October Concert

Provided we are at COVID Level 1 restrictions, we will be running the monthly concert on Thursday 28th of October at 7:30pm in the Roseneath School Hall.

Entry: $10 for AR Members and $15 for others. Cash only (no eftpos facilities).

This concert will showcase the winners of this year’s Joan Prior Award: Peyton Morete, Sayaka Kirkman, Zephyr Wills, Maeve Hughes, and Danica Bryant.

As JPA winners, they would have received a weekend pass to Wellington Folk Festival and a place in the young performers concert. Sadly, this year’s Wellyfest has been cancelled due to ongoing uncertainty about Covid restrictions. So instead, provided we move back into Level One, Acoustic Routes is offering this special concert featuring these five inspiring young singers and musicians.

Peyton Morete is a rising singer-songwriter who captures her audiences with her emotional performance. Her original songs deal with lot of issues facing young people today. Her lyrics are very moving and mature. Her sound is soulful, powerful and contemporary with big vocals. Peyton accompanies herself on guitar or with her own backing tracks she has mixed in her home studio.

Sayaka Kirkman is a fiddle, mandolin, whistle player and singer. She first became involved with the folk scene through Victoria University Folk Club in 2019, primarily playing in ceilidh bands or pub sessions and gradually growing both her repertoire and instrument collection from there. Now she’s hoping to incorporate some music from her Japanese heritage into the folk she plays already.

Zephyr Wills is a singer-songwriter who plays guitar and harmonica. He is also an award-winning viola player in the National Youth Orchestra. He performs regularly around New Zealand with his father, blues musician Shayn ‘Hurricane’ Wills, and has become a hit at the Newtown Acoustic Sound open mic. In his spare time Zephyr enjoys researching classical philosophy and Renaissance history. As he says, ‘history tells us stories while music allows us to imagine them.’

Maeve Hughes sings and plays guitar, flute and whistle. After picking up the flute at the last Wellington Folk Festival, she is ignited with a love for playing tunes. As well as making her way into the world of tune playing, she is enjoying creating and singing songs with her guitar.

Danica Bryant is a singer, guitarist and songwriter who blends traditional pop with the raw honesty of a folk songwriter and the gritty voice of a country rocker. Danica supported Elton John on his 2020 New Zealand tour. She holds national titles from Play It Strange and Smokefree Rockquest, as well as a songwriting mentorship with Bic Runga, a performance history with several national festivals, and funding from NZ On Air’s artist-producer development programme. Her June release ‘Heart Eyes’ debuted with RNZ, following her critically acclaimed debut EP ‘Cider’ last year.


Acoustic Routes has some bad news and some glad news to tell you about.

The bad news first:


This concert, featuring Julie Bevan and Friends, Otherwise Brilliant (Emily Griffiths and Jonathan  Berkahn) and Ratproof was scheduled for Thursday, September 23. We are very upset that we have had to cancel it again, because of the continuing uncertainty about Covid alert levels. Currently we are at Level Two plus, and we can’t run concerts until we are back at Level One. This was our second attempt to bring you this exciting show, but we haven’t given up and who knows – maybe third time lucky?


Now for the GLAD news:

THE RESURRECTED  RIVERSLEA  RETREAT- Labour weekend, Friday 0ctober 22 to Monday October 25, Riverslea, Otaki Gorge Rd.

The annual Riverslea weekend is usually held in August, but the lockdown scuppered that. However, with the cancellation of Wellington Folk Festival at Labour Weekend, Acoustic Routes is offering this as a relaxing alternative, dependent of course on being back at Level One.

The gathering will start late on Friday afternoon and finish after lunch on Monday. There will be soup and bread on Friday night and shared meals on Saturday and Sunday nights. Tea, coffee and milo are provided.

Riverslea can accommodate up to 37 people in bunk rooms, and a couple of camper vans by prior arrangement. Pillow, pillowcase and bottom sheet are provided on the bunks.

Charges: $55 per night per bunk and $25 for day visitors. To book, contact Ruth Birnie president@acousticroutes.org.nz


The cancellation Wellyfest has also impacted our new-look Joan Prior Award, which this year offered successful entrants a weekend pass to the festival and a place in the Young Performers concert at Wellyfest.

It is very disappointing that we can’t do that for our entrants this year. However, we are exploring other ways of acknowledging the highly talented young singers and musicians who have entered the award and hopefully, giving them the opportunity to perform for us.

Kia haumaru te noho (stay safe), kia atawhai (be kind) – The Acoustic Routes whanau.

September Concert

Provided we are at COVID Level 1 restrictions, we will be running the monthly concert on Thursday 23rd of September at 7:30pm in the Roseneath School Hall.

Entry: $15 for AR Members and all performers and $20 for others. Cash only (no eftpos facilities).

The concert will feature:

Julie Bevan and Friends

‘Kaleidoscope’ is the latest album by NZ composer/musician Julie Bevan, who has a long-standing connection with Brazil. This is eclectic album draws on her diverse musical influences and styles, including flamenco, jazz, kiwi and Brazilian music.

For this performance she is joined by Nick van Dijk and Aaron Stewart on acoustic bass, who recorded with her on ‘Kaleidoscope’.

Nick plays diverse musical styles but is best known in jazz. A composer, musician and teacher, he has performed with Black Seeds, Rhombus, Olivia Newton John, and the Wellington Jazz Orchestra, as well as contributing to many albums. Aaron Stewart is the long-time bass player of alt-country artist Mel Parsons and with T-Bone Trio, a mathematically challenged quartet performing bluegrass and country classics. He has performed in a variety of international and local festivals and contributed to many albums.

‘Kaleidoscope’ can be bought directly from Julie


Otherwise Brilliant

Jonathan and Emily are concentrated essence of VicFolk, an exemplary model of the transmission of musical traditions from one generation to another. They are both gifted performers, tunesmiths, and teachers, and what they achieve together is more than the sum of the parts. They have a demonstrated willingness to muck in and are seriously committed to making sure that everyone has a good time.


Ratproof are a group of twenty-somethings who grew up surrounded by folk music, started jamming at Wellyfest, and have been playing together ever since. They play acoustic folk/Americana, influenced by the likes of Gillian Welch and the Be Good Tanyas, experimenting with harmonies and fiddle, flute and banjo instrumentals.