There is good reason for hot American country duo Love And Theft not playing this weekend's CMC Rocks the Hunter festival at Hope Estate. One half of the unit, Eric Gunderson, is currently spending his time in hospital with wife Emily caring for their newborn son Camden.
Despite being due in May, baby Camden entered the world on Sunday, March 10.
For bandmate Stephen Barker Liles, who was already in Australia, the news came as a shock.
''I wish I could be there,'' he said. ''I didn't find out until I got here, because we came early. I was like, 'if I'm coming to Australia for our first time I want to spend as much time there as I could', and so we came in and then I found out.
''Eric was like, 'stay down there and make the most of it, we'll be okay, we'll stay in touch with you'.
''I've been staying in contact with him. The baby's doing better. He's breathing on his own and he's making good improvements with his health every day. They're staying positive. He's still in the hospital, so they're staying in the hospital with him, but it's going well. It's pretty serious stuff.''
Love And Theft were due to play on Saturday afternoon at the premier three-day country music festival in the Hunter Valley.
''We have our priorities right in making sure that Eric looks after his son,'' said Stephen.
''I'm gonna go to the festival this weekend and hang out and try and meet as many people as I can. It won't be the same as playing, which we were really looking forward to, but at least we'll have a presence there and meet some nice people.''
Love And Theft have been around for the past seven years - operating as a trio for the bulk of their formative years.
As a trio they released one album on the now defunct Lyric Street Records label.
Before signing their current deal with RCA/Sony founding member Brian Bandas called it quits.
Operating as a duo, Stephen and Eric released their new self-titled longplayer mid-way through 2012.
Lead single, Angel Eyes, earned the boys a number one hit on the radio charts.
It's follow-up, Runnin' Out Of Air [see film clip above] has continued the buzz.
Speaking from Sydney today, Stephen said that the boys were working hard to get the name out far and wide, especially in Australia.
''You never know what to expect - the music industry is so crazy - but one of our goals had always been to come here and to try and have a music presence in Australia as soon as we could,'' he said.
''Hopefully they'll have us back as soon as possible.
''We're gonna talk to our managers and talk to Sony about coming back as soon as possible. I look forward to coming back. I've had a good time so far. I went to Bondi beach and stayed there and went to Manly yesterday and enjoyed it. And I've have had some great food ... I'm kind of a foodie.''
On the subject of Eric, Stephen stressed the pairing was much more than a musical brotherhood.
''Sometimes I feel a little bad for solo artists because they have all these great things happening to them but other than family members they don't really have anyone that understands exactly what they're feeling ... all the emotions and joys, and even sometimes the hard parts,'' he said.
''It's just such a blessing to share it with someone. And I love Eric ... he's my boy. It's not just a business partnership, it's an actual real friendship. He's like my brother, and also our families are very close so it's really a great experience and we don't take it for granted. We love every day. Sometimes it's a little mad - we encourage each other into madness - but it's a really good time.''
Replacing Love And Theft on the main stage at CMC Rocks the Hunter - 2.55pm to 3.55pm, Saturday - will be Australian artist Travis Collins.