17 Jul 2019
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Articles By Jacquie Walters

Andrew Masseurs - Album Review: Traveller In The Sky
02 Jul 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Andrew Masseurs’ new album Traveller In The Sky is so good I almost want him to pull a U2-type stunt and add it to everyone’s playlists for free (no just kidding, you need to buy it so Masseurs gets rewarded for his efforts). Masseurs has always had a tremendous voice, but it wasn’t quite matched entirely by his material or production choices on his debut album.
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Louis Baker - Album Review: Open
02 Jul 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Louis Baker’s newest album Open is a lush, sonorous collection of immaculately assembled tracks. Baker’s voice is lovely – it’s clear, poised, and in perfect pitch throughout.
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Mitch James - Gig Review: Mitch James @ Theatre Royal, Nelson - 28/06/2019
29 Jun 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
A youthful capacity crowd packed out Nelson’s Theatre Royal to welcome Mitch James as part of his national Bright Blue Skies tour. Seating had been cleared to allow for audience members to stand and dance up close to the band, but the ushers took a dim view of the enthusiasm in the room when it got to the point of people being raised on top of their friends’ shoulders – the venue isn’t quite ready for that kind of crowd just yet.
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Emily Rice - EP Review: Dusk
24 Jun 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Emily Rice’s EP Dusk is a gentle, beautiful excursion into the world of lovers everywhere. Rice has a voice like warm honey, reminiscent of Bic Runga and Amiria Grenell.
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Levi Lights On Project - Single Review: Eyes of a Child
20 Jun 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Levi Sesega's Lights On Project's new single Eyes of a Child is a refreshing antidote to toxic masculinity. It's got a fantastic message about a man with the strength to face himself and his demons so that he can be reborn and experience redemption as a result.
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Myele Manzanza - Album Review: A Love Requited
19 Jun 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
A Love Requited is the third album from drummer and composer Myele Manzanza. Having shared many concert bills with Myele’s Dad, well know percussionist Sam Manzanza, I approached Myele’s album with a high level of interest.
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Claudia Jardine - EP Review: North
03 Jun 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
North is a literal breath of fresh air from Claudia Jardine, and it's very ably assisted by producer, multi-instrumentalist, and backing vocalist Taavi Paomets.The title track North leads the charge, setting the expectation of clear yet lush production values for the five-track offering from Jardine.
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Graeme James - Gig Review: Graeme James @ The Boathouse, Nelson - 17/05/2019
17 May 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Every once in a while you happen to have the very good fortune to attend a truly remarkable concert. Graeme James' gig at The Boathouse in Nelson was one such event.
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Andrew Masseurs - Single/Video Review: Everyone Wants To Be Your Love
12 May 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Everyone Wants To Be Your Love is the second single from Andrew Masseurs' album Traveller In The Sky, and it's another on-form offering from this talented artist. Masseurs' voice is powerful and rich, and his vocal sound is stunning in the chorus in particular, reaching towards the epic heights of Bono or Keane in the final third of the track.
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Beth Danelle - Single Review: Hold On
12 May 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Beth Danelle's new single Hold On is a balanced and well-produced pop track. It has a good hook in the chorus and it will appeal to anyone who is feeling out of sync with their current life situation.
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Sophie Mashlan - Gig Review: Sophie Mashlan @ Room Twenty5, Nelson - 11/05/2019
12 May 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Sophie Mashlan wowed the room last night at Room Twenty5, an intimate house concert venue near Nelson. Her talent was immediately evident with her rich, resonant voice commanding attention, complemented beautifully by her accomplished finger-style guitar playing.
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Caroline Easther and the Cinnamon Girls - Gig Review: Caroline Easther and The Cinnamon Girls @ Fairfield House, Nelson - 3/05/2019
04 May 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Caroline Easther seems like a completely lovely person which must have made last night’s experience at Fairfield House all the more difficult for her. Despite her best efforts to push through, with the support of her band The Cinnamon Girls (Alan Galloway, Hamish Graham and Murray Costello), her voice was just not playing the game.
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Late Model European - Single Review: Moments
03 May 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Moments is the second single from the upcoming debut album from Late Model European collaborators Tones Thorburn and John Nelson, and there’s plenty to enjoy about this track.With a lovely, delicate piano intro heralding a well-produced and well-balanced offering, the musicianship on Moments is enjoyable throughout, especially the feature string section which provides the epic feel that Late Model European are reaching for.
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Andrew Masseurs - Single/Video Review: Set Me Free
10 Apr 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Set Me Free is the first single from Andrew Masseurs' upcoming album Traveller in the Sky, and it’s a real ripper. Masseurs’ vocals are completely on point and the driving beat of the track sets the perfect pace.
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The Polly Johnson Set - Album Review: The Polly Johnson Set
18 Mar 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Get your hands on this self-titled debut album from The Polly Johnson Set as soon as possible. It’s the album you didn’t know you needed.
