Caitlyn Shadbolt.
Caitlyn Shadbolt. Rowan Schindler

After her biggest year yet, Caitlyn looks ahead to 2018

AFTER a debut album, tour dates and major award nominations this year, singer-songwriter Caitlyn Shadbolt is getting ready for another busy year.

2018 will see her perform at the inaugural Country Crossroads in the Vines festival.

"It's going to be fantastic, and to head to the Hunter Valley for the show - it's just so beautiful," she said.

Along with headline act Billy Ray Cyrus, she'll share the billing with some of the biggest names in the Australian Country Music scene - including the McClymonts, Lee Kernaghan and Kasey Chambers.

"It's really nice to be recognised in the industry," she said of being asked to perform.

"Pretty much straight after the festival I'll be heading to Bribie Island to open for Billy Ray's sideshows."

The addition of a new country music festival in Australia is a sign of things to come for Ms Shadbolt, who said the audience was growing.

"There's definitely traction, particularly because of how big the genre is," she said.

"There's a lot of crossover appeal with styles that are similar to country as well."

Asked if the local industry could become like its American counterpart, she said there were fundamental differences between Tamworth and Nashville.

"The big characteristic is local artists are down to earth and very chilled out - people are happy to have a green room out the back of the truck," she said.

"That feeling is important, it's a completely different attitude."

With a pop-tinged approach to her music and songwriting, Ms Shadbolt has been branching out - looking to collaborate with different writers and styles.

"It was a big year, a big learning curve definitely," she said.

"Lately I've been really into the singer-songwriter world, lots of drums and guitars.

With her work going forward, Ms Shadbolt said these new influences would hopefully play a part in her music, without abandoning her country and pop roots.

Beyond tour dates, there are travel plans booked - and songs to be written for a sophomore album.

"It's always an interesting situation, asking 'what have I got to write about' - am I too out of the circle of writing a song?" she said.

With a tight-knit community of writers and musicians surrounding her, she's feeling confident for the future.

Crossroads Country in the Vines will take place on March 24 next year, with Ms Shadbolt playing at Bribie Island on March 25.

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