Oamaru has the honour of hosting a Christchurch-based band’s last Kiwi gig before it heads stateside.
Ryan Neville and the Midnight Blues Band are playing at the Oamaru Club on April 7. Their next stops are Memphis, Nashville, Austin, and Las Vegas.
Neville, who has been an entertainer for 25 years, has already played in many famous blues venues in the United States such as the Crossroads at Clarksdale, New Orleans, and along Route 66.
He has also amassed a prized array of electric and acoustic guitars.
“The collection includes some very well-looked-after Les Pauls, Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters,” Neville said.
He has gathered his band members with equal care.
“Hand-picked not only for their stunning creative ability, but there for their personality and character, the Midnight Blues Band have forged a name for themselves amongst blues aficionados,” Neville said.
“Emmalene Rose Sparey (vocals), Chantelle Rakich (keys, vocals), Steve Hill (bass), and Fernando Gomez (drums) are the driving force behind each show. Each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist, with many accolades to their names.
“Each performance takes on its own flavour, with songs from artist such as Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Bo Diddly, BB King, Nina Simone, and Norah Jones, with slightly modern arrangement.”
Neville is always mindful of stagecraft with the “very tight fun, creative and loyal band”.
“If we have fun onstage, the audience will have fun. We are entertainers; our role is to entertain, lift people, give back.”
The band has just released its first album, Fire on the Tracks