Tui Trophy 2006 004

A folk debutant joins two established veterans as finalists for the 2017 Best Folk Album, presented by Recorded Music New Zealand.

The winner will be announced 29 January at the ‘Tui Finalists Concert’ at the 44th annual Auckland Folk Festival in Kumeu (West Auckland) following performances from each of the finalists.

Graeme James’ is up for his first folk Tui with his debut album News From Nowhere which was released 23 September 2016 and entered the New Zealand Music Charts at #5, followed by a sold out tour across New Zealand and Australia.

In an attempt to mirror the energy and joy of his live show, he has performed and produced the album in its entirety, with a few notable features from select musicians including a duet with his wife who he met while busking in Wellington.

After returning from four years in India and Thailand, Guy Wishart is a finalist for his fifth solo album West By North.

Recorded at Roundhead Studios, the album charted for two weeks and reflects a distinctly country sound throughout. The release of West By North was supported by a tour across New Zealand over May and June 2016 and helped cement Wishart as a staple of the folk scene in Aotearoa.

Luke Thompson’s fifth album, Hosts, rounds out the finalists for Best Folk Album of 2017. Thompson is a well-travelled singer and songwriter from Tauranga and has shared the stage with many – from Passenger and Toto to Boy & Bear, Avalanche City and Lydia Cole.

The album was entirely self-recorded, self-produced and independently released. It was made entirely using only an old hollow body electric guitar and his voice.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive officer Damian Vaughan said the Best Folk Album category is always brimming with talented musicians and outstanding albums – and 2017 is no exception.

“All three finalists have recorded great albums that really do the diverse nature of the folk genre proud. Once again the finalists have set the judges an unenviable task in picking a winner. Sincere congratulations to each of them.”

Online ticket sales for the 2016 Auckland Folk Festival are open now. For more information visit:

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