2011 events are listed below

(either page down or click on specific event for more detail)

4th December – Nigel Gavin & Richard Adams
27th November – X Train
18th November – BB & Alex
5th November – Kokomo
4th November – Jan Preston
16th October – Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas
14th October – Jack MacKenzie & Graham Lovejoy
2nd October – Beyondsemble
16th September –Mike Garner
20th August  – WBS 21st Anniversary
23rd July  – Triple Fiddle
23rd July – Bluegrass Fiddle techniques Workshop – Colleen Trenwith
15th July  – Dixie Lix
9th July – The Cattlestops
9th July – Old Time Fiddle tunes Workshop – Colleen Trenwith
25th June  – Hamilton County Bluegrass Band
17th June  – Uncharted Country
11th June  – Tales of Tennessee
28th May  – Bob Jones & The Blue Ridge Mountain Boys
20th May  – Gumboot Tango
15th April  – Kiwi Songcatchers
26th March  – Graham Wardrop
18th March  – Lloyd and Doublet
18th February  – Rosy Tin Teacaddy
22nd January – banjo Workshop – Don Milne
22nd January – dulcimer Workshop – Imogen Coxhead
21st January  – Rough Diamonds


Sunday 4th December 8:00pm – concert – Nigel Gavin & Richard Adams

Richard Adams & Nigel Gavin
Great music and art comes about by some kind of alchemy: it is the result of painstaking study, a rare mix of ingredients, the moment of inexplicable magic, a wondrous consequence revealed . . .

Richard Adams and Nigel Gavin have worked like few other New Zealand musicians, crafting their art in rehearsal rooms and recording studios and presented their magic in concert halls and to festival audiences at home, Australia, United States and Europe.

Violinist Adams is a gifted painter whose work has been exhibited internationally and who believes the visual and musical sides of his personality each set the other on fire. Richard has played for many years in the popular Nairobi Trio and co-founder of Neon Quaver.

Guitarist Gavin is probably well known to more people than they realise: he has played with the Nairobi Trio, the Jews Brothers, Bravura, created the guitar orchestra Gitbox Rebellion, and has been on albums by Wayne Gillespie, Whirimako Black and most notably with Robert Fripp.

Here is that rare alchemy at work where each inspires the other, where melodies can twist on an emphasis, and the improvisation is instinctively taken in a new and rewarding direction.

This tour will bring together both the artistic adventures as well as the fun music Richard and Nigel have played and sung over the past years with the Nairobi Trio and the Jews Brothers.

“There is an ECM-ish feel about this collaboration between two of New Zealand’s most original thinkers. The improvisation is of the highest order and while there are occasions if you wonder whether they are just playing for themselves, the chemistry is engaging enough, particularly on the toe tapping “Sacred Hill” and the impressionistic “Daisy Chain”. With crystal clear sound, it’s seriously good listening”
The Sunday Star Times

“first class musical alchemy!”
“…incredibly wonderfully intelligent!”
National Radio

“These performers play with a passion and flair that international audiences adore”
Stephane Grappelli

“Richard Adams beautiful light-and-shade violin solo playing will stay in memory for a long time”
Hastings Blossom Festival

“Melodic, dazzling in its virtuosity and inflected with every sort of musical treasure”
The Daily Times

“There’s genuine humanity, wit and even humour in Gavin’s creations”
Tone magazine

“… courageous … sonically naked.”
“..(Nigel Gavin’s).. fingers must be wired directly to his brain!”
“Gavin’s guitar is ringing with ideas and to simply sit back and soak them up is unadorned pleasure!”
Radio New Zealand’s “The Sampler”

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Sunday 27th November 8:00pm – concert – X Train

X Train
X Train are a high energy bluegrass band from USA, featuring Ross Nickerson on banjo, Peter McLaughlin on guitar, Mark Miracle on mandolin and Bob Denoncourt on bass. The band offers traditional bluegrass vocals, world class banjo picking, rock solid bass playing and National Champion guitar flat picking. The members of X Train have toured extensively throughout the world and played and recorded with numerous internationally renowned bluegrass bands.

X Train features a reunion of Ross Nickerson and Peter McLaughlin. Through a lot of word of mouth and recomendations from their previous Arizona performances, X Train featured at the Tucson Bluegrass Festival in 2010. From the great reviews they received there, they have been booked in to the well known Huck Finn Bluegrass Festival in Victorville, California and also the top names Picking in the Pines Bluegrass Festival in Flagstaff, Arizona in September. Now as 2011 comes to a close they are touring Australia and New Zealand.

Ross, Peter and Bob worked together for many years in Arizona and in the west in the 1980s and have continued to gig together off and on since. They are former champs of the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition in 1988 and Wickenburg Bluegrass Festivals. Ross Nickerson has been touring in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia in the last decade but still calls Arizona, where Peter, Mark and Bob live, his home away from home.

Ross has just completed a new CD that he recorded with members of the acclaimed bluegrass band Blue Highway, that features thirteen time IBMA dobro player of the year Rob Ickes and Tim Stafford – former guitar player with Alison Krauss.

Peter McLaughlin should be familiar to all in Arizona and around the US and Europe as a former Winfield National Flat Picking Champion, former member of Laurie Lewis and Grant St along with contributing lots of music in Arizona where he makes his home. Peter’s most recent band was The Perfect Strangers that featured top artists such as Jody Stecher, now with Peter Rowan and banjo Player Bob Black – a veteran of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys. Also featured in the band is Mandolinist Mark Miracle formerly of Sawmill Road, a lights out picker who Ross had the pleasure of reconnecting with in Canada and IBMA this year.

Mark, an Arizona native has always found himself playing with the best pickers and singers in the area and has many contest wins to his credit.

Bob Denoncourt, X Train’s bass player, has worked with Peter and Ross for many years and is a veteran of top bluegrass bands all over the US. Bob’s extensive bluegrass experience goes back to being a member of Don Stover’s White Oak Mountain Boys and stints with Joe Val, to name a few.

X Train’s Music features Ross’s hard driving banjo style along with the highly skilled picking of Peter, Mark and Bob with lot’s of three part traditional bluegrass vocals. They have a ton of fun on stage and the audience always leave with a smile.

