Training at Altitude photo shoot at Masterton airfield 1998
Hobnail was a different animal back then, starting life as a party band playing Celtic and country music, but always with a solid slice of original material thrown in. Finding their original material as popular with audiences as the cover versions, they started taking things a bit more seriously, recording and touring their own music. They were invited to play in North America on the back of their first 2 albums; "Deboot" (1996) and "Training at Altitude" (1998). Dates in England and Germany followed. Great gigs, great times.
Warming up back stage at Wellington Summer City 2004
Things changed when families were started, as the business of life meant that touring the world wasn't such an option. But this band has a commitment to their music and each other, so they continued working together - touring around NZ and releasing albums whenever they could. Earlier influences resurfaced, and at this point there was a noticeable shift back to a more folk/country sound.
Photo shot for The Fortune Horses at Tauherenikau Racecourse, 2007
2007 saw a return to active service and the fabulous Caroline Easther was recruited on drums. Together with Rob and Jo, bassist Hamish Graham and guitarist/singer Bill Hickman they recorded "The Fortune Horses" which was nominated for best folk album at the 2009 NZ music awards. A concert at Wellington's Paramount Theatre was filmed by acclaimed director Costa Botes, and released on DVD in 2008.
Hobnail Boots in 2010
In 2011 Rob started work on what he thought would be a solo album. But as it evolved it became clear that this was a Hobnail album. Hamish, Caroline and Jo had contributed to many of the arrangements and Hobnail were already playing many of the songs live. "Baggage" was released to great reviews, with the title track being nominated as a finalist for Best Country Song at the 2013 NZ Music Awards.
They often get asked how they have made it to 25 years. There is a Michael Leunig cartoon that Rob likes to quote called "How to get there." "….keep going towards the horizon. Sit down and have a rest every now and again. But just keep going, keep on with it. Keep going as far as you can. That's how you get there."
So now, 25 years on, Hobnail celebrate 25 years of recording and performing music around NZ and the world with their "Boots And All" national tour and "Best Of" album.
For more information, pictures or interviews contact Rob Joass 0274 500615 or email@example.com
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