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    The Eighth Note: Tom Scrase

    03.10.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Tom Scrase, co-founder of the Thomas Oliver Band and currently a member of Battle-Ska Galactica as well as other musical projects.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    I’ve been playing music since I was six, starring with piano and moving to drums at high school. I’ve been fortunate to be playing in all manner of bands since moving back to Wellington to study music in 2005. Playing covers helped me to understand playing for the songs and how to be versatile, plus you develop stamina! I co-founded the Thomas Oliver Band in 2005 and had a great 9 years with them getting to tour with Joe Cocker, Cold Chisel and Fat Freddy’s Drop. At the same time I joined Strike Percussion and had the opportunity to tour China and South Korea. I’m now composing for dance regularly and have incorporated Taonga Pūoro into my live performances. My solo moniker is People Of The Sun.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    I recently composed and toured with Footnote Dance Company which will see an EP of music from the show. At the same time, I’m close to the mastering stage of my debut EP under the ‘People Of The Sun’ moniker. It’s a mix of ambient and hip hop elements with a world percussion bent. I’ve also got a new work Hurihuri which is a half hour live music and integrated dance performance as part of the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April next year which I’m excited to be part of!

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    My Website is the best spot to find links to projects I’m involved in. I’m not prolific on social media and have preferred to use SoundCloud to upload media. I’m likely to release my music through Bandcamp, so keep an eye out there too!
    Soundcloud:
    Tom Scrase
    People Of The Sun

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    The earliest memories of music I have are of Paul Simon’s Graceland. The rhythms, production and songwriting are just so good. It’s such an uplifting album too and the nostalgia from taking road trips with my family hold a special place. In that same era I was listening to The Moody Blues and singing along to all the albums with my dad, most notably In Search of the Lost Chord. Singing about Timothy Leary as an 10 year old is a hilarious reminiscence. Tool’s album Ænima was a profound influence as a 15year old. It taught be discipline and musicality on the drums and opened my eyes to progressive music and concepts. All the associated acts like King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Rage Against The Machine just poured out of that time in my development.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    I’ve played on the same bill as a lot of heroes of mine but I’d really like to contribute drums to some Fat Freddy’s Drop recordings. And I’d be totally happy to play a solid groove with their live 12-20minute versions of them!! There’s something satisfying about a hypnotically constant groove.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    I have enduring memories of Bodega and San Fran gigs with The Thomas Oliver Band but my favourite venues are where the audience is really there, present and for you alone so my favourite so far is the Saint James. A standing ovation after a sellout show there with Strike was pretty special, especially with my parents in the front row.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    My compositions vary a lot in their form, structure and instrumentation and I’ve yet to refine any style or mode of composition. Often I’ll have a vault of grooves I want to work with and they might be at the back of my mind when coming up with a chord sequence. I prefer to write at a piano and explore where chords might be leading me. Ambient drones are a big part of creating a feeling and mood for each track at the moment. If I’m writing for dance I can have a lot more direction to the structure and even things like tempo, time codes and goals of what the music should achieve and I love working in that manner so that style of storytelling is creeping into my solo work.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    I’m still busy with a handful of bands including covers bands so I’ve got a number of pub and jazz gigs in the near future but my main band BattleSka Galactica will be part of the Wellington SkaFest on November 4th at the Grand and there’ll be a few summer tours with them. Raglan, Leigh Sawmill and some more surf friendly spots tend to appeal as a few of us are keen to get a wave while on the road!


  • General

    The Eighth Note – Dayle Jellyman

    09.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Dayle Jellyman.


    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:

    An observer, of upheaval and violence, of peace and love, of this crazy time in history and the mass transition from labourer to creator. I’m lucky enough to live at a time and in a place where making music is a viable occupation, as long as you don’t want a house. My music comes hopefully from the heart, from my own experience. Travel and exposure to unfamiliar cultures and languages, the world of art. Any expression of life and the understanding that you are alive with no purpose. Trying to figure out how it works anyway. The history of science. The arrogance of man. Or women and parties. They tend to be the good songs anyway.

