Looking like a man from leaner and meaner times, Willie Watson steps on stage with a quiet gravitas.
But when he opens his mouth and lets out that high lonesome vocal, you can hear him loud and clear. Like his music, Willie can be murderous, bawdy or lustful, sometimes in the course of a single song, with a sly sense of humour that cuts to the quick. He counters a masterful bravado with the tragic fragility of one who has been wounded.
A singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjo player, Willie Watson was one of the founding members of the Old Crow Medicine Show, a quintet that specialized in a traditional American string band sound and had left-field platinum success with a revamped Bob Dylan song, ‘Wagon Wheel’, in the late ’90s, recording and touring with the group for some 17 years before leaving to go solo in 2011.
His debut solo album, Folk Singer Vol. 1 spans 10 songs from the American folk songbook ranging from standards like ‘Midnight Special’ and ‘Mexican Cowboy’ to the more obscure, like Memphis Slim’s 12-bar blues, ‘Mother Earth.’ Watson takes the skeletons of these songs and breathes his own life into them, on stage and on record.
Now centre-stage, armed with an acoustic guitar, banjo and the occasional mouth harp, hearing Watson’s skillful and subtle banjo and guitar accompaniments and soaring vocals unadorned for the first time is a revelation. Scandinavian folk duo My Bubba makes an opening guest appearance with their soft, soulful, sensual music that’s as playful as it is powerful.
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
7.30pm – 8.10pm: My Bubba
8.10pm – 8.40pm: Interval
8.40pm – 10pm: Willie Watson
This production is part of the following series:
Latest concert announcements from Melbourne Recital Centre.
Wednesday 15 March 2017 7.30pm
Duration: 2 hours 30 min (incl. interval)
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