New Zealand Merino Co commercial manager and country music
performer Craig Adams. Photo by Kim Hamblin Photography.
Craig Adams will be hoping it will be a case of
third-time lucky at the National Country Music Awards next
Mr Adams, who is commercial manager for the New Zealand
Merino Co, is a finalist in the male artist of the year
category for the third time.
He was ''stoked'' to be nominated and looking forward to the
awards in Hamilton on August 16.
Judging was not just on performance but also contribution to
and promotion of country music in New Zealand.
Last year, Mr Adams released his debut album, Country
High. Since then, he has been ''out and about'', playing
at festivals and trying to get his album ''out there as much
That included the Country Rock Festival at Paihia, in the Bay
of Islands, which was a good opportunity to raise his profile
in the North Island.
He also played at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival,
where he performed in a New Zealand showcase.
There were different genres of country music, from the ''pop
stuff coming out of the US'' to the more traditional country
''I like to try and think I'm in the middle,'' he said.
It all started a few years ago when Mr Adams formed a band
for a merino conference with some wool growers who played
He was thrilled with the response to his music, saying it was
nice to get up and perform and see people having a good time.
In New Zealand, people were only just starting to pick up on
country music, but it was ''massive'' in the United States,
where it was one of the most popular genres.
The likes of Keith Urban and Blake Shelton had become huge
country music stars there, and the genre was also very big in
His main drivers for performing were enjoyment of the music
and playing with other musicians.
Being ''in that moment'' on stage and playing together was
''really special'', he said.
He was working on a follow-up album to Country High
and was ''flat out'' songwriting.