Wilson Wednesday – Chris Wilson

So, following on from last week’s discussion of Canadian farmers and former UK PM’s, this week  I take a completely different approach. I would like to introduce you to a staple of the Australian blues scene for well over twenty years – none other than Chris Wilson.

 

Immensely talented both as a singer (with those unique vocals) and a brilliant harp player, he is often the go to guy when any Australian musician needs a guest harmonica player.

In the mid nineties, he teamed up with Australian singer/guitarist Diesel to release an album called Short Cool Ones, a collection of classic blues tracks. The contrasting vocal styles of the two, with Diesel’s great guitar playing and Wilson’s harmonica really makes for a wonderful listen and I think elevates its above your stock standard cover of a classic blues track. Have included a couple of tracks for you to check out if interested.

 

One other live performance of Wilson’s that I really like is when he teamed up with Arlo Guthrie’s daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irons to tackle a Gram Parsons track for the Australian TV show Rockwiz!  It’s a brilliant performance, but strange in some ways as I don’t think Guthrie and Irons are used to sharing the stage with someone else.

Now I have a bit of personal experience with Rockwiz, my claim to fame being that I have been a contestant on before, but that is another story – ask me in the comments if you are really interested.

So yes, some blues for you this week – and Chris Wilson, we salute you!

Over to you –

2 thoughts on “Wilson Wednesday – Chris Wilson

  1. Sorry not to comment before, I’ve been away. The “I Can’t STand the Rain” video won’t play in this country (spoilsports). Anyway, what’s this about you being a contestant on “Rockwiz”?

  2. thanks for replying – I thought I had broken the Spill and no one was interested!

    So, if I take you back to the mid 2000’s, and two music shows make their debut on Australian TV almost at the same time. Spicks and Specks (named after the Bee Gees song), hosted by Adam Hills (who is now doing great things on UK television with the Last Leg), is probably best described as being very similar to Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Some claim its a direct rip off, I would just say similar.

    Rockwiz, on the other hand has a different feel. It is filmed in a pub, with a live band, and is not just a quiz show, but some live music as well. It has two teams of three – each team with two contestants from the audience. The third is a music guest, but the show starts with an empty chair, and the first quiz question is a “who am I?” to guess the star that is to appear. Once the star is guessed, they come out and perform one of their songs before joining the team that guessed them. Repeat process for the second guest, and then the quiz component starts.

    The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, and has a number of rounds consisting of the band playing riffs that you have to guess, and a whole lot of other things.

    Then, at the end of the show ,the two guests team up to perform a duet together, which are often really great, and compilation CDs have been released of these duets.

    Anyway, I was a guess on it back in 2006 – the musical artists were Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze, who I think might have been the first overseas artist to appear on the show, and Linda Bull, who you may not know, but is an Aussie singer with a great voice, has been in the Black Sorrows and several other bands.

    I cannot find the episode I appeared on on youtube, but I can find the final duet.

    If you look at the bottom left corner of the stage at the desk, just as the clip begins, you will see me.

    As I said, I can’t find my full episode online, but if you are genuinely interested in the show, here is a link to a full episode:

    Hope you enjoy it. (and that the clips can be viewed in the UK)

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