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Paul and Colleen Trenwith (members Hamilton County Bluegrass Band)

Hamilton County Bluegrass Band members Paul & Colleen Trenwith are hosting another Bluegrass Heartland Tour in July 1998. Paul wrote the following ...

We have finally put together the itinerary for the 1998 BLUEGRASS HEARTLAND tour. Although we've essentially followed a similar format to the 1996 tour, the changes we have made took quite some time to organise. I'm convinced this year's tour will provide another excellent opportunity for bluegrass music enthusiasts to see and hear some great music, meet interesting people, and explore the heartland of the USA where the music originated.

As with the first tour, we'll leave Auckland, NZ, in late June, and finish the tour some twenty days later. The weather will be fine and warm (just like the summer we've been having) which is a wonderful thought when the rest of NZ will be having rain, frosts, fog or just miserable weather.

So, if 1998 is the year when you're going to take the bull by the horns (banjo by the neck?) and do the trip you've always wanted to, join Colleen and I and fourteen other like-minded enthusiasts on a memorable adventure. GLOBAL ENCOUNTERS have done a wonderful job of keeping tour costs to an affordable level, and we're planning on having a great time. However, the tour won't proceed unless we get a minimum number, so even if you can't make it this time, tell your friends of this opportunity.

Why not ring us at our home on (07) 856 9315 or email: for further information, or contact Ken Word at Global Encounters email: Tour places are limited to fourteen, so don't delay.

I grew up in, New York City and was a part of the NY folk scene in the mid 1950's - the era when the "Folksinger's Guild" was operating with folks like Dave Van Ronk, Carolyn Hester, Logan English, and the New Lost City Ramblers.

I was, at 15, the "kid" of the crowd. I began performing regularly at the "guild" meetings and at concerts they organized. Along the way I learned an amazingly eclectic bunch of songs from old traditional ballads, union songs, to recent compositions by folks like Tom Lehrer.

After hearing the Greenbriar Boys (in their first incarnation) I put the guitar aside and took to the five string banjo. By 1963 I was considered the "hot" banjo player in New York. I formed The New York Ramblers with David Grisman (on mandolin) and Jody Stecher (on guitar). I can be heard with the Ramblers on 'Bluegrass at Newport" (Vanguard) and with Grisman on "Early Dawg" (Sugar Hill). I won the Sunset Park banjo contest in 1963, the Philadelphia Folk Festival Banjo Contest in 1964, and won top banjo honors at Union Grove (North Carolina) for four years in a row. In 1964 I played a short stint with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. In the same year I was one of the artists on the Elecktra "Old Time Banjo Project" record. In 1966 I did a short tour with Frank Wakefield, John Herald, and The Greenbriar Boys.

In 1971 I took up pedal steel guitar. In 1976 I authored "Pedal Steel Guitar"- instruction manual published by Oak Publications that has sold over 30,000 copies since it was first printed.

In 1980, I authored "A Manual of Style"- an exploration of the styles of several steel players: John Hughey (Conway Twitty and now Vince Gill), Terry Bethel (Mel Tillis), Jimmie Crawford (Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn), and Weldon Myrick (Grand Ol' Opry).

I recorded with Steve Goodman (author of "The City of New Orleans"), David Bromberg, Rosalie Sorrels, Jim- Ringer and Mary McCaslin, and Saul Broudy all major folk acts in the USA.

I also have played "in person" shows with the same people as well as with Paul Siebel and Jerry Jeff Walker.

In 1978 I recorded "Steel Wool"- a solo record for Philo Records. It has been recently re-issued by Pedal Steel Guitar Products.

I am a featured player at the International Steel Guitar Convention, held every September in St. Louis, MO, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

Since settling in New Zealand in June 1995, I have recorded with When the Cat's Been Spayed, Roger Tibbs, and on a number of commercials and short films, and have played in-person shows with Roger Tibbs, Noel Parlane, and Kylie Harris.

Wellington Bluegrass Society
Meets 3rd Friday of month 8.00pm
Petone Service Centre (next to Library)
Richmond St, Petone,
Contact: Andrew Bicknell 04 477 0069

Auckland Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music Club - meets at the Bunker at Devonport on a Wedenesday night once a month.

Contact is Keith Hollis