Upcoming Events

  • Saturday 17th November – Concert – Frank Povah
  • Saturday 1st December – Concert – The Sonoran Dogs
  • Saturday 8th December – Concert – Tattletale Saints
  • Sunday 9th December – Bluegrass Music jam session (free)
  • Sunday 9th December – Bluegrass banjo workshop ($30 – bookings essential)
  • Friday 14th December – Society Night – Cameron Dusty Burnell
  • Friday 11th January – Society Night – Melling Station Boys
  • Sunday 13th January – Old-Time Music jam session (free)
  • Sunday 13th January – Clawhammer banjo workshop ($30 – bookings essential)

see below for the details

Note  there will also be a seating allocation system for those wanting specific seats allocated prior to concerts.  Allocated seats should be requested well prior to the concert.  Click on following picture for further information on this option.
allocated seating (600 wide) (175x97)


Saturday 17th November – Concert – Frank Povah


Frank Povah was born in the year that Australia joined WWII (the second event attracting more notice than the first) into an Australia that has now largely vanished. Among his forebears and relatives are a crocodile trapper, a drover who moved cattle from the Snowy Mountains to Lor’ Vestey’s empire on the Victoria River; an indomitable woman who with her husband – himself a descendant of the ‘Afghan’ cameleers – managed a PNG plantation in the early 20th century; and a legendary bush mechanic, to name just a few.

He spent his childhood in places that are now the stuff of legend and others whose history has been largely forgotten, among them Cockatoo Island in the Buccaneer Archipelago and Wundowie, site of a large and primitive DP (Displaced Persons) camp for European refugees made homeless by WWII, and whose voracious charcoal iron industry saw wholesale destruction of the largest Wandoo forest in Western Australia. His teenage years were spent in Fremantle, then a quiet seaport and haven for the working poor: the lumpers (as wharfies were once known in Western Australia), seamen, and the working girls who made their living from them, and the 1001 other characters who worked in and around the port in the tiny offices of shipping companies that were once household names, infamous and famous, such as the ‘Kanaka Company’ Burns Philp and McIlwraith MacEachern.

He served an apprenticeship in a printing company opposite the gates of the wharf where the great liners berthed and watched the P&O Lines SS Canberra, and other ships, disgorge thousands of Italian immigrants and the “proxy brides” who had married their new husbands’ photographs back in the Old Country.

His apprenticeship completed, Frank roamed Australia and New Zealand for many years, earning his living by music and when the pickings were slim, working at his trade and other occupations as diverse as deckhand, cook, meatworker, fish and chip shop jack of all trades, fruit picker along the Murray-Darling,, to name just a few. For a while in the 1960s and throughout the 1970s he lived and was a well known performer in New Zealand and, for over five years, in rural Kentucky in the USA.

His background and life experiences colour both his music and his writing and have given him a strong sense of social justice.

Frank Povah’s Music
As a small child, Frank loved the sound of poetry song, and as was once common at Australian family gatherings, was always ready to “do a turn” – either a recitation or song – at social get-togethers. Many members of his extended family were singers or musicians and he still holds in his repertoire some of the songs learned as a child. He also sings others based on fragments he remembers hearing on the radio 60 and more years ago.

At about age 16 he discovered blues (he is thought to be among the first in Australia to publicly perform traditional blues outside the field of jazz) and a couple of years later, the music of Appalachia. He was actively singing and playing at about the time of the so-called “folk revival”, and figures in papers written on its impact on Australian music at the time.

He has travelled and performed widely throughout Australia and New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. Described as a “talented instrumentalist”, he plays guitar, autoharp, ukulele, Appalachian dulcimer and banjo. With his long-time friend Chris Cruise, in the 1960s he formed one of the first two jug bands in Australia.

One reviewer noted that “a performance by Povah combines a captivating musical experience along with a lesson in social history you don’t know you’re having”. Another wrote “…he sings and plays blues with an Australian accent, in a voice like gumleaf smoke on gravel”.

A concert might include traditional blues, music from Appalachia, Australian tunes, songs learned as a child, along with a grab-bag of tunes picked up, shaken and recycled during a his years as a nomadic performer – the whole peppered with anecdotes and sometimes poetry.

Over the years Frank has performed at many major festivals in Australia and New Zealand as well as venues of many kinds from impromptu performances in outback pubs to house concerts and educational visits to schools. He is also well-known for his encouragement and mentoring of young and novice performers. He has been filmed and recorded for the Archive of the Australian National Library, Canberra; first in the 1980s by the late John Meredith, then again – by Rob Willis – in 2013 after Frank’s return from America and in 2015, when the National Library invited him to do three days of recording in Canberra. He also gave a public performance to a packed house at the Library and four concerts at the National Folk Festival. Some of the films can be viewed on the ANL website.

Incidentally, whilst working “in the grapes” at Coomealla NSW in the 1980s, Frank won the Australian Yarn Telling Championship and was presented with a trophy by the then Mayor of Bourke, Wally Mitchell.

Frank now lives in Molong, in the central west of New South Wales, and works part time for the local newspaper as well as performing and writing.

Concert – Frank Povah
Saturday 17th November 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$20/15 members or children – tea and coffee included

Bookings accepted before the day by email
bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz  or phone (04)477-0069

Doors open at 7:20pm for those who have booked
Otherwise door sales on the day from 7:50pm


Saturday 1st December – Concert – The Sonoran Dogs

details to follow

Concert – The Sonoran Dogs
Saturday 1st December 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$30/$25 members or children – tea and coffee included

Bookings accepted before the day by email
bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz  or phone (04)477-0069

Doors open at 7:20pm for those who have booked
Otherwise door sales on the day from 7:50pm


Saturday 8th December – Concert – Tattletale Saints


details to follow

Concert – Tattletale Saints
Saturday 8th December 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$30/$25 members or children – tea and coffee included

Bookings accepted before the day by email
bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz  or phone (04)477-0069

Doors open at 7:20pm for those who have booked
Otherwise door sales on the day from 7:50pm


Friday 14h December – Society Night – Cameron Dusty Burnell


details to follow

Society Night – Cameron Dusty Burnell
Friday 14th December 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$10 door sales only – tea and coffee included

Support acts and a jam session to follow.


and much more to come !


Second Sunday each month – Jam Session and banjo workshop – Old Time Music or Bluegrass

Old-time Music or Bluegrass jam session and banjo workshop
second Sunday of the  month
Old-Time Music on ‘odd’ months – Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov
Bluegrass Music on ‘even’ months – Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec
Petone Community House
6 Britannia Street, Petone
2:00 – 4:00pm

Free entry to the jam sessions – all welcome
$30 per person for the banjo workshop – bookings required
Please email bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz  to register your interest in this workshop


This is a new venture for the WBS, having come together after years in the making. Over the years the WBS has organised Old-time banjo camps, then Old-time music camps and many Old-time instrument and workshops as well as various Bluegrass sessions. There has been a calling for an Old-time and Bluegrass jam sessions

I hope you all will embrace this opportunity so the jam sessions can flourish.

 

A new venture! in conjunction with the jam session:
banjo workshop, for absolute beginners!



In response to requests from some of you, there will be a banjo workshop, for absolute beginners. Running in parallel to the jam session, at the same venue, this will cater for anyone who has either just picked up a banjo, through to getting you up to jamming with others.

banjo workshop for absolute beginners
2:00 – 4:00pm
Petone Community House
6 Britannia Street, Petone
$30 per person


Wellington Bluegrass Society, Petone New Zealand for good fun and fine music !


Comments are closed.