Not unlike the weird maths that confers each dog year to 7 human years, musician years have an exponential arrangement with time directly corelated with the weariness you feel as you try to decreak your knees getting out of the van after 6 hrs trapped inside it listening to warren zevon to tell you must learn to write better. There is a formula for this it goes… A2x MY1000 (Z+V-K)3 = 172.

Thus, in my musician years I am 172 give or take a few. This is interestingly numerologically speaking because I have done 127 shows this year, certainly not a record but a fair wack considering x2 rounds of covid, pneumonia, food poisoning, old age, despair, a complete lack of ambition. Somehow they got done. There were also a lot that didn’t get done, because of the above and the weather and all manner of stymies big and small.

I’ve been doing this for more of my working life than I haven’t. Strange maths.

I’m not alone though, there’s heaps of out here running up and down the radar in and out of reception digging trenches and trails wherever we can.

It’s a big ol’ goofy world as old john prine might say and when I run into other journeymen and women I wonder if we’re not making it goofier for ourselves? Or are we trying to help everyone else out with their own goofiness. It’s probably somewhere right in the middle.

Regardless, we’re out there this weekend making up our rain savaged show in Lake Hawea on sat (tix: www.forteastern.net) and then for free in CHCH at the City’s Summer Sundays series with local wahine of wonder Stephanie Beck (details here: tinyurl.com/2xb98fx6


And then the great so ons and redo’s:



but what I really want to tell you about is two road friends from around the way who will be showing up in C-City of the next couple…

Next week Feb.16th at little andromeda one of my road heroes the great Canadian folk singer scott cook will be breaking hearts, rattling, brains and making y’all smile. If theres a real deal, he is it. Please go and tell him that the city has a place for travelling wise men like him it’ll be more than worth it.

www.scottcook.net if you need the proving, but once you see him you won’t.

A week later, my dear sister of the road Esther Swift will be bringing her Harp and Celtic wondery here to The Piano. She is as good as it can get as it can be and there’s no melody she can’t send like a missile to your heart.

I’m gonna go and sing with her, it’ll be something. I can’t ask you harder so I won’t but if you believe the music side of folk music and want your heart messed up for days, this will be the one.

Here’s a review of her latest show in Hawkes Bay…if you ain’t in c-city she’s out there around the isles making it all feel like Scotland and its great beauty and mystery.

Details at:





Oh and the album I’m meant to be telling you all about?

Should be in stores now, cd’s have been shipping steadily and the vinyl is pressing fingers crossed for a soon landing.

I’m not fucking around, just trying to catch up…

Besides I’m 172 years old and getting born everyday

Good luck my friends and foes and brothers and sister dogs of the road

Drive on till we get there



Dear Companions 

When I’m not falling over the cables trying to stand on the tables with The Eastern I’m a one man operation, spinning all the plates, burning all the rags, making the posters, driving the truck, breaking the PA, trying to tell the good stories, taking the D.I.Y. approach most of the time, ‘cause if I don’t the Black Flag Tattoo on my wrist starts burning; which it does all the time and especially lately whenever I thinks to myself “there must be an easier way than this”. The answer is there probably is, except it isn’t because it’s easy to get tangled in your expectations when you start talking plans and strategies etc. and then you get caught in ‘how to do it right’ and I’m quite contrary, cause no one really knows how that all should go down. I do a lot of things wrong but I get a lot of right out of it if that makes any kind of sense and I watch people doing everything right and only growing wronger and wronger. Sales are small around here, ticket sales down, knees weaker, brain tireder but I’m getting more human as the day goes and if I’m not mistaken the work gets closer every day. Closer to what doesn’t even matter. 

I have no team (apart from my 8-9 bemused and often disappointed friends), no manager, no ambition, no plan, no goals, just a bundle of hopes and a dogged desire not to give up and not have to go looking for a day job. I’m trying to be a folk singer, singing songs about people and the things they go through and the things they find, I try to listen and make sense of it all which is hard ‘cause I’m loud and scared and a bit out of whack and running at a weird speed which is a little bit slower and a little bit faster than what it should be. 

I never stops writing the songs though but, and travelling with them round and round and round ticking off a lot of singing for folks listening and a lot for folks not, but the whole rigmarole of stopping and recording them and listening to my own voice and not having a chance to tell the stories in between just seems to keep me away from any kind of studio anywhere. But back there before the pandemic I slowed down/speeded up enough to make some songs and record them and then I mostly let the whole thing lie, staying home like everyone else, then revving my roadwork and The Eastern back up, and then I figured, maybe I’d just let the record stay way down hidden with my ambitions. 


