The Black Soap Boys
“Black Soap Boys” are a brand new blues band with quite a few brand new songs. Rick Bryant, Gordon Spittle and Chris Grosz, playing their own country blues based songs, with a smattering of classic covers, from early Dylan to Bukka White, are not youthful beginners.

They are playing at The Boathouse, Nelson, New Zealand on Friday 20th September.

Every so often, but not very often, you go to hear live music, and get struck by a musical presence and quality that you just didn’t expect.

Unless you’ve heard him already.

Rick Bryant has been, not to understate the matter, in a lot of bands. The most recent, “The Windy City Strugglers” played at the Boathouse and in the Nelson area in 2006.

The big voiced singer has done every kind of blues, ancient and modern, in 45 years on the road around Aotearoa, in Mammal, Blerta, Rough Justice, Top Scientists, Neighbours, and Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers, as well as gospel choir Jubilation.

After a long recovery from pneumonia and other setbacks Rick is back at work in “Black Soap Boys”, a blues-flavoured acoustic guitar trio playing mainly new songs written by themselves.

Chris Grosz has lived overseas for much of the time since he was in the unforgettable and historic Christchurch lineup “The Band of Hope” in the late 1960s, and “The Mad Dog Jug Band” in Auckland in the 70’s. Since then he has been active in the Melbourne acoustic blues scene, and a member of Whangarei based electric blues band “Smokestack.”

Gordon Spittle has been writing songs since the 1970’s, for various artists including Dunedin’s legendary “Lutha”, winners of the Loxene Golden Disc Award in 1973 and 1974.

For the last few years he has collaborated with Bryant, writing the repertoire for the last incarnation of “Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers” comprising their forthcoming album, “The Black Soap from Monkeyburg”, as well as several other albums in progress.

The “Black Soap Boys” repertoire is made up of acoustic versions from this long list of rock, r&b, blues, gospel, ballads, and countryish songs, together with some of Chris’s, in the same range of styles. See also

From an article about Rick, Metro Magazine, August 2012

“I always thought he took music more seriously than he ought to,…that he was thinking the soul out of it. But I don’t think that anymore…He’s always had a fantastic voice and it’s just got better and better. It’s so full of feeling.”

Simon Morris, Radio New Zealand broadcaster.

“His voice is his careful, meticulous art, a thing of rare and expressive beauty, maybe best heard on his own composition, ‘Snow on the Desert Road.’ ”

Steve Braunias, Metro Feature Writer.

“He does really work at it, and keeps refining it. Even though the texture of it has got grainier, and rougher, what he can do with it is so much more – he can sing one note now that says a whole lot. I mean, we should regard him the way the Irish regard Van Morrison. Maybe ultimately we will.”

Nick Bollinger, Radio New Zealand broadcaster.

“You hear life ived in his voice. You hear experience. You hear sorrow and pain.
He gets it right.”

Jennifer Ward-Lealand, actor and singer.

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