Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Zealand: music for a trip

As I write this, it has been a month since Christchurch, New Zealand, felt the shock of earthquake. New Zealand is a small country, and even as the people there reach out to help their Pacific rim neighbours in Japan with their troubles, New Zealanders are working to recover in their own country. And they have an idea for you as to how to help: come for a visit....

It is a gorgeous country, mountain and fjords and sea, welcoming people and varied cultures to learn about. There is a major presence of the Scottish and Irish diaspora in New Zealand too. These Kiwis have put their own stamp on the music, and many have journeyed back to northern Europe to share their view of Celtic music there. Over these next few days, as web sites around the world join in to celebrate the spirit of the people of New Zealand and encourage you to visit there and see their beautiful country and meet the people, I’ll be telling you a bit about music to go along with these ideas.

A good companion for any trip is the music of Grada. The tight knit group has members who hail from Galway to Wellington. Often on the road themselves with their music, many of the tunes and songs on their albums draw on their travels and their varied geography, framing all this in the lively energy of Irish music. For a taste of this, good places to begin are Grada’s albums Natural Angle, where they bring in a tinge of bluegrass and songs of many travels to the Irish mix, and grada cloudy day cover

Cloudy Day Navigation, which includes the band's own fine compostion Cooler at the Edge (they tend to write the tunes working together) and a lovely version of Irish singer Susan McKeown's River. There's a six song dvd of the band in live performance included on Cloudy Day Navigation as well.

Band members Andy Laking and Gerry Paul both grew up in New Zealand, in Wellington and the Hutt Valley respectively.

you may also wish to see
Music Road: music and mystery

plan your trip or start your dream of one at New Zealand’s official tourism site

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi said...

Love this! NZ has some amazing music and a strong Celtic influence. I'll be checking these folks out.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Anjuli said...

always love your introductions to new music!! (new to me, at least)

8:46 PM  

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