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Cult Karangahape Rd calypso-blues group Tom Rodwell & Storehouse hit Meow on April 19th, featuring the frontman's extraordinary trio with NZ jazz notorieties Chris O'Connor and Jeff "Count Bassy" Henderson, as well as delicious vinyl support from musician and journalist Nick Bollinger. "Singer/guitarist Tom Rodwell’s extraordinary revision of blues and gospel always gets the joint jumping", says Metro magazine. "Sheffield's answer to Lightnin' Hopkins", - NME.
Roots guitar music is rarely as evocative as on Tom Rodwell’s Wood & Waste, an album that moves easily between minimalist rock structures and improvisatory, darkly sensual grooves that betray influences from Caribbean and African music (especially on the scandalously funky 'She Got Me Boiling'), as well as the low-brow guilty pleasures of doo-wop and garage rock. It's a secret language of guitar music - vivid, propulsive and uncommon, not the usual histrionics of blues-related music. Similarly on-stage his shows are gothically witty, sprawling affairs, playing fast and loose with traditional forms and sensibilities, regularly featuring sacrilegious dives into a greasy barrel of calypso, roots and gospel obscurities.
Although the LP charted twice on US radio over 2021-2022 (notching up 7 months of rotation on 150 stations), gained international media coverage (including on the BBC's Blues Show) and secured distribution with the legendary Cargo Records UK, Wood & Waste flew mostly under the radar in New Zealand, launching just as Omicron washed ashore.
The Listener’s Graham Reid was one who did take note, naming it one of his top albums of the year. “The subtle and supple shapeshifting Wood & Waste reveals depths and delights at every turn,” he wrote.
Uniquely Wood & Waste was tracked and mixed in the vintage style with no computers (or click-track) at all, entirely on analogue tape at Neil Finn's Roundhead Studios, with mastering and vinyl lacquer-cutting by legendary LA engineer Kevin Gray. This painstaking and exceedingly rare all-analogue approach ensured the album has been picked up by audiophile specialists such as Groovy Wax (London) and Elusive Disc (US).
Rodwell & Storehouse have toured internationally since 2003, with club dates and festival appearances in the US, Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands, plus numerous high-profile supports for the likes of Trinity Roots, CW Stoneking, Otis Taylor, Derek Trucks and John Butler Trio.
“You won’t find a more individual, eclectic, rhythmically compelling approach to this music, anywhere.” - Radio NZ.
Rodwell manages to eschew the cliches that beset blues music. By turns wild, angry, hypnotic and sensual, it's as uncompromising as it is funky and some of the best live music I've seen. - Blues in London.
“Beautiful tunes, beautiful grooves - you don’t hear that anymore, man!” Derek Trucks (The Allman Brothers).
* Friday January 27 - Wine Cellar / Auckland (BAND)
* Saturday March 4 - Artworks Theatre / Waiheke Island (BAND)
* Saturday March 11 - Pioneer Hall / Port Chalmers (DUO)
* Saturday March 17 - Opera House / Oamaru (solo)
* Sunday March 18 - Wunderbar / Lyttelton (solo)
* Thursday March 23 - Fairfield House / Nelson (solo)
* Friday March 24 - Chanel Arts Centre / Motueka (solo)
* Saturday March 25 - Mussel Inn / Golden Bay (solo)
* Saturday April 15 - The Yard, Raglan w/ Dubhead (BAND)
* Sunday April 16 - Jam Factory / Tauranga (solo)
* Wednesday April 19 - Meow, Wellington (BAND)
* Friday April 21 - St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki (BAND)
* Sunday April 23 - Meteor Theatre, Hamilton (solo)
* Saturday April 29 - ONEONESIX, Whangarei (BAND)