Bad Shit Is Good For You
An interview with Todd Sharpville (Pt. 2)
Words: Vincent Abbate / PHOTO: Jennifer Noble
In the first part of my interview with Todd Sharpville, the veteran British bluesman spoke about the many artists who have inspired him and his unique strategy for staying busy when live gigs dried up during the COVID pandemic. Part two of our conversation is about his recent performance on Germany’s legendary Rockpalast program and how the personal challenges of the past have made him a more resilient and happier man today.
Who Is Blues: For my money, your album Medication Time is one of the best blues albums of recent years. When did you record it and what led to the release on the French label DixieFrog?
Todd Sharpville: I recorded it in Rhode Island, where the producer Duke Robillard is based, and planned to release it prior to the lockdown. The Covid era changed everything. I touched base with Dixiefrog after the third lockdown and thankfully, they loved the tracks.
WIB: The release of Medication Time seems to have led to your invitation to perform on Rockpalast, Germany’s longest-running live music program. A career-changing event possibly?
Todd Sharpville: As I said earlier, so much of the grassroots landscape has been torn apart by the crisis, so I was hoping the album would somehow help me get things back on track. My lockdown project left me with a huge amount of personal debt, so I kept my fingers crossed when Medication Time was finally unveiled. The album received so many lovely reviews from around the world, which prompted the German TV company WDR to contact me. They kindly offered me the Rockpalast gig which was a personal honor to do. I’ve recently concluded a record deal for the recording which will be released as a live double album/DVD boxset this year. I’ve taken on a new booking agent because of it and will be touring heavily for most of next year. So yes, Rockpalast has helped to unlock a new door to my future as an artist.