- "Pay day" is the name of their joint album, a splendid recording, but only a hint of the magic that Hans Theessink and Big Daddy Wilson convey together on stage.
It may have been a while ago, but I can still remember very well the first time Hans Theessink and Big Daddy Wilson played a concert together. It was a little awkward, a little tentative at the time, it was like feeling their way around, although this was probably only really noticeable to those who hadn’t already experienced the two musicians several times in various constellations or sometimes solo. Ultimately, it was the years of routine, but especially the virtuosity, that characterised both musicians and made these first joint concerts a great success.
But now, years later, it is a very special experience, a real event, to see these two musicians together on stage, they have found each other, form a unit, as if they had never played alone.
Yes, it seems as if they have found each other, although I don’t know whether they were looking for each other, what is certain is that it is a real pleasure to listen to their songs, which cover an immensely broad spectrum.
Much of what makes this duo so appealing can already be found on their joint album “Pay day”, which also includes the broad spectrum of different songs just mentioned. There are songs written by Hans Theessink or Big Daddy Wilson, as well as cover versions of songs that one of the musicians has grown particularly fond of and that now, as a duo, make them something common, something that connects them.
As fantastic as the album “Pay day” is, and we can only warmly recommend this to all readers, not to mention a must-buy, experiencing Hans Theessink and Big Daddy Wilson live on stage is still a completely different event.
This was proven once again on the evening of 22 November 2023, when we had the pleasure of experiencing the two exceptional artists in the Pfaffstätten community hall as part of the KulturCuvée event series organised by the community’s cultural officer, Alfi Kainz.
The Lower Austrian municipality in the south of Vienna, romantically situated in the vineyards of the Thermenregion, fortunately afforded itself a general refurbishment of the event location, resulting in a hall with truly marvellous acoustics. This is exactly the right environment, especially for artists who appreciate subtle tones and play with nuances.
Hans Theessink has been known for years for celebrating all the details of the music in his performance, but with Big Daddy Wilson, especially with his band, which has accompanied him for many years, he can also get down to business, although he naturally also attaches great importance to nuanced playing and is able to demonstrate this particularly well with a gentler pace.
And when it comes to the instruments, the two form a perfect unit. From a veritable battery of guitars, Hans always chooses the best one for each song, whereby he can let off steam even more with the most sophisticated picking techniques, as his playing partner Big Daddy keeps it to the essentials of percussion, which he uses with virtuosity to give the songs the right drive. One with a sonorous voice, the other with a soft, warm voice – a perfect match.
Getting to the point
Two artists who complement each other perfectly, where the two personalities form a congenial new whole through the music – this is the impression Hans Theessink and Big Daddy Wilson give live, as this evening in the Pfaffstätten community centre in the idyllic thermal region of Lower Austria once again demonstrated.