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Darren Watson & The Real Deal Blues Band


Sat 16 Jun 2012, 8:30pm–10:30pm

Where: The Lido Cafe, Cnr Victoria & Wakefield Sts, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: TheLidoCafe

New Zealand's premier bluesmen return with more hard-driving, rip-roaring, internationally award-winning blues and R&B.

Featuring Darren Watson (guitar), Richard Te One (drums), Elliotte Fuimaono (bass), Alan Norman (keys).

No-one plays the blues like Darren Watson. Over the better part of three decades he has developed a style that, while touching on all of the greats who inspired him, is personal, powerful and identifiably his own.

Watson gained national fame in the 80s as the fresh-faced, young front-man and guitarslinger for Smoke Shop. The band made two charting albums, had several radio hits, opened for international blues legends like Koko Taylor, Robert Cray, George Thorogood, & The Fabulous Thunderbirds. They toured tirelessly earning Watson a place alongside the likes of Midge Marsden, Hammond Gamble and Rick Bryant as one of this New Zealand's best blues interpreters.

Since leaving Smoke Shop in the early 90s he has cemented his reputation as the country's most original, contemporary blues voice, with three albums of world-class blues music: 2002's Tui-nominated King Size, 2005's South Pacific Soul, and 2010's internationally acclaimed Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy. During this time Darren also fulfilled a life-long ambition working alongside one of his childhood R&B heroes, touring extensively as sideman for Midge Marsden and, more recently performing as side-man to Chicago blues harmonica legend Billy Boy Arnold. He's also opened for New Orleans funkster Dr. John, Doug McLeod, Joe Cocker, Keb Mo, and nu-soul exponent Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, as well as appearing at WOMAD.

In 2009 Watson won first place in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition (Blues), judged by artists and industry-types like Tom Waits, James Cotton, & John Mayall. This year Darren Watson & The Real Deal Blues Band are performing their first international dates at the Australian Blues Festival in February and Blues On Broadbeach (Gold Coast) in late May. With his superb album Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy garnering stellar reviews in American publications, including prestigious US magazine Blues Revue, it may not be long before many New Zealand blues fans will be saying “I knew him when...“

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