Rhythm & Blues guitar legend Darren Watson with Rick Cranson - drums, Delia Shanly - percussion, Steve Moodie - bass, Dayle Raymond Jellyman - keys.
Darren Watson has played his unique soulful style of rhythm & blues for three decades. Over that time he led Chicago Smoke Shop, one of New Zealand's most successful rhythm & blues show bands, carved out a successful solo career as a performer and blues educator, and shared stages with a long list of music legends - including Jimmie Vaughan, Billy Boy Arnold, Koko Taylor, Robert Cray, Doctor John, George Thorogood, Emmylou Harris, Eric Burdon, Tony Joe White, Keb Mo, and Mavis Staple's guitarist Rick Holmstrom.
Darren has received numerous national and international awards and accolades for his skills as a live performer, his original songwriting, and a slew of influential self-produced albums. He has received multiple NZ Music Award nominations and even picked up the Best Blues Song award at Nashville's prestigious International Songwriting Competition for All Going Wrong from his album South Pacific Soul.
In 2014 Watson released Planet Key, a song satirising the current Prime Minister of New Zealand. It was hugely popular online with an accompanying music video.
The song had over 100,000 views in a week and reached no. 5 on the NZ Top 20 Singles Chart before the New Zealand Electoral Commission advised that the song was not able to be broadcast or sold without risking prosecution.
Darren challenged the advice in the High Court. Some eight months later, the judge released a comprehensive ruling that vindicated the song and video on all counts. In doing so, the court emphasised the importance of the rights to freedom of expression and to participate in genuine elections for Parliament, confirmed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
Darren's most recent album Introducing Darren Watson entered the Official NZ Artist Album Charts at no. 6 and he recently released a new single.
Got your office right here - available at bandcamp.darrenwatson.com