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Mike Garner & Neil Billington
Thursday, 23 March 2017 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Get ready for a night of authentic blues with harmonica like you’ve never heard it before! Veteran bluesman Mike Garner and harmonica virtuoso Neil Billington are coming to Roomfulla Blues Thursday 23 March 2017.
The evening will kick off with Mike doing some solo acoustic songs and will then joined by Neil and his band: Deane Hunter – guitar, Paul Mouncey – bass, Andrew Richardson – drums. The acoustic material comes from Mike’s new CD “40 Below Blues” which also features Neil. The album was released at the “Live Magic” Festival in Tokyo, where Neil and Mike performed in October 2016 during their third tour in Japan.
Mike Garner has lived in New Zealand since 1988 and is one of NZ’s most experienced blues performers. During that time he has released six albums and performed in the UK, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Caledonia, Japan, and the Cook Islands.
He was the opening act for the 2010 Mission Estate concert and in 2011 a documentary – “Kathmandu Blues” – was made by respected New Zealand filmmaker Costa Botes about Mike’s journey to Nepal to play at the Kathmandu Blues Festival.
In addition to being a fine singer and multi-instrumentalist (guitar is his first instrument) Mike is one of the country’s most respected blues songwriters. A song from his 2007 Cad’s Alley album, “Louisiana Hurricane”, won 3rd place at Nashville’s International Song Competition in the Americana, section – the only finalist from the entire southern hemisphere!
Neil Billington is one of the leading exponents of the harmonica to come from New Zealand, combining a rare capacity for both the traditional blues harmonica and the less typical chromatic harmonica.
He is equally at home whether playing in the ‘Chicago-style’ of Little Walter or with the more sophisticated jazz sensibilities of Belgian jazz great, Jean ‘Toots’ Thielemans.
Neil covers a range of genres, from old-time pre-war blues through the great Chicago blues harp masters, to the ballads of the American song-book and jazz standards of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
Neil recently performed with Mike Garner at the ‘Live Magic’ blues festival in Tokyo, where he was invited to play with the lead act, slide-guitar legend Sonny Landreth, described by Eric Clapton as ‘one of the most advanced guitar players in the world’, and Neil will be featuring on Landreth’s official video, ‘Live in Tokyo’.