We head off to Europe today. A scary but exciting thought. The reality will kick in when we get on that plane, I guess. Here is our itinerary as it stands

Hope to keep the news and photos coming while we are away and we will look forward to hearing news from home too. See you all in six months. Thank you so much to all of you for your support.
Steve and Ainsley Apirana

On the 18th May, 3pm at 6 King Street, Cooran, we are launching my new album: CAPPUCCINOS AND VANILLA SQUARES. Come along and get an album at the special price of $20.

Its our last few days before we head home again. We've had a wonderful time here. Its been refreshing to spend time with wonderful friends; to visit Taranaki once again, and to be a part of Stations of the Cross with Dave and Chris White and Incedo over the week leading up to Easter. We sat on two chairs over the water of the fountain in the centre of the Italian Garden in Hamilton Botanical Gardens and sang a medley of three songs for two hours each night for a week. For us it was dark - we had lights in our faces so we could be seen. People wandered through, with their torches to light the way, some stopped and listened for a while, some whispered encouraging comments. Kind volunteers brought us hot chocolate, flat whites and chai's through the night to warm our voices and Steve and I enjoyed the songs over and over again till we knew the words by heart. The rain held off every night until the last when it dumped bucket loads on us for five minutes to clear the skies. I am hoping the sound desk survived. For the rest of the night we had to run the voices through the speakers (one each) and the backing track just from the CD player itself - an interesting mix with one speaker facing north, the other east and the cd player facing south. Someone said the effect was "magical". Dave puts in six months each year to produce this dynamic, challenging, inspiring and artistically excellent experience for the people of Hamilton: he is a champion! 

We have a month at home before our big overseas trip. In that month we will release my new album - Cappuccinos and Vanilla Squares. The launch will be at a house concert in Cooran, then Cds will be available through Koorong in Australia, Someone up There in New Zealand and CD baby and iTunes online. 18th May, 3pm, 6 King Street Cooran.

Concert with Steve and Ainsley tonight at Hamilton New Life Church, Wairere Rd. 6.30pm Sponsored by Hamilton Christian School. Gold coin entry.

Been in the country for a week. Its hot, almost just like home. Unless things change I won't be wearing any of the four jerseys I packed, or the jacket. Taranaki is so beautiful. We saw the mountain with no clouds concealing it - quite spectacular. We climbed a small portion of it and decided to come back and climb further next time. Had a great time with the people from Knox church Waitara - were thoroughly spoilt and blessed to be in their company. Will look forward to returning here one day not too far away. Just beginning our time in Hamilton now with the Incedo gang. Looking forward to being part of the Easter Art in the Gardens.

Apirana in America
November 2 - 23, 2014.
After a tour of Europe (from July 1 - October 30), Steve and Ainsley Apirana will be doing a three week tour of the USA, starting November 1 in the Atlanta GA area and working our way up north.
I am very much looking forward to joining them. Already we are making plans. Three of the oldest youth ministers on the planet on tour together! On our website you can find the initial tour schedule. (www.atlanticbridge.org)

if you would like to support Steve and Ainsley Apirana and their ministry you can make a donation by clicking here
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Its been a busy few weeks preparing to record songs for a new Ainsley Apirana album. We spend several hours each day going over and over the songs getting them ready. Its such an amazing experience writing and recording and its been absolutely wonderful working with Angus Woodhead in his studio in Beerwah. He is a great sound engineer and musician and producer and we are more than happy with the results so far. Two sessions down and two more this weekend, then we head off to New Zealand once again. Mostly in the north but heading south for Samstock Music Festival at the end of November before coming home again early December. We are looking forward to touring again and once home will be back in the studio completing the album hopefully by early 2014 ready for Parachute Music Festival at the end of January.
Its been so long since I've updated the news - so sorry to you avid followers. I think I got tired. or just haven't had access to internet at the right times, or maybe just ............ Anyway, its nice to be back in New Zealand. We have just spent two wonderful weeks with very special people in Upper Hutt and then in Taranaki. We are inspired, refreshed and ready for the next event. Thank you to our wonderful new friends for your kindness and thoughtfulness. We are very blessed. Our next concerts are in Naseby ( http://www.maniototo.co.nz/events-central-otago/maniototo-bards-ballads-bulldust-festival/) On the weekend of the 17th, 18th and 19th May. We are looking forward to being back together with our Dirt Floor counterparts. Its been a good few months and well and truly time to get together again. Look forward to seeing those of you can make it along that weekend. From there we hope to stay around the south island for a few weeks, head home to warm up and be back in July and August for more concerts. Look out for bookings as they are confirmed.
