Christopher William Stoneking is a well travelled Aussie who writes amusing and exaggerated songs about the various adventures he’s had while visitng places like Africa, Trinidad, New Orleans and his native land.
He sings in the style of an old, world weary bluesman, switching between guitar and banjo while accompanied by his band which consists of drums, double bass / tuba, cornet and trombone. It’s pre-war type blues and he does have the look of someone who’s stepped out of the 1920’s to be here tonight. It’s a sold out crowd with a good blend of young and old faces, but he’s played over here before and also appeared on “Later with Jools Holland” so has already had some exposure in this country.
There’s a great deal of humour both in his songs and in the sometimes lengthy tongue in cheek monologues that he introduces them with. He tells us that yodelling country singer Jimmy Rodgers is a deity in certain parts of West Africa after missionaries played his records over there many years ago. This leads us into his yodelling song “Talking Lion Blues” about his encounter with (of course) a talking lion. His song “Jungle Blues” is about a ship wreck that sees him rescued by pygmies who help repair his banjo and he tells us the song “is like an opera but better ‘cos it’s nice and short”. There’s also a cover of a Washboard Sam song that gets people singing along and each song is performed in his easy going and affable manner.
An enjoyable show with a stripped down, back to basics approach that works really well.
You can get a taste of what he does here on “Talking lion blues”