A lot of people helped me make the record, and I was so grateful and didn’t want to dishonor them and their efforts but man it’s been slow going trying to think about what it all should be and how it all should be. 

But then my friend Paul got sick, like real sick, like suddenly the present feels very present type sick and Paul has a little family that loves him and they need all the help and time they can get with him and the drug that might increase that time is beyond most people’s means, including Paul’s. Paul also ran a record store that just had to close and that record store had a label attached and that label put out The Eastern’s last records as well as so many other great things. VIVA ROUGH PEEL! 

And when I thought about that I thought who cares about what and how, lets just get busy with DO, so I’m putting it out now, early, late, whatever. 

It’s called Dear Companions, because of everything I’ve learnt or am learning about the people in the songs and what they help me learn about myself and about the world big and small (especially small). But that kind of conception is just how records start, where they end up is up to whoever gets a copy in their life. 

Paul always put his heart and money where other people’s mouths were and it’s in that spirit that I release Dear Companions, right now, without any grand strategy, just get the thing out, trade it with people for money and any of that money we might generate can be given back to my Pal Paul in order to help keep him going and loving and hanging on. 

With that in mind, there will be no Spotify (or the like) streaming of the album. It’s gonna be old fashioned. If anyone wants it then it’s for sale, on Vinyl, CD and Download. Any streaming might show up in the future if Paul’s need for treatment ends but right now its SELL SELL SELL as the record label people used to say. 

My operation is small, jerry-rigged, run on gaffa, good will and sweat and guts and is all missteps and wonder and confusion, late payments and weird happenings but I try to make the songs as good as I can, ‘cause they keep saving me and that’s what songs are meant to do. I am under no illusion that they would or could do the same for you but I hope they might make things a little easier or at least take the edge off or maybe if the songs are ok enough help you feel like you ain’t in this whole big weird thing on your own. 

I’ll be talking about it, singing it, praising everyone who helped me make it over the next while, but for now it’s out from 



or here on the store page!


you can download it 

buy the CD (shipping now! But if youre in chch and want it before xmas I’ll deliver it like a desperate santa!) 

preoder the vinyl (shipping early FEB!, you know how vinyl goes) 

it’ll be in stores early in the year 

I know it’s all a bit messy but we gotta hustle up some of this dough for my brother/father/friend Paul a paypalforpalpaul if you will! 

Expect everything a normal album release might entail but slower and later and all higgeldy piggeldy pie…which is perfect ‘cause it means I’m getting more human every day. 

“Let the pros do what they do 

They ain’t rough like me and you 

I got more than enough good enough to get us through”



we thought we should let you know about a bunch of things before Adam begins the exceptionally well planned, strategised, and breathtaking release of his first solo record 'Dear Companions'... 

because he is so organised at this stuff he is promoting all the shows the Eastern have booked over the coming months rather than some well oiled solo tour (which he already has done most of the year without any album to push). ooooosh! 

and even better... 

tomorrow night some of the sisters of the Eastern Jess Shanks, Frankie Daly & Tess Liautaud will be playing as their magic side project The Sweet Sweet Nothings at St Marys Church in Addington...good magic will be unleashed for their Christmas solstice show! details right here! 


Door Sales for this one 

and from there... 

Dec. 30th will see Adam and Frankie both warming up for mentor hero father figure Al Park and his Unknown Legends at a rolling stone!!! NEW YEARS EVE EVE!!! good songs sung for good hearted friends of the such! 

Then the now yearly New yearly Hooley at OGB with the whole damn band.... 

then it goes a bit like this with all these goddamn Eastern Shows! 

tickets and info at shows tab!

Jan 2 2023 Whare Flats Folk Festival, Dunedin 

Jan 12 2023 Taupo Museum, taupo 

Jan 13 2023 The Common Room Hastings 

Jan 14 2023. The Cabana, napier 

Jan 22 2023. Otaki Summer Camp, Otaki 

Jan 26 2023. The Woodshed Whangarei, Whangarei 

Jan 27 2023 Kauaeranga Hall, Thames 

Jan 28 2023. Wild on Waiheke, Waiheke Island 

Jan 29 2023 The Jam Factory, Tauranga 

Feb 11 2023, Lichen Lane House Concert Lake Hawea 


May 6 2023. The Dome Gisborne, gisborne 

stick with us for new album stuff! promise it'll be just in time to be late for christmas! 

professionally unprofessional since 2006 going nowhere fast since the day we began!

