Sawmill Café showcases alt pop, folk, blues + country


March is shaping up to be another great month of alternative Kiwi music at the Sawmill. 

On 3 March, Indie folk singer-songwriter Mel Parsons will play songs influenced by the likes of Cat Stevens, Tracey Chapman, Neil Young, Sinéad O’Conner and Bob Dylan. 

After travelling the globe, Parsons returned to New Zealand in 2007 to start recording her first album. Together with producer Shaun Elley she released Over My Shoulder in 2009 through her own label, Cape Road Recordings.

Her music often echoes the landscapes of her life: Cape Foulwind on the West Coast of NZ, the Atacama Desert in Chile and the Rocky Mountains in Canada. 

In 2011 Mel released her second studio album, Red Grey Blue, with an all-star Kiwi musician guest list that included Anika Moa and Greg Johnson on harmonies, Bruce Lynch on double bass and Don McGlashan on baritone horn.

Parsons followed that with her third album, Drylands, in 2015. Canadian pop/folk legend Ron Sexsmith agreed to feature on the duet Don’t Wait after Parsons sent him an email out of the blue. In 2016, Parsons received the NZ Music Awards prize for Best Country Song of the Year for Alberta Sun.

She’s no stranger to the spotlight - she has also played at the Folk Alliance International in 2014, 2015 and 2017 – so this upcoming show should be a great one to catch.

On 9 March, husband and wife duo Aro play at the Sawmill as part of their campground tour, bringing their alternative soul-pop songs, with pop band The Low Low as support.

On 11 March, blues/folk artist Callum Gentleman plays a farewell show before heading to the US. He will be joined by seven-piece collaboration Mice on Stilts and alt-country Erny Belle (see Junction February issue for our Erny Belle interview).