DIRT FLOOR ALLIANCE is touring New Zealand again. Starting on the 21st November we will be doing concerts from Nelson to Dunedin. You can see the tour dates in the photo gallery. Wednesday 21 November – Picton – Le Café – 8.00pm ¬– Door Sales Thursday 22 November – Golden Bay – Mussel Inn – 8.00pm – Door Sales Friday 23 November – Nelson – Free House – 8.00pm – Door Sales Saturday 24 November – Hokitika – Old Lodge Theatre – 8.00pm – Door Sales Sunday 25 November – Ashburton – Ashburton Art Gallery – 7.30pm – Door Sales Tuesday 27 November – Christchurch – Venue TBC – Check website Wednesday 28 November – Timaru – Arthur St Café – 12 Noon – Koha Thursday 29 November – Oamaru – Oamaru Opera House – 8.00pm – TicketDirect Friday 30 November – Dunedin – The Church – 7.30pm – Door Sales
We came back from Eastern Europe exhilarated from our two-week tour singing in schools and churches. The youth leaders, teachers and heads of schools we met were an inspiration as were the young people whose lives they were committed to. Europe Week had already begun back in the Vierslag and the place was alive with young people from Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary and the Netherlands all excited and looking forward to a week of delving into their cultural differences and similarities. Steve and I were able to participate in several of the activities over the week and enjoyed the creativity and enthusiasm of these young Europeans. The highlight was Saturday night when volunteers, host families, friends and staff of Atlantic Bridge all gathered together to feast and celebrate a week of discovery. Each group of young people gave a final presentation to summarize their experience of Europe Week. Its success was tangible: friendships had blossomed; there was a new sensitivity an increased confidence and acceptance of self and others. The shyness and reservations obvious a week earlier had gone. In 2002 our own children spent four months in Europe with Atlantic Bridge. They were 12 and 16 at the time. Their experience has shaped their lives. I believe Europe Week will do the same for these young people. Our time now is spent in and around Zeeland where we play music with and for locals at churches, festivals or groups of friends in their homes. We have been so blessed to be a part of the Atlantic Bridge community and its arms reaching out into the European community. TOUR DATES: The Netherlands July / August 2012 Thu July 26: 15.30 Renesse 19.30 Oostkapelle – Garden concert (Peter Geene – Domburgseweg 55a) Sun July 29: 9.30 Kapelle, NH Kerk 15.00 Etten Leur – Garden Party Hans Muis Thurs Aug 2: 19.30 Vierslag House/garden Concert Fri Aug 3: Middelburg: Music Jam Duke Ellington nr65 Sat Aug 4: OPEN Sun Aug 5: am OPEN 18.30 Waarder Tues Aug 7: Ekerin am – Vacation Bible School Pm – Visit with Steve and Barbara Wed Aug 8: 19.30 Vierslag House/garden Concert Thurs Aug 9: 19.30 Ouddorp: Doopsgezinde Kerk Fri Aug 10: OPEN Sat Aug 11: OPEN Sun Aug 12: 10.00 De Brug, Amersfoort (with small concert in church hall at 11.30) 16.30 OPEN Tue Aug 14: Vierslag House Concert with Steve Apirana Band Wed Aug 15: OPEN Fri Aug 17: Kapelle - bloemwinkel Otte Sat Aug 18: OPEN Sun Aug 19: 9.30 Renesse - PKN church 18.30 Niewerkerk (Schouwen) Any questions / for bookings on open dates contact John Oostdyke at Atlantic Bridge: 31 113 383321
This is getting closer to the itinerary. Hope you enjoy following us: WELCOME BACK TOUR SCHEDULE May 22: Travel Brisbane to LA USA: Sat May 26, 27: Los Angeles - Calvary Chapel Sun May 27th: Los Alamitos – Cottonwood Church May 29 – 30: Travel LA to Zurich to Amsterdam NETHERLANDS Sat June 2: Kruiningen: Welcome Back party Sun June 3: 10.45 Ekerin AIPC church 19.30 Middelburg: House concert D Ellington Str 65 Tue June 5: Tholen: Calvijn College Wed June 6: Vierslag House Concert series no. 1 Sat June 9: travel SLOVENIA Sun June 10: Murska Sobota - Lutheran church Mon June 11: Murska Sobota – schools HUNGARY Mon June 11: 18.00 Koszeg Lutheran Church AUSTRIA Tue June 12: Sopron HUNGARY Wed June 13: Tata Thu June 14: Mosonmagyarovar SLOVAKIA Fri June 15: Bratislava Sat June 16: Bratislava, Malacky CZECH REPUBLIC Sun June 17: 10.00 Prague International Church 19.00 Liberec Mon June 18: Turnov Tue June 19: Usti, Labem SLOVAKIA Wed June 20: Zatec Thu June 21: Tachov GERMANY Fri June 22: Nurnberg, Olpe, Giessen Sat June 23: travel day NETHERLANDS Sun June 24: Bergen op Zoom: De Schuilplaats 19.30 Vlissingen: Tuinconcert fam Peene Thu June 28: Tholen, Gasthuiskapel Sat June 30: Bergen op Zoom: Europe Week Sun July 1: Goes, Rafael, Gemeente Wed July 4: Vierslag house concert series: no 2 Thu July 5: Oostburg Fri July 6: NOOTDORP - NOVE, Dorpsstr 13 Sat July 7: OPEN Sun July 8: Dordrecht - Open Hof Rotterdam Noord - Oranjekerk GERMANY Wed July 18: Nurnberg Thu July 19: Nurnberg Fri July 20: Nurnberg Sat July 21: Nurnberg Sun July 22: Nurnberg NETHERLANDS Thu July 26: Oostkapelle – Garden concert (Peter Geene) Fri July 27: Vierslag House concert series: no 3 Fri Aug 3: Middelburg: Jam Duke Ellington St 65 Fri Aug 10: Baarn, Bussum Sat Aug 11: Amersfoort, Utrecht Sun Aug 12: Amersfoort Tue Aug 14: Kruiningen - music jam Fri Aug 17: Kapelle - bloemwinkel Otte Sun Aug 19: 9.30 Renesse - PKN church UNITED KINGDOM September 1: Wales – Kings Church Newport September 8: Eastbourne – COC Church September 14 – 24: Scotland COC Churches PORTUGAL October 1 – 15: Portugal Tour with Denny and Maureen. October 15 – 19: Travel Lisbon to Zurich to Hong Kong to Brisbane.
Things are happening too fast: we go to the Netherlands via the States in less than six weeks. It is all very exciting but there is so much to do. We will be in Europe for about two months - June to Mid August - playing at schools and churches from The netherlands, through Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia etc. Then we will go to Britain for a month or so and hopefully to Portugal for a couple of weeks before coming home. It is ten years since we were there last with our two children Molly and Reuben. It will seem strange to be there without them. Our first trip was with Stevie as well back when they were quite small. I have wanted to go back ever since the last trip, so it is the fulfillment of a long held dream. We hope to catch up with the wonderful people we met, those who hosted us, those wonderful people who loaned us their cars houses etc. It is an amazing way to see the world - staying with the local people, shown the sights by those who have lived in the area their whole lives. I am very excited to be part of a new adventure over there. meanwhile, Steve and I spend our days getting songs ready and ,making sure everything is in place here at home before we go. Please pray for us as we set out on this new adventure. It is 30 years since we were married and sixty years since Steve was born, so it is a year to celebrate.
