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Daddy Wilson was born less than 50 years ago in a small town
called Edenton, North Carolina. The population of Edenton counts less
than 6000, 55% African Americans, 25% below the poverty line. “We were
very poor but I had a very beautiful childhood“, Wilson remembers. “Me
and my sisters were raised by Mom and Grandma. We lived a simple life,
we went to church every Sunday, school on weekdays. I also worked back
then on the tobacco plantation and in the cotton fields, I was a real
country boy.“ Wilson sang in church but he never thought about going on
stage. “I was extremely shy.“ His guardians meant well for the
fatherless boy and they often sent him to church also during the week.
“That won´t hurt him, keeps little Wilson away from drugs and off the
A few years later Wilson met a German girl who became his wife. She is the reason for him staying and also the reason for a poem which became Wilson´s first song.
And then Wilson heard the blues for the first time. Back in Edenton he had listened to music only in church and from the local, country radio station. But now he went for the first time to a real blues concert. “I met the blues here in Germany. I didn’t know what the blues was before“ Big Daddy Wilson says. “It was here that I found a part of me that was missing for so long in my life.“ It did not take long and the shy guy who had written some poems started looking for melodies. He went on stage, jammed all over the German blues scene and made an impression with his warm and soulful voice. He began touring with bands and as a duo and even released a few records. “My sister came all the way to see me perform and she couldn’t believe it. No, that’s not my brother. It seems like all my shyness was gone – thanks to my music. “
Champion Jack Dupree, Louisiana Red, Eddie Boyd... many musicians who made Europe their home and brought the blues with them succeeded here better than in the U.S. Even Luther Allison lived in Europe for 14 years before his big break.
And now there´s Big Daddy Wilson, an American singer and songwriter
who found his home in northern Germany. But something is different
regarding Big Daddy Wilson. When he came over from the U.S. there was no
blues in his baggage. He initially discovered the blues here in Germany
which is where he will begin his international career.
The fruits of this learning can be tasted on Big Daddy’s imminent European Tour. Does he dare to imagine that he could take this music all the way back to his roots in North Carolina?
“That’s a dream, but one that makes me nervous“ the Father of three laughs; it’s clear that his homesickness is gone – along with his shyness.