Eb & Sparrow


With a sound hard to confine to a single genre, alt-country became the go-to phrase for Eb & Sparrow’s unique mix of folk, indie, and country. Founded by Wellington based singer-songwriter Ebony Lamb, the band had a highly productive decade where the line-up, albums and live shows became increasingly complex, before Lamb returned to her beginnings as a solo artist.

Ebony Lamb has always been an artist of various mediums and music was not one of her first. Growing up in Hastings with her sister and solo father, her focus was on painting, dancing, and photography. She lived a few different lives before picking up a guitar: a traveller, a mother, and a worker in many different roles. She describes the years before her musicianship as artistically stagnant. 

Eb & Sparrow at the Newtown Community Hall, Wellington. Clockwise from Ebony Lamb, centre: Chris Winter, Gram Antler, Bryn Heveldt, Justine Barr (the band's new drummer). 
Photo credit: Kate MacPherson
Ebony Lamb, left, of Eb & Sparrow at a fundraiser for Mary Potter hospice, Kapiti Coast, c. 2017. The event was curated by Brooke Singer of French for Rabbits; also on the bill was Sam Flynn Scott of Phoenix Foundation.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Beth Orton, centre, with Bryn Heveldt and Ebony Lame, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, 2013. Eb & Sparrow were Orton's support act; halfway through their set the lights cut out, but they kept playing in the dark. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
“This is the founding of Eb & Sparrow,” says Ebony Lamb, seen here recording with Bryn Heveldt, whose bedroom was also used as a recording studio. "Everything was recorded into a single microphone hanging from the ceiling."
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb at the Tuning Fork, Auckland, for the Americana festival; Eb & Sparrow were headlining 
Photo credit: Michael Flynn
Chris Winter and Ebony Lamb at Mr Winter’s studio at Plan 9, Miramar, recording parts for an Eb & Sparrow album, 2014 album. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
A graphic by Hawke's Bay artist Hayden Grimoire, used as Eb & Sparrow tour merchandise. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Poster for the debut, self-titled album tour
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb
Eb & Sparrow at Palmerston North café Joseph Street Kitchen, on the Seeing Things release tour. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Gunslinger's Ball, on Waiheke Island, 2014: Tami Nielson, The Broadsides, Eb & Sparrow, Tattletale Saints, and 10 String Symphony. Poster designed by Dave Khan. 
Busking near the bucket fountain, Cuba Mall, Wellington, 2014. From left: Ebony Lamb, Gram Antler, Bryn Heveldt.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Bryn Heveldt and Anika Moa, after Eb & Sparrow (then a duo) opened for Moa at St. Mark's Church, Carterton, 2013.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb
The full Eb & Sparrow band at a sold-out show at Kiwi Hall in Featherston, during the Seeing Things tour, 2018. 
Photo credit: Jenn Hadley
Dennis O'Brien introduces Eb & Sparrow at Record Store Day, Slow Boat. Slow Boat later released Sun/Son and Seeing Things on vinyl. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow, Mighty Mighty, 2013.
Eb & Sparrow at the Americana festival in Auckland. Stephen Wheadon was the booking manager of Tuning Fork, and photographed each act as they visited, in medium format. L-R Bryn Heveldt, Chris Winter, Gram Antler, Ebony Lamb, Justin Barr.
Photo credit: Stephen Wheadon
Eb & Sparrow at TSB Arena, Wellington, when they were support act for Rodriguez (Sugarman), 2013. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
'Light years & the Heart's Arrow' - seven original songs written and performed by Ebony Lamb with Bryn Heveldt, in his Belvedere studio, Wellington, 2011. 
Eb & Sparrow publicity pic for Seeing Things album release, at Paekakariki, after film shoot for single ‘Working’, 2018. 
Photo credit: Finn O’Connor
Nadia Reid (left) with Ebony Lamb of Eb & Sparrow
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb collection
Eb & Sparrow
Ebony Lamb and Chris Winter of Eb & Sparrow, Wunderbar, Lyttelton - during the Sun/Son tour 2015. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow at RDU Chch, with writer/radio host Martyn Pepperell, 2016. From left: Gram Antler, Chris Winter, Martyn Pepperell and Ebony Lamb. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow with US musician Pokey LaFarge, at King Street, Masterton, 2014. They were the suppport act on three of his shows.
