Don McGlashan's songwriting talent is the envy of angels. We catch up with the national treasure ahead of his Free Flight New Zealand tour

1 Which of your many song titles best describes Don McGlashan's life right now?

Marvellous Year, really, but also a song from the Mutton Birds' fourth album called Hands Full.

2 You're doing a 22-date national tour — what are your favourite aspects of smalltown New Zealand?

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Waking up in a new place, smelling the air, going for a run up a hill to get the lay of the land.

3 What do the words "Free Flight" mean to you?

Being able to ride whatever thermals and up-draughts you want; no one setting your flight-path, nobody in a Control Tower talking you through your next move.

4 What can fans expect from your live shows?

Verses, choruses, the occasional bridge, pontoon or floating dock.

5 What is your favourite back catalogue song to perform live and why?

It changes every night — but I did Miracle Sun for some people the other day, and so much sand, wind and Hokianga light came into the room, I almost forgot to sing.

6 What lesson have you learned in your career that you would tell a young person wanting to be a successful musician?

I'd tell them make music that they love; music that lights them up, that makes them resonate like a bell that's been struck. I'd tell them never to try to guess what people might like, but always follow their own instincts.

7 When can we expect some new music from you, and will you play any on tour?

I'm hoping to make a new album next year, and yes, there should be a few new songs in these upcoming shows.

8 You can only fit one album by another artist on your device — what is it?

Only one album? Well, because it's so gloriously long, Mahler's 3rd Symphony. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

9 You're curating a music festival. Who's on the bill, alive or dead?

Robert Johnson, Prince Nico Mbarga, Aretha Franklyn, Judee Sill and Mulatu Astatke.

10 After all the touring, what do you like to do most, when you come back home?

Going out to a West Coast beach to watch the sea, with a hip flask of single malt, and Mulatu Astatke on the headphones.

Don McGlashan has fronted bands including the Mutton Birds and Blam Blam Blam. Photo / Leisha Knox
Don McGlashan has fronted bands including the Mutton Birds and Blam Blam Blam. Photo / Leisha Knox

Don McGlashan Free Flight NZ Tour

Tickets on sale from donmcglashan.com

Thursday 13 Sept - The Old Stone Butter Factory, Whangarei

Friday Sept 14 - Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Leigh **SOLD OUT**
(support from Dominic Blazer)

Saturday Sept 15 – Sir Don Rowlands Centre, Cambridge
(featuring Chris O'Connor)

Thursday Sept 20 - Totara Street, Mt Maunganui**SOLD OUT**

Friday Sept 21 - Dome Cinema, Gisborne**SOLD OUT**
(support from Emily Fairlight)

Saturday Sept 22 - Paisley Stage, Napier**SOLD OUT**
(support from Emily Fairlight)

Sunday Sept 23 - Paisley Stage, Napier**SOLD OUT**
(support from Emily Fairlight)

Thursday Sept 27 – Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru**SOLD OUT**

Friday Sept 28 – Arts Festival, Dunedin
(featuring Chris O'Connor)

Saturday Sept 29 - Southland Musicians Club, Invercargill

Friday Oct 5 - Hollywood Avondale, Auckland **SOLD OUT**
(featuring Chris O'Connor and support from Anthonie Tonnon)

Wednesday Oct 10 - Old St Pauls, Wellington
(featuring Joe McCallum and support from Anthonie Tonnon)

Thursday Oct 11 - St Peters Village Hall, Paekakariki**SOLD OUT**
(featuring Joe McCallum and support from Emily Fairlight)

Friday Oct 12 - Globe Theatre, Palmerston North
(featuring Joe McCallum and support from Emily Fairlight)

Saturday Oct 13 - Old St Pauls, Wellington **SOLD OUT**
(featuring Chris O'Connor and support from Anthonie Tonnon)

Sunday Oct 14 - The Mussel Inn, Golden Bay**SOLD OUT**

Tuesday Oct 16 - The Plant, Blenheim *JUST ADDED

Wednesday Oct 17 - Memorial Hall, Kaikoura *JUST ADDED

Thursday Oct 18 - Rangiora Town Hall, Rangiora
(featuring Chris O'Connor and support from Anthonie Tonnon)

Friday Oct 19 - Gaiety Hall, Akaroa **SOLD OUT**
(featuring Chris O'Connor and support from Anthonie Tonnon)

Saturday Oct 20 - Barrytown Hall, Barrytown
(support from Jed Parsons)

Sunday Oct 21 – Sherwood, Queenstown
(support from Jed Parsons)