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, Paul McCartney, The Grass Roots, 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’.
Percussion. Vic has had a long history with the Wellington scene and has played with the ‘The Warratahs’, ‘Rocking Horse’, ‘Harry Hood’s Band’ and more recently, he has been touring with ‘The Desotos’. Vic plays in many different combinations these days, in the Wairarapa, including ‘The Rimutaka All Stars Dixie Swing Band’; a pop rock covers band ‘Good As Gold’; and the popular jazz guitarist Stephan Brown.
Lead Guitar, Mandolin and vocals
Phil is a great string player with good vocal skills. He has been playing a moon or two, kicking off with 70s Band the Kal-Q-Lated Risk. Recently he has been playing with ‘Matt Hay & The Makers’. He and Carl, over the years, have had a long musical association together, finally forming some solidarity with ‘Rag Poets’.
Bass and vocals. Clint started Rag Poets, some years ago. Musicians came and went, with Carl and Vic 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 Blues 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, while both were working for a car detailing company. Along with Keith Norris, they became original members of ‘Rocking Horse’.
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 ‘The Kal-Q-Lated Risk’ at high school, which went on to moderate success, after he was offered the job as vocalist for ‘The Fourmyula’, a band which celebrated great success during the mid to late 60’s in New Zealand. Later in 1973, after returning home from London, he and Clint Brown 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’.
This unique set of talented individuals make up ‘ Rag Poets’