Phil Garland's News Blog

Phi Garland New Zealand Folk Musician and Kiwi Balladeer.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Moving House

It's been a long time between drinks as they say since my last post - seemingly much has happened in the last year or so with the major news being our relocation to the North island. After having our home on the market for a couple of years, we finally sold and made the big move north from Culverden to Te Aroha in the Waikato, suffering considerable stress and angst in the process. However we finally arrived safe'n'sound and have duly settled in feeling more relaxed and comfortable by the day.
I've had a major health problem to deal with during the year and this has taken up a considerable amount of my time since our relocation to Te Aroha - however everything seems to be on track and progressing well. Not long after our arrival I was invited to perform a few songs at the local Country Music Club and the audience gave me a great reception. I followed this up with my first appearance at the East Coast Bays Folk Club in Torbay on Auckland's North Shore. This proved to be a great night all round with lots of familiar faces to renew acquaintance with.
I had to fly down to Christchurch in September to perform (for what may well have been the last time) with my band Bush Telegraph for a barn dance at the Port Lyttelton Yacht Club. The evening was a rousing success albeit an emotional one as we all came to realise this was  probably the our final appearance together - but who knows what the future may hold in store.
Thanks to a successful Pledgeme fund raising campaign I was able to visit Australia for a month long tour of folk clubs and festivals in October and early November. I performed  concerts in Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong an made appearances at the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival finishing up at Maldon Folk festival in the historic goldfields district of Victoria. I also managed to
score an interview with Macca on the ABC radio programme 'Australia All Over' which proved quite successful. 

                                                In the Studio with Macca for Australia All Over

At the risk of blotting my copybook, I have to admit (in my humble opinion) that I found the state of folk music in Oz in a somewhat parlous state. Many of the performers at the festivals were not what I would call folkies - many of them were simply crowd pleasers owing little to folk music as I know it. With the current emphasis on many performers (and festival promoters) having to take out huge insurance protection these days it seems that putting bums on seats has taken priority over the quality of the music. Don't get me wrong, there are still a few great performers on the scene, but they are few and far between. 

                                  On Stage performing at the Maldon Hotel during the Maldon Folk Festival.

The remixed and remastered  copies of both 'Down A Country Road/ and Colonial Yesterdays have been duly completed and are just waiting on that opportune moment for Kiwi Pacific Records to re-release them.

I'm about to go into the studio again very soon to start recording a tribute album to the poetry of the late Joe Charles. Some 20 or so years after his passing, Joe's second manuscript 'Blackberry Pie' is about to be published and my tribute album is designed to accompany the new book and hopefully create further awareness in Joe's work. More news as and when it comes to hand.
I can now concentrate on finding a sympathetic publisher and hopefully getting my second book of Kiwi folklore out there into the market place.

Enjoy what's left of 2013 and keep playing our wonderful Kiwi music.