× SASSAFRASS! to be released in June; European tour for Tami Neilson late summer

SASSAFRASS! to be released in June; European tour for Tami Neilson late summer


Tami Neilson blends her power vocals and slyly subersive lyrics with a gorgeous vintage sound on the stylish SASSAFRASS! The award-winning New Zealand singer delivers a dynamic set of twangy rock ’n’ soul music on June 1 on which she will tour Europe in August and September. 

Tami Neilson won’t be staying New Zealand’s secret for much longer. For the past decade, the Canadian-born, New Zealand-based singer/songwriter has been the queen of her adopted homeland’s country and roots music scenes. She picked up handful of Best Country Album awards at the New Zealand Music Awards and won the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll for excellence in songwriting.

With her new album, SASSAFRASS! (due June 1 on Outside Music), Neilson takes a giant step that should only bring her more widespread acclaim. On this 11-track effort, she places a heavier emphasis on soul music while not abandoning her country and rockabilly roots. Neilson conjures up a wonderfully retro style that sounds like it could be a lost gem from the late ’50s or early ’60s; however, beneath the classic veneer are frank, highly relevant lyrics.



Sassafrass, a slang word for a sassy person who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, serves as a perfect title for this album. The songs, Neilson admits, reflect her developing a “low tolerance for bullsh*t” after years of encountering sexism in her life. They were also influenced by her being a mother of two young boys as well as by the death of her father, who led the family’s band, the Neilsons, which was popular in Canada during the ’90s. Neilson characterizes her new album as a “mouthy lovechild of the current social climate and my own experiences as a woman, mother and daughter.” The songs address the obstacles she has faced simply because she is a female. “It’s also my attempt,” she shares, “at challenging a society that doesn’t yet treat women equally in order to shape a better future for my children.”

With its timeless sound and timely lyrics, SASSAFRASS! provides a fantastic introduction to Tami Neilson, whose vibrant musical style blurs the lines of genre and eras, like a soundtrack curated for a Quentin Tarantino film. Discover this for yourself when the album arrives June 1, and make it your musical tonic this summer when she makes it over the pond:

23 AUG: Tønder (DK) @ Tønder Festival 
24 AUG: Tønder (DK) @ Tønder Festival 
25 AUG: Tønder (DK) @ Tønder Festival 
26 AUG: Tønder (DK) @ Tønder Festival 
28 AUG: Leiden (NL) @ Q-Bus 
29 AUG: Deventer (NL) @ Burgerweeshuis 
30 AUG: Lier (BE) @ Ripspique 
03 SEP: Paris (FR) @ Boule Noire 
04 SEP: London (UK) @ Bush Hall - with Luke Winslow-King
06 SEP: Zaragoza (ESP) @ Rock & Blues 
07 SEP: Madrid (ESP) @ El Sol 
08 SEP: Valencia (ESP) @ Loco Club 
09 SEP: Barcelona (ESP) @ Rocksound 
11 SEP: Bonn (DE) @ Harmonie 
12 SEP: Berlin (DE) @ Roadrunners Paradise 
13 SEP: Frankfurt (DE) @ Das Bett 
14 SEP: Hamburg (DE) @ Nochtspeicher 

Related artist: Tami Neilson back