Musicians

Musicians confirmed for 2021 festival

A who’s who of New Zealand’s top musicians is gathering for the festival.

Whose Who

Koltrain

Joy Adams with Three Plus One

Jaimie Ham

InTune

Cadillac Junction

Bronwyn Halley

Te Whanau

The Songsmiths

Rica-Chez

Reg McTaggart

Lance Murch Band

Luana Karl

Two Flat Whites & A Mocha

The NZ Dolly Parton Experience

Trevor V Stevens

The Murrays Nashville Band

Shavonne

Sally Burgess

Rocks N Flowers

Phil and Lana Doublet

Moovin On

Megan Clark

Raymond Haika Solomon

Marian Burns

Maria's Hot Property

Curly Ann & The Cowboy Band

Carleen & Her Crew

Bevan Gardiner

The Karen Davy Band

Annette and Kim

Brendan Dugan

Coopers Run

The Harmonic Resonators

Carson Taare

Eddie Low

Craig Adams

Craig Robertson & 43 Holes

Midnite Special

Legal Tender

Kevin Greaves Legend & Megastar

Kylie Austin

Sisters in Country Jodi Vaughan and Aly Cook

Hot Diggity Bluegrass

Gray Bartlett

Grae Addison

En-Tranzet

The Dan Cosgrove Band

Suzanne Prentice

Whose Who

Koltrain

Joy Adams with Three Plus One

Jaimie Ham

InTune

Cadillac Junction

Bronwyn Halley

Te Whanau

Te Whanau is made up of mother Millie, daughter Jane and son-in-law Jessie. Te Whanau have been appearing for the past few years at Paihia. In fact in 2005 this where Jane and Jessie met as a trio they travelled the country as guest artists and now their son Ngakau joins them as he follows in the footsteps of  his parents. His biggest idol is his Nan.

The Songsmiths

The Songsmiths, Sarah Conlan - award winning vocalist and Kayla Goldsmith - top NZ guitarist are joined by their band for a set of guitar driven country goodness. From  crooning classic to high paced country rock don’t miss The Songsmiths.

Rica-Chez

Rica-Chez band was formed by Reggie & Ellie Thompson and has played at the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival for many years. Rica-Chez band consists of Reggie & Ellie Thompson (founders) Josh Thompson, Susy Nepia, Dave Tusani and Jane Bissell. All are accomplished and talented musicians. Along with their music talents, Reggie & Ellie are known for the comedy acts they perform on stage.

Reg McTaggart

Reg McTaggart comes from Arrowtown on the Mainland and has been a regular at the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival since 1992. He has recorded a number of albums and is still ensconced firmly in the style of country music that has made our music popular and survive to be what it is today. All his albums contain all the ingredients that make for some of the top compositions written in New Zealand. A new album is available at this festival “The Anniversary”, The title track (from the pen of Don Allen) contains eight New Zealand written songs, six that are originals. He is a strong supporter of Kiwi songwriters, and songs written by Craig Robinson, Richard Pinny, Allan Barron, Ginny Peters, Judy McTaggart, Eddie O’Strange, Dave Guillemot and Kevin Lynch, Don Allen, Glen Moffat are spread through all albums. Reg has recorded around 50 New Zealand originals over all albums.

Lance Murch Band

Luana Karl

Two Flat Whites & A Mocha

The NZ Dolly Parton Experience

Trevor V Stevens

The Murrays Nashville Band

Shavonne

Sally Burgess

Rocks N Flowers

Rocks n Flowers is a collaboration of 2 rocks and 2 flowers growing their original songs in Northland, New Zealand. The lineup includes: Singer Nic Rees, Brigitte Legendre on guitar and bass, Grant Tromp on drums and Richard Hawkins on lead guitar. Their music is best described as "positively melancholic melodic rock with meaningful lyrics".

Phil and Lana Doublet

Lana had always had a love of music and storytelling but it wasn't until she was introduced to the Country Music scene after meeting her husband Phil that she was able to combine the two. While living in Australia, she wrote her first song but didn't pursue it any further until returning “home” to NZ. Lana has won a number of awards over the past 3 or 4 years, most notably runner-up at the MLT Songwriting in Gore 2016 then a top 10 finalist again in 2017 with two songs, including a cowrite with her husband, Phil. She has also won the NZCMA Songwriter of the Year in 2015, 2016 and again for the hat trick in October 2017.  Lana’s debut EP “Beautiful Human” and was a finalist for ‘Best Country Artist 2018’. Phil Doublet is a multi award-winning artist/musician and is no stranger to the music scene here in NZ and abroad for 30+ years. He has been playing in bands and backing groups for some big names in the industry since the tender age of 11 and became sought after as a  session player for recording projects across Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand. Not to mention as a solo performer and producer. With numerous #1 singles and albums to his credit.  And has been a finalist for the coveted Tui award twice. Phil’s latest accolade, he was a 2019 inductee into the Australian Southern Cross Music Association entertainment honour roll. His debut album "Stone and Wood" was a finalist for Recorded music NZ best country album of the year 2017 and finalist at the VFNZ music awards best country artist 2017 for his second album "Endless Highway". His third album "Strength, Love, Music & Light" went to #1 on the IMNZ charts with two #1 singles ‘Prayin’ For Rain’ and ‘Suitcase’. 2019 saw the release of two albums for Phil in the space of 12 months. ‘Pieces - The story so far’ which is a collection of Phil’s most requested songs plus three new tracks. And his latest album ‘Three Crows’. A country/blues album that shot to #1 in New Zealand & Australia in its first week in the iTunes blues album charts. And entered the US charts at #33. Their first single ‘My Old Man No More’ is an up tempo song with attitude about ‘willful revenge’  and went straight to #1 on the iTunes singles country charts taken from Their new album ‘Play Nice’ which dropped July 6th 2020 and shot straight to #1 on its debut Along with their second single ‘Play Nice’ shot to #1 on it’s tenth week in the Australian country thunder charts  