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Gig Review: Milk & Honey @ Powerstation, Auckland - 08/03/2019
11 Mar 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
The line-up at the Powerstation for the inaugural Milk and Honey Festival to mark International Women’s Day was undoubtedly stellar. Ria Hall, Tami Neilson, Julia Deans (with Anna Coddington) and Nadia Reid interspersed with contributions from DJ Sandy Mill - you’d be hard pushed to pack more talent into an evening than that.
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Gig Review: The Eagles @ Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 2/03/2019
03 Mar 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
“There are stars in the Southern sky” sang The Eagles, and even as the first few notes resounded around Forsyth Barr Stadium the audience could not help but think that the constellation was in fact on stage in front of them. The beautiful wash of vocal harmonies from the line-up of original members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B Schmidt and additions, Glenn Frey’s son Deacon and singer-songwriter Vince Gill was breath-taking.
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Brendan and Alison Turner - Album Review: Ghost of a Friend
01 Mar 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Ghost of a Friend is an aptly-named exploration of deep grief from soulful Americana duo Brendan and Alison Turner. The couple first met only six years ago and have had a tumultuous time since - falling in love, marrying, performing and touring together and then tragically losing their best man and musical collaborator.
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Gig Review: The Hollies @ Trafalgar Centre, Nelson - 27/02/2019
27 Feb 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
The Hollies brought the crowd to their feet at Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre for not one, but two standing ovations – a fitting climax to an evening that delivered on expectations for the predominantly 60 years old plus audience.The Hollies’ concert was a nostalgia trip from the start evoking memories of the band’s heyday in the 1960's and 1970's.
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Marlon Williams - Gig Review: Don McGlashan & Marlon Williams @ Neudorf Vineyard, Nelson - 12/02/2019
13 Feb 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
A susurration of dust motes in the air in front of the stage at Neudorf Vineyard, heralded the beginning of tonight’s magical and highly-anticipated Marlon Williams concert - an appropriate beginning for an event postponed because of a large fire sparked last week in tinder dry conditions. Tonight’s event was the perfect balm for the soul for rattled Nelson Tasman residents.
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Graeme James - Album Review: The Long Way Home
05 Feb 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
The Long Way Home is everything existing Graeme James’ fans and newcomers to his music could hope for. Thoughtful lyrics, beautiful and carefully nuanced production, and enough catchy, foot tapping tracks to satisfy any radio programmer.
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Gig Review: Phil Collins at Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch - 4/02/2019
04 Feb 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
Bow down Christchurch, for we have been in the presence of the master. From start to finish this was a concert featuring consummate musicianship and a rich back catalogue of songs to satisfy listeners of all ages.
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Dragon - Gig Review: Toto and Jefferson Starship with Dragon @ Hagley Park, Christchurch - 13/01/2019
14 Jan 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
The sound of deck chairs being put out, the rustle of picnic baskets, and the popping of corks were good signs that Christchurch was ready for a relaxing summer afternoon of music in North Hagley Park. Rain was forecast (and some did eventuate) but this didn't dampen spirits.
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The Frank Burkitt Band - Gig Review: The Frank Burkitt Band at The Boathouse, Nelson - 11/01/2019
11 Jan 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
The Boathouse welcomed The Frank Burkitt Band with a chocolate box Nelson summer’s evening, complete with a beautiful peach-toned sunset and an audience that had been enjoying an early evening meal on the deck prior to the gig. The general mood was possibly at odds with Frank Burkitt and his partner Kara Filbey’s choice of opening number, a somewhat sombre cover of a Randy Newman song about a hurricane called Louisiana 1927.
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Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Neudorf Vineyard, Nelson - 09/01/2019
10 Jan 2019 // review by Jacquie Walters
If any band epitomises the joy of a summer evening it has to be Fat Freddy's Drop. Neudorf Vineyard near Nelson provided the perfect natural setting for the luscious, relaxed sounds of this seven-member musical institution.
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The Jordan Luck Band - Gig Review: Jordan Luck Band @ The Playhouse, Nelson - 28/12/2018
29 Dec 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
An amiable capacity crowd gathered at The Playhouse in Mapua for a post-Christmas trip down memory lane with The Jordan Luck Band. The band delivered all that was expected and more in a tight, accomplished, and high-energy set.
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Al Fraser - Album Review: Toitu Te Puoro
18 Nov 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Toitu Te Puoro by Al Fraser is a beautiful creation from beginning to end. It’s exquisitely presented in a well-designed CD case with accompanying booklet, which is important given the narrative it contains about Fraser’s journey with taonga puoro and its photographs and descriptions of the instruments made and played by him.
