'The light and dark': Cronulla's Luke O'Shea wins 13th Golden Guitar

Luke O'Shea reached lucky 13 Golden Guitar wins at Tamworth on Saturday night, January 23, when he won Traditional Album of the Year and Heritage Song of the Year.

This marks the Sutherland Shire singer-songwriter's seventh win in Heritage Song of the Year and his first Album of the Year category Golden Guitar.

Top job: Singer-songwriter Luke O'Shea, also a Shire high school teacher, won two Golden Guitars at the recent country music awards in Tamworth. Picture: Tamworth Country Music Festival

Top job: Singer-songwriter Luke O'Shea, also a Shire high school teacher, won two Golden Guitars at the recent country music awards in Tamworth. Picture: Tamworth Country Music Festival

Fellow multi-Golden Guitar winning singer-songwriter Kevin Bennett shared the Heritage Song of the Year win with O'Shea, for their collaboration, Happy Australia Day, while O'Shea's album, There In The Ochre, won Traditional Album of the Year.

Mr O'Shea has been making music professionally for over 30 years, and said it had taken him "all over the planet".

But the Cronulla resident - who teaches at the local high school a couple of days a week - told the Leader the Shire was "everything".

"It's the surf, the Royal National Park on your doorstep, the community of friends and family who've known you your whole life and get your sense of humour, and the wide array of restaurants, coffees on your doorstep - we're just blessed to live where we live, and I know that, so don't tell anybody!" he laughed.

He said making There In The Ochre had been "without a doubt the hardest and most rewarding album I have ever made."

He started it over three years ago and recorded it across more than 12 different studios over three different states - while renovating his house and spending time with his three teenage girls.

"Having different occupations [of music and teaching] has given me the security of being able to sustain my mortgage and have those holidays with the family, rather than always being on the road," he said.

Long road: Luke O'Shea has been making music professionally for 30 years and has won 13 Golden Guitars - a massive achievement for the Cronulla resident. Picture: Toby Burrows

Long road: Luke O'Shea has been making music professionally for 30 years and has won 13 Golden Guitars - a massive achievement for the Cronulla resident. Picture: Toby Burrows

Mr O'Shea said in a world of digital downloads, the album was dedicated to "those who love to listen to the whole story - the book".

"Albums are about the light and dark, the ebb and flow, the humour and the heartbreak."

The Gold Guitar-winning Happy Australia Day is meant to educate and encourage listeners to think about the significance of January 26.

After writing such a song, Mr O'Shea felt something lighter was in order, and his new single Long Way 'Round - a duet with Ashleigh Dallas - "makes people feel good, rather than trying to educate and get people to feel deeply in the heart and the mind".