Herewith, a little history...
I have been a "Folkie" since the 1960s, though I have been playing music of all sorts for somewhat longer than that.
My musical career started in early childhood, during the '50's
Rock'n'Roll era: I'd sing along to Elvis and Buddy. My mother told me that if I
did not sing myself to sleep, I'd cry myself to sleep - she let me
sing... She also took me to Caledonian (Scottish) Society dances, so I
grew up knowing Jimmy Shand stuff by heart. I can remember when she bought our
first radio-gram and first record! The radio-gram was a
I took piano lessons at about age eight to nine, some privately, then some at a Convent. Since then I have only rarely touched keyboards (and then only with great trepidation), though I value that early training - the theory was of far more value than the instrumental application.
Our family travelled a lot - pianos, being non-portable, were an encumbrance, and a stroke of genius from a passing drunkard in Auckland's Queen Street on a wet Friday night saw me the proud recipient of a guitar for my 10th birthday - a Suzuki No. 7, which I retired only after starting work.
Folk Music 'grabbed' me in the late '60s, with influences of The
Seekers, Pentangle and Steeleye Span, James Taylor, Cat Stevens and
One of my many short-term employments around that time was as a forest Fire-watcher (no, not watching it burn, watching to see that it didn't!) at Hanmer Springs Forest Park, and I had little to do except watch the view and play guitar for 6 months. I learned to finger-pick on a (Morris Dreadnought) 12-string, (bought from one of my short-term employers)!
Not long after that, I travelled in
Here was I, a fresh-faced Kiwi used to quiet weekends (and closing in pubs), in a city where the pubs were going full-on on Sunday nights! The
On return to
Most of the above has been concerned with my 'solo' career - interspersed
with this (and sometimes concurrently), I have played in bands, too. Bush bands
I have lost count of the guitars I have had - the current list is:
* Yamaha APX9/12 12-string (main workhorse, and darling of my life
:-), bought at great sacrifice while a Student, to replace the Morris
dreadnought 12 (stolen - I still miss that beauty :,-( ...
* Epiphone FT-145 "Texan" 6-string, bought from a Maori lady friend, and treasured...
* Recital (Japanese) Classical, bought from a friend on the West Coast (South Island, New Zealand),
* Diplomat (cheap Japanese) semi-acoustic 6, bought on a whim and rarely played,
* Idol (cheap Japanese) semi-acoustic Bass, bought recently - I'm having a lot of fun with it, but it's not my first choice,
* Ibanez 513 mandolin - another recent purchase, and fun in Irish 'sessions'.
So much for the instruments and history - here's a recent
frame, grabbed and cropped, from a video of my feature night (
The local Folk Club re-activated in 1996 (after a hiatus of over a
year), and I am on Committee.
I have served thus before, and was President several years ago. The Club meets at the Theosophical Society hall each Friday night, and is a valuable forum, my main outlet for playing to an audience.
I have recently accompanied Kylee Maloney, a lady with a very pure voice (a la Judith Durham) in a wide range of material - ABBA, English Trad, Contemporary Australian Folk, you name it... mostly known, but occasional new items (keeps me alive and learning!). Kylee has since gone on to record her own album, based on the studio work we did together, but with far more capable backing artists. I'm honoured to have given her the boost!
I have scanned to file some of my long years' worth of collected songs, and here they are, Hot off the Scanner. More may be added later if space and time permit, and further editing will occur (they are still mistake-ridden).