Moovin On

Megan Clark

Raymond Haika Solomon

Raymond Haika-Solomon grew up in Mokau in the Bay of Islands. His family was very musical, and at the age of 14 Ray joined the family band. Music is a big part of his family life. Ray's family has inherited music in their blood also. Ray has been on stage with many big named entertainers over the years. His dream came true in year 2000 when he released his first album "My Turn". He had been encouraged to do this by Dennis Marsh and now he has made 15 albums. Ray is busy with his One Man Band for all occasions and he also does Guest Artist Spots, and Music Festivals around New Zealand. Ray says he loves to share his "God given gift, my voice" and he describes himself as "The Entertainer Who Sings From The Heart".

Marian Burns

Fiddling her way across the world at 100 miles an hour, from the top of the Eiffel Tower to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with the Blarney Castle and the Grand Ole Opry in between, Marian Burns has been taking the world by storm with her exuberance and passion for music. This dynamic New Zealand artist is racking up awards faster than her version of the Orange Blossom Special (and that’s bloody fast, mate!), taking home New Zealand’s prestigious “Benny Award” at the 2012 Variety Artists Awards, Australia’s “Best Fiddler as a Soloist” at the 2013 Golden Fiddle Awards and presented with the “Life Time Achievement Award” upon celebrating 40 years of playing the violin. Quickly becoming one of New Zealand’s iconic entertainers, she fittingly toured with the “Highway of Legends” and has shared the stage with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Dr. John, Beccy Cole and The Topp Twins while performing at music festivals such as WOMAD (NZ) and Tamworth (AUS) and playing to audiences numbering over 100,000 at “Coca Cola’s Christmas in the Park”. Her album, “The Paris Sessions”, was recorded in France with renowned producer Jean Alain Roussel (Sting, Cat Stevens) and has already been awarded Australia’s “Best Album by Fiddler as a Soloist”. Living and breathing the music running through her veins since she first picked up a violin at the age of 6, Marian’s unstoppable energy and joy sweeps you up in her path. Her electric live performance that she is famous for will take you on a foot-stomping, hand-clapping musical ride and leave you trying to catch your breath! Marian received massive support from the wider New Zealand community when she was recently awarded a Gong on Queen's Birthday weekend, 2018, acknowledging her dedication to Services to Music.  Marian is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Maria's Hot Property

Maria Scott is a talented line dancer who dances under the name “Making Tracks”. A line dance Instructor and judge, Maria is also a loved singer and entertainer. Her band “Hot Property” is led by the talented Barry Bowman who accompanies Maria to venues such as Paihia and has done for many years. This popular group of musicians also play in other bands as well so look out for them. Maria has also got two Albums out C.D.1.Making Tracks & C.D.2 Girls Night Out,  Barry Plays on both these C.D’S the first C.D. her daughter Suzanne does a Duet,  Marian plays fiddle. And Jennie Beatie does Vocials Maria will also be strutting her stuff in the street leading the line dancers.

Curly Ann & The Cowboy Band

Carylann has been described as: “the complete package”, “a musical bombshell”, “oozing talent & energy” ….. Carylann is a multi talented musician who has wowed audiences as a guest at many festivals and events all over New Zealand. She is well known for her powerful lead vocals and her skill playing keys and ‘squeeze box’. She has worked successfully in the professional music industry most of her life and has been part of a huge number of very successful musical line ups. She is bringing ‘The Cowboy Band’ along for the ride again! Ross McDermott (bass & vocals) & Paul Schreuder (guitar & vocals) are stellar musicians who are well known in the Kiwi music scene. Together the 3 of them love to put their unique musical stamp on an interesting mix of songs - from classics to originals. Expect an engaging & entertaining show! This year Carylann has released a 3rd album, ‘Home in the Heart’. Her 2 previous albums are ‘Sparklin’Shine’ (2016) & ‘Lonestar’ (2015). Carylann (with ‘Legal Tender’) won Best Group at the Gold Guitar Awards 2015 plus an individual  award for Best Traditional. She has appeared in previous years as half of ‘Rusty & Rose’, & with ‘Henpicked’ has featured live several times on National Radio and Maori Television. Currently she performs as a highly skilled solo musician & also with ‘Her Lucky Stars’, ‘Legal Tender’, & ‘The Jukebox Gypsies’.

Carleen & Her Crew

Carleen & Her Crew are a Whangarei based group which have been playing together at festivals for many years.  They have been regular performers at both the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival & The Hokianga Festival. The band is made up of Carleen Still (Lead Vocalist), Peter Still (Rhythm Guitar), Matt Shepherd (Lead Guitar), Ben Michelsen (Drums) & Malcolm Edwards (Bass).  Together they bring a dynamic and upbeat package. You may have seen Carleen performing at numerous venues, both in the North & South Island.  She has recorded 4 solo cd’s - which will be for sale during the festival and as a band they are working on their debut album – so watch this space. During their day jobs, Carleen is a real estate agent, Peter is an Automation Engineer with Fonterra, Matt is the Manager of the Rock Shop in Whangarei, Ben has his own Computing Business and Malcolm owns his own business as a Beer System Serviceman. Playing everything from Traditional Country to Modern Country Rock, this band has something for everyone.  Catch them over the weekend – you won’t be disappointed.

