Shindig Trio: you can’t help but dance

Shindig Trio

Shindig Trio (New Zealand)

Kiwigrass expands to include Old Time String music with the magnificent band Shindig Trio.  Inspired by the unvarnished authenticity of early American folk and blues heroes such as Dock Boggs, Roscoe Holcomb and Leadbelly and led by the driving clawhammer banjo and vocals of David Ward (Wheel Of Experience), vital fiddle and mandolin of Dave Khan (Marlon Williams, Reb Fountain), and solid foundation of Bassist Eamon Edmundson Wells (Ruckus), Shindig Trio present stonking takes on old-time folk, blues and country tunes from the American pantheon.

DAVID WARD is a diversely creative guitarist and banjo player who composes for theatre and original projects.  He has performed in numerous musical settings, touring extensively in NZ, Singapore, Australia, India, Germany and the U.S.A.  He is perhaps best known for his long time collaboration with Indian Ink Theatre Company for which he has twice won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for “Most Outstanding Composer.” David writes and performs in his original Jazz ensembles such as Onomatopoeia and Ruckus, Old-Time, Folk and Blues projects such as Wheel of Experience and Shindig, as well as numerous roles performing as collaborator and sideman with many of New Zealand’s most talented artists. In 2018 and 2019 David performed as a guest Banjoist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

DAVE KHAN is a multi instrumentalist (Violin, Viola, Guitar, Mandolin, Piano, Synths) who over the past 20 years has garnered a firm reputation as a supremely creative collaborator, sideman and arranger for some of NZ’s most respected artists including Marlon Wililams, Reb Fountain, Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn, Gin Wigmore and The Topp Twins

EAMON EDMUNDSON-WELLS is a double bass player who has performed with some of New Zealand’s most successful musicians and international touring artists. Most known for his work in the Jazz end of the musical spectrum, Eamon explores many different genres and approaches to music, some drenched in improvisation and freedom, others in stylistic integrity and faithful reproduction. Regardless of the approach, he is a player that focuses on what’s fundamental to the music: sound, texture, rhythm, harmony, connectivity between humans, and finding peace in the process of creating.  He has recently worked with Leda’s Dream, Troglodytes, Jon Pal Inderberg, Hayden Chisholm, Jeff Henderson, and Tom Cunliffe.

Learn more about David Ward here: 

Cotton Daisy Backstep – Old Timey Goodness!

Cotton Daisy Backstep

Cotton Daisy Backstep have opened a portal deep into the lost roots of Americana. Playing the old ‘hillbilly’ music of the Appalachian Mountains, their high energy homestead music evokes that old 78 bacon-frying sound no book-learning can give you. With Helena Faust on banjo/vocals, Philip Muollo on guitar, and Eddy Abraham on fiddle, they sing the songs of the pioneers, shotgun totin’ moonshiners and tub-thumping dance tunes.

Helena’s enduring commitment to the Old-time music developed during her 10 years in West Virginia steeped in the local traditions and performing with the award winning band ‘The Raincrows.’ She carried a wealth of traditional material with her when she moved back to NZ in 2003. The group began to form in 2014 when Helena assembled support acts for a touring fiddler from the US. The band chose the name Cotton Daisy Backstep and have been playing concerts at local and regional venues around Wellington for the past five years, including cafes, folk clubs, festivals and fairs.

This band goes beyond just being influenced by the old music; they have largely ignored modern tastes and reached back in time to create an old-world aesthetic. With Helena’s mountainy vocals heading the band, they bust out with wailing harmonies, driving old-timey rhythms, sparkling clawhammer banjo and scratchy old-time fiddle.

Tub-thumping dance tunes, haunting ballads of the pioneers, tales of moonshiners and old gospels, Carter Family and Doc Watson songs are the staples of their repertoire. With their 1930s appearance and style audiences can expect a unique experience.

“Cotton Daisy Backstep are the quintessential Old-Timey band not to be missed!” says Ebony Lamb (Eb and Sparrow)’, “Its the best of Appalachia with all the heart and soul of New Zealand, a real treat to the ears, so good you can’t sit down.” And Kim Bonnington (You Me Everybody) commented “Authenticity is at the heart of Cotton Daisy Backstep; not only will the music take you back in time but they create an entire experience of what it is to live, breathe and dance the old timey way.”

This is the mountain roots of Americana and Bluegrass.