In the age of the bedroom producer, blues musician Jesse Redwing is a rare entity. Spearheading the new generation of blues in Australia, Jesse spoke to me about touring, lockout apathy and the blissful life of a musician.
Where did you grow up and how did that influence you?
I grew up on the northern beaches and it influenced me to leave the northern beaches.
What have you been up to lately?
I’ve been touring with my band around Australia. I did a US tour last year and the previous year – been meaning to get back there sometime soon.
What’s your connection to the area?
I lived on Riley Street for over ten years. I’ve watched the neighbourhood change over that time. I’ve grown up here, basically. It’s more my home than the beaches.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The whole thing is just bliss. People coming up to you ecstatically happy saying you made their night. That’s probably the best thing.
What’s the worst thing about your job?
The downside is the schlepping around, I guess. Long drives – although I don’t even mind that. I just put a podcast on.
What drew you to the blues in the first place?
It’s just the feeling and the sound – it’s so raw and personal. I think Jewish people and black people have a certain affinity, shared suffering in our history. I think that has something to do with it, maybe. It really touched me and I instantly loved it.
What are the best and worst aspects of the Sydney music scene right now?
There’s so much good music coming out of Sydney, but the negative is that people are too busy with their phones, sitting at home watching Netflix. People love to be so negative about the lockout laws, but it’s like, step outside your door, there are still lots of things happening.
“I feel like everybody always told me to never quit my day job. But I’ve never had a day job.”
Where’s your favourite place to eat, drink and see live music?
Low Bar. You can do all three at once! To eat I’d say Abdul’s. Abdul’s over Fatimah’s – I know it’s a big debate, but what gets Abdul’s over the line for me is that everything comes as standard.
What does you ideal day look like?
Wake up, potter around, go for a surf, play guitar in the afternoon and rehearse with my girlfriend’s [Sloan Peterson] band, play a gig at night and the party continues.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t stop listening to music. Never stop listening, because that’s the way it gets inside you. And also don’t give up – things have a way of working out.
Catch Jesse at The Landsdowne every Wednesday 9pm till late.