    Wellington is a great place to play music. It is small and no musical niche can support a person, so everyone has to play everything. In the last month I have played the blues with Darren Watson, intergalactic ska with Battle-ska Galactica, throw back honkytonk with the Roseneath Centennial Ragtime Band, Balkan brass dance party with Niko Ne Zna, performed a live soundtrack to a silent 1922 horror film, and my personal favourite, psychedelic synth stomp blues with the Three Rays.

    The common theme is communication. All of the music I am involved with is a conversation between the musicians, the interaction is what makes it interesting to me.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Three Rays has an album in the pipeline, the first for Three Rays. I have spent the last few weeks in my cupboard slash vocal booth working on overdubs. Imagine standing outside my apartment and hearing someone alternate between shouting, falsetto and yelps, and that’s about right. I am excited for this album as I think we have something truly original to offer, and the quality is top rate. Darren and Tyson are both mythical musical beasts, famous for not holding back, so there is a lot of raw energy coming through. We did a lot of the tracking in an organic way too, no click, just three grown men in a room making a lot of noise with their favourite toys. Follow Three Rays on the FB for updates…

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Find me on FB for the up to date feed on gigs and recordings. I have to admit I don’t have a lot of love for keeping up pages. Check out Niko Ne Zna and Miles Calder on bandcamp.com, have a listen to hermajestynycmusic.com, watch the Roseneath Centennial Ragtime Band on YouTube.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    AEnema, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and Nevermind. What a 90’s kid ay! Dad’s records played a supporting role i.e. Elton John, John Cage, David Bowie, and the entire English brass band catalogue.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Well, these two examples are contrasting but they have both been inspiring this year: Jeff Henderson for his jazz festival piece and for ruthlessly pushing the boundary, and The Nudge for their recent album, the dark arts.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    My favourite shows are house parties. Or any party, could be at a hall or in the bush, but when you leave formal venues everyone opens up. The intimacy of small gigs is great too, you can have a more honest connection with your audience. The best sound is on the smallest gigs too, PA systems rob you of some subtlety. In saying that, there are some great Wellington venues. San Fran is a gem, and the Rogue is like a second home for me and most of Wellington’s musical family.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    With reckless abandon! I don’t have a set process, songs seem to form themselves on their own terms. For Rabbit Hole on Niko Ne Zna’s album Babushka’s Balkan Banquet (say ten times quickly), I notated the piece in its entirety. For Three Rays songs, I have a lyric structure and then the song develops through performance and hopefully never stops changing. Sometimes I start by dancing. Ideas can come when I walk, and when I sleep. An idea may be specific and subtle such as an accent on a certain lyric, or broad and abstract, such as a shape or colour.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    I’m excited for Three Rays at Caroline October 20, with Little Cow, Little Calf. Alternatively, find me on the FB and you’ll get to see all my shows!


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Erika Grant

    20.06.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Erika Grant, who is involved with numerous musical projects.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:

    I am Erika Grant! I’ve been playing music since I was wee, originally classical violin, now I play bass in Wellington bands Orchestra of Spheres and Cookie Brooklyn and The Crumbs, as well as teach piano. I also sometimes improvise on various bits and pieces at the Pyramid Club, and occasionally make music for theatre and film.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?

    Cookie Brooklyn and The Crumbs have just released our debut album- “On Television”- a concept album based on email conversations between super fans of the New York band Television. Orchestra of Spheres are currently working on a few new tunes to take away on tour with us (we’re off on a European tour in July), and I’m working on a live soundtrack to be performed with a silent film.

     

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?

    FaceBook is a pretty good place to keep in touch with what’s happening with the bands I’m in. We’re pretty active on there.

     

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?

