The Mayor's Thames Festival and I noticed CW Stoneking on the roster, so down I went.
I first saw CW Stoneking at an American folk concert at The Barbican, early last year. Amongst the bluegrassy fiddle and banjo acts he walked on enigmatically, in a sailor suit and bow tie, with a steel guitar under his arm. He started telling stories about gravediggers and hoodoo doctors in New Orleans, all in a bizarre accent that was a mix of heavy Australian and American. (He grew up in the Australian outback, then moved to New Orleans, and now apparently works at a funeral parlour in Melbourne, according to a friend of mine.) I was really struck by him. You can see some footage of that performance here.
He got a great response yesterday at the festival, dressed in his usual all white with a bow tie and with a growing collection of sailor tattoos. Buy his album Jungle Blueswhich includes The Love Me or Die (introduced by him as a jungle calypso murder ballad) and Jungle Lullaby, which recalls lazy afternoons when you're shipwrecked in the jungle.