A PERFORMER from Westport was the overall winner, but voices from the Deep South were also recognised at the 46th annual Gold Guitar Awards in Gore on Saturday night.
Jaydin Shingleton, of Westport, won the top prize when he was named senior overall winner on Saturday night.
It capped a stellar night for the 20-year-old, who had narrowly missed out on the top spot in the previous two events.
He also went home on Saturday night with top honours in the gospel, country rock, open singer/songwriter and male vocal solo sections, and in the duet section with Ainslie Allen, of Porirua.
But performers from further south were also recognised, including Liv Cochrane, of Invercargill, who was named senior overall winner runner-up and also won the New Zealand song category.
Dunedin’s Valley Bluegrass band won the traditional section, and Jenny Harraway, of Gore, the open new country category.
The senior awards brought to a conclusion a six-day festival of country music that attracted its second highest number of entries this year, at 736.
Convener Philip Geary said it reflected the increasingly high regard in which the awards were held.
“Gore is at the heart of country music in New Zealand, and the Gold Guitars are its premier awards event. “We’re very pleased with the way it’s all gone this year.”