LEE Kernaghan is a favourite going into tonight's Golden Guitar awards but he's happy just to be nominated.
The country music veteran leads this year's nominations with eight nods for his acclaimed album Spirit of the Anzacs.
"I'm just very proud to be a part of it all, and to have been a part of the making of the album," he told APN from the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
"It's a musical highlight of my life."
Kernaghan already has 33 Golden Guitars to his name, more than any other artist except Slim Dusty.
Spirit of the Anzacs, which spent four weeks at the top of the ARIA albums chart last year, is likely to bag him a few more after winning the ARIA Award for Outstanding Achievement in November.
"I haven't had a drink for a couple of weeks, so if there's a win on Saturday I might just break the drought," he said.
The experience of turning the words and stories of Australian soldiers into song has inspired Kernaghan's next album.
"Every song on Spirit of the Anzacs is a true story and I want to continue in that tradition on my next album. I'll gather another collection of true stories I'll turn into songs," he said.
"Just being here at the festival I'm talking to people and hearing about where they come from and what they do and how they're getting on; that's where it's all at for me."
He also plans to perform a concert in Longreach in April to celebrate an upcoming hay delivery to the drought-stricken area by the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.
"People are doing it really tough out there and I'm really keen to show my support to them," he said.
"This (the hay delivery) is all out of the goodness of their hearts and I really admire that. It's the great Australian spirit."
The Golden Guitars will be held tonight at Tamworth's Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC).