This project is to draw attention to the new generation of folk and country musicians of New Zealand. I believe they represent a new way of New Zealand personality that is based on generosity, openness, emotional honesty and connecting with the past for strength, rather than just recycling. These performance portraits aim to interpret these people in this way as well as to say thank you to them.
Note: I largely wrapped up this work mid 2014 as everyone is getting famous, and I needed the time for other bodies of work. There will be very occasional additions from special occasions!
About three years into the project I found the words that sum up why I'm doing it, and inevitably they are from Woody Guthrie. Why didn't I look to him first?!

"I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built. I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work." From Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woodie Guthrieby Ed Cray (Amazon)

Over the top of this I add that these are the songs of people who don't think that they are better than or cooler than or in any other way distant from the listener.

Adam McGrath solo at Paekak April 2015

Adam McGrath solo at Paekak April 2015

Marlon Williams at San Fran, 2015 with a selection of Yarra Benders

Marlon Williams at San Fran, 2015 with a selection of Yarra Benders

Eb and Sparrow album release with Barry Saunders and Nadia Reid

Eb and Sparrow album release with Barry Saunders and Nadia Reid

Luckless, Drums and Dust tour

Luckless, Drums and Dust tour

The Tiny Lies Band, with Delaney Davidson at Puppies

The Tiny Lies Band, with Delaney Davidson at Puppies

The Explorers Club Antarctica at Museum of Wellington City and Sea

The Explorers Club Antarctica at Museum of Wellington City and Sea

The Big O Sparrows

The Big O Sparrows

Rinski's Secret Potluck - Hayride Harding and Sparrow

Rinski's Secret Potluck - Hayride Harding and Sparrow

Nadia Reid and Eb and Sparrow at Puppies

Nadia Reid and Eb and Sparrow at Puppies

Aldous Harding and Simon Gregory, with Eb and Sparrow

Aldous Harding and Simon Gregory, with Eb and Sparrow

Ballads and Badlands - Luckless and Nadia Read, with Ebony Lamb at The Moorings

Ballads and Badlands - Luckless and Nadia Read, with Ebony Lamb at The Moorings

Luckless, with French for Rabbits at Meow

Luckless, with French for Rabbits at Meow

The Greyhounds North Island Debut, Mighty Mighty

The Greyhounds North Island Debut, Mighty Mighty

The Explorers Club, Paekakariki - BSB, Dos Hermanos, Delaney Davidson, Rosy Tin Teacaddy, Luckless

The Explorers Club, Paekakariki - BSB, Dos Hermanos, Delaney Davidson, Rosy Tin Teacaddy, Luckless

The Unfaithful Ways with Eb and Sparrow and a fire

The Unfaithful Ways with Eb and Sparrow and a fire

Marlon and Delaney Sad but True release tour at Mighty Mighty, November 2012

Marlon and Delaney Sad but True release tour at Mighty Mighty, November 2012

The Eastern at Wellington Bluegrass Society

The Eastern at Wellington Bluegrass Society

The Lyttelton Roughhouse Revival at Paekakariki

The Lyttelton Roughhouse Revival at Paekakariki

Hobnail CD release Baggage, July 2012

Hobnail CD release Baggage, July 2012

The Unfaithful Ways, with Eb and Sparrow and John the Baptist

The Unfaithful Ways, with Eb and Sparrow and John the Baptist

Adam Mcgrath solo, Meow June 2012

Adam Mcgrath solo, Meow June 2012

Eb and Sparrow at Meow

Eb and Sparrow at Meow

The Tiny Lies at Dux Live

The Tiny Lies at Dux Live

The Greyhounds at The Roastery, Lyttelton

The Greyhounds at The Roastery, Lyttelton

French for Rabbits at The Moorings, with Fraser Ross

French for Rabbits at The Moorings, with Fraser Ross

The Eastern at Paekak with Hope and Wire and Lindon Puffin

The Eastern at Paekak with Hope and Wire and Lindon Puffin

The Eastern launch Hope and Wire in Wellington

The Eastern launch Hope and Wire in Wellington

The Unfaithful Ways, with Delaney Davidson, and Eb and Sparrow

The Unfaithful Ways, with Delaney Davidson, and Eb and Sparrow

Hank Williams Tribute Night, Delaney Davidson and Band

Hank Williams Tribute Night, Delaney Davidson and Band

The Broken Heartbreakers, Bond Street Bridge tour with Rosy Tin Teacaddy, Meow Wellington

The Broken Heartbreakers, Bond Street Bridge tour with Rosy Tin Teacaddy, Meow Wellington

Opening of Tommy Chang's - Delaney Davidson with Charlotte Ivey and Marlon Williams

Opening of Tommy Chang's - Delaney Davidson with Charlotte Ivey and Marlon Williams

The Tiny Lies, with Happiness Stan, December 2011

The Tiny Lies, with Happiness Stan, December 2011

Jess Shanks at The Brewery

Jess Shanks at The Brewery

Lindon Puffin and Victoria Girling-Butcher at Happy

Lindon Puffin and Victoria Girling-Butcher at Happy

The Unfaithful Ways, Wellington, December 2011

The Unfaithful Ways, Wellington, December 2011

Delaney Davidson with The Tiny Lies, Wellington December 2011

Delaney Davidson with The Tiny Lies, Wellington December 2011

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, The Burgundy Room, December 2011

