Interviews

Blues heroes, and the best heckle ever. Jesse Redwing chats upcoming gigs and his musical idols

With his body in Sydney, and his soul in the depths of Chicago, Jesse Lylseson a.k.a Jesse Redwing is a bluesman with serious chomp. With sprawling solos, blues harp galore, and vocals that scream Black Keys, Redwing is assisting with keeping the genre thriving across the nation.

Jesse Redwing

Groovy blues shredder Jesse Redwing chats with Happy about his heroes, upcoming gigs, future releases and his greatest heckle ever.

We caught up with him to chat about his upcoming appearance at Mitchell Creek Rock n’ Blues Festival, his latest single, the supreme snazziness of Buddy Guy, and more.

HAPPY: You’re playing at this year’s Mitchell Creek Festival. What’re you most looking forward to about it? 

JESSE: Woohoo I can’t wait! Festivals are awesome places to see some of your favourite acts and discover new ones and connect with like-minded people.

HAPPY: You’ve just launched your new single Round It Goes. Tell me a little about it – how did you write it and what inspired it? 

JESSE: “Round it goes, the tale of my misery.” It’s a blues song in the truest sense… it’s about a crazy woman the likes of which drive us all to the brink of insanity but also inspire such joy!

HAPPY: The track is very much a throwback to the fast paced Buddy Guy Chicago blues tracks of the 70s onwards. Which musicians have inspired your blues journey? And what do the blues mean to you?

JESSE: First I was inspired by Eric Burdon and The Animals, Peter Green, Cream, The Rolling Stones and some of the other British bluesmen who popped up in the 60’s. They appreciated the black American bluesmen when no one in their own country did, and opened up this amazing culture for white audiences.

My friend gave me an Animals CD when I was 13 and I’ve been obsessed with tracking down the great bluesmen ever since. I may be reincarnated from John Lee Hooker. The soul of the great bluesmen is in my heart!

Once I went to see Buddy Guy, and I hollered out “you’re the man Buddy!” and he replied “Damn right and don’t you forget it!” Quite a thrill for me. My dream come true would be to support Buddy. At 80 years young I’m sure he’s got a good decade of touring left in him!

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HAPPY: What’re your views on the current Aussie blue scene? Do you hope to bring the blues into the mainstream or do you have other plans for your tunes?

JESSE: I could be playing on a street corner or a stadium I’ll still be playing these blues. Of course I want to get through to as many people as possible but that’s not the only way I define success. I sing the blues because in the words of John Lee Hooker “it’s in me, and it’s got to come out!”

HAPPY: Do you have an EP or LP in the works? Can we expect to hear any new music in the coming months?

JESSE: I have an LP coming out within the next few months, we’re just working out the details with Create Control for the release.

HAPPY: What’s being with Create Control like?  Where do you hope for your music to go now that you’ve taken another step in your career?

JESSE: I love recording but I live to play live! I hope I’m able to keep touring for a long time and bring the message to as many people as I can.

If you’re after more gigs, check out our gig guide for the best in your city this week!