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Friday 18th November 8:00pm – society night – BB & Alex

Alex and BB Banjo Duo
If you’ve ever heard the sound of a banjo, then you might very well quiver at the thought of two being played together. Alex & BB redefine this vision, with their exquisite combo of five-string banjo and Irish tenor banjo.
These two young banjo virtuosos, Alex Borwick and Catherine “BB” Bowness, provide fresh insight into an instrument often associated with country, folk, duels and the Beverly Hillbillies. Audiences will have a chance to hear their unique musical interpretations during their 2011 nationwide tour.

“We’ve been playing together over the last eighteen months exploring everything from Bach to Queen, and are looking forward to the opportunity to take our sound to some other parts of New Zealand” says Alex. “We have an eclectic range of influences between us ranging from genres like jazz, bluegrass and Celtic, to more unusual tastes such as Balkan, tango, and eighties pop”. To date they have been guests at several major folk festivals around New Zealand, and have performed at numerous venues around the North Island.

In November 2010, Alex & BB released their EP ‘Play Banjo’ – a small offering of their musical ventures so far. “They work together so well it’s almost like hearing one nine-string banjo played by a four-handed banjo demon” – NZ Musician Magazine.

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, whose versatility and musicianship lends to a multitude of genres. His portfolio as a composer, performer and session musician ranges from playing trombone for artists such Roger Fox, Grada, Nathan King, Jesse Sheehan and The Rooftop Collective, to playing crazy, quirky banjo with contemporary folk trio Forbidden Joe and composing music for children’s song books.

BB has played banjo since she was twelve years old. Her talent was evident from early on and led her to study with some well-respected players in the USA, then to win the 2006 Uncle Dave Macon Banjo Contest. BB’s skilfulness on her instrument has led to her touring North America with bluegrass band Long Road Home and young Australasian trio Twisted Oak. At the tender age of twenty, BB is the first ever musician to complete a Jazz degree at the NZ School of Music – on banjo!

Both Alex and BB continue to hone their craft and study their instrument to learn how to take it to new, undefined boundaries with regular trips overseas to study from other banjo virtuosos. Together they work on gathering material old and new to combine into new pieces for their instruments, including a few songs, which they aim to present and play in a way that is different to what they have heard before. In turn they offer a new perspective on what can be presented on banjo.

In concert they reveal an intellectually stimulating array of performance pieces. “It’s hard not to pay tribute to all our influences. They draw together in our playing and create a journey through a variety of different styles and soundscapes all of which the banjo portrays differently” explains Alex. “Our original compositions are an extension of this, fusing together these different genres and creating new pieces for the banjo which we hope show it in a new, graceful light”. All this, presented with the duo’s vibrant energy and emphasis on enjoying what they do, is a sight worth seeing.

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Saturday 5th November 8:00pm – concert – Kokomo

This year Kokomo are getting back to their roots. Celebrated their 20th year together as a band, they have recorded a new album – It All Comes Round – and are returning to the original Kokomo Blues line-up of the early nineties: an acoustic trio exploring early Delta blues and ragtime, with a scattering of contemporary Kiwi blues and oddities from through the years.

Hailing from the sunny Bay of Plenty, Kokomo has become renowned for dynamic live shows and smart distinctive song-writing. During this time the band has toured extensively throughout New Zealand, performing at the country’s major rock, blues, jazz and folk festivals.

The band was formed in 1991 after a chance performance at the National Jazz Festival. Derek Jacombs had been invited to present a set of solo blues and brought Grant Bullot to join him. The concert turned into a runaway success and they decided to form a full-time band to spread their love of acoustic blues.

Later that year the band set out on the road with a “we play anywhere” policy, which saw them playing around 200 shows a year, everywhere from Great Barrier Island and the smallest country towns to Auckland’s Aotea Centre. That set the scene for following years.

Between touring the band released eight albums on New Zealand’s Jayrem label. The first two were collections of traditional blues, while subsequent albums feature the band’s own songs. These are now distributed through Border Music.

2007 saw the release of the Kokomo à Gogo DVD, a full-length concert film, and later in the year harmonica player Grant Bullôt featured on the Harmonica Masters of New Zealand CD. 2008 marked a departure for Kokomo when the band released In The Well. A long-planned labour of love, it is a collection of the songs of Bob Dylan, rearranged and reinvented with inimitable Kokomo style. The album was launched at a headline concert with Billy TK Jr at the National Blues Festival in Rotorua.

Along the way Radio New Zealand have recorded five programmes focusing on Kokomo’s music and they have appeared from time to time on TVNZ and TV3. Kokomo’s music has also been used as the soundtrack for projects ranging from TV gardening shows and surfing videos. Their music has also featured on popular programmes Shortland Street and Jackson’s Wharf.

They have played with and supported a number of overseas blues and jazz acts including: Georgie Fame, Doug McLeod, Hans Theesink, Mississippi Willie Foster, The LeRoi Brothers, Joy Yates, New Orleans singer Lillian Boutte, Hawaiian steel wizard Ken Emerson and legendary guitarist Amos Garrett (ex-Butterfield Blues Band), with whom the band played an incendiary concert at the Waiheke Island Festival of Jazz.

On the local front they have performed and toured with the likes of Roy Phillips (ex-Peddlers), Hammond Gamble, Jan Preston, Midge Marsden, Shona Laing, Barry Saunders, Mike Cooper and many others.

“These guys are a must to see – blues at its best”
BOP Times

“Riveting acoustic blues”
The Dominion


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Friday 4th November 8:00pm – concert – Jan Preston

Jan Preston’s earliest musical memories were of singalongs at the piano, with one Aunt playing boogie/stride piano and another on violin. All the Prestons sang and played an instrument, even if an eggbeater or tea chest bass.

Jan was born in the South Island, studied classical piano and singing from an early age, and always loved performing live. After completing a music degree, she joined the infamous Red Mole Theatre troupe in Wellington, toured NZ with Spilt Enz and was musical director for the legendary and enormously popular Red Mole Cabaret shows in Wellington.

At this time she was asked by Sam Neil (then a film director) to write music for a documentary he was making and Jan has been composing for films ever since.

In the late 1970s she moved to New York where she heard many of the great rhythm ’n blues piano players, then returned to NZ and formed the rock/reggae band Coup D’Etat, who released the number one hit song ‘Doctor I Like Your Medicine’. Jan then moved on to Sydney where she has lived since 1980.

Jan is a full-time composer, songwriter and piano player who has specialised in mastering the piano boogie tradition, thus becoming known as Australia’s “queen of boogie piano”.