    Well, I still feel like I’m growing up! So here’s 3 influential albums that have appeared at different times of my life:

    Ys- Joanna Newsom: Joanna Newsom in my favourite living artist. She is a master of rhythm, rhyme and symbol. This album, containing just 5 songs, always takes me on a journey to places dark and light. Van Dyke Parks arrangements are also mind-blowingly amazing. A total masterpiece.

    A Love Supreme- John Coltrane: This is an album I never get sick of, and always find new things to listen to inside these tracks. It’s a very moving, spiritual experience for me, putting this album on. John Coltrane is one of my all-time musical heroes and I feel like his compositions and performances changed the world of music forever.

    Bad Jelly The Witch- Spike Milligan: More story than song, this record really shaped my childhood, and probably my sense of humour. It seemed like it was playing endlessly in my house, growing up. I love how it is funny, dark, sweet and sad and not at all dumbed down for children. I put this on just the other day and it was as powerful as it’s ever been for me.

     

    Erika Grant playing with Orchestra of Spheres

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?

    I feel very lucky in the sense that I have gotten to play with a lot of my local musical heroes. I’d love to play more with you, Alistair!! I’d also love to play with pop superstar “Wing” though I’m not sure if she’s still making music. Also, my partner Ben Lemi, I’d love to form a band with him. We always seem to be so busy with other projects that it’s hard to find time to jam, but he’s an amazing musician, and I’m always learning heaps about music from him.

     

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?

    The Pyramid Club is my favorite place, because it’s run by some of my favorite people, and it’s a place where anything and everything can go down. All sorts of gigs have happened there over the years, and it’s run as a not for profit, mostly by a community of dedicated volunteers. There’s a real spirit of exploration and experimentation, and it’s a total labour of love by the creators.

     

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?

    Sometimes someone will bring a song to rehearsal that’s fully formed, so we learn our parts and then work on the feel as a band. Sometimes we’ll start completely fresh and see if we can create something from a jam, sometimes someone will bring just a snippit of an idea and we’ll each make up our own parts around that. Sometimes fiddling at the piano yields results for me, often times tunes just pop into my head. I quite like that space between awake and sleep, there seems to be unending amounts of music there just waiting for me to hear it!

     

    Where/when is your next gig?

    Orchestra of Spheres are next playing oth the 8th of July at the ‘Cite De La Musique Festival’ in Lausanne, Switzerland, to kick off our 3 week european tour. See you there!!

     

     


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Amba Holly

    16.05.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Amba Holly, Wellington’s R&B/pop princess who won Best Māori Solo Female Artist at the 2016 Waiata Māori Music Awards.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:

    E noho ana au ki te tihi o Taupiri, tiro iho ki te wai e katohia ana, Waikato horo pounamu. He piko, he taniwha!

    Ko Amba Holly tōku ingoa. I come from a small place in the Waikato region called Taupiri. Moved to Wellington in 2000 so I consider here home as well.

    I would say my music is a fusion of RnB and soul. I like acoustic styled music too.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?

    I’ve been working on some new music in the studio. Bilingual music actually which has Māori and English. I’m excited to share some of that too. Yes, new music is definitely on the way 🙂

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?

    You can find my music on all digital stores, Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.
    People can also follow my fan page on Facebook, where I tend to post most of my upcoming gigs.

    https://www.facebook.com/ambaholly/videos/1877775789177780/

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?

    Albums growing up, that’s a good question. I remember listening to a lot of Mariah Carey – Butterfly I think was the album. Another was Hawaiki by Ruia, and Maisey Rika’s self titled album. Love that!

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?

    There are a few artists I’d like to work with, Thomas Oliver, Bella Kalolo, Te Awanui Reeder, Caleb Haapu. Lots of artists, LOL. At the moment I’ve been working pretty closely with one of Wellingtons Top Vocalists Sianne Dougherty too.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?

    I would have to say The Whare o Pōneke! They look after us really well. Love those guys down there.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?

