New South African Music: Jack Hammer Band – Second Chapter

Jack Hammer Band: Second Chapter
Jack Hammer Band: Second Chapter

Tracks

  1. As I Turn Away
  2. The Top
  3. Lamenting In The Rain
  4. One For The Angels
  5. Brown Horse
  6. Shallow Grave
  7. Anger Is Me
  8. Blues Home
  9. Devil’s Arm
  10. Diana
  11. Wasted Time

All songs written by J.S. Martin & Jake Gunn, except The Top (Moonshine Lee & Jake Gunn), One For The Angels (Raymond Smith & Jake Gunn) & Diana (J.P. Botha)

Musicians

  • Johnathan Martin: Lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals, piano (Wasted Time)
  • Jake Gunn: Lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals, piano, harmonicas
  • Tertius du Plessis: Bass guitar
  • Paul van de Waal: Drums and percussion
  • Gerry Robinson: Acoustic guitar on Lamenting in the Rain, Brown Horse, Wasted Time

Recorded at Wolmer Records and produced by the Jack Hammer Band, Lanie van der Walt and Moonshine Lee.

Release information

CD: 11 November 2022
Download: TBC

Press Release

(L-to-R): Jake Gunn, Johnathan Martin, Paul van der Waal (at the back), Tertius Du Plessis | Photo: Jessica Botha
(L-to-R): Jake Gunn, Johnathan Martin, Paul van de Waal (at the back), Tertius Du Plessis | Photo: Jessica Botha

New Album from Jack Hammer Band: Second Chapter
9 November 2022

Second Chapter” by the Jack Hammer Band does what it says: without any pretences, the album blasts straight into the driving rock sound that has come to define the longest-standing South African rock band.

You immediately find yourself at a Jack Hammer gig, with Duke steady behind the kit, Bean towering over his black bass like a watchkeeper, and Johno and Jake Gunn wringing rock ’n roll out of their guitars as if their lives depended on it.

There is also the tall presence of the man of myth and his Stratocaster that goes by the name of Green Mamba – it would be difficult to imagine Piet Botha laying down the guitar after departing.

The album, co-written by Johnathan Martin, member of Jack Hammer since 1996, and Jake Gunn, who joined the ranks in the 2010s, was initially set out as an impulse to craft ten songs out of the kinship shared between the two. It soon became what had been called for: an album for Piet. The album’s path was led by an eleventh track – a reworked, never-before recorded version of ‘Diana’, a song Piet Botha left behind.

Raymond Smith, Piet’s brother-in-law, urged the band to write and record as Jack Hammer again and helped to bring it all together. He also wrote ‘One for the Angels’, a song inspired by one late-night party with Piet Botha.

Through songs shared and learned on stage, the band are creating a living archive, not only by telling Piet and Jack Hammer’s musings and stories in musical form, but also by revisiting undocumented material and channelling an immense discography.

Come celebrate the official album launch of “Second Chapter” on 11 November at the JARR Bar & Restaurant, Pretoria’s home of sound.

The Jack Hammer Band are: Johnathan Martin (vocals, guitars and piano), Tertius du Plessis (bass guitar), Paul Van de Waal (drums and percussion) and Jacques Groenewald (guitars, vocals, piano and harmonicas). Gerry Robinson, honorary band member (acoustic guitars).

“Second Chapter” was recorded at Wolmer Records and produced by the Jack Hammer Band, Lanie van der Walt and Moonshine Lee.

~ Written by Jannike Bergh, 2022.

CD Launches

JARR Bar

Recording Sessions

(L-to-R): Johnathan Martin, Jake Gunn, Moonshine | photo: Sarel Cilliers
(L-to-R): Johnathan Martin, Jake Gunn, Moonshine Lee | photo: Sarel Cilliers

More photos from the Jack Hammer Band Recording Sessions


Website | Facebook

Sugar Music Recommends… 18 November 2022

Image by Michael Currin

Sugar Music Recommends… 18 November 2022

Part of a series of recommended listening from the guys who bring you the South African Rock Music Digest and SugarMan.org. Some old, some new, some borrowed, some blues, and mostly South African.

