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The Dunstan Rangers

Rating: 1.19

Band The Dunstan Rangers



The Dunstan Rangers are Martin Durrant, Murray Costello, Matt Newman, Chris Nichol and Paddy Burgin.
Started in the 1980's by a bunch of homesick South Islanders marooned in the North Island, their early material consisted of many weepy songs written either by themselves or by Gram Parsons, Hank Williams of John Prine. Over the years musos have come and gone, and the unit has been whittled down to a furious five players now completing their second album Second Life. See for more recent details.
Drumming duties are handled by Martin Durrant, former Dunedin-ite and Sneaky Feelings person who also penned the title track, Second Life. It's an outer body experience set to music and the recorded track features a junk yard organ that had no volume control and only one tone button operating! Bassman Murray Costello MC is an old hand at the four string thing, having cut his teeth with The Mockers and other seminal Wellington bands of that era. Bottom end Muzza also has the band practice room in his house so we have to keep in his good books. Oregon refugee Matt Newman (the punisher) takes care of all electric guitars and has a baffling array of valve amplifiers encased in beautiful vinyl. each one sounds better than the last. He departs from foot-pedal land to sing one of his songs, Deep Well in the middle of the album. Noisy dude Chris Nichol sings and honks his horn through most of the album. Another Dunedin-ite who has spent too much time listening to John Coltrane, Weather Report, and the Grateful Dead. Some of his songs show sings of all three. Acoustic guitar is played by Paddy Burgin, another surviving southern type person who also sings, and plays keyboard, weissenborn guitar and harmonica. An instrument maker by day, he's usually covered in wood shavings and dreaming up meaningful (to himself) songs at his workbench. Has to endure constant teasing from the rest of the band for also playing folk music.

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