Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, What Am I Creating?

All The Facts!

I updated the SugarMan.org website today with information on two limited edition collections released in South Africa in 2005 and 2009. Both were titled “All The Facts” and I was involved with both projects.

Read all about them at http://sugarman.org/allthefacts.html

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Crossroads by Jack Hammer!

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer – 13 Towns Vol 2
Piet Botha & Jack Hammer – 13 Towns Vol 2

On 22 December 2020 a live album was released by Piet Botha & Jack Hammer titled “13 Towns Vol 2“. This album had been recorded live on the road between 2017 and 2019 and followed the July 2020 release of Vol 1.

There are 10 tracks on this album, ending with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” inspired by the Jimi Hendrix version and including a drum solo by Paul van der Waal, given the nickname “Duke” because he always dressed so smart.

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer – All Along The Watchtower (live)

However, there is an unlisted bonus track which caught me by surprise the first time. After a brief silence, Piet leaves the stage with the words; “I’ll catch you boys later”, then the rest of the guys led by Jacques (Jake Gunn) Groenewald jam on Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” obviously inspired by Cream’s 1968 version. Blistering guitar solo from Johnathan Martin. And there’s a short drum and bass duet from the powerhouse engine room of Paul and Tertius du Plessis (aka Bean), before it all winds down. “Se bietjie ou blues” shouts Jacques. Indeed!

Jack Hammer – Crossroads (live)

Piet Botha passed away on the 2nd June 2019, and the guys have continued the legacy and hard-gigging schedule. Now calling themselves The Jack Hammer Band they are releasing a brand new CD “Second Chapter” on 11th November 2022.

Posted in Playlists, South African Music, Vagabond's World, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? A Vagabond Cafe Mix!

A melancholy mix that I created for an imaginary bar, “The Vagabond Cafe” in Nowheresville!

“Where lost souls meet.”

THE VAGABOND CAFE IN NOWHERESVILLE feat Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, U2, Willie Nelson, Bob Marley

Playlist

1. 16 Rietfonteins – Des & Dawn Lindberg
2. Man In Black – Johnny Cash
3. Light A Candle – Neil Young
4. Black Coffee – Lacy J Dalton
5. Evening Over Rooftops – The Edgar Broughton Band
6. Die Heks Is Dood – Strab Colab feat Piet Botha
7. White Trash Beautiful – Everlast
8. It Turns Me Inside Out – Willie Nelson
9. A Little Cocaine – Lee Clayton
10. Everett Ruess – Dave Alvin
11. Society – Eddie Vedder
12. Almal Maak Haar Mal (acoustic) – Valiant Swart
13. Blues Vir Louise – Piet Botha
14. Something Blue – Neil Diamond
15. Motherland – Natalie Merchant
16. Gravedigger – Dave Matthews
17. Too Sick To Pray – Willie Nelson
18. Bittermaan – Spoegwolf
19. If It Be Your Will (live 2008) – Leonard Cohen with Neil Larsen and The Webb Sisters
20. Who Told You That (live 2018) – Mavis Staples
21. Loch Lomond (live 1987) – Runrig
22. If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly
23. Rose Tattoo – Dropkick Murphys
24. Saint Isabelle – Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman
25. Better Than This – Strab Colab
26. Hell Yeah – Neil Diamond
27. Terrified – Isaac Gracie
28. Beyond My Wildest Dreams – Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris
29. Breyten se Brief – Jan Blohm
30. Redemption Song – Bob Marley
31. San Quentin (live 1969) – Johnny Cash
32. Blue Hotel – Chris Isaak
33. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ – Bob Dylan
34. Jack Of All Trades – Bruce Springsteen feat Tom Morello
35. The Maker – Daniel Lanois
36. ‘n Brief Vir Simone – Anton Goosen
37. Listening Wind – Geoffrey Oryema
38. I’m Not Gonna Beg – Natalie Merchant
39. Alrighty Aphrodite – Peach Pit
40. One – U2 & Mary J Blige

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, South African Music, Updates, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? The Game by Trip featuring Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin

This biting commentary song written by Piet Botha has a bit of a convoluted recording history.

“The Game” was originally recorded at Red Room Studios, Pretoria in October 1998 by Trip (Francois Scheepers & Niel van der Spuy) and featured Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin prominently. It was released on the Trip album “Is” in 1999.

Trip – Is

Musicians:

  • Piet Botha: Vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Johnathan Martin: acoustic guitar, cello
  • Henry Erasmus: electric guitars
  • Francois Scheepers: Programming

The Game (original 1998 recording)

The Game (original 1998 recording)

Trip - Is (CD booklet)
Trip – Is (CD booklet)

This version of “The Game” was released on the “Bootleg” CD in February 2001, credited to Piet Botha and Jack Hammer.

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer: Bootleg
Piet Botha & Jack Hammer: Bootleg

It was also included on the Jack Hammer retrospective “Road Works 1984-2009” released in July 2009.

Jack Hammer: Road Works 1984-2009
Jack Hammer: Road Works 1984-2009

Piet Botha gave this song a second lease on life a decade and a half later as his comments on corporate and political greed were still very valid. “The Game” was recorded at The Chateau Lezard in Somerset West during August and September 2014. Released on “A Few Grains Of Sand” by The Lyzyrd Kyngs in 2014.

