Past events

Don’t worry, we’re not hard-core

Wed 14 July 2021 7:30

It’s time to put aside your Rock ‘n Roll ambitions. Chuck those tight leather pants and medallions as far back in the closet as they will go.  You won’t need them anymore after you’ve experienced bluegrass at the Auckland Bluegrass Club. But don’t worry, we’re not hard-core, and the occasional 6th chord will not see you banned from the half-time tea and biscuits. That is because, as well as bluegrass, we indulge in old time music, Western swing, and Americana. 

The club nights like this one are all about the pleasure of lots of different groups of musicians, some actual groups, and some thrown together for the evening. As if that’s not enough, we’ll have a jam at the end.  

The music will kick off about 8pm but if you are a regular (you don’t have to be an official member), come at 7:30pm if you want to have a say at our AGM. We are not an incorporated society, so we promise no ritual tedium. We will hear from Garry Trotman our treasurer, elect a committee, and discuss what we’d like to do in the coming year. Since we are a constituent club of the Auckland Folk Festival so we will also summarise their year, confirm representation, and review issues likely to arise at the festival over the next year.

See you then,

Auckland Bluegrass Club
Quick AGM and club night of floor performers
Wed 14 July 2021 7:30 pm Admission free.
Cityside, 8 Mount Eden Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023

BYO venue- take your empties and debris. Best parking is Burleigh St, or pay and display at the corner of Mt Eden Road and New North Road. Disabled access available, please advise.

Skiffy Rivets entertain

Wed 9 June 2021 7:30

The Skiffy Rivets: Pete, Holly, Sue

The Skiffy Rivets express is waiting to transport you across the wide open spaces of Americana, along the way stopping at the small towns called Bluegrass, Old-time, and Western Swing.

Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always entertaining, the Skiffy Rivets is a trio that has even caused Kiwi men to join in on choruses.

At the Auckland Bluegrass Club there’ll be floor performers before Pete Parnham, Holly Carrington and Sue Tearne show just what can happen when three people sing together all at once.

This is going to be fun, 

The Skiffy Rivets
Auckland Bluegrass Club
Wed 9 June 2021 7:30 pm Admission $10 cash.
Cityside, 8 Mt Eden Rd, (corner of Burleigh St), Grafton, Auckland 1023


Floor spots first half
BYO venue- take your empties and debris. Best parking is Burleigh St, or pay and display at the corner of Mt Eden Road and New North Road. Disabled access available, please advise.

June Jam

Workshop jam

Our regular workshop jam will be held the first Wednesday of June. This is a safe space to try out your new songs and enlist help for the floor spots the following week, to learn from other players, or just to jam. Suitable for all abilities. To find out where and when subscribe to our email newsletter.

Club Night

Wed 12 May 2021 7:30

Club nights sum up what the Auckland Bluegrass Club is all about. It’s a night packed full of club performers, bringing bluegrass, Western swing, old timey, and Americana to your ears. This is acoustic music played live by enthusiasts, for your entertainment. To cap it off there’ll be an all-in jam at the end.

Who needs to watch talent shows on TV? We have real thing right here – without the bitchiness.

Auckland Bluegrass Club
Club night of floor performers
Wed 12 May 2021 7:30 pm Admission $10 at the door.
Cityside, 8 Mount Eden Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023

BYO venue- take your empties and debris. Best parking is Burleigh St, or pay and display at the corner of Mt Eden Road and New North Road. Disabled access available, please advise.

BB and Alex farewell Aotearoa concert

Saturday 24 April 2021

BB and Alex are heading back to the United States of Bluegrass, and on Saturday 24 April, the night before they jump on the plane, they are treating us to a farewell Aotearoa concert at the Auckland Bluegrass Club.

They’ve been using their Aotearoa break to work up some new material and we are going to experience exciting, top shelf American style folk and bluegrass music. You’ll recognise the classics and be enchanted with their take on pieces borrowed from other genres.

BB’s band, Mile Twelve, have earned recognition with numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards, and her talent and hard work earned her the 2015 Freshgrass Banjo contest and the Steve Martin Banjo Prize in 2020.

BB (real name Catherine Bowness) is Kiwi, and after becoming New Zealand School of Music’s first banjo student and graduate, she to America in 2012 to make a career in music. Meanwhile, Alex Rubin grew up learning the guitar in Boston, absorbing his father’s love of traditional American folk and bluegrass music. They will be returning together to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Alex has toured extensively both at home and internationally, including performances in 49 states and a number of countries including Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Estonia, Australia and New Zealand.

It’s going to be a great show and you’ll supporting some real talent as they leave to begin the task to re-establishing musical careers put on hold by Covid.

BB and Alex farewell concert
Auckland Bluegrass Club
Cityside Church, 8 Mt Eden Road
24th April 2021 7:30pm
Reserve tickets at Under the Radar or cash at the door $20.

This is a 2-set concert with no warm up acts.

