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Dirt Floor


Sun 4 Dec 2011, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: Irish Society Hall, 29 Domain Terrace, Spreydon, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Members: $7.00
  • Non-members: $12.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Related Artists:

The Dirt Floor Alliance are embarking on their third South Island tour, bringing us songs and poems from Steve Apirana (gospel blues/vocals), Jim Doak (bluegrass/vocals), Ainsley Apirana (vocals) and Mark Raffills (poems), who come together to present an easy-flowing, uncluttered and unpretentious evening of vocal harmonies, finger-dancing guitars and a few good words.

"Dirt Floor Music," says Jim, "is that down home stuff played out on the veranda. It's a mix of roots music and new songs with that same essence. It's the Carter Family, Gillian Welch, Mississippi John Hurt, Levon Helm, Woody Guthrie and The Old Crow Medicine Show rolled into one - bluegrass, folk, rock, blues, gospel and traditional story telling."

Back in the '70s Jim was singing and performing in Stoney Lonesome and then Waite, while Steve was playing blues in Butler, before ending up playing in a new band called Judah in late '70s and '80s. Around that time they both met Mark Raffills and Steve met Ainsley.

In the years following, Steve and Ainsley married and moved to Australia, which is the base for his solo career, performing his warm and raw brand of gospel blues. He has released three solo albums.

Ainsley joins Steve on the road providing both harmony and lead vocals in performance. A singer/songwriter in her own right, she has released one full-length CD, Autumn.

Jim meanwhile stood his guitar in the corner, let it gather more dust than he should have, and focused on other pursuits. Some years back he became a Nelson resident and decided it was time to dust off the guitar, flex the vocal chords and get back out on the veranda.

Mark also ended up in Nelson, where, among other things he helped establish a live poetry reading scene in the region. He has since performed at live poetry gigs around the country, house concerts, orientation events and the odd festival or two. He has published three volumes of poetry.

The Alliance, as the word suggests, has guests performing with it from time, adding a distinctive touch of fiddle or mandolin or whatever instrument is in the hands of those eager to lend their sound to the Dirt Floor performance.

And just what is the dirt floor performance all about? "It's 'honest' roots music and words; and the authenticity of it, I think, makes it appealing," explains Jim.

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