A concert of songs about New Zealand’s history, wildlife, mountains and Central Otago, interspersed with humorous poetry about the characters and people.
Martin Curtis has been writing, singing and recording songs about New Zealand, its way of life and people for over 40 years and has been recognised both nationally and internationally. Some of his songs have been covered by artistes in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. As well as performing at folk festivals, arts council venues and clubs all around New Zealand, he has done 14 long tours around the UK, appearing at clubs from as far north as the Shetland Islands right down to Lands End. He has also appeared in Australia on several occasions, especially in the Northern territory and Western Australia. He has put on concerts in countries as diverse as Norway, Austria, Nepal and Bhutan.
Martin has released 15 albums of NZ material and has been a finalist in the “Folk Album of the Year” category of the NZ music awards three times. His very first album “Gin & Raspberry” still holds the record of being New Zealand’s best selling folk music album and continues to sell well in CD form.
His material includes songs about the early goldrush days of Central Otago, about our wildlife and mountains, as well as songs of New Zealand’s history and involvement in the wars. He is particularly well known for his songs about New Zealand’s endangered birds. He also performs humorous bush poetry in the rich tradition of Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, a performing art form that he first heard whilst living in the outback of Australia. Interspersed between his more thought-provoking songs, these can bring his audiences to fits of laughter and make the concerts all the more varied and enjoyable. As well as poetry he has written himself, such as those about the antics of keas and mad funerals, he also includes many of Australian origin and of the local Central Otago iconic poet, the late Ross McMillan (alias Blue Jeans.)
Graham Wardrop is recognised internationally as a world class finger style guitarist and has played on several occasions with the well-known Australian super star guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. Martin has worked with Graham Wardrop almost exclusively since they first met in 1990 when together they produced his third album “The Daisy Patch.” All his more recent albums have been recorded in Graham’s studio in Christchurch. They have also put on shows as a duo in several places in New Zealand as far apart as Auckland and Riverton. In this concert, Graham will be accompanying Martin on guitar to assist his ageing fingers!
After 46 years living in Cardrona, where they ran numerous concerts and the annual Cardrona Folk Festival at the historic Cardrona Hall, Martin and his wife Kay moved to Earnscleugh 16 months ago. This will be Martin’s first full concert in the Alexandra district.
More detailed information about Martin’s music can be found on his website – www.martincurtis.co.nz