Bevan Gardiner

Telling the story of the life of a famous entertainer such as country music singer John Denver can be a daunting prospect, unless you have the boyish looks and voice to match. Not only does international musician Bevan Gardiner have those attributes, but Denver’s music transforms him back to a six-year-old driving in his dad’s car.  Bevan says “I was six when I started playing guitar and John Denver was my first real influence as a child. “It was one of the only cassette tapes we had and it is the first music I remember Dad playing in the car,” Gardiner said.  Bevan was only 10 years old when Denver was killed in the aircraft he was piloting and said it was one of those moments in time he will always remember.  “I was getting ready for school and it was on the breaking news and it was not nice to hear,” Gardiner said. “As a young kid you dream of meeting that person but it was cut short, it was a sad time.  “As a kid, I was part of the official John Denver fan club and I was emailing back and forth to the lady who ran it, and she found out I sang and asked me to send her some of my music. “She sent it to the John Denver International Music Festival and I was invited to perform there in Aspen, Colorado when I was 18 or 19 years old. It was fantastic." Gardiner, who is partially blind because of a condition that affects the retina, has not let it crush his dreams of performing around the world. He teaches guitar and drums privately from his home in Dunedin, NZ as well as teaching at some schools in his area. He was born partially sighted and learned to read and write and ride his bike before his eyesight degenerated further, but his upbringing was to stand him in good stead. “I was raised by my parents to be independent so I have always been like that,” he said. “I did a music degree at uni and my friends will often say to me they forget I am partially sighted. I do nearly everything the others do, I just grab someone’s arm and away we go.’’ He said the occasional mishap or funny incident would happen on stage due to his eyesight. “One night we were on stage and I was thanking the band, when I swung my arm to acknowledge the musical director. Our back-up singer Georgie had come forward to say something to me and I sconed her right in the nose with my arm. There are always jokes behind the scenes among us.” “Now as an adult I am inspired by lots of different styles of music. I went on to be in bands at school and rock bands and I am a drummer as well. “Everybody can relate to his music and he was a really honest songwriter,” he said. “I am not trying to be him but I am honoured to be able to show others who this great man was.”

The Karen Davy Band

Karen Davy is a multi award winning singer/songwriter - Impersonator and recording artist, whose honours include: The Variety Artists Club NZ - AGNEW  & Silver Scroll Award, Five songwriting Awards and many more. Karen is a Guinness World Record holder, singing non-stop for 48 hours, raising $27,000 for the charity Kidney Kids. As a tribute to Dolly Parton (for 25 years), she appeared on the 'Stars in Their Eyes' TV show as 'Dolly" and has also toured and performed around NZ, in the U.S.A. (including a show at Las Vegas), Australia and Norfolk Island. Karen has also been performing as Stevie Nicks for a number of years & along with Ken Strong, is in the tribute band 'Dreams – The Fleetwood Mac Experience'. In 2011 Karen won the second highest award (AGNEW) for excellence in music at the VACNZ Benny Awards. Together Karen and Ken are 'Toucan' (duet Better than one) &  put on a very professional night's entertainment, not only with their presentation but also with the delivery of their songs which are well rehearsed with close harmonies, which only comes together with hours of practice. It is this that makes them a ‘hit’ everywhere they play. Their repertoire includes  a night of 'Irish' or 'Rockn' Roll Paradise' or 'A Country Hoedown' or '70's + Pub Rock' 'Blue Diamonds' (Blues and light Jazz) and more!! Recently, they put together a very successful 2hr show Called 'STARS' With Barbie Davidson & Anna Fisher.  This fabulous show includes lots of fun, comedy and laughter. 'The Karen Davy Band' has performed at the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival for many years bringing with her some of the finest musicians in the music field. She has several CD's which will be available at the festival.

Annette and Kim

Annette Hawkins and Kim Copedo are both outstanding individual country singers in their own right and have both released solo cd’s. But it is as the duo “Annette and Kim” that has seen them take their exceptional singing talents to another level. They have won many awards on the NZCMA Awards circuit and have appeared on numerous festivals, concerts and showcases alongside other top New Zealand country performers nationally and internationally. Their voices are a magical blend of incomparable harmonies and intuitive synchronicity culminating in a delivery that is personal and heartfelt. Their musical style has been influenced by many of the legends of country music. It is a mixture of traditional and modern country music blended with original compositions. The success of their albums can be attributed to the combination of song choice, outstanding vocals and musicianship by some of New Zealand and Australia’s top country musicians. A fact that is not lost on their many fans. Annette and Kim have been regular performers at the world renowned Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival and have also appeared at the Marton Country Music Festival, Barham Country Stampede, Barham, NSW, Australia and the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival. In 2013 they travelled to Le Mars Iowa USA to perform at the 38th Annual Old-time Country Music Festival. Their main aim has always been to have fun, enjoy their music and entertain their audience which has made them one of New Zealand country music’s most popular duo acts.

