Product Code: TVNZ 26
Artist: Jeff Rea
Origin: New Zealand
Label: Music World (1982)
Format: LP
Availability: In Stock
Cover: VG+
Record: NM (M-)
Genre: Country , Folk , Trip Hop U

First Steps

1982 debut LP from New Zealand singer/guitarist. stunning vinyl and cover in great condition.

Few New Zealand musicians have taken a career path like that travelled by singer-songwriter Jeff Rea. Little known in his home country, Rea went from jamming Uriah Heep and Doobie Brothers covers with New Zealand punk pioneer Alec Bathgate in Tapanui in the 1970s to working up to 300 dates a year all over the United States with country music superstar Gary Morris in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the early 1980s, Rea had already released his debut album and become a regular on TVNZ's That’s Country before he met Morris on the series in 1983 and discovered they shared a love of the same artists. Within 18 months Morris had convinced Rea to try his luck in the US, where he progressed from Morris’s sound-truck driver to his monitor engineer to bandleader.

During almost a decade with Morris, Jeff Rea got to work and hang out with most of the major country acts in the States as well as mainstream artists such as Kenny Loggins and Andrew Gold, and one of the biggest influences of his early years: John DenverThroughout close to a decade with Morris, Jeff Rea got to work and hang out with most of the major country acts in the States.

“I remember going to sleep as a teenager to his double album An Evening With John Denver, which was recorded at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles,” recalled Rea. “Well, we did a gig with John Denver in the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, you know. So, who would have thought growing up that that would happen?”

In 1995, Jeff Rea returned to the family farm in West Otago, but he has continued to join Morris every December for his US Christmas tour. “In some ways it’s the best of both worlds because we’re back and have got to bring the kids up here and I still get this three or four weeks a year to go back and do this other life that I love to do,” he said.