Including new releases from Radio Rats, Steve Louw and Tully McCully‘s latest project, Jasper’s Acolytes, classic tracks from Falling Mirror and Piet Botha, and some obscurities like Citizen Jones.

TIME FOR SOME ROCK FROM SOUTH AFRICA feat Freedoms Children, Otis Waygood, McCully Workshop, Hawk

TIME FOR SOME ROCK FROM SOUTH AFRICA feat Freedoms Children, Otis Waygood, McCully Workshop, Hawk

A mix of South African rock tunes from between 1966 and 1979.

A few cover versions and lots of original tunes.

Track List

1. In The Midnight Hour – The A-Cads
2. Woman Yeah – The Gonks
3. Purple Haze – The Flames
4. Fire – The Third Eye
5. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Una Valli & The Flames
6. Race With The Devil – The Bats
7. Evil Ways – The Attraction
8. The End – Dickie Loader & Freedoms Children
9. The Boy & The Bee – Omega Limited
10. You’re Late Miss Kate – Otis Waygood Blues Band
11. The Whip – Suck
12. That Did It – Freedoms Children
13. Astral III – The Invaders
14. Tokoloshe Man – John Kongos
15. Town Girl – Tidal Wave feat Peter Vee
16. Candlelight – Richard Jon Smith
17. Mumbo Jumbo – Hawk
18. Hard Ride – Rabbitt
19. Rock ‘n Roll Party – Ballyhoo
20. Conquistador – Circus
21. Johannesburg – Margaret Singana
22. Buccaneer – McCully Workshop
23. Record Companies – Wild Youth
24. Lonely Spaceman – Finch & Henson
25. Orang Otang – Harambee
26. Vudu – Harari
27. ZX Dan – Radio Rats
28. Silent Water – Ramsay MacKay
29. Blommetjie Gedenk Aan My – Anton Goosen
30. Jo Bangles – Baxtop
31. Makin’ Out With Granny – Falling Mirror
32. Suburbia – The Safari Suits
33. Better The Devil You Know – Stingray

Jasper’s Acolytes – Water Through Our Hands

Jasper’s Acolytes – Water Through Our Hands

Video by Jasper’s Acolytes performing Water Through Our Hands. Released on Mountain Records (C) 2022, published by Songwrights Publishers. Video by Laura McCullagh.

This is an acoustic project reminiscent of 60s folk and harmony songs which I’ve just completed. All analogue recording. I think the sentiment affects all us oldies

Terence McCullagh

Memory Lane – Jasper’s Acolytes

Steve Louw is Back!

Thunder And Rain

Cape Town, 11 November 2022 Ramping up after the release of the singles “Thunder and Rain” and “Mother, Don’t Go” (Feat. Joe Bonamassa), today sees the announcement of Steve Louw’s latest album, Thunder and Rain and a third stellar single, “I’ll Be Back”, lifted from this powerful 10-track, Kevin Shirley-produced album.

The interplay on Thunder and Rain is often subtle, yet it’s undeniably soulful, the songs benefiting from the easy turns of phrases and chord changes. Steve conveys these emotions through strength on “I’ll Be Back”, a song where acoustic guitars give the track a steady, windblown propulsion, one that muscles through on the chorus – he’s a man on a mission, one dedicated to the task at hand.

As with 2021’s Headlight Dreams album, 2022’s Thunder and Rain, besides Steve and Joe, is flush with talent. From Greg Morrow on drums, Rob McNelley on guitar and Slide Dobro, Doug Lancio on guitar and mandolin, Kenny Greenburg on guitar, Alison Prestwood on bass guitar and Kevin McKendree on keyboards, amongst others, Thunder and Rain is as impressive in lyrics and compositions as it is in heavyweight genii, all adding multiple layers of arresting accompaniment.  

Recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, “I’ll Be Back” is a mantra and an equally powerful promise. While the next chapter preps and fine-tunes, enjoy embracing and sharing the brand-new album’s nine remaining bolts of lightning that brighten and charge a body of work world worthy.

Thunder And Rain – Steve Louw

Steve Louw – Thunder And Rain

Steve Louw – I’ll Be Back

Follow and share Steve Louw’s journey via:

Website | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram | Spotify | iTunes

For more information, artwork and interview opportunities, contact:

Jason Curtis – jason@matters.co.za

South African Music Mixes: “The Suitcase Show” feat Piet Botha, Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart, David Kramer, Anton Goosen and many more.

'n Suitcase Vol Musiek
‘n Suitcase Vol Musiek

Every vagabond needs a suitcase.

These are two, mainly South African, mostly Afrikaans, shows with some well-known tjoons and many obscure ones.

Some happy songs, some angry songs, a few light songs, and quite a few dark ones.

The name of these shows is inspired by the song “Suitcase Vol Winter” by South African Music Legend Piet Botha.

Some lyrics are explicit and/or offensive.

Photo of Piet Botha by Hein Waschefort, 2013

THE SUITCASE SHOW feat Piet Botha, Valiant Swart, Anton Goosen, David Kramer, Akkedis, Beeskraal

Track List

1. Girlfriends In Die Wimpy Bar (live 1996) – Die Naaimasjiene
2. Suitcase Vol Winter (live at Oppikoppi 1998) – Piet Botha & Jack Hammer
3. Die Gezoem Van Die Bye (live 1966) – Des Lindberg
4. Bokkie Bokkie – David Kramer
5. Somerslied – The Radiators
6. Pappa Ek Wil ‘n Popster Word – Springbok Nude Girls
7. Geraamtes In Jou Kas – Brixton Moord En Roof Orkes
8. Hou My Vas Korporaal – Bernoldus Niemand
9. Bossies – Wildebeest
10. Anderkant Die Berg – Akkedis
11. Boy Van Die Suburbs – Anton Goosen
12. Hell’s Angel – Al’astair
13. Bus Na Toronto – Andries Bezuidenhout
14. Jong Dames Dinamiek – Randy Rambo En Die Rough Riders
15. Strate Van Pretoria – Beeskraal
16. Cape Flats – Brasse Vannie Kaap
17. Verslaaf Aan Ruk-En-Rol – Not My Dog
18. Die Volk (Is In Die Kak) – The Buckfever Underground
19. Hillbrow – Johannes Kerkorrel En Die Gereformeerde Blues Band
20. Sally Williams Nougat – Jak de Priester
21. Breyten se Brief – Jan Blohm
22. Vier Seisoene Kind – Spinnekop
23. Bicycle Sonder Slot – Koos Kombuis
24. Diep In Gauteng – Stefan Lombard
25. Afrikaners Is Plesierig – Karen Zoid
26. Rockpop – Diff-Olie
27. Roekeloos – Valiant Swart
28. Onder Engele Verniel – Voël
29. Meneer Geweer – Wouter van de Venter
30. Suikerbossie – The Peanut Butter Conspiracy
31. Binneland In (live 2001) – Spinnekop
32. Die Sommige Ou Tannies Blues – Koos Kombuis
33. Jane S. Piddy – Rodriguez


THE SUITCASE SHOW feat Koos Kombuis, KOBUS!, Piet Botha, Valiant Swart, Anton Goosen, Mel Botes

Track List

1. Meisie Sonner Sokkies (live 1998) – David Kramer
2. Sien Jou Weer (Piet Botha cover) – Beeskraal met Piet Botha
3. Die Mystic Boer – Valiant Swart
4. Kan Ons Weer Begin – Ashton Nyte
5. Sit Dit Af – Johannes Kerkorrel & Die Gereformeerde Blues Band
6. Ou Swerwer – Piet Botha
7. Lisa se Klavier – Koos Kombuis with James Phillips
8. n Brief Vir Simone – Anton Goosen
9. Bittermaan – Spoegwolf
10. Breyten se Brief (2010 recording) – Jan Blohm & Milan Murray
11. 9mm Blues (demo version) – George Harry (Jan Blohm)
12. Spook – Spinnekop
13. Die Donker Kom Jou Haal (Valiant Swart cover) – The Black Cat Bones
14. Dagdrome in Suburbia – Francois van Coke feat Spoegwolf
15. Slang – The Kêrels
16. Bloemfontein – Springcan
17. Reënvoëls – Mel Botes
18. Giant Puzzle – Al’astair
19. Matchbox Full Of Diamonds – David Kramer
20. Brixton Dae – Brixton Moord En Roof Orkes
21. Sondagmiddag – KOBUS!
22. Nikitien En Kafeïen – ddisselblom
23. Rock & Roll Jannie – Jakkie Louw & Wickus Van Der Merwe
24. Blommetjie Gedenk Aan My (Anton Goosen cover) – Stean Ennie Crank-shafts
25. Êrens – Ark
26. Mooie Vrou – Kaal
27. F.A.K. – Skallabrak
28. Mynhope In Die Bosveld – Wildebeest
29. Ventersdorp (Song Vir Angelique) – Die Kaalkop Waarheid
30. Verspreide Donderbuie – Amanda Strydom
31. Van Tonder – Piet Botha
32. Stille Soldate – Touch Of Class

New Album from Jack Hammer Band: Second Chapter

Jack Hammer Band: Second Chapter
Jack Hammer Band: Second Chapter

As with the trajectory of the blues and rock ‘n roll tradition, revisiting comes with reshaping and maturing. “Second Chapter” is a homage to Piet Botha and Jack Hammer precisely in the way in which the band members affirm themselves and their own musical stylings.

Jannike Bergh

“Second Chapter” by the Jack Hammer Band does what it says: without any pretences, the album blasts straight into the driving rock sound that has come to define the longest-standing South African rock band.

You immediately find yourself at a Jack Hammer gig, with Duke steady behind the kit, Bean towering over his black bass like a watchkeeper, and Johno and Jake Gunn wringing rock ’n roll out of their guitars as if their lives depended on it.

There is also the tall presence of the man of myth and his Stratocaster that goes by the name of Green Mamba – it would be difficult to imagine Piet Botha laying down the guitar after departing.

The album, co-written by Johnathan Martin, member of Jack Hammer since 1996, and Jake Gunn, who joined the ranks in the 2010s, was initially set out as an impulse to craft ten songs out of the kinship shared between the two. It soon became what had been called for: an album for Piet. The album’s path was led by an eleventh track – a reworked, never-before recorded version of ‘Diana’, a song Piet Botha left behind.

Raymond Smith, Piet’s brother-in-law, urged the band to write and record as Jack Hammer again and helped to bring it all together. He also wrote ‘One for the Angels’, a song inspired by one late-night party with Piet Botha.

Through songs shared and learned on stage, the band are creating a living archive, not only by telling Piet and Jack Hammer’s musings and stories in musical form, but also by revisiting undocumented material and channelling an immense discography.

Come celebrate the official album launch of “Second Chapter” on 11 November at the JARR Bar & Restaurant, Pretoria’s home of sound.

The Jack Hammer Band are: Johnathan Martin (vocals, guitars and piano), Tertius du Plessis (bass guitar), Paul Van de Waal (drums and percussion) and Jacques Groenewald (guitars, vocals, piano and harmonicas). Gerry Robinson, honorary band member (acoustic guitars).

“Second Chapter” was recorded at Wolmer Records and produced by the Jack Hammer Band, Lanie van der Walt and Moonshine Lee.

~ Written by Jannike Bergh, 2022.

