The members of T-Bone are about as eclectic as the group’s influences; a mandolin playing ex-chef from the Far North, a fiddle playing wine importer from New Jersey, a Dublin-born spearfishing songwriter, a guitar slinging laboratory assistant from Taranaki and a gardening double bassist from Karori.
Their debut album will be released on June 17th, two weeks prior to the band heading out on their North Island headline release tour. The seven date tour is set to be the perfect showcase of the magic and energy that comes when these five exceptional musicians are on stage together, performing!
T-Bone got together through a love of Americana music, good wine and great food. The group have been rehearsing almost every Monday night in a basement flat in Brooklyn, Wellington for about seven years, working on songs, writing harmonies and telling jokes. But just as often as they play music, they eat, cook and sample some of the fiddlers' latest wine imports from Italy. Guitarist and songwriter Gerry Paul describes the rehearsals as “a ritual that grounds us for the week. We all work other jobs and these Monday get-togethers set the scene for the week. They keep in touch with our creative side and most of all, it’s a weekly reminder of the importance of good friends, good food and great music”.
The debut album, titled “Good ‘n Greasy” manages to capture the raw energy of their live shows that the band have become known for, but the arrangements are tight and thoughtful, with space carved out to feature the singing of these fine folk musicians.
T-Bone went into Surgery Studios in Newtown in September 2021 and recorded a collection of eleven songs. Seven of the songs are originals by Gerry Paul, two are co-written by the band and three are from the New Orleans, Zydeco and Cajun traditions. The setlist includes songs about food, playing music, new beginnings, love lost and found and as bassist Aaron Stewart describes the sound “they are peppered with that T-Bone flavour - acoustic twangs, searing fiddles and just a hint of char-grill”.
T-Bone have brought their influences of zydeco, old-time, blues, bluegrass and folk to this collection of songs, which although has strong Americana flavours, also has a distinct Kiwi folk feel. The close vocal harmonies and fiery instrumentals on guitars, mandolin, banjo and fiddles will have your toes tapping and you’ll find yourself harmonising as you listen.
The ensemble started as a duo seven years ago with Gerry moving back from Europe after fifteen years of touring the world with some of the biggest names in folk music. He struck up a musical partnership with American fiddler Richard Klein, but it wasn’t long before they invited Cameron “Dusty” Burnell on the Mandolin and the group became the T-Bone Trio. With all three members being rather partial to the low grooves of the double bass, they enlisted the playing of Aaron Stewart who Gerry had played with as part of Mel Parsons’ band. After one gig, the band couldn’t go back to gigging without Aaron on the bill.
The next few years saw T-Bone perform monthly shows around the capital and the odd out of town performance, including appearances at CubaDupa, Newtown Festival, Auckland Folk Festival, Tora Tora Tora, Beervana, Wellington On A Plate, Highlight Festival and Festival of Lights in New Plymouth. Young gun Michael Muggeridge was drafted in to replace Dusty Burnell while he was on tour in Europe with the Frank Burkitt Band and as Richard Klein puts it “The boy was so good that when Dusty returned, we said - you’re going nowhere”, completing the five-piece they are today.
T-Bone have called on their raft of supporters to help them crowdfund through NZ platform, PledgeMe, to raise the money to finish the mastering, duplication and artwork for the debut album.“Good ‘n Greasy” will be released on Friday the 17th of June and will be promoted with a tour around the North Island from late June into July. The tour is proudly supported by the NZ Music Commission’s (Via MCH) Aotearoa Touring Programme.
Good n Greasy Release Tour:
Thurs 30 June - San Fran, Wellington
Fri 1 July - 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth
Sat 2 July Whangateu Hall, Whangateu
Sun 3 July - The Tuning Fork, Auckland
Mon 4 July - The Turner Centre, Kerikeri
Sat 30 July - Napier, The Urban Winery
Tickets on Sale via @tbonetheband | Linktree From 5th May
Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/tbonetheband