Sunday, January 25, 2009

2008 Folk Album of the Year

DIY ethic sees Otago trio scoop top Folk Award

An unsigned all-women three-piece from Dunedin has won the Tui for Best Folk Music Album of 2008. Delgirl’s self-released debut album ‘Two, Maybe Three, Days Ride’ was awarded the Tui at the Auckland Folk Festival in Kumeu tonight. The acoustic group describes its sound as “skiffily, folky, country, jazzy, bluesy roots music with a Pacific edge bordering a swamp”, and creates harmonies built around the double bass, guitar, ukuleles, banjo, snare and percussion. Delgirl is made up of Deirdre Newall, Erin Morton and Lynn Vare.

The trio formed eight years ago and released its debut album in November 2007. The track ‘Ride’ from the album has been selected by NZ Trade & Enterprise to feature on a music placement export disc entitled ‘New Zealand-New Music’ which is distributed to music supervisors in TV and film worldwide.

The other finalists were Cardrona-based singer-songwriter Martin Curtis for ‘Sea To Summit’ and the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band with ‘Way Down South’. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) CEO Campbell Smith says: “Folk music is in good health in New Zealand. Delgirl’s album is highly deserving of a Tui – and another fine example of how some of this country’s best music and talent can do-it-themselves to create amazing work. “Dunedin has a history of fine musicians, and Delgirl shows that this talent and passion is alive across a range of genres.” The Best Folk Album award is part of the New Zealand Music Awards and it is the fifth year it has been presented at the Auckland Folk Festival. The festival is currently in its 35th year, and its 18th year at the Kumeu Showgrounds. Information about the event is available at

The Tui for Best Folk Album 2008 is for recordings released between 16 November 2007 and 15 November 2008. The Folk category was introduced to the awards in 1984.
Recent previous winners of the Tui for Best Folk Album2005 - Lorina Harding for the album ‘Clean Break’2006 - Ben the Hoose (Kenny Ritch and Bob McNeill) for ‘The Little Cascade’2007 – Phil Garland for his 18th album ‘Southern Odyssey’.
Or refer to www.nzmusicawards (see history section).

About RIANZ: The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Inc (RIANZ) is a non-profit organisation representing major and independent record producers, distributors and recording artists throughout New Zealand. RIANZ works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creative people involved in the New Zealand recording industry. Issued for the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand by Pead PR Contacts:Campbell Smith, RIANZ. Tel: 0-9-361 3967; Mob: 021-666 399; Reade, Pead PR, Tel: 09-918 5552, 021 847 908,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leonard Cohen in Wellington

From Dave Barnes:
Dear nz-folk,
Well, last night I had the delight of attending Leonard Cohen's concert in Wellington. I am happy to say it surpassed all my expectations.
Held in a venue reputed to have possibly the worst acoustics in the entire universe, LC and his crew produced an exquisite sound. That voice was captured and presented to us in all its impossible depths. Perhaps one key point was holding the volume to absolute perfection rather than blasting us out of our seats. We were there for his voice and his words, and we got them in style.
And the man himself - a nimbleness that belied his 74 years as he skipped onto the stage and as he knelt to add an emphasis to various of his lyrics. Supported by 9 outstanding musicians who played with consumnate skill to showcase his performance, he delivered a mix of the old favourites along with newer works. Perhaps some of his most poignant presentation, though, was in a couple of his renditions of his unadorned poetry - just him speaking it. That reminds you of the power of his lyrics.
Whilst I, being one of the long-time converted, would be totally happy with the man and maybe just one guitarist, I have to acknowledge that brilliance of the presentation undoubtedly allowed his work to be absorbed by a far wider audience. And they were there - from 1 month old to over 80, with all generations between being well represented. An emotive night - the newer numbers, and there were many that as a devotee particularly of his first two albums I was not familiar with, were wrapped with a warmth that made them instant old friends. And for those familar ones the power of his voice brought them oh so much closer.
He displayed a superb relationship with the crowd despite not undertaking a concert for some 15 years ("when I was a young man with a crazy dream")prior to this tour. And his warmth spilled over to the "handrail crisis" (the papers had obviously had not enough real news) with the comment "I suggested that they removed the handrail, thus removing the visual barrier [for the "vertically challenged" in the front row of the galleries], but the management felt that due to the nature of my work some of the audience might choose to hurl themselves over the edge". You certainly couldn't feel short-changed - an immensely long performance that would shame many younger acts, with an impressive range of encores. He thanked all of us for keeping his songs alive - I for one will endeavour to continue to do so!