She has played many music festivals in Australia, NZ and Europe, composed and performed music for silent films, and continues to write film scores for NZ and Australian drama and documentary, including the music for her sister Gaylene Preston’s film ‘Home By Christmas’. Jan has won three Awards for Best Film Score and two for Best Australian Female Blues Artist.

Jan is bringing her latest show ‘Beat Out the Boogie’ to New Zealanders in Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North and Wellington from Oct 29th to Nov 4th. Toe-tapping from beginning to end, ‘Beat Out the Boogie’ illustrates Jan’s reputation as a magnetic live performer, astonishing piano player and great communicator.

“From boogie woogie to ragtime the air pulsates with the magical rhythms she produces….a forceful presence and a huge performance energy”
Christchurch Star NZ

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Sunday 16th October 6:00pm – concert – Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, and the sizzlingly-talented young California cellist Natalie Haas may not seem an obvious one. Fraser, acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner as “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling” has a concert and recording career spanning thirty years, with a long list of awards, accolades, television credits and feature performances on top movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic). Fraser has been sponsored by the British Council to represent Scotland’s music internationally and received the Scottish Heritage Centre Service Award for outstanding contributions to Scottish culture and traditions.

Natalie Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, wasn’t even born when Alasdair was winning national fiddle competitions on the other side of the Atlantic. But this seemingly unlikely pairing is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser, whose cutting-edge musical explorations took him full circle to find a cellist who could help him return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music.

“Going back to the 1700s, and as late as the early 20th century,” Fraser says, “fiddle and cello made up the dance band of choice in Scotland, with the cellist bowing bass lines and driving the rhythm. Pianos and accordions elbowed out the cello, relegating it to an orchestral setting. I’ve been pushing to get the cello back into the traditional music scene for years, always on the lookout for a cellist with whom I could have a strong musical conversation, one that incorporated not just the cello’s gorgeous melodic tones, but also the gristly bits – the rhythmic, percussive energy that makes the wee hairs on the back of the neck stand up.”

Natalie Haas was just eleven when she first attended Fraser’s “Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School” in California. She responded to Fraser’s challenge to find and release the cello’s rhythmic soul and four years later, when Natalie was just fifteen, Fraser and Haas played their first gig together. Now regularly touring with Fraser and creating a buzz at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe and North America, Natalie is in the vanguard of young cellists who are redefining the role of the cello in traditional music.

The duo represented Scotland at the Smithsonian Museum’s Folklife Festival, have been featured on nationally broadcast Performance Today, the Thistle & Shamrock, and Mountain Stage. They both teach at Fraser’s popular annual summer fiddle courses (Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School and Sierra Fiddle Camp in California, and at Sabhal Mor Ostaig Gaelic College in Scotland) and Natalie is on the faculty of Berklee College of Music in Boston.

“Cellists are coming out of the woodwork to study with Natalie, to learn how she creates a groove and a whole chunky rhythm section,” says Fraser. “It’s inspiring to hear the cello unleashed from its orchestral shackles!”

One of the inspirations is the duo’s debut recording, Fire & Grace, which displays dazzling teamwork, driving, dancing rhythms, and the duo’s shared passion for improvising on the melody and the groove of Scottish tunes. The two instruments duck and dive around each other, swapping melodic and harmonic lines, and trading rhythmic riffs. The recording won not only critical acclaim, but also the coveted the Scots Trad Music “Album of the Year” award, the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. Fire & Grace, and the duo’s new CD In the Moment and Fraser’s many other recordings are on his own Culburnie Records label.

for further details, refer to their websites
Alasdair Fraser website
Natalie Haas website

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Friday 14th October 8:00pm – society night – Jack MacKenzie & Graham Lovejoy

Jack MacKenzie plays a flat pick style of guitar based on what he absorbed from Doc Watson, Clarence White and all the rest of the performers he had the good fortune to be exposed to up close and in person. His style has evolved in twenty five years of isolation and re-emerges as a mostly cross picking arpeggio cadence with added transition chords that are not the usual 1,4,5 ‘bluegrass’ style.

Jack also plays finger style guitar, based again on what he was fortunate to absorb from some of the great pickers from the McCabe’s days.

Jack spent a decade managing the famous McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica California during the 1970s. The combined benefits from the weekly concerts in the back room and the technical aspects of the repair shop on the premises made for a unique musical foundation that underpins Jack’s style and ability as a musician.

Another skill Jack soaked up is clawhammer banjo. Jack is self taught, imitating the sounds of the most influential role model of his music, Doc Watson, who is a superb clawhammer banjo player.

Dangerously close to producing his fourth CD, Jack has now written fifteen or so songs reflecting his own life and experiences as a ‘middle-aged-plus divorced immigrant’. Go figure.

Jack plays at least one concert a year at the WBS, sometimes solo, sometimes with other musicians like Graham Lovejoy. Jack also features as occasional guitar ‘side man’ for Colleen Trenwith, well known local favourite fiddle player. As Jack puts it, that’s ‘Runnin’ with the big dogs’, but he’ll readily admit he’s not really a ‘bluegrass’ guitar player.

To support his music habit, Jack repairs guitars and other stringed musical instruments at his home/shop in Feilding, a skill he absorbed while working at McCabe’s. Jack also is very involved in the world of flyfishing, working as a specialist in the Palmerston North Hunting and Fishing shop.

Graham Lovejoy is a regular at the WBS, having performed in many lineups including the Antipodean Serenaders, Colleen Trenwith, Bob Jones, Catherine BB Bowness, Proximity Trio and more. Graham performed on every Anniversary concert of the WBS – 10th, 15th and 21st. In the early 1970s Graham was a member of the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band and toured with them through Australia and the USA. Graham is a respected teacher of guitar, banjo and mandolin.

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Sunday 2nd October 8:00pm – concert – Beyondsemble

Assembled by Craig Denham, the innovative band debuted their delightfully fresh sound in 2009. Beyondsemble took to the road and brought New Zealand eclectic sounds fused with experiments of various ethnic music and rhythms. Their four week tour took them from Auckland to Dunedin and beyond. The group are currently on their third tour of the country, this time under the sponsorship of Arts On Tour with twenty five dates booked throughout September.

Beyondsemble have just released a brand new studio album, which was recorded in May of 2011 at York St Studios, in Auckland. The album features a mixture of genres and captures the interactive energy that the group are known for. “All tracks were recorded live, and we used only a minimal amount of overdubs in order to stay true to our sound and approach to the music” says Denham. The album is distributed through Ode records and will be available in stores, on iTunes and at Beyondsemble shows from the beginning of September.

