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CW Stoneking: The Zombie
Australian CW Stoneking first came to Elsewhere's attention with his King Hokum debut album of original songs back in 2006, at which time I admitted, “this one's got me stumped”.

The reason was because there was a thirtysomething white guy on the cover but the performer was clearly some old black guy “maybe even recorded in the Thirties”

Yes, they were one and the same person, and Stoneking's take on old style jazz-blues was authentic but also individual.

Since then he's won an ARIA in his homeland and on his new album Gon' Boogaloo he plugged in electric guitar, added a gospel touch and recorded direct to tape over two days. He says the way the album was “mixed” was by just shifting the placement of the microphones. It's the sort of album that should come out on 78rpm.

He sings the blues and swings, and has originals about Congo zombies, hard times and done-some-wrong songs. And you can listen to the whole album for free here.

As you can hear, he's quite the man . . . and in advamnce of a short New Zealand tour in early November (dates below) here answers our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire in his idiosyncratic manner.

The first song which really affected you was . . .

I don't remember, happy birthday maybe? I don't know if it was the cake or the song that done it.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Walt Disney records..

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

The guy who wrote my ringtone.

As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or  Michael Jackson; Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson?

I am a robot

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . .

All the classic hits are well crafted, check 'em out everyone, woo hoo!! Yeah!

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

First I whip myself into a guitar mangling frenzy, I think about the fall of man, I think about the Ouroboros, and the gnostics, magnetism, Bo Diddley, the smell of an old guitar amplifier heated up, the sound of screaming girls in a concert, I make animal noises, I hit the guitar soft, and hard, I imitate other sounds with the guitar, I mutter all types of mumbo jumbo along with the music, when that's over I have a song that exists like a dream in my head then I have to build it into a genuine song which takes several months or years  ..then sometimes I start with a melody.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

'Treat it Gentle', only read half though, the binders fucked up my copy and the second half was the first half again, but the first half is very good, so good I read it twice.

If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .

God. oh, I mean good.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Get Right With God, I got it on vinyl - on the back of my vinyl "leather" jacket.  No it's a record.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . . .

I don't understand this question, are you saying I can choose one song, written by someone else, to live off for the rest of my life, and I never have to work again? ...and I won't be embarrassed?? 

6427_0912014195802_350One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold  winner is . . .

I took my chances, took what chance I got, Lord know, my hands is tied, this all-bindin', ancient, blood..

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?


Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?

Yep, then I realized it was a cushion.

And finally, finish this couplet in any way you like: “Standing at the airport with an empty suitcase at my feet . . .” (You are NOT allowed to rhyme that with “meet” however)


New Zealand Tour - November 2014

5th - Tuning Fork - Auckland

6th - King Street Live -Masterton

7th - Bodega - Wellington

8th - Coronation Hall - Dunedin

9th - Churchills Live - Christchurch

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