    Well to be honest its usually just what comes to mind, what’s inspiring me at the time. I’ve been working on trying to be more disciplined in writing because it can get quite overwhelming. But I love when I’ve finished a song.

    Where/when is your next gig?

    Next gig is at the Wellington Night Market on the 19th of May on Cuba St.


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Ruby Solly

    08.03.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is musician and arranger Ruby Solly.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    My name is Ruby Solly, and I’m a Wellington musician. Primarily playing cello and arranging string parts for other artists, but also playing double bass, singing and playing a bit of mandolin. I’m lucky that most of my current work is playing strings on other artists original projects, which allows me to play a large range of different genres and to use a wide range of playing styles. It’s like my work is a big Griffins sampler box, so I never get sick of one type of music or project because I’m always changing. Some projects I’m working on at the moment are strings for Jhan Lindsay and the Chattelaines, Rob Whelan Band, The Front Liners, Tom Lahatte and his Jazz Bandits, Cotton Daisy Backstep and I’m also working on writing some compositions for a solo project.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    I’m in a bit of an in between phase in terms of album releases at the moment, which is a nice change! Most recent release are Rob Whelan’s Search and Rescue EP, The Strowlini Orchestra’s ‘The Strowl’ EP and I did a few tracks with So Laid Back Country China on their record Sin Cristales. I’m talking with a few bands about stings for their records, but you’ll have to wait and see what those are! Over summer I’ve been working mostly on my solo playing as I want to get into more of that style of work. I’ve just finished a writing course at the Institute of Modern Letters up at Vic which is really helping my lyric writing.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    I have a Facebook page, but I only really post when there’s something going on like a gig, publication, record or I’m in the studio, so I won’t flood your feed with pictures.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    This is a hard one. Blue by Joni Mitchell is my favourite album of all time and its had a huge influence on me over the years. I feel like every time I listen to it (which is pretty much daily) I discover something new. Jacqueline Du Pre performing the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor also gets a lot of play in my house. It’s my favourite cello piece and Du Pre is my favourite cellist. Elgar wrote it just after the second world war and Du Pre really captures all the emotion of the piece. I love playing it too. I can’t really pick a third album, because after these two favourites there are just so many! But I’d say anything by Patti Smith, Tom Waits or Nick Cave.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    This is another tough one! When I was in high school I used to come down to Wellington for a bit of recording, or to play the odd gig and I used to watch so many bands that I really admired, and as I’ve grown up I’ve been lucky enough to play with a lot of them! Playing with The Troubles was a childhood dream of mine and I’ve got to do that.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Wellington has some amazing venues, but I think my favourites are all the old halls. I love the Paekakariki hall and the Breaker Bay hall. There’s always just a great atmosphere at these old venues and it really makes the gig feel like an occasion. My favourite venues in town would probably be The Southern Cross, Meow and Moon.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    The great thing about what I do is that the composition / arranging method is always different. Some bands write all the string parts out for me and then it’s just a matter of solos and a little bit of improvising around the parts in a live context, and others give me a chord sheet and let me go to town! My favourite part of the process is listening to peoples music, figuring out what strings would help bring it into itself, then experimenting with styles with the composer. In my practice routine I try to practice as many accompaniment styles as possible to give people more options for their songs. Recently I spent a lot of time learning how to make my string arrangements sound like a full string quartet with just the cello, and before that I was working on fiddle style solos… there’s always more to discover with the cello, and that’s why I love it so much.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    Aro Fair with The Front Liners and Cotton Daisy Backstep = 11th March at Aro Park
    So Laid Back Country China at Meow = 17th March
    The Faustian Pines at Thunderbird = 17th March
    Rob Whelan Band and Big Troubles at Cuba Dupa = 2pm and 4:40 pm on the 25th March.


