Willie Watson is no stranger to the troubadour life. Having been a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show and working as a solo artist since 2011, his time spent traversing and performing across the globe informs an understated yet enchanting Americana sound.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Willie to pick his brain about travelling solo, thoughts on Donald Trump and his top 5 favourite albums of all time.
Rosie: Do you feel like a free man now that you are able to travel solo?
Willie: I wouldn’t say I ever felt bound or held back with the band. My time with Old Crow Medicine show was some of the best years of my life, and I look back on it fondly. We grew and learned about life together and felt a kind of freedom, and we experienced that freedom together. Being in a band is certainly a collaboration, and we were fortunate to be able to share ideas with each other and create music together. The difference for me today is that every decision is up to me and me alone. There is a sense of independence, but I can’t say I enjoy it any more than I did collaborating. I don’t take either situation for granted. Although I do have a sort of collaborator in Dave Rawlings but he more or less just makes hints and suggestions.
Rosie: Are there any old crow tracks that you still have a particular soft spot for that you might be playing live on this Australian tour?
Willie: I still sing “CC Rider” and sometimes “We’re All In This Together”. Also “Always Lift Him Up” has been part of my set for a while.
Rosie: When you think of Australia, do you think of a certain state in USA, which one and why is that?
Willie: Not really. Australia is unique, and when I’m there I’m immersed in the wonderful place that it is.
Rosie: Do you associate yourself with any of the ideas that have come up in resistance to President Trump?
Willie: I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “ideas”, but I don’t support Donald Trump. I think it’s a shame that he’s the president but honestly, I’m not surprised. At first, I was a bit shocked he was elected, but after giving it, some thought it makes sense that a culture obsessed with reality TV, department stores, Kardashians, and energy drinks would allow a clown like him to run a nation. Society has been totally f***ed for a long time. It’s nothing new.
Rosie: Let us know 5 of your all time favourite albums?
Neil Young, Harvest
Neil Young, After The Gold Rush
Bob Dylan, Blonde On Blonde
Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home
Blind Willie Johnson , Praise God I’m Satisfied
Tickets are still available for Willie Watson’s performance with Timothy Nelson Wednesday March 22, find yours here.