Shingle bob are a four piece band who play jazz, blues & Americana.
Shingle Bob began as an act in a community concert in the small village of Kohukohu. Subsequently invited by a local cafe owner to "put a set together and come and play", they have now been together for 11 years. Mostly playing locally in the Far North (including Hokianga's Little Big Day Out Festival), they have also played Jazz & Blues Festivals in Whangarei, Bay of Islands and Dargaville, as well as at Cafe 121 and The Bunker in Auckland.
The band is Bill Thomson on guitar and vocals, Claire Deighton vocals, Rhys Evans bass and Phil Evans percussion. They named themselves after the shingle bob haircut, mentioned in John Hurt's 'Richland Woman Blues' and considered by many to be outrageous in the 1920s when it first appeared.
Bill was inspired by the folk clubs in the 1960s & 70s and, in particular, the rediscovery of the blues musicians from the 1930s. Mississippi John Hurt's finger picking style is hugely influential on the way Bill plays. He learned to play Hurt's tunes, as well as those of Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon, the old way - by lifting the needle after every few bars. Since then he has been playing and singing their songs as well as newer ones from artists such as Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Leonard Cohen, Jolie Holland and Bob Dylan. He is still amazed by how easy it is to learn new songs now with the internet and is fascinated by the research which is being done on old recordings using new technology.
Claire has always sung in the shower and grew up annoying her parents by listening to Janis Joplin, Canned Heat and Billy Bragg loud. Coming from a theatre background, yet previously too nervous to sing in public, she enjoys singing the blues with Shingle Bob. Her vocals have been likened to those of Bessie Smith.
Rhys artfully pumps a grooving bass line giving a depth to the Shingle Bob sound. He is also our technical genius and looks rather dashing in a pin striped suit.
Phil was part of the jug band revival of the 1960s & 70s and gigged regularly on washboard as a part of the popular jug band, Hokum On Somble, in his home town of Sydney. Since moving to Hokianga, he has played the bodhran at local Ceilidhs, played in skiffle bands and has taken up snare drum for Shingle Bob. He provides a smooth sultry beat around which the rest of the band can frolic.
Together as Shingle Bob, they play early Blues, Jazz and Americana.