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Darren Watson

    24.11.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

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    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician or band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Darren Watson.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    My name is Darren Watson. I play music that if I had to give a name would be rhythm and blues. But seeing as R&B has kind of been co-opted by a music that has little of either I call it ‘Classic Rhythm & Blues’.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    I’m always working on new material but I’m really fussy and so I end up with dozens of unusable demos and fragments of tunes on my computer, phone, bits of paper. I’m terribly disorganised but I’m thinking about a solo acoustic album for 2017. A lot of folks have asked when I’ll be doing that and maybe now is the time? I teach guitar for a living these days and I’m always busy with that too.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?

    My ‘official’ website is here. Facebook is here.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Wow, that’s a tough one. There were many. I guess BB King’s Live At The Regal would have to be number one. It’s an incredible singer and guitarist at the absolute peak of his powers at 38 years old and in front of a largely African- American audience that knows and loves his 1950s hit records. It’s possibly one of the finest blues performances ever captured. The audience is a huge part of the deal – blues is like secular gospel ….. or is that the other way ’round? Anyway – AMAZING record.

    Robert Johnson – King Of The Delta Blues Singers (Vol. 1) – I got this LP after not hearing a lot of blues really and it took me ages to ‘get’ it. Initially I thought it all sounded the same hahahah…… Johnson’s story is layered in ridiculous mythology now but at heart the guy was just an amazing guitarist and composer/borrower who somehow became much more than the sum of his influences (Son House, Charlie Patton, Skip James, Peetie Weatstraw, Lonnie Johnson, among many others) and created a blueprint for the post-war blues sound.

    Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Get Happy. This might be the only album released during my high school years that I loved. It was a gateway into soul music for me and from this I headed on to Otis Redding, James Carr, Al Green, Sam and Dave, Booker T & The Mgs etc. I still love popping this LP on. So much literal joy in the grooves. And the Attractions are a great rock n’ roll band.

    Which other Wellington musician(s) would you most like to work with?
    Well, obviously having played in and around the city my whole life I’ve played with a few but I have this idea to do an Elvis Costello cover’s band with Jeremy Taylor. Called ‘Two Fat Elvises’ we would not advertise the fact that it isn’t a Presley tribute and see what kind of crowd turned up….. damn, now I’ve given it away. I think Jeremy might be one of the best pop singers I’ve heard in New Zealand. What a voice!

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    I gotta say the little basement lounge at Hashigo Zake is pretty special. It’s hardly a venue at all really, more like someone’s underground front room. Such a vibey little space. It never fails to work.

    In your songwriting or composing how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    It’s tough trying to put my finger on that because it happens a number of ways. Sometimes a phrase you overhear can fire something up. Sometimes a tune just pops into my head and I have to grab the phone to doobee doo it into the voice recorder so I don’t forget it. Sometimes I’m sitting playing an instrument and a chord set or phrase grabs me. I’ve even been inspired by bad drum machine patterns… hahaha literally anything can bring it on. If the initial idea is any good I will usually make a pretty complete demo really quickly. Some of my demos have ended up on the albums ’cause I could never make it work again as well in ‘real life’.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    It’s a quiet time for me now (Nov/Dec) ’cause I don’t generally do corporate/xmas gigs and the like. Back into it in January. I play once a month in Wellington with my band at the Lido and regularly at Hashigo Zake. Booking those dates/herding those cats as we speak. It’s all very low-key and we sometimes play new songs on the bandstand without rehearsal, mistakes and all. I love that the audience gets to see us learning and growing. I have always been blessed to play with great, intuitive musicians. Wellington is full of ’em.


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Ryan Prebble

    23.11.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

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    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or to introduce you to a new musician or band and their music.

    Up first is Ryan Prebble of Spartacus R & The Nudge.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:

    I am Ryan Prebble from The Nudge and Spartacus R

     

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?

    The Nudge have just released a new single called Dark Arts. Its the title track of our second album due for release in February 2017. Spartacus R are chipping away on our 3rd album…

     

     

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?

    The internet! thenudge.co.nz has links to all our social media etc But coming along to our gigs is the best place to find our music, or find yourself in our music.

     

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?

