Along with in-concert performance of New Zealand song, Mike can offer a range of workshops or seminars on related themes, all illustrated with musical examples:
"Colonial Folk Ballad and Song"
The "traditional" (i.e. collected, anonymous, oral transmission etc.) songs of Pakeha New Zealand, telling of early exploration and settlement of a "new" land.
"The Folksong Revival and the Folksong Collectors"
The revival of interest in and search for our early folksongs in the 1950's and 1960's, featuring the collecting, publishing and recording work of Rona Bailey, Neil Colquhoun and Phil Garland.
"New Zealand Poets in Song"
Much of our repertoire is built on the works of colonial and contemporary poets, their words set to music usually in more recent times.
Courtship in the days of classic Kiwi culture when men were blokes and women were sheilas, through to the more modern times, as seen in folk and popular song.
"The Kiwi Vernacular Ballads of Peter Cape"
The songs of our own celebrant of the "ordinary joker", Peter Cape. Featuring the obvious: "Taumarunui","She'll Be Right", "Down the Hall on Saturday Night", but also the more sensitive and obscure "Black Matai (The Culler's Lament)", "The Stable Lad", "When the Rainbird Sings In The Tea-Tree" and many others.
"Bush Balladeers Of Our Recent Past"
Featuring the lives and works of 'Gypsy' Bob Edwards and Joe Charles: "The Old McKenzie Trail", "The Day The Pub Burned Down", "Sticky Beak The Kiwi"; "Wool Away Jack", "Sheepo" etc.
"Modern 'Folk' and Popular Song"
New Zealand today as seen in the songs of contemporary songwriters.
Other possible themes/areas or exploration
- Maori / Pakeha Musical Interaction.
- The Early Recording Industry
- Rock Music in New Zealand
- New Zealand Country and Western Music.
- Songs of the Hills (Tramping and outdoor songs).
- Songs of the Services (songs from the barracks and battlefields).
- Social Comment and Change in Song.