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A Grand New Zealand Opry

Sat Dec 19th, 2020

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Inspired by the now legendary live country music radio and stage show performances and broadcasts from Nashville during the 40's and 50's, The Bitter Brothers have assembled a small and varied group of locally sourced musical artists to present a musical revue, featuring original music as well as contemporary interpretations of both obscure and familiar old time classics. And akin to the original radio show of the past, and with the help of our host, Liz Butler, there will be an element of playful and comedic fun to go along with our murder ballads, gospel tunes, and otherwise American inspired music. It will truly be a grand, acoustic, folk, country, cajun, hillbilly, old time, gypsy, jazz, honky tonkin, musical jamboree!

Ar Kay Cajun

Since wandering to these shores over twenty years ago Richard Klein has been attracting attention for his versatile fiddle playing and strong vocal style. He formed the RK Cajun band which included Levin based multi-instrumentalist and singer Simon Burgess . Together Richard and Simon have developed a broader repertoire as a duo, maintaining a solid base of Cajun songs and dance tunes but including some old-time, blues and more contemporary material. Their individual musical experiences range from Jazz to Scandinavian fiddle tunes, thus ensuring an excellent level of musicianship and enjoyment witnessed at many local and national events.

Linda Joy

After living and touring throughout the pre-apocalyptic Northern Hemisphere these past several years, playing musical styles as diverse as Secondline (New Orleans Parade music), Balkan, Klezmer, Americana, swing, psychedelic rock, and free jazz, Linda Joy has returned back home to New Zealand. Joining us with her delightfully melodic voice, guitar, and sometimes trumpet, Linda will also be accompanied by a panoply of special guest's voices and the odd extra instrument. Linda describes the show she has put together for us as a combination of original songs and music picked up on her travels through the USA, Balkans, and Central Europe but rearranged for 'voices, voices, and more voices!'

Cotton Daisy Backstep

Cotton Daisy Backstep play the old ‘hillbilly’ music of the Appalachian Mountains of America. Helena Faust, Philip Muollo and Stephanie Cairns have reached back in time to revive the songs of the pioneers, shotgun totin’ moonshiners and tub-thumping dance tunes. After learning banjo from her father and spending 10 years in West Virginia, Helena Faust returned to New Zealand bringing back with her a tremendous, wealth of tradition. On banjo, guitar and fiddle, the music of Cotton Daisy Backstep evokes that old 78 bacon-frying sound no book-learning can give you; this is the mountain roots of Americana.

The Bitter Brothers

Led by the intrepid and elder Little Willy Bitter, the Bitter Brothers are a musical family of half brothers who share a common father, a no good dastardly rascal of a man who travelled the world on the run from the law and the consequences of his actions, leaving behind in his wake a long string of illegitimate children. Having never had a real sense of family of our own, we have finally found each other and have been reunited at last. Coming from all ends of the earth, from the far off, most remote hills of American Wisconsin, the frozen, Cantabrian, wastelands of New Zealand's South Island, and from the sprawling metropolis of Florence Italy, we are each from different backgrounds, yet we have come together and formed this band of brothers, in order to come to terms with the sadness and resentment of our scandalous patrimony, while ever on the lookout for other brothers, and the occasional sister, to join us in song and help us vent the bitterness that often consumes us. From Little Willy Bitter singing alongside his guitar and banjo, to Bobby Joe Bitter's driving drums, melodic voice, harmonica, and sultry musical saw, to Jimmy James Bitter's delightful mandolin and dobro righteousness, the Bitter Brothers can be sometimes comic, sometimes deadly serious, offering an entertaining show with a variety of original and traditional, old time, country, folk, and bluegrass hits; from good time Saturday night songs to Sunday morning repentance and gospel, we're on the spectrum.

Liz Butler

Liz Butler is an improvisational artist, comedian, and actress; a multi-disciplinary artist who grew up in the rolling hills of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, surrounded by theatre, dance, and music. Since arriving in Wellington, Liz has taught and performed at the NZ Improv Festival 2 years in a row. She devised and co-developed Ray Cat, a puppet show for the 2020 Wellington Fringe festival, which used folklore to tell the story of an eerily plausible future. She’s a regular performer in the Late Night Knife Fight improv competition, and has won twice. Her improv background lends itself easily to an experimental “let’s just try it” approach, and she strives to use performance as an avenue to showcase a menagerie of perspectives.


Come join us this Saturday night at Boquita, Wellington's most delicious, all plant based, Mexican restaurant, celebrating their new expanded dining and performance space. We will regale you with our tales and songs of Americana past, present, and future while you tuck into some of the yummiest Mexican fare around. There is no cover charge, so come on down, grab a cerveza, have some tacos, and have some fun with us on Saturday night, December 19th!

country/folk, Ar Kay Cajun, Linda Joy, Cotton Daisy Backstep, The Bitter Brothers

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