2018 Wairarapa Country Music Festival Supporting Acts
The ‘Legal Tender” duo of Ian Campbell and Moira Campbell have been performing an eclectic mix of country/folk originals and covers around New Zealand for more years than they care to remember. Frequent collaborators with various members of the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band and other well known kiwi musicians they have featured at numerous country/folk festivals and concerts.
With their blend of alternative country/folk down-home original songs and alt/covers they have entertained audiences from the Bay of Islands to the Deep South. Sensitive guitar/bass arrangements of songs by various artists including Guy Clarke, Holly Williams, Gillian Welsh and Alison Krauss and their own are rendered with earthy integrity and powerful vocal harmonies.
They are winners of 7 Gold guitar awards between 2015 and 2017. They will be performing at the Wairarapa country music festival on Sunday 14 January as a three piece with their drummer.
For more info go to www.muddybootsrecords.com
Inevitably, the first question one feels compelled to ask Boogie Woogie, Country and Rock & Roll pianist Gerry Lee is whether that is the name his parents gave him, given its similarity to that of Jerry Lee Lewis.
It is in fact one hundred percent real – like the love of Lewis’ music. A full time musician, versatility is paramount for making a living, Gerry says. But he was raised on country-flavoured Rock & Roll, and it remains his first musical love.
“I always return to my roots, which is that period of Sun recordings in the 1950s. But I also like to add other layers – different chords and harmonies for example – from more recent artists like Elton John and the Eagles, to give the music a bit more zest.”
Stars like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard featured in his dad’s record collection that Gerry listened to growing up. Gerry started playing his family’s stand-up piano when he was 10 years old.
“The first song I learned was (Scott Joplin’s ragtime hit) The Sting. I listened to it and started to pick out the notes on the piano. I did take lessons for three years from a teacher. I would run the 5 kilometres to her place from my parent’s farm in the Waikato. One day I arrived early, let myself in, and started playing some boogie woogie on the piano. She heard me and told my parents ‘I can’t teach him.’ I quit the lessons before I got to college.”
Gerry Lee toured New Zealand with his band The Desotos in the late 1990s before going solo in 2002. He’s known for the vitality of his performances, standing behind the keys.
“I got bored sitting down after a while, and getting around the stage is visually more appealing for the audience. I like to bring an edge to a performance, something people can sink their teeth into and feel. I can play for hours on the trot because the energy keeps going on and on. There’s no better place to be than on the stage when that happens.”
Sisters, Leanne and Justine are Masterton born and bred and were long-time members of the Wairarapa Country Music Club.
From a young age, both girls have had solo success at Country Music competitions from Gore to Auckland spanning 30 years. Both girls describe ballads as being in ‘their lane’. Their other passion is harmonies and over the years Leanne and Justine have teamed up with other club members to perform duos and groups. People from the Wairarapa will remember Country Class and Country Connection. Country Class was the support act for Suzanne Prentice and The Topp Twins many years ago and Country Connection performed at the Golden Shears.
Justine has lived in Cairns since 2006 and Leanne is now in Hamilton. Singing together again after so many years will bring back plenty of great memories. Country music has been a large part of their lives and families and they’re looking forward to singing back in their home town.
Practising via Skype will be the new aspect to preparing for the Festival!
I was born in Paeroa, raised in Putaruru and Paengaroa, and have always worked and lived in rural areas, so that’s where my country roots come from, but I never picked up a guitar until I was 21.
Most of my adult live was spent living and working in Raetihi where I first got hood winked into performing and since then I’ve been doing it on a regular basis. Lucky enough to have plenty of good mentors in the music world such as Gary Lucre, Wayne Tamati and Bruce Parr who encouraged me to get up and perform. Picked up all my bad habits strumming the guitar at parties hehe.
Elizabeth started singing at 18 months, after starting life on the stage in our arms at our competition awards. She could sing the chorus of “Country Roads” at 18 months old.
At 3yrs of age, in 2013, she won the Hutt Valley Country Music Awards for the youngest competitor. She was subsequently asked to open the Evening Award Show for 200 plus people from the awards and community singing “Country Roads” (Dad was also on the stage, he had to hold the microphone!!)
Elizabeth has sung at the Marton and Clareville Country Music festivals in walk-up concerts for all the years since 2yrs old. She, along with Dad and Mum (Lindsay and Anita) have sung at many resthomes, concerts and as invited guests to different organisations. Entertaining under our own group, “Dad, Mum and Elizabeth” under the title “Redwood Oaks Family Singers” in Gospel and Country.
Elizabeth, for the years 2015 and 2016 has won the Muddy Rivers ‘Littles’ award for under 7 year old.
Elizabeth belongs to the Taranaki Traditional Country Music Club at Ngaere Hall close to Stratford. She has also had great support from the Waverley Acoustic Country Music Club.
Elizabeth is being closely watched by those in country music circles, and she has received great support from Russell and Sandy Lepper in the early days, and Elaine Holden, lately, in her Muddy River awards for children.
I first started sing when I was 3 years old around home and family. I then started to sing out in public when I was 10, when a few teachers from primary school noticed how much I enjoyed music and singing and put my name forward to sing at the Wairarapa Balloon Festival night glow. In 2001 while doing this, I met a group singing with a few young ones around my age group which was the Wairarapa Country Music Club – that I went on to join.
I then went on and competed in many awards around the country which was so much fun as a younge child – it was like going on a big family holiday! We went to Gisborne, Taupo, Tauranga, Mouteka, and Blenheim – including the Wairarapa Country Music Awards. I’ve auditioned and entered a few singing competitions on television like New Zealand’s Got Talent, Homai Te Pakipaki and My Country Song.
I’m also a new mum to a beautiful wee girl who was born in December 2016, so I’m looking forward to seeing her wee face when she sees her mummy on stage. I’ve had a small break away from music and I’m ready to get back on stage.
Looking forward to seeing and meeting everyone.