The Weekend Sun Competition
Clawhammer banjo player Dan Walsh is returning to New Zealand for his third tour in February/March, kicking it off at Tauranga’s The Barrel Room on February 4.
The British folk musician was a nominee in last year’s BBC Folk Awards, and will be promoting his latest album, Verging on the Perpendicular, during the tour.
He says he’s been playing the banjo for an ‘incredible’ 17 years, starting at the tender age of 13.
“I was already playing guitar and fancied another instrument. I heard the banjo in a lot of Irish folk stuff and just fancied giving it a try.”
His style – ‘clawhammer’ – involves down strokes with the back of the nail and plenty of thumb work.
“It's a very rhythmic style, but I play a lot of tunes with it, which is commonly known as melodic clawhammer.”
Although it will be his first time in Tauranga, Dan has been to New Zealand twice before, including a headline appearance at the Auckland Folk Festival. He says he’s never felt so at home somewhere other than the United Kingdom.
“I made so many friends on my first trip and had so many special gigs. It's such a beautiful country with such wonderful people. It’s been quite a successful place for me, too – I received lots of nice messages from New Zealand after my previous tours.”
Those who head along to The Barrel Room for the Tauranga gig can expect ‘a fair variety of stuff’, he says.
“I think Scottish and Irish folk and bluegrass are my main influences, but there's lots of surprises! I also tell a lot of stories particularly in regard to my songs, and play some guitar too, so hopefully there's something for everyone!”
For more information about Dan’s Tauranga gig, contact The Barrel Room.
SunLive has a copy of Dan’s latest CD to give away to one lucky reader.