We want to thank all you wonderful people who braved the storms to come to the launch. What a night. The concert was a great success - in spite of all the odds. Noosa was under a weather alert but there was no stopping us - we had a house full of visitors from New Zealand and we were ready for anything. The heavy rains and flooding stopped us getting home to Cooran afterwards but our friends kindly put up all thirteen of us - each of us on a very comfortable mattress. It was a great end to a great night - just a shame more people couldn't get there.
Its exciting to think that a new year can bring new beginnings: we may not be able to change the past but we can change the future by changing how we see the past - we started our year by attending a seminar on being grateful and have been hugely challenged to look at how we think and speak about the things we face in our lives: you can check out www.365grateful.com if you want to know more about that. For me the most exciting news is that we have accepted an invitation to go to Europe. We will be travelling through countries like Germany, Czech republic, Slovakia and the Netherlands with an organisation called Atlantic Bridge. We have done two previous tours with them and absolutely love what they are doing through Europe. We are so thrilled to be going once again. Our hope is that we can work out an itinerary to go through the States and Britain on the way there and / or on the way back. The tour starts on the first of June and till then we will be here in Australia and in New Zealand launching "This Wretched Man" - 24th February in Noosa, further dates to be released soon. Finally a big thank you to all you out there who write to us, encourage us and support us. Without you we would be a very sad and sorry lot.
After six weeks touring we are home again: tired, but very happy. Its been a great time, touring and catching up with family friends and fans along the way. With Steve's new album finally finished its time to get it out there - in the shops and on the airwaves and hopefully that will happen very shortly and you can have an album for Christmas. If they are not in the shops write to us and we can send you one for $30 - includes postage and packaging. Hope you are all enjoying this hectic time of year and get all the necessaries done in time to relax for Christmas and New Year.
Virgin Mary is now available as a single to download through itunes and amplifier. It is a traditional song that Steve first heard sung a'capella by the Howard Morrison Quartet back in the sixties. You can now get the whole album "This Wretched Man" and Long Ago the single. The album is available online and will be in shops very soon.
At long last the single from Steve's new Album is out. You can download the single Long Ago - from Itunes and Amplifier. Follow this link to access: http://www.amplifier.co.nz/default,78266.sm, www.itunes.com/steveapirana and www.itunes.com/steveapirana/longago-single
This saturday, the 29th October there will be an evening of drama poetry and music with Rose Gregory, Donna Tairakena, The Dirt Floor Alliance. Look forward to seeing you all there. See the poster for details under photos.
We are off to New Zealand in a few days to tour firstly with Tear Fund and secondly with Dirt Floor. All our gigs are posted on the website so you can see where we will be. Looking forward to being back in the South Island - its been a while since we have been round the southern parts so we are just hoping the weather is not too cold for our hardened bones. Look forward to seeing you all at the concerts.
Steve and Ainsley will be playing at the Wine Bar at the Noosa Marina this Friday Night (between Tewantin and Noosaville). Come along and enjoy a night of music and great fish and chips on the river.
Steve and I sing all sorts of Duets, mostly love songs. We sing songs like Something Stupid (Sinatra/Sinatra), Catch the Wind (Donovan), Bye Bye Love (Everly Brothers), Car Wheels (Lucinda Williams), Don't know Why (Nora Jones), How Deep is your Love (Bee Gees), I can't Tell you Why (Eagles), Last Time (Rolling Stones) Love is all around (Reg Presley) and many more. Send us an email if you'd like us to play for you. steveainsley@aapt.net.au
Hi once again. I have been away - on a holiday - out to the beautiful outback. This is such an amazing country we live in - and we see so little of it. It takes my breath away. I had three weeks with my father exploring west from Cairns as far as Adel's Grove - near the Northern Territory border, and north as far as the Tip - and over to Thursday Island. It was a first for me and I am keen to go back. It is extremely beautiful country and the people are are wonderful - so friendly and kind. On the home scene, we now prepare for two tours back to back in New Zealand. Steve and I are off back to New Zealand at the end of Octonber. touring with Tear Fund and then with Dirt Floor Alliance - both through the South Island. The tour dates will be up in the next week or so when they are finalized so keep checking. Steve's new album is getting closer - will be ready for mastering very soon - very exciting.
Its our last concert tonight. Its been a great tour. Thank you to all who helped out, hosted concerts, came and watched us, and gave your support. We appreciate you all so much. If you like what we do you can follow us on our websites or join us on facebook: dirtflooralliance has its own page where you can see what we are up too and leave your comments. We'd love to keep in touch. Next tour is in New Zealand - some dates are set others will be posted soon. We hope to be back on the Sunshine Coast at the beginning or the new year. We will keep you posted on that. Don't forget we are playing in Springwood tonight if you are in the area. We'd love to see you there.
We have had a wonderful time touring with the band - first Brisbane, then Cooran, back to The Valley, Mount Tambourine and the Stradbroke Island. Just want to make special mention of our fan club who have followed us through these concerts. You have made it all worthwhile. It is for such as you that we stay on the road - thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Hope you have all been following our tour on www.dirtflooralliance.com - new video clips are being added every day - drop us a line and let us know what you think, join us on facebook and help keep us on the road.
The Dirt Floor website is up and running - you can see it at http://www.dirtflooralliance.com/ check the tour dates or leave us a message.The Tour begins in less than a week. Hope you can join us at one of our concerts. Please join us on facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dirt-Floor-Alliance/211284768907561
We are finally coming to the finishing stages of making this long awaited new album. Only a few more touches to be added, then the mix down and mastering. It has been a very long process getting this album out but I think the results will be well and truly worth it. Its sounding wonderful. Andy Sorenson is a master at what he does. And Steve - he is still the master musician we all know and love. We will keep you up to date as things progress.
