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Burlesque, blues and western swing floats this Paddleboat

24 December 2012

Burlesque, blues and western swing floats this Paddleboat

The Otunui, one of New Zealand’s few historic paddleboats, will host New Zealand and international musical acts this January. The acts include: Burlesque with Monica Louis and Sarah Bradley, Tom Rodwell of Storehouse and Don Burnham and the Fern Frond Boogie Boys.

Paddleboat burlesque with television diva Sarah Bradley and European songbird Monica Louis promises to entertain. An impromptu jam session at the 2009 Whangamata Jazz Festival brought these two jazz birds together. Whatever the occasion, this duo offers a unique blend of jokes, song and audience participation that’s magic with a French twist.

Tom Rodwell’s critically acclaimed debut album Live Humble follows years of extensive touring in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the U.S., Switzerland and Holland. Rodwell and his band Storehouse are now an established independent club and festival act.

Rodwell’s music is based in hard blues minimalism and improvisation. He is described as a spirituals-calypso-blues guitarist. His blues music is wild, angry, hypnotic and sensual; it's as uncompromising as it is funky. Similarly, Rodwell’s vocals and song choice have deliberately mixed messages, with the sacred and profane competing for space on the dance floor. “The feeling is the only content of this music,” he is fond of saying.

Finally, Don Burnham and the Fern Frond Boogie Boys return to New Zealand from the U.S. for the band’s second tour. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Don Burnham is known as the leader of the all star California Western Swing band, Lost Weekend. Burnham’s 2011 album release, I Dreamed Count Basie Was a Cowboy (Redoubtable Records RR 99) is a memorable album. The band is a mix of Californians and Kiwis. They will be performing songs and stories in contemporary western swing and country.

While listening to jazz and blues, passengers will be whisked away on an entertaining cruise while exploring Lake Maraetai and its native surrounds. Bookings are essential.
Skype: Otunui Paddleboat, Mangakino

Paddleboat Burlesque w/Sarah Bradley and Monica Louis
Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 6:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

Cruise with Storehouse Blues
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 1:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

Cruise with Storehouse Blues
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 6:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

Cruise with Storehouse Blues
Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 1:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

Cruise with Storehouse Blues
Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 6:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

Don Burnham and the Fern Frond Boogie Boys
Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 1:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

Don Burnham and the Fern Frond Boogie Boys
Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 6:00pm
Otunui Paddleboat, Lake Road, Mangakino

About the Otunui
Built as a kitset in the UK in 1907, The Otunui was then shipped to Whanganui where she was assembled and finished. She operated on the Whanganui River before sinking in a flood in 1949 and lay abandoned until the 1960s.

Refloated and rebuilt in 1973, The Otunui worked again carrying passengers on the river before being moved to Lake Okataina and then again to the Waikato River at Aratiatia, carrying passengers to the base of Huka Falls in Taupo including the Queen.

Then in April 2003, a fire burnt her to deck level at Wairakei near Taupo and she was removed to Coromandel. After a three-year restoration, The Otunui sailed to Paeroa then on to the Waihou River and operated from Te Aroha.

The Otunui will share the Waikato waterway with rowers, wake boarders, water skiers, kayakers and trout fisherman and waka ama.

Mangakino offers a host of activities including, a golf course, mountain biking and tramping on the Waikato River Trail, rock climbing, horse treks, a solar heated public pool, tramping in the Pureora Forest, rental baches plus backpacker and lodge or hotel style accommodation. The newly rebuilt Pouakani Marae will offer a Tikanga Maori accommodation and cultural experience in the near future.

The Otunui was moved to its new home in November 2010 and officially launched in December with Taupo Mayor Rick Cooper, local tourism operators and other dignitaries and officials on board.

The Otunui is offering public and charter trips for up to 48 passengers on the tranquil waters of Lake Maraetai. For more information go to


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