• 31 January – 2 Feb – Kiwigrass 2020 (NZ’s National Bluegrass Festival) go to Kiwigrass website
  • Saturday 1st February – Concert – Richie and Rosie
  • Sunday 9th February – Bluegrass Music jam session (free)
  • Sunday 9th February – Bluegrass banjo workshop ($30 – bookings essential)
  • Saturday 15th February – Concert – Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy
  • Sunday 16th February – Workshop (harp, fiddle, guitar) – Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy
  • Saturday 29th February – Concert – Jackie Bristow

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 1st February – Concert – Richie and Rosie


Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton grew up a 150 miles and few decades apart. Whilst both were raised by professional cellist, Richie started playing banjo at 14 and Rosie began classical piano lessons at eight, eventually moving to classical viola as a teen. Both shared incredibly unique, musically-immersed childhoods: Richie’s family founded the iconic GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance (which he is now President of) and by her junior year of high school, Rosie was playing fiddle and touring with folk rock band The Mammals. During that time, the two were introduced at Saratoga Springs’ Flurry festival — a meeting that would spark a fated friendship and unique musical bond.

“He left an impression on me because he was wearing Converse. I had never seen an adult wear Converse before” says Rosie, reflecting back on the first time she shared the stage with Richie. As a Woodstock native, she graduated high school and decided to move to Ithaca after being drawn to the thriving old-time scene — which happened to also be Richie’s stomping grounds. While studying viola at Ithaca College and playing fiddle on the side, Rosie started incorporating folk with her traditional Celtic and classical upbringing. Meanwhile, Richie was a well-established singer and banjo player in the community, having performed around the world with Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg and Wilco, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Joan Baez. In addition to releasing two solo albums, Richie was adding to his endless discography, which includes three Natalie Merchant records, multiple collaborations with Jim Lauderdale and Donna The Buffalo, and Carrie Rodriguez.

During Rosie’s freshman year, the two finally began touring together regionally as part of the Evil City String Band, where they were joined by bass player Ben Gould, Steve Selin on fiddle (in addition to Rosie), and guitarist Paddy Burke. Eventually they decided to pursue a more intimate project as a duo and in 2013 released Tractor Beam, a 12-track mix of originals and classics, including Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You” and “Say Darlin’ Say”, a traditional lullaby. Being their first exclusive release as Richie and Rosie, the pair wanted to give fans a polished recording of the songs that they played live.

After three years of touring and writing, the duo returned to the studio last December to record their second full-length album, Nowhere in Time. The record finds itself at a junction of Americana, old-time, and folk, bringing a new sound to traditional music. Recorded with producer Alex Perialas at Pyramid Sound Studios, the album highlights the incredibly-refined skill of both musicians — and while the majority of the album is a simple combination of fiddle, banjo, and captivating melodies, the duo manages to pack an incredibly full sound.

“At the beginning, we were thinking it might be a project with lots of other people involved, more of a big production. As we went through it, we realised that the magic lies within the duo. We have an intimacy of music and we feel the power of two people playing. That’s who we are” says Rosie.

Nowhere in Time gives fans a look inside the band’s personal lives, with a variety of introspective lyrics. While some songs are more light-hearted, like “Honey Bee”, which Richie wrote to “lure” his girlfriend back to the East Coast, others face more serious topics. Rosie stepped out of her comfort zone for one of the few lyrical co-writes between the two being “No Longer Lonely”, to write about a close friend passing away. “I actually began writing it a couple of years ago — I would give it to Richie, he would tweak it, and we ended up going back and forth maybe six times. It was a different way for both of us to work and humbling to have our creativity challenged by each other. In the end, we came up with something really beautiful that reflects both of our musicality. I needed to see something beautiful come out of that dark moment.”

However, the most interesting story on the album might be the one behind the title track. After receiving an unexpected phone call from the American Association of Retired Persons, Richie wrote a song for the organisation that chronicled ‘life after 50’, in addition to other ultra-specific stipulations. “They set up a recording date for the song before it was even written. So I’m sitting in my living room, crumpling up paper and trying to write a song about reinventing yourself after 50. I thought, ‘I’m going nowhere with this’” Richie says about the song that turned into appreciating the present, “That’s what the song was actually born out of. You can look back and look forward, but we aren’t done with life, we’re just where we are. It’s about focusing on the moment.”

Ironically, the commissioned song became one of their most well-received songs and defined exactly what the duo hopes to achieve — music that many can connect with. With the fated combination of Richie and Rosie’s unique skill, varied musical influence, and honest storytelling, Nowhere in Time does just that. As two musicians in two very different parts of life, Richie and Rosie are proof of two things: the power and magic of two people making music, and that the universal messages that lie within their songs will remain timeless.

Richie and Rosie blend traditional and contemporary sounds, outrageous punk banjo, powerful evocative fiddle with beautiful vocal harmonies. Richie is an innovator of five-string banjo much loved for his “mantra-groove spooky-banjo style”. Rosie is a ferocious fiddler who’s work spans many musical styles.

website:
www.richieandrosie.com

“They are one of the greatest bands I know”
– Tim O’Brien, on stage at the WBS, Friday 17th January 2020

video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNDroSmKn_I

Concert – Richie and Rosie
Saturday 1st February 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 to 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 15th February – Concert – Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy


Two of Scotland’s most lauded traditional musicians, Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy bring their passion for Scottish music to New Zealand for the first time!

Take the oldest Scottish instrument, the clarsach (harp), and the newest addition to the traditional music arsenal, the guitar, and throw them in the musical blender of Scotland’s biggest city Glasgow and out comes Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy!

Two superb instrumentalists with a shared passion for traditional tunes, Rachel and Ron perform as if sharing one mind… Combining the history of the harp and the culture of Scotland, the duo charms audiences wherever they go.

Having racked up performances throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America Ron and Rachel are setting out on a NZ tour following the recent release of their 5th album to great critical acclaim. Audiences can expect everything from crisp strathspeys and heartfelt airs, to virtuosic reels and driving jigs in this exciting synthesis of the modern and traditional music.

Concert -Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy
Saturday 15th February 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 to 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


Sunday 16th February – Workshop (harp, fiddle, guitar) – Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy

details to follow


Saturday 29th February – Concert – Jackie Bristow

details to follow

Concert -Jackie Bristow
Saturday 29th February 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$25/20 members or children – tea and coffee included

Bookings accepted before the day – by email to 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


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 the banjo 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 – booking required

Please email bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz  to register your interest in this workshop


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