Brendan Dugan

He's one of New Zealand's best known country music artists and one of the Legends to appear at the festival.
  • Brendan Dugan – The Gentle Giant of Country Music
  • Legendary NZ Entertainer
  • Guest on The Ralph Emery Show and toured many countries around the World.
  • Represented NZ in Nashville on ‘The Grand Ole Opry’
  • TV Award winner (New Faces)
  • NZ Entertainer of the Year/The highest Musical Award in NZ – The Benny Award
  • #1 singles released in Australia, include ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ and ‘Daddy was a Boxer’.
  • Celebrating 50+ years in the Music Industry – performed at The Grand Old Opry USA – and still has the magic that makes him a Legend in NZ as well as overseas.

Coopers Run

Cooper’s Run - Has shared the stage with Lady Antebellum, Glen Campbell & Kenny Rogers and it all started like this.. New Zealand IDOL finalist, Ashley Cooper, singer / songwriter Michael Tipping make up the hottest duo in the Southern Hemisphere! Michael and Ashley began performing as a duo in September of 2008. They started out working clubs and private parties around northern New Zealand, their home. In October, just one month later, they were named the winners of the Rising Star Award at the Variety Artist Club Annual Awards Show. From that moment on, demand for their music has sky-rocketed, and they’ve been working non-stop in New Zealand, Australia and USA. Avid and skilled songwriters, these two also got the nod as New Zealand Country Music Song Writers of the Year. Coopers Run were the very first Kiwi's to appear on the Country Music Association's Global Artist Party in Nashville Tennessee! The event was viewed by over 40 million people, and they were backed by legendary singer / songwriter Pam Tillis's band. During the trip to the United States, Coopers Run met producer Jeff Huskins. Huskins was immediately convinced of the star quality of these young people. Rarely does the entire package walk in your door. They simply have it whatever it is. That very same night, sessions were scheduled using the finest engineers and musicians in Nashville, and the results are phenomenal! Make no mistake Coopers Run will be a major force in the music industry. There’s no limit to their potential, and the record companies that have heard the project are completely knocked out. Upon arriving home from their United States trip, they were booked to open for Glen Campbell’s New Zealand tour. In April 2011 Cooper’s Run was hand selected by management to support Grammy award winning Nashville band Lady Antebellum for their first NZ show and in 2012 they took to the stage with NZ icon John Rowels to support Kenny Rogers in his 2 sell out NZ shows. Coopers Run has appeared on the Johnny High Country Music Revue, the springboard for such superstars LeAnn Rimes, Steve Holy, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Morris, Linda Davis, Box Car Willie, and John Anderson. In 2010 Coopers Run were crowned New Zealand Country Duo/Group of the year at the National Country Music awards. In 2013 Coopers Run completed a six month contract with Carnival Cruise Lines based in Florida and servicing the Eastern and Western Caribbean, Mexico and Grand Bahamas’. 2013 saw another huge year for Cooper’s Run releasing their studio album “Unfinished” along with re-claiming their title as NCMA Duo-Group of the year. From a 2 piece through to a full blown band Cooper's Run are the perfect band for your next event, wedding and everything in between.

The Harmonic Resonators

The Harmonic Resonators are looking forward to returning to the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival, where they were met with standing ovations and stellar singalongs in 2019. This country-waiata-family band has been making waves on the NZ scene with their recent album waiata ngahau; featuring sensational harmonies, soaring yodels and, what many call, a distinctly unique and recognisable New Zealand sound. Get in early for a good seat, and be ready to laugh, cry, clap, and sing with your new favourite band.

Carson Taare

2019 was a very busy year for Carson Taare. He received NZ’s Variety Artists Club Rising Star Award, was a special guest performer with the New Glenn Miller Orchestra on tour in NZ, performed with Gray Bartlett, Mark Dennison and Sonny Curtis at Nashville’s CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee and squeezed in a couple of performances in Texas.

Carson had previously toured Hong Kong and Shanghai with the NZSS Choir and will tour Germany and the Czech Republic with the Choir in April and May 2020 before heading back to Nashville and Texas.

Although still in his teens, this 6’ 4” New Zealander is taking his music around the world.   He plays piano and guitar and his vocal range and versatility allow him to sing everything from light opera, pop, country, folk, and barbershop quartet styles of music. He performed with Sonny Curtis and Gray Bartlett at the 2019 CMA Fest in Nashville and was invited to perform with the New Glenn Miller Orchestra when the orchestra toured New Zealand.

In 2018 Carson performed with the NZSS Choir in Hong Kong and Shanghai and toured Germany and the Czech Republic with the Choir.

“Carson has a magical personal style of singing, and extraordinary guitar and piano playing ability.  He has impressed all media, and public alike in a very short time, with encore audiences and now his first USA visit to perform in Fort Worth Texas and Nashville Tennessee await. All agents in the USA have been attracted to his unique ability to win over audiences, with his youthful honesty and freshness, and by being just CARSON! “ — Gray Bartlett

