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Kaye and Read Hudson


Sun 16 Aug 2020, 7:30pm–10:00pm

Where: 50 Dundas, 50 Dundas Street, Dunedin, Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: Ronel Hunter

Read Hudson
Read Hudson’s musical odyssey began in1959, when he won a primary school talent quest playing the mouth harp. Later, at high school on the South Island West Coast, came a band - with all six members playing guitar. His musical career continued to slowly evolve after he moved to Dunedin in 1965. During this period, he began to play bass guitar, as well as continuing to play guitar. After a year in Timaru, he returned to Dunedin in 1967. Shortly, he was in a covers band as rhythm guitar player, playing around the Dunedin bible class circuit with a band called Straat Heidelberg. By 1968, he had begun to move away from pop music, towards folk music, and had discovered an interest in acoustic music that has lasted to the present day. He joined a band with his two younger brothers – Stephen (drums, vocals), Christopher (bass), plus Miles Madigan (vocals), later replaced by Ray Brunton. The band – called Hudson - played a mixture of Folk/Rock, R & B, and Blues, and was regarded as something of a cult band in Dunedin at the time.

However, the folk interest continued to influence him, and he returned to playing this style of music. Through folk music, he began to listen to old time country and bluegrass. Oddly, the folk clubs were the only place to hear this style of music then. He joined a Dunedin Bluegrass band called The Pine Ridge Bluegrass Boys, initially as a replacement for bassist Lin Jefcote, playing bass and guitar, but fell in love with the acoustic resonator guitar, known as the Dobro©. He was to stay with Pine Ridge until it eventually disbanded in 1971. Shortly after Pine Ridge broke up, a neBluegrass band evolved, using some of the Pine Ridge players, and based around an American banjoist named George Bailey, who was a lecturer at Otago University. Read regards this band as the most influential band he ever played in, and helped to set the style and manner that he plays in to this day. Bluegrass Expedition went on to record two albums, and a Television series for the NZBC before the band broke up in 1977.Out of the Expedition came a renewed interest in old time country, and country music in general, which led to playing in a number of country music bands.

In 1998, he and Kay, who was by now playing guitar and bass, returned to the South Island's West Coast. There were subsequently several bands; notably the Jones Brothers – a part country, part 50’s/60’s pop, part rock ‘n roll band with two Coasters – Tarina Dunn (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Michael ‘Drag’ Anderson (drums). The Jones Brothers – so called as a salute to the old time country ‘Brother’ duets – performed occasionally at local workingman’s clubs, but also turned up at the Wellington Folk Festival, and the Tui Farm Folk Festival, playing their mix of country, pop, and bluegrass. Another project that come up after moving to the West Coast, Read, along with Kay, was exploring a return to playing folk music with a new folk styled group called Hatter’s Creek.

In 2007, Kay and Read decided to return to their roots, and settled down in East Taieri, south of Dunedin. They both continue to explore their musical roots. Read lists his musical influences as Bluegrass, Country – both old time and modern, Folk, and Hawaiian. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, resonator guitar, pedal steel guitar, slide guitar, lap steel, Autoharp©, ukulele, and bass.

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