Craig Adams is looking forward to spending the festive
season in Central Otago with his family while also
performing some gigs. Photo by Kim Hamblin Photography.
Craig Adams has always loved music.
Years ago, while working in a wool store, the guitar used to
come out and there would be a sing-along. But while people
told him he had a good voice, Mr Adams (41) never had any
Fast forward to now and music has gone from being ''a bit of
a lark'' to being semi-professional, including the recent
release of his debut album Country High.
For the past two years, he has been a finalist in the male
artist of the year section at the New Zealand Country Music
Originally from Wanganui, Mr Adams has worked in the wool
industry all his life. He was attracted by the rural
lifestyle and it led to a passion for wool, particularly fine
He came to Dunedin 20 years ago, supposedly for a couple of
months, but loved it so much his tenure in Otago extended
until two years ago.
He and his family then shifted to Christchurch, where he is
commercial manager for the New Zealand Merino Company.
There was something special about farmers, particularly those
in the high country, where he was working with fine wool
growers, he said. He loved the people, environment that they
both worked in, where the wool came from and how they had to
battle with the climate to get a ''beautiful product'' to the
In his previous role, based out of Cromwell, his main role
was looking after relationships with the company's key wool
Now based in the head office, his role encompassed that but
was also out in the marketplace working with key brand
partners and customers. He said he enjoyed that challenge.
Mr Adams formed a band for a merino conference a few years
ago with some wool growers who played instruments. They
played six songs, it went very well and ''that's where it
Music was a family affair with his wife Katrina as manager -
''she does a fantastic job - and children Molly (9), Isaac
(8) and 6-year-old twins Georgie and Andre - enthusiastically
part of the ''marketing team''.
''They are my biggest supporters,'' Mr Adams said.
It had taken two years to get the album out but he had to
make sure he had the balance right. His work and his family
had to take priority, he said.
His work and his music were a good fit as inspiration came
from the high country.
Eight of the 12 tracks on the album were originals, including
the title track Country High which he wrote after an
autumn muster at Mt Nicholas Station.
To perform Country High at the Otago Merino
Association's merino excellence awards in Queenstown this
year, singing a song about the high country to a group of
high country farmers, was ''fantastic''.
His message in his album was to help rural New Zealand
connect with city folk and make them understand what it was
like to be connected with farming and with those people who
were driving the backbone of the country, and how passionate
they were about what they did, and also the environment, he
Country music was a ''pretty loose'' genre and he believed it
was more of a way of life than a music style.
For inspiration, he was inspired by Bruce Springsteen.
''When I'm on stage performing ... I like to really give it
everything I've got so it's a really high-intensity crowd
interaction sort of performance,'' he said.
This festive season, the Adams family will be packing up the
caravan, hooking up the boat and heading to Central Otago,
one of Mr Adams' ''favourite places in the world''.
It will be a kind of busman's holiday for Mr Adams, who will
play at the Luggate Hotel on New Year's Eve with The
Rustlers, then at the Bullock Bar, Wanaka, on January 2, and
the Glenorchy races on January 4.
He is performing in a New Zealand showcase at the Norfolk
Island country music festival in May next year and taking a
tour over, with quite a few merino clients already signed up.