Le Cafe 

I am not a gourmand, I even had to look up my Collins English dictionary to spell it. My considerations around food revolve mostly around the questions “Is it werid? Is it Boring? Will it make me full?” and if I can answer no, yes, yes respectively then I will eat it. I am as developed gastronomically like a four year old might be whos just figured out how to use a fork (ps I hold my fork wrong, and my pen but that’s another story). When I see cooking shows I imagine people tuning in through some jerry-rigged satellite tv in a corrugated iron shed somewhere and being confused at watching someone in a cravat ‘judge’ food and I imagine those people I imagined being confused eventually turning to anger and coming with the Ak-47s and making said cravat wearer pee his pants and promise not to do it again. 

I don’t understand/enjoy/drink wine either, I mean I’ve drunk it, a lot when I was 17 and it was cheap and some of it I may have even liked but its really above my pay grade. I have played at toast martinborough and driven through the zombified stumbling hordes of big hatted no sock chino wearing folks and figured out that this may not be my um buzz. But even me saying that proves I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. 

Which is standard. 

Because the problem is with me. 

Which is generally true of most of the problems one might have with things. 

Which is obviously true of me with all things. 

I figured out the problem was with me in relation to wine a long time ago. We had been playing at Le Café in picton and after the gig, long tall deep eyed owner and hospitality keeper of the flame Peter sent us back to where we were staying. He said he left us some wine on the table and we should drink it. At those times I was inclined to drink anything free so when I got there I took the bottle and poured it and filled a big coffee cup full and drunk it in big cocal cola sized gulps. About half way through the bottle Peter arrives and he sees what I doing and he gets real mad at me in that dark rattle your soul way that Europeans can make you feel. 

Basically the situation is thus, the wine was good, not just good like yeah that’ll do good, like it was special, a holy bottle squished into being by the feet of angels or something, and Peter had left it as a gift and a tribute to us and I was meant to know this and cherish it. Instead I was skulling it like soda from a coffee cup. 

Peter says this will not do and asks me if I know anything about how fucking wine works, and I say I don’t cause I don’t so, he pulls out these glasses and these bottles and we get to it and he teaches me about sniffing it and tasting it and why the glass is shaped like it is and I get the whole run down and I don’t understand it really but I understand his passion and his power and what and why he’s trying to tell me what he’s trying to tell me and that how musicians can be just as pretentious as wine snobs but even with that in mind there is wonder and heart and spirit involved in these reaaaaaallll fucking ancient art forms. I get it and I understand that at least! And it was such a great time and we listened to serious jams and had serious talks and eventually the wine gave over to schnapps and we got all fucked up and went to bed. In the middle of the night, Peter wakes me up and says, 

“That last song you played tonight??? That’s the one…that will be a hit, that will change your life, don’t fuck it up…honor that song” 

I say groggily, drunkly “Ok Boss” and go back to sleep, 

He wakes me up again and says the same but with this great urgency 


I go back to sleep. 

That was like 13 years ago, 

I’m still yet to record the song properly, maybe next round. 

Like I said, the problem always begins and ends with me dammit. 

But the good news is on Friday night we’re playing in Picton at Le Café with Peter serving the drinks and Brother Lindon Puffin in support. Hopefully some people will come, we might even play that song. VIVA PETER! And all the wonder he cares about! Maybe we’ll see you! We hope so! 

Tickets at www.forteastern.net 


My first solo record will be coming out in the next few days, probably should say that eh? 

stay posted, stay frosty


Goddamn these viscitudes! With sadness but a begrudging wonder at the humbling power of the natural forces of the planet, we have to admit defeat in relation to our show tomorrow in Lake Hawea due to the forecast day long rain that will make our beautiful under the stars bonfire show at the beautiful Lichen Lane Homestead untenable. 

We rolled the dice hoping that a nice outdoors dance in the grass type a’happening might slip past the weather gods this early in the summer season and of course we were found wanting when aforementioned roll turned up snake eyes! 

We’re making the call tonight so the logistics are easier to bare for y’all and us. After a deep communion between ourselves, Monty Bevins and Hilary and Jeff, who’s place it is, we figured that it’d be better to postpone the whole thing rather than have a wet, lawn destroying, electrical equipment drowning, stinker of a night, when really the lichen lanes first mega outdoor humdinger starlight hooley (trademarked obviously!) deserves clear skies and dry dirt for all y’all bums and boots. With our luck the sun’ll come out and it’ll be all good just to make it a double stymie  but we had to make the call this evening, so we don’t lose a ton of money, energy and everything else, none of which after all these years we have much of to lose! 

