Fresh Talent: The Boxcar Guitars
Author: Mollie McGuigan
The Boxcar Guitars consists of a line up worthy of a soap opera. Lead singer Boxcar Benny also plays in The Radio Kings, Shaft and Bic Runga's band; drummer Kari Hammond used to be in The Brunettes and The Tokey Tones; bass player Marcus Joyce also stars in The Demi Whores and steel guitar wonder John Segovia also plays in The Radio Kings and Don McGlashan's band.
They are the perfect example of the two degrees of separation which seems to connect everybody in Auckland. They are also a great example of an unpretentious, quirky indie alt-country band.
Boxcar Benny - famed for his stage attire of bolo tie and pompadour hair style (how does it stay up we wonder), cites "...country music from the late '40s, blues from the depression era, rock n roll from the '50s, and a few artists who are still around," as their influences.
This in mind, it's not surprising that they have done a cover of Folsam Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. Their own track My Love is Blue was released in August on 'A Low Hum' compilation CD and has been heard playing on the bNet, National Radio and Channel Z.
This is impressive considering these old school buddies have only been collectively known as The Boxcar Guitars since mid 2003. They've played support to Bonnie Prince Billy, Jay Farrar and Fur Patrol - to name a few, and have also scored a NZ On Air grant, which will no doubt help when they begin "cutting a side" in November.
Their original sound comes from interesting roots, as Boxcar Benny laments. "I traced all my heroes back through their heroes and landed at the gates of heaven for judgment. I was then reincarnated as Boxcar Benny in Auckland city, and the reason it's gaining popularity? My guess is it's because the other genres offer nothing more than the same ol' thing."
"We're always looking for a record deal worth dropping the day job for but none so far beats our Lil' Chief (The Brunettes' own label) deal... They're our good friends and we trust their musical preferences."
What down to earth young men... I look forward to hearing the side they're going to cut in November which will apparently be recorded in an um, cave...