15 Jun 2021
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Grant Haua - Single Review: This Is The Place

03 Sep 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Grant Haua is probably best known for being half of the two-man blues roots band Swamp Thing, but in January 2019 he made the decision to leave the band after 9 years, countless tours and numerous acclaimed albums. He locked himself away with producer and engineer Tim Julian from Colour Field Studios for several months, with the end result being the album Awa Blues. But I am getting rather ahead of myself as that will not be available until the beginning of 2021, and what I am listening to is the debut single from that album, This Is The Place.


I have been reviewing music for more than 30 years and have estimated that during that time I have written more than two million words. When asked what makes me keep doing this week after week, month after month, my answer is always the same “there is so much great music out there if people are just prepared to look”. I have always felt that if I can play some small part in acting as a conduit then I need to do just that, and there are also times when I come across something which makes everything totally worthwhile and fulfilling. This is one of those times.

This is one man’s story, his connection to his family, to those who have gone before, to the land and where he lives. From the first seconds of acoustic guitar and the waiata I was absolutely hooked, and by the end of the song I felt transformed. I have been playing it for the last few days, but in preparation for this I played it back to back more than a dozen times, and it pulls at my heart each and every time. Although there is a band in the background they stay just there, apart from electric guitarist Fred Chapellier who provides the perfect solo and later harmonies: this is all about the words and Grant’s acoustic guitar. The vocals are wonderful, with a great combination of rough edge blues and smooth soul, and amazingly this was the first take! During that session Grant apparently kept getting flashbacks of his mother, father, children, old friends etc, and one can hear it in his voice as he is keeping it together, but the emotion is palpable. It is incredibly personal, so much so that in the superb video we see Grant with his children, his marae, and even his mother’s grave.

When this single was released a few weeks ago it went straight into the NZ blues chart at #1, and while I normally do not even look at charts as the “music” they contain is often factory produced pap, this is the real deal and being at that position is the only one which makes sense to me. If we think of much modern music having the soul and heart of a piece of plastic, this is rich Kauri heartwood with a depth and link to the land.

When asked about the forthcoming album, Grant said “I want the listeners to feel like they're guests in my home and like the songs, my home is pretty simple but it's warm, cozy and friendly. You don't have to take your shoes off when you come in and you just help yourself to anything. The kettles just boiled or there's a cold beer in the fridge. There's my Nan's world-famous stew on the stove top and fresh baked bread in the oven. So welcome. This is my place. Kia ora koutou.”

The only reason I am giving this single 5 *’s is because that is the site limit, but I so wish I could give it more. To me this is the finest song I have heard in a very, very long time.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Grant Haua

Grant Haua
Foreword:

Grant is a “salt of the earth” kind of guy. When we put together a bio for him he said “Nah man. I am a just a guy with a guitar. You need to tell the story straight”. So who better than to tell his story than the man himself - the following is Grants bio, straight from the horse’s mouth. - DF Records

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Grant Haua

Releases

There are no releases to display for Grant Haua.

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Blitz Metal Fest @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 12/06/2021
13 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Well, today was a first for me, coming to Ding Dong in the daylight! This was because it was time for Metal Blitz, a 13-band event being held which was planned to run for 10 hours but we all thought was probably going to take longer.
Read More...
Gatekeepers - Single Review: Always a Rebel, Never a Rogue
09 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Gatekeepers may be a new name to most of you, but this New Plymouth quartet have managed to secure the opening slot in Hamilton for the Devilskin and Kora show, so they have already started to gain some attention and based on this single one can hear why. The band was only formed earlier this year by guitarist/singer Jeremy Donoghue, rhythm guitarist Sean Phillips and bassist Mat Pipe, since when they have been writing and recording tracks before sending them to the UK to be mixed by Adam Wain.
Read More...
Investigator - Single Review: Lake of Eyes
09 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Adrian Drew and his band of merry men are back with the third single from their forthcoming album and given what I have heard to date I am really looking forward to that when it comes out. While Adrian provides guitar and vocals, the band is now firmly settled with David Crowhen (bass) Undercut, Craig van Kan (drums), The Couch, and lead guitarist Adam Morton-Mason, These Fine Galleons.
Read More...
Mudbelly - Single Review: Baby U No Good
07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to both survive the ravages of Canterbury’s wild weather and experience the force of nature which is Mudbelly, with the latter more than making up for going out in the driving rain to get to the gig. This means I am in the somewhat unusual position of having heard this song played in concert prior to coming across the recorded version, and it is interesting to hear just how different it is in this setting.
Read More...
DRXNES - Single Review: Junkie
07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Prior to hearing this single I had heard only positive things about Whanganui band DRXNES and having now played this I can see exactly why. This is a highly polished, highly produced number which sounds as if it has come out of a top American band and studio as opposed to little old Aotearoa.
Read More...
Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 04/06/2021
07 Jun 2021 // by Kev Rowland
For the second time in less than a week it was back into the centre of Christchurch and St. Asaph Street, but whereas last time it was to the 12 Bar, this week it was next door, to Darkroom.
Read More...
Gig Review: Mudbelly @ 12 Bar, Christchurch - 29/05/2021
30 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
In the middle of a red alert weather warning, I trekked from Oxford into Christchurch to attend Mudbelly’s album launch. It has been a while since I last went to a gig down here, but I have been to some real killers in the past (Sepultura, Death Angel and Blindfolded And Led To The Woods at Canterbury University’s The Foundry will long stick in my mind), so was looking forward to this.
Read More...
Lorenzo Hazelwood - Single Review: Same Mistake
28 May 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Lorenzo Hazlewood is probably best known as front man for Auckland hard rock band Close To The Bone, but he also released some solo singles last year in slightly different fashion, and now he has returned with his first for 2021, Same Mistake. This is reminiscent in some ways of classic ballad-style grunge like good Alice In Chains or Soundgarden, with his vocals very much to the fore.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GOOD 4 U
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • KISS ME MORE
    Doja Cat feat. SZA
  • DEJA VU
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • BODY (REMIX)
    Russ Millions x Tion Wayne
  • TRAITOR
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • FAVORITE CRIME
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • PEACHES
    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • SAVE YOUR TEARS (REMIX)
    The Weeknd And Ariana Grande
  • MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME)
    Lil Nas X
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem