C.W. Stoneking



C.W. Stoneking is my new favorite musician. He plays the blues, and oh how he plays them… I saw him at the Rosendale Cafe this past Saturday, and I was completely blown away. I hadn’t heard of him until last week when my sister told me he was performing there, but when I looked into his music, I knew right away that it was going to be a great show.


And it was.


The Rosendale Cafe was the perfect place to see him. It’s one of my favorite venues, right up there with Caffe Lena. It was a warm hazy night, and although it’s still spring, it felt like summer. The double doors at the front of the cafe were open, and you could feel a gentle breeze floating in and hear the whirr of cars passing by on the main street. I sat with my family and friends, listening to old-timey blues, throwing back a pint or two… And as C.W. Stoneking played, I traveled back through time. I wasn’t at the Rosendale Cafe on Saturday April 19, 2008 anymore, not at all. No, I was at a town barn on a Saturday of a summer long past. Forget the 40’s and 50’s. Heck, forget even the 30’s. Try the 1920’s… The man’s a throwback I tell you, if ever I saw one. He’s had a pretty interesting history too, let me tell you a little about it: He was born in the outback of Australia, in the Northern Territory. His father was from West Virginia, his mother from Pennsylvania. He grew up with his father, and spent his childhood in an Aboriginal community in the desert in Central Australia. When he was 21, he moved to an isolated farmhouse in the country and lived by himself, creating music and working as a handyman. (He wrote a great song about being a handyman too, called “Handyman Blues”). After a few years, he moved to Melbourne to try to make a living as a professional musician. I’m so glad he did. He’s a great guitarist, and plays banjo as well. Unfortunately, he lost his instruments in a cab in NYC the night before I saw him, so he was using a borrowed guitar which he had never played before. Even so, the man was incredible. And his voice, oh what a voice… He sounds like a mix between Tom Waits, Louis Armstrong, Blind Willie McTell, and his own distinct personal sound. I can’t believe what comes out of his mouth when he sings. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was trying to pull a Milli Vanilli on us with his vocals, pretending to sing but really just lip syncing along to an old record of a blues musician. But he’s not. He’s just amazing, that’s all.


So here’s to C.W. Stoneking. Long may he grace the world with his music, and may he find the love and support which he so truly deserves, from fans worldwde. Cheers Mr. Stoneking, you’ve got a fan for life with me.


Check out the videos:


Dodo Blues:



Jungle Lullaby:



Jailhouse Blues:



All My Love In Vain:



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