Country rock’n’blues band back at Sawmill

The DeSotos’ Americana sound has been likened in style to Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Neil Young.

It has been a decade since their last Mahurangi appearance, but roots-based, rock-infused country blues band The DeSotos is returning to the Leigh Sawmill Café at last, on Sunday, September 22.

Lead singer Paul Gurney says the early evening show is a long overdue return for the Americana combo, but points out that he has been back regularly to the venue with the Jubilation Gospel Choir, for whom he is a soloist and tenor.

“We love coming up, it’s an annual gig for us, but The DeSotos have only done one show, so we’re really looking forward to it,” he says. “It’s just a fabulous building and vibe, and performers always get well supported.”

Paul says The DeSotos’ setlist will span everything from gin-soaked ballads to southern country rockers, with the odd Tom Petty or Neil Young cover thrown in, and he promises a great evening of music overall.

The DeSotos’ first Sawmill show 10 years ago marked the release of their debut album, Cross Your Heart, which went on to become the soundtrack to South, a TV series celebrating Southland and Otago hosted by Marcus Lush. This latest gig will include a free copy of the band’s critically acclaimed second album, Your Highway For Tonight, for all ticket holders.

The DeSotos’ line-up is lead vocalist Paul Gurney, also on guitar and blues harp; Stuart McIntyre on bass and vocals, Ron Stevens on Hammond organ and keyboards; and drummer and percussionist Michael Burrows.

Tickets cost $15 from, or $20 on the door, if not sold out prior. Doors open at 4.30pm and the band will be onstage from 5.30pm.

Ticket Giveaway

Mahurangi Matters has a double pass for The DeSotos give away. To enter the draw, email your contact details to with DeSotos in the subject line. Competition closes September 16.

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