Formed by brothers Laurence and Sam, You, Me, Everybody pushes the limits of a genre steeped with tradition; bending the rules and playing bluegrass their way. While upbeat bangers are part of their repertoire, this is no pub band, rather a collection of the best New Zealand acoustic instrumentalists who are searching for a new, dynamic sound that showcases the best of Americana in Aotearoa.
“At the aptly retro So Vintage, we were treated to a display of skilfully played and sung Americana, from a virtuoso ensemble that could hold its head up proudly in the company of such well-known artists of the genre as Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski.”
Referred to as New Zealand’s first Bluegrass Supergroup, the excitement around their inception saw them play their first live gig as openers for The Felice Brothers as part of the Americana fest at Auckland’s Tuning Fork. They recorded their EP a week later and in February 2020, You, Me, Everybody released their self-titled debut EP, reaching number 13 in the New Zealand music charts.
Albi - Abli & The Wolves
“Progressive bluegrass isn’t typically an accessible genre for people unfamiliar to acoustic music but this record is. It’s comfortable, relatable and full of musical charisma. The combination of musicians here headed by the formidable force of Sam and Laurence Frangos-Rhodes is fantastic and fits together beautifully. You, Me, Everybody’s sometimes rollicking album will transport you to New Zealand’s hills through an Americana lens and it’s delightful! Be sure to see them on tour too as their live show stacks up just as well too.”
Together they provide the audience with a powerful and enduring experience, but they each have talents that contribute to their overall brilliance. Laurence not only builds guitars, but his songwriting crosses the boundaries of effortless, yet mature, in the same breath. Sam oozes musicality; he’ll pick up a mandolin, fiddle or double bass, in a nonchalant manner, but his talent quietly shatters the illusion of youth. In 2020, Sam and Laurence were chosen as two of 16 musicians aged under 22, to participate in the Savannah Music Festival’s Acoustic Music Seminar in Georgia, USA. The Festival was postponed due to Covid-19, but they hope to participate in the future.
Nat Torkington is the resident banjo player for the Pipi Pickers. His talent and enthusiasm for experimentation shines through, adding an unparalleled progressive dynamic to the music of You, Me, Everybody. His energy and contribution to bluegrass music, as a player, teacher and mentor has helped to keep bluegrass alive in New Zealand.
James Geluk is the bass player for You, Me, Everybody and he needs no introduction. He is well known throughout New Zealand for his participation in many successful bands. Notably, in 2019, as a member of The Frank Burkitt Band he won a Tui for the Best NZ folk album. As a jazz bass player, and graduate of the NZ School of Music, he brings a new dimension to a bluegrass setting.
Kim Bonnington has a heart of pure country. She owns centre stage without the need for accompaniment, but You, Me, Everybody are lucky to be gifted with her rare and beautiful talent as a song writer, guitarist and vocalist. Kim is well known in New Zealand as one half of Kim and Dusty, but also for providing harmonies for a range of world renowned music acts such as Tami Neilson, and Mel Parsons.
Think of the experimental instrumentation of The Punch Brothers, the harmonies and lead vocals of Alison Krauss and Union Station, the driving rhythms of The Infamous Stringdusters, and the virtuosity of Tony Rice and Béla Fleck. They have all pushed the boundaries, as You, Me, Everybody are doing, incorporating New Zealand’s rolling hills and vast, colourful skies into the Americana landscape.