Three-time 2021 Golden Guitar finalist, Luke O'Shea, and Australian country music royalty, Ashleigh Dallas, have joined forces on the brand new single Long Way 'Round, lifted from Luke's celebrated and Golden Guitar-nominated Album of the Year, There In The Ochre.
"Don't believe them when you hear them say
Things were so much better back in the old days!
There's nothing greater than the here & now!
So just take my hand & join me on the long way 'round"
"This song was an absolute joy to perform with the very cheeky Ash Dallas," Luke said.
"She is a great mate and it deliberately flies in the face of all the doomsday reporting that we are currently collecting from all over the world!"
Released on January 15, the positive, Motown meets country upbeat groove of the song hooks the listener in with a catchy whistle and a carefree vibe.
"The world is a crazy place at the moment!" Luke said
"But when you just change your focus to appreciating what you have around you – in the right here, right now – then life all of a sudden becomes pretty good. 'Long Way 'Round' is just a reminder to take a deep breath and have a good look around."
It's the attitude that has seen Luke collect 11 Golden Guitars over the years and this January he could also add Male Artist, Heritage Song and Traditional Country Album of the Year to the mantlepiece.
"I do have to pinch myself sometimes that people are willing to put their vote next to my name, because I certainly don't make it easy for them," he laughed.
"My songs have to mean something to me on a deep level, so if I'm going to take the very precious time, and go to the effort and expense of recording a song, then I must have the conviction that it's a message worth sharing – even if it goes against public opinion."
No more so than Luke's last single and nominated Heritage Song of the Year, Happy Australia Day.
"That song came from seeing a big gaping hole in the curriculum being taught in our schools," Luke reflected.
"The song and video are designed to be used as a teacher resources for History and English classes and I'm humbled to say that many schools have already adopted it into their systems providing a new and valuable perspective of our Australian history.
"Being asked to perform this song (Happy Australia Day) at the 2021 Golden Guitars – alongside Kevin Bennett who I wrote it with, fills me with such pride that our industry is so open minded and once again up for the challenge of a challenging song.
"That was the case with Three Brothers (The Great War) and I have never forgotten just how respectful and intelligent the Australian country music audience is especially when given tough subject matter!"
In saying that, Luke said he also sometimes needed to get back to just having fun in songs - and that's what Long Way 'Round is all about.
The two multiple award-winning artists have also joined forces with celebrated director Jay Seeney to make a stunning new video for the song that showcases the natural beauty of the Tamworth, Nundle and New England region.
"It was a hilarious – and an exhausting day!" Luke laughed.
"Knowing Ash is an incredible linedancer - and that I have two left feet - we thought it'd be fun to come up with a little dance that we could film over and over again in some of my favourite places on Earth! Fifty-odd takes later I was knackered! But, Ash and Jay were like the little energizer bunny and just kept on going. It's a pretty spectacular clip that captures a lot of the magic of the area - and I think you'll be able to tell for yourselves that we really did take - the long way 'round!"