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Fri Mar 22nd, 2019

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All Ages
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With guest Paula Sugden cello.
“A pure hearted performer, his songs sound like long-time classics” - The Rogue Stage

‘Stretch’ has a passion in his performance that burns up on any given night. His bittersweet blend of country, soul, folk and rock’n’roll comes from a life down roads less travelled. From dark-hearted ballads to roof-raising choruses and a boot-stomping backbeat, this music is alive with a rare magic.

From a town that barely makes it onto the map, Stretch was on a musical path from the beginning. Listening to 45’s on a jukebox at the country pub he was too young to be in, picking up guitar chords from his Irish grandmother, and mastering the Maori strum from his dad. After years of paying dues in various groups and getting chewed up by the city life, Stretch set out to see where these songs would go.

Intensive touring and a reputation for playing every show like it’s his last, earnt rave reviews and a place on the country’s best stages. On the strength of this he was asked to open for American songwriting legend Jeff Tweedy on his only New Zealand show!

Stretch’s dedication paid off, finding loyal audiences across the country hungry for honest original music. ‘It’s a privilege to get up on a stage and play, so I respect that by emptying the tank every time. It’s a total commitment to the music and the audience. That time is when I feel most alive, most like who I truly am'.

These roads led to the exceptional debut album, ‘Bury All Horses’ with an intimate yet exhilarating sound. Songs such as the blazing opener ‘Less Rock More Roll’ or ‘6 Tears’ with its boozy swagger, alternate with raw poetic ballads such as ‘Nothing Can Hurt You’ carrying its own dark weight. This remarkable songwriter had reviewers citing Ryan Adams, Wilco and The Veils as sonic touchstones.

The shows supporting that album have furthered Stretch’s reputation as an unmissable live act. Able to own a room either solo: ‘alone his songs reverberate with multi-layers and facets, a one-man-band who makes magic happen’ or with his favourite musicians along for the ride: ‘centre stage with this swarm of magnificence around him, conjuring fantasies’.

This straight from the heart style saw his show at Hawkes Bay Arts Festival receive a standing ovation - then an acclaimed set at the Southern Fork Americana Festival: ‘Stretch had the crowd’s attention from the get-go, simply from the force of his powerful performance, another triumphant night' and most recently a sell-out concert at Church Road Winery.

With a voice that can’t help being soulful and a desire to connect with every listener, Stretch is finding fans the old-fashioned way, one true music lover at a time.

“One hard working troubadour, a bit Springsteen, even a bit Waits,
with wit, sweat and heartfelt songs” - Sitting Room Sessions

acoustic/solo, alternative, country/folk, jazz, pop, rock, soul/funk, Stretch, Paula Sugden

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