    Pretty tough question, but 3 that spring to mind from my teenage years are: The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses, Radiohead – Ok Computer, Ben Harper – Welcome to The Cruel World.

     

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?

    Another tough question! There are so many bands and musicians that i love to listen too and would love to work with. I am lucky enough to have worked with some of them too. To nail down one is tough! Riki Gooch would be one. He pushes alot of boundaries…and buttons too.

     

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?

    I dont have a favourite venue, there are some great ones for different types of gigs. San Fran is great for bigger gigs, Puppies/Happy was great for gritty, sweaty gigs along with Moon.

     

     

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape? Generally the music comes first, a mumbled melody, and words take shape from there. Or sometimes it just remains instrumental. Words get in the way sometimes.

     

    Where/when is your next gig? The Nudge play San Fran Bath House on December 2nd with support from Sea Mouse. Its to promote our new single Dark Arts. Spartacus R will have a surprise gig in March…

     

     

    You can check out Ryan’s solo album here, ‘Spartacus R’ on VINYL here, and some ‘Nudge’ here.


  • General

    Interviews: Dave Murphy

    23.08.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

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    Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
    I’m a finger picker, that’s what I do. And I’ve been doing it about 40 odd years. I play in an old time blues style with strong elements of country music. I play with thumb picks, not flat picks. That’s because I had a car accident in 1992. It was quite a severe accident. I smashed my right hand up and I have no knuckle here anymore, or at least it’s completely depressed (into his right hand). It all works ok now, although the thing is I can’t hold a flat pick anymore…it just wants to fly off when I’m playing. So, I thought that I should use the accident as a positive and just play with thumb and fingers. I’ve learnt that you need to turn the tragedies into triumphs, and that’s the way you’ll get on in life.

    Who have been your influences?
    Merle Travis is a big influence on me, more so than Chet Atkins. Chet is quite precise but I’m quite sloppy (laughs). Those are just two influences. Mississippi John Hurt and the guys who play alternating bass note style. I play slide as well and I’m influenced by Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell to a degree and lots of other pre-war (WW2) guitar players.

    Who is a player from the past twenty years who’s playing you like?
    There are many. Roy Rogers is one. You don’t hear much about him these days. Phil Wiggins. Notably someone who is really, really good who I just cottoned on to when he came out here was Blind Boy Paxton. He’s a really good player. He plays in the Piedmont style and he really has the Blind Blake thing down.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    There probably will be. I’ve just finished as a gardener at Wellington Botanic Gardens and now I have some irons in the fire. It’s pretty exciting. I’m hoping to work with Hammond organ player Bob Smith. I just a gift really, because he is just so good! I’ll probably play electric guitar when I work with him, although my style of playing doesn’t change when I move onto electric (guitar).

    Where is the best place in town we can hear you play?
    I have a residency at Memphis Bell on Sundays from 12.30 – 3pm. They let me do what I want to do there and are very supportive.

    Who are some Wellington based musicians you like to work with?
    Marg Layton. Darren Watson. Chris Amour. Bob Cooper Grundy. Dougal Spier.

    What were three influential albums when you were growing up?
    Sgt Peppers – The Beatles
    Not Till Tomorrow – Ralph McTowel
    Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

    I started off exploring folk guitar, not blues. I went to London in the early 1980’s and met all these guys. The folk scene was very strong and all these guys were still playing. The folk scene was just amazing back in those days. I met Davy Graham and many of the folk guitar greats. Just about all those guys were very approachable and very humble. That’s a thing about all those good players, is that it’s a gift they have that they want to share. Not “I’ve worked hard for this and don’t take it off me.” Because it is, everything is a gift really. If you’ve got the gift you’ve got to explore it, but the really good players are extremely humble.

    You can listen to Dave Murphy’s album ‘Yes, That’s Me’ here.


