As a guitarist myself I’m often thinking about my favourite guitarists and how my ranking seems to change depending on what kind of mood I’m in. I thought it’d be fun to put a top 10 list together. Remember, the key word here is favourite. Enjoy.
Dani Wilde is a wonderful singer/songwriter from Brighton who I have interviewed twice before. She is releasing her new album, Songs About You, today (1st April) and it was a pleasure to interview her again for a third time.
Before we begin talking about your new album, how are you and what have you been up to in the year since we last spoke? (Not including recording your new album of course!)
Well, I’ve been touring quite a bit in Europe. I was in Spain all of last summer with the Javier Vargas blues band. I guested on Vargas’ new album as part of a duet with Chris Jagger performing a cover of Freddie King’s ‘Palace Of The King’ in a studio in Madrid, which was lots of fun. I’ve also been out in Germany with my band lots and I played some shows in Moscow too which was an adventure. Other than that I’ve just been drinking too much wine and eating too much food over Christmas, roller-skating lots in my hometown ‘Brighton’ now the weather is picking up – oh, and my friend Tabitha Smith (awesome singer-songwriter who will be touring with me later this year) and I have joined a Russian Choir. I sing the high soprano parts. Classical music is a world away from the blues. The blues is my home but Russian choral music is a challenge and a new adventure; a good hobby! And I’ve been spending time at White Hart Lane cheering on Harry Kane and the most exciting football team in the world ‘Tottenham Hotspur’. When I’m on the road on long van journeys between cities, I’m to be found either buried in a good book or watching the football Premier League live on my phone. Is that rock n roll? 🙂
In 2012 I had the great privilege of interviewing a hero of mine, Mr Bobby Whitlock. At the time I was doing my university dissertation and for a part of that I interviewed a number of blues musicians. The topic of conversation was the blues and it’s influence on Bobby as a person, writer and musician. I thank Bobby for taking the time to chat with me.
How influential has the blues been on your career?
Rhythm and blues is the category I am familiar with and what I grew up listening to and performing. Not just the blues. The blues on its own is the same old song sung by different voices. R&B is what STAX, Chess, Hi and Atlantic Records were all about. I was the first white artist to be signed to STAX’s HIP label. They wanted to get in on the British invasion and thought that I was their key to it. Of course they were wrong. I still draw on Sam & Dave and Otis Redding from time to time. As a matter of fact the way Eric and I sang together was a direct rip of the way Sam and Dave sang together. Eric and I sang our songs with the same call and response that Sam and Dave did. We were the white rock ‘n’ roll Sam and Dave.
What equipment do you use and was your decision to use it influenced by another artist or what you heard on a record?
I use a Hammond B3 organ and one Leslie cabinet. The organ that I learned to play on is sitting in my front room right now. My organ playing influences were Booker T Jones and the two Jimmys, Smith and McGriff.