Those of us who were at the Tuning Fork on the evening of April 2nd witnessed a unique and vital musical event. Dave Alvin is one of the great storytelling songwriters, one who brings melody, rhythm and lyric together to create atmospheric and compelling work. Older brother Phil has one of the most distinctive and interesting voices in the roots music genre. Together they were the heart of the legendary Blasters who brought together blues, country and rockabilly with a dash of punk sensibility to kick start the roots music movement. It is certainly worth checking out the early history of the Alvin brothers and their relationship with some of the original blues greats who had retired to California. You can't go wrong with anything by the Blasters, Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women or Dave Alvin and the Guilty Ones.
The music on the evening drew mostly from Common Ground; the brothers' recent tribute to Big Bill Broonzy. There were also songs from Dave's Eleven Eleven album and a couple of Blasters classics.
Phil's voice while a little ragged and eventually shot by the end of the gig, was full of passion and bite. Dave's guitar playing with his unique thumb pick and finger style was fiery, inventive and dynamic.
Dave Alvin's relaxed and familiar way of relating to the audience between songs was a delight and you know this guy would have great stories to tell over beer or two. There was humour in the performance as well, with quotes from standards like 'Fly Me To The Moon' thrown into an extended Dave Alvin blues solo and a look of amused shock from the band when brother Phil quoted it back to him during his acoustic solo. Phil played some great harmonica and occupied centre stage like a tried but unbroken Clint Eastwood.
The Guilty Ones, comprised of Lisa Pankratz on drums, Brad Fordham on bass and Chris Miller on guitar were indeed guilty of providing strong and sympathetic support to the Alvin Brothers. All fantastic and accomplished players in their own rights. Despite annoying bass amp problems (which necessitated Brad bypassing his amp and going direct toward the end of the concert) and Phil's vocal difficulties, this was a special occasion and the crowd were very vocal in their appreciation. I would be first in line if they came here again and would press gang as many family and friends as I could into going.
One Stratocaster guitar and one Fender amp each for the guitar players, one bass and one amp and cab for the bass player, a simple drum kit for the drummer and one acoustic guitar and two harmonicas for the singer. That was all that was needed to make magic on the night. The venue was excellent, the staff first rate and generally the sound just right.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.