Big Daddy Wilson calls Germany home. It’s where he first discovered the blues. Which is odd seeing he originally hails from North Carolina where he listened to gospel and country music. “I didn’t know what the blues was before,” he says. He ended up in Germany following a stint in the USA Army and soon after found himself on stage jamming all over the country and making a strong impression with his warm and soulful voice. And now he’s Australia-bound, with not one, but two shows on the Gold Coast. We fired off a few sneaky questions ahead of his southern sojourn.
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You’ve worked with some legendary blues artists – Eric Bibb producing your latest album Time is a case in point. What’s it like to collaborate with that level of talent and experience?
It’s really, really a great experience. Eric is one of my blues heroes. And to be able to work with him is like a dream come true. I had so much fun and learned so much.
Your bio says you grew up in North Carolina and grew up to the sounds of church and local country radio but that you didn’t discover the blues until you relocated to Germany? Tell me about that discovery of the blues?
Yes, that’s true. I discover the blues in a small, smoky club in north Germany. I didn’t know what the blues was, but it was talking to me that night. I knew right away that this was my music, this was my calling and I been singing the blues ever since that night.
What took you so long to get to Australia?
I love music and that’s why I sing the blues. I would love to tell my story and sing my songs all over the world, but it just don’t work as simple as that. You need the support of your musicians, your fans and you need a good team to organise a good tour. That’s the business part of it. Now I have that support, but it took some time. But now I’m on my way to Australia. Hope to see all of you guys out there at the shows. Love is the key.
If there’s one thing you want your Australian audiences to say after your show, what would it be?
I just wrote a song that will be on my new album. It’s called I Just Need a Smile and that’s what I want from my Australian audience… “just a little smile.”
What was the one question you were hoping I’d ask you?
I would like to say a word about “Mr Staffan Astner” who co-produced the Time CD, who played many different instruments on the CD , who is a musical genius and a good friend.
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Big Daddy Wilson hits Currumbin Soundlounge on Friday 18 March and then Blues on Broadbeach which takes place 19 – 22 May. Get Soundlounge tickets here.