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Byron Shire
August 6, 2021

Interview with Daniel Champagne

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Daniel is on at Bluesfest this year.

Champagne and Blues

Daniel Champagne, exudes a natural ease on stage as he sings poignant lyrics and beautifully crafted melodies that invariably stir the heart with grand romanticism. ‘Coupled with an exhilarating guitar talent that transcends mere acoustic playing to replicate a whole band, Champagne is just magical’. Daniel spoke to The Echo whilst travelling between Brisbane and Sydney – en route to a show in Auckland.

I have been pretty lucky – I was in America last year touring when the COVID-19 thing started happening. I came back to Australia, had time off, and I had a big tour that I tried to postpone rather than cancel, but eventually got out and did the show. The one in Brisbane, it was the 95th, and then New Zealand is the last stop on the tour – with 44 shows there.

Because it’s just me and a guitar, when they only had 40 people [in a venue] it’s a lot easier to make it work…

Stopping was good and bad – I guess I was due for it, and it’s good to stop and kind of reflect on – it was the most different period [of life].

This is the show that I bring to Bluesfest. Just me and a guitar.

I think it is hard to write on the road, but it’s very easy to be inspired. There are a lot of places and spaces, and you always get inspiration, so I get a big list of things, so the music can come out quite quickly. It hasn’t changed over the years. I have focused more on writing – when I started out it was more of a guitar show, it was half instrumental and half song.

Often it’s just people you meet, stuff they say at shows… One song I was working on this morning – I was in Coffs and I saw a picture and the quote was ‘Do you ever wonder if we think about each other at the same time?’. So often it’s something like that that leads to further ideas…

I would like to think you get better at noticing them… or something that is really worth hanging on to.

A favourite… There’s a line in a song that says ‘It should be a crime that they won’t let a man shove his heart down the telephone line.’

It’s an easy life to meet people, but I don’t stick around. That can be cool because when you do link up with people it carries more weight.

Where is home?… Well, since [I’ve been] on the road, since 2015, when I was in America, and I am from the south coast near Bega valley, I’ve been happy just floating – the road is a good home for me.

I think I will go back to the US as soon as I can – maybe in the second half of next year… I definitely think I have more to do, but I need to work smarter. I went over at 25 and played 300 shows a year in all sorts of places.

It’s just too big a place, in Australia you can play most places, in America I have to be more strategic… but touring in the US is good, I will go back, I like most places over there.

Daniel is on at Bluesfest this year. Tix from www.bluesfest.com.au

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