Gavin Doniger is celebrating ten years of the Mescalito Blues this weekend.
For such a prolific touring artist and hard-working guitarist, it’s a major milestone to be ticking off.Over those ten years he’s collaborated with a heap of people but his current partner in crime is Dale “Herbie” Walker who accompanies Gavin on lead guitar.
Gavin proudly rattles off a long list of artists he’s either played with of supported over the years. That list includes the likes of Suzie Quatro, Mason Rack Band, The Delta Riggs, Butterfly Effect, The Vultures, Troy Casser-Daly and many, many more.
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“The first gig Mescalito Blues did was Blues on Broadbeach in 2005,” Gavin said. “I played there in 2005, 2006 and 2007.”
But while he started with humble roots at a homegrown festival, he’s spread his wings far and wide during that ten years. He’s toured USA and Europe countless times and has found himself with adoring fans in Sweden. He recounts a gig there that didn’t quite go according to plan.
“Turned up in Sweden last year after 54 hours in transit,” he said. “I thought I was the support for this band, but it turns out they are MY backing band. We’d never played together before and I’d only just met them.”
“Anyway, I got up thinking this can go either way – good or bad. But it ended up being awesome. These guys are such good players – it was a killer. And the best thing is, I’ll be performing with them this September in Sweden. Gavin Doniger and the Swedish Kangaroos is what we call ourselves.”
Like many musicians, Doniger has a “real” job which helps underwrite his creative projects. Truth be told he’s done all sorts of things to fund his music.
“I’m a screen printer by trade,” he said. “I worked in a junk yard in LA for two weeks once. I’ve cleared profile bays full of surfboard foam, worked on Beast Master as a stand-in for one of the main actors, I’ve dressed up as Jack Sparrow and charged people five dollars for a photo and I’ve worked in shitty bars.”
“The worst was working in retail stores though,” Doniger said.
He’s excited about his ten year anniversary and in particular the live anniversary show which will happen at The Dust Temple this month. He says it’s a celebration of ten years of stompin’. It happens Saturday 28 March and is an all-ages show.
We wrap up thinking about days gone by and I ask Gavin the one piece of advice he’d give his 18 year old self.
“Stay true to your art,” Gavin said. “Stay true to yourself and things will happen.”
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Mescalito Blues, Dust Temple, Curumbin Creek Road
Saturday 28 March, 8.00pm