Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Pulling together the best elements of road-worn country-rock, folk, old style rhythm'n'blues and alt.country, Bernie Griffen and the Grifters have opened on New Zealand dates for Lil Band o' Gold, Justin Townes Earle, Emmylou Harris and Eilen Jewell.
Griffen -- guitar and banjo -- brings to the band a wealth of writing and life experiences, and their recent album Everything So Far was a compilation of previously released EP material (among them 29 Diamonds written in the aftermath of the Pike River mine tragedy) and new songs, which was released in time for their tour and the famous Gunslingers Ball traveling show.
But that was then and this is now . . . and now Griffen is out on the road again, this time with his partner Kirsten Warner (dates below) and they are bringing their particular brand of folk-meets-country-rock to small venues nationwide.
Time then for Bernie Griffen to join the list of the illustrious who have answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
Peter Paul and Mary eeeek!
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Oh come on its obvious , Lennon , Ramones and Nirvana , None of the others. Maybe M Jackson… loved the Jackson 5
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
28 Diamonds ( Bernie Griffen And The Grifters) , Working Class Hero ( John Lennon) , Vigilante Man ( Woody Guthrie)
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
Yep , I have an old Fender Precision which I adore and a Strat from the early 70’s
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Bound For Glory ‘ Woody Guthrie’
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Neil Young…. ‘ Cortez The Killer vocal and guitar duet with Crazy Horse. Then I would die happy!
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
‘ Rust never Sleeps’ Neil Young , ‘ The Last Waltz ‘ The Band , Reservoir Dogs
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
The Carter Family “Can The Circle Be Unbroken’
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
29 Diamonds ‘ Bernie Griffen And The Grifters or “Welcome Home” Dave Dobbin …. Amazing song
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . .
The Cover of ‘ Highway 61 Revisited’
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
Snake on the forearm
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
In New Zealand singing for our people
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
It’s a recording of songs that mean a lot to me and reflect my place , love and beliefs , playing with musicians I love…. I mean love!
BERNIE GRIFFEN AND KIRSTEN WARNER TOUR DATES
Friday March 8, Wunderbar, Lyttelton with The Eastern
Sunday March 10, New Edinburgh Folk Club, Dunedin
Monday March 11, Federal Diner, Wanaka
Tuesday March 12, Cook Saddle Café & Saloon, Fox Glacier
Wednesday March 13, Barrytown Hall, Barrytown with Al Hunter
Friday March 15, Meow, Wellington with Tommy and Vanesssa, Miles Calder and the Rumours Wednesday March 20,The Tin Hut, Featherston with Barry Saunders
Thursday March 21, The Cabana, Napier
Friday March 22, Mihi Café, Reporoa
Sunday March 24, Wine Cellar, Auckland