RAG POETS are a bunch of New Zealand musicians from Wellington, who, individually, have been on the local scene with various different combinations, for more years than they care to remember. During the late 90’s, bassist Clinton Brown, gathered musicians of his choice, to play the music he wanted to perform ‘live’.
The result today, is a band with a country roots flavour featuring the songs of various artists such as Neil Young, The Springfields, The Grass Roots, (1960’s), Jason Isbell, and many others. Adding to the mix, they throw in a handful of original compositions.
The band loves to express itself vocally, bringing rich sweet harmonies to the arrangements, of the material they choose to play. Some of which, is from the 50s and 60s era. ‘Goodnight Irene’, ‘Ruby Baby’, ‘Cool Water’, ‘Dark Moon’, C’est La Vie’.
They try to keep abreast of the current music of today, especially some created by various local NZ artists, including ‘The Windy City Strugglers’, ‘Miles Calder and The Rumour’, ‘The Black Seeds’. The band also enjoys performing music from the ‘Americana’ category including ‘Boz Scaggs’, ‘The Traveling Wilburys’ and ‘John Prine’.
Bass and vocals.
Clint started Rag Poets, some years ago. Musicians came and went, with Carl and drummer, Vic Singe, being the mainstay. He has kept the band together thankfully, ever since, accumulating musicians from here and there.
When Al Norman accepted Clint’s invitation to join up, ‘Rag Poets’ began to stabilise. Now, gigs are coming in.
Clint began his career in the Wellington jazz circles as bassist with pianist, Kevin Clarke. He had a few bands, during the late 60’s, particularly, ‘Wee Tam’, ‘Taylor’, and ‘The Society’ with drummer Keith Norris. Importantly, he was bassist wth ‘Sharon O’Neil’s band, and Sharon still has Clint on bass, whenever she tours New Zealand.
In the early to mid 70’s he met Carl Evensen, where he and Keith Norris were working for a car detailing company. So with Keith Norris, Wayne Mason and the late Bruce Robinson R.I.P. ‘Rocking Horse’ began.
He was a foundation member of ‘The Warratahs’, after which, he worked in close association with Wayne Mason, in ‘The Fallen Angels’, then with ‘The Wayne Mason Band’. There, he got to use his production skills, and produced one of Wayne’s great albums, ‘Same Boy’.
Vocals, bongos, guitar and harmonica.
CARL founded a band called ‘The Kal-Q-Lated Risk’ at high school, which went on to moderate success. After that he was offered the job as vocalist for ‘The Fourmyula’, a band which gained great success during the mid to late 60’s in New Zealand. Later, in 1973, after returning home from London, Carl and Clint formed ‘Rocking Horse’ with Wayne Mason, Keith Norris and the late Bruce Robinson RIP. During the ’80’s-mid 90’s Carl lived in Sydney, working with various Australian bush bands playing back yard BBQs, schools, weddings and community halls for local bush dances. He returned to New Zealand in 1996, and is happy to have found a musical home with RAG POETS.
Accordion, guitar and vocals.
Al enjoys sitting in on keyboards and accordion with various local artists , and has played with ‘Darren Watson’, the ‘Real Deal Band’, ‘Laura Collins and The Back Porch Band’ and ‘The Windy City strugglers’. He sits in frequently with ‘The Warratahs’.
Gary is from Toronto, Canada.
Influenced by the soul and R&B sounds from ‘down the road’ in Detroit, and the country and Gaelic sounds from Canada’s east coast, Gary has developed a unique mix in playing styles. He has extensive live and session experience, often being called on to lend his slide guitar stylings. He has spent time with Canadian groups such as ‘Ghost Ryder’, ‘Bad Weather’ and a stint in the fabled ‘Hawkes Nest Band’.
Emigrating to Wellington, with his kiwi wife and family in 2004, he has primarily been the guitarist/keyboard person for the Wellington band ‘The Soul Miners’, and has also teamed up with Lower Hutt vocalist Dave Brown, (Clinton’s brother), to write, record and produce several releases that have garnered airplay, here and across Canada.
Gary is thrilled to bring his diverse experience as a member of ‘Rag Poets’.
This unique set of talented individuals are gathered together to make up the band known as RAG POETS