Among the festivities of Auckland’s Anniversary weekend is the annual Auckland Folk Festival held at Kumeu Showgrounds, northwest of Auckland. For most attending the three-day festival it’s all about participation, but for a select few it includes the possibility of collecting the 2019 Best Folk Artist Tui award, the first of the new year’s Tui presentations.
The three finalists for the 2019 Best Folk Artist Tui included two-time-previous winners (2013/2015) Great North with their album ‘The Golden Age’, Czech Republic-based Jono Heyes nominated for his uniquely catchy world music / high energy folk album ‘9 Pilgrims’, and The Frank Burkitt Band for their second album titled ’Raconteur’. (The award is for recordings released in the 12 months to 30 September 2018.)
And it was the Wellington quartet, headed by Frank Burkitt, who were announced as winners of the 2019 Tui. A folkie by nature, the Scottish-born singer/songwriter/guitarist cleverly blends American roots music with hints of jazz, blues and swing. His crack band include partner and backing vocalist Kara Filbey, mandolin player Cameron Burnell and jazz double bassist James Geluk.
With four quality record releases in four years, the prolific group are currently supporting the release of their new live EP ‘Lost But Alive’, with 2019 shows already scheduled around Australasia and the UK.
2013 – Great North – ‘Halves’
2014 – Tattletale Saints – ‘How Red Is the Blood’
2015 – Great North – ‘Up In Smoke’
2016 – Holly Arrowsmith – ‘For The Weary Traveller’
2017 – Guy Wishart – ‘West By North’
2018 – Albi & The Wolves – ‘One Eye Open’