Mike Nettmann in About the Arts said of their 2009 Kerikeri show: “How fortunate for all who managed to get a seat as the show was nothing short of pyrotechnic display of dazzling virtuosity by four highly imaginative and gifted musicians”.

Denham says: “I’ve played in numerous bands over the years and have dreamed about creating one band that could play it all”. He seems to have struck the right chord as the band members are multi-instrumentalists giving Beyondsemble a great flexibility in terms of instrumentation and range.

Specialising in diversity, the four-piece performs in a range of musical styles from around the world. Beyondsemble weaves influences from bluegrass, Celtic, eastern European and gypsy with Latin and tango rhythms, seasoned with jazz, swing and rock steady, to create a captivating toe-tapping set.

The eclectic mix of tunes and songs, both original and sourced, are executed with skill, passion, energy and pure joy. “I find it personally satisfying when our music is making a real connection to the audience,” says Denham.

The band members are: Craig Denham on accordion, keyboards, vocals and whistles; Jess Hindin on violin and keys; Chris Koole on the percussion and vocals and Mark Mazengarb on guitars and bouzuki.

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Friday 16th September 8:00pm – society night – Mike Garner

Mike Garner Society Nightfor complete information see the Mike Garner website.

Mike Garner has lived in New Zealand from 1987 and is heavily involved in the New Zealand blues scene. Mike works solo, as a duo, trio or full band and performs extensively throughout the New Zealand.

His first solo recording, “Shades of Blue” (1993) was well received and his first NZ band, The Blues Healers, played many major New Zealand festivals. Their line-up included Mike’s son Paul Garner on lead guitar, who commenced guitar at age five and was performing professionally with Mike from the age of sixteen. Paul now lives in London where he has his own band.

In 1999, Mike’s new band, Steppin Out, recorded a CD titled: “Stepping Out To The Blues”. This album featured a number of original songs. This band played extensively at festivals throughout Australasia and a live CD was recorded at the Montana National Jazz Festival 2001 – “Live At The Lonestar”.

Mike’s 2003 solo album “Still Your Lovin Man”, consists of originals and acoustic blues standards, with all the instruments played by himself, including acoustic guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, harmonica and bass.

In 2003 Mike toured Australia solo with appearances at many festivals – including the prestigious Frankston International Guitar Festival, along with many top Australian venues – including Sydney’s Basement.

“Drivin’ With The Blues” was released in early 2004. Featuring mostly original songs, it received airplay in NZ, Australia, Germany and Norway. NZ Musician magazine said “Good songs, well sung with plenty of grit. ‘Drivin’ With The Blues’ is one of the best acoustic blues albums to come out of this little country.”

In September 2004 Mike played solo concerts in German and Italy. In April and May of 2005 he toured NSW with percussionist Warren Houston.

Mike released his fourth CD “Cad’s Alley” in January 2007. It was recorded at Aztek Studio, Rotorua. Mostly including Mike’s songs, it is a blend of acoustic and electric ensembles and fuses blues with other styles, often with a flavour of the Pacific. It features guest appearances by Jan Preston (AUS), Paul Garner (UK) and others from the Bay of Plenty and NZ blues scene. A cut from “Cad’s Alley”, with Jan Preston on piano, also features on a 2007 compilation “Harmonica Masters of NZ” and was played on the USA syndicated blues show “House of Blues Hour”, hosted by Dan Ackroyd. Another cut from “Cad’s Alley”, Louisiana Hurricane, won third place in the International Song Competition, Nashville – the only Americana finalist from the entire southern hemisphere.

Mike appeared at New Caledonia’s arts festival, Live en Aôut in August 2007 which included dates in Noumea and all around the island. He appeared at the Cook Islands Jazz & Blues Festival, Rarotonga, in March 2008. In 2009, The Mike Garner Band, with Dave Robinsion on bass and Warren Houston on percussion, appeared at the Himalayan Blues Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal. His appearance at the festival was captured in the film “Kathmandu Blues” – filmed, co-produced and edited by award winning NZ filmmaker Costa Botes.

Mike toured NZ with Queensland’s Doc Span in 2009 and with UK guitarist Pete Harris in 2010. He also opened for the Motown stars Four Tops, The MIracles, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and Jimmy Barnes, in front of an audience of 50,000 at Mission Estate in Februay 2010.

His latest CD “Why A Woman Gets The Blues” was released in August 2011 by Ode Records.

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Saturday 20th August 7:30pm – concert  – The 21st Anniversary of the Wellington Bluegrass Society

Friday 24th August 1990 wasn’t a dark and stormy night, but was the first ever meeting of the Wellington Bluegrass Society. A big crowd attended and I announced to all what I wanted to do – to have regular meetings for all who were interested in bluegrass. The response was unanimous

– monthly meetings were agreed upon.

Meetings continued on the fourth Friday for about the first two years, after which a few changes happened – the name changed from “The Wellington Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Society” to “Wellington Bluegrass Society”, meetings changed to the third Friday of the month and being self appointed as the Convenor of the group, I put to the vote that I become President of the WBS, which was unanimously accepted. Since this time I have been referred to as:

* The Benevolent Dictator (from many);

* the Kaiser (Saul Brody, for wearing my tracksuit trousers during his

concert with the late Winnie Winston)

* The Grand Panjandrum (courtesy of Frank Sillay)

To date there are over 950 on the WBS email circulation list.

– Andrew Bicknell, President

To celebrate twenty one years of WBS, we’re holding a concert,


The Antipodean Serenaders, who include samples of early

bluegrass and the occasional contemporary novelties from the likes of

the Austin Lounge Lizards or the Red Clay Ramblers, ragtime, gospel songs

and late Victorian popular music.

Catherine (BB) Bowness, who is currently working on completing a Bachelor of music and is the first banjo student ever to study at the New Zealand school of Music.

Legal Tender perform an eclectic mix of alternate country covers and are known for their powerful vocal harmonies, real ‘down home country’ renditions. They will be joined by Colleen Trenwith and Graham Lovejoy.

Helena Faust sings and plays traditional music from the Appalachian Mountains of America.

Bryan Crump is the host of Nights on Radio New Zealand National. Bryan will be the MC for our concert.

Note: this is Colleen Trenwith’s last appearance in NZ before heading back to the USA to resume teaching at East Tennessee State University. Colleen extended her break in NZ to be part of this concert. We are extremely lucky to have Colleen’s involvement with this show.

