Past events

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

It’s a pickin’ Christmas

Wed 9 Dec 2020 7:30

Once a year songs about bells and baby Jesus are admitted to the Auckland Bluegrass club to mingle with all those other songs about broken love and such like. 

But we can’t bask in these sentiments by ourselves, so Back Porch Bluegrass club from Hamilton are pitching in, and Whangateau Folk Club are sending a pickin’ delegation. 

These visitors really mean something. Back Porch Bluegrass is forever linked with amazing Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, while Pipi Pickers are the heart of the Whangateau Folk Club.  Expect some great picking.

Each of the three outfits will take turns to do a set of floor spots, but the real point is to pick and mix the fine musicians and see what comes out.

We locals even promise to let visitors go first at the delicious supper gifted by a generous donor. (Remember last year? Wow.)

Come and get a taste of the finest acoustic music. Our Christmas present to you is free admission, (but bring a few coins for the bonanza raffle which includes Kiwigrass tee shirts and tea towels).

Back Porch Bluegrass, Whangateau Folk Club and Auckland Bluegrass Club 
Wednesday  9 December 2020 7:30pm
Cityside, 8 Mt Eden Road, Auckland.
Admission free, BYO venue. Supper provided. Disabled access available.

Downunderdogs unleashed

Wed 11 Nov 2020 7:30 @Cityside

The Downunderdogs LTR: Luthier pup Jack MacKenzie, tall pup Peter Dyer, and smiley pup Cathy Dyer.

The famous Downunderdogs have slipped their Wellington leash but we are going to catch them at the Auckland Bluegrass Club.

Of course they don’t really bark and they certainly don’t bite. They are always a great big smiley treat, so it is a concert you won’t want to miss. 

A short warm up set will get us in the mood, then we will head into the Downunderdogs cross picking harmonising yodelling strumming swinging originalising earwigging Americana concert.

Their music has a charming and genuine flavour you won’t hear anywhere else.

Downunderdogs in concert
11 November 2020 7:30 pm
Cityside, 8 Mt Eden Road opposite the Powerstation
$15 at the door or book ahead on Under the Radar

The Cityside is a comfortable BYO venue ideal for Music opposite the Power Station near the top of Mt Eden Road. Best parking is in side streets or a parking lot on the corner of Mt Eden Rd and Symonds St. Tip: the early birds are sure to get the best couches.

Workshop Jam – November 2020

We are pickers and we love jamming.  Pickers who subscribe to our email newsletter will find out where and where our next workshop jam will be.  To find out for yourself subscribe.

Club night Wed 14 October 7:30pm in town

This is the time for us and our music to reappear out of the Covid shadows and take the stage to share your music. Live the dream and pull out your best bluegrass, old timey, Western swing or Americana (anyone got a new name for that particular genre?).

Cityside is a great venue for this kind of event, and you’ll find that those in the know get there early to get the couches.

Just before we start the music we’ll need to knock out one of our a quick, informal AGMs.

Given time, we’ll fit in a jam at the end.

It will be an entertaining, friendly musical evening.

Auckland Bluegrass Club
Club night of floor performers
Wed 14 October 2020 7:30pm, Admission free.
Cityside, 8 Mount Eden Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023

Workshop Jam – October

We are pickers and we love jamming.  Pickers who subscribe to our email newsletter will find out where and where our next workshop jam will be.  To find out for yourself subscribe.

Bluegrass and Beyond Wed 30 Sept
Bluegrass and Beyond
LTR: John Olding, Colin Spier, Cameron Bennett, and Pete Parnham

Let’s get out again and have some music fun with Bluegrass and Beyond. 

You might have seen  Bluegrass and Beyond ripping it up at Cafe One2One, led by John Olding’s fine vocals and guitar, and featuring Colin Spier’s stunning guitar and bluegrass banjo. Cameron Bennett adds dobro to the mix, and Pete Parnham adds bull fiddle.

This band goes beyond bluegrass into the realm of Colin’s tasteful guitar tunes, rejuvenated Beatles tunes, and delves into Cameron’s cupboard of uniquely New Zealand songs, crafted by the wordsmith himself.

It makes for a great, high energy show, and it will be at the convenient Greenhouse just off Ponsonby Road. It’s a great venue set out with cafe style seating, with lots of room for social distancing. The cafe itself will be closed so bring your own drinks and nibbles (and please take your debris with you).

Bluegrass and Beyond @ Auckland Bluegrass Club.
16 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021, 100m from Ponsonby Road.
$10 cash at the door or book ahead on Under the Radar.

There will be a short opening set by club performers – please request a slot by return email.   

Workshop Jam – August

We are pickers and we love jamming.  Pickers who subscribe to our email newsletter will find out where and where our next workshop jam will be.  To find out for yourself subscribe.

The format is simple: we briefly discuss some aspect of music or jamming technique, then jam. We open this discussion because we want to help pickers improve by swapping tips and having a forum where you can ask questions of other pickers.

This is always informal, fun, no pressure, and a great way to improve your picking and to get to know other club pickers.

Bring an instrument and and if you are up for it, some simple bluegrass style songs that we can jam to.