Q & A with C. W. Stoneking at Three Links, Deep Ellum, TX

Q & A with Australian Singer-Songwriter C. W. Stoneking
Photos and interview by Velton Hayworth

VH: So the other day one of my friends told me that this Australian 
guy… you, was coming to town and that I should check out your music on 
Spotify. I checked it out and I was…surprised. I heard Vaudeville, old 
Jazz…I think I even heard some Dixie in there. At what age did you 
start listening to those types of music, and who were some of your 
influences?

CW: When I started I was mostly into old Blues from the 1920s 
and 1930s, any of that stuff I could get my hands on. Vaudeville wasn’t 
something I was aware of when I started, but I picked up some bits of 
that later. Really I picked up stuff from all over, the Caribbean, old 
Jazz like you said. Anything and everything.

VH: What made you gravitate to this kind of music?

CW: Well when I got out of high school I was hanging out, busking 
and all that [ That guy playing on the street corner 
with his guitar case open for donations… that’s busking.] and then these 
two older guys offered me a gig playing old Blues, Robert Johnson and 
all that.

VH: Good old Delta Blues!

CW: Yeah. Spent a couple years with those guys, doing gigs, getting 
paid, digging deeper into it.

VH: What kind of reception does your music get back in Australia?

CW: Well when I started I didn’t really know where to put myself. 
Couldn’t get a foothold. Tried the old Blues to start, not popular at 
all, just no audience for it at the time. Spent several years 
busking–met a lot of other musicians while I was doing that–eventually 
got a sense of what I wanted to do besides just playing Blues, released 
an album and…it seemed to be received pretty well after that.

VH: Lot of great Jazz and Blues in the South. Have you had a chance to visit cities like New Orleans and check out the music?

CW: Unfortunately I don’t get much of a chance to check out the music while 
I’m touring. I don’t like taking days off when I could be playing every 
night instead.

VH: Nice!

CW: Occasionally I’ll play a festival, maybe check out one or two of the 
other acts. Or the other musicians will come to my shows and I’ll get to 
talking to them and check them out later.

VH: So I hear you’re a big fan of Barbecue. Any good culinary experiences 
here in the States?

CW: (Laughs) Just about every day. Had some really good stuff in North 
Carolina, big, juicy, thick chunks of pork in this really thin sauce.

VH: Remember the name of the place?

CW: Yeah, it was a place called Clark’s. We just pulled off the highway 
somewhere between Nashville and Durham. I don’t remember the name of the 
town, but I’ve got a picture of the sign somewhere. And of course we’ve 
been hitting the Texas Barbecue hard. There was a place I wanted to 
check out yesterday–LuLing City Market , a musician I met in San 
Antonio tipped me off to it–but the line was too long by the time we 
got there. Place was just swamped. But good Barbecue everywhere. Even 
had Barbecue for breakfast in New Orleans! Went down to The Joint in the Bywater.

VH: Oh I love that place!

CW: We’ve been goin’ for it. I even had some frog legs. I was wondering 
if I was going to eat some of them on this trip.

VH: (Laughs) Last question. How’s the reception been here in the States? 
Have you been happy with the crowds?

CW: It’s been really good. It’s a big country with a lot going on in it, 
but I really enjoy the intensity of doing small shows, and the people 
who show up are really into it.

VH: Well welcome to Texas! I hope you enjoy your time here, I 
appreciate you taking the time to talk to me, and I can’t wait to see 
the show tonight.

CW: Thanks!

Check Out More Shows at Three Links