A Year Of Presenting The Blues On All