Eddie Low

Known as the "voice in a million" Eddie Low began his entertainment career in the early 1960s. Not only did he possess extraordinary vocal talents, but was also master of an impressive array of musical instruments, including piano, trumpet, flute, most of the brass instruments, guitar, string bass, violin and piano accordion, making him one of New Zealand's most versatile entertainers. This is an even more creditable achievement considering Eddie is only partially sighted, and plays all instruments “by ear”. In the early 1960s Eddie formed a duo with fellow New Zealander John Rowles. In 1964 the duo crossed the Tasman, where they quickly became a hit with Australian audiences. Soon after arriving in Melbourne the pair joined the group “The Sundowners”. After leaving “The Sundowners” Eddie joined the Maori showband, “The Quin Tikis.” The group were regular highlights on the huge Australasian cabaret circuit. They also went to Bangkok and Singapore, entertaining troops during the Vietnam War. During the early years Eddie had so impressed Joe Brown, one of New Zealand’s greatest music entrepreneurs, that Joe signed Eddie to a solo career in 1969. Eddie's reputation was growing overseas and in October 1972 he was invited by the Country Music Association of America to take part in the Grand Ole Opry birthday celebrations held in Nashville. While there he received an opportunity to record a single with Chart Records and entered the RCA Studios in Nashville to record "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers"/"Walk Hand In Hand". Two other singles also came out in 1972, "One Way Wind"/"Five Little Fingers" and "Pokarekare Ana"/"Lodi". Eddie returned to Nashville in 1973 and continued to wow the audiences. He represented New Zealand on the International Show, which had representatives from many countries. Eddie received standing ovations. The International Show was followed by appearances at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, and Eddie was invited to tour Canada on an extended tour for six months, where he included fundraising shows for Canadian Native Indian children’s hospitals. Eddie Low has recorded 23 albums and many singles. He has been entertaining audiences around the world for more than four decades and although he has received many musical accolades he says one of the highlights of his career was being asked to write a song for disabled people. Having grown up with the stigma of a disability himself, Eddie says he felt very strongly about the song he wrote, “I am Me”, which has been adopted by disabled people around the world as an anthem for acceptance.

Craig Adams

Down to earth, humble and a genuine Kiwi bloke. Born and raised on the west coast of the North Island Craig grew up like most boys besotted with playing sport, hunting, fishing, music and chasing girls. He moved south as a young man, married a Southern Girl and now calls the South home. Craig carved his track in music firstly through the awards circuit and then playing country pubs, clubs, rodeos and festivals. Craig’s music is country... but it rocks. His high energy performances are now a trade mark. Along with his ability to rock he sings ballads with a beautiful softness and silky tone. Craig is the whole package; he empties the tank every time leaving nothing in reserve. He takes his audience to another place; it’s this unique dynamic package that keeps people of all ages coming back wanting more. Craig’s newly released debut album is packed with original songs that reflect his connection with New Zealand and what is most important to him. Every song on the album is there for a reason. Among his many achievements, Craig was NZ's National Country Music Awards - Male Artist of The Year Finalist 2012

Craig Robertson & 43 Holes

Singer/Songwriter Craig Robertson was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1953. The house was always full of music - there was no television - varying from classic tenors, show music, and a lot of country. 78' records of Tex Morton, through to Hank Williams and Bill Sevesi, were the ones played most often. From six years old, playing on a  ukulele, singing "I'm saving my money" was the start. In 1966 the family moved to New Plymouth. Craig sang as a boy in the various talent quests, and from the Taranaki Winter Show in 1967, was made an offer to tour with Lou and Simon on their tenth anniversary tour. Early in 1968 Craig moved back to Auckland and played regularly with Rusty Greaves and his boys. He worked around Auckland and New Zealand with bands 'The Sett' and 'Beau Henri'. In 1975, Craig received management from Benny Levin and Russell Clark after a series of performances on "Opportunity Knocks", singing the 'Rhinestone Cowboy'. Craig appeared on music shows such as "Ready to Roll", the "New Faces" showcase, and "Beside the Seaside". More and more, the desire to play 'just country' grew, and in 1978, Craig left for Melbourne and became a founding member of Gene Fisk's "White Lightning Band". This 'gig' lasted 8 years, and by which time Craig was the only remaining original member. In 1989, having finished in the top ten in 1988, Craig won the prestigious 'Star Maker' title in Tamworth - the first non-Australian to win, until 2013. The single 'Can we try again', co-written with Wayne Morrison, received three 'final five' nominations in the 1990 Gold Guitar awards, a record for a single on debut. Craig made another mark then, as the first Star Maker (record nominations aside) to win nothing. Craig continued to work extensively in Australia. In 1997, Craig returned home to live in New Zealand. He formed the band "43 Holes", and continues to work here, where he can. Craig has recorded two albums, both at Enrec Studios in Tamworth, Australia. The first, "Swinging Out Of Love"  has done very well over many years. The second, "Opposite Side Of The World" was released in 2012, and is doing very well. A composite 4-track album, recorded through Stebbing in Auckland, is also available, titled "Heartland". A tribute to Tex Morton is in production to be released soon, due to its reception when performed by Craig on the 'Roll of Renown' show in Tamworth, 2013. And so it goes on.  