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Saturday 23rd July 8:00pm – concert – Triple Fiddle

One of the most dynamic and electrifying sounds in bluegrass music has been the addition of a second fiddler playing in close harmony with the original fiddle player in the band. Then to add a third fiddler and to have the phrasing in the tunes exactly “in sync” and the chording sounding full and fat without sacrificing any tightness or speed is something you don’t hear every day!

Colleen Trenwith has had the opportunity to play with fiddlers who are highly revered in the US, such as Kenny Baker, Bobby Hicks and Buddy Spicher. These fiddlers don’t only think in a single line melody, but they “think in full chords” and take every opportunity to break into a harmony if there’s another fiddler playing. ….AND if there’s no other fiddler around, well, they just play all the harmonies themselves!!

This concert, featuring the triple fiddles of Trenwith and her friends Kirsten Henderson and Jamie Wardrop, will again include some standard bluegrass fiddle tunes, old time and swing fiddle tunes presented in a bluegrass band setting, thanks once again to Paul Trenwith(banjo), Graham Lovejoy(mandolin), Jack MacKenzie(guitar) and Andrew Bicknell(bass).

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Saturday 23rd July 11:00am-1:00pm – workshop – Bluegrass fiddle techniques

Colleen Trenwith is renowned as the fiddle player of NZ’s Hamilton County Bluegrass Band. For the past two years Colleen has been part of the academic staff at East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Whilst on Summer break from ETSU, Colleen has returned to NZ and in amongst her busy schedule we’re fortunate she is available to teach fiddle before returning to the US next month.

“Bill Monroe (the “father of bluegrass”) was very influenced by a friend who was a black blues singer and guitarist. We will take a basic look at the blues, learn a blues tune and learn how the sound has transferred into bluegrass fiddle.


In this workshop I will teach:

1. A blues fiddle tune

2. Two (or more) standard bluegrass fiddle tunes

3. Some techniques in bluegrass fiddle tunes and improvising solos.”

Note: non-fiddlers can also attend – whilst this ia a fiddle workshop, other instrumentalists can attend and bring their instruments if they’re interested. Everyone can play the tunes together. For example, those who play bluegrass or clawhammer banjo would be interested in hearing about some of the history of the music. Whilst you won’t be taught how to play the banjo, you can be included at your own level. Colleen will be teaching fiddle tunes to fiddlers, and can call out the chords to others.

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Friday 15th July 8:00 pm – society night – Dixie Lix

With the current popularity of roots and acoustic music, a new and younger audience are getting exposure to more traditional styles and instrumentation. Recent tours by Old Crow Medicine Show performed to full houses of mainly younger people discovering this exciting music.

Local band Dixie Lix have been playing this style of music around the Wellington region for the last seven years. Dixie Lix are an acoustic country and bluegrass band with a repertoire ranging from traditional music to songs from more recent artists. Dixie Lix cover songs from modern artists such as Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Alison Krauss and Dixie Chicks.

Their lineup includes:

Wayne Robinson on banjo and guitar. Wayne first discovered bluegrass music at the age of sixteen and has recorded in studios for albums as well as on televison and radio jingles. Wayne has also taught banjo for the last twenty five years.

Wanda Menchi has a background in country music and touring shows, plays mandolin and guitar. Wanda adds additional colour with accordion.

Garrett Evans first discovered bluegrass music whilst at college and not knowing anyone else with the same interest, he spent the following few years as a bass player in rock and dance bands. Garrett plays guitar and Dobro.

All members sing and the group feature full harmonies.

Dixie Lix will be joined by George Barris – well known for his expert bass playing and a welcome guest wherever he plays.

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Saturday 9th July 8:00pm – concert – The Cattlestops

When Colleen Trenwith moved to the Kapiti Coast in 2004 the word got out pretty quickly on the local musician’s grapevine. With still-vivid memories from the early 1970s of Colleen’s television appearances with the iconic Hamilton County Bluegrass Band still haunting their addled 50-something year old collective consciousness, Kapiti musicians Andrew London, James Cameron and Dave Berry tracked Colleen down to Otaki Beach, where she was gently but firmly coerced into forming The Cattlestops.

With Colleen’s impeccable country and bluegrass credentials, London & Cameron’s jazz leanings and Berry’s rock & blues guitar stylings, an eclectic repertoire of covers and originals was hastily compiled in order to do justice to half a dozen gigs London had enthusiastically booked for the nonexistent band.

With the addition of young and attractive drummer Evan Williams, The Cattlestops rode out to do the gigs. Songs were written and recorded on two albums – Cattlestoppin’ in 2006 and Back to Rosetta Road in 2007. No less than six songs from the latter were chosen to feature in the enormously successful movie Second Hand Wedding – a natural combination as the movie was shot on the Kapiti Coast and the songs include references to Kapiti landmarks. Despite one critic expressing discomfort at the presence of local place names in the songs, the album made the final three for the Country Album of the Year award and received rave reviews from other sources.

Embarrassed by the band’s success, Colleen immediately fled to the USA to dodge the limelight and to study Old Time Fiddle and Appalachian History at East Tennessee State University, where she studied under some of the finest bluegrass musicians in the world and helped them iron out a few ‘technique’ issues. Her return in May 2010 initiated a flurry of activity amongst the other Cattlestops with new songs being written. Once again for 2011, with Colleen back on “summer” break from teaching at ETSU, there is a flurry amongst the ‘Stops and a handful of reunion gigs have been booked for June and July.

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Saturday 9th July 11:00am-1:00pm – workshop – Old Time fiddle tunes from Tennessee and Kentucky – Colleen Trenwith

Colleen Trenwith is renowned as the fiddle player of NZ’s Hamilton County Bluegrass Band. For the past two years Colleen has been part of the academic staff at East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Whilst on Summer break from ETSU, Colleen has returned to NZ and in amongst her busy schedule we’re fortunate she is available to teach fiddle before returning to the US next month.

“I have played once a month for the past year with a Faculty old time band at East Tennessee State University, for both contradances and played sets of fiddle tunes. Here are the names of some of the sets we did: Texas Gals / Leather Britches, Folding Down the Sheets / Broken Down Gambler, Merriweather / Tennessee Wagonner.

In this workshop I will teach, and discuss as time permits:

1. some old time tunes from those sets

2. one or two tunes with the fiddle in a different tuning. Either AEAE (from lowest to highest strings), or GDGD

3. a simple fiddle tune using the five note scale typical of the old time modal sound of the fiddle and clawhammer banjo.”

