Country music duo back to their roots

Award-winning country music stars, NeillyRich. Photo: Supplied.

A world-class music duo has returned to the region where their country careers began.

Marlborough’s own country stars, NeillyRich duo Matt McNeilly and wife Amelia, are back in Blenheim after weathering COVID-19 in Sydney.

Now, NeillyRich are performing two concerts back on home ground, their preferred place to play.

Guitarist and singer Matthew McNeilly says one of the best things about playing in Marlborough is the crowd.

“Part of the reason we like to come here is there’s always a great crowd, and you know two thirds of it. It’s a great way to catch up.”

The concert comes as the pair prepare to travel to Texas and perform on a Carnival cruise ship, Vista, for the next several months.

It is one of the first ships to return to cruising following the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're one of the few country bands that come to town, and everyone told me my whole life that country music was never going to go anywhere in Blenheim - so it's nice to be the exception to that rule," Matt says.

They are accompanied by a new band, Luke Connor on the drums, Andy Fairhall on bass and as well as another New Zealand country music star, Robby Giddens.

The pair are playing at Mikey’s Bar, in Picton, next Friday and at the Woodbourne Tavern, in Renwick on Saturday 12 June.