The Warratahs began 25 years ago playing some of their favourite music, with covers from the likes of Jimmie Rogers, Hank Williams, Hank Snow plus a handful of their own songs. They quickly found their own style – a stripped back band playing a brand of country/ folk with the fire of 50’s style rock and roll. Around Barry Saunders voice and original songs, and Nik Brown’s ability to set the music alight with his violin, has remained the landscape of the Warratahs sound.
In 1987, they recorded Hands of my Heart, a song written by pianist Wayne Mason and Barry Saunders in the RNZ studios: it was different to anything ever heard and got extensive airplay and was a Silver Scroll finalist at the 1987 Gore Golden Guitar Awards.
In 1991, the band toured with Billy Joel and a couple of years after, The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash. Eight years of touring and recording had cemented the band as a household name and it was time for a break. Wayne left, Barry recorded a solo album and the band didn’t play for a couple of years. In 1999 they hit the road again with Sam Hunt joining them on the ‘Drivin’ Wheel’ tour, to find their following was as strong as ever.
In 2012 they celebrated 25 years with a new 5 track EP featuring the new single Kupe’s Tears and a newly remastered 19 track Warratahs collection.
86,000 albums later, The Warratahs are still making great music with the release of their seventh studio album Runaway Days.
Vocals, guitar an harmonica
Violin and mandolin
Vocal and bass