Verdict is unanimous
The Clutha Leader presents its artist of the year:
This year may have been big for Kaitangata musician Aaron Jury but 2013 looks set to be even bigger.
Jury has been named as one of the acts at the CMC Rocks the Hunter Festival in Australia where he will play with the likes of Rascal Flatts, Big and Rich, Billy Ray Cyrus and The Band Perry.
"I'm very overwhelmed by all that," Jury said. "The main promoter [Robb Potts] gave me a bell himself, it was very overwhelming to get that phone call from that guy.
"At the end of the day, when you're talking a festival that's of an international skill, he could have chosen anybody."
Anything could come from the festival, he said.
"The American artists don't travel alone, they've got managers and promoters.
"Everybody's looking to put their money into the new thing."
Jury released his debut album Wyre Street in November and it took two years of hard work, he said.
"It's been a great road and a lot of hard work. It's a long process but very rewarding."
Because he did not have a manager, Jury was involved with every step of the album-making process.
"We've gone through every step ourselves and made the decisions ourselves.
"As for the design of the album, the photography and the arrangement of the back list, we've been communicating with people in Australia."
Support had been "amazing".
"The local community for a start have been very supportive.
"I couldn't ask for anything more from the public."
Wyre Street was co-produced in Nashville, Tennessee, and Queensland, Australia, by Pacific International Music, with Jury making four trips to Australia.
The album would not be his last, he said.
"In two years time I'd like to put another one out."
The Southland Times