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Tami Neilson

Barry Saunders: behind the wheel with The Warratahs

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“We come in and out of orbit,” reflects Barry Saunders, frontman of The Warratahs, who this year celebrate their 30th anniversary. “We have always had our space – that space just shrinks and expands!”

You get the feeling that Saunders has never been overly concerned whether his band of country rockers are in or out, though for the past few years they have certainly been back in orbit. In 2015, the band – Saunders, Nik Brown (violin, mandolin), Mike Knapp (drums) and Nick Theobald (bass, vocals) – reconvened for Runaway Days, their first studio album in nine years and since then Saunders has gone on to tour and work with the likes of Tami Neilson, Marlon Williams and Delaney Davidson.

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Ben Edwards on The Sitting Room

in Industry by

Ben Edwards may be New Zealand’s most in-demand producer at the moment, with his Sitting Room studio in Lyttleton fully booked until the middle of 2019. However, the award-winning recording wizard reckons he still has lots to learn about producing.

“I guess one it’s one of the problems of being in a small country on the other side of the world,” Edwards reflects. “How do you get to the next level when there is not that many people around to learn from?

“One thing I’d really like to do is save up the money – or see if there some form of funding – so I could spending three to six months at a studio in the UK or the States. The internet has opened things up but I would learn so much more by sitting in a room with, say, Ethan Johns, and watching what he does.”

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Silver Scroll long list

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The countdown to this year’s Silver Scroll Awards has begun with the unveiling of top 20 nominations.

The long list for New Zealand’s premier songwriting award was announced today by APRA AMCOS and includes two previous winners Tami Neilson and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Neilson.

All APRA members now get the chance to vote for their top five songs from this list of 20, with the winner of the 2018 APRA Silver Scroll Award to be revealed on October 4.

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New video from Sassafrass!

in News by

Tami Neilson has shared a new video from her hit album Sassafrass! as she gears up for her national tour.

The clip for ‘Devil In A Dress’ was directed by Anna Duckworth and and features Kiwi dance duo The O’Neill Twins, who also choreographed it. Brooke and Starce O’Neill also featured in the video for the first single to be released from Sassafrass!, ‘Stay Outta My Business’.

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Tami Neilson: Sassafrass!

in Reviews by

The last album from Tami Neilson, Don’t Be Afraid, plotted her journey through the various stages of grief following the death of her father Ron. Family matters still have their place on Sassafrass!, but her new LP is also fuelled by a righteous sense of anger over the prejudices and injustices women continue to face.

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Tami Neilson on ‘insidious’ sexism

in Industry by

Sexist behaviour persists in the music industry, but it tends more insidious than outright sexual misconduct. That’s the view of Tami Neilson, whose latest album Sassafrass! – out on June 1 – is heavily focused on female inequality.

The singer-songwriter told NZ Music Business that while she had never been a victim of sexual misconduct, she believes that sexist attitudes remain in the business.

“I think sexism and misogyny is a much more insidious thing,” she says. “For women in the music industry, it’s lost opportunities, it’s being passed over or other people taking credit for your work and that being very accepted. It’s the look of shock when someone says ‘oh, you wrote that song all by yourself?’

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Tami Neilson’s got soul!

in News by

‘Stay Outta My Business’, the first single from the highly anticipated new album from Tami Neilson, indicates that her latest will be a more soulful outing.

Sassafrass! is due on June 1 via Southbound and the word from her camp is that it will place a heavier emphasis on soul and R&B. While Neilson is no abandoning her trademark country and rockabilly roots, ‘Stay Outta My Business’ is an out-and-out soul stomper that should see her further expand her retro roots fanbase.

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Album Review: Hopetown Brown

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Tim Stewart and Nick Atkinson, the two-man brass attack that is Hopetoun Brown, have discreetly fleshed out their sound for their second album but the irrepressible busking vibe of their live shows still shines through.

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Hopetoun Brown interview

in Features by

Anyone who has caught Hopetoun Brown live will have been blown away by the punch and verve of their two-pronged brass attack.

But while the new album from Tim Stewart (trumpet/trombone) and Nick Atkinson (bass clarinet) retains the exuberant busker vibe of their live work, the former Supergroove bandmates relished the chance to stretch their wings a little on their sophomore set Look So Good, which is released this month.

Part of that is down to the fact that the record features an expanded line-up of singers and musicians, including old friends such as Tami Neilson and Marlon Williams, Lawrence Arabia drummer Al Deverick and fellow horn players Finn Scholes and Kingsley Melhuish.

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Tami Neilson interview

in Features by

Tami Neilson reckons Willie Nelson summed it up best: you sing the blues to lose the blues.

And the New Zealand-based Canadian singer-songwriter has had a lot of blues to lose of late, following the unexpected death earlier this year of her father Ron, who she used to perform with years ago as part of the travelling Neilson Family.

She had only just begun working on the follow-up to her award-winning 2014 album Dynamite! when the news came through that her father had fallen seriously ill. She flew to Canada to be with the family and only began writing in earnest – with her brother Jay – after his death.

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