Adam McGrath of The Eastern with Ebony Lamb, Miaow, Wellington, c2013
Photo credit: Michael Perkins
A stellar alt.country lineup for A Night at Museum, Masterton, 2012: Barry Saunders, Delaney Davidson, Marlon Williams, and Miss Ebony Lamb. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow in Ebony Lamb's backyard on Mills Road in Brooklyn, Wellington, 2013. L-R Gram Antler, Nick Brown, Chris Winter, Ebony Lamb, Bryn Heveldt. 
Photo credit: Kate McPherson 
Ebony Lamb on lapsteel, recording Eb & Sparrow's first EP in a bedroom studio. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow, always in the kitchen at parties; Melrose, Wellington. 
Barry Saunders performing 'Hand of My Heart' on stage with Ebony Lamb, at Eb & Sparrow's album fundraising show, at San Fran, Wellington.
Photo credit: Michael Perkins
Eb & Sparrow with a shifting lineup performing at Coastella, Paraparaumu, 2018. From left: L-R – BH, Justin Barr, Gram Antler, Meno Huibers, Andrew Leggot, Sharon Boyd and Ebony Lamb. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
On the bill at the Lama Lounge, Waitakere, 2014: Ebony Lamb with Tami Neilson, plus Dave Khan.  
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Valentine's Day with Eb & Sparrow at the Southern Cross, Wellington, 2013
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Rinski's cafe in Berhamphore, Wellington: a meeting place for Lyttleton refugees post quake (it was formerly called Evil Jesus). A singalong during the Grand Old Hayride tour with Marlon Williams, Tami Nielson, Delaney Davidson and Eb & Sparrow. Aldous Harding was also present.
Photo credit: Michael Perkins
A free show on the Wellington waterfront: Eb & Sparrow with collaborators from the folk scene. From left: Jude Madill, Bryn Heveldt, Ebony Lamb, unidentified, and Gram Antler. 
Photo credit: Kate McPherson
Eb & Sparrow at The Cook in Dunedin, Seeing Things tour 2018.
Eb & Sparrow
Ebony Lamb of Eb & Sparrow, performing at the Cook, Dunedin.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb and Dave Khan at the woolshed, Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay. The gig was a private party, and Khan was playing with another band that night.
Bryn Heveldt and Ebony Lamb performing at Ian Jorgensen's venue Puppy’s (on Tory St, Wellington, formerly known as Happy). Eb & Sparrow were opening for Nadia Reid. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb and Gram Antler of Eb & Sparrow
Photo credit: Kate Macpherson
Eb & Sparrow backstage when they opened for Rodriguez at TSB Arena, Wellington, 2013. "It was a huge gig, with 4000 people," says Lamb. "The buzz of the Searching for Sugarman film was just started." From left: Nick Brown, Gram Antler, Ebony Lamb, Rodriguez, Bryn Heveldt, and Mark Rogers who was managing the group at time. "A perfect show."
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow playing their first show at St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki, c.2012. Also on the bill was Unfaithful Ways, a former band of Marlon Williams and Delaney Davidson (who also played solo). 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow, "Americana koha in the cowboy hat" - an early gig at Meow, Wellington, 2011. 
Eb & Sparrow playing at the Common Room in Hastings, 2014.
Eb & Sparrow's Seeing Things album, released by Slow Boat Records. Artwork by Harriet Bright
Eb & Sparrow playing at The Cook in Dunedin for the Seeing Things tour, 2018. Projections in the background by Mike Heynes. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb 
Ebony Lamb with Jess Shanks of the Eastern, at Little River in Canterbury. 
Eb & Sparrow recording a live version of Settle, part of The Seeing Things album - for video. Horn sectio of Andrew Leggot and Sharon Boyd
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb
Eb & Sparrow at Lewis Pass, Canterbury, during the Sun/Son album tour, March 2016. The band performed 20 shows in 30 days, as part of Arts on Tour, touring from Stewart Island to Northland. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb, Aldous Harding, and Dave Khan having a singalong at Rinski’s, Wellington.
Photo credit: Michael Perkins
Eb & Sparrow, "alt.country bandidos" - poster for the Wunderbar, Lyttelton, 2013. Designed by Oscar Guerrero. 
