Gap filler Fair at AddingtonThe Eastern

This group has only been in existence for a few years (from approximately 2006) but they have already made a big impact, particularly in Christchurch. Adam McGrath (guitar) and Jess Shanks (banjo) are the core players although they usually play with one or two other players and their ranks can swell to six or seven players. They perform original folk/country, written by both of them. Their musical influences are wide, although McGrath has mentioned The Clash, Bruce Springsteen and Woody Guthrie on radio.

Hardworking Lytteltonians

Their home base is Lyttelton and their home venue Lyttelton’s Wunderbar. They also play regularly at other venues.

A philosophy of commitment has them working hard and they aim to play five shows a week. They also tour extensively. They have a strong community focus and following the February 22, 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, they played free concerts all over the city. They also often invite musicians in the audience to join them on stage. This philosophy has built them a loyal following.

Both musicians like to spend time in America, having visited Tennessee, Nashville, and Mississippi . They have opened for Jimmy Barnes, Fleetwood Mac and toured with Old Crow Medicine Show and Steve Earle.

Their self titled first album was released in 2009 and went straight into the top ten in the New Zealand Indie charts. In 2010 their album Arrows launched them into two years of touring and their next album Hope and Wire was given five out of five stars by the New Zealand Herald who described it as Public bar poetry and politics from the heart.

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