The Game (2014 recording)

The Game by The Lyzyrd Kyngs
The Lyzyrd Kyngs - A Few Grains Of Sand
The Lyzyrd Kyngs – A Few Grains Of Sand

Musicians:

  • Piet Botha: Vocals, guitars
  • Arthur Dennis: guitars, vocals
  • Rudi Dennis: drums, guitars, vocals
  • AJ Graham: bass

Lyrics:

Chorus:

Where is the festival
Where is the song
Gone like mist from the sun
Where is the wine that
Was promised to us
Where we were young

The scandal sheets daily
Shout out the news
Of murder, misfortune and, mayhem
The idols that they build for you
Soon they’ll cut down
But that’s all part of the Game
All part of the Game

From cathedrals in Rome
To the kingdoms of sand
The holy war just carries on
But power and greed
Has turned it to shame
The high priest they only players
In the Game

Chorus

The oceans are plundered
The forests are dying
And it’s all just for profit, for gain
Third world keeps burning
But the dollar keeps turning
Dead children they only numbers
In the Game

Chorus

Where is the wine that
Was promised to us
Where we were young

Posted in Charts, Music Research, Online Marketing, Playlists, South African Music

Steve Louw’s “Wind In Your Hair” hits 300,000 Streams today as new song is released.

Spotify Screenshot, 28 October 2022, 09:04
Spotify Screenshot, 28 October 2022, 09:04

Steve Louw’s brand new single “Mother, Don’t Go” (featuring Joe Bonamassa, and produced by the legendary Kevin Shirley) was released this morning, and his previous hit “Wind In Your Hair” (also featuring Joe’s guitar talents) has achieved 300,000 streams. A milestone indeed for this unassuming musician who released his first album with the band All Night Radio way back in 1984.

It is my privilege to be involved with Steve’s online marketing activities, all centred around his website at SteveLouw.com

Posted in Imaginary Albums, Music Research, Playlists, Vagabond's World, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Imaginary Albums!

Photo by Andre Moura on Pexels.com

Some of my favourite albums re-imagined.

King Crimson – In The Wake Of Poseidon [1970] Re-imagined

King Crimson – In The Wake Of Poseidon [1970] Re-imagined

Inspired by a website called Albums Back From The Dead, I offer my re-imagining of King Crimson’s “In The Wake Of Poseidon” as a double album. Tracks taken from In The Wake Of Poseidon (King Crimson, 1970), McDonald & Giles (1971) and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970).

Yes – Fragile [1971] Re-imagined

Yes – Fragile [1971] Re-imagined

One of my all-time favourite albums, re-imagined. “Catherine Of Aragon” by Rick Wakeman was originally titled “Handle With Care” and featured all members of Yes at the time, except for Jon Anderson.

Jethro Tull – God & Man [1972] A Passion Play re-imagined

Jethro Tull – God & Man [1972] A Passion Play re-imagined

An imaginary expansion of “A Passion Play” to be a double album. Inspired by a few threads on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums.

Brain Salad Surgery [1973] Resequenced

Brain Salad Surgery [1973] Resequenced

A resequencing (including bonus tracks) of one of my all-time favourite albums.

Posted in Imaginary Albums, Music Research, Playlists, Vagabond's World, What Am I Listening To?

Jethro Tull – God & Man (A Passion Play Expanded)

Who is God’s favourite rock star this week?

An imaginary compilation expanding “A Passion Play” as a double album.

Inspired by various threads on The Steve Hoffman Music Forums.

A Passion Play
Jethro Tull – A Passion Play

SIDE A: God & Theatre [21 minutes]

  1. The Big Top
  2. Scenario
  3. Audition
  4. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day
  5. Sailor
  6. No Rehearsal

SIDE B: Man & Animal [22 minutes]

  1. First Post
  2. Animelee
  3. Tiger Toon
  4. Look At The Animals
  5. Law Of The Bungle, part 1 (Tiger)
  6. Law Of The Bungle, part 2
  7. Bungle In The Jungle

SIDE C: Man & Critic [22 minutes]

  1. Left Right
  2. Solitaire
  3. Critique Oblique
  4. Post Last

SIDE D: A Passion Play [22 minutes]

  1. Forest Dance
  2. The Foot Of Our Stairs
  3. Overseer Overture
  4. Flight From Lucifer
  5. 10.08 To Paddington
  6. Magus Perdé
  7. Epilogue
Jethro Tull – God & Man

“A Passion Play” was the follow-up album to 1972’s “Thick As A Brick”. Recording sessions originally took place at the Chateau d’Herouville Studios in France during 1972. These sessions were later dubbed “The Chateau d’Isaster Tapes” as Ian Anderson was unhappy with the challenges of the studio environment.

Back in the UK, Jethro Tull decided to start afresh, and the resulting album was released in July 1973 to less-than-critical acclaim.

This imaginary album is my attempt to reconstruct a double album that could have been released instead, using all available recordings.

Certain songs from the “Chateau d’Isaster” sessions had additional flute overdubs recorded in 1988 before being released on the “Night Cap” rarities compilation in 1993. In most cases I prefer these versions to the Steven Wilson remixes from 2014.

I left off “The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles” (it should appear between “Forest Dance, parts 1 & 2) because it is only funny the first time you hear it, after that it is just jarring.

Sources

Posted in Playlists, Vagabond's World, What Am I Listening To?

Selections from Vagabond’s World

A Spotify playlist of some of my favourite obscurities from the world of Rock.

Either obscure songs or songs off obscure releases by well-known artists.

This is a dynamic playlist, I will be adding to it every now and again. As the Spirit of Rock moves me.

Selections from Vagabond’s World

Please visit my original Vagabond’s World website, created in October 1997, which should give you some idea of why I chose certain songs.

You can also browse this blog for even more obscurities.