The Johnny Possum Ban is currently finalizing their gigs for their visit to the USA from September 27th to October 13th. They have been twice before and received great feedback and now after releasing their 5th CD the band is returning. The band already has some great gigs lined up and they are still looking for a few more to keep them occupied and out of trouble.
The Johnny Possum Band has been delivering their own brand of alt country/bluegrass/folk music featuring guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and upright bass since forming in 2005. From performances throughout New Zealand, to appearances at festivals and venues in the USA the band has developed a solid fan base and following. Taking the role of mandolin player and one half of lead vocals, Bryan Peters, lays a solid vocal and instrumental foundation for the band. Keith Taylor on guitar lays down the driving rhythms so typical of this particular style of American roots music; and sharing the lead vocals he also adds a voice full of character and completes the harmony work. Margaret Pickering, on fiddle and vocals demonstrates and shows off her incredibly rich and diverse musical background. On 5 string banjo, Sean Whitaker, adds the syncopated styles typical of bluegrass, string band and old time musical styles. Jonathan Rosanowski shows off just one facet of his diverse multi-instrumentalist talents behind a solid upright bass providing the rhythmic bedrock for the band.
Their 5th CD, Short Summer, was released in February 2012. See the Cybergrass article, The Johnny Possum Band's Latest Album Showcases Talents and Style The band bought in a new producer, Rob Mayes of Avalanche Studios, and the new sound shows a maturing band demonstrating new talents in song writing and musicianship as well as new direction into more folk/alt country sensibilities. It features 8 new original songs reflecting the bands maturing musical style.
Drawing heavily on roots founded in country, Americana and folk sensibilities it features the uplifting sing-along songs 'If You Try’ and 'Going Out'. It also reflects a more moody and sombre tone with the haunting 'Face of a Stranger', and the reflective 'Short Summer' and 'Hole in my Shoe'. The band also shows off their bluegrass background with the Hank Williams influenced 'Cheating Heart' and the foot stomping 'Brother O Brother'. Working for the first time with producer Rob Mayes, the band bought in extra instruments such as cello and keyboards to add depth to the sound.
The band’s debut CD, Tickets released in 2006 featured the band performing mainly traditional bluegrass tunes in their own style and was a finalist for a 2007 New Zealand Music Award for best Country Music Album, and their first original single, ‘Bluegrass Saved the Earth’ was a finalist for Country Music Single of the year. The band delivered its 2nd CD, Twister, in February 2008. Building on strong Americana roots this recording branches out and incorporates the band’s own strong original musical offerings and sees the sound of the band begin to reflect influences from bluegrass, folk, Irish, old time and even a hint of rockabilly. In June of 2009 the band released their 3rd CD, Live at the HarbourLight this time with a DVD recording of the entire performance. They recorded a live performance at their favourite theatre of old favourites and also plenty of previously unrecorded material. The CD has 15 of the tracks while the DVD has all 27 tracks on it (all videos are available to view on YouTube). The recording truly captures the Possums at their best playing live to an enthusiastic audience.
The band also realised a ‘best of’ CD, High Lights 2005-2009, in late 2009 taking the best tracks off their first three CD’s and putting them all together.
The band has played extensively throughout New Zealand at festivals, events and their own tours. They have also gained international exposure with two mini tours of the USA. The first in 2007 saw them receive the ‘Rising Legends’ Award from the National Old Time Country and Bluegrass Association. Their 2nd visit in 2008 received rave reviews and a growing fan base as they toured the musical heartland of the USA travelling through Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The band will be returning for their 3rd visit in October 2012.
Catch the Johnny Possum Band at these scheduled venues...
Friday, September 28th, Music on the Square, Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Saturday, September 29th, Town Amphitheatre, Morristown, Tennessee.
Sunday, September 30th, Private function, Morristown, Tennessee
* Looking for gigs between Morristown, TN and Thomas, WV
Thursday October 4th, Purple Fiddle, Thomas, West Virginia
Saturday, October 6th, Song of the Mountains, Lincoln Theatre, Marion, Virginia.
* Looking for gigs between Marion, VA and Nashville, TN.
Wednesday, October 10th, Music City Roots, Franklin, Tennessee.
Thursday, October 11th, WDVX Blue Plate Special, 12pm Knoxville, Tennessee.
Friday, October 12th, Jack O the Wood, 5pm, Asheville, North Carolina