||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
|Birth name||Darren Watson|
|Origin||Wanganui, North Island, New Zealand.|
|Genres||Blues, Soul, Pop|
|Labels||Pagan Records NZ (1988-1998)
Red Rocks Records (2005-2011)
Darren Watson was born in Wanganui. His first musical experience was playing drums and trumpet but he soon moved on to guitar and was playing in bars and clubs throughout his years at Hutt Valley High School (1980–83).
In 1985, he formed Chicago Smoke Shop with harmonica player Terry Casey and, although Casey left the band in 1987, the band went on to record two charting LPs and several radio hits. The group was also in big demand as a support act by international touring bands. Between 1987 and 1990, Smoke Shop (the 'Chicago' tag was eventually dropped) opened for NZ tours by Robert Cray (twice), Koko Taylor, George Thorogood, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Since leaving Smoke Shop Watson has recorded three successful albums: King Size (2002), which was nominated for Best Roots Album at the 2003 New Zealand Music Awards, South Pacific Soul (2005) which received favourable reviews from both local and international media, and Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy (2010).
In late April 2009 Darren won 1st place in the blues section of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, USA, with his song "All Going Wrong", a cut from South Pacific Soul. Judges for the competition included Tom Waits, James Cotton, John Mayall, and Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer. Watson has gone on to finish on the 'podium' in 2010, judged in 3rd in the blues category of the International Songwriting Competition for 'Can't Get Enough of You'.
Watson's latest album Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy was released 1 November 2010 on Red Rocks Records.
In July 2011 Darren was selected to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Previous winners include Sean Costello and Suzan Tedeschi. The event takes place in February 2012.
In Feb. 2012 Darren performed at The Australian Blues Music Festival in Goulburn, New South Wales, and in May of the same year he headlined the Blues on Broadbeach Festival in Queensland.
Work began on Watson's new album in October 2013. Release is planned for mid-2014.
|Discography||As a leader|
|Chicago Smoke Shop||Self-titled||1989|
|Smoke Shop||So Glad||1990|
|Smoke Shop||Fusion at Room Temperature (Best Of)||1996|
|Darren Watson||Overnight Sensations||1998|
|Darren Watson||King Size||2002|
|Darren Watson||South Pacific Soul||2005|
|Darren Watson||Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy||2010|
|Discography||As a sideman|
|Bill Lake||Home Truths||1996|
|Marg Layton||Trouble Then Satisfaction||1998|
|Various Artists||The Underwatermelon Man||1999|
|Midge Marsden||Travel N' Time||2006|
|Matt Hay||Inside Stories||2007|
- "Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2003 Winners". 5 July 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Burgess, Dave (5 July 2009). "It's all going right for songwriter". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "International Songwriting Competition Winners Page". International Songwriting Competition. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
- "Kiwi Bluesman Taking On The World". Scoop.co.nz. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
|This article about a New Zealand musician is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|