The Kawhia Cruise is getting a significant musical boost for its seventh annual cruise, enlisting two of Hamilton’s popular blues bands to play at the Kawhia Domain during this year’s event.

Velvet Bulldozer will be performing as the main act, after Kim Earl revs up the crowd as the warm-up.

The Kawhia Cruise has become a mainstay of the Waikato event calendar since its inception seven years ago, especially among the classic car crowd, being an opportunity for car owners to show off their vehicles while cruising between Hamilton and Kawhia, with a family-friendly fun day at the Kawhia Domain, including prizegiving, spot prizes and auctions, culminating in a live concert for participants of the cruise as well as the general public. Entry is by donation, with all profits going to MS Waikato to raise money and awareness for people living with Multiple Sclerosis and help fund the ongoing search for a cure.

Phil Walsh, of Velvet Bulldozer, says his band is looking forward to performing for the crowd in Kawhia.

“We’ve always been keen on supporting local events, especially charity events where it’s for a good cause,” says Phil. “This is a great cause and we’re very happy to be involved.”

Velvet Bulldozer certainly seems like the perfect fit for the Kawhia Cruise, which has used the local rock band ‘Shotgun’ in previous years.

Founder and organiser of the Kawhia Cruise, Adam Muir, says a blues band is the perfect fit for the feel of the day.

“I’m humbled that an established local band like Velvet Bulldozer is willing to donate their time for this cause, with the addition of guest vocalists Kim Earl. We’re expecting our best ever turnout this year and I’m sure everyone who comes on the cruise is going to be blown away by the entertainment.”

The blues of Velvet Bulldozer will be a familiar sound to many Waikato locals, having been on the Hamilton circuit for many years.

“We’re seasoned musicians,” says Phil Walsh. “We’ve been around for a long time. We used to play around the place in the eighties and nineties and we just reformed about two years ago so we’re happy to get out and play our blues to audiences. Hopefully they all enjoy it. They have done so far.”

Phil says the audience at Kawhia can expect to be treated to a range of tunes and instrumentation as they enjoy a genuine blues treat.

“We are very old school blues,” he says. “The name reflects our style. Velvet Bulldozer, the smooth with the rough. You’ll get everything from Chicken Shack to ZZ Top.”

As if one great band isn’t enough, Velvet Bulldozer will be bringing along singer Kim Earl to warm up the crowd.

“Kim and I will do a few songs to kick things off.” says Phil. “Sometimes we do this acoustically but this time we’re going to use a computer backing and we’re going to start things off with a few songs before the prizegiving, then Velvet Bulldozer will do their thing. Kim is a musician who’s been around and is always happy to get involved in causes like this.”

Kim, with her full band, will also be performing at the ‘Ladies Sing the Blues’ event at Biddy Mulligans in Hamilton on 31 October.

The Kawhia Cruise will be held on Sunday 10 November, starting at the Jukebox Diner, Railside Place, Hamilton, with registration and breakfast from 7:30am, the cruise leaving at 9:30am, stopping off at Pirongia and aiming to arrive in Kawhia at around 1:30pm.

Anyone is welcome, in any type of car. Entry is by donation and Eftpos is available. Register at the Jukebox Diner on the day.