Dunedin singer-songwriter Bevan Gardiner change of pace as he steps from daily life into the bright lights in the large-scale touring show Take Me Home – The Music & Life of John Denver.
Gardiner, fellow Dunedin singer Georgie Daniell and a band of five international musicians are about to set off on tour around New Zealand, starting with a Dunedin show on May 4.
Gardiner, who is partially sighted and can see people only as silhouettes, has had a lifelong love of music. He works as a music teacher and performs in local bands, stepping out about once a year to sing the music of Denver.
“It’s a lot of fun. I’m very comfortable with the music of John Denver and the show is really good,” Gardiner said.
Gardiner has been a fan of Denver since he first heard a cassette of his music at the age of 7 while on a family holiday.
“John Denver was one of the first musicians I heard, and I used to play along when I was learning guitar,” he said.
In 2007, Gardiner was invited to Aspen, Colorado, to perform in the 10th annual John Denver Tribute Week, singing alongside members of Denver’s original band.
Take Me Home – The Music & Life of John Denver is the only official John Denver tribute show, and most recently toured through Australia in 2016. The show’s concept was developed by Dennis Brown, of Event Entertainment.
The show incorporates archival film footage detailing Denver’s life and achievements, which ended when the aircraft he was piloting crashed in Monterey Bay, California, in October 1997.
“The musicians are great, and we tend to tour the show once a year – so it’s always fresh,” Gardiner said.
“We put a lot of effort into streamlining the performance to make it as good as it can be, and of course all the hit songs are there.”
In addition to teaching and touring, Gardiner has been busy performing locally and writing music. In the next 18 months, he hopes to collaborate with fellow local musicians on recording an album.