William Crighton is a sublimely talented Australian folk-rock artist. A son of the Riverina in southwestern NSW, he is a riveting storyteller, with a sound that is bold, visceral and singular. Bluesfest is proud to welcome him to play at the festival for the first time in 2018.
An exquisite and engaging songwriter, the depth and span of his lyrics demonstrate an authenticity and intensity rarely rivaled. Authenticity is the element that defines his darkly beautiful and wrenching self-titled debut record of William Crighton, produced and mixed by Matt Sherrod (Crowded House, Beck) and recently nominated for AIR (Australian Independent Record Labels) award for Best Album.
Woven into Crighton’s classic folk-rock sensibility is vivid prose. These tales are alive with visceral imagery and the echoes of a spiritual upbringing. In ‘Riverina Kid’ a snake winds up the riverbank, a boy’s found hanging; In ‘2000 Clicks’, the adult Crighton stares into the reflection of his childhood; In the thundering tale of retribution ‘Priest’, a paedophilic man of the cloth meets his demise. ‘Jesus Blues’ and ‘Dig Your Mind’ exemplify the ragged, sweltering rock that Crighton can command, while ‘Smile’ is the songwriter’s gentle reminder to do just that. “Amongst other things I’m a father, husband and son,” Crighton says, “and like all of us I’m a lover, hater, fighter, victim, perpetrator, grower and harvester.”
Rolling Stone featured William as one of Australia’s hottest rising stars late last year. He’s been booked on a seamless string of festivals including WOMADelaide, has opened for The Beach Boys and The Temptations on tour, received radio play around the country, gathered 4 and half star debut album reviews, inclusion on The Australian and prominent media source The Music’s Top 10 Albums of 2016 lists, and a stunning set of live reviews. Songlines UK recently lauded, “International stardom beckons”.
“Once in a lifetime a gig surpasses all expectations, slapping you in the face with its grace, majestic singing, the quality of the material, and, in this instance, the acoustic ambience of the venue. Such was the performance in the Regional Gallery last week by Australian artists William Crighton and Melody Pool, who’s union in each other’s songs and a handful of covers such as the Divinyls’ Pleasure and Pain and the Seekers’ I’ll Never Find Another You, demonstrated music’s power to stir the heart and soul. In my all-time Top 10 that one.”- Iain Shedden The Australian