Midnite Special

LEX AND MICHELLE GREAVES Founding band members, Lex and Michelle Greaves are two of the 14 children born to revered country recording artist, the late Rusty Greaves, with whom they began performing on stage with when they were pre-school age. Fourteen years ago they established Midnite Special and have been working in clubs and concert-halls throughout New Zealand ever since, accumulating a wealth of experience and developing a high level of professionalism. The band has seen a variety of line-up changes throughout its decade and a half tenure, the latest of which is among the most versatile and dynamic. Lex is the groups Musical-Director/Bass player and shares lead vocal duties with Michelle. Highly organized vocal harmonies are provided by the other band members, giving the band a unique warmth and robust sound, which is hard to surpass. ROBERT KATIPA -GUITAR/VOCALS Robert Katipa comes from a very talented family also and has established himself as one of the countries premier country-rock guitarists, during his fifteen year career. Robert, like Lex and Michelle grew up in the Country Music scene, absorbing the mentorship of his father, Bob Katipa also a notable guitar player and musician. Robert is a very versatile and sought after guitarist, frequently hired as a backing musician for music festivals and recording sessions. We are thrilled to have him in the band. MICHAEL BENNETT-KEYBOARDS/VOCALS Michael was fortunate enough to receive a world-class apprenticeship in the music industry during his engagement with the Bob Pariss band in the 1970s. Pariss’ band provided backing for the A-list of New Zealand entertainers during the era, including Billy T James and the Yandell sisters. The experience afforded to him provided the necessary skills to break into the international club circuit, with residencies in the United Kingdom and Bruneii throughout the late seventies and eighties. Since his return to new Zealand he has continued to perform regularly throughout the country, as well as acting as entertainment manager for several hotels, including Wellington’s Plaza Hotel and Auckland’s Carlton Hotel and Hotel Du Vin. After so many years of working solo he is excited to be in this dynamic team of musicians. In 2009 and 2012 the group won the Variety Artists Of New Zealand award for “Top Group”.  In 2013 they toured throughout the North Island as supporting band for Eddie Lowe & Dennis Marsh receiving many accolades for their performance as the backing band.  They regularly work alongside NZ Legends such as Kevin Greaves, Brendan Dugan, Jodie Vaughan, Suzanne lynch, Tom Sharplin, Shane,  to name a few. They are a fantastic group in their own right with wonderful harmonies, influenced by groups such as Lady Antebellum and The Eagles.

Legal Tender

Legal Tender (Moira and Ian Campbell) and Carylann are well known country musicians who are combining their multi award winning musican and entertainment talents to perform at the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival this year. This group of three are no strangers to sharing the stage with each other. They have wowed audiences separately and collectively over the past few years as guests at many concerts, festivals and events all over New Zealand. They bring their powerful lead vocals, spine tingling three-part harmonies and skills in playing guitar, bass, harmonica, keys and "squeezebox" to each and every performance. Their delivery of songs has recently seen them as collective winners of nine gold guitar awards including two for their own compositions about uniquely New Zealand happenings. Audiences will be treated to award winning originals and renditions from greats such as George Jones, Gillian Welch, Guy Clark, John Prine and new artists such as Holly Williams (Hank Williams' granddaughter). "We have been privileged to play alongside a wealth of musical talent and experience over the years,'' says Ian. "It is a real pleasure for Carylann, Moira and I to take you on a musical journey with our delivery of songs and stories that will make you tap your toes, laugh and perhaps cry." Carylann and Legal Tender have collectively released eight albums.

Kevin Greaves Legend & Megastar

Multi Award Winner Kevin Greaves, is back living in NZ and is still one of the busiest entertainers on the New Zealand scene. In fact October 2010, Kevin won 2 awards at the NZ Variety Artist Awards, Top Male Artist, and the coveted “Agnew Award” for Best Entertainer, which is an award voted on by all other NZ Entertainers. An industry award well sort after. These add to the Comedy Award of 2008. And just go to prove what a well rounded entertainer Kevin is. A tremendous hit as one of the featured Stars on the 2008 Highway of Legends Touring Show, “He truly stole the show each night” said Gray Bartlett. “His 14 years in the tough USA and Nashville scene have moved Kevin to a new level as an entertainer, this shone through and he proved to be the hit of the show.” His mixture of country and popular music, comedy and on-stage personality is like no other in the NZ entertainment scene. Don’t miss the chance to see him. Kevin is one of a handful of International Artists that have had the honour to perform at the World Famous Grand Ole Opry. A native of Auckland New Zealand, Kevin is one of fourteen children born to top country recording artist, the late Rusty Greaves.  He performed on-stage at the age of five and started his professional career at the age of fourteen.  Before moving to Nashville TN in 1993, he was one of New Zealand’s busiest and most popular entertainers. Kevin now based back in New Zealand with short trips back to the USA. He has truly been one of NZ’s most successful exports. In 1995 when FM Country radio was at its peak, Kevin was one of the most played and most requested New Zealand Artists. He had several radio hits and his album “I’m Not Scared Of Women” went on to be Gold Status for sales in New Zealand. Even outselling Garth Brooks in NZ music stores. Kevin has performed with some of Nashville’s top artist’s, either as support on tours in New Zealand and Australia, or since moving to Nashville in 1995, such as The Dixie Chics, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Lonestar, Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn, Leanne Womack, Gary Allen, Josh Turner, The Drifters, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Bill Anderson, Freddie Hart, Kenny Loggins, Skip Ewing, Ronnie Prophet, Charlie Walker, Chris Ward, Vern Gosdin, James Burton, Terri-Clarke, Johnny Lee, Hank Snow, The LeGarde Twins, Sheb Wooley, Clinton Gregory, Carl Perkins, Doug Supernaw, Rick Trevino and Billy Dean. Australian artists:  The Wheel, Beccy Cole, Brian Cadd, and Chad Morgan. And New Zealand artist’s, such as, The late Billy T. James, Howard Morrison, Eddie Low, John Grenell, Topp Twins, Gray Bartlett, Jodi Vaughn, Brendan Dugan, Patsy Riggir, Guy Cater,  Susanne Lynch, Tom Sharplin, Shane, The Warratahs, Lou Clauson, Martin Crump, Jon Zealando, and too many more to mention.