So with that in mind we will not cancel but instead postpone now till Feb. 11th, the first date we all could make happen! 

Tomorrow was pretty much sold out which is a drag, but we are emailing everyone right now and offering refunds, but also letting you know all tickets will be valid for the 11/2. 

So stay dry, stay humble, stay cool hopefully stay in the ticket loop till feb. 

Your pals 

Eastern, Monty, Hilary and Jeff

Hit the North! 

Let this be a proclamation! 

Let the north hear, prepare the interislander, warm up the fish pies in wairoa, let foxton fizz, we will be passing through, running in, trying to get the harmonic balancers balanced. 

We will come as the eastern, four shows in… 

Taupo! – The Muesem, Thursday Oct. 13th 

Gisborne! – The Dome, Friday Oct. 14th 

Napier! – The Cabana, Saturday Oct. 15th 

Hastings! – The Common Room Oct. 16th 

We will have 

Devils Elbow (Napier) 

Tucker Lane Band (Hastings) 

Eliot Witters (Gisborne) 

With us… 

We will rumble, we will roar, we will do everything we were born to do, then we will apologise and do better, do what you paid for, go beyond go above we get up so you can get down amen alright… 

Adam will path find solo north right here… 

Oct. 8th Kumeu Live 

Oct. 9th Onewhero Society for Performing Arts Hall 

All tickets and ticket links 


the shows tab


C-City… Barlands 3! Is on tomorrow night tix at 

the shows tab!

Well alright! Uh huh! 

Won’t stop can’t stop (when will it stop?)

Barlands Calling 

Phew…long time no nothing friends, I mean not in the great epic turn of the wheel, if we look at it like that then it’s less than a grain of sand through the hourglass, and maybe as important! But the thing is see we all got sick, we all went to wellington to raise money for our brother/father rough peel Paul and we all got the flu, and for me that flu turned into some pnuemony and well I’ve been on my back for two and half weeks and I’m just slowly rousing now, and it means I’m about 15 days late in all my promotional activities and it wouldn’t have mattered anyways because I’ve been hanging on wondering if we were gonna make it to the next gig! We cancelled some bar shows and our usual pilgrimage to temple basin, but as I said I can get out of bed and I’m not coughing down the walls and I’m doing all the right things, like right now where I’m listening to Gene Pitney and drinking some lemon and ginger tea and looking at the strange skull on my desk and thinking ‘that’d be you if you don’t keep doing the right things’. 

So that means this week we’re back in the Barlands! For our first show at 12bar! 

Sadly I’m not the only one who got sick recently! Brother Al Hunter got caught with covid so following the right protocols will not make it on Friday and will be resting back on the coast! So we’re real sorry buttttttt we’ll do something with Al again soon and we promise that between ourselves, Al Park and Brendan Gregg we’ll still give you at least $30’s worth of show for $5 and a can of food!... 

We’ve got so many more shows a’coming, adventures, plans etc and a goddamn album release and so much so much…we’re a ragtag crew operating on oily rags and spirit(s) so it arrives when it arrives but we’re grateful for everything… 

See you this weekend at the Barlands on Friday at 12bar… 



Between us all we’ve raised about 8 months of care for Paul, we just want to offer much blessings and thanks to all friends of The Eastern who’ve ponyed up on Pauls behalf… 

Here is the link if you missed it 


and here is a video of an impromptu, mixed up words version of London Calling we did at the San Fran back at his fundraiser! We got Paul up for his first time ever singing on stage and Warren Maxwell from Trinity Roots joined us to hold paul up and hold up the phone with the words, luckily I sung them all in the wrong place just to make it easy…it’s amazing what no rehearsals will do for you!



I think we’ve only done #1 post about it and already the first and last Barlands shows are almost sold out and the others are up there too, I’d like to think it was the reach of social media and of course the wonder of The Eastern but it might be more likely the $5 tickets and all of y’alls Idea of coming out in support of those for whom a can of food might make difference between a shit day and a better one. Either way pal’s I’m wholly glad of it and all of us are! This sat. We are joined by our brothers and sisters Adam Hattaway & The Haunters, Imperial April and Tess Liataud, a lot of music for a cheap price and a wholesome donation, there might be some tickets left but it’s getting close friends. 

