So that was January was it? A twelfth of the year gone already?
Now we're on to February but, good news, public holidays just keep rolling in. We all took the beginning of this week off to celebrate the shining beacon that is Auckland; next Thursday we'll have another break to commemorate Bob Marley's birthday. What with the One Love Festival it's like we're living in a reggae paradise.
There's also an absolute deluge of music on its way. Apologies for what is no doubt about to become a listicle but, in fairness to a multitude of musicians and to show just how much there is, I'm going to try and include everything (even stuff I would personally run a marathon to avoid).
OK. Deep breath...
Why not ease into the week with a jam session or two? Monday night (February 3) head to Rising Tide at The Mount where local Ash Faforteza sings from 7.30pm before hosting their jam session. Tuesday (February 4) it's off to Papamoa where Pap House has an open mic night and Wednesday (February 5) back to the Mount for a 9pm jam session at Mexican dive bar Voodoo Lounge.
Of course you might be across town on Wednesday where Cold Chisel and a reunited Muttonbirds are rocking out at the Wharepai Domain.
I'll skip details as it appears sold out.
Not sold out is Thursday (February 6) at Totara Street where Blind Boy Paxton, one of the finest old-style blues player in the world at present, returns with banjo, fiddle, piano, harmonica, guitar, and Cajun accordion. The man gets around! Possibly not the ideal venue to see him but any chance is better than none: tickets are $55; he really is remarkable.
It’s a Friday frenzy
Then things get really busy on Friday (February 7).
In no particular order...
At the Jam Factory (Historic Village) you'll find a duo from Ithica, New York, Richie and Rosie. They both sing, she plays fiddle and he plays banjo and guitar. Par for the course for a folkie gig – and they are folkies – but what if I say Richie has had a career spanning decades including performing internationally with the likes of Bela Fleck, Natalie Merchant, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, and Joan Baez? Tickets are $20 – listen on-line if you have any doubt about just how good these guys are.
Back at Voodoo Lounge there's a Bushfire Benefit at 8.30pm with proceeds to WWF's Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund. Hear up-and-coming acts such as Copper Feel, Iz Waddid Iz, Kristian Lund and more, all for a good cause.
Out in Katikati you'll find Albi and the Wolves, the hi-energy acoustic Auckland three-piece.
They won the Best Folk Artist Tui in 2018 for their debut album One Eye Open and are always worthwhile. 7pm and tickets are $20, only on the door.
Meanwhile, if your tastes run to 'tribute' bands you can check out a Fleetwood Mac show at Totara Street. Perhaps they're now adding Crowded House songs.
Saturday and Sunday
The following night, Saturday (February 8), there's a Twilight Concert in Katikati featuring New Zealand 'songstress' Anna Hawkins who, along with band will pay homage to female singer/songwriters of the 60s and 70s - Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, et al - as well as perform an interlude of 'songs from the stage' supported by guests from the Tauranga musical theatre scene.
At the Jam Factory, guitar band Marmalade Skies promise everything from hard-hitting punk riffs to wavy spring reverb surf tones. I know nothing about them except they're not the Beatles tribute band of the same name. Tickets are $10.
But talking tribute bands again, on Sunday (February 9) there's a guy pretending to be Rod Stewart for The Entertainers Club at The Citizens Club on Cameron Road. He's got a band with him and is called Rud Stewart.
Or, coming complete circle that day, if you want to get back to the safety of jam sessions there's one at the Mount Social Club from 6.30pm.