Local lad Ryan Prebble will feel a sense of homecoming when he takes the stage at Black Barn with his band The Nudge on Saturday.
Brought up in Waipukarau, Prebble attended Hastings Boys' High, then Havelock North High, and was looking forward to this weekend's Te Mata Peak benefit concert.
The Nudge - Prebble, James Coyle and Iraia Whakamoe - produce a fresh and innovative blend of psychedelic swamp blues.
Their sound was loosely based around Prebble's writing style, but wove in threads from the trio's varied musical backgrounds.
While their second album was in the pipeline, they took a break over summer to perform at some of New Zealand's top music events, including Kaikoura Summer Sounds Festival.
"It's great to be able to have the opportunity to perform in front of a new crowd, as it's really exciting to see their faces - it's a great way to make a living," Prebble said.
The upcoming offering was "more expansive" than Big Nudge Pie, due to new influences.
"There's more music to listen to ... It's one of those records that would be great background music at a party."
Since 2008, he has performed with some of New Zealand's best-known bands, including Fly My Pretties and The Black Seeds.
Prebble, who first met Coyle at a Smokefree Rockquest heat in Hawke's Bay and Wellington musician Iraia Whakamoe in 2010, has enjoyed the journey music has taken him on.
"A musician's life is a wee bit of a struggle, and sometimes it can be hard to make ends meet, but at the end of the day, I am choosing to follow my passion. Success is not about money, it's about working hard in what you believe in."
Proceeds from the event will help to establish a visitor and education centre near Te Mata Peak's main entrance gates.
Catch The Nudge performing alongside Tropical Down Beat Orchestra, and Ben Throp and Intimate Strangers at Black Barn from 6pm on Saturday. Tickets are $35, available from www.blackbarn.com