The Remarkables

The Remarkables are an Auckland/Tauranga based acoustic bluegrass-country-jazz-swing band


The Remarkables are a 4 piece unit from Auckland/Tauranga, New Zealand, playing music that can only be described as hillbilly swing.

The repertoire varies wildly from the hot swing sounds of Paris in the 1940s to the smoky bar-rooms of Texas, with Bob Wills overtones and then mixed with the bluegrass sounds of East Kentucky.

Neil Finlay plays guitar and is the lead singer. He is well known as a bluesman, but is equally at home in Country Music and Jazz. In 2008 he released his debut solo blues album, Stop and Listen.

Bryan Christianson plays 5-string banjo with The Remarkables. He has appeared as a session musician on many NZ recordings in addition to his work with the Tui Award winning Wires & Wood.

Robbie Laven is one of New Zealands top instrumental performers, known for his work with Bonjour Swing and earlier with Red Hot Peppers and the 1953 Memorial Society Rock and Roll Band. What he can do with an old washboard has to be seen to be believed!

Garry Trotman plays double bass in the band and sings the high vocal parts. He is an accomplished songwriter having recently released ‘Brand New Tradition, an album of original songs. He is also a member of Wires & Wood.

The band has previously appeared at:
2015 Canterbury Folk Festival (Headline act)
2015 Auckland Folk Festival (headline act)
2014 Hamilton Acoustic Music Club festival (headline act)
2013/14 Whare Flat Folk festival (headline act)
2013 Auckland Folk Festival
2012 Wellington Folk Festival

in addition to various bars and folk-clubs around Auckland and also at the more
intimate settings of House Concerts in the greater Auckland area.

Their debut album Swinging On The Gate has met with critical success, Graham Reid commenting
"No barriers hurdled, envelopes pushed or parameters breached, just damn fine stuff from people who know what they are doing . . . and how to do it very well indeed.”


  • Actual set list from a recent performance. Many more numbers besides these, all from similar genres.
  • Honeysuckle Rose
  • Guitar Swing
  • Texas Eagle
  • Swinging On The Gate (instrumental)
  • Crazy For Your Love
  • Copper Kettle
  • Frankie And Johnny
  • White Dove
  • Lost Highway
  • Stealing (back to my same old used to be)
  • Marie
  • Whoa babe
  • Wait And See (instrumental)
  • Animal Liberation Rag
  • Pig In A Pen
  • John Henry
  • Titanic
  • Shine On Harvest Moon
  • Mama Tried
  • You Always Hurt The One You Love
  • Foggy Mountain Breakdown (instrumental)
  • Right Or Wrong
  • Wild Horses
  • Jed Clampett or Duelling Banjos ONLY IF requested.

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