I thought I should explain Dirt Floor Alliance for those of you who don't know us. Steve and Jim Doak have been playing Bluegrass / folk / American Roots music for quite a while now, and traveling with Poet Mark Raffles throughout New Zealand for a few years as well. Last year we added Ainsley's vocals to the Steve and Jim mix. We have a lot of fun together and enjoy touring, so we decided to bring the show to Australia. For the first time we will be playing in and around Brisbane and hinterland. You'll find all the dates below and on the Calendar, you'll find more information about us on the Bios page, and there's a link to the Dirtfloor site on the Links page. Check us out, come along to one of the gigs and we'll look forward to seeing you somewhere between Cooran, Brisbane and Tambourine Mountain.
We are touring Brisbane and the Hinterland from July 18th to 31st. The dates so far are as follows. Hope you can make it to one or another venue. This is the first time Dirt Floor has come to Queensland. DIRT FLOOR Alliance July 2011 Tour The Venues so far Monday 18 July: The Music Kafe, West End, Brisbane 8.30 pm Wednesday 20 July: Kookaburra Folk Club, Paddington 7.30 pm Friday 22 July: Cooran Memorial Hall 7.30 pm Saturday 23 July: China Town Mall, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 11.30 am Saturday 23 JUly: Community Hall, Tambourine Mountain 7.30 pm Sunday 24 July: Point Lookout Bowls Club, Stradbroke Island 3.00 pm Saturday 30 July: Turners Farm, Eudlo 5.30 pm Sunday 31 July: The Vine Church, Service Road, Logan 6.00 pm
We have been back in Cooran for just over a week. My son turns 28 today. I have had an amazing week and today I want to tell you the story of what we have been doing, in the light of an article in the QWeekend magazine of the Courier Mail this morning. A friend of ours, Hayley Bartholomew, began a project she calls 365Grateful - www.365grateful.com - where she took a photograph of something she was grateful for everyday for a year. The reason she did it is important. She was unhappy with her lot - a very reasonable "lot" as it happens - and needed help to rise above the gloom she was finding herself in. The advice she followed to lift herself from this gloom, given by a Nun: " the secret to happiness is in reflection and gratitude". She was told to find something at the end of each day to be grateful for - no matter how small, and record it. Hayley made her record in photos. And today I decided to write a small piece on my week: Last weekend I had a crazy idea. I then decided that rather than just think about it I would attempt to make it happen. I spent Sunday writing up the program, designing a timetable of workshops, duties, recreation, healthy food and exercise: Bootcamp for my family. I managed to get everyone to agree to give it a go and on Monday morning we were all up at 6.30am and by 10am we were sitting round the table enjoying home made flat white's and discussing the days activities, having already been for a 5k walk/ride up to the creek and back, and cleaned the house. Reuben's friend Hank was staying over so there were five of us - Myself, Steve, Molly, Reuben and Hank. We exercised twice each day, studied music theory each morning, wrote and recorded a new song, made a video to accompany it, ate lots of great food (the favourite meal being bacon and eggs for breakfast), we cleaned the house together every day (each one doing a different job), we were inspired by the story of Joan Baez and we had a whole lot of fun together. Altogether it was a very successful week but I find I am just so GRATEFUL that we DID it. I have had many bright ideas in my life but mostly have gingerly whispered something to someone about it without ever actually doing anything about it: mostly hoping someone else would like my idea and take it up, or offer to help me with it. It would have been so easy to just say - "one day" - but I am just grateful that I did it. It was a risk but worth every bit of it. The big lesson I learned was that I should not make decisions according to other's opinions or reactions but according to my own convictions: it is only my own reactions and actions that I have any control over, not others'. I don't have a photo - yet - hope to get one next week when we go out to celebrate our week - and then I can put the photo up too. Thank you Haley, for the inspiration of your project, and thank you to my beautiful family - immediate and extended.
We have just spent two weeks in Christchurch. It is a very sad place at the moment. So sad. It was heart breaking seeing the damage to this beautiful city, but it was heart warming seeing the people's strength and determination to rebuild. We were lucky enough to be there at the time of the memorial service in Hagley Park for those who had died in the quake. It was extremely moving: there was sorrow but there was hope. We came back in time for a similar memorial service at COC in Noosa: the theme once again hope, and rebuilding of broken lives in a broken city. The disasters in the world at this time are making us all stop and think, evaluate what is important and what is not. We went to Christchurch to be with our friend Donna Tairakena who lost her husband in the CTV building. Wally - or Tetaki as he liked to be called, was best man at our wedding and Steve's very good friend for a long long time. We were both really affected by his death and needed to be in Christchurch to deal with our grief: It was a relief when we finally made the decision to go. It was a long wait till his body was able to be identified and the funeral (tangi) arrangements could be made and the wait was taking it toll on us all. The Tangi was held in Christchurch and then Hamilton. It was a first for me and what an amazing experience it was. The Maori people have a very healing way of dealing with grief. It was four days I will never forget: four days of remembering the happy times we'd shared with Wally, singing his songs and retelling his stories, meeting his relatives and meeting up again with mutual friends from days gone by. I am very grateful to those who organized all the different aspects: such an important part of life is dealing with death and grief. How wonderful it was to remember all the wonderful times we shared with Wally and to hear everyone's stories of their own encounters with him. He will always hold a very special place in my heart: the encouragement and affirmation he gave me has been very important to me. I am so grateful that he took the time to do it - it will remain with me forever. He touched the lives of so many of us.
I want to pay tribute to our good friend Wally who was in the CTV building during last weeks earthquake and who still has not been found, and to Donna his wife and our good friend who waits patiently for news. This is the link to the Maori television interview with Donna earlier on today. http://video.aol.ca/video-detail/donna-tairakena-waits-for-her-husband-to-be-found/386840537 . Donna, our love and our prayers go out to you - may we all unite across the world in holding up our loved ones in Christchurch as they face the rebuilding of their city and their lives.
