Since getting started in the early 2000s ye olde Paddy Burgin and the Wooden Box Band has seen a few changes. In the beginning there was just me, then bassist Tom Callwood and me. We did some recording and a few gigs and I do remember one in a church on Willis Street that was alot of fun.
By 2008 I had been asked to play at a Philosophical Society series of concerts in Aro Street with a larger band so we roped in guitarist Justin Clarke, who I bumped into on Cuba Street as he had just arrived back from Berlin. And on percussion we had a bloke I met quite by chance at a furniture restoration workshop called Bruce McNaught. He brought along his homemade cahon, which is a versatile wooden box used for percussion in Central and South America.
Together we went on to record My Sweet Town. A few years later the band with Tom’s brother Joe Callwood on guitar, James Coyle on keyboards and Holly Beals on BVs put down Gentle Landings. Both CDs were full of original songs and instrumentals, and were recorded live in the studio.
At some stage Tom Callwood had places to go, such as the Phoenix Foundation so although he turned up again on the recording of the next album, Old World, live bass duties were taken by Murray Costello from the Dunstan Rangers. In various gigs we also had guest appearances from Rangers sax player Chris Nichol, Grada’s Gerry Paul on guitar and and Andrew Laking on double bass, and songwriter Tessa Rain on live backing vocals.
Past and present band members, Tom, Joe, Bruce and Paddy recorded the CD Old World in 2013, with Holly and Jessie Moss on BVs but Joe became quite busy with Little Bushmen around this time so we enlisted another Ranger, Matt Newman to fill in on guitar before he had to move towns.
By the end of 2014 the line up had more or less stabilised with Jessie Moss on vocals and guitar, Jeremy Desmond on guitar, Emily Clemmet on trumpet, fiddle and vocals Murray and myself and a fine drummer Olivia Campion. Occasionally we called in Tracey Weymss to play some accordian and tamborine.
Nowadays we’re simply called The Wooden Box Band. Six people in a band can take some organising and space can be at a premium at some gigs. To accomodate this we have a cut down four piece version of the band.