For folk’s sake


Amiria Grenell was always destined for the stage.

She grew up with festival-organising parents and big brothers in a rock band.

The folk singer-songwriter plays The Sherwood this Saturday, joined by Holly Arrowsmith.

This is the second tour for the pair. The first came about because Grenell’s mate suggested they’d make a good duo — so she looked up the fellow Tui Award winner.

“We’d never met before but we had an absolute blast. This year I thought, ‘let’s do it again’.”

While the pair are collaborating it is also, in part, individual gigs.

Grenell is up first, joined on stage by Phill Jones on banjo. They’ll do a 45-minute set before Arrowsmith takes to the stage fresh off an American tour.

Once she’s busted out a few of her tunes the folk ladies will do a couple of numbers together.

Grenell has been practising in the car to one of Arrowsmith’s CDs.
“We will be singing each other’s songs. I love it — I have always enjoyed harmonies and figuring out little bits to add.”

It stems from her childhood. With three older brothers playing in a rock band, she would focus on singing and wrote her first song aged 10. It was about flowers and saving the earth.

It isn’t part of her current repertoire but she still remembers all the words, she laughs.

Her first professional gig was at 14 when she played The Gathering festival. This began a flurry of gigs in and around Christchurch and she hasn’t looked back.

It isn’t all a bed of roses. Trying to organise gigs around childcare for nine-year-old daughter Sienna can be a struggle. She wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of her fellow mamas.

After a stint in Wellington she is back in Christchurch and also performs in folk duo The Swan Sisters.

She loves the folk sound, how intimate it can be and the opportunities it gives to interact with the audience.

Grenell played solo at last year’s Queenstown JazzFest and loves any excuse to play the resort.

Queenstowners can expect a show filled with stories and songs that warm the heart — songs most people can relate to.

Amiria Grenell and Holly Arrowsmith play The Sherwood, Saturday, 8pm