February the 11th, we are putting on a house concert in Cooran. Andy Sorenson will be performing songs from his amazing repertoire, bringing his keyboard with him. Should be a great night - 7.30 at our place. See you there.
Time has got away from me and its already into 2011. We had a wonderful five weeks in New Zealand from early December and have been home just over a week. It was a bit of a shock coming home to the dreadful floods that have ravaged Queensland. We count ourselves lucky to live in an area that was not too badly affected. Our biggest problem is the mould that has grown over every surface in the house but is gradually being removed with the help of good old clove oil. We will be playing this Sunday at New Beginnings, a church on on the Gold Coast, so if you're in the area, come along - 9.30 am, the 23rd January. In a couple of weeks Andy and Kathy Sorenson will be on the Sunshine Coast so we are putting on our first House Concert for the year - featuring Andy. Date to be confirmed. Should be a great night. We would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year 2011.
We are currently back in New Zealand for two weeks - in the devastated city of Christchurch. Much has been done already to fix the damage but with large after shock's still happening a lot of the work cannot be done and people still remain in their damaged houses wondering what to do next and when the nightmare will all end. For some there has been no damage but for others it has been a major catastrophy. It is however bringing neighbourhoodss together to connect with and help each other. So we are here for good friend Wally (Tetaki) Tairakena's 60th Birthday Party 1pm on Sunday afternoon, the 31st October. It will be a wonderful concert, at Micky Finns in Christchurch and all are welcome. But before that, the Velvettes are doing a reunion concert tonight - at Al's Bar, 9pm in Dundas Street, Christchurch, and then Steve and I play at the Art's Centre - at the Craft Market, tomorrow at 2pm. Hope to catch up with lots of old friends while we're here - come along and say hi and join in the fun.
Sunday just gone was Tall Trees in Cooran, the festival we started last year. We had an amazing day. The Sunshine Coast received a deluge of rain and high winds raged everywhere, apart from Cooran. In quiet little Cooran we had light rains for some of the day. We couldn't see the sun for the cloud cover but it did not deter us from having a fabulous day. We had to cancel several parts of the planned event but went ahead with what we could. We gathered in Pioneer park, under canvas to shelter from the elements. There was great food and music, fun with Clown Man Brad Smith and Fairy Princess Kate for the children, Tree planting with Councillor Lew Brenan, a wonderful Art Exhibition and an extremely interesting talk by Dr Eve Fesl on the culture and heritage of our area. The Ride on Mower Convoy record is now 6 so we challenge all you community groups out there to beat us. Noosa Pipe Band came out in force to open the day with their haunting melodies and the children decorated their bikes in great style. We hope to incorporate the things we couldn't do into the Cooran Eco Markets over the next few months, so that all the hard work put in over the last 6 months doesn't go to waste. We will let you know the dates as they come up. There will be workshops, the skate comp, music and more.
We are putting on another house concert on Sunday Afternoon - the 15th August at 2pm. Its been a while since the last so we thought it was about time. We have a few artists lined up so all going well it should be a very pleasnat afternoon. Come and enjoy the music and stay for a coffee afterwards. I'll let you know when all artists are confirmed.
24 May 2010 Date Venue FRIDAY 18 JUNE THE ROYAL HOTEL, Palmerston North SATURDAY 19 JUNE THE GRETNA HOTEL, Taihape SUNDAY 20 June LEMBAS, Raumati South WEDNESDAY 23 June IVORY LOUNGE, Auckland THURSDAY 24 JUNE SPA HOTEL, Taupo FRIDAY 25 JUNE THE BELGIAN BAR, Rotorua SATURDAY 26 JUNE ALTITUDE BAR & NIGHTCLUB, Hamilton SUNDAY 27 JUNE ORCA RESTAURANT & BAR, Raglan Dirt Floor Music and Poems expands the vocals and heads north – the honest and authentic roots experience continues After two tours around the South Island, Dirt floor music and poems brings its own brand of ‘front porch music’ to the North Island. Steve Apirana, Jim Doak and Mark Raffills have teamed up for their new North Island tour, Four on the Floor, with vocalist Ainsley Apirana. The addition of Ainsley Apirana on vocals adds a new dimension to the dirt floor sound with a distinctive lilt and a tipping of the hat to the vocal harmonies of the Carter Family and music of the dirt floor era. “It’s an even more honest and authentic roots experience now with Ainsley on board,” says flat pickin’ guitarist Jim Doak. “Ainsley has done plenty of vocal work on Steve’s recordings and solo gigs and is used to contributing harmony and lead vocals as the songs demand. She compliments the singing of Steve and myself with a little bit of magic; just a touch of angel!” Dirt floor music and poems ambles intimately across the roots landscape, from folk to blues to bluegrass, in a rare and captivating treat from four seasoned performers. Steve Apirana (gospel blues/vocals), Jim Doak (bluegrass/vocals), Ainsley Apirana (vocals) and Mark Raffills (poems) come together to present an easy-flowing, uncluttered and unpretentious evening of vocal harmonies, finger-dancing guitars and a few good words. The eight-gig, Four on the Floor tour kicks off in Palmerston North and Taihape, plays Raumati South, heads for Auckland then drops down to Taupo before ambling its way through Rotorua, Hamilton and Raglan from mid June. Tickets are $15 at the door or you can buy online from www.dirtfloor.co.nz Further information: Mark Raffills Dry Crust phone 03 544 4975 mobile: 027 215 4969 email: mark@drycrust.com web: www.dirtfloor.co.nz
Well the Tear Fund tour is behind us and the Dirt Floor tour is getting closer. The weary travellers are home and resting after a busy but satisfying three weeks with Tear Fund. Molly is inspired and ready to record and Steve is nearing the final stages of his new album and life on the home front is as busy as ever with things coming at us from every angle. We have two weeks of preparation for the Dirt Floor tour and we are really excited about it - a new venture with the addition of Ainsley - yes me - added to the trio.......check our calendar for details, which will be added as they come in.
