Up in Auckland recently I finally got to have a sit-down chat with Midge Marsden. We’ve talked about doing this a few times, he and I have corresponded over the years – but this was the first time we’d ever met. I invited him around to my brother’s place for a cup of tea and a great conversation about his childhood in New Plymouth, his obsession with the blues and R’n’B music and his time spent honing his chops as a rhythm guitarist, singer and harmonica player in bands like Bari and The Breakaways, before establishing himself as a solo artist, radio show host, interviewer and all-around blues fan/encyclopedia.
We talked about the time he interviewed B.B. King for NZ TV – and his special connection with Stevie Ray Vaughan (and if you haven’t already, you should check out the podcast episode where I talked with Stevie’s widow, Janna Lapidus Leblanc, many of Midge’s stories back up hers, or connect in some way). He talked about other key New Zealand musicians too – Rodger Fox, Darren Watson, Sonny Day…
And we talked about the importance of things like the single and album, Burning Rain, that Europa ad (“Travellin’ On”) with Stevie, Janna and Murray Grindlay.
We also talked about some favourite blues musicians and albums – from Muddy Waters and B.B. to the British wave (the importance of John Mayall as a bandleader and tastemaker).
It was my great pleasure to share an hour or so with Midge and to get him to talk about so many interesting things. I really enjoyed meeting him and capturing this conversation. And I hope you enjoy hearing it. Thanks for listening.
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