Wheels turn­ing

Win­ners are back from the USA to help cel­e­brate coun­try mu­sic club’s birth­day


Two south Taranaki coun­try mu­si­cians and mem­bers of Palmer­ston North’s Wagon Wheels Coun­try Mu­sic Group, have plenty to show off at the club’s sev­enth birth­day cel­e­bra­tions this Satur­day.

Ian and He­len Braith­waite from Manaia reg­u­larly at­tend the monthly Wagon Wheels club days in Palmer­ston North. How­ever, for the last cou­ple of months the cou­ple have have been in the USA where they picked up a Life Time Coun­try Mu­sic Achieve­ment Award at the 40th Fes­ti­val of the Amer­i­can Old Time Tran­si­tional Blue­grass & Folk Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion.

Held in Le­mars, Mis­souri, the as­so­ci­a­tion founded by mu­si­cians Bob and Shella Ever­hart, is be­hind the big­gest coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val in the USA.

He­len and Ian who run the Taranaki Coun­try Mu­sic Hall of Fame have been in­volved in the genre for over 45 years. In­flu­enced by Su­san Rae of LAIn­ter­na­tional Air­port fame, He­len has been in per­form­ing coun­try since 1962 and does a great ver­sion of this song, while Ian’s main in­flu­ence has been Merle Hag­gard.

Guest artists at a num­ber of fes­ti­vals around the coun­try in­clud­ing the Wood­end Fes­ti­val in Christchurch, He­len and Ian will be vis­it­ing the Dar­gav­ille Coun­try Mu­sic Club in Novem­ber.

The Wagon Wheels Coun­try Mu­sic Group cel­e­brates its sev­enth birth­day at the West End School Hall, Botan­i­cal Rd, from 1pm this Satur­day Oc­to­ber 24. Ev­ery­one is wel­come to en­joy an af­ter­noon of coun­try mu­sic with He­len and Ian. Adults are $3, and chil­dren up to 14 free. In­quiries to Ian Franklin 358 4993 or frankie2233@xtra.co.nz

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