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Wilson was raised a “real country boy” in Edenton, North Carolina, but fate had other plans. By 1979, the young Southerner had escaped the grinding poverty of his hometown, enlisting in the US Army and relocating to Germany, where he fell for the raw power of live blues. “I met the blues here,” he remembers. “I didn’t know what the blues was before. It was here that I found a part of me that was missing for so long in my life.”
Wilson had sung in church as a child – a precaution by his mother and grandma to keep him “away from drugs and off the streets” – but his natural shyness meant he’d never considered stepping onstage. Now, he discovered a talent for songwriting and an unmistakable voice that soon won praise from the iconic Eric Bibb: “As soon as you hear Big Daddy Wilson’s voice, whether speaking or singing, you hear his southern country roots. It’s a voice baptised in the river of African-American song, a voice with the power to heal”.
That’s a sentiment echoed by the thousands who have watched the Big Daddy Wilson Trio perform on stages across the USA, Europe and Southern Hemisphere over the last two decades.