Spellbinding trio: Shindig

Wed 14 April 2021 7:30 pm

Shindig gave a spellbinding performance on the main stage at Kiwigrass 2021

Shindig present stonking new takes on old-time folk, blues and country tunes from the American tradition. Inspired by the unvarnished sound of early folk heroes they are not afraid to whoop and holler. They’ll also bury any remaining prejudices about dungarees and unsightly nose hair as they move this music into the 21st century where we can enjoy the energy and musicianship.

The locomotive claw hammer banjo and vocals of David Ward (Wheel Of Experience) provides a handy launching pad for the rocket propelled fiddle of Dave Khan (Marlon Williams, Reb Fountain). Eamon Edmundson-Wells (Ruckus) on bass underpins the whole thing with a rhythmic groove that would have been the envy of any band on an Appalachian Saturday night.

Forget what you thought you knew about claw hammer, this is top stuff from professional musicians. You are in for a unique and strangely mesmerising experience.

Shindig Trio
Wed 14 April 2021 7:30 pm
Cityside, 8 Mt Eden Road, Auckland

Door sales $15 cash

Floor performers first half. BYO venue- take your empties and debris. Best parking is Burleigh St, or pay and display at the corner of Mt Eden Road and New North Road. Disabled access available, please advise.

Auckland Bluegrass Club night @level 2

Wed 10 March 2021 7:30 pm

You can sit on your couch at home with potato chip crumbs down your front just like you did in lockdown. Or, you can brush off the evidence, get off your chuff and make your way to Cityside and again sit on a couch, but this time with live acoustic music.

This Wednesday it will be an informal level 2 affair, and you’ll need to sign in with a QR code or on paper, and keep the big hugs under control. You know the kind of thing.

It will be a friendly, pleasant musical evening among friends.

Auckland Bluegrass Club
Club night of floor performers
Wed 10 March 2021 7:30 pm Admission $10 at the door.
Cityside, 8 Mount Eden Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023

BYO venue- take your empties and debris. Best parking is Burleigh St, or pay and display at the corner of Mt Eden Road and New North Road. Disabled access available, please advise.

You, Me, Everybody (YME) Southern Sky album tour

Wed 10 February 2021 7:30 pm

Where will the Rhodes brothers supersonic picking go next? The answer will be right in front of us, as they unite with some of New Zealand’s top musical talent and You, Me, Everybody (YME) embark on their Southern Sky album tour. 

The album will be released on 29 January (Auckland Folk Festival) and is a Tui Finalist, and we are the first date on the tour schedule straight after Kiwigrass.  

Ron Barber of The Hook, calls this a virtuoso ensemble, and it is an apt label, as Nat Torkington’s banjo licks sync perfectly with the extraordinary mandolin and guitar of Sam and Laurence Frangos-Rhodes. Meanwhile, James Geluk underpins the sound with spider-like fingers and bass technique that occupies its own higher plane.

On top of all that, Kim Bonnington says she comes to the band with a heart of pure country, and her vocal flair provides a contrast, warmth and harmony that completes the unique line-up.

Don’t miss their Auckland two-set concert at the Auckland Bluegrass Club.

You, Me, Everybody (YME) Southern Sky album tour
Two-set concert: 10 February 2021 7:30 pm
Cityside, 8 Mt Eden Road, Auckland
Tickets at Under the Radar $20+BF

Venue is BYO – take your debris. Best parking is Burleigh St, or pay and display at the corner of Mt Eden Road and New North Road. Disabled access available, please advise.

Kiwigrass 2021

5-7 Feb 2021 @ Karapiro

All the early indications are that this is promising to be a great festival, with this year the focus will be Kiwi-grass. Head over to the Kiwigrass website for more information and a list of the guest artists which this year include old time and bluegrass adjacent genres.

Kiwigrass tickets are the ideal Christmas present. Tell your family now before they get you a rice cooker.

Camp Kiwigrass

Camp Kiwigrass on the Wednesday and Thursday before the main festival will be a unique opportunity to immerse yourself among pickers who will help you expand your musical horizons.

Expect impromptu sharing of knowledge, lots of jam sessions, a band scramble competition with fabulous prizes, and many opportunities to perform.

Colleen Trenwith 1946-2021

Colleen Trenwith (1946-2021) Colleen Trenwith nee Bain was a founding member of the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band. Raised in Wellington, Bain moved to Hamilton in 1966. She married Paul Trenwith of Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, and became Colleen Trenwith. Following the split of Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, Trenwith recorded three albums with her husband; Fresh from the Country (1976), Brand New Day (1986) and Sunrise (1993). Three other albums were released as Paul and Colleen Trenwith and Friends, Gospel (1979), Now to the King (1987) and Let the Light Shine Down (1990). Colleen left Hamilton in 2004, and from 2007-2020 was associated with East Tennessee State University, firstly as a student and later as faculty. She returned to New Zealand in 2020 and passed away from pancreatic cancer on January 24, 2021.

From YouTube tribute by ETSU Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music

YouTube Tribute

Facebook Tribute

Back Porch Bluegrass Podcast featuring a recent interview with Colleen Trenwith