It’s the usual story. Young upstart picks up the guitar and takes a shining to it. Within two years she’s moved from her native Sydney and to the bustling metropolis of LA, pursuing music full time, immersing yourself in the local club circuit and dazzling audiences at every turn.
One of said audience members happens to be in the Allman Brothers, who immediately recognises your jaw-dropping technical ability and asks you to join them onstage, setting off a chain reaction that sees you playing alongside some of the most legendary names in rock. If this sounds like a normal career trajectory, than your name must be Tal Wilkenfeld. The Australian wunderkind has played alongside a veritable who’s who of the rock ’n roll pantheon, culminating in a stunning turn debut vocal album, the excellent Love Remains.
We recently caught up with Wilkenfeld ahead of her upcoming Bluesfest appearances (and sideshows) to get the hot scoop on which music legends really lived up to legendary status in this month’s Fast Five.
The Allman Brothers Band
“Definitely the Allman Brothers. It was my first time on a real stage and just changed my life in such a positive way and their audiences are just so loving and fun, I just absolutely loved their audience. There is such a good vibe at their shows that it is so easy to bounce of that energy and really come up to that level. I just love playing with them.”
“He’s just hands down one of my favourite musicians ever and also in many really kind of game me my career owe so much of my career to Jeff Beck. The video of us playing Crossroads in ’07 and the Ronnie Scott DVD really allowed me to have a career. I’m just so grateful.”
Herbie Hancock/Wayne Shorter
"Two of my favourite musicians, there is just nowhere they can’t go musically. I also love the way in which they adhere to a spiritual practice. Just the way that they live their lives, both musically and spiritually is just so inspiring to me.”
"Although I never performed with Leonard, we did spend some time together. He’s just one of the greatest lyricists and songwriters to ever live. It was so great to talk to him about life and songwriting . He’s just so inspiring on so many levels. He also has a spiritual practice that just inspired me. We really connected on that.”
“He has just given me so much of his time, he’s just been so generous. If I’m having trouble with a song I’m working on, I’ll talk to Jackson just to get a sense of perspective. He ended up executive producing my record. He’s had a really big impact on my life.”
Tal Wilkenfeld is touring Australia for Bluesfest this April. Head here to check out all the dates and details.