Dig Dig Dig
Growing up in South East Queensland's Toowoomba, where fresh mountain air is sold in a can and conservatives rule with an iron bible, it's no wonder Jimmy Watts is a little backwards at times. After all, it takes a special kind of individual to start a career as a One Man Band; but playing the high hats, a kick drum, slides and acoustic guitars while blowing a harmonica and singing is certainly one way to stop a lad from fidgeting. With blistering finger-picking guitar solos, lung popping harmonica riffs and freight train beats of the drums; there's an initial 'dear in the headlights' moment that happens the first time audiences see Jimmy play. Whether it's busting out solos' while playing a lap slide standing up or singing a sweet and heartfelt ballad, he dances between genres' and styles to create a unique, transfixing and intimate performance, that soon has audiences bouncing up and down. After cutting his teeth playing lead guitar and harmonica for several bands around Brisbane, including 6 piece alternate folk staple Timbah, Jimmy Watts gave into the urges to play his own songs, and with a second hand kick drum and a set of high hats (that he bought out of fear people wouldn't dance without a beat), he started blitzing stages all over the East Coast. With the recent addition of West African style percussion by Mellissa Hender, The Jimmy Watts Band recorded their debut album 'Dig,Dig...Dig', a ten track gem that has touches of everything from Tom Waits to Jeff Lang all with an afro twist. Mellissa learnt the language of percussion from traditional African teachers, so she plays hard and fast and brings an extra burst of bubbliness with her that wears off on audiences, leaving them energised at the end of 4hrs of dancing. The added Dununba's (large cow and goat hide skinned wooden drums) and Djembe that Mellissa brings to the act have turned an already pumping live show into a groovy, rootsy, bluesy, folked up and funked out explosion uniquely delivered on acoustic guitars free of distortions and effects. It's this natural sound from a unique blend of instruments playing melodically complex and catchy tunes that stimulates the primal urges to dance; and it's the stripped back, simple and honest approach that allows the musicianship to come to the fore. It should come as no surprise that's it's a fairly warped road that leads to being a one man band, one full of busking and late nights in the basement tweaking mad scientist inventions (Jimmy's latest contraption -the electro/acoustic kick drum built out of a practice pad) but few have taken the road and even fewer can combine the sheer physical skill of playing so many instruments at once with the raucous and emotional delivery that Jimmy does night after night. Here a few of the festivals Jimmy Watts has played at: • The Grass Roots Festival (Brisbane) • The Wallaby Creek Folk Festival (Cooktown) • River to Reef Festival (Mackay) • Grape and Apple Festival (Stanthorpe) Jimmy Watts has played support shows for artists such as Golden Guitar nominee Nik Phillips, and internationally renowned blues and roots artist 8 Ball Aitken's, Ska group "Area 7", popular Melbourne 6 piece "De Jah Groove", Byron Bay based "Simon Wright & the Groove Collective" and Brisbane's alternate folk staple "Timbah"