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article imageBlues-rock guitarist Hamish Anderson talks to Digital Journal Special

By Adrian Peel     Apr 30, 2015 in Music
Digital Journal meets the 23-year-old Australian, described by as a "guitar phenomenon," who is about to embark on an extensive North American tour.
Beginning his professional career in the pubs and clubs of Melbourne, after initially taking up the guitar at the age of 12, this young virtuoso has already come a long way, releasing two well-received EPs, Hamish Anderson in 2013 and Restless, produced by Krish Sharma (known for his work with The Rolling Stones, Poison and Counting Crows), a year later.
If that wasn't enough, the very talented up-and-comer has also opened for one of his idols, the legendary B.B. King, an electrifying experience he describes as "really surreal."
Hamish's tour kicks off in Uncasville, Connecticut on May 2nd (he has already played a number of gigs in the States this year, including South by Southwest) and I caught up with him a few days before. "I think L.A.'s really great," he enthuses, discussing his favourite American cities and venues. "New York as well is fun... On that tour with B.B. King we played some really great venues like the House of Blues in Chicago..."
The artist, who I think bears more than a passing resemblance to the late Jeff Buckley, seems to be developing quite a following stateside (California-based website opined that he has "an uncanny ability to connect with a crowd") and I wondered whether relocating to the US on a more permanent basis was on the agenda.
"Yeah. At the moment, I'm kind of based here through this year... It's really good for live music, especially rock and blues, and I'd definitely like to stay for a while and do as much as I can."
On the setlist for this tour, the singer/songwriter, whose favourite part of his job is "probably the recording," will be drawing from his two EPs, as well as some new stuff that he's planning to lay down in the studio next month. Which of his songs does he find go down particularly well live?
"I think the first single off the second EP, 'Burn' - that seems to get a really good reaction... A song that we put as a live track on the second EP as well, called 'My Sweetheart You.' Those are probably two of my favourites to play as well, so it's nice that they translate live."
On the subject of the newer songs that should on a forthcoming EP, or on a full-length album at some point (he hasn't decided yet), Hamish reveals, "I've become really into soul music and a lot of Stax Records type of music, so I've been trying to incorporate maybe a little more soul, a little more groove into the tracks."
As highlighted earlier, the guitar prodigy has received a lot of encouraging feedback - some have even compared him to Hendrix - not just from the aforementioned publications, but from fellow bluesmen like Gary Clark Jr., who instantly uttered the name Hamish Anderson when quizzed by Revolt TV as to which guitar players under 30 music fans should be on the lookout for.
"I don't think about it too much," says the star of the praise. "I think just as long as you feel you're honest with yourself and putting out music that you enjoy, that's the most important part. But it's definitely nice - it's definitely a confidence-booster."
Restless is out now.
Hamish's tour starts on May 2nd in Connecticut and ends at the Bluesday Festival in Squaw Valley, California, on July 28th. In between, he will also play five dates in Canada.
For more information, visit his official website.
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