Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Darren Watson of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, has long been a multiple-threat; powerful and souldful singer; excellent blues guitarist; great songwriter.
He first came to attention in Chicago Smokeshop (an appropriate name for a blues band from another city full of politicians) which later became Smokeshop, and released a series of well-recived albums in the Nineties. In the past decade Watson has stepped out under his own name with the 2005 album South Pacific Soul and 2010's excellent Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy which showed the maturity of his songwriting.
In April 2009 Darren won first place in the blues section of the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville. Among the judges were John Mayall, James Cotton and Tom Waits. His winning song was All Going Wrong from South Pacific Soul.
In 2010 he came third with Can't Get Enough of You which appears on St Hilda's faithles Boy, and his song Love is an Ocean (see clip below) is a finalist in the 2011 awards, the winner to be announced in April.
Watson here joins the long list of those who have answered The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
The first piece of music which really
affected you was . . .
Creedence Clearwater Revival –
Travelling Band (B side of Who'll Stop The Rain)
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role
models in music were . . .
My cuzzie Rod Stone's band, The Librettos
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana,
Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Howlin' Wolf – Forty Four; I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down – Ann Peebles; Late In The Evening – John Mooney
Any interesting, valuable or just plain
strange musical memorabilia at home?
Love my autographed BB King LP that was
mastered out of phase and will not play.
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life –
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Riley BB King – yep, I'd play for
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
This Is Spinal Tap; It's A Wonderful Life; The Last Waltz
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
James Harman – Strictly Live in '85
One song, royalties for life, never
have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which
wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
Here In My Arms – by yours truly
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
My autographed copy of BB King's 'Let
Me Love You' on Kent.
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it
is of . . .
The Beatles' Revolver album cover (back
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
In New Orleans. Gigging regularly.
Getting slide guitar lessons from John Mooney.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
Because it's the first time I have left
the studio and felt like I didn't make any compromises. It's the
first album I have made I really feel I don't need to explain.