Thursday, June 1, 2017

Andy's Acoustic Forum, May 2017

Despite the chilly weather, there was a very good audience turnout
 for the May acoustic evening.
Andy was in fine form and he decided to try some my expense!
On a positive note, he got the sound mix right this month...

 I was using the evening to "road test" the recently released
Marks Park, as a venue, offers a challenge from a lighting perspective,
but this camera rose to the occasion superbly.
I was able to use the same settings for the entire evening.
ISO 1600/2000, 1/50s - 1/100s and  f/5.6 using a Pentax 28-105mm lens.
This is the current flagship camera within the Ricoh stable
and as their first full frame model it holds its own
against brands that have been producing full frame models for a while.
Highly recommended for those photographers who want to take their "craft"
to the next level without having to take out a second mortgage. 

Amavevane Acapella
What a joyous and joyful way to start off the evening.

The group hails from Plumbtree in Zimbabwe 
and they sound very similar to Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The original songs that they did were haunting and beautiful.
Now if only I had learned a vernacular language in school...
I would have been able to better understand the nuances of the lyrics.

The "lead" singer had a vocal range that almost defied description.
A wonderful performer and a pleasure to watch.

A performance of this stature would NOT be complete without a dance routine.
This was their penultimate song:

 Hands raised in exaltation, they finished their set with a version of "Nkosi"
that was sublime.
We tend to forget that the song was well known in Africa
 before it became part of our National anthem.
I cannot wait for this group to return and perform for us again.
Listen to what Future Moyo has to say about "The healing Light Project" and the group.

Bruce Dennill...
Even though he was feeling "under the weather" 
and having to rely on sips of a honey and lemon concoction during his set,
Bruce displayed awesome talent with his original material.

Being a friend and colleague, I have followed his singing career for many years.
I believe what the audience and I heard at this performance 
was his strongest set that I have heard.

Not a happy song in the set!
However, his lyrics come from a deep and meaningful place
and that trumps "happy" any day.

Bruce finished of this set with "Whole".
A song that is a favourite of mine.
His music is available on iTunes...have a listen.
Well done young man.

Steve Rusznyak.
It is unusual to find an acoustic musician who plays a 12-string guitar.
Tonight we had two on the bill. 
(We could have had a third as Bruce has just purchased one)
Steve certainly made use of every string!

His music took me back to the rocking folk of the '70's.
And he certainly gave it his all.

He did admit that he has not played for the past 15 months,
as he has become a Dad.
Perhaps that is why there is dust on his instrument?

A great mixture of musician and story teller.

He finished off with an "African" version of  a Pearl Jam song.
A great set...and I hope that his baby (and his wife) will allow him 
to return sooner than later.

Cindy Alter...the closest thing that South Africa has to a real "rock chick".
Cindy certainly attracts and audience who seem to know the lyrics to all her songs.

A talent that should be celebrated by our industry has just returned from Nashville,
where she collaborated with some well known song writers.
I too spent time in Nashville some years ago and Cindy spoke of how musicians here 
in South Africa have to struggle to make a living, 
but they persevere because they love being creative.
It reminded me of the old joke...
What is the difference between a musician and a large pizza?
The latter can feed a family of four!

One of these led to a song called "Shortcuts" 
that can be found on her recently released album entitled "Reunion" 
Cindy recently published her book " No Substitute" 
that takes a look at her journey in the music industry.
It is well worth the read!

Cindy finished her set with a solo performance of her seminal song,
For me, this was probably the best I have heard her perform it...
it is most certainly one of my favourites!
This is the version she did when she was a part of a group called "Alter Irving":

Come, enjoy a beverage or two and listen to some cool music in June.
The June event will be held at Marks Park
 on Wednesday, 28th starting at 19h30.

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