Hitting the road: Tami Neilson (Neilson Family Band)

What is your preferred mode of travel for the summer tour?

I'm being a bit spoiled and flying out and back on the weekends for this tour so I can be home with my little one during the week (and seeing that I'm touring with his nana and papa, they are pretty keen to get back to him, too!)

Who's in charge of the stereo/iPod, and what's on it?

The driver gets to choose the music! If it's me, lots of Mavis Staples, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. If it's Dad, the Beatles. If it's Mom, southern gospel quartets.

Favourite place to grab a feed while out on the road?

Fleur's Place in Moeraki.

Your favourite summer venue?

Leigh Sawmill is always great.

Where else are you looking forward to visiting along your tour route?

Taking my parents (who are coming from Canada) to historic Oamaru, and Gore. They need a photo in front of the giant guitar, and the giant trout. Both equally important.

Best spot for a quick dip in the ocean, or an inviting swimming hole?

We Canadians are a bit nervous of the ocean with its sharks, kinda like Kiwis are nervous to camp in Canada because of bears.

What song will you be playing to really get the crowd going?

Lots of foot-stomping, old-time country music.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Playing the Woodford Folk Festival in Australia.

Do you have any New Year's traditions?

Yeah, working while everyone else parties.

Do certain styles of music make more sense during the hot and sweaty months of summer?

There was a lot of country music at our family barbecues and picnics growing up, so it's a bit of a summer soundtrack for me.

Is it tough having to work over the summer break when everyone else is on holiday?

Growing up in a travelling family band, all our holidays included singing, so it's been my way of life for as long as I can remember.

Ideal summer music fest dream team line-up?

I'm heading to Womad this year where they've paired me up with Delaney Davidson, then I get to stick around and watch Pokey LaFarge - that's a pretty sweet dream team line-up.

Tami Neilson and her family band perform at The Rogue Stage, Rotorua, Jan 16; St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki, Jan 17; Wellington Bluegrass Society, Petone, Jan 18; The Paddington, Auckland, Jan 23; Major Toms, Tauranga, Jan 24; Artworks Theatre, Waiheke, Jan 25; Leigh Sawmill, Jan 26; Yacht Club, Lyttelton, Jan 31; Geraldine Cinema, Geraldine, Feb 1; Longford Tavern, Gore, Feb 2; Womad, New Plymouth, March 14-16.

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