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‘Diesels’ fuels folk win

News release winner – 1
January 30, 2005

‘Diesels’ fuels folk win

Scottish-born singer-songwriter Bob McNeill from Wellington is the winner of the 2004 Best Folk Music Album for Turn the Diesels.

The award has been presented at the final concert of the Auckland Folk Festival on Sunday night (Jan. 30). The other two finalists were John Sutherland for Mealmarket St and Hinemoana Baker for puawai.

Turn the Diesels was released in August last year and signals a move away from the folky sounds of McNeill’s 2001 album Covenant. The new album contains some of the artist’s best known songs and features the more contemporary music McNeill has wanted to make of recent years.

McNeill immigrated to New Zealand in 1998 and lived in Otago before recently moving to the Capital. He has graduated from the traditional Scottish music he learned as a teenager to the contemporary sound of some the best known songwriters in North America.

His music is a mix of folk, pop and country that McNeill calls ‘Celtic new folk’, strongly reflecting the Scotsman’s roots as well as his own diverse music tastes.

“In a way I’ve been trying to write Turn the Diesels for about 10 years now,” McNeill says. “It’s a record that explores the themes of memory, redemption and grace, things that have always fascinated me.”

McNeill’s reputation was gained on the road in New Zealand where he has built a solid following together with Canterbury flute player Brendyn Montgomery.

It is the second year in a row that Celtic music has won the Best Folk Album Tui. Montgomery, together with Mike Considine, won the award last year for Mountain Air.

Christchurch-born finalist 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).

John Sutherland was the third finalist for his album Mealmarket St. Sutherland’s music reflects influences in his life including material from traditional Scottish blues and the contemporary genre.

New Zealand Music Awards spokesperson Adam Holt says folk musicians throughout the country are right behind having the award presented at their own event.

“It was an unmitigated success in 2004 and we have had very good feedback supporting the move to a stand-alone folk awards ceremony. New Zealand folk music, like all local music, just keeps going from strength to strength and that’s good news for the Tuis.”

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

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 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.


Issued for the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand by Pead PR

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