Website

Facebook


Piet Botha – Diana

South African Music History: Lungile Tabalaza by Roger Lucey

Lungile Tabalaza by Roger Lucey

One of my favourite Roger Lucey songs. Powerful re-telling of a true story. Originally released in 1979 on the “The Road Is Much Longer” album. Also appeared on the 2CD compilation “21 Years Down The Road” released in 2000 by 3rd Ear Music.

Brian Currin

Extract from a review of “The Road Is Much Longer”: This is an important and bruising album. Harsh, in your face and uncompromising it should be an essential part of any serious collection of South African music.

John Samson, May 2001

More Roger Lucey songs on Youtube


South African Music Mixes: ONS GAAN NOU BRAAI feat Kurt Darren, Patricia Lewis, Steve Hofmyer, Ray Dylan, Nicholis Louw, Fatman

Somer is hier! Ons gaan nou braai!

It’s summertime in South Africa… it’s time to Braai!

Braai” is the South African word for “barbecue”, but it is so much more than that!

This mix was inspired by a sketch from stand-up comedian Barry Hilton. It is included as a bonus at the end of the mix.

ONS GAAN NOU BRAAI feat Kurt Darren, Patricia Lewis, Steve Hofmyer, Ray Dylan, Nicholis Louw, Fatman

Track List

1. Die Braai Song – Posduif
2. Hello Hello Ek Het Jou Gemis – Patricia Lewis
3. Welkom By My Party (Medley) – Krone, Kurt Darren, Nicholis Louw, Raymond Fein & Snotkop
4. Boerebal – Refentse
5. Kamp Kommandant – Fatman
6. Vakansie Op Die Platteland – Reën
7. Kuierleier – Irene-Louise Van Wyk
8. ‘n Dubbel Vir Die DJ – Kurt Darren feat Snotkop
9. Kom Saam – Straatligkinders
10. Generaal (Ek Kom Jou Dogter Haal) – Nicholis Louw
11. Kaptein Span Die Seile – Kurt Darren
12. Baby Tjoklits – Gerhard Steyn
13. Cowboys Don’t Cry – Francois van Rensburg
14. Loslappie – Kurt Darren
15. Trapkap – Juanita du Plessis, Ruan Josh & Franja Du Plessis
16. Pampoen – Steve Hofmeyr
17. Brannewynlippe – Wikus Botma
18. S.O.S. – Fatman
19. Jessica – Ray Dylan
20. Alles Gaan Okay Wees – Snotkop feat Loki Rothman
21. Potjiekos – Anton Goosen
22. Spyskaart – Jan Jan Jan feat Liezel Pieters
23. Johnnie Blou – Eloff
24. Warm Girls En Koue Bier – Ray Dylan
25. Meisie Sonner Sokkies – David Kramer
26. Shosholoza (club mix) – Afrotraction
27. De La Rey – Bok Van Blerk
28. BONUS: Nou Gaan Ons Braai (live 2011) – Barry Hilton


South African Music Mixes: HAU!

“Hau!” is a Zulu expression of astonishment.

If you are not from South Africa, we hope you will be astonished at what great music you might have missed.

Hopefully these two mixes will help to rectify that.

If you are South African, enjoy the nostalgia trip.

More information about most of these artists can be found at The South African Rock Encyclopedia


HAU! feat John Kongos, Jack Hammer, Ramsay MacKay, Tribe After Tribe, Falling Mirror, Rabbitt

HAU! feat John Kongos, Jack Hammer, Ramsay MacKay, Tribe After Tribe, Falling Mirror, Rabbitt

Track List

1. Riff Valley – Off The Edge
2. Sex – Pressure Cookies feat Willem Moller
3. Mumbo Jumbo – Ramsay MacKay feat Trevor Rabin
4. Tokoloshe Man – John Kongos
5. Tribal Fence – Rabbitt feat Margaret Singana
6. Russian & Chips – Jack Hammer
7. Judas – David’s Confession
8. Johnny Calls The Chemist – Falling Mirror
9. Riders On The Storm – Gordon’s Suitcase feat Piet Botha
10. Sittin’ (Take Me Home) – Toxic Shame
11. Pharaoh’s Tomb – Titus
12. Wild Warrior – Arapaho
13. Swans – Tribe After Tribe
14. Who Killed Kurt Cobain – Koos Kombuis


