Band founder Paddy Burgin’s musical career spans many years as a Wellington, NZ, solo singer-songwriter and performer with many bands, such as the Dunstan Rangers, Ballyscully, Jessie James and Outlaws, the Laura Collins Band, the ten piece Wellington Gospel Band, and his own Paddy Burgin and the Wooden Box Band.
Inspired by Dr Michael King’s History of New Zealand a dozen years ago, Paddy decided to infiltrate the kiwi folk song book with as many songs about New Zealand and New Zealanders as possible. To this end he has written and recorded dozens of songs concerning the people and places of the shaky isles, such as Wellington’s blanket man, James K Baxter, A H Reed, sheep stealer James McKenzie, Blackwood Bay, the history of Wairau Bar, and the Pike River mining disaster.
Along with many instrumentals, these songs have appeared on the handful of albums he and the Wooden Box Band have produced, which include Square Peg, My Sweet Town and Gentle Landings. Demo work is underway on another recording project at the moment.
A feature of his music is the weissenborn acoustic slide guitar, which comes to the fore on many of the recorded instrumentals. By day he is a full time guitar maker, and specializes in weissenborn guitars. David Lindley and Henry Kaiser are among the hundreds of people worldwide playing his instruments.
The personnel in the Wooden Box Band has included bassist Tom Callwood (Little Bushman, Phoenix Foundation), guitarist Joe Callwood (Little Bushman), guitarist and banjo player, Justin Clarke ( Woolshed Sessions, the Firefly Orchestra) James Coyle (the Outlaws and the Nudge), percussionist Bruce McNaught, backing vocalist Holly Beals (Family Cactus, the Outlaws), Bassist Andrew Laking (Grada). The albums were recorded at STL Audio and the Surgery.
In addition to writing solo material, Paddy has also written much of the recorded repertoire of the Dunstan Rangers alt country band and the Irish folk bands, Ballyscully and Live Bait. He has also played many recording sessions as a slide player, either with his weissenborn or resonator guitars, or the electric slide, armed with Dusenberg string benders to give a pedal steel affect.
Past performances include pub residencies, many folk festival performances with the Wooden Box Band, the usual coffee bar and singer songwriter spots, touring with the Laura Collins Band and Jessie James and the Outlaws and solo at house concert gigs in places as diverse as Wellington’s Newtown and Saskatoon (Canada).