New Zealand Bluegrass Bands

We are members and supporters of the Australasian Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association. And if you are a bluegrass, old time, or Americana string band, you should be too!

We always joke that we can say with full confidence that we are one of the top ten bluegrass bands in New Zealand (because there are only 9). So we set out to find the other 8. OK, maybe we’re in the top twenty.

  • Cabin Fevre from Hawkes Bay. Their repertoire includes more old-timey than bluegrass but there’s plenty of hot pickin’ in the mix.
  • Coppermine Junction from Nelson.
  • The Chaps from Dunedin. Not really bluegrass, but these folks can hold their own in a jam session and we love them. So.
  • HAMILTON COUNTY BLUEGRASS BAND. The royalty of New Zealand bluegrass bands. The first, the best known, the still rockin’ HCBB.
  • Hot Diggity. New Zealand’s only all-female bluegrass band. Jenine’s other band. They look even better than they sound, and they sound pretty damn awesome.
  • Johnny Possum from Christchurch.
  • Kaimai Express Bluegrass Band. A mostly bluegrass band based in the Bay of Plenty. (Contact:
  • Melling Station Boys. A possibly imaginary band based in Lower Hutt, Wellington.  Featuring Alastair McCarthy on guitar, Ian Smith on mandolin and fiddle, Todd Foster on banjo, Andrew Bicknell on bad ass bass and Giacomo Giorli on resonator guitar.  Contact Andrew Bicknell for more information.
  • RhodeWorks! Award winning bluegrass band from the Waikato! Outstanding, superb, magnificent!
  • Ruahine Rangers from Palmerston North. Love the tagline: A four-piece bluegrass band with three members. Hmmmm…?
  • Rural Delivery in Christchurch. Playing bluegrass since 1978. Current line up is Russell George banjo and vocal (formerly of High Country Bluegrass and Hard to Catch of Dunedin); Barrie McDonald mandolin and accordion; Steve Moffatt electric bass and vocal; John Clark guitar and vocal; Errol O’Daniels percussion, harmonica, uke, accordion and vocals; and occasionally Krissy Clark vocals. Contact John Clark for more information.
  • Valley Bluegrass from Dunedin.
  • Wires and Wood Tui winning bluegrass band (best Folk Album 2011) from Auckland.

The maybe list. Bands we’ve seen or heard of, but not sure if they were short time arrangements or are ongoing concern We’ll keep updating as more info comes available.

That’s what we know about for now. If you’re a bluegrass band in New Zealand, get in touch!