Kylie Austin

Kylie is a member of the Eastern Districts Country Music Club in Auckland and has been performing for about 20 years. In this time she has had many successes both here in New Zealand and in Australia too. She has been a finalist in the New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year on many occasions as a solo artist and also as part of a duo and a group. She has also been a finalist in the New Zealand Songwriter of the Year awards. In 2004 she was the Maton Talent Search Winner at the Gympie Muster—which is the largest talent search of its kind in Australasia. In 2005 Kylie was a graduate of the College of Country Music in Tamworth, Australia, this to date has been one of Kylie's career highlights. Kylie was part of the Senior Overall Winners North vs South at the 2006 Gold Guitar Awards which are held in Gore. In May 2007 Kylie won the 13th Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Award announced at Norfolk Island. Along with this title she also captured the award for Most Promising Artist from PVG Productions in Auckland. Kylie was competing in the awards against five others – three Australian and two New Zealand artists – as part of the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival. 2008 was another big year for Kylie which included the release of her Debut Album “when it rains” which was nominated for a 2009 Tui Award for RIANZ Best Country Music Album of the Year. Kylie was also awarded in 2009 The Pat McMinn Rising Star Award by the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand. 2013 saw Kylie run a successful Pledge Me Campaign to record her second album with Mike McCarthy at Manuka Studios. Titled ‘Where’ve You Been’ Kylie released this album on May 4th 2014 and made a donation to the Kidney Society of Auckland with funds raised from a full house at her CD Launch Party. Most recently Kylie was nominated for the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Top Female Artist of the Year.This was a huge honour for Kylie as one of the other finalists was Grammy Award winner Lorde.

Sisters in Country Jodi Vaughan and Aly Cook

Sisters in Country iNew Zealand Country Music Legend Jodi Vaughan and Award Winning Recording Artist Aly Cook. Jodi Vaughan graced our screens on ‘That’s Country’ for 8 years, becoming a household name, and is a Gold recording artist, with 6 studio albums under her belt. She has toured NZ many times, toured the US, and more recently has released and performed new music in Australia, gaining national chart status. Jodi has teamed up with Recording Artist Aly Cook, who has predominantly worked in Australia where she has claimed 6 number #1 Airplay hits, as well as all 3 of her studio albums gaining top 10 NZ official album chart status. Aly has also twice been nominated for NEXT NZ Woman of the Year for her contribution to the arts in helping other artists. Together as a dynamic duo with powerful voices, they invite up-and-coming fellow female artists to join them in harmony, providing a platform to present their guest’s songs in a unique way. https://www.facebook.com/SistersInCountry/ https://www.facebook.com/JodiVaughanMusic https://www.facebook.com/alycookmusic   Sisters in Country  special guest for the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival is Ainslie Allen. Hailing from Titahi Bay, New Zealand, award-winning NZ Māori Country Music Artist, Ainslie Allen (Rongowhakaata) is truly a compelling and rare artist. Ainslie is a performer with passion and style, a singer with hauntingly beautiful vocals, and a songwriter with depth and vulnerability. She is an artist who is not afraid to tackle difficult issues and make you feel emotion, and she is one of the most magnetic and inspiring artists New Zealand Country Music has ever come across. Ainslie wrote her first song at age 8 and at 12 she entered the Country Music Awards, winning her first guitar. By 15 she was a lead on TV2's hit series, McDonald's Young Entertainers. Promoting her Debut Album ‘Betty’ on the nationwide ‘Betty Tour’ 2021 be sure to check her out.   http://ainslieallen.nz/ https://www.facebook.com/AinslieKallen https://www.instagram.com/ainslieallen/ http://twitter.com/AinslieAllen https://www.youtube.com/user/AKAnetworkNews    

Hot Diggity Bluegrass

Hot Diggity is the only all female bluegrass band in New Zealand. They play original songs by Heather Carrigan (mandolin, guitar and vocals) and Deborah Mackenzie (guitar and vocals) along with plenty of bluegrass favourites. Backed up by Jenine Abarbanel (bass and vocals), Sue Drake (banjo and vocals) and Krissy Jackson (fiddle and vocals), they put out a powerful, lively sound with hot instrumentation and tight harmonies. Hot Diggity was formed in 2014, but all five members are veteran musicians having played with numerous other bands in a variety of musical styles for years.

Heather Carrigan: songwriting, vocals, mandolin

Heather comes from a musical family, and has been active in the country music scene since childhood. In her 20s she discovered bluegrass and truly fell in love. She has played with bands in Australia and the United States and now lives in Dargaville. Hot Diggity is her brainchild and she does most of the heavy lifting, musically speaking. She writes powerful songs for and about women, a rarity in the bluegrass world. At the same time, her music is fully steeped in classical bluegrass tradition and sounds like it could have been written in the golden age of bluegrass.

Deborah Mackenzie: songwriting, vocals, guitar.

Deborah has always loved to sing. Growing up in the Salvation Army gave her a great introduction to music and harmony. Previously Deborah sang in a three part harmony trio in Auckland called the Wendy Lus. In 2010 she released an album of originals, “The Ride”, with Peter Neumegen. Deborah also plays in an accoustic group called Rainberry Pie which explores many acoustic styles from alt-country, western swing, She is a singer songwriter who enjoys her guitar, but LOVES to sing. She takes pleasure in writing songs particularly about themes that resonate with other women.

