HEATHCOTE resident Doug Bruce is up against country music artists Keith Urban and Lee Kernaghan for a prestigious Golden Guitar award.
Mr Bruce is a finalist in the male artist category of the country music awards in Tamworth in January.
Mr Bruce said the nomination was "pretty cool" but he didn't expect to win.
"It's great to be recognised for my hard work," he said.
"I really wasn't expecting this (nomination) at all.
"I think the nomination is about as good as I'll get.
"Nonetheless it is a privilege to be in the same category as esteemed country artists.
"The nomination is truly humbling."
Mr Bruce, who moved to Australia from America eight years ago, has released three successful albums and has several industry awards to his name.
Mr Bruce said he moved after marrying an Australian woman.
“When I first came to Australia I was a drummer with no inclination to take front of stage as a vocalist," he said.
"But I changed direction."
Mr Bruce said he found country music relaxing.
"When I'm driving down McIvor Highway, I find it really easy to get inspired and think of songs," he said.
Mr Bruce, who played drums from a young age, said it had been hard to break into the Australian music industry.
"It's not that different from the US music scene," he said.
"I would say it's a bit harder to break.
"But it's like anything - you have to work hard."
Mr Bruce used to live in Bendigo, but has now relocated to Heathcote, where he runs a recording studio.
He has been honoured with several award nominations this year, including best country album at the The Age Music Victoria Genre Awards.
The song that secured Mr Bruce the Golden Guitar nomination is Thank God I'm A Cowboy.
The video clip for the song reached number 20 in the Country Music Channel Top 50 countdown.