Posted by admin on Feb 01, 2011

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Great Pickers and Players on ‘The Jukebox Highway’

The Jukebox Highway – Sundays, 3pm-4pm (supported by the New Edinburgh Folk Club)

Dunedin-based musician and University of Otago music lecturer John Egenes is taking Otago Access Radio listeners with him on a journey that began when he was a child.

The host of folk and roots music show The Jukebox Highway (Sundays, 3pm-4pm) spent his early years in California before moving to New Mexico. He “fell into” guitar playing at age 10 and an enduring love of well-written songs was born, along with a fascination with the strong musicianship that brought his favourite songs to life.

I played a lot of shows in New Mexico and Texas, and a lot of those Texas songwriters are now my pals,” Egenes said.

That whole tradition of songwriting is really strong for me. It starts with a good song and then you supply really good pickers, which is kind of an American tradition.

But there are also some great Kiwi pickers and players here that I hope to feature on the show. People like Tami Neilson, Delaney Davidson, The Eastern, Marlon Williams and Charlotte Ivy are just great.”

The New Edinburgh Folk Club stalwart described himself as a sideman, despite having released four albums under his own name.

I’m mostly off to the side of the stage, playing behind the person in the spotlight,” he said.

I play on other people’s records, on different instruments, so I want to feature those kinds of people on The Jukebox Highway and maybe Skype some of them in, interviewing people who are really interesting and have their own take on the music.”

The programme’s mix of bluegrass, blues, country, honky tonk and folk music is designed as much for an international audience as a local one, with Egenes’ university research in digital culture highlighting opportunities to link with music-lovers around the world.

Radio is expecially adaptable to the Internet because it’s not a visual medium, so people can pick up podcasts and listen in the car or at work,” he said.

It’s a perfect marriage.”

‘The Jukebox Highway’ – Sundays, 3pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM and podcast from You can also subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes.



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