Representing selected New Zealand and overseas blues and roots musicians.
Mike Garner and Neil Billington began working together in 2013, as a full electric blues show, with Neil's amplified harmonica fronting the Mike Garner band. The show has made very successful appearances at the Rotorua Blues Festival and the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga.
An invitation to tour Japan in 2014 saw Mike and Neil make their first international tour as a duo, performing acoustic blues and also working with local backing bands. This success led to a second tour in 2015, visiting six major Japanese cities, again with a mixture of acoustic duo and band work with Tokyo group ZZ’Z, some of the city’s finest. They appeared and performed live-to-air on Tokyo's InterFM.
In 2016 They performed at the ‘Live Magic’ festival in Tokyo, where Neil was invited to play with the lead act, slide-guitar legend Sonny Landreth. Neil made his fourth visit to Japan in 2017, where he played with some of their finest blues and jazz musicians, such as former Chicago-based guitarist Shun Kikuta, boogie pianist Rei "Ms Lee" Kanehira, and acoustic guitar virtuoso Yuji Hamaguchi. Neil was invited by the Hohner company, the world's leading harmonica manufacturer, to be a guest performer at the company's Tokyo festival earler in 2018, where he demonstrated his skills on both the blues harp and the chromatic harmonica - a rare accolade.
As an acoustic duo, the show features post war blues classics, some original songs and a jazz cover or two from Neil. All played with finesse coming from a wealth of experience in blues genres.
Mike Garner and Neil Billington