To us The Barlands is any place where they ain’t got an usher and where in the great words of Hank First ‘the dancing is free’. 

Also cans of food are great! But also things like tampons, razors etc are all bloody useful so feel free to expand your parameters! And feel free to bring more than one! Nudge nudge nudge! 


This Sat… 

A Rollin Stone, 

Next Week The Darkroom and then 

12 bar on the 23rd of September and so on and on and on and on 


Oh and wellington! You asked! It has been delivered! With added Trinty Roots and Nudge and End Boss and Cake Kitchen and more for the best of reasons… 

San Fran sept 4th


The Country Singer 

I made this poem up about John Grenell and put it in my little book sometime ago, I think of him and country singers everywhere and country drummers too; one of the best of which we also lost this week. 

Forever John and forever Snapper, see you when we get there. 


and thank you to Greta Yeoman for documenting us and john in this video right here... 



Like an old dog with one good trick, The Eastern is, and have always been, a band built to play. In whatever combination we've shown up in over their 15-year history, we've tried to stand our ground for all comers and have seen every table as something to stand on and every moment standing on said tables as one where we could be singing. Traditionalists in the most rock n roll sense, we don’t have much truck with the future but we believe deeply in the moment, right here, right now. 

Right here, right now in terms of playing living, breathing, original music especially for a living is a pretty wonky time; covid burning, cost of living growing, etc. etc. ad infinitum. But we see the world in a strange way, and we know musicians always get the big sympathy and the big empathy (all though we often try and tell you different). 

As a touring band who’ve played everywhere in New Zealand and almost everywhere beyond, one thing us brothers and sisters of The Eastern have realized, is that musicians are often the least important part of the process. The infrastructures, eco systems and communities from which they spring are as crucial to the whole shebang as oxygen is to everyday humans. You might be King turd on top of poop mountain but without the air your breathing, or the bar to play in you ain’t nothing. 

With that in mind and with all things considered, maybe before the next pandemic, weather bomb, burning sky, wraith of vengeful gods or until every stage gets choked with a Fleetwood mac tribute band, your 37th favourite bunch of folk singers thought we could, this spring, wield whatever swing our aching aging elbows could muster in service; to the bars, original music and maybe a little more for some food banks just for good measure and a little extra virtue signaling. 

we called in some pals and decided to go on tour, in one city, for one night only over six nights! 

Six tribute nights, but not tributes to millionaire rock stars, a tribute to the bars that probably won’t grow a single rock star between them but will still open every night, to young chancers, long haulers and true believers alike. A tribute to the communion of a shared experience of songs you don’t know played by people who have to play them anyway, like it matters and is truly important. A tribute to the people serving the drinks, making the speakers go and a tribute to the resilience of those doing it tough this winter, this year, this forever, by offering some food, non-perishable household items, sanitary products whatever! To help take the edge off and the sting out of it all maybe for just one meal or one day or whatever. A tribute to being in this together. 

Oh! and a tribute to the audiences, we see y’all out there forking out $70 and more a ticket for the big shows and we know that’s pretty tough if you’re on minimum wage or trying to feed your kids, so come get busy with us we’re making it just $5 a ticket (with an item of the aforementioned can or something similar), to get you out. 

It sounds mental and everyone’s gonna lose money but damn if doing it for the money doesn’t make doing it, just that little bit worse. There’ll be plenty of time to jack the price up to keep us in our mansions. This one however is on us, with just enough to pay the sound people and the folks doing the door. 

Whether we sell one ticket or all of them, we’re proud to be from and for The Barlands. 

It’s gonna be everything we can make it be, starting off At A Rolling Stone this August and ending in November with a big celebration just behind the cathedral on a big stage outside of OGB with local hero Jordan Luck putting the exclamation point where the full stop should go. There’s different line ups at every gig, and more to announce. We’d be thrilled if you could join us in The Barlands or at least help spread the word! We’re on your side thanks for being on ours! 

with all these folks right here: 















12 BAR 

OCT 7 


OCT 24 


OCT 30 


NOV 4 


$5 tickets right here 


(FOLK CLUB BOOKINGS AT secretary@folkmusic.org.nz



McGrath's solo tour continues next week New Plymouth, Rotorua, Levin, Palmerston North, Whanganui with auckland and Balcairn still to come and The Eastern in Ophir and Queenstown after that! and announcing soon The Eastern in Taupo, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, and Auckland! 

and more and more and more