Daniel Champagne is taking the scenic route from Cobargo to Braidwood via Nashville, Tennessee. He was on the road somewhere in rural Victoria when the Braidwood Times caught up with him by phone to talk about his forthcoming concert at Smokey Horse.
"Braidwood's a cool, funky town and Smokey Horse is a great venue," Champagne said. "This is my third visit to Braidwood in three years, and it's kind of local for me."
For a US-based and internationally renowned touring musician, the idea of Braidwood being local may seem odd, but Champagne is a south coast boy.
His parents live between Bega and Cobargo, where Daniel grew up surrounded by nature and music. His dad, John, as well as being a noted permaculturalist, is also a musician.
"One of my earliest memories is of being in our backyard watching Dad and his band rehearsing," said Daniel. He started learning music as a child, but he says it wasn't until he was a teen that he got right into it.
"By the time I finished school, I knew that music was what I loved doing most, so I decided to follow that and see where it led."
He's been in Australia on tour now for about two months, after a short tour in New Zealand. His schedule is enough to make most people blanch. "I usually play six nights a week," he said, listing the regional Victorian and New South Wales locations he would be playing in the lead-up to his Braidwood concert on the 16th. Fortunately he loves the touring life. "It doesn't really matter where I leave my bags and my clothes," he said of his current Nashville base. "I'm on tour most of the time and everywhere is interesting."
In describing his music, Champagne said that "acoustic music can change from song to song. There's also that experimental element with guitar."
Music website themusic.com.au described his music as "an exhilarating guitar talent that transcends mere acoustic playing to replicate a whole band, Champagne is just magic."
- Daniel Champagne will be playing at Smokey Horse on Thursday May 16, 8pm. Tickets from Eventbrite.