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Kiwi Icons Hit The Road

HIGHWAY OF LEGENDS 2008 -- NZ Country Music superstars live in concert


Kiwi Icons Hit The Road

NEW ZEALAND country music icons Eddie Low, John Grenell and Dennis Marsh are set to join the most successful home-grown music tour series of all time, The Highway of Legends, when it hits the road in October and November.

The tour will see icons of the entertainment celebrating with their adoring fans, in a series that set the benchmark several years back as a commercial and entertainment triumph for New Zealand artists.

Internationally acclaimed singer, guitarist and comedian Kevin Greaves – son of Kiwi country music icon, the late Rusty Greaves – offers of taste of Nashville, joining the Highway of Legends for the first time ahead of his tour with the brothers of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings throughout the US and Europe.

Promoter and country music legend, guitar king Gray Bartlett tours again, teaming up with one of New Zealand’s foremost guitar stars, Chet O’Connell, and journeyman Brendan Dugan -- New Zealand's answer to Johnny Cash -- will front the tour as MC.

Star fiddler Marian Burns and the All-Stars band will also be featuring in the show, bringing a fresh new edge to what has been New Zealand’s biggest selling tour series ever.

With introducing new faces and music in mind, top younger country artist Brendon Ham will also join the line-up in his home town of Blenheim and then in Greymouth.

The Highway of Legends tour kicks off in the home of country music, Hamilton, on October 28 and runs through to Invercargill on November 22, taking in 17 venues. The tour will also visit Rotorua, Tauranga, Auckland, Taupo, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Blenheim, Greymouth, Christchurch, Timaru and Dunedin. Tickets go on sale on Monday. Booking details below.

The tour will be a precursor to the biggest tour of America since Crowded House. The Highway of Legends have been signed by Revolution Concerts and Events America to perform in major venues on the East and West Coasts of the US in fall 2009.

Where & When
• Tuesday, October 28, Hamilton, Founders Theatre. Book @ Ticket Direct
• Wednesday, October 29, Rotorua, Civic Theatre. Book @ Ticketmaster
• Thursday, October 30, Tauranga, Baycourt Theatre. Book @ Ticket Direct
• Friday, October 31, Auckland Aotea Centre. Book @ The Edge
• Monday, November 3, Taupo Great Lakes Hall. Book @ Ticketek
• Tuesday, November 4, Napier Municipal Theatre. Book @ Ticket Direct
• Wednesday, November 5, Palmerston North, Regent Theatre. Book @ Ticket Direct
• Thursday, November 6, Wellington Opera House. Book @ Ticketek
• Friday, November 7, Wanganui Opera House. Book @ The Opera House
• Saturday, November 8, New Plymouth, TSB Theatre. Book @ Ticketek
• Sunday, November 10, Whangarei, Forum North Hall. Book@ Ticketek
• Monday, November 17, Blenheim, Marlborough Civic Theatre. Book @ Ticket Direct
• Tuesday, November 18, Greymouth Regent Theatre. Book @ The Regent Theatre
• Wednesday, November 19, Christchurch, Town Hall. Book @ Ticketek
• Thursday, November 20, Timaru, Theatre Royal. Book @ Ticketek
• Friday, November 21, Dunedin, Regent Theatre. Book @ Ticketek
• Saturday, November 22, Invercargill, Civic Theatre. Book @ the ICC booking office


OUR ICONS OF ENTERTAINMENT
JOHN GRENELL
Since winning the prestigious Joe Brown talent contest in 1963 at 19 years of age John Grenell, formerly known as John Hore, has become New Zealand’s best known country music singer and the most prolific recording artist since Tex Morton releasing well over 20 albums and numerous hit singles. He appeared on TV regularly through New Zealand, Australia and the United States and worked with many well known artists up until 1973 when he took a break to concentrate on his other business interests. He resumed his career in 1988 after being invited back to the United States to perform. In 1990, the title track of his “Welcome To My World” album became featured in Toyota New Zealand’s national advertising campaign, which again made John an instantly recognizable household name.


EDDIE LOW
Eddie Low overcame blindness to become one of New Zealand’s best known solo artists after initial partnerships with John Rowles touring Australia between 1963 - 1965 and then as part of one of New Zealand’s most successful show bands, The Maori Quin Tikis. He has performed around the world, appeared on Nashville’s Grand Ol’ Opry three times, been billed alongside top country artists like Charley Pride, Johnny Cash, Freddy Fender, and toured with all the New Zealand greats like Sir Howard Morrison, Toni Williams, Gray Bartlett, Susanne Prentice and many more. He was awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music in 2006.


DENNIS MARSH www.dennismarsh.com
It wasn’t until 1984, when at 33ys he was “dragged” along to the Manurewa Country Music Club one night and invited on stage to perform, that Dennis Marsh discovered a love for country music and the perfect medium for his rich voice. He has never looked back. Fifteen country music and gospel albums and numerous awards later, he has developed a huge fan base in Australia and New Zealand and has been invited to perform in the United States. Awards include the New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year in 1969, the Australasian Gospel Award at Tamworth, Australia’s pre-eminent annual country music festival, a finalist in the Gospel & Country category of the Tui Awards in 1999, and the 2008 Kiwi Pro-Am Country Music Top Male Artist. He is presently New Zealand’s top selling country music artist.


