Singer, songwriter and activist Steve Earle and his band The Dukes are set to take a detour to New Zealand following Byron Bay Bluesfest for one show at The Tuning Fork tomorrow night Tuesday March 29th.
“We started on the 11th were pretty much done now” says Earle, who I spoke to at the end of last week. “We’re up in the tropics now we play Cairns and then Byron Bay for Bluesfest, we’ll be there for the whole weekend then we come to New Zealand”
Throughout his more than 30-year career, Earle has mined the rich veins of American roots music from country to rock and roll, folk and rockabilly. On his latest studio album, Terraplane, Earle pays tribute to the blues, influenced by the blues giants he saw growing up in Texas – Lightnin’ Hopkins, Freddy King, Johnny Winter, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Canned Heat and Billy Gibbons - however he’s happy to be playing in the tropics and looking forward to down time in New Zealand
“Its fine, it doesn’t suck if you live in New York City to be here this time of year. I was lucky with tropics this winter, I spent a lot of February on a cruise ship, well half of it. I was playing on two cruises back to back, so I got a head start on tan so I won’t get burnt when I go fishing in New Zealand at the end of the trip”
Earle & The Dukes have been touring the record non-stop since Terraplane was released in February, with headline appearances at the Americana Music Festival alongside Loretta Lynn, and the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival, and dates in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Following the band’s first European run in support of Terraplane, they return to the States for more headline dates ahead of the trip down under in 2016
“I made a record, I made a Blues record” He says. “Blues has always been a part of what I do - I wanted to make a Blues record so we did it. I wrote the songs, I’m really proud of the songs, I’m really proud of the record. This is the last leg of the tour out here, the very last show will be in Auckland. I’ve got another record written which is a country record basically, which we’re going to record the end of the year. Shawn Colvin and I have made a record together, and that’s coming out in June so that’s what I’ll be doing next summer when you see me”.
With over eleven original tracks, Earle and his longstanding band The Dukes traverse various forms of the blues – from the Texas roadhouse blues of opener Baby Baby Baby (Baby) to the acoustic blues of Ain’t Nobody’s Daddy Now and the Chicago blues of The Usual Time to the pre-war blues of Baby’s Just As Mean As Me, a duet with Eleanor Whitmore, Earle sounds like he’s got plenty of songs stashed in the reserve and isn’t ready to give it away just yet.
“I write pretty much all the time” He confides. “I struggle to write the other stuff sometimes. My divorce kind of side-tracked me to the point of writing my book, I am back writing on it but I got stopped in my tracks on the book. I keep writing songs, I’m always writing songs, that’s what I was put here to do. I write 12-14 songs a year no matter what”.
Earle’s much publicised drug using day is widely known. In 1993 Earle was arrested for possession of heroin and in 1994, for cocaine and "weapons possession". A judge sentenced him to a year in jail after he admitted possession and failed to appear in court. Earle was released from jail after serving 60 days of his sentence. As a recovering heroin addict, Earle has used his experience in his songwriting.
“I barely remember it” says Earle. “I didn’t make any music at the time, I used drugs for a long time it caught up with me finally like it does everybody, I’ve been clean for over 21 years. I made four albums when I was using, it feels like ancient history for now for me”.
“I think because I’m not loaded I think I do a better job – I’m just trying to make art. I’m trying to say something that I want to say, but to an audience in a way they can relate to. That’s what the front end job is you know, it’s that simple. It does matter if an audience gets it or not, ‘does it make you feel something?’
Earle is looking forward to catching up with New Zealand and is looking forward to playing here adding “It’s the 30th anniversary of Guitar Town so there’s a lot of that in the show”. It’s something he’s been doing for a long time coming here to fish and mooch with locals in central North Island
“I’m going to do what I always do. There’s only one show in New Zealand this time and it’s in Auckland so it’s just the way the schedule works out, there’s stuff going on in the States and going on in New Zealand but that’s the way it’s worked out. The band will go home and I will head to Turangi to fish for a couple of days, I do every trip I’ve done it for over twenty years”.
Steve Earle and the Dukeswith special guests The Mastersons
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.