Blues brother

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The minute C.W. Stoneking opens his mouth, it’s clear he was born to sing the blues.

The gravel-voiced Aussie has built a reputation as a modern blues and rock ‘n’ roll maestro, with multiple ARIA Music Award nominations and six critically-acclaimed albums.

He’s also earned the respect of rock icon Jack White, who handpicked him to work on his 2018 album Boarding House Reach.

“That was cool,’’ he tells Mountain Scene, in what may be an early candidate for understatement of the year.

“We were in New York at the same time and he asked me to come down to the studio.’’

Stoneking’s bringing his latest tour to Queenstown’s Sherwood on Sunday, alongside local muso Holly Arrowsmith.

He says his interest in music started at a young age.

“I got into old blues when I was a teenager. I started listening to a few different people.

“After about 10 years I started to write songs and record with my own songs.’’

He’s not sure why the blues resonated so strongly — he was just drawn to it, he says.

Punters heading to Sunday’s show can expect a larger-than-life stage presence, from his slick white outfits to onstage banter.

“I tell a lot of stories onstage, and then I tend to ramble. I talk that sort of stuff just for my own entertainment.”

While he usually tours with a band or back-up singers, this time he’s going solo.

“It’s just going to be me and a guitar.

“It’ll be a pretty wide cross-section of my songs, all the way from the really old blues and rock ‘n’ roll stuff.’’

While he hasn’t officially released new music since 2014’s well-received Gon’ Boogaloo, he says he’s working on new tunes.

“I’m always fooling around, trying to come up with the thing that I like.’’

To catch C.W. Stoneking, with special guest Holly Arrowsmith, head to Sherwood, Sunday, 9pm, $40