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, The Burgundy Room, December 2011

Bond Street Bridge, Happy, November 2011

Bond Street Bridge, Happy, November 2011

Nadia Reid with French for Rabbits, November 2011

Nadia Reid with French for Rabbits, November 2011

The Harbour Union tour ends, Paekakariki, September 2011

The Harbour Union tour ends, Paekakariki, September 2011

The Harbour Union, Wellington, September 2011

The Harbour Union, Wellington, September 2011

Reverend Beatman, Delaney Davidson, and Boss Christ, Paekakariki July 2011

Reverend Beatman, Delaney Davidson, and Boss Christ, Paekakariki July 2011

RTT and BSB - The Slow Burn Tour, June 2011

RTT and BSB - The Slow Burn Tour, June 2011

RTT with Claude Rains, Happy, April 2011

RTT with Claude Rains, Happy, April 2011

French for Rabbits, with Hula Hope and Seafarer, Happy, April 2011

French for Rabbits, with Hula Hope and Seafarer, Happy, April 2011

Surf Club Rescue! Paekakariki for Lyttleton, April 2011

Surf Club Rescue! Paekakariki for Lyttleton, April 2011

Marianne Dissard with Franck Monnet, St Peters Hall

Marianne Dissard with Franck Monnet, St Peters Hall

Sophie Burberry, Sam Prebble, Hannah Curwood Band, Meow 2 April 2011

Sophie Burberry, Sam Prebble, Hannah Curwood Band, Meow 2 April 2011

Rosy Tin Teacaddy rock Wellington Bluegrass Society

Rosy Tin Teacaddy rock Wellington Bluegrass Society

Paekakariki in the Park 2011 (commissioned)

Paekakariki in the Park 2011 (commissioned)

Delaney Davidson, The Mysterious Tapeman, Zeno Tornado at Paekakariki's St Peters' Hall

Delaney Davidson, The Mysterious Tapeman, Zeno Tornado at Paekakariki's St Peters' Hall

The Eastern at the Paekak Bowler, Jan 2011

The Eastern at the Paekak Bowler, Jan 2011

The Eastern dominate Wellington, January 2011

The Eastern dominate Wellington, January 2011

New Years 2011 - The Eastern and friends

New Years 2011 - The Eastern and friends

Delaney Davidson and The Unfaithful Ways

Delaney Davidson and The Unfaithful Ways

RTT with The Lonesome Cowboy and The Claire Terry Trio

RTT with The Lonesome Cowboy and The Claire Terry Trio

Sam Prebble and John White, Wellington, October

Sam Prebble and John White, Wellington, October

Adam McGrath, solo North Island Tour, July 2010

Adam McGrath, solo North Island Tour, July 2010

Broken Heartbreakers with RTT and BSB

Broken Heartbreakers with RTT and BSB

Rosy Tin Teacaddy perform Coffee Cups and a Porridge Pot at Frying Pan Lake

Rosy Tin Teacaddy perform Coffee Cups and a Porridge Pot at Frying Pan Lake

The Eastern and The Broken Heartbreakers at Mighty Mighty April 2010

The Eastern and The Broken Heartbreakers at Mighty Mighty April 2010

The Eastern and Jaime Regan demolish Paekakariki Bowling Club Easter 2010

The Eastern and Jaime Regan demolish Paekakariki Bowling Club Easter 2010

The Eastern, Mighty Mighty Wellington with Jaime Regan, 10 March 2010

The Eastern, Mighty Mighty Wellington with Jaime Regan, 10 March 2010

The Eastern opening One Love 2010

The Eastern opening One Love 2010

The Eastern recording in Arthurs Pass, January 2010

The Eastern recording in Arthurs Pass, January 2010

Whare Flat 2009-2010, The Eastern, Delgirl

Whare Flat 2009-2010, The Eastern, Delgirl

The Wunderbar Boxing Day 2009

The Wunderbar Boxing Day 2009

The Eastern, Wunderbar, December 09

The Eastern, Wunderbar, December 09

RTT and Bond Street Bridge, Happy, December 09

RTT and Bond Street Bridge, Happy, December 09

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, The Eastern, The Broken Heartbreakers October 2009

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, The Eastern, The Broken Heartbreakers October 2009

The Eastern big band version, Mighty Mighty July 2009

The Eastern big band version, Mighty Mighty July 2009

The Slow Song Revue, Newtown, August 2009

The Slow Song Revue, Newtown, August 2009

The Slow Song Revue - Paekakariki

The Slow Song Revue - Paekakariki

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, Ragamuffin Children and The Eastern, Paekakariki and Mighty Mighty, July 09

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, Ragamuffin Children and The Eastern, Paekakariki and Mighty Mighty, July 09

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, earliest stuff 2009

Rosy Tin Teacaddy, earliest stuff 2009