by George Clark
Brad Staley hopes to hit an international chord when Covid-19 tension eases.
In the meantime, he is clocking up an impressive schedule of performances around the South Island, but mostly in South Canterbury.
Staley’s performances at The Sail Bar and Cafe and Celtic rugby club in Timaru last weekend marked more than 30 shows – 60 if you count private engagements – including gigs in Kurow, Methven, Middlemarch, Timaru and Lake Tekapo.
Highlights have included performing on New Year’s Eve at the Tekapo Tavern, and on Roundhill Ski Field.
The 23-year-old moved to Timaru just over a year ago with his girlfriend, when she found a job here.
Hailing from Tekapo, he has lived and studied in Otago and Christchurch over the last five years but believed Timaru to be a highlight.
After experience performing across the country, his next step is to get to Australia and eventually the United States.
“Playing in Nashville would be the dream but it is just about getting there,” Staley said.
Being a winter hunting guide and working as a mostly fulltime musician was difficult, he said.
“The weekdays can be dull but almost every weekend is booked up .. South Canterbury has a creative feel to it which is helping me push forward.”
Performances began at family functions when he was 10, moving on to a duo act with Tekapo-based performer and friend Brett Walker as he grew older.
“We started filling up our weekends and worked around school, performing together at New Zealand’s Got Talent in 2015.
“Our television appearance made things a bit busier, then we headed down to Otago University and split off into our own projects.”
His first major song Diesel was released in 2016 and his latest single Horsepower went out on streaming services Spotify and Apple Music last week.
“I have been ushered into the country music scene and there is nothing wrong with that, but at heart I am a rock and blues fan.
“If you take a look at Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, The Beatles – they are all my favourites.”