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New Year guide

ANOTHER year coming to an end makes us reflect on all that we have accomplished in the past 12 months and what we hope to do next year. But more importantly it’s time to celebrate, and there is plenty of entertainment around the Valley tonight to help you do just that.

In Grafton:

Grafton band Airborne Blues Virus will perform with famous American-come-Aussie blues musician Bo Jenkins at the Nymboida Coaching Station.

The venue is perched on the hills overlooking the beautiful Nymboida River and is the perfect setting to welcome in the New Year.

“I’ve played there once before, the scenery is awesome and the people are wonderful, it is as good as it gets,” Jenkins said. And he should know.

Bo has performed throughout America and Australia alongside greats such as Albert King, Reba McIntyre, Earl Thomas Conley, Kansas and B B King.

Bo was born in Bottleneck, Arkansas, and since 1994 has been proud to call Australia home. He said he and his wife were at their happiest in the Gold Coast hinterland, enjoying nature.

When asked what his New Year resolution may be he said simply caring for an injured kookaburra he found in his back yard. After contacting the local wildlife rescue group and the response being that the bird would have to be put down, Bo took the young native under his wing – naming it Woodstock after noticing its excitement at watching a Woodstock DVD, perched happily on the neck of his custom-made Maton guitar. If Woodstock is back to full-flying health by tonight he may be a new feature in the band.

Bo will perform a bunch of his well-known original songs on his impressive Kunkel double-neck left-handed guitar, plus some oldies-but-goodies from the 60s and 70s by artists such as Jimmy Hendrix and Hank Williams.

But before he does funky blues, band Airborne Blue Virus will be up first and lead singer Jode Skennar, of South Grafton, said the group had a heap of new songs to get people movin’.

“It’s going to be great; we have some new songs that will be recorded in the New Year,” he said.

“We have seen Bo Jenkins play before and he is really good.”

Jode has been a keen surfer for more than 23 years and had his first, and hopefully last, altercation with a shark at Sandon in February. He came out of it unharmed but his board took a beating.

So it was appropriate that when he was asked about his New Year’s resolution he said: “It would have to be not getting attacked by another shark.”

Bo Jenkins will also play a solo ‘Recovery Show’ at lunch on New Year’s Day.

The Nymboida Coaching Station is located at 3970 Armidale Road, Nymboida. There will be buses travelling from Grafton to the Coaching Station and return at 1am. Pick up places are Grafton Shoppingworld at 6pm, South Grafton Information Centre at 6.15pm and Coutts Crossing Store at 6.45pm. For seat reservation phone 6649 4126.

Award-winning world music troupe KAHA will be bringing their Maori roots to South Grafton tonight for a night of soul and funk.

Bass player Jade Hunt said world music starts with local soul and what better way to start off the New Year than rocking out at a local venue.

“We’ve worked up a great act of rock, reggae, soul and funk covers which we will be presenting at local venues around Northern NSW in 2010.”

The band, made up of instrumental brothers Jade, Mehaka, Daniel and Mokai Hunt and cousin Malcolm Rapatu, from Gisbourne in the north of New Zealand, moved to Australia to launch their music career in the early 90s and have since gone on to win numerous awards.

Named after the Maori word for strength, KAHA will be letting loose in the New Year making their mark on all the hottest festivals and events.

“Our show also touches on our Maori cultural background with a Haka and other elements of the act we will present at festivals and concerts next year,” Jade said.

“It’s great to share with people here a taste of traditional Maori culture and harmony melded with funk and reggae covers that are part of the pop culture of the world.”

“We are ready to roll out funky beats and harmonies to start 2010 at a world wide high.”

KAHA will be performing at the Royal Hotel in South Grafton starting at 8.30pm.

In Yamba:

Yamba is always a winner on New Year’s Eve.

This year marks the 18th consecutive year that the magnificent fireworks display will be shown on Main Beach.

The Pacific Hotel has Sydney band Three Quarters Hazel performing.

The band performed at the pub last December and drummer Josh Oshlack said they absolutely loved it.

Josh said the band was all about making people feel good. Their upbeat funky vibes get you up and onto the dance floor.

Tickets to the Pacific Hotel for New Year’s Eve are $25. There is a limited number so it is best to buy your ticket in advance. They normally sell-out by lunch time today.

One of the Valley’s favourite outfits Hekyl and Jive will perform at the Yamba Bowling Club tonight.

The four-piece band is fronted by Ally Ray who acts as wardrobe, make-up artist and manager, on top of her official duties as lead vocals.

She can alter her voice as if it was a walk in the park, being able to handle AC/DC for one song and then switch with ease to KT Tunsdell.

The band covers almost everything form Santana to Green Day to The Red Hot Chilli Peppers to the Scissor Sisters, and that is just off their ‘new and tasty concoction’ of a play list.

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