A gravel-voiced Wellington folk musician with a chip on his shoulder will join a lap-steel guitarist on centre stage as live folk music hits Levin for the first time since Covid-19 lockdown.

Bill Hickman will be joined by Dusty Burnell as headline acts at the Levin Folk Music Club's home at the Scottish Society Hall in Bartholomew Rd on Friday, June 12.

Hickman has been described as an intense, lyrical singer-songwriter whose style is difficult to pinpoint, but leans towards alternative country with a bit of rock and folk.

A long serving stalwart of New Zealand stages, Hickman has played in such bands as The Shot Band, Billy Bones, Parcel of Rogues and King Lazy, and as a soloist all over the country and further abroad.


A self-described 'folkie with a chip on his shoulder', his songs run the gamut from murder and outlaws to absent friends, love and gratitude.

Bill and Dusty.
Bill and Dusty.

With a strong, gravel dragged voice and country-inflected acoustic guitar; fans of Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash and Townes van Zandt will find touchstones in his songwriting and selected covers.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a set of gentle melancholy, however, as Hickman's primary approach is 'gutsy'.

He has done his time howling above the clamour and is always capable of stepping it up a notch when the occasion or story requires.

For the Levin concert Hickman teams up with multi-instrumentalist Cameron 'Dusty' Burnell, a great mandolin and lap steel musician.

A member of the Frank Burkitt Band and Wellington's T-Bone Trio, Dusty has performed overseas and brings his mandolin, lap steel guitars and lonesome harmony to Hickman's tunes for an amazingly powerful performance.

Meanwhile, organisers were urging people take note of the change of format due to Covid-19 requirements, as extra efforts go into the sanitation of the chairs, sound gear and hall facilities.

The doors open at 7pm with the main concert starting at 7.30 pm, followed by a limited number of blackboard items. Door entry is $10 public/$5 members.