Tear Fund Tour – May 2010 Thurs 6th May AUCKLAND Fri 7th May AUCKLAND Royal Oak Baptist Sat 8th May Kati Kati St Paul’s Kati Kati. Sun 9th May AM TAURANGA Bethlehem Community Church. Sun 9th May PM TAURANGA 6:30pm Bethlehem Baptist. Tues 11th May ROTORUA Rotorua Baptist Church Wed 12th May TAUMARUNUI Taumarunui Baptist Thurs 13th May NAPIER The Oasis Fri 14th May HAVELOCK NORTH Arohanui Christian Fellowship Sat 15th May WAIPUKURAU Pukeora, Waipukurau Sun 16th May AM PALMY Sun 16th May PM PALMY Palmerston North Central Baptist. Tues 18th May FEILDING Feilding New Life Church. Wed 19th May WANGANUI Faith City Church Thurs 20th May MASTERTON St Matthews Anglican Church 35 Church St. Po box 588, Friday 21st May LEVIN Levin Baptist 17-19 Rugby St, Sat 22nd May WELLINGTON Sun 23rd May AM WELLINGTON Sun 23th May PM WELLINGTON 6:30pm Elim Porirua.
Steve and I have been home for a month and battling with the old flu virus. Just as well it hit when we were not touring but we don't have long to shake it off as touring resumes fairly shortly. And while we are home Steve is madly working on his new album. Andy will be up next week to put down some more tracks and Steve is busy lining up soloists, hammond organs and all sorts in between working day in and day out on his guitar licks. Changes are afoot with the next generation: Stevie is going full time at Uni and cutting back on his work commitments to concentrate on his studies, Bec finishes her Honours degree in Psychology and will be working full time, Molly is hanging out in New Zealand for the next little while and touring with her Dad, and Reuben is moving home and will be working in security - he is completing his course this week, Shirelle is still in Gympie with her kids, Kuru is in Adelaide working busily on the fishing boats and Reina and Wai have moved house and are now another suburb away from the airport - but still close enough to have as many catch ups as we can fit in. I am spending all my spare time working on my book getting as much done as I can before May when Cooran Street Festival meetings will resume - for this years Tall Trees on Sunday the 10th October. We have been invited to Europe next year and are hoping to make it a world trip again. Its been seven years since our last trip so we might as well make the most of the opportunity and do the round trip - hopefully catch up with all our good friends from other parts of the world. So life is good and we are blessed to be a part of it.
Two more tours to New Zealand are coming up shortly. We spend half our lives flying across the ditch these days - and loving it. Surprisingly the weather so far has always been good - not good enough to convince me to move back - the sunshine Coast is unbeatable. Tear Fund are hosting a Derek Lind, Steve Apirana and Molly tour of the north island in May - check out the calendar for dates and venues. Then in June, Steve and Ainsley, Jim Doak and Mark Raffles are doing a Dirt Floor tour - this time across the north island. Hope we see you there.
Thought I would add Ray's report from our visit to Tauranga for the Annual Te Haerenga noho. We had a wonderful time again this year and Ray's report kind of sums it up - we love going and it is just as much a blessing for us as it seems it is to them. This year we had the privilege of having Molly with us - maybe next year Stevie Bec and Reuben can join us as well. Check out the photos from our weekend as well. Te Haerenga April 2010: report from Ray We were so privileged to have Steve & Ainsley Apirana as our guest speakers in the weekend. Known as NZs best entertainer, gospel singers & song writers. (Actually I made that up, but we reckon they are the best). To be up close with them instead of being one out of a multitude of people was awesome. ‘This to us is our Oasis, we love coming to Te Haerenga’ Hearing that being here is actually a blessing to them was humbling to us. They both shared their hearts with us in songs of many genres. Steve had us laughing with his great humor as he shared his music and story of people’s perception of beauty. He wrapped it up with his testimony song ‘something beautiful, something good, all my confusion, He understood, all I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife but He made something beautiful out of my life’ That afternoon was spent in a workshop format with Steve & Ainsley. Picking their brains about songwriting and asking questions to improve in our own journey with music. Even on the technical sides of things regarding guitar playing. We certainly have some homework to do! Saturday night we had a little bit of a concert in which we opened it up to the community. There was a full list of people doing ‘items’ from solos, duets and even a local band. Locals came to see the talent come through and to our surprise we had a TV celebrity come and visit! Te Hamua Nikora a TV host for a talent quest program called ‘Homai te Pakipaki ‘ on Maori TV, so naturally we get him to sing a few songs too! The highlight of the evening though was to have Molly Apirana (Steve & Ainsley’s daughter) share a couple of songs, boy did she rock the house! She drove up with some friends from Paekakariki to share the evening and next morning with everyone. Keep an eye out for Molly, it will soon be a well known name! Sunday morning after the Marae clean up, we gather again with the Apirana family to wrap up our weekend. ‘The weekend was so nice, peaceful, relaxing’ What a beautiful family! Who knows, next year we’ll have the rest of the Apirana family with us.
Happy New Year to everyone: 2010 - a year new and a new album - hopefully soon. Steve is hoping to have his new album completed and in the shops this year, hopefully the first half of this year. At the end of January the Apirana family is playing together at Parachute Festival at Mystery Creek, just outside of Hamilton, New Zealand. Steve has two sets, The Velvettes are doing a comeback concert and Molly is doing two sets of her own. Stevie and Reuben will be backing Molly on guitar, keyboard and vocals, bringing to the stage for the first time a set of her original songs as well as one of Stevie's origals. Steve and Ainsley will be staying on in New Zealand for the month of February and will be available for gigs during that month (if you would like to book Steve and Ainsley during that time drop an email to Ainsley at steveainsley@aapt.net.au). Ainsley is spending some of that time researching her next project, in Dunedin and then Steve reunites with Jim Doak for the Hanmer Blues Festival with a dirt floor set on the last sunday in February. So the year starts with a bit of excitement and we are expecting more excitement to follow throughout this new year. We would like to wish you all the very best for the new year. May it bring you great joy, and fulfillment of hopes and dreams.
