Bernie Griffen’s music is sometimes called roughhouse or psychedelic folk, sometimes it’s blues country or folk blues. His songs are melodic, soulful tales of a life well and truly lived on the fringes, full of love, pathos and colourful stories that play like anthems and tap into a vein of testimony. Bernie’s a well-known figure in the New Zealand music industry, Bernie is the host of 95bFM’s roots music show Border Radio.
Bernie Griffen’s third album Doors Wide Open was released in May 2018, following his 2014 album Salvation with his band The Thin Men, and Everything So Far in 2012 with his band Bernie Griffen and The Grifters.
Bernie Griffen mines a terrain of his own inimitable creation. On Doors Wide Open, it travels from the driving classic blue “Truck Song” to the whimsical country swing “Wedding Waltz”, the classic folk Emigrants Song, the Latin-feel of the first single, Bernie’s ADHD testimony “My Brain Exploded”, to the album’s big anthem, “I Fell Out of the Sky”. In Doors Wide Open, mortality is sometimes on his mind. He wrote “When I Die” as a love song honouring a lifetime with his musical collaborator and life partner, Kirsten Warner. The 'sweet sorrow' of the song is an enduring quality of both their voices and Bernie Griffen’s music. With Chris Kemp on drums and Garry Trotman on bass.