Bevan Gardiner and James Davy – Denver and Beyond
Bevan Gardiner and James Davy are consummate performers from Dunedin. They’ll be at the 2024 Tauherenikau Music in the Country Festival, playing hits from John Denver to Ed Sheeran. Two acoustic guitars, two voices, a foot stomp, three chords and the truth.
The passion Bevan Gardiner has for the music of John Denver has been picked up by the thousands of people he has performed to, both nationally and internationally for the past decade.
The Dunedin-born and bred, Bevan started playing guitar at age 6 when he came across an old guitar down in his Dad’s garage.
For years, Bevan has sung and played the songs of John Denver with a voice that’s noticeably similar to that of the bespectacled country pop hit-maker, who died in 1997.
John Denver entered Gardiner’s life via an audio cassette. When the family went on holidays in Central Otago, Gardiner’s father liked to play a recording of a live concert performed by the country music singer. Denver was one of the best-selling artists of the 1970s, primarily using acoustic guitar to accompany his songs about relationships, music and nature. Listening to that cassette was a revelation for Gardiner.
In 2005 Bevan won the intermediate Gold Guitar and as a result of that, went to Tamworth to perform at the prestigious Tamworth Country Music Festival.
In 2008 he starred in Whisper The Wind the John Denver tribute show and toured around New Zealand. He has since completed eight more tours, three opening for Scottish singer song writer Isla Grant, two opening for country legend Charlie Pride, and toured the show “Take Me Home” the music and life of John Denver three times through New Zealand and Australia.
Bevan has a Music degree from Otago University, he teaches guitar, singing and drums day-to-day.
“I really enjoy playing in local bands Tempo, the Lovers and a duo with my good friend James Davy. Such groovy cats. We have a lot of fun performing together around Otago. I love performing, whether it be playing drums or singing, and I hope to be doing it for a long time. In my down time I enjoy spending time with my two children Lucas and Ava, my beautiful wife Kate and her two children Isabella and Charlotte.”
James Davy first started playing guitar at the age of 12, developing an interest in jazz, classical and rock guitar styles.
James has a degree and post grad in music from Otago University. Having played 10 years in Auckland as a freelance musician, James developed the skills to become an accomplished professional player. James played in bands ‘Rhythm and Groove’ and ‘Below the Bassline’ two popular working bands in Auckland.
Since moving south to Dunedin, James has developed an interest in country music and has played with various artists, including Bevan Gardiner, Jeff Rae, Susan Prentice, Garry Morris, Craig Adams and many more. James enjoys the slower pace of Dunedin, which is a great place to raise his two daughters.