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Saturday 25th June 8:00pm – concert – Hamilton County Bluegrass Band

It’s been forty four years since the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band appeared weekly on national television, delighting New Zealanders with their youthful exuberance and exciting bluegrass music. The mid-week “Country Touch” programme, together with their itinerary of concerts and appearances throughout New Zealand, meant the band became a household name and an established part of the New Zealand entertainment scene. Time spent playing in Australia and the USA broadened the band’s approach to music and honed their performance skills in presenting their music to diverse audiences – from folk festivals to clubs to concerts.

In 2005 and 2006 the HCBB featured in two “Highway of Legends” tours, playing to packed venues and appreciative audiences throughout New Zealand. In 2008 the band had the privilege of being invited to perform at the River Of Music Party for the annual International Bluegrass Music Association festival in Owensboro, Kentucky USA. The band were thrilled to be performing at the birthplace of bluegrass music, presenting bluegrass performed with a Kiwi twist and receiving a tremendously warm welcome and response. The band also played at a festival in Grass Valley, California and several venues around San Francisco, making many new friends along the way.

The start of 2011 found the band being and integral part of the Topp Twins Summer Hoedown Tour, performing concerts in vineyards throughout NZ and demonstrating the band’s evolving talent and repertoire.

With occasional changes of band members, the band has maintained a high standard of musicianship throughout the years, with each line-up change introducing exciting new additions to their repertoire.

The 2011 Hamilton County Bluegrass Band features the original members of the band, who originally worked out their version of bluegrass music in the old Trenwith homeplace at Te Rapa – Paul Trenwith on banjo, Alan Rhodes on guitar, Colleen Trenwith on fiddle – and now includes Tim Trenwith (Paul and Colleen’s third son) on bass, and long-time friend Keith MacMillan on mandolin.

With their favourite fiddle player Colleen spending the last few years teaching fiddle at East Tennessee State University, the HCBB have enlisted the services of Pam Crowe as vocalist and guitarist. Pam has been playing country music most of her life; when teamed up with the HCBB she does a fine job of songs from performers including Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton, adding a whole new dimension to the band’s performances.

The HCBB performance at the Wellington Bluegrass Society is a great opportunity to enjoy the band with Colleen back playing fiddle and it promises to be a memorable night.

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Friday 17th June 8:00pm – society night – Uncharted Country

Five Wellington musicians familiar to WBS audiences have come together to explore the musical territory around and beyond old-time country music. Jill Brasell (bass), Don Franks (banjo), Andrea Coop (fiddle), Peter Dyer (guitar) and Mary Livingston (guitar) have been playing and singing together for years in various permutations including The Song Rustlers, The Last Roundup, Jambalaya, The Cicadas, and The B53s, as well as about a million jam sessions, so they bring a formidable accumulation of experience to this project.

“Our starting point was a shared fondness for ‘old-timey’ music, and our repertoire includes songs that would come into that category,” says bass player Jill Brasell, “but we’re not hard-lined about it, if only because it’s so difficult for us to draw lines between old-time, bluegrass, western and more recent material in those traditions. We’re having fun trying out a lot of songs. The ones that make the cut for performance usually feature attractive harmonies (since we all sing) and lyrics that ring true on some level – plus a little bit of ‘x-factor’ in the melody or timing or whatever that makes them stand out. We also want opportunities for our instrumentalists to shine here and there. The bottom line in choosing a song is that we all like it and enjoy playing it!”

Uncharted Country have given several public performances since starting up early this year, with enthusiastic audience response. Come and check them out at the WBS on 17th June. Expect hot licks and heavenly harmonies in songs that chart the rough and rocky road of life.

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Saturday 11th June 8:00pm – concert – Tales of Tennessee

It is not often that a New Zealander gets taken seriously in the American country music industry, let alone achieve sufficient status to teach University courses in such a bastion of country music heritage as Tennessee USA. In a classic ‘Coals to Newcastle’ story, Kiwi fiddler Colleen Trenwith is doing just that.

Her pedigree was established in this country as early as the late 1960s when, as a founder member of the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, she embarked on a musical career that saw the band host their own television series (‘Country Touch’), tour Australia with country icon Slim Dusty, and travel to Nashville to play at the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ – the ultimate for any country musician.

In 2008 Colleen took up an opportunity to study music at East Tennessee State University, and after two years was enlisted as a full time tutor. Prior to leaving New Zealand she spent several years on the Kapiti Coast, collaborating with several local acts including country rock duo ‘ Legal Tender’, guitarist Andrew London’s ‘Hot Club Sandwich’ swing trio and five piece country band ‘The Cattlestops’.

Taking advantage of Colleen’s flying visit to NZ this winter, Legal Tender’s Ian Campbell (guitar) and Moira Howard (bass guitar) have teamed up with Andrew London (guitar, banjo, piano and mandola), to join Colleen in a show titled ‘Tales of Tennessee’ – in which she presents a selection of stories and music accumulated over a forty year career on the stage, focusing on her most recent experiences in and around Tennessee.

The repertoire will range from country, western swing and bluegrass, popularised by artists such as Guy Clark, Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss, to original songs by Andrew London – well-known for his humourous and satirical slant on Kiwi culture.

Ian Campbell says: “As far as we’re concerned, Colleen is a national treasure. She’s trodden a path that most Kiwi musicians can only dream about – especially in such an American dominated genre as bluegrass music. It’s an honour to walk out on the same stage”.

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Saturday 28th May 8:00pm – concert – Bob Jones & The Blue Ridge Mountain Boys

Partly raised in Virginia and Maryland, Bob Jones absorbed the rich musical tradition of the South from an early age. He began singing bluegrass publicly in his late teens and within five years began earning his living as a full-time professional singer. Before the end of the 1970s, Bob became a regular member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

By the 1980s, Bob Jones had established a reputation as one of the world’s most respected bluegrass singers. In the late 1980s, he began bringing his quintessentially American bluegrass to other parts of the world. In a career now spanning more than three decades, Bob has performed in almost every American state, every state in Australia, many countries in Europe and Scandinavia, as well as New Zealand and a number of Canadian provinces.

Originally known for his solid guitar rhythm, Bob Jones quickly won acclaim for his powerful and sensitive bluegrass singing in the style of Red Allen, Del McCoury, & Bill Monroe. Bob also gained recognition for his superb harmony singing and arranging, as well as his tasteful mandolin playing.