HAU! feat Bright Blue, Radio Rats, Johnny Clegg, PJ Powers, Mango Groove, Jack Hammer, Hawk

HAU! feat Bright Blue, Radio Rats, Johnny Clegg, PJ Powers, Mango Groove, Jack Hammer, Hawk

Track List

1. ZX Dan – Radio Rats
2. I’ll Remember You – Brian Finch
3. Weeping – Bright Blue
4. You’re So Good To Me – Hotline feat PJ Powers
5. Substitute – Clout
6. Be Bop Pop – The Spectres
7. Mysteries & Jealousy – The Helicopters
8. Conquistador – Circus
9. Orang Otang – Hawk
10. We Are Growing – Margaret Singana
11. Impi – Johnny Clegg & Juluka
12. Hometalk – Mango Groove
13. Dear Abbie (One Night Of Passion) – Little Sister
14. I Love You – Springbok Nude Girls
15. Sarajevo – Jack Hammer


More South African Music Mixes on Mixcloud

More information about most of the artists featured here can be found at The South African Rock Encyclopedia

South African Music Mixes: Africa Calling

Africa is calling you…

Inspired by “Africa Calling” by Masauko (from Blk Sonshine), these are two mixes of songs (from the last few years) from the Southern tip of Africa, including a tribute to the late Johnny Clegg.

Image: album cover from “Africa Calling” by Masauko

AFRICA CALLING feat Masauko, Tresor, Lady Zamar, Goldfish, Busiswa, Sho Madjozi, Holly Rey, Simmy

Track List

1. Africa Calling – Masauko
2. The Crossing (Johnny Clegg cover) – Friends Of Johnny Clegg
3. Ama Waza Waza – Ihhashi Elimhlophe
4. Notshi – Team Skorokoro
5. Late Night People (feat. Soweto Kinch) [Pontifexx and Johanns Remix] – GoldFish
6. Summer Life (feat. DJ Buckz & Gorna) – Busiswa
7. Paradise (feat. K.O.) – ChianoSky
8. You – Holly Rey
9. Infinity (feat. Daev Martian & Ziyon) – Kid Fonque
10. This Is Love – Lady Zamar
11. Ininja (feat. DJ Tira & DJ Thukzin) [Dlala Thukzin Remix] – Love Devotion & Peekay
12. Imvula (feat. Professor, Holly Rey & DrumPope) – Master Clap
13. Electric Night (feat. AKA) – Tresor
14. Gugulethu (feat. Indlovukazi, Supta & Afro Brothers) – Prince Kaybee
15. Limpopo Champions League – Sho Madjozi
16. Ubala (feat. Sun-El Musician) – Simmy
17. KWEDiNi – Sipho the Gift
18. Away (feat. Aewon Wolf) – Sketchy Bongo
19. Sonini (feat. Simmy & Lelo Kamau) – Sun-El Musician
20. No Sharing (The Distance) – Tellaman
21. S.O.S. – Fatman
22. Mina Ngedwa (feat. Vuyokazi Tshaya & Tshego AMG) – Tendaness
23. Linda – Sjava
24. Aphrodite – Tresor & Beatenberg
25. Promised Land (feat. Amanda Black & Soweto Gospel Choir) – Yanga
26. Soul to Keep (feat. Kwesta) – Zonke Dikana
27. Holy Spirit (Live at the Lyric Theatre) – Neyi Zimu & Omega Khunou


AFRICA CALLING feat Simphiwe Dana, Kelly Khumalo, Master KG, Sjava, Dramaboi, Tiwa Savage