  • General

    Coastella Music Festival: 26th March, 2pm-10pm

    22.03.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Summer has officially finished but this March we are being blessed in Wellington with fantastic weather and a fully packed season of music festivals. Here’s a blurb from the Coastella Music Festival website.
    Coastella

    “All roads are leading to Kapiti with the announcement of the Coastella International Music Festival happening this Easter and celebrating the sunny coastline as a vibrant cultural hotspot, thanks to a line up of international musical performances, local food, produce, craft beer and wine. The day-long, family-friendly festival will host more than thirteen bands on three stages on Easter Saturday within the spectacular grounds and natural amphitheatre of the Southward Car Museum, just north of Paraparaumu.”

    Amongst the acts from New Zealand are Don McGlashin, Lawrence Arabia, & Delaney Davidson. Local Kapiti acts include Crimson Club, RhythmPlant & Ryan Edwards, while Wellington city is represented by Mara TK, Miles Calder & The Rumours, Estere, The Balkanistas, DJ Rio Hemopo from Trinity Roots & Al Fraser .

    After his set Al Fraser will take his taonga pūoro and join Brazillian group MōrenaDub who are from Salvador, Brazil and play Bossa Nova, Rap, Hip Hop and Tropicália, creating a new and unique music style which they call ‘BossaDub’

    Other international acts include Noelie McDonnell from Ireland who in 2008 won hearts all over Ireland with his Irish chart topping single, ‘Nearly Four’. Noelie’s album ‘Beyond hard places’ was hailed by New York Post ‘ as a startlingly good new Irish talent’. Also from abroad, this time Australia are Sex on Toast who are an irrepressibly charming eight man organisation who specialise in raw early 80’s funk, hard-edged new jack swing, blazing improvisation and heartfelt blue-eyed soul.

    The Coastella Music Festival 2016 is shaping up to be a fantastic place to spend Easter Saturday with it being family friendly and so close to Wellington and central to most places on the Kapiti Coast.

    More information on the Coastella Festival can be found on their website, including Ticket & Transport information.


  • General

    Te Rā o Waitangi 2016

    03.02.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Grove Roots

    Waitangi Park, Wellington waterfront, Saturday 6, February 2016

    This Waitangi Day in Wellington there’ll be activities for everyone at Waitangi Park including a waka fleet exhibition, Te Aro Pā walking tours, weaving and fashion shows, waka building, Māori myths and legends storytelling, and kapa haka. Grove Roots have been playing since 2005 with five strong performances at the Parihaka Peace Festival and they plan on delivering a special performance at Te Rā o Waitangi.

    Their singer Sianne Dougherty made a massive impact at the Meridian Gardens Magic with her Summer City performance at the Soundshell. 2015 X Factor winner Beau Monga will be playing as well as his mum and dad Betty Anne and Ryan Monga who are founding members of the legendary Ardijah. The Monga whānau are heading to Wellington for Te Rā o Waitangi. Audiences can expect the beatboxing and vocal percussion Beau is known for, as well as the soulful reggae-infused hits that have made Ardijah iconic. Actor and award-winning playwright Jamie MacAskill will add another string to his prodigious bow, leading the inaugural performance of brand-new Māori showband The Māori Sidesteps. Here’s the programme of the day’s events.

    12noon Official Opening and mana whenua welcome
    Mayor Celia Wade-Brown
    Taranaki whanui kapahaka
    Ngā Maramara o Taranaki
    12.30pm–12.45pm MC Frankie Stevens
    12.45pm–1.05pm Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club Kapahaka
    1.10pm–1.25pm Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna
    1.30pm–1.40pm SH’BAM Bodystep with Sione Siale
    2pm–3pm Grove Roots featuring Sianne
    3.15pm–3.45pm Beau Monga
    4.15pm–5.15pm Ardijah
    5.35pm–5.50pm The Maori Sidesteps
    6pm Karakia whakamutunga

    Grove Roots set at Meridian Gardens Magic was, well … magic!

    Sianne Dougherty Live at Walter Nash Opening 2015


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