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Darren Watson

“Darren Watson is possibly NZ’s greatest living blues exponent."
Gary Steel (Witchdoctor)

“If Ry Cooder had a long-lost New Zealand cousin, it would be Darren Watson.”
Tami Neilson (Music legend)
“Uplifting, exhorting, beautiful, brilliant!”
Blues Blast Magazine (USA)
“Anyone who thinks only Americans can authentically sing the blues should listen to this album by the New Zealander Darren Watson. It’s outstanding from beginning to end – the finest acoustic blues CD this reviewer has heard in quite some time.”
Blues Matters Magazine (UK)

About Darren Watson

Darren Watson is an engaging and fiery singer with electric and acoustic guitar skills to burn! Whether it’s a solo show for fifty people or a sold-out and pumping electric gig, he brings passion and fire to every occasion.

Since leaving mega-successful blues showband Chicago Smoke Shop in the early 1990s Watson has cemented his reputation as the nation's most original, contemporary, blues-based voice. He's released seven albums including 2002s King Size (which was nominated for Best Roots Album | 2002 NZ Music Awards), 2005's South Pacific Soul, 2010's internationally acclaimed Saint Hilda's Faithless Boy, and Introducing Darren Watson from 2014. 

2018's Too Many Millionaires represented a major shift in direction for the veteran musician. The record features all acoustic performances and it got rave reviews in local and international media, as well as hitting the Official NZ Top 20 and IMNZ charts for many weeks.


Watson’s latest album was released in October of 2020. Getting Sober For The End Of The World mines similar territory to Too Many Millionaires. It features seven new Watson-penned tracks, a song by local Wellington stalwart Matt Hay, and a cover of a classic Robert Johnson tune. Joining Watson on the album is a supporting cast of great musicians including Mavis Staples’ musical director Rick Holmstrom who lends his inimitable Pops Staples-influenced electric guitar style to the album’s only electric track. The recording saw Darren nominated for Best Folk Artist | 2021 Aotearoa Music Awards (formerly NZ Music Awards).

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