The Coalrangers Profile

Glen Moffatt
21 Sep 2015

They have a Tui music award for country album of the year, but The Coalrangers aren’t strictly a country band. They’ve toured New Zealand with the “Queen of Beale Street” Ruby Wilson, but The Coalrangers aren’t strictly a blues band.

Their music is a reflection of each member’s tastes and influences. Besides the obvious country and blues, there’s also calypso, reggae and folk music as well as songs such as ‘36 V8 Ford’, ‘Louisville, Otira’, ‘Karamea Cowboy’ and ‘West Coast Bound’, that positively drip with the imagery of where they’re from.

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Coalrangers guitarist Dean Hetherington
The Coalrangers - Positive Blues (live at the Harbourlight, Lyttelton, 1994)
The Coalrangers - West Coast Bound
Longest-serving Coalrangers drummer Allan Cattermole
Coalrangers Des Hetherington (left) and John Sanchez-Lloyd
The Coalrangers - House of Blue Lights (live at the Harbourlight, Lyttelton)
The Coalrangers with pedal steel guitarist Paddy Long, early 2000s. Left to right: John Sanchez-Lloyd, Des Hetherington, Paddy Long, Allan Cattermole, Dean Hetherington, Geoff Farmar.
Longest-serving Coalrangers drummer Allan Cattermole
Coalrangers bass guitarist Geoff Farmar
Coalrangers drummer through part of the 1990s Wayne Beecroft
Live album The Harbour Light Sessions, repackaged after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake to commemorate the demise of the Harbour Light Theatre in Lyttelton
The Gypsy Pickers, backed by The Coalrangers at the Gypsy Pickers And Friends album launch, early 1990s
The Coalrangers on stage. Left to right: John Sanchez-Lloyd, Allan Cattermole, Dean Hetherington, Des Hetherington, Geoff Farmar
Coalrangers guitarist Des Hetherington
The Coalrangers, early 2000s. Left to right: Allan Cattermole, Des Hetherington, John Sanchez-Lloyd, Geoff Farmar, Dean Hetherington.
The Coalrangers circa 1998. Left to right: John Sanchez-Lloyd, Des Hetherington, Geoff Farmar, Dean Hetherington, Wayne Beecroft.
Coalrangers keyboardist John Sanchez-Lloyd
The Ranchsliders performing Paul Simon's Gone At Last on Dixie Chicken (1987)
The Coalrangers 2011. Left to right: John Sanchez-Lloyd, Allan Cattermole, Dean Hetherington, Des Hetherington, Geoff Farmar.
The Coalrangers - Lovers Do (live at the Harbourlight, Lyttelton)
The Gypsy Pickers, backed by The Coalrangers at the Gypsy Pickers And Friends album launch, early 1990s
The Coalrangers on stage at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival 2011. Left to right- John Sanchez-Lloyd, Allan Cattermole, Dean Hetherington, Des Hetherington, Geoff Farmar.
Coalrangers guitarist Des Hetherington
1998’s Home Tonight cover from a painting by Grahame Sydney called Night House II
Longest-serving Coalrangers drummer Allan Cattermole
The Coalrangers circa 1993. Left to right: John Lloyd, Geoff Farmar, Des Hetherington, Wayne Beecroft.
Coalrangers bass guitarist Geoff Farmar on stage at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival 2011
Coalrangers guitarist Dean Hetherington
Coalrangers bass guitarist Geoff Farmar
Coalrangers guitarist Dean Hetherington
Coalrangers keyboardist John Sanchez-Lloyd
Allan Cattermole recording live with The Coalrangers on stage
Coalrangers mainstays (from left) John Sanchez-Lloyd, Geoff Farmar and Des Hetherington
The Coalrangers - Home Tonight (live at the Harbourlight, Lyttelton, 1994)
The award-winning Coast To Coast, released in 1996
Labels:

Front Porch Music

Members:

Geoff Farmar - vocals, bass guitar

Des Hetherington - vocals, guitar, pedal steel, lap steel

Ashley Sheppard - drums

John Sanchez-Lloyd - vocals, keyboards, harmonica, accordion

Mike Darby - drums

Wayne Beecroft - drums

Dean Hetherington - vocals, guitar

Allan Cattermole - drums

Trivia:

The Coalrangers’ albums were released on their own independent label Front Porch Music. Front Porch was the name of an acoustic group John Sanchez-Lloyd and Geoff Farmar had been part of as well as Sanchez-Lloyd’s one-time freelance design company Front Porch Graphics.