Andy Watts is among Israel’s leading blues guitarists. He has performed with some of the world’s best blues musicians, such as 2017 Grammy Nominated Joe Lewis Walker and Johnny Winter, the blues legend Lucky Peterson, Bernard Allison and others. Watts, together with his “The Blues Rebels” band, also performs throughout Israel. His major sources of inspiration are Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Peter Green and more. Joe Louis Walker Grammy Nominated Blues Legend and receiver of many Blues Awards.
Andy Watts is a genuine blues guitar virtuoso. He has the knowledge, the skills and most importantly, the heart of a blues man. Blues on Fire will undoubtedly convince you of that. ~ Rock and Blues Muse
Andy Watts Blues On Fire Interview
Scott - Hi Andy, Hey man.... Thank you so much for taking the time out to do an interview with me and my Guitarz Forever.com site. I hope all is well with you... Give all our loyal readers and peeps an update with what’s been going on with you in your musical world these days and a short but descriptive label of your style of guitar playing and the types of music you like playing.
Andy - Thanks... Pleasure Scott!
Scott - Where is your stomp'n grounds? Name some of the clubs and music venues where you perform.
Andy - Shablul Telaviv Zappa Tlv & Herzliya Beat Haifa Basically all over Israel and Europe as well.
Scott - Does the music scene thrive where you live?
Andy - Yes Indeed very creative and these days anything Indie Psychedelic Blues Rock with a twang.
Scott - How many albums have you cut over the years? What's the name of your latest music endeavor?
Andy - 3... Open Road, Voodoo Land and the latest Blues On Fire ... Blues Buddy and Grammy Nominee Joe Louis Walker on vocals for Title Track.
Scott - How did the music come about? Was it a solo-effort or more of a collaborative effort?
Andy - Normally starting out with music ideas solo and adding lyrics, checking out with keyboard player so it all is in the pocket with the drummer as well to get the right vibe and finally if needed writing Horn section parts. I had the line Blues on fire on my mind for some time and it all came together for the song.
Scott - If you were to pick one of your albums to be your best effort, which one would it be and why?
Andy - Blues On Fire, it all came together great, playing with a lot of friends (15) that I performed with over the years including Joe Louis Walker, felt an inner peace releasing it, and took my time recording it, also giving some artistic freedom to my fellow musicians. I feel that the album has a musical path and I choose the song order to make it a musical journey listening to it.
Andy - I also used different Old Marshall Plexi amps that I don't take on the road putting effort in to get a great Guitar sound and then not over-playing, Sometimes I was imagining which of the songs on the album I would like to hear at Midnight driving my car ...... Probably Looking For Somebody & my cover version of Riviera Paradise with some Cruzing Smooth Trumpet..... And of course the title track Blues On Fire Joe Louis Walker doing some killer vocals on that one inspiring me to lay down some Blues Licks.
Scott - What type of guitar is your "Go To" Guitar? Does she have a name? Can you also give us quick run down of your guitar, amps and effects?
Andy - Guitars Main axes Live are 1954 Les Paul Conversion 1959 Pafs & 1959 Slab board Fender Stratocaster used to play my old marshall plexis live but now only on special Shows mainly with Red Plate Blackverb amp custom made for me Henry Heist from Phoenix is an Amp Wizard, and David Laboga Cab custom made to my specs with half open back and 2 Gold Alnico Celestion speakers, Budda Wah, Landgraff Overdrive Boss old overdrive, Tube screamer 808, old EH Treble booster Boss Reverb rv5 and thats about it.
Scott - Who have been your main influences on your career to date?
Andy - Peter Green ,SRV, Albert King, Hendrix, Robin Trower, Snowy White.
Scott - Who are you listening to these days?
Andy - Johnny Winter, Opened for him 2013 and catching up with Progressive Blues from 1969 His great album is still relevant today blistering guitar from Johnny, Gary Clark Jr, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and JB Lenoir... love his later on minimalist approach... left us too early and just bought Blind Owl Wilson solo vinyl (Canned Heat) great stuff!
Scott - Has the music business model of today helped you or hindered you in your musical journey?
Andy - You have to roll with the punches and realize that making & selling albums is not really the way to make money but to show that you are still relevant and creative and an artist that you should go and see live, because that's how you can make a living today from Live Shows, so its all connected, yes I might still be Old School playing old amps and guitars, could probably get a sound close my existing one with new equipment, but the old vintage stuff inspires me to play and reach musical corners as the Instruments have a story to tell, they been around ,you never really own an old guitar, you are the caretaker and supposed to pass it on when the day comes...
Scott - You are stranded on a small uncharted island in the south pacific, what three albums could you not live without?
Andy - Johnny Winter Progressive Blues, Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland, Peter Green/Snowy White In The Skies...
Scott - Can a band like yours make a descent living putting out albums and playing live blues music?
Andy - You have to walk the extra mile to make it happen...
Scott - Does work come to you easy or do you have to go after it?
Andy - New album, means more radio-play and you are building a wider audience with each new one, sure you have to work to nail the gigs some comes easy and some needs extra attention.
Scott - Do you embrace online social networking? Why?
Andy - That's the way it works today and you need to be relevant, sure you miss the days when you only needed to put up a couple of posters and the show was sold out, today is different with events instagram, twitter and the whole Choubang.
Scott - Please give us some top musical goals you would like to achieve in 2018.
Andy - To take my show Blues On Fire on the road to sold out shows, its a 9 piece band Hammond full horn section 2 singers, gives me a lot of headroom to add my licks and to continue getting good reviews and radioplay for my album Blues On Fire.
Scott - Where can we buy your music?
Andy - Link here to Bandcamp very simple write 35 Shekels (Israel) which is approx $10 and you can buy whole album or per song if you prefer, coming soon on Spotify which is available in Israel only since end of March https://andywatts1.bandcamp.com/album/blues-on-fire
Scott - Andy, give us a parting shot across the bow with some wise words of wisdom when it comes to the music business.
Andy - Develop your own sound and musical direction try not to copy note for note if you do covers add your own spice to it, I rather listen to somebody coming with a fresh idea than someone that can play Hotel California spot on, find out who you are and believe in him, lack of self confidence will affect your playing everybody knows that, decide if you want to knock the audience dead and conquer them leaving them exhausted or if you prefer to pull them in to you and asking for more by not over playing sure this certainly has to do with the Venues you are playing, open doors festivals are divide and conquer full throttle....
OFFICIAL Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Andy-Watts-GuitarSlinger-2049678055247214/
Pic by Ilya Kutusov