Track List

1. Africa Calling (introduction) – Masauko
2. Bamako – Simphiwe Dana
3. Jerusalema (remix) – Master KG feat Burna Boy & Nomcebo Zikode
4. The Boxer – Cats On Bricks feat Nomfusi
5. Disco Matanga (Yambakhana) – Sauti Sol feat Sho Madjozi & Black Motion
6. Dance Along – CJay Unlimited
7. Padipadi – Han-C
8. Ntombizodwa – Thulasizwe feat Vee Mampeezy, Mass Ram & Josta
9. Dangerous Love (De Mthuda: Born In Soweto remix) – Tiwa Savage
10. There for You – T-Love feat Donald
11. Thrill – Tresor
12. Let Them Know – Young Jonn, Tiwa Savage & Joeboy
13. Empini – Kelly Khumalo
14. Yekela – Mlindo The Vocalist feat Masiano & Vusi Nova
15. Umbhulelo – Aubrey Qwana
16. Memeza – Blaq Diamond feat Sjava
17. Ilanga – Buhlebendalo feat Sjava
18. Koni Koni – Fiokee, Simi & Oxlade
19. Africa – Vusa Mkhaya
20. Ke Tshepile Wena – Dramaboi
21. No Ties (Amapiano remix) – Tshego, King Monada & MFR Souls
22. Meleko – Vee Mampeezy
23. Babe Wa Grippa – Zolasko
24. Killer Sax – Afrikan Roots feat Team Distant
25. Sedidi – Amantle Brown feat Gigi Lamayne
26. Personal Code – Charma Gal
27. Thandolwethu – Mafikizolo
28. Rock With Me – Moonga K. feat Giuliette Price
29. Stand Together – African Artists Unite feat 2Baba, Ahmed Soultan, Amanda Black, Ben Pol, Betty G, Gigi Lamayne, Prodigio, Stanley Enow, Teni & Yemi Alade

Gilles Peterson Debuts New John Wizards Track, And Discovers Its Rodriguez connection.

By Lenny Mailer

It’s no secret that the renowned DJ, Gilles Peterson, has long been a fan of South African music, especially the sounds coming out of Cape Town. Gilles is a French broadcaster, DJ, and record label owner. He founded the influential labels Acid Jazz and Talkin’ Loud, and started his current label Brownswood Recordings in 2006. He was awarded an honorary MBE in 2004 and is currently hosting his very popular and acclaimed Saturday afternoon music program called ‘Joining The Musical Dots’ in which he features a mixed-up selection, “joining the musical dots” between soul, hip hop, house, afro, electronica, jazz and beyond”, in his own inimitable style.

On his recent ‘Joining the Musical Dots’ program, on Saturday 22nd October, Gilles played the brand new John Wizards’ track called ‘Rwangaguhunga’. Back In 2017 Gilles was one of the first DJ’s to pick up on the strange story and wonderful music of the Cape Town group John Wizards and brought them into his studio during their UK and Europe tour where they played live. 

In August of that year, the British newspaper The Guardian’s music editor, Tim Jonze, wrote a feature on John Wizards, documenting how Emmanuel Nzaramba, a Rwandan car guard in Cape Town met John Withers, a South African advertising music writer, and after adding some of John’s musical friends to the band, they became John Wizards

(L–R) Geoff Brink, Tom Parker, John Withers, Alex Montgomery, Emmanuel Nzaramba, Raphael Segerman | Sarah Thomas and John Wizards

The band later released its self-titled debut album, which showcased their unique sound featuring elements of R&B, soukous, Afropop, reggae, South African house, Shangaan electro, and dub, and  included the singles ‘Lusaka by Night’ and ‘Muizenberg’. At the end of 2017, the band’s album appeared as No 8 on The Guardian’s list of the 40 best albums of the year. 

The six piece band, consisting of vocalist and guitarist John Withers, vocalist Emmanuel Nzaramba, drummer and percussionist Raphael Segerman, bassist and keyboardist Alex Montgomery, guitarist Tom Parker and guitarist and keyboardist Geoff Brink, combined electronic sounds with more traditional African influences on their self-titled debut album, and the success of that album led to their touring extensively across Europe alongside Mount Kimbie and Jagwar Ma. 

