My special guest on Voices from the North last night was musician, singer/songwriter, dance-caller and showman extraordinaire, Pete Grassby. Pete is based in the UK but New Zealand is almost a home away from home for him. Aside from last year (when, as he explains, he and his band had too many lucrative gigs in England and Scotland during the Christmas holiday period) Pete has been performing around the North and South Islands each summer for many years.

Pete is a talented hammered dulcimer and melodeon player, although even Pete doesn’t claim to play both at once. We feature selections of tracks from two of his CDs—Cilan and Malvern Hills—during the hour and he sings one ballad a cappella in the studio as well as a set of three songs on one of his melodeons.

Pete will be hosting the Mangonui Ceilidh on Saturday night, January 16th and if it’s anything like the last time he was here two years ago it’ll be standing room only. And, amazingly, considering Pete’s considerable prowess as an entertainer, admission is still only $2 per adult plus a plate to share for supper. Accompanied children are free.

The selections played during the show were:

  • The Metalled Road (or The Forty Pound Wedding) (from Cilan)
  • Orange in Bloom (from Malvern Hills)
  • The Cottager’s Reply (live a cappella)
  • The title track from Malvern Hills
  • A melodeon trio of Jack Robinson’s, The Pleasures of the Town and an untitled Swedish reel
  • We finished with a bit of the last track from Cilan called Trowie Burn

The complete interview can be heard here:

For more on Pete and his Ceilidh band, The Aardvark Ceilidh Band visit:

Mp3 downloads of their music is available here:

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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