Coun­try mu­sic com­ing to Green

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

An an­nual mu­sic con­cert will bring five coun­try clubs from the cen­tral North Is­land to Mata­mata.

In just un­der two weeks, Mata­mata Coun­try Club is host­ing its fifth an­nual CM on the Green con­cert on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 11.

Clubs per­form­ing with Mata­mata in­clude Mor­rinsville, Phoenix from Ro­torua, Hau­raki and Coastal from Tau­ranga.

Mata­mata Coun­try Mu­sic Club sec­re­tary Ash­ley Tip­ping is ex­cited to see the event com­ing to­gether, and she loves be­ing able to utilise the out­side stage at the Rail­side by the Green, for which the event is named.

Up to 200 peo­ple at­tended the event last year, and they are ex­pect­ing the same num­bers if not more this year.

She says the at­mos­phere is very re­laxed. Peo­ple are in­vited to bring a pic­nic blan­ket or chairs and set­tle in for six hours of coun­try mu­sic from some very tal­ented mu­si­cians, many whom will be per­form­ing at this event for the first time.

She is hop­ing peo­ple who may not have had much ex­po­sure to coun­try mu­sic will come along. She says many peo­ple have an at­ti­tude that coun­try mu­sic is old, or western, but in fact it is the op­po­site.

‘‘We just have this mind­set in NZ that coun­try mu­sic is old and they fo­cus on the western side. But the way coun­try mu­sic is go­ing, it’s not western any­more, it’s very mod­ern. But we love both sides, the older and the new. You have to em­brace the new, that’s where it’s go­ing.

‘‘For me, every coun­try song, in some way, has the most amaz­ing story telling through­out the genre, in the way they are writ­ten and it’s also so re­lat­able.

‘‘It’s not of­ten you hear a coun­try song you can’t re­late to. It’s a re­ally per­sonal genre.’’

She says coun­try mu­sic clubs have been great sup­port­ers of the younger gen­er­a­tion tak­ing the stage, not only to nur­ture their tal­ent, but to en­sure the fu­ture of the clubs and it’s mu­sic.

‘‘If we don’t en­cour­age it in our younger singers, there won’t be a lot left.’’

One young Mata­mata club mem­ber per­form­ing very well in the coun­try mu­sic scene is Haley Cole, who at just 15-years-old will be the youngest ever com­peti­tor in the Trans-Tas­man En­ter­tainer of the Year com­pe­ti­tion, which will be held in Nor­folk Is­land in May. The con­cert starts at 11am, and will also in­clude raf­fles, a BBQ and a range of different food trucks will be on site.

Michael and Ash­ley Tip­ping will be among the per­form­ers at the CM on the Green con­cert this month.

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