John Wizards effectively began when John Withers met Nzaramba outside a coffee shop in 2010 and the two became friends. They subsequently fell out of touch for a period. In 2012 they happened upon one another in Cape Town and it turned out they were both living on that same street. Prior to their meeting again, Withers had been working on recording and producing the set of musical ideas that would later become John Wizards’ self-titled release of September 2013. 

Nzaramba added vocal recordings to some of the songs and began to perform with the rest of the band. John Wizards released a mix tape in August 2012 that roughly sketched out the songs to be included on the album. This mix tape was passed on to Mike Paradinas, owner of Planet Mu records. Planet Mu would announce the band as part of their roster in November 2012, releasing the album some ten months later.

In February 2017 Gilles visited Cape Town to record an audio documentary about the city’s musical heritage as part of Lufthansa City of the Month. The documentary followed Gilles over the course of a day as he set out to learn about the history of the city’s music, and infiltrate the dynamic contemporary scene. He began with the music of the Khoisan Bushmen, through to Cape Jazz of the ’60s, onto hip hop of the ’80s and ’90s, through to the spoken word and current musical climate of today. By discovering where the music was from and where it was going, Gilles discovered what makes Cape Town so special.

Gilles Peterson presents Cape Town Sounds

In the documentary, Gilles visited a bunch of the local music scenes’ leaders to hear their stories. From jazz musician Tony Cedras to spoken word artist Khadija Tracey Heeger, local hip hop legend DJ Ready D, the Chimurenga crew, legendary A&R Donald ‘Jumbo’ Van Renen through to today’s upfront talent like Nonku Phiri! The show also featured tracks by Tony Cedras, Miriam Makeba, Dollar Brand, Jumbo Track, Black Disco and more.

Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, Gilles Peterson, DJ Mighty, Jacques Vosloo | Mabu Vinyl Basement, 3 February 2017
Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, Gilles Peterson, DJ Mighty, Jacques Vosloo | Mabu Vinyl Basement, 3 February 2017

On that trip, Gilles also visited the iconic Cape Town record shop, Mabu Vinyl, where he met the shop’s founder and owner Jacques Vosloo, as well as the staff like DJ Mighty, SA online music guru Brian Currin and Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman of ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ fame.

Gilles Peterson 2022-10-22 Joining the Musical Dots: Alabaster dePlume & Friends, Kay Suzuki

On Saturday’s ‘Joining The Musical Dots’ program, after playing the newly-released John Wizards’ track ‘Rwangaguhunga’ (starting at about 24 minutes), Gilles also mentioned that the drummer from John Wizards, Raphael Segerman, is also the son of Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman, thereby “joining the musical dots” between John Wizards and Sixto Rodriguez followed by his playing of Rodriguez singing his own track, ‘Can’t Get Away’.

Rwangaguhunga – John Wizards
Rodriguez – Can’t Get Away

Steve Louw | Interview | New Album, ‘Thunder and Rain’ | It’s Psychedelic Baby

South African rocker Steve Louw will release sophomore album, ‘Thunder and Rain,’ November 11th, 2022 via BFD / The Orchard.


The album was produced by Kevin Shirley (John Hiatt, Robert Cray Band, the Black Crowes) and features contributions from guitar wizards Joe Bonamassa, and Doug Lancio. Bonamassa is featured on the second single ‘Mother Don’t Go.’

‘Thunder and Rain’ follows hot on the heels of ‘Headlight Dreams’ the 2021 album that found Steve Louw returning to active duty after a thirteen-year absence. After this prolonged period away from the spotlight, Louw discovered an audience who was eager to hear new music from the singer/songwriter.

Steve Louw | Photo by Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | Photo by Jacqui Van Staden

Read the full article at It’s Psychedelic Baby

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