Charlotte Ivey of the Tiny Lies, with Ebony Lamb of Eb & Sparrow; Wunderbar, Lyttelton. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Gram Antler, right, of Eb & Sparrow at the fundraiser for Mary Potter hospice, Kapiti Coast, c. 2017.
From left: Paul Huggins from Wellington's Rough Peel Records, Ebony Lamb, and Adam McGrath of the Eastern; photo taken after a Record Store Day in-store appearance. 
Eb & Sparrow outside Ben Edwards' temporary studio, near Wunderbar, Lyttelton, 2014.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Gram Antler at Ben Edwards' temporary studio, Lyttelton, 2014. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow, national tour, 2017. 
Gram Antler with Eb & Sparrow, Kiwi Hall, Featherston, 2018. 
Photo credit: Jenn Hadley
Eb & Sparrow after performing on the local stage at Homegrown on the Wellington waterfront, 2015. L-R Bryn Heveldt, Gram Antler, Ebony Lamb, Nick Brown, Chris Winter. 
A musical gathering after an Eb & Sparrow gig at Wunderbar, Lyttelton, 23 October 2015. From left: Aldous Harding (Hannah Topp), Jono Hopley (double bass player, The Eastern), Motte (Anita Clark), Jessica Shanks (banjo and songwriter, The Eastern), Ebony Lamb.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb and Gram Antler of Eb & Sparrow at the launch of their EP at The Moorings, Thorndon, Wellington. Back left: Chris Winter.
Photo credit: Kate McPherson
Eb & Sparrow at Blue Smoke, Christchurch, with projections by Mike Heynes, 2018
Bryn Harveldt in window seat of an old villa in the Wairarapa, where Eb & Sparrow recorded their last album. They were given the use of the large, rural villa for 12 days and set up a temporary recording studio. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Meow, Wellington, 17 April 2014: Aldous Harding tops the bill, supported by Eb & Sparrow, and Paul Timmings. 
Ebony Lamb at Eb & Sparrow's first-ever gig at St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki .
Photo credit: Michael Perkins
Ebony Lamb points out Eb & Sparrow's place on the poster for the Southern Fork Americana Festival, Auckland, 2017. Topping the bill are Justin Townes Earle and Son Volt. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow, the debut album, 2014. Artwork by Kerrie Hughes. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb
Eb & Sparrow at The Moorings - a family ballroom in Wellington - for the video shoot of the ‘In the Harbour’ single. It required 17 takes. From left: Nick Brown, Ebony Lamb, Bryn Heveldt, Gram Antler.
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow, photo for Seeing Things album release, Paekakariki, 2018. 
Photo credit: Finn O’Connor
Ebony Lamb, on the Leigh Sawmill with Nadia Reid. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb of Eb & Sparrow: a self-portrait at home in Paekakariki. 
Eb & Sparrow playing on the floor at St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki, during a tour to release the 'To the West' single and road-test new songs. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb and Gram Antler as Eb & Sparrow, with TV host John Campbell, at Freida Margolis wine bar, Grey Lynn, 2017
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collecction
Eb & Sparrow at Slow Boat Records, Wellington, on Record Store Day 2013. L-R Gram Antler, Nick Brown, Ebony Lamb and Chris Winter. 
Photo credit: Penny Pender
Ebony Lamb with Aldous Harding, 2014, after a sold-out show at the Raumati Social Club, Kapiti Coast. This was the beginning of Harding's solo career. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Ebony Lamb with Marlon Williams, 2015, when Eb & Sparrow (Lamb and Gram Antler) supported Williams on his Dark Child tour of New Zealand.   
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow: a promo pic for the digital release of the ‘Working’ single, 2018.
Poster for Eb & Sparrow's Seeing Things tour, 2018
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Eb & Sparrow on the Seeing Things tour, at Blue Smoke in Christchurch 2018. L-R Justin Barr, Gram Antler, Ebony Lamb, Chris Winter (back), Bryn Heveldt. 
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb Collection
Trivia:

Jason Johnson has finished an album of his original songs – as Gram Antler – with Brett Stanton, to be released in 2022.

Members:

Ebony Lamb - vocals, guitars

Bryn Heveldt - lap steel, guitar

Jason Johnson - guitar, bass, vocals

Chris Winter - trumpet, mellophone, bass, vocals

Justin Barr - drums

Nick Brown - drums, vocals

Labels:

Deadbeat Records


Slow Boat Records


Home Alone Music

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