Moree singer JOH to take the stage at Tamworth Country Music Festival

JOH has been performing gigs throughout the North West, and is hoping the Coca Cola Battle of the New Stars competition might help launch his music career. Photo: supplied

JOH has been performing gigs throughout the North West, and is hoping the Coca Cola Battle of the New Stars competition might help launch his music career. Photo: supplied

People in the the North West might be familiar with JOH through various pub gigs, but now the local singer is hoping to make a name for himself at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Johsef Walton, who performs under the stage name JOH, has been singing on and off for a few years now and this past year has started putting himself out there by doing more gigs.

At the end of last year he decided to bite the bullet and applied for the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2020 Coca Cola Battle of the New Stars talent quest.

"It was a spur of the moment thing," he said.

"I'd been looking to go over there [to the Tamworth Country Music Festival] for a while, so thought I'd have to go and give it a crack."

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His application was successful, and on Monday, January 20, he will take the famous Town Hall stage - the same stage where Slim Dusty and plenty of other country stars have performed.

JOH will have five minutes on stage to impress the judges, with a shot at progressing to the grand finals on Saturday, January 25.

He will be singing Dusty, a song that he wrote based on a poem about his grandfather Trevor Taylor, which used to hang on the wall of the Gurley Pub.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said.

"It'll be a big eye-opener but it should be a good experience performing on the big stage."

JOH performing at a gig. Photo: supplied

JOH performing at a gig. Photo: supplied

JOH will also be singing Dusty, as well as another original that he wrote with his mother Julie Walton, The Old Wool Shed,in the Tamworth Songwriters' Association Inaugural TSA Talent Quest during the festival.

He describes his style as more "old-school country", and said he has no idea how he'll go against the other competitors, but is looking forward to getting on stage and giving it a crack.

JOH, who has lived around Moree for most of his life, has been working on a property at Gurley for the past eight years, but he'd love to take his music further and is hoping these talent quests might help launch his singing career.

"It is my main goal to make a living out of it," he said.

"Hopefully someone will like my songs.

"The biggest thing is getting my name out there and there's no better stage than Tamworth."

The winner of the Battle of the New Stars talent quest, for people aged 18 to 49, will take home a $200 voucher, a Country Music Capital News subscription (valued at $60), as well as complete bragging rights as the Best New Star in Tamworth 2020.

The 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival will get underway from this Friday, January 17 and will continue until Sunday, January 26.