One of Australia's most exciting country music showcases, The Road to Nashville, is coming to East Cessnock Bowling Club next month.
The Road To Nashville is the brainchild of Kurri Kurri-raised singer-songwriter Kirsty Lee Akers, who herself has spent a large part of the last 13 years living in the country music capital of the world.
The show features songs by a range of artists who all got their start in Nashville - from legends such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Kenny Rogers to contemporary acts including the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Lady Antebellum.
Akers said the show gives her the chance to pay tribute to some of her favourite artists as a country music fan.
"I've got five albums now, and I'm lucky enough that I get to play my own songs, but in this show I don't have to be Kirsty Lee Akers the songwriter; I just get to be Kirsty Lee Akers the music fan and sing the songs that I grew up listening to," she said.
Akers - who started performing at age three - won Tamworth's prestigious Starmaker competition in 2007 at age 19; won a Golden Guitar the following year and has been a finalist in the CMC and APRA awards.
She even runs guided holiday tours in Nashville, sharing all of her Music City highlights, including a visit to her "favourite place on Earth", Dolly Parton's 'Dollywood'.
When she's not in Nashville or on tour, Akers lives at Wangi, and she operates a singing school - KLA Singing Academy - which has classes at Weston Civic Centre.
"It's great to be able to give back and have a hand in teaching the up-and-coming talent," she said.
A former student of hers, Kearsley's Mackenzie Pringle, will join Akers for The Road to Nashville's Cessnock performance, along with multiple Golden Guitar finalist Roo Arcus.
Akers loves performing locally: "I feel right at home, performing in front of people I've grown up with watching me," she said.
The Road to Nashville will appear at East Cessnock Bowling Club on Saturday, February 22. The show starts at 7.30pm.
Tickets are $30 for adults and free for children under 12, and are available via eventbrite.com.au or at the club on 4990 1444.