Although perhaps best known as the founder of the world renowned Blue Ridge Mountain Boys, Bob Jones also burnished his reputation as guitarist/singer in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. As a member of the Blue Grass Boys, Bob toured with the Father of Bluegrass throughout most of the South and MidWest. In his time with Monroe, Bob recorded a radio show later released as the album Bob Jones and Bill Monroe on the Radio. The two also appeared together regularly on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

After leaving the Blue Grass Boys and Nashville, Bob added the fiddle and dobro to his arsenal. He toured from coast to coast in the U. S. and increasingly overseas. Although he occasionally plays guitar or other instruments in his shows, he now performs mainly on the fiddle. Still first and foremost a powerful lead and tenor singer, Bob has also won accolades for his “bluesy” traditional fiddling.

Bob Jones received many awards for his music – Album of the Year, Bluegrass Singer of the Year three times – in the 1980s and 1990s. Early in the new century, the Right Honorable Paul Patton, Governor of Kentucky, commissioned Bob Jones an official Kentucky Colonel in recognition of Bob’s “services to humanity” through his music. More recently, the mayor of the French city of La Roche sur Forôn honored Bob Jones with the Freedom of the City in recognition of Bob’s performances there.

Although many of Bob Jones’s recordings are out of print, three CDs are still currently available: Bob Jones and Bill Monroe on the Radio, Blue Grass Boy, & Real Bluegrass. Those three will be joined in 2011 by Bob’s new CD, Blue Ridge Mountain Boy. Bob has already begun working on a new CD to be called Bluegrass State of Mind. As of this writing, more than a million people have enjoyed the live and recorded music of Bob Jones.

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Friday 20th May 8:00pm – society night – Gumboot Tango

The ‘Tango are: Mike Harding, Janet Muggeridge, Steve Muggeridge and Wayne Morris, who celebrate New Zealand songs and songwriters with a farmyard-infectious humour guaranteed to put a smile on your feet and the swing back in a Taranaki Gate.

Live in concert, Gumboot Tango present songs that tell something of New Zealand’s special heritage, from the daggy and quirky through classic Kiwi pop and rock to original songs, some written by the late Alan Muggeridge.

Band Highlights:

* 1995 – formed to record “Taranaki Top Ten” on cassette and perform songs for the Taranaki Festival of the Arts

* Played at the Beehive

* 1997 – recorded “Rattle Yer Dags” on cassette

* 1999 – guests at WOMAD

* Guests at Hamilton, Tahora, Wellington and Auckland Folk Festivals

* Guests at the 2nd Annual Great Urenui Possum Hunt and Urenui Rodeo

* Played in almost all of Taranaki’s country halls

* Guests at Hollards Gardens

* Guests at TSB Festival of Lights – on a number of occasions

* 2009 – launched CD “Rubber Sole”

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Friday 15th April 8:00pm – society night – Kiwi Songcatchers

“Review of Mike Harding and Chris Priestley’s Concert, WBS 15th April 2011, on their ‘Kiwi Songcatchers’ NZ tour.

Greetings, Your Sheriffness …and Wider W.B.S. Community. In response to your request Andrew, here are some random thoughts about the concert.

First, I’ll acknowledge an outrageous lack of objectivity over these chaps. I’ve been an enthusiast for each of their music since sometime in the 1980s, or earlier. But I never considered that their somewhat different musical bags might be combined into such an impressive, integrated and colourful valise. (Perhaps, having already stretched the metaphor, I’ll now enlarge it to a carpet bag, given the ‘Travellin’ South’ aspect.)

So Good Ol’ Boys they may appear, but in terms of musical styles, thematic leanings and especially lyrical content, with heart-on-sleeve conviction; they provide in fact, a real antidote to redneckery in all its forms. The programme was well balanced: fresh and varied, old and contemporary, self-penned and not. They delivered us songs of our history, the land in its many forms, social politics, love (mainly lost, of course) and reflections both internal and on our sense of community. An idea of the range of material might be gleaned from contrasting Mike’s personal and delicately observed “Buddy Breathing”, with the stridently political and now, almost trad/anthemic “Send The Boats Away” of Lynn Clark. They acknowledged and interpreted the work of many other of our best songwriter/singers too; including Dave Jordan, Paul Bond, Julian McKean, Phil Powers and Mark Laurent. I felt sated!

As a now fully paid up..and out..member of the aging flatulentia, ’tis true that my hearing discernment, diminisheth somewhat. However!… there were times when, even from the front row, my mate Chris’s voice was a little inaudible to me…a minor frustration. However, I do applaud your intention, Andrew, of keeping your concerts as non-electric and unmiked as practical; so I’m not sure what to suggest here, as occasionally before, I’ve struggled to hear a singer with a less projecting voice. In Chris’s case, it’s probably the long-term effects of ‘baristing’ 2.5 million (was it?) cups of coffee over the decades (his estimate) and the attendant effects of heat, fumes and the statutory ‘grounds-bashing’, somehow weakening his vocal apparatus.

The “Kiwi Songcatchers” of the title (borrowed from an excellent film) implies a N.Z. tour, where our intrepid minstrels dig out indigenous offerings en route, often unearthing the writer/singer in the process…and where possible, cajoling them into an on-stage collaboration (with a minimum of resistance, one assumes). This is in fact, not too far from the truth and is an inspiring model for a tour…if one can deliver the goods. Well, they and we certainly struck gold this night and from what I picked up, the process would continue in that rich vein. We were fortunate to benefit from an appearance by Julian McKean, Wairarapa-bound these days, and in fine form. They played several of Julian’s classics, including my big fave, “Falling Way Behind”. During this, I always seem to develop some sort of pesky eye-irritation, which demands much awkward hanky-dabbery. Ah me!

We were also lucky to have the sensitive but steady services of Peter Conway’s mandolin on two or three numbers. With all four of these boys a goin’ for it, we were treated to some fine pickin’ (and grinnin’ AND singin’) indeed. As Andrew later noted, even with three guitars on stage, they created a comfortable space for each to be heard without compromising the whole. Likewise, during the main body of the show, Chris and Mike seemed to effortlessly blend their guitars, whether playing rhythm or lead…competent, complementary, sometimes stylish, never showy.

Julian Ward created a typically tasteful solo guitar piece, as part of a diverting, three act opening set. The always fresh and sparkling Tracey Haskell helped to further warm us up on vocals and her rhythmic guitar. Then Garrett Evans and Tony Burt provided a delightful duo-distraction, backed by guitar and resonator guitar…especially a quirky Wairarapa piece of Tony’s.