Jenine Abarbanel: vocals, bass.

Living in the tiny seaside village of Leigh, Jenine came to music late, learning to play the stand-up bass in 2006 so she could jam with her bluegrass playing family. A singer since childhood, her vocals are most often compared to Natalie Merchant and Gillian Welch. What she lacks in talent and skill she makes up for with energy and chutzpah.

Sue Drake: vocals and banjo.

Sue Drake of Whangarei is a “camper from way back.” Active and athletic, she brings energy and dedication to her playing. Sue has played guitar in a number of bands for decades, in both the rock and country genres. She picked up the 5 string banjo and bluegrass music in 2012, just, as she says, to keep life interesting. And that’s what it’s all about!

Krissy Jackson: vocals and fiddle.

From New Plymouth, Krissy has been playing violin since the age of 2, and is proficient in numerous genres of music. Hot Diggity is her first bluegrass band, and she is enjoying the challenges and new techniques that entails. In 2017 Krissy released her solo debut album “Have Fiddle, Will Travel,” with tracks featuring all of her various musical partners, including “Ghost Railway” by Hot Diggity.  

Gray Bartlett

As a guitarist and promoter Gray Bartlett has been a prominent member of the New Zealand music industry for nearly 60 years. ‘La Playa’ was his biggest hit, a guitar instrumental first released in 1964 by Zodiac that became a perennial seller in Asia.
Bartlett’s work as a guitarist and promoter have taken him around the world as a performer and a businessman. He has produced many recording projects of his own and with others, helped many New Zealand artists reach a wide audience, and seen him champion the local music industry to the public and politicians. For nine years he put himself in the firing line as an Auckland city councillor and he has even been a Parliamentary candidate. Be it country music or the light classics, Bartlett has played it or promoted it. He has performed since his mid-teens, in the late 1950s, continuing well into the 2000s. In the 1960s, his own recordings cracked the Japanese market; later, he would make forays into China. In the 2000s, he assisted young artists such as Hayley Westenra enter the industry. Bartlett himself has received many accolades. Most prominent among them is his MBE, awarded in 1987 for services to the arts and music; in 2012 he was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee Medal for charity work. He has been a long-serving patron of many organisations, among them the Variety Artists’ Club, which gave him a Benny award in 2001. For his many years as a patron, the VAC awarded him a President’s Medallion in 2017.

Grae Addison

Grae Addison is a country singer who is influenced by Johnny Cash to Roy Orbison. Originally from Kihikihi, he has now settled in Auckland where is he building up a following performing country music. He has spent time in Australia, and built up a solid fan base after winning several awards, the most prestigious being the Queensland Champion of Champions, Gympie Muster.  

En-Tranzet

En-Tranzet are Nicholas and Tracey-Maree Houia. Reaching the top of the music ladder in their home country of New Zealand was just the first step for Tracey-Maree and Nicholas Houia. The duo have won the prestigious New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year title and since then have won numerous awards in New Zealand and Australia, both individually and as a duet. They have appeared at many festivals including Norfolk Island, and have appeared on New Zealand television and on live streaming channels. They have also been featured in the New Zealand Women's Weekly and in New Zealand's Country Music magazine as well as Australian country music monthly, Capital News. En-Tranzet has a very unique sound and a captivating performance. Their repertoire includes adult contemporary, classic hits, rock n roll, old school R & B and contemporary modern country.

The Dan Cosgrove Band

Dan is a well established singer/guitarist in the NZ Country music scene, bringing a fresh yet lively sound quite often described as “guitar-driven country rock.” An avid guitarist, Dan plays in multiple bands from all over the country. When he is not performing, Dan is a teacher of music at various primary schools around the Waikato and has just been awarded a Bachelor of Media Arts majoring in commercial music at WINTEC. Dan has his debut EP and is excited to promote his passion for music! Dan is joined by his band made up some of the finest musicians in the country: Mark Stoddart, Mike McKinley, Justin Manuel.

Suzanne Prentice

Suzanne Prentice, OBE, is one of New Zealand's best loved entertainers. She is known for her songs of diamond sophistication, ballads with warmth and depth, towering show tunes, irresistible pop, modern blues and artfully chosen country selections. Suzanne personalises and enthralls with almost any style of music, and her voice is unique, famously mellow yet capable of rare power. She has performed alongside world stars including Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, Emmylou Harris, Stephen Grappelli, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers as well as Britain's Michael Barrymore and Morecombe and Wise. She has performed all over the world, including at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry and London's Wembley stadium. Her career began at the age of 12, when  she first appeared on television in a talent show called New Faces on which she sang her much loved song 'Funny Face'. A few months later, her debut album went gold and she went on to perform in the television show The Entertainers and won top honours with 'Love is like a Butterfly'. Her recording career has included a series of gold, platinum and multi-platinum successes. In 1997 Suzanne's handprints and name were placed in concrete in the "Hands of Fame" in Tamworth, Australia. She also features in the New Zealand equivalent. She was voted the 1986 New Zealand Entertainer of the Year, and has been the recipient of three Australian Gold Guitar Awards. She tours internationally and has worked in television, theatre and cabaret for more than 40 years. She has also been awarded an Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday honours for her services to music.