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Rai Thistlethwayte

With a look straight out of the '70s this petit and talented Sydney-sider comes up to RNZ's Auckland studio to hammer the ivories and sing us a pop song.

An Emerald City

Auckland instrumental band An Emerald City have been living in Berlin. Since we last spoke to the band they've lost long-necked lutist Ede Gieson and drummer Reyhan Leng who chose to stay in New Zealand to raise their young families. The rest of the band returned to Berlin following a 2010 NZ summer tour, and recruited Kansas native Jessica Roth on bass and Israeli drummer Dann Katz who, by all accounts, has added not only a dazzling array of jazz-trained beats, but a sense of discipline and professionalism to the band. Mid-way through An Emerald City's current 26-date homecoming and album release tour Reuben, Sam and Felix stopped by to tell Music 101's Kirsten Johnstone about recording their second album The Fourth in the imposing Funkhaus studios, 'Funk' being the German word for radio.

Lucinda Williams

The three-time Grammy Award winner is the grandmother of alternative country, though she's not literally a mother at all. The question of literality came up quite a bit when we spoke with the Louisiana-born daughter of poet Miller Williams, with Lucinda's song writing taking a recent turn towards new subjects on her latest album Blessed. After years of heartbreak which fuelled her acclaimed tunes, the 58-year-old's now happily married to former music executive Tom Overby. But as Richard Wain found out, Lucinda Williams remains fiercely her own woman.