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The Flaming Mudcats - Album Review: Cut Loose
09 Nov 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
The Flaming Mudcats' Cut Loose celebrates the band's tenth anniversary in fine style. This is a solid, rocking blues album from a well-established and well-loved kiwi act.
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TUi MAMAKi - Album Review: Fly
29 Oct 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Tui Mamaki's album Fly is an ancestral crie du coeur inspired by her time spent living in Bulgaria. Tui was born in France and raised in Aotearoa/New Zealand and there is a certain global transcendence to her music.
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Mel Parsons - Single/Video Review: I Got The Lonely
08 Oct 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Mel Parsons has a gift for writing great hooks - and her latest single I Got The Lonely is an excellent example of that gift in action. I Got The Lonely is a well-executed, clean, and radio-friendly teaser for Parsons' full-length album due to be released later this year.
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Albi & The Wolves - Single Review: It Ain't Easy
08 Oct 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
It Ain't Easy is a 'rollicking good time' of a single from Tui Award-winning group Albi and the Wolves. Tight-as-a-drum vocal harmonies pack a punch from the very outset and the perfect pacing of this track as a whole maintains the listener's interest throughout.
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Gig Review: Pink @ Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 01/09/2018
02 Sep 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Pink took Dunedin to heaven tonight, figuratively and literally, with a stellar performance featuring acrobatics, mesmerising dance, theatre, and powerhouse vocals. The crowd came ready for a good time and when Pink took to the stage slightly after 9pm she declared her intention (following a tongue in cheek fanfare on solo recorder) with Get The Party Started, the star herself swinging from a giant chandelier in a black sequined one-piece suit and singing while hanging upside down.
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Gig Review: Bob Dylan @ Horncastle Arena, Christchurch - 28/08/2018
29 Aug 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
“Expectation is the mother of crisis” as my father is fond of saying. Perhaps no performer visiting New Zealand of late has had the weight of expectation more firmly foisted upon him than Bob Dylan.
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Holly Arrowsmith - Gig Review: Holly Arrowsmith @ Fairfield House, Nelson - 22/08/2018
23 Aug 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
A pure voice is hard to find. Such a voice underpinned by a soul that reaches out to mesmerise and enchant an audience is even rarer.
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Tami Neilson - Album review: Sassafrass!
01 Jun 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Tami Neilson's latest outing Sassafrass! is the album you didn't realise you desperately needed until you heard it.
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Jamie McDell - Album Review: Extraordinary Girl
27 May 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Extraordinary Girl by Jamie McDell is a commercial, catchy, and high-quality contemporary country offering. McDell has an appealing voice and the subject matter of the album traverses love and loss using some familiar country music tropes and images - trailers, cars, fishing, tattoos etc...
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Darren Watson - Gig Review: Darren Watson @ The Playhouse, Nelson - 24/05/2018
25 May 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
I last saw Darren Watson play in early January at The Playhouse near Nelson. He was nervously excited about the upcoming release of his new album and playing at the gig in a support role for Paul Ubana Jones.
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Julia Deans - Album Review: We Light Fire
11 May 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
The acclaimed Modern Fables was always going to be a tough act to follow and Julia Deans has taken her time to follow it – with a full seven-year gap between album releases. She hasn’t been resting on her laurels in between times, however, with a number of noteworthy ventures filling the space.
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Estère - Album review: My Design, On Other's Lives
07 May 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
It’s no surprise that Estère recently opened for Grace Jones. In some ways Estère is a sonic acolyte of the magnificent Jones, particularly in the sense that she is endlessly fascinating and mesmerising.
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Bernie Griffen and The Thin Men - Album Review: Doors Wide Open
06 May 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Doors Wide Open is an album of “sweet sorrow” from Bernie Griffen and the Thin Men.  Griffen is a musician who has paid his dues and travelled the miles.
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Kimbra - Album review: Primal Heart
29 Apr 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Kimbra's Primal Heart is a fascinating album of many disparate parts. In some ways it’s more a producer’s album than a singer’s, featuring texture and complex production as the artist explores the varied expressions of her undeniable and prodigious talent.
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Darren Watson - Album review: Too Many Millionaires
26 Mar 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
This deeply enjoyable album will warm the hearts of any blues fans, and in fact anyone with an ounce of soul will love it. Darren Watson is a great example of a bluesman at his peak.
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Delaney Davidson - Album review - Shining Day
17 Mar 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
Compelling from the very first notes, Delaney Davidson harnesses sonic eccentricity and deploys it to magnificent effect across all eleven tracks of this absolute ripper of an album. Impeccable and intriguing production makes this is a fascinating and gratifying listening experience.
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Andrew Masseurs - Album review - Origins
14 Mar 2018 // review by Jacquie Walters
There’s no denying Andrew Masseurs’ musicianship and the quality of the production of this album. It’s a clever and accomplished piece of work from an artist who is firmly in control of his craft.
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