Hamilton County Bluegrass Band
The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band seems to have been part of the New Zealand music scene forever. In fact they first appeared as The Muleskinners in 1966 and with a few brief retirements have been recording and performing ever since.
They began as a group of musicians from Auckland and Hamilton who formed to play mainly folk and bluegrass music. It all started when Alan Rhodes and Paul Trenwith from Hamilton started trying to emulate the sounds of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs of the Blue Grass Boys from Kentucky.
Colleen Bain, a classical violinist and student at Hamilton Teachers College, met the group in 1967 and she managed to immediately replicate the sound of a bluegrass fiddle. This gave them the sound they were originally looking for.
As well as living and performing in this country they have had successful spells in Australia and the USA.
Their recording history is too long to list here but they are still performing in New Zealand and the USA today with Paul and Colleen Trenwith, Dave Calder, Alan Rhodes and another Trenwith – son Tim.