Not much happening in the next little while as far as gigs go - a few private functions but plenty of time to organize our big event for the year - Cooran Street Party. I'll keep you posted and let you know new developments as they arise. Families and community groups will come together for one big celebration as we put Cooran on the map and show the world our melting pot of artistic and recreational accomplishments. 11th October is the day to keep free.
Well, Gladstone was amazing. We worked with the council of chaplains up there who run programmes in all the schools up there and do such a great job with counseling and educating these young people in life skills. Steve sang in schools all week and when I joined him on thursday we played at the commissioning of the newest chaplain. I was very impressed by the way they work together to bring an interesting and exciting programme to these schools.
Hi everyone, the days are flying by too fast for me to keep up. Steve and I have been laid low with the flu. Not pleasant but one way to get a rest. Fortunately we are on the mend and back out on the road. Played at Morayfield Centrelife Church last night and had a great night. And now we are getting ready to go to Gladstone for a week, on Monday. Steve will be playing in schools all week and I will be joining him on Thursday and we will sing together at two churches on Sunday evening. Molly sang at Ripe on Sunday - she and the High Knights won a place there and had a great time playing at the brand new music festival in Noosa. What a great opportunity. She now has to decide whether to move back to New Zealand and pursue her solo career or stay in Auss and continue singing with the High Knights............
Hi there. The Sowers concert was amazing. We had 80 people in the Cooran Hall, in spite of floods and pouring rain.All main roads were cut so you could only get to Cooran on the back roads but those who braved the weather and the roads said it was well worth it. They are awesome musicians and the harmonies were wonderful. What else is new? We have airconditioning in our studio. We are working on lots of new songs. Molly and the HIgh Knights won a place at Ripe - the new music festival in Noosa in May (the 3rd I believe). That is very exciting. They have been working very hard for it. That's about it from us for now. Lots o love.
There's a sale on at the Amiestreet online store - 50% off. So if you're after one of mine or any other for that martter - then have a look - Here's the link: http://amiestreet.com/?pytr=cdbaby Steve had a great time in NZ with the Dirt Floor tour of the South Island. It went really well and they are keen to do more. Have a look at the website - they have a small video clip on there - www.drycrust.com/dirtfloor Its worth a look. Enjoy.
We are hosting a concert in the hall in Cooran on April the 3rd for The Sowers. They are a fantastic band brought out from Africa by our good friends Kathy and Andy Sorenson. We are really looking forward to a great night of Live African music. They will not only be singing their songs but telling their stories as well - of how they got to where they are today - its a pretty amazing story. The concert starts at 7pm. Come early to get a seat.
Hi There, been sleeping again. Actually on tour in New Zealand - Steve's doing the South Island with Jim and Mark - bluegrass style. Having a great time, taking fabulous weather with them , everywhere they go. If you want the concert times you'll get them from Dirt Floor in Nelson or on the web - www.drycrust.com/dirtfloor. Concerts are going really well. Great songs and great poetry. Hope to see you there.
We are renovating! It is amazing. Some friends came to visit a few weeks ago and as a result Jack has been building for us ever since- car port, deck, new doors. He started the next day ( my kind of builder). Its just looking so wonderful. Now we have a beautiful space for entertaining and room to put all those things you don't want to see all the time. We are so blessed to be able to make these changes to our house and so pleased with the way it is all turning out. Can't wait till its all finished and we can start working in the studio instead of on it. We had a great time in Sydney recently, met so many wonderful people doing amazing things - it was very heart warming. Steve began the recording process while we were on the Central Coast and now begins the hard work of putting the new album together. Its coming together well and is very exciting - lots of great new songs. Not many gigs on at the moment - but just as well as renovating is taking all our time and energy. Coming up is the second Dirt Floor tour of New Zealand - Steve and Jim doing their thing. Look out for it - end of October and beginning of November.
Hi There, did you think we'd left the planet. I have to apologise to those of you who have been looking and finding no news. I have been busy building a kitchen and recording studio in our house - had to do the kitchen first - eating is after all a necessity to life. Its been a slow but very enjoyable process mostly carried out by my son Reuben and I and when he can, my other son Stevie. The kitchen is more or less finished and is wonderful - I love doing the dishes now !!!! just joking but I do have a fantastic dishwasher which makes life sooooo much easier. And I have a fantastic all gas oven and cook top which is a dream after what I have had for the last 5 or more years. So now the studio is taking shape. We are working on the ceiling first up - soundproofing that while a soundproof door and window are being made for us. My plan is to finish it all before September. We desperately need to record some songs and we are all missing having access to the recording equipment. Steve has been busy meantime touring New Zealand - the tour went really well. Molly was able to do the tour with him and add her delightful rendition of Psalm 61, from Steve's first album, to the concerts. August is shaping up to be a busy month too with Steve playing at Gympie Muster towards the end of the month and doing several gigs in Sydney in the middle of the month - check the calender for details. Unfortunately his health has not been the best and he has been laying low for the last few weeks. Hopefully in September we will have the Cooran concerts happening again. I'll try to give you plenty of notice when the next one will be on. Hope you are all staying warm and dry in this very wet and cold winter - our fire place is such a blessing !
Just can't believe how fast this year is disappearing. Steve is over the flu and back on the road. Just returned from a week of concerts - with Prison Fellowship, for their annual conference, and then with Jim Doak and Mark Raffles ( Dirt Floor Music and Dry Crust) doing the blue grass, bluesey folky thing with a bit of poetry thrown in: very successful two concerts in New Zealand - Nelson and Christchurch. So he's back home for a week or so and then off for the Tear fund tour. Molly is now going to be accompanying him - helping out with merchandise sales and doing support act and backing vocals. Should be a great tour. Till next time - all the best to each one of you out there. Steve and Ainsley.
