Phil Garland's News Blog

Phi Garland New Zealand Folk Musician and Kiwi Balladeer.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Latest News


It's been quite a while since I last delivered any news from my world of Kiwi folk music, so here's what's been happening this year.

In May I was invited to perform at the opening of the newly revamped Brunner Mine site on the West Coast. I was specifically asked to sing Down in the Brunner Mine in memory of all those miners lost in that tragic disaster of 1896. The very real dangers associated with coal mining on the West Coast have been highlighted once again with the recent tragic events unfolding at the Pike River Mine.

August finally saw the re-release of my 1987 Hunger in the Air album remixed and remastered for CD. Surprisingly this album is still the only recording of Kiwi traditional song in captivity. I would have expected more artists showing an interest and delving into our rich store of Kiwi folksongs. This still leaves a couple of albums from my Kiwi Pacific back catalogue to be re-released in company with those already completed.

The huge demand for barn and woolshed dances seems to have declined somewhat in recent times, so Bush Telegraph haven't found themselves quite so busy this year - only performing about every 4 - 6 weeks or so. However this has meant that I have been asked more frequently to present dances on my tod, teaching and calling to the music on CD. Perhaps the economic down turn had a hand to play with people not able to afford the full band. However it's not quite the same doing these gigs without the usuual band accompaniment.

With live performances being a little quieter than usual, I was able to sit down and write a sequel to Faces in the Firelight. The new book is similar in approach and format to the first publication highlighting a lot of collected folklore material not used in the first book. I managed to put the finishing touches to the new book in September, however it probably won't see the light of day until around the middle of next year. Stay tuned and I'll try to keep you all posted on developments as and when they occur.

I was honoured by a visit from Australian folklorist Rob Willis in early October and he interviewed me for the Australian folklore archive domiciled at the National Library in Canberra. It made a bit of a change to be on the other side of the microphone for a field collecting exercise. We had a good chat about Kiwi folklore and the similarities / connections with Australia and the results will eventually be deposited in Canberra, where hopefully they'll become available to any interested folk in due course.

I have spent the last couple of months sorting out material for a new album. I expect to start work recording this project within the next month or so - tentatively entitled Damper, Duff and Doughboys it will mainly feature folksong and music pertaining to rural New Zealand.
Finally The Phil Garland Songbook is slowly progressing towards publication, so all going well 2011 should see a result after a couple of years in the pipeline. I will endeavour to keep you all posted on the progress of the new CD and songbook in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, my best wishes for the forthcoming New Year.

Phil Garland