RhodeWorks are an award-winning bluegrass folk band who play fast paced, high energy folk music, presenting a set of traditional and well-loved bluegrass alongside their original material. Rounding the package, the three brothers present soulful vocal harmonies and fiery instrumentals. Laurence (18), Sam (16) and Nate (13) are largely self-taught multi-instrumentalists, who have wowed audiences throughout NZ and Australia. As well as their dedication to creating unique roots-conscious music they love nothing more than heading to the workshop to craft their own instruments.
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Radio New Zealand: NZ Live 2019
RhodeWorks have recently been interviewed by Jesse Mulligan for NZ Live, answering questions about music, building guitars and homeschooling.
Jesse – “So Laurence how do you make a guitar?”
Laurence – “So basically you turn big pieces of wood into saw dust”
- Rob Dickens, Listening Through the Lens, Mountaingrass 2018
Rhodeworks are Laurence (17), Sam (15), Nate (12) and their Mum, steadying the ship with her bass but clearly taking a back seat, away from the spotlight. The band has won an award for their vocal and musical talents and the boys are largely self-taught multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who have performed at many festivals throughout their native New Zealand and Australia. What they do is fast-paced, high-energy folk music, showcasing a blend of well-known traditional bluegrass alongside original material and well-interpreted covers. Their show in Pitt’s Tent was blessed with great acoustics and they covered the Punch Brothers‘s layered song “Julep” with aplomb as well as an inventively-good cover of Dragon’s “April Sun In Cuba”.
The fact that they are still learning their craft is a sobering thought because, if they keep at this music business with the relish and persistence they exhibit now, Rhodeworks will be a force with which to be reckoned. Speaking of perseverance, lead singer Laurence had his right forearm and wrist in a cast but still managed to play guitar with authority.
- Laura Dooney, The Dominion Post, Wellington, NZ
“Close your eyes, and you could swear you were in Kentucky.
The three young musicians playing a toe-tapping tune sound like seasoned professionals, but are in fact a trio of siblings, the oldest 14, and the youngest 9, playing an original song.”
- Paul Trenwith, Hamilton County Bluegrass Band
“The Frangos-Rhodes family has been playing their music at Farmers’ Markets, fair days, folk clubs and Hamilton’s monthly bluegrass club ‘Back Porch Bluegrass’ for a few years now, honing their performance and presentation skills and delighting all who have been watching them. They have a clear understanding of the music they’re playing, not just reproducing something learned by rote and like most acoustic bands, watch each other closely for those subtle changes that happen all the time during a performance.”
- Pitt Ramsay
“Having heard them in concert I could get into some detail about their performances. But let me say that when you hear them, expect to hear a range of skills on guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. Expect them to sing, brilliantly. In terms of material, expect anything from bluegrass to folk, and more besides. What you won’t be expecting perhaps is how at ease on stage they are, how well they handle any technical issue, how well they handle continuity.
Have I left anything out? Did I mention they can make their own instruments? Did I mention you can expect to see and hear youngest brother, nine year-old Nate, on percussion and vocals? And mother Tracy on upright bass? Listen also for the occasional contribution from dad on guitar, and when you do, you’ll have everyone in the highly talented RhodeWorks family at work.”
- Nat Torkington, Pipi Pickers
“RhodeWorks mix talent with personality, and the result is top-shelf bluegrass entertainment!”
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