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Folk Tui finalists announced

Folk Tui finalists announced

Artists from Wellington, Christchurch and the South Island’s West Coast are the finalists for New Zealand’s Best Folk Album of 2009.

Christchurch group Emeralds & Greenstone joins Mel Parsons from the West Coast and Wellington singer-songwriter Chris Prowse in the finalists line-up announced today by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).

Emeralds & Greenstone’s self titled recording is the group’s debut album produced by ‘sometime’ band member James Wilkinson and released in December 2008 on Ode Records.

The band comprises three original members - Laura Tomlin, Jon Hooker and Argène Montgomery-Hönger - accompanied by James Wilkinson and other guests. All contribute original material and team that with key pieces from the traditional canon.

Singer-songwriter Mel Parsons’ debut album ‘Over My Shoulder’ was made in Wellington under the guidance of Mutton Birds’ guitarist and producer David Long. It features Parsons’ band The Rhythm Kings in a recording inspired by ‘all the usual suspects – love, heartbreak and loss’.

Parsons has been composing her own music for more than 10 years, has a music degree from the University of Auckland and also spent time studying at MAINZ and the Nelson School of Music.

David Grant’s book ‘The Big Blue’ provided the inspiration for Chris Prowse’s ‘Trouble On The Waterfront’, a musical snapshot of New Zealand’s divisive 1951 waterfront dispute. Prowse conceived the idea, wrote the songs and produced the album.

‘Trouble On The Waterfront’ is a collaboration of New Zealand singers, musicians and well known broadcasters who have come together like actors in a film to explore the events through the medium of contemporary song.

RIANZ CEO Campbell Smith says the finalists have delivered huge creativity across an array of musical styles within the folk genre.

“These albums demonstrate amazing originality across the folk music spectrum and I would hate to be in the judges’ shoes trying to separate them. It is very impressive how folk music in our country seems to go from strength to strength every year.”

The Folk Music Tui for the best album of 2009 is to be presented at the final concert of the Auckland Folk Festival in Kumeu on Sunday 31 January 2010. (


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