For many of us, the evening was seriously cherry-topped by an inspiring jam initiated by Julian McKean, under the acoustically-supportive, arched-atrium of the large foyer. I had to forcibly drag myself away from the oh-so-generously-provided après-scoff at the kitchen counter…and try and find some harmonies. What a bugger.

Robin Brew

9th May 2011″

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Saturday 26th March 8:00pm – concert – Graham Wardrop

Graham is regularly called upon to give concert performances, to play on television and studio recording sessions, to hold workshops in fingerstyle techniques for steel string guitar, songwriting and guitar building.

Graham has performed solo and alongside some of the world’s finest musicians, dazzling audiences at countless festivals, concerts and corporate functions. He has toured with Australia’s Slim Dusty and Anne Kirkpatrick, Canada’s Valdy and New Zealand’s Billy T. James. He opened for Manhattan Transfer, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Vanessa-Mae, Michael Crawford, Joshua Kadison, Icehouse and Jasper Carrot. Graham has played alongside Tommy Emmanuel and Gray Bartlett and on shows with Martin Taylor, Leo Kottke and Michael Fix.

Not only does Graham maintain a busy performance schedule, he also handcrafts the instruments on which he performs.

Over the past couple of years he has played concerts and festivals in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. Later this year he will be touring in Canada, the UK and Europe playing concerts, festivals and folk clubs.

Currently he is mastering a new CD of original songs, to be released in April. Having survived the tragic earthquakes in his hometown of Christchurch, Graham is back on the road. Although shocked and shaken, he is keen to be doing what he does best – playing guitar and entertaining music lovers – wherever they may be.

He will perform many favourite songs and instrumentals along with previewing songs from his soon to be released CD “Speed Of Love”.

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Friday 18th March 8:00pm – society night – Lloyd and Doublet

John Sanchez-Lloyd and Phil Doublet both enjoy diverse musical careers. John began playing keyboards with the band Salvation whilst at art school in the late 1960s. He has played in numerous local bands including country-rockers The Cowboys and eventually joined South Island’s NZ Tui Award winning Coalrangers.

Phil began playing at age seven and has not stopped since. He is at home playing blues and country music, genres in which he is highly regarded and also keeps busy as a music teacher, session player, performer and composer.

Although both live in Christchurch, the two only met in 2009 when playing at a function as members of The Ranchsliders. Musical respect was mutual and they were soon playing together whenever other commitments allowed. Lloyd & Doublet were introduced to a wider Christchurch audience at the 2010 Jazz and Blues Festival performing in the Diggin’ the Roots concert at the Town Hall.

Each performance finds them enthusiastically exploring the endless possibilities of combining piano, acoustic guitar and two voices. Their musical union has resulted in a great mix of self-penned material and entertaining interpretations of others’ songs – performed with skill and inventiveness.

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Friday 18th February 8:30pm – society night – Rosy Tin Teacaddy

Betty Grey and Billy Earl of Wellington folk duo Rosy Tin Teacaddy may be best known for their interlacing vocals, a penchant for single malt and their gift for the story-telling gab. Playing tunes from their two previous releases, debut EP Blind Leading The Blind, long-player The Homeward Stretch, and their forth-coming sophomore album All Mountains Are Men, audiences can expect to journey across the volcanic shores of Lake Tarawera where the pair wrote and recorded as recent recipients of Creative NZ’s Artists in Residence scheme. With ghostly visitations, mountains of ash and murders of crows, their live performance will be simultaneously haunting and uplifting. With a commitment to the craft of song-writing and lyrical word-play, Rosy Tin Teacaddy will make even the most devastating of scenes seem beautiful.

As a result of the residency the duo also devised an innovative live show Coffee Cups and a Porridge Pot at Frying Pan Lake to full houses at BATS Theatre, recorded an audio diary of their adventures for Radio NZ National and appeared on late-night and early-morning television. They’ve played the Nelson and Tauranga Arts Festivals, ASB Gardens Magic, featured on the TV series The Gravy and shared the stage with the likes of Chris Knox, The Eastern, Iron and Wine and Jose Gonzalez.

“In many ways these stories seem to all play out against the same slightly off kilter, slightly other-worldly backdrop – songs that exist in a nostalgic part of the countryside, or a quiet corner of the past, or conceivably both. There are departures but there is also the imminent return” – Jenah Shaw, Wellington Live Music Review for 2009’s The Homeward Stretch

“This full length album sees songs like Crosswords, Deliverance, Bangers and Mash and Come Home with Me standing head and shoulders above so many of the usual Kiwi bands. This is not a guitar indie band, nor is it reggae/dub – and the blend of Earl and Grey is sublime; the perfect vocal cup of tea, so to speak” – Simon Sweetman, North and South Magazine

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Saturday 22nd January 10:00am – banjo workshop – Don Milne

Don’s workshop will be part teaching and part playing:

* teaching a simple ‘get started’ tune or two, aimed at getting new players going,

* then exploring some of the tunings and the tunes that can be played in them.



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Saturday 22nd January 10:00am – dulcimer workshop – Imogen Coxhead

Imogen will be sharing her individual approach to the dulcimer. She will be discussing:

*how she finds a tuning to suit a song;

* how she builds her accompaniment or finds a part that fits with a tune

* and demonstrating how her picking rather than strumming style weaves around the vocal line in a song.

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Friday 21st January 8:30pm – society night – Rough Diamonds

The Old Timey duo “Rough Diamonds” comprises Don Milne on frailing banjo and Imogen Coxhead on Appalachian dulcimer.

Based in Dunedin, Rough Diamonds have been playing this music for about five years, taking their repertoire from many sources including minstrel tunes of the 19th Century, modal mountain tunes, old hymns, bluegrass and contemporary country songs.

Influences include Uncle Earl, Dirk Powell, Dwight Dillar, Ollabell Reid and Iris Dement as well as that most prolific songster “Tradly Anon”.

Imogen is well known in the South for her singing, particularly with Sue Galvin in the lively duo ‘Peninsula Envy’, and for her sensitive and very individual dulcimer style.

Don, originally from Wellington and a household name in banjo circles, plays in a very open frailing style on both fretless and fretted instruments, and has a growing circle of students keen to learn the old timey way of ‘banjer pikin’.

Rough Diamonds will present a programme of lively tunes, gentle songs and modal harmonies.

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