Christchurch Folk Music Club

The Port Hillbillies

27th May 2018

The Port Hillbillies concert marked the end of a joyous union of four talents that met majorly through Christchurch Folk Club connections. Kris Brown on guitar has taken the opportunity of a ‘dream job’ and will be returning to his old home place in USA, sadly leaving his well tuned musical connections here and looking to forge the same across the waves. It will be no surprise to hear that two of this quartet strongly influenced by Americana and Appalachian music hail from that region.

35429373_1827687473955249_7617629810948308992_o

Both Kris and Justin Rogers on mandolin, were drawn to New Zealand for further education opportunities and have certainly found a niche here. Gary Elford on bass, originally form Australia adds that an age factor that has resourced many of the song choices to add a breadth of interest across genres and decades. The only Kiwi in the group is Steve Stern on banjo and harp, and of course the reciprocal of the legendary banjo jokes, usually timed for when Steve is tuning the instrument between most songs.

We were promised a night of tapping recognisable standards to the more obscure songs, and these promises were well fulfilled. The tunes were catchy, the harmonies solid and the musicianship shone through the like of Rocky Top; Copperhead Road, Caroline, I’ve just seen a face, Galway Girl, Shady Grove, Tear my still house down and 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.

35425391_1827687677288562_1073137964483084288_o

The agility and ability of the instrumentals was never in doubt, the band has increased their repertoire to very capably fill a two hour show. The inclusion of some solos in the songs would add elements of contrast and diversity, offering the opportunity to showcase the individual talents of the band members.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening that certainly had us toe-tapping., congratulations to the Port Hillbillies for a well planned night that as an audience members appeared to run effortlessly.

by Judi Smitheram, Secretary

More Reviews

Jed Rowe, with Monique Aiken, 30-09-2018

The night opened with the returned to her home city after seven years proving her guitar and singing skills in the Wellington folk scene, was Monique Aiken Monique presented confidently bringing us her own songs eloquently crafted delivered with vocal...

read more

Women of Folk Concert 23-09-2018

A special concert to celebrate the important contribution that the women of folk have achieved. Music permeates our hearts carrying a strong message that has both challenged for change and acknowledged achievements to coincide with the Suffrage 125...

read more

The Ceilidh Dance 16/09/2018

A cèilidh is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering, where dance and music is the binding factor. The dancers were certainly bound in joy for the dance and the Monday Night Session Band brought music that was dance-able and enjoyable. The delight...

read more

The Muddy Mama Blues Band 26/08/2018

What a night we shared at the Folk Club on Sunday! From the moment the first few bars hit the air the audience was captivated by The Muddy Mama Blues Band. Lead singer Judi Smitheram showed great form, revelling in the mighty musicianship of her five-piece...

read more

Open Mic Night 05/08/2018

Christchurch Folk Club attracted performers from Scotland, USA, those recently moved from the North Island and some well voiced locals brought colour and artistry to the stage. As always a great night of diversity and original talent. by Judi Smitheram...

read more

Matty Smith and Josh Braden 29/07/2018

A soft, acoustic approach for a night filled with the creativity of Matty's original songs to the fore and shining. There was contrast throughout the night. The night opened with the tones of the David Gray sound-alike Matty crooning his songs with a depth...

read more

Beyondsemble – Back of Beyond Tour 04/03/2018

Back of Beyond generously gave a funky, folk, good fusion feel when they played at the Folk Club on Sunday 4th March 2018. With Craig Denham on accordion, piano, vocals and percussion, along with Nathan Torvik on guitar, vocals, bass and mandolin, and...

read more

Ryan Neville and the Midnight Blues Show Band 15/07/2018

An audience member commented that it was impossible to sit still with this fabulous music playing, they just had to stand up and dance. This summarises the night, music that offered toe tapping danceable grooves. Just back for a tour in USA the tight and...

read more

Too Many Chiefs – 22/07/2018

I was pleased I went to Christchurch Folk Music Club on a cold Sunday night. 'Too Many Chiefs' are very good musicians. I enjoyed all their unique songs as each band member performed their own work. If you are like me and enjoy memorable lyrics go and see...

read more

Matty Smith and Josh Braden, acoustic and harmonious

29 July 2018, A soft, acoustic approach for a night filled with the creativity of Matty's original songs to the fore and shining. There was contrast throughout the night. The night opened with the tones of the David Gray sound-alike Matty...

read more

Bottlelake Junction

Christchurch's newest Celtic-Bluegrass Band, Bottlelake Junction wowed the audience with some awe inspiring music by three musicians individually accomplished and together they were dynamic. This trio emerged from the Canterbury Folk Festival...

read more

Joel Fafard releases his ‘Fowl Mood’ CD

13 March, 2018 Joel features on the cover of the current ‘Hear Ye’, maybe not as prestigious as the cover of the “Rolling Stone” however a real kudos statement for our club. Joel certainly met the challenge with his performance on Sunday night....

read more

Graham Wardrop and Roger Lusby

A night when two Otago raised lads brought their well-founded and honed skills to a Christchurch stage, amidst a room filled with anticipation and a full audience. If there was expectation in the air for a fantastic night of entertainment,...

read more

The Squirrelly Bills & Gary Elford

25th March 2018 Like the phoenix rising from the ashes this night shone with the changed billing. Due to unforeseen circumstances The Squirrelly Bills stepped up from their support act role and covere3d the first half of the night with Gary...

read more

Ferris Family and Friends

22nd April 2018 A night where the music soared with eagles wafted on the up draughts of some great music generated by a flock of Ferris family and or Ferris family friends. The evening promised and delivered a show with lots of variety, colour,...

read more

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...

read more