Honours and Update
Time to update my blog. Tempus really does seem to fugit these days - I can't believe it's been 6 months since my last post. I went into the studio to record my latest album during December 2013 putting the finishing touches to it in January.The new album is entitled Billycan Ballads - a musical tribute to the kiwi poetry of the late Joe Charles. I've taken a selection of poems from his books Black Billy Tea and Blackberry Pie (which is being published posthumously in July this year) and set them to music. The final result is more than satisfying and I'm looking forward to promoting it around the country over the next few months.
Because the new album is designed to partner the book Blackberry Pie I will be promoting it at the book launch for in Christchurch in July, following up with some southern concerts as part of the promotional campaign. I'm currently booked to play Katikati Folk Club on Friday 18 July and The Bunker at Devonport in Auckland on 8 September. I'm still awaiting booking confirmation from Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch,
Owaka, Dunedin and Gore. over the next few weeks.
Queens Birthday weekend heralded the inaugural Folk Under The Mountain one day festival in Te Aroha, which could have done with a larger audience but for those that did attend the music was fantastic and all the
artists involved seemed to enjoy themselves. Everyone involved is looking forward to next year when we'll likely reschedule the event on a slightly larger scale and on a different weekend.
The most exciting part of Queen's Birthday weekend was my being honoured with a QSM (Queens Service Medal) for services to New Zealand Folk Music. The award was most unexpected and I'm still coming to terms with receiving such an important accolade - it all feels slightly surreal as I deal with all the congratulatory messages of support from around the world. In due course I will have to attend Government House to receive the award in person. Meanwhile I like to think that the award represents official recognition for our folklore and musical heritage.