Gig of the Week: All Day Breakfast

Traditional set: All Day Breakfast, from left, Andrew Kobus, Sean Donald, Max Evans and Dara Weiss

Max Evans admits to being slightly obsessed with music.

The fiddle-playing Canadian, frontman of All Day Breakfast, plays Queenstown next Thursday as part of a 25-gig, New Zealand-wide tour.

It isn’t a traditional folk set — he describes the genre as “mountain music”.
It is the stuff that pre-dates folk or bluegrass and stems from traditional country music in the United States.

Evans will be joined on stage by Dara Weiss on guitar and Andrew Kobus on mandolin.

Their usual banjo player wasn’t able to make the trip, but fellow Canadian Sean Donald, who has been living in Dunedin for a few years, is filling the gap.

Evans, 28, started playing music as a nipper with his younger brother, who was a keen banjo player.

“We started to go to these folk festivals in West Virginia. The biggest one is like a gathering of musicians and that really put me on the [music] path and got me hooked on it. It is really interesting — and I became a little obsessed, I guess.”

Evans met Kobus at school and Weiss through mutual friends.

What started out as a few jam sessions turned into something more solid and the band regularly play the Quebec and Ontario music scenes.

The trio do have day jobs, though.

Weiss and Kobus are primary school music teachers and Evans is a carpenter who builds sets for TV shows.

While they often talked about touring NZ, the logistics proved challenging.

However, once they’d secured time off work and had a natter with mate Flora Knight, a fellow Canadian who has lived in Dunedin for 20-odd years, it became a reality.

Evans reckons doing 25 gigs across the North and South Islands is a great way to see the country.

When Mountain Scene catches up with them they’re almost halfway through.

Evans, based in Montreal, has been impressed with Kiwi audiences.

“There have been a few groups that have been really excited to have this type of music in NZ — they love it and don’t get a lot of it live. Then the others just really seem to get into it.

“It should be pretty lively, like an old-time party. Some of the music is quite sad, content-wise, but overall it is pretty fun to listen to and people usually go away feeling happy.”

All Day Breakfast play The Sherwood, next Thursday, 9pm. Tickets $10