Hi there. April has been rather hectic and unfortunately Steve caught a nasty dose of the flu and had to cancel his gig in Brisbane last weekend - thank you so much to Adrian Ross who filled in for Steve at the last minute and delighted the audience with his own unique style. What would we do without friends. Steve is on the mend but still laying low. His main project at the moment is his new recording which he works on night and day - when he is not sick with the flu. Its sounding good and we are very excited. There are songs that go back many years and some brand new. Molly and I sang at the Cooran Markets last Saturday - Tina had organized a womans' day. (Steve was allowed to accompany us on his guitar}. We did mostly covers and it was lots of fun. Thanks to all our fans who came to listen. These days Its taking all my time and energy to get the changes in our house organized for the studio and concert venue - what a massive job it is. Its lots of fun though and exciting for me as I have been dreaming of it for quite a few years now. Steve and I have been working on some new songs for gigs too. Molly has been doing some recording with friends and Stevie is organising a hip hop night at the Villa in May - look out for the posters - should be a great night.
Our latest concert in Cooran was on the weekend just gone. It was a great night with young talent from all over the coast - Lamia from Noosa, Gracie from Buderim, Sam from Coolum, Tamarind and Tina and her friends from West Cooroy, local band Revelation from Pomona, Shaun from Cooroy, international guest from US Willy Landers, not to forget our own Molly from Cooran. If you are a singer and want a place to start performing, drop us a line and we'll let you know when the next one is going to be - some time in April. You can email me at ainsley@apiranamusic.com.
January has come and nearly gone. I don't know about you but I have really enjoyed the rain - except for the mould that has grown on everything. It has been such a relief from the extreme heat of the last few summers. Well it is going to be an exciting year for us. We are putting a recording studio into our house and plan to make many recordings ! We have been collecting songs over a few years now and new albums have been a long time in the coming. Our kids are also keen to get into the studio and put together their creations so it should be an exciting year. We are also contemplating an overseas tour which will happen or not depending on how progress with the studio goes. Hopefully it will not take too long to come together and we can fit in the tour as well. So January and February will see us reorganising things round the house to accommodate the new studio - a big cleanout is in order and long over due. We are also planning a party. We want to thank everyone who helped us over the last four years and expecially in that first year - 2004. We are finally feeling like we have some closure on it all and can breath again. So we want to celebrate and just give thanks for all the amazing things people did to help us along the way. It should be a great night so I hope you all who know who you are will come. The date is yet to be finalised but will hopefully be in March - so keep a look out for it coming soon. Lots of love to everyone. Steve and Ainsley.
Hi There. It's three days till Christmas and I'm looking forward to a good dose of family. Its more often than not just Darby and Joan at no 6 and I miss the hussle and bussle of the busy household its been for the last three or four years. It does however give me time to catch up on things I've let slip. Christmas is in Brisbane this year - with the newly weds and the Pringle family and then there is Boxing day.It's going to be fun this year with the great touch footy challenge happening in Byron Bay - The Walker Cup - and the Apirana's are planning on winning it back from the Walkers. Hopefully we will have a full team this year. We have special guests this year - the Henare family from Beaudsesert and Bunny Walters who now lives in Noosa. The new year is starting quietly - just a few engagemnets so we have time to get sorted ready for a big year. First thing we are going to do is put in the recording studio. It is all very exciting - a new adventure in our lives. More about that in the new year. Once again I want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and expectaion, joy, peace and love in abundance. See you in the new year - 2008
Christmas has come around again all too fast for me but looking back it has been a good year. Molly and I have completed our diploma in Music Business at Sunshine Coast TAFE and Steve has started touring again - singing locally and in New Zealand. He has been to a few schools and they have loved him - he is very lovable! We are looking forward to having family time over Christmas - heading south for the great touch footy family challenge - on boxing day and just hanging around with the kids and grandkids, rejuvenating and getting ready for whatever's in store for the new year. We are hoping the recording studio will be in full swing very soon so the kids can get their songs recorded and start performing. Want to wish you all a blessed Christmas and a great New Year 2008 - may all your dreams come true and may you be able to make someone elses dreams come true as well.
Hi there, I am madly trying to finish a million assignments cause time is running out. Will be glad when its all over and there's no more stress. Still its been really fun and I think more than anything I'm going to miss being at TAFE and having something to focus on - will just have to find something new. Have been working on a project which may or may not happen - you will all find out if it does but till its definite it will have to remain a mystery. Steve is working on organising the next Cooran concert which will hopefully be in the next few weeks - will let you know the date when its finalised. The Derek and Steve concert was great. Thank you to everyone who came - I'm sure you all enjoyed it. Two masters playing side by side - lets hope we can get Derek back again sometime soon. We have had his CD in the player in the car ever since.
Molly is on her way to a career as a singer. She is studying music business at Sunshine Coast TAFE and in her spare time is writing profusely, getting her songs ready to record an album. She is writing most of her songs with the piano and is really enjoying putting words and chords together in her own unique style. Stevie is newly married - to Bek - and is making a living doing security while he sets himself up with recording equipment so he can record the many songs he is writing. He also uses the piano for writing and is coming up with some great songs that one day soon we will all be able to enjoy. Reuben is finishing high school this year and wants to play football. He is doing really well and plays for under 19's for the Noosa Pirates - in the grand final Sunday 16th September. He is a pianist too - and we just love listening to him play that piano. Shirelle is living in Pomona with her three kids, working part time and enjoying life as a young mum.
Steve is busy with a tour at the moment - and he's not the artist. Derek Lind is on the Sunshine Coast. Its so good to have Derek finally in our neck of the woods. He is one of our all time favourites and this tour has been a long time coming.If you get the chance to hear him - you'll love him.

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