BUNDABERG'S Justin Standley has won a host of country music awards but one still eludes him - the Golden Guitar.

Now the former X Factor finalist is hoping to change that.

This year has been his best year in the charts since the talented singer-songwriter's break-through appearance on the reality television show.

Standley's new single, Beechworth Gold, is number one on the Country Tracks Top 40 chart.

It's his 11th song in the chart's top 10 in the past 18 months and he is hoping it will lead to a Golden Guitar nomination next week.

If he is nominated he will be the second Bundaberg country singer, after Evelyn Bury, to receive the honour.

Bury won her Golden Guitar in the 1988.

"Things are fantastic at the moment," Standley said.

"I have been lucky enough to win some great country awards but the Golden Guitar is the one I really want."

Country music critics have compared Standley's run of chart success to the late Slim Dusty.

Dusty's chart achievements are the only ones that compare to Standley's in the chart's recent history.

And his success hasn't happened over night.

It's been four years since Standley was mentored by Guy Sebastian on X Factor.

Standley said his X Factor experience was great for his career.

"If you work it properly it is great publicity," Standley said.

It should be the number one reason for new talent to go on the show.

"It shouldn't be about winning; it is a way to get known."

Standley is back in his home town today playing at the Railway Hotel from 8pm.

Included in the entry fee is his latest CD.

After a year of touring the country, Standley said it was good to be back in the town where he was born.

"I love coming home to Bundaberg," he said.

"It's all about the people.

"My friends and granny are still here.

"It's a special place - it will always be home."

Standley is also at the Isis Cultural Centre tomorrow.



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