Christchurch Folk Music Club

Adam McGrath

June 2018

There is an interwoven thread of connections between Adam McGrath and the Christchurch Folk Club spanning many years. He has previously performed at both the Folk Club and the Canterbury Folk Festival, and we hope to have him or The Eastern Back again to share the music over again. Adam’s song ‘Hope and Wire’ became the inspiration for the TV3 drama series ‘Hope and Wire’ directed by Gaylene Preston.

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Adam didn’t know that this television series was a fundraising opportunity for the Folk Club. Through contacts within the club many of the extras in the series were club members, and the choir scenes are filled with club faces which was a much needed boost to the coffers, thank you Adam for the opportunity. Adam opened the night with a story from a Folk Festival where a conversation with a festival attendee challenged his choice in songs, telling Adam that there was ‘no room for politics in folk’, so he thought he’s start the concert off with an Woody Guthrie song.

There was an appropriate appreciation of the irony of the song choice. Adam was a well received guest artist at the club. President Martin Kraakman advised that never before has he received so many positive comments about one of the Sunday night performers, it is such a pleasure to know that the guests that we bring to the stage as so well appreciated by the audience.

It is easy to understand why Adam was such a success, he has the gift of the spoken word, exceptional storytelling and vocals that have a strength which seemed specially talented. The encore that was drawn from Adam showed us this ability as he walked off the stage and into the audience and sung without a mic, the strength of his vocals ensured that his voice filled the room and no one was struggling to hear. An awesome talent and Adam’s projection phenomenal.

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Adam’s vocal strength gave evidence of his strength, however it was in his storytelling that the greatness of his heart was shared. He spoke of an initiative from the Christchurch City Council to collect the stories from those in the Eastern suburbs, he spoke of the human vulnerability and triumphs over hurdles that he was in the privileged position of hearing and in these “sit in’s”.

Then the generosity of the songs that arose from this opportunity shone, and the translucency of Adam also shone. Looking forward to the next time that Adam graces our stage, it will be something to look forward to.

By Judi Smitheram Secretary

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