The Chaps (Marcus Turner, Mike Moroney, John Dod and Hyram Ballard) have entertained audiences in New Zealand and overseas for 25 years, with their unique cabaret-style mix of music and humour. The music - which they call "Cowboy Lounge" - has its roots in folk and bluegrass, but is flavoured with calypso and swing.
They sing tight, four-part harmonies, backing their songs with skilful playing on guitar, dobro, fiddle, mandolin and double bass.
"... all are accomplished multi-instrumentalists with excellent voices and a gift for harmony."
Wellington Evening Post
The Chaps have written more than half the songs in their repertoire. The rest is a selection of tunes seldom heard elsewhere: lesser-known country numbers; old swing tunes; and snippets from sources as varied as Elvis, The Jolly Boys and The Chords.
But it's the banter in between that really sets The Chaps apart: the sometimes crazy repartee that spares no-one - least of all the audience - making every concert a special occasion.
The Chaps have ventured out from their base in Dunedin to venues all over New Zealand. They've played every major folk festival in the country, and made two successful tours in Europe during 2003 and 2006.
For the last couple of years, the Chaps have laid low, working on a recording project, but making occasional live appearances, such as their support of Eddi Reader for her Dunedin concert. At last, the Chaps are on the road again.
Following the successes of their two albums "Live in the Club" and "Hiphopalong", in 2012 they're touring to promote the release of their latest recording "Don't Worry 'Bout Your Age" which has been selected as one of three finalists for Best Folk Album of the Year 2012 in the NZ Music Tui Awards.