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May 19, 2022

Interview with Joe Camilleri of The Black Sorrows

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Camilleri has curated an incredible line-up for a special Honeydripper’s Dylan Party, a one-of-a-kind tribute to Bob Dylan.

Camilleri dripping honey at The Bluesfest

Joe Camilleri is bringing The Black Sorrows goods to Bluesfest 2022 and for all those fans of the constantly evolving Camilleri – Jo Jo Zep, the Sorrows, The Revelators, Bakelite Radio, The Voodoo Sheiks and Here Comes The Night, you will get a bit of everything on Good Friday and Easter Saturday…

But hold up! Just for something completely different (and awesome), Camilleri has curated an incredible line-up for a special Honeydripper’s Dylan Party, a one-of-a-kind tribute to Bob Dylan, now in his 80th year – featuring Camilleri’s handpicked special guests who will be many of Bluesfest’s favourite artists.

Last week Seven spoke to Joe from his home at Kyneton near Melbourne. Happy to take a break from sax practice, Camilleri says his ‘new’ album Saint Georges Road was recorded nearly two-and-a-half years ago but only came out last September. ‘It’s been incredibly well received. I’m really pleased with the outcome. I wasn’t going to release it – we finished it a week before our first lockdown and everyone was releasing their music, almost like the end of the world. 

‘Then it got pushed aside, and I thought, maybe I’ll let this one go – the one that got away, and go on to the next one – but I released it and I’m glad.’ 

Camilleri has been considering his Bluesfest set list. ‘When you play these shows, some people do want to hear what you’ve got. But the majority is saying secretly, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus”. They like the old stuff, they just want fun. They just want to dance and they want to feel good. Sometimes it’s the difference between being an entertainer, or not giving a rat’s arse about the audience’s wants and just doing what you want to do. I’m more interested in the entertainment.’

And the Bob Dylan event? Camilleri was asked by Bluesfest to curate a show for opening night and he’s pretty excited about it.

‘We’ve got 13 guests, including myself, to the Bob Dylan Honeydripper Birthday Bash. There’s just so much material! Fabulous material. It’s a joy to do – hard work – a little bit harder than I thought. I’m a little bit like a cattle dog, so I’ll try and put a whole bunch of sheep in the yard.

‘But, I love it –it makes me feel like I want to get up tomorrow.’

To see the whole Bluesfest line-up, visit: bluesfest.com.au.


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