2 Jul 2017

That kiwi twang

From New Horizons, 5:00 pm on 2 July 2017
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Photo: Donna Dean

William Dart opens this programme with a long overdue nod to New Zealand country singer-songwriter Donna Dean, having just watched Bill Morris's 2016 documentary Donna Dean: The Sound of her Guitar.

Then he takes a look at three new local releases, all with the twang of country in their veins.

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Photo: Fountain/Mushroom Records

Reb Fountain's Hopeful/Hopeless is an EP of five songs recorded in Auckland's Wine Cellar almost three years ago. As William says, "songwriters don't come much better than this." The CD also poignantly memorialises musician Sam Prebble who took his own life in 2014.

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Photo: Home Alone Music

Guitarist Robin Cederman and accordionist Penelope Esplin have taken an unusual name for their partnership: Grawlixes - a term from comic strips. The Wellington duo share the singing duties on the strangely haunting and angular tunes of Set Free, harmonising to make a point or to bring a song to a peak.

Finally, another augmented duo, Hopetoun Brown has released its second album Look So Good and William plays an original slanging duet, which Tim Stewart sings with special guest Tami Neilsen.

Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart of Hopetoun Brown

Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart of Hopetoun Brown Photo: Steve Dykes

Music Details

'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
Album title

'Twister' (Dean) – Donna Dean
Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts
(Black Market)

'The Truth About Us' (Fountain) – Reb Fountain

'Dance with Death Alive' (Fountain) – Reb Fountain

'Good Shadow' (Cederman et al) – Grawlixes
Set Free
(Home Alone)

'Death in the Family' (Cederman et al) – Grawlixes
Set Free
(Home Alone)

'Hate I Don’t Love You' (Stewart/Neilsen) – Hopetoun Brown
Look So Good