Homecoming for Rural Mail musician

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A visit to Roxburgh will be a homecoming for musician Roger Lusby.

Born in the Teviot Valley, he spent his first 20 years in Roxburgh before setting out into the wider world, Mr Lusby said.

A love of the valley was still a central theme in his songwriting, and most of the songs he had written were based on Central Otago, he said.

“One of the biggest songs that I’ve written for Otago was called The Junction Run, which was depicting the Bains’ cattle drive, which used to come down through Roxburgh every autumn – and that created quite a stir because the Bains ran that high country land for 150 years and then the government took away their lease with the change of tenure on the high countries, and so to celebrate that I wrote that one.”

His band, Rural Mail, consists of him and wife Deirdre and husband and wife Paul and Chris Bond.

“We thought we would do a little tour through Central, and take Rural Mail to the people,” he said.

Folk performer Graham Wardrop would also be joining them at several of the performances.

Another string to his bow was organising the annual Bards, Ballads and Bulldust festival in Naseby, Mr Lusby said.

This year would include a tribute to the creator of the festival, folk balladeer Phil Garland, who died last year. It would also return to its roots as a Naseby festival.

“Phil ran it for quite a while, and asked me to come down and be a guest, which I did, and then he asked me to run the thing, so I thought we’d take it to the whole of the Maniototo.

“We went and did all the pubs around the Maniototo, which was OK but it was a lot of work. But what we did this year, we’ve come back to Naseby.

“Which was really like bringing it back home, which I think is a nice idea.”

 

DATES

Rural Mail – folk ballad quartet

Roxburgh Commercial Hotel: May 15

Faigan’s Cafe and Store, Millers Flat: May 16

Rural Mail will be joined by special guest Graham Wardrop.

Naseby Bards, Ballads and Bulldust Festival: May 18-19