In November of 2019, the Original Chicago Blues All Stars blazed a trail through WA, taking their audiences back to the core of the genre. Led by Willie Dixon’s son Freddie, the band also showcased the fine guitar work of 25 year-old Michael Damani, who made such a huge impact that he is returning for his own WA tour in February-March.
“My time in Western Australia was an amazing, eye-opening experience,” says Damani. “When we left for the tour, I made it a goal to make some good connections that would enable me to return as soon as possible. I love traveling and I love playing music, so it’s a win-win.”
Playing with the Original Chicago Blues All-Stars has been an education that has complemented Damani’s own creative energy and thirst for playing guitar onstage.
“It’s clued me in on a lot of wisdom that would’ve taken me a lifetime to discover on my own,” he notes. “That being said, I’ve also learned a lot from my peers. I play in a group with modern R&B soul singer/songwriter Wyatt Waddell. Our shows are super high energy, we blend a lot of funk with neo-soul vibes. Plus I get a chance to take a lot of bluesy, Hendrix-style solos with the group which I really enjoy.”
Damani is set to release his debut solo album, MiTOak, later this year. It’s both an exploration and invocation of a life lived well in music, with all the ups and downs that the blues conveys so well.
“MiTOak is me,” he explains. “It’s what my friends used to call me back in the day, I guess they thought pretty highly of me. But the more I thought about it the more I realised that it really is me. MiTOak is the spirit of a strong oak tree that withstands the harshest storms to become fully mature.
“Whenever things don’t go as planned I always stay focused on my growth as an individual, and I’ve written an album of music that illustrates this concept. It’s an adventure of land and sea, and I have plans for my next adventure as well.”
Accompanying Damani on this WA tour will be Chicagoan multi-instrumentalist Jordan Dingle on bass and Tyler Ray, of local blues torchbearers Old Blood on drums.
“Jordan is my friend from Chicago,” says Damani, “he’s an amazing multi-instrumentalist and bandleader in his own right. He performs under the name Black Finn, and I’m very excited to have him on board. Tyler, I met from my previous tour in WA with the Original Chicago Blues All-Stars. When our drummer took ill, Tyler stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. It definitely wouldn’t have been the same with a different drummer, and I’m very fortunate to have him with me once again.
“Myself I’ll be delivering messages with some heart and soul guitar, not to mention much needed oxygen… gonna flex the golden pipes.
“With us you can expect the blues straight from the bottom of the deep blue sea, as well as many other bright, vibrant colours and feelings,” Damani says. “One thing I’ve learned about Australians, you guys are good folk, and I know that there will be lots of good energy exchange on stage and off.”
MICHAEL DAMANI – WEST AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2020
Thursday 27th Feb, The Duke of George, $30 Ticket Sales – https://www.facebook.com/events/132601581298848/
Friday 28th Feb, Caves House, Yallingup
Saturday 29th Feb & Sunday 1st March, Nannup Festival
Sunday 1st March, Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough
Wednesday 4th March, Indian Ocean Hotel w/ Dan Howls Duo & Ezra Tide, $15 Ticket Sales
Friday 6th March, Southerlies Tavern, Port Denison
Saturday 7th March, Geraldton Hotel w/ special Late Night Show at Vibe Nightclub
Sunday 8th March, Geraldton Hotel w/ Moon Dog
Wed 11th March, Indian Ocean Hotel w/ Luke Dux & The Atomic Lunch Box & The Durongs, $15 Ticket Sales
Friday 13th March, The Prince of Wales, Bunbury
Saturday 14th March, Settlers Tavern
Sunday 15th March, Settlers Tavern
Tuesday 17th March, The Perth Blues Club w/ Hot Biscuit Band, $20 Ticket Sales