy 24 hours that was Tamworth 2010:

2pm: the Tarago (Rick’s tour van!) is loaded up with gear. Rick and his booking agent / manager at the time, Jason Rosewarn, set off to play a private show for Australian business mogul Brett Blundy's 50th Birthday (Bras n Things, Loivissa, Dotti), which was two hours’ drive away.

5pm: The band is set up ready to rock in Brett's living room, in an unbelievable home on over 100 acres of pure bliss.

6pm: Brett arrives in his chopper and it's party time!The gig is a great success, with even a guest appearance from Brett on a song or two.

12am: Six hours away from Tamworth, the Tarago is packed up again, and heading to Bankstown airport an hour and a half away, where a private plane was picking upto fly Rick and Jason into Tamworth so they could be rested for the gig early the next morning.

1.30am: While waiting for the plane at the airport, the guysreceive a call from the pilot, who’s having problems with the plane at Wollongong airport.

2am: With no plane, and not wanting to follow in the footsteps of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, the boys’ only resort is to hit the road and drive through the night to make it to the event on time.

6.30am: After driving through the night and a few truck stops, Rick and Jason pull up to the Tamworth Arena for rehearsals. Having had no sleep, and feeling stomach cramps, Rick takes the stage, plays his songs and goes out back to spew his guts out.

10am: Rick takes the stage for an amazing performance only to run off right after, andspend the rest of the next two hours vomiting.

11am: Rick is chosen to as one of the Grand Finalists to perform later that day.

2pm: Rick pulls out of the competition; after a lot of planning, hard work and time, hisemotions were flying around, but in hindsight it was probably the best decision Rick ever made.

Looking back on the situation, if Rick had won the record deal that came with the competition, he would have been contracted to tour Australia for the next 12 months, and missed out on some amazing opportunities.

As they say, when one door closes another one opens (or sometimes even a window), and that’s what happened for Rick six years ago. After pulling out of the competition, he headed back to Nashville, a step which ultimately took Rick’s career in some new and exciting directions.

You play music for the soul, not for winning competions or your ego. In this industry, it's very important to enjoy what you do, and to always remember you're only as good as your last gig.


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