Christchurch Folk Music Club
James Taylor Tribute featuring Graham Wardrop and Tom Rainey
In 2019 Graham Wardrop and Tom Rainey took to the Great Hall with a James Taylor Tribute, now they are back to share the show with the Christchurch Folk Music Club. Patrick Shephard’s review of the 2019 concert says it all.
In this James Taylor Tribute, Graham Wardrop took the predominantly 60-something audience through the soundtrack of their lives, from classics like Fire and Rain to less well-known tunes like The Frozen Man. Wardrop is very easy on the ear, his singing style relaxed and his guitar playing immaculate, breezing through some ﬁnger-twisting manoeuvres which look eﬀortless but most deﬁnitely is not.
The opening number Me and my guitar typiﬁes both Taylor and Wardrop with man and guitar wandering through life commenting on all its peculiar and wondrous things. Wardrop’s funky ostinato was nicely done and I liked the quick resume of tricks he managed to slip in at the end.
Along with gentle ballads such as My Travelling Star and Here We Are, the sadness of Millworker was well-judged, the duo bringing out the monotony of factory work and delivering tightly-knit shared scalic passages.
The quirky Here we are was one of the numbers featuring Tom Rainey on Hammond organ and he was excellent both here and in Fire and Rain, building up the texture from an ethereal start. I loved the inclusion of the Hammond as it immediately evokes a bygone era and takes the listener to a diﬀerent place
acoustically. It also created a great blend of guitar and voice.
In shifting Rainey to the piano, the pair also added variation in mixing up the combinations.
The duo did well with the distInctly oﬀ-beat, harmonically challenging Mean Old Man, Wardrop leaving out the guitar altogether to focus on vocals. Some tough little corners in that song but it all worked. I enjoyed Wardrop’s solos in How Sweet it is and the rocking Home by another way, and Rainey’s in Mean Old Man and Secret of Life. Good that they
didn’t feel the need to overdo it and solo in every song.
The big surprise for me was what they did with Up on the Roof, the subtle chord substItutions and more up-beat style taking the concert to an uplifting ﬁnale that I did not expect from this particular song.
Doors open 7pm. Performance starts at 7.30pm, you will get a seat if you arrive close to 7pm.
VENUE: Irish Society Hall, 29 Domain Terrace, Spreydon The hall is situated up the long driveway, directly next to Domain Park, and there is plenty of well-lit off-street parking.
DOOR SALES CASH ONLY: Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake available during the break, also bar facilities for cold refreshments throughout the night, Eftpos available for purchases only, no cash-out facility. Please remember to bring your current Folk Club membership card as this is required for new club licensing.
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