As a prominent part of the heady late 70’s and early 80’s Cape Town scene, Dax Butler and The Other Band provided a perhaps less strident but equally rebellious musical equation that tapped blues, country and African influences. While they seemed set for future success, heroin and crack had other ideas for Dax Butler. Throughout the 30 or so hard years since those days, the one thing that Dax held onto and held sacred was his songwriting.
Andy Lund grew up surrounded by the ethos of the songer/songwriter via his father, who played guitar and piano songs by 70’s era songwriters such as Gerry Rafferty and Cat Stevens. Andy’s initial compositions for the band Roswell Kings were more of the rock persuasion, using alternative tunings and riff based forms to create his songs, but even at that stage he was using elements of blues and country which later became a large part of his writing.
Accomplished Singer/ Songwriter and guitarist Nick Turner was the founding member of Sons of Trout in the late 90’s, and later one half of Mikanic, with fellow Trout Mike Rennie.
Nick’s music effortlessly spans genres with influences ranging from Rock, Reggae, and Afro-Pop to Ghoema, hip-hop and jazz. He writes in both English and Afrikaans, with songs that are lyrically powerful, relevant, humorous and energetic. His music has a wide appeal, with performances that feature virtuosic musicianship.
Tim Parr first came to national prominence in the southern-rock blues band Baxtop, where he shared guitar duties with Larry Amos in the Joburg club scene of 1976. Rising quickly to the top of the club scene and winning the SABC battle of the bands, they recorded “Work it Out” for Warner Brothers in 1979, which remains an enduring classic. Tim then formed Ella Mental with Heather Mac, which was one of the most iconic 80’s bands to come out of South Africa. Playing out the 80’s festival circuit and securing many top 10 songs along with several no 1’s, they relocated to Ireland in 1986 and recorded an album with producer Stewart Levine, who failed to capture the bands essence.
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Born in the munitions industry hub of New Haven, Connecticut, Michael Canfield was the fourth generation in his family to be in the entertainment business.
He grew up to the sound of the Big Bands…Glen Miller, Dorsey brothers, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, with his first musical memory being singing a Bing Crosby duet with his father.
John McGuinness and Vince Lewis
John McGuinness and Vince Lewis’s “Greetings from Philadelphia” has been a project that has been some time in coming…50 years, to be exact. From being soloists together in the choir at Boston Primary School in 1967, they travelled different paths and many miles until reconnecting in 2016, a meeting that resulted in a new found synchronicity and to the album recorded at Vince’s studio in Philadelphia in the Western Cape.
First rising to national prominence as lead singer for the Sweat Band with the Kevin Shirley produced hit “This boy”, Wendy Oldfield’s powerful and soulful voice has been a fixture on the South African music scene for 30 years. A prolific songwriter and expert djembe player, she has continued to release albums with several radio hits such as “Living in the real world”, “Miracle”, and her biggest hit “Acid Rain”.
She has worked with many of the top SA artists such as Steve Newman, Paul Hamner, Pops Mohammed, Gito Baloi and many others, along with fronting world music project Mondetta and winning best album for “On a pale blue dot”. Her latest album “Supernova” continues her journey of combining the various influences of pop, blues, soul, dance and African styles. Recently she has also formed a duo with Robin Auld called AuldField, with several national tours and a CD to their name. An iconic and enduring South African lady of song.
Ronan is a didgeridoo player, percussionist, producer and sound connoisseur. Over the years he has been exploring a fusion of tabla, percussion and didgeridoo by means of a hybrid kit which he designed. He makes many of his instruments by hand, using natural objects such as seed pods, tree bark, cocoons, reeds and hide to create percussive sounds. Ronan has featured his sound in musical genres across the board, from classical, rock and folk to electro, jazz, world music and hip-hop.
He’s performed in South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, France, Lithuania, Swaziland, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia the UK and India, and has featured on many recordings and film scores. Recent accolades include the Swiss Artist Residency, SAMA award for ‘Best Instrumental Album 2009’ and making it into the top 20 albums of the decade with ‘Up Roots – Babu 2009’ He has performed with the likes of: Manu Dibango, Johnny Clegg, Rodriguez (Sugarman), Freshlyground and Guy Buttery. www.ronanskillen.com
Faye and Wren
Faye and Wren is a South African group fronted by singer-songwriter duo, Wren Hinds and Faye Oakes.
The outfit have crafted an honest and captivating sound performing on the African music scene and with their unique shows and appearances they have harnessed a dedicated listener-ship.
Founded by Skye Wilson and Gregory Schoeman in 1993, the Sunshine’s album Removable Tattoos stands as one of SA’s best pop records of all time. Tunesmiths of the first order, Skye’s original and melodic phrasing was the perfect foil for Greg Schoemans jangle rock guitar, and they built their solid rep on the live circuit that thrived around the buzzing Rockey Street of early 90’s Johannesburg.
Caroline Blundell grew up steeped in the folk traditions of storytelling and fingerstyle playing that surrounded her from an early age. Her father Keith Blundell and her mother Pamela were folk icons in the South Africa of the 60’s and 70’s, with her siblings Jonny and Julie both becoming accomplished musicians in their own right.
Zimbabwean born Tony Cox is an award-winning guitarist and singer/songwriter with a body of work that stretches five decades. Learning to play on a Hawaiian guitar at 9 years old in Kwe Kwe in the then Rhodesia, he progressed on to classical and the acoustic guitarists of the time such as Leo Kottke and Bert Jansch.
Chris Tokalon who sadly recently passed, was a musician who played sax, flute and hang drum and was also well known a sound therapist and recording artist. He had played in South Africa since 1979 in a wide variety of collaborations which have been at the forefront of local original music over the years – African jazz ensembles, theatre musicals and cabarets. He had performed around SA with various bands and artists such as Steve Newman, Tony Cox, The Jazz Hounds and Paul Hamner to name a few.
Roger Lucey started writing and performing songs in the mid seventies in his hometown of Durban, South Africa. He had dropped out of high school and after being conscripted into the South African army for two years, earned a living as a taxi driver, crane driver on the Durban docks and a fitter on the oil refineries, all the while writing and singing in pubs and clubs around the city. From those early times his songs reflected the social and political situation in the country and when he moved to Johannesburg at the end of the seventies he recorded his first album, “The Road is Much Longer.”