Brandon's Christmas song strikes the right note in country music chart
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Castletown musician Brandon McPhee's new Christmas song has made it to the number two spot in an Australian country music chart.
The single, written by Randy Travis and Paul Overstreet – How do I wrap my heart up for Christmas? – has soared to success in the Tasmania and OZCMR Top 40 Country Chart, after gaining increased radio airplay.
OZCMR is an internet country music station with an emphasis of playing independent country music recordings by artists from Australia as well as overseas.
The popular Scottish entertainer said: "We are delighted, last week it kind of came from nowhere that it was number 10 and now it is number 2. It is the first of my Christmas singles to make it into a chart and the first we have had in a Tasmanian one."
Brandon (24), a Scottish accordion champion and multi-award winning singer who has been performing since the age of 10, explained that the charts were based on radio airplay, saying: "If only we could get that same airplay in the UK that would be even better.
"Being a Christmas single makes it really relevant for the time of year, it also makes it worthwhile as we are trying to get the song played in different places all over the world."
The single is being promoted by a company in Canada which specialises in radio compilations.
Brandon has also recently participated in a track with Larissa Tormey and Dave Sherriff, whose song, Red Hot Salsa, featured in T2 Trainspotting.
It reached the number three spot in the Ireland country music airplay charts.
He pointed out: "This is great news for us here as we are trying to advertise our very first online Christmas and Hogmanay concerts. We already have a lot more tickets sold than we thought there would be."
Due to the current restrictions the musician and his band were unable to go ahead with the usual live festive events so they have had to set up one with a virtual connection instead.
"We are delighted with the response we have had to these ticketed events, we have people from New Zealand and all over tuned in to watch it when available," said Brandon. "Certainly having the single come in the charts at this time has helped with that.
"We’ve been busy in the studio recording well over 200 different tracks and released an album, Scottish Serenity, out during lockdown."
Award-winning country music veteran Manson Grant, who will be a special guest at both of the concerts, has released a new CD, his first in years.
Brandon McPhee and his band, along with guests, will perform the live stream Christmas concert on Sunday, December 20 at 8pm.
This show will be around one-and-a-half hours of mainly Christmas music in a country fashion with some traditional Scottish accordion playing, plus a few hidden surprises as you would expect during a live performance.
The Hogmanay concert will take place on Thursday, December 31, from 11pm to 12.30am. Among the special guests will the Addie Harper Band and the North Coast Fiddlers.
Addie is one of Scotland's best known music teachers, following in his father's footsteps, and his tune compositions are played all over the world. The North Coast Fiddlers – comprising of Addie’s pupils, Andrea Cormack, Beth Cormack, Aiva Harper and Emily Morrison, and also featuring Richard Smith, a full-time musician and fluent Gaelic-speaker, who has been teaching music for 10 years.
Event organiser's Pan Records promise a good old fashioned Scottish Hogmanay, Highland style, and both virtual concerts can be viewed up to two weeks after the events.
Around the same time last year the Brandon soared to number one in the Joyce Ramgatie Country Top 20 Singles Chart with his collaboration with Irish country legends Foster and Allen.
Their cover of the Skipinnish song penned by Robert Robertson and Angus McPhail, Walking on the Waves, struck a chord with country fans who flocked in their droves to hear it and put it on top of the hit parade.
In 2019 the local musician also reached the number five spot in a separate Joyce Ramgatie chart – the Top 200 Artists Chart – and both countdowns saw him above a number of well known country music figures, including Garth Brooks and Shania Twain.
More information about tickets for the concerts can be found on the ViewStub virtual event website.