Dunedin Folk Explosion
The 18th of September sees a long-held aspiration of The Mentalist Collective coming to fruition: To showcase and collaborate with some of the finest singer-songwriters in Dunedin. Dunedin has experienced a massive folk revival in recent years along with the rest of world. Perhaps in-part due to the need for a grounding musical force. Something real to connect with and hold onto in a time when everything seems so uncertain.
The Port Chalmers Town Hall concert is a celebration of that human connection we feel from folk music. With collaborations between acts to feature during the night, this will be a concert to help you reawaken that sense of the human condition and community that may have felt tenuous for the last year.
Lara is from a long line of long legs. Jack is an extension of generations of long necks. Together, with their long limbs and swirling harmonies, they are Tall Folk. On June 25, they released their debut live EP recorded in a Catlins’ bach with the assistance of Dunedin rocker, Michael Morris. They now aim to ring in the New Year by releasing a full-length album recorded at Chick's Hotel with Tom Bell.
Jack's rough edges, hardened in US-Midwestern Americana tradition, are softened by Lara's warm resonance, cultivated in Dunedin's folk scene. Think a Guthrie-inspired young Prine laced with the grace of Gillian Welch. Just a bit taller.
Jo Little & Jared Smith
Jo and Jared are a well-known fixture of the Dunedin music scene and have been in collaboration for just over a decade. Touring the length of New Zealand and Australia, their soulful harmonies and nostalgically crafted songs dip their hand into a pick and mix bag of blues, alt-country and soul.
Smith’s guitar is a well-worn instrument, and you can see why when he performs. The strings moan and cry between verses, tastefully showing a restraint that allows the music to speak for itself. Little’s velvety smooth and agile vocals skilfully harmonise with Smith’s more smokey and gruff tones, expertly weaving catchy hooks through songs inspired by the ups and downs of love and life on the road.
This duo’s set ranges from foot-stomping to heartbreaking. Whatever the mood, the music will stay with you long after the last tune has been played. Jo and Jared’s first album 'Live At The Boathouse' was released in 2012. An eagerly anticipated EP 'Otherside' is now in post-production and is due for release in 2021.
The Mentalist Collective
With members who regularly swap instruments, the Mentalist Collective have an eclectic sound that ranges from indie-folk, to rock to low-key pop. The 5 piece has been a Dunedin mainstay since 2014, and have played many festivals in Otago, as well as multiple tours around the South Island.
Recently The Mentalist Collective have been busy recording their follow-up EP to 2018's 'Mandala', playing gigs and festivals in and around Dunedin, tirelessly writing and arranging new material, and collaborating with well-respected singer-songwriters.
With an emphasis on vocal harmonies, tight arrangements, and exploring a diverse range of genres, textures and emotions, this collection of songsmiths is guaranteed to get an audience's attention and win life-long fans. Look out for their new single Pieces of Home and their upcoming EP to be released over the coming summer.