Graham Reid | | 2 min read
Those Aucklanders with very long memories will doubtless recall the informal Sam Ford Verandah Band which played at the Gluepot in the late Seventies with singer Trudi Green. Ford and Green became part of the Neighbours with the late Rick Bryant and took their soulful country-rock to all parts of the country.
Together Green and Ford carried on after the demise of the Neighbours (with Bryant moving on to the Jive Bombers) with a deeper dive into country with a subtle Pacific flavour.
If they seemed off the radar this past decade and more they were, they had relocated to London.
Now back in Aotearoa New Zealand they present their 14-song country-soul album Sweet Sweet Love, recorded in London, Papatoetoe, Grey Lynn, Eden Terrace and New Lynn.
And a lot of old friends and familiar names – trumpet/saxophonist Chris Nielson, steel guitarist Glenn R Campbell, bassist Neil Hannan and others – appear across their originals.
Time then for Sam and Trudi to answer some personal questions . . . . and we start with Trudi.
Where did you grow up, and with who?
Greenwich, in South-east London, with my family.
Was music an important part of your childhood?
Yes. My parents and my older siblings brought all sorts of music into the house
What are your earliest childhood memories of music which really affected you . . .
Hearing Jackie Wilson singing “ Higher and Higher”
Was there a time when you felt it was going to be music and nothing else?
Yes, in the late 70’s and early 80’s when we were touring all over NZ
When you started on your music career were people around you supportive or did you have to find those people?
People around me were very supportive
The first song of yours which you really felt proud of was . . .? And why that one?
“You’re On My Mind” I liked the way it mixed girl group with Soweto- both musical styles I loved.
Any one person you'd call a mentor, angel on your shoulder or invaluable fellow traveller?
Where and when was the first time you went on stage as a paid performer?
At the Gluepot in the late seventies
Ever had stage fright or just a serious failure of nerve before going on stage?
As a songwriter, do you carry a notebook or have a phone right there constantly to grab ideas they come? Or is your method something different?
I still write things down
What unfashionable album do you love as a guilty pleasure?
The Bee Gees- “Their Greatest Hits”
Any piece of advice you were given which you look back on which really meant something?
Grow old disgracefully
It's after a concert and you are in a hotel room or back at home, what happens then?
Have a few wines and listen to music
Is there any fellow artist you admire for professional and/or personal reasons?
The late Mahinaarangi Tocker- her ability to sing anything, plus she wrote so many songs
And finally, where to from here for you do you think?
Keep making music