When I was 16 years old I went along to the Devonport Folk Music Club and discovered old time blues music. The fascination I have for the music played by those old bluesmen, from another time, place and culture, has never left me, and what I have learnt from the recordings I found could be easily incorporated into other musical styles.
Music can be a bit of an obsession and within a few years I found myself sitting in the back of various trucks and vans armed with a Fender Telecaster and amp, playing blues, country andÂ rock and roll, in a process that went on for more years than what it probably should have. Amongst these stints have been tours with some great Kiwi performers like country singer Al Hunter and the Topp Twins. Iâ€™ve had solo tours and taken off with mates to play blues and country wherever they would have us.
For several years from the mid 80s on, the Cotton Club Jazz Society and Real Groovy Records started to bring a lot of my heroes from the country and blues world out to New Zealand and I had the pleasure of meeting and playing with some of them. I had the honour of touring New Zealand with Brownie McGhee as well as concert appearances with Townes Van Zandt, Billy Joe Shaver, Champion Jack Dupree and played support for others including Buddy Guy and John Hammond Jr.
At the heart of my musical interest is the old time blues played on an acoustic guitar and Iâ€™ve had the real pleasure of guesting at all the major folk festivals in New Zealand and a few of those smaller festivals too.
These days Iâ€™m playing guitar in a dance band called Roger Skinner and the Motivation, where Iâ€™ve played for about ten years. The band itself has been going since the sixties. When Iâ€™m not doing that thereâ€™s still lots of acoustic blues to be played and then of course thereâ€™s the new adventure The Remarkables.
The Remarkables is a chance to play what we love to play but in a way that frequently takes us outside the comfort zone. Garry, Robbie, Bryan and I are having a great time with this band and if you get a chance I hope youâ€™ll come and see us.