It’s never too late
In his sixth decade Bernie Griffen continues to write, perform and produce music seasoned and deepened by the hard-won experience of his years and his musical journeying.
Bernie’s fourth original album ‘Doors Wide Open’, recorded in Melbourne with collaborator Kirsten Warner and producer Luke Plumb, releases brand new gems as well as songs that have followed Bernie from previous lives.
Bernie Griffen has won plenty of followers with his moody, emotive brand of folk-country music. RNZ National Radio’s Trevor Reekie calls him a “national treasure”. Bernie’s song 29 Diamonds for the miners lost at Pike River might just go down in history as the song that best records the disaster.
Under the Radar’s Chris Familton says about Bernie: “He seeks and achieves a wounded grace in his singing as he explores the darker societal corners like a tired and battle-scarred narrator. His is a unique voice on the New Zealand cultural landscape and one that should be widely acknowledged as such.”
Dubbed Southern Gothic, Bernie Griffen mines a terrain of his own that could equally be described as swamp folk or psychedelic country. It mines his deep understanding and feel for American and Kiwi music roots.
“If you consider the idea of what might have been if Howling Wolf and Townes Van Zandt and Johnny Cash were front of a band combo of The Velvet Underground and The Cowboy Junkies – this is what this band is all about,” says music blogger Brian Thomas, Sounds Good To Me.
Bernie’s a well-known figure in the New Zealand music business and host of the long-running and popular show Border Radio on alternative radio station 95bFM, specializing in American roots music.
He is joined on ‘Doors Wide Open’ by his emerging musical (and life) partner Kirsten Warner (guitar, vocals) with Chris Kemp on drums (Kendall Elise, Tony Daunt and the Dauntless, Swampland, Labretta Suede and the Motel Six) and Garry Trotman on bass (The Remarkables, Wire & Wood)
Read a full profile on Bernie over at Audioculture.co.nz.
Album: Doors Wide Open – Bernie Griffen and The Thin Men. May 2018
Album: Salvation – Bernie Griffen and The Thin Men. September 2014
Album: Everything So Far – Bernie Griffen and the Grifters. October 2012
EP: 29 Diamonds – Bernie Griffen and the Grifters. 2012
EP: Bernie Griffen and the Grifters. 2011