GRAY BARTLETT

This year Gray Bartlett celebrates his 50th year in the New Zealand entertainment industry. He is the 16th most successful entertainer in New Zealand history (according to The Complete NZ Music Charts 1966-2006) with 30 albums, 20 singles, and two million album sales to his credit. During his longstanding career he has toured regularly in New Zealand and overseas with such headline acts as Vera Lynn, Tom Jones, the Herman’s Hermits, Rolf Harris, and many more. He has had top selling singles in New Zealand and Japan where the single La Playa released in 1985, reached No.2 on the Japanese charts and sold an unprecedented 410,000 copies. He was the first New Zealand entertainer to be invited to perform in China by the Chinese Government and has since toured there 14 times. He was awarded the Chinese Artist of the Year Golden Plume Award in 1987. Gray was also honoured with an MBE for services to entertainment in the same year.
Alongside his successful entertainment career, he has been a concert promoter, served on the Auckland City Council, and launched the international careers of some great young New Zealand talent – Hayley Westenra, Ben Morrison, Julia, and most recently, Elizabeth Marvelly.

BRENDAN DUGAN http://www.brendandugan.co.nz/

Brendan Dugan won his first talent contest in 1965 at the age of 13yrs which was followed up by winning the inaugural TVNZ New Faces series in 1968 at 16. Over the succeeding 40 years he has released 18 albums, many winning awards, notably the first album he released 1966 (and re-released on CD as few years ago) has never stopped selling.
He had toured extensively through New Zealand and Australia with Lou Clauson (of Lou & Simon fame) by the age of 21. However, after meeting and forming a strong partnership with Gray Bartlett in 1973 his career accelerated to included many return tours to the United States, eight of them as an ambassador for NZ Tourism promoting New Zealand as a destination, and one as the opening act for Kenny Rogers tour in 1983.
Brendan is a commanding figure on stage and as such, given he has performed in both of the last two Highway of Legends Tours, we have asked him to be our Master of Ceremonies this year as well as performing a song or two to celebrate his 40th anniversary in the entertainment industry.
KEVIN GREAVES http://www.kevingreaves.com/

Kevin is one of 14 children born to country music legend, the late Rusty Greaves (NZ’s equivalent of the Australian’s Slim Dusty). Kevin was performing on stage at the age of 5 and started his professional career at the age of 14. In the mid-1990’s, as the local country music industry declined, Kevin moved to Nashville in the United States where his father and the family had been invited many times to perform at the Grand Ol’ Opry. He quickly found a niche in the Nashville scene with his unique stage show that is a mix of good music, strong vocals and comedy, similar to his father’s. While overseas he worked with artists such as the Dixie Chicks, the late Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Hank Snow, Carl Perkins, and many more and performed in 30 states. Since 1995 he has returned regularly to New Zealand to appear with artists such as Sir Howard Morrison and the Topp Twins and to perform in Tamworth, Australia. He returned to base himself in New Zealand last year to be able to spend more time with his family, bringing with him a wealth of experiences and the Nashville country sound to share with New Zealand audiences.
Kevin has produced 5 albums. His second album released in 1995 won the New Zealand Country Music Best Album of the Year while Kevin himself won the best male vocalist award. A single off his third album, Hurtin’ To The Bone, reached No.4 on the Nashville country music charts.
MARIAN BURNS www.marianburns.co.nz
Marian has been playing the violin and delighting audiences since she was 4years old. She has a dynamic and unrestricted style that mesmerizes and captivates audiences everywhere. While Marian is an accomplished classical performer and music teacher, she prefers country music as it allows her the right medium to connect with her audiences. Since winning the New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the year award in 1993 followed by being voted the Viewer’s Choice on TVNZ’s “Showcase” talent show in 1997, Marian has been performing regularly through New Zealand and Australia and already has a strong following. Among her career highlights to date she lists touring with the Topp Twins, performing with the Irish “Fire Dance” stage show, and opening for the Ricky Skaggs and Dr John tours.


CHET O’CONNELL www.chetoconnell.co.nz
Chet started playing the guitar at 4years of age and had his own band by the age of 12 years. Chet was first inspired by Chet Atkins, Peter Posa, Mark Knofler, and Jerry Reed to name a few. Since moving to Auckland in 1997 he has become one of New Zealand’s busiest musicians, both as a backing and session guitarist and as an entertainer in his own right. He is frequently asked to do live and studio work for top local entertainers as well as for touring overseas performers and shows such as Cher and Tommy Emmanuel. He is presently touring with Shane Cortese in the Class of ’58 rock n’ roll show. He is a dynamic performer and outstanding guitarist.
Chet has independently released 3 albums of original works and covers.


ENDS

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