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Folk music finalists announced

January 5, 2005

Folk music finalists announced

Two musicians with Scottish connections and a Maori singer are the finalists for New Zealand's Best Folk Music Album of 2004.

They are Bob McNeill for his album Turn the Diesels, John Sutherland for Mealmarket St and Hinemoana Baker for puawai.

The winner of the Tui for Best Folk Music Album is to be announced at the Auckland Folk Festival on January 30.

All three artists will perform at the festival at the Kumeu Showgrounds on Auckland's Anniversary Weekend before the winner is announced.

The Best Folk Music Album awards are part of the New Zealand Music Awards.

Last year the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) moved the award from its annual presentation evening to coincide with the festival, New Zealand's biggest gathering of folk musicians.

The Best Folk Album Tui will be announced and the trophy presented during the festival's main concert at 8pm on the Sunday. The festival runs from Friday January 28 to Monday January 31.

Scottish-born singer-songwriter Bob McNeill came to New Zealand in 1998. His music is a mix of folk, pop and country that he calls 'Celtic new folk', strongly reflecting a mix of his Celtic roots and his diverse musical tastes.

Bob's self-produced debut album Covenant was awarded the Tui for Best Folk Album 2001. Turn the Diesels was released in August 2004 and signals a move toward contemporary music he says.

Christchurch-born Hinemoana Baker has performed throughout New Zealand since the mid-1990s including numbers of concerts on marae and in Maori arts festivals. puawai is her first full-length album and it was self-released in October last year (2004).

"Someone once called my music 'kinky indigenous symphonies'," she says. "I've yet to come up with a better description."

Hinemoana's tribal connections range from the Otakou Peninsula to the Horowhenua and Maunga Takanaki. Her non-Maori ancestors came from the UK, Bavaria and Holland.

John Sutherland arrived in New Zealand from Scotland in the 1960s and he has had a close association with the New Zealand folk music community since then.

Initially a harmonica player with a number of blues musicians his music reflects influences in his life including material from traditional Scottish blues and the contemporary genre.

John was a founder member of the Devonport Folk Club, Titirangi and the Wynyard Tavern. He continues to perform at festivals and venues throughout New Zealand.

New Zealand Music Awards spokesperson Adam Holt says folk musicians throughout the country celebrated having their award presented at their own event last year.

"It was an unmitigated success in 2004 and we have had very good feedback supporting the move to a stand-alone folk awards ceremony. Everyone's really looking forward to a successful event again this year."

Roger Giles from the Auckland Folk Festival welcomes the chance to honour the Best Folk Music Album of 2004.

"Presenting the award at our event is something we have worked hard for and it certainly adds prestige to the final night concert - and really helps to attract a big crowd," he says.

Mr Giles says about 3,000 people are expected at the event which has attracted guest artists from Scotland, the UK and Australia, Alistair Hulett, Les Barker and Totally Gourdgeous respectively.
Several well known New Zealand folk artists - Martin Curtis from Otago, Hamilton's Helena Triplett and Al Young and Neil Finlay from Auckland -- will also make guest appearances.

The Auckland Folk Festival is in its 32nd year and its 15th at the Kumeu Showgrounds. Information about the event is available at

The Tui for Best Folk Music Album is for albums released between 16 November 2003 and 15 November 2004.

About RIANZ: The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Inc (RIANZ) is a non-profit organisation representing major and independent record producers, distributors and recording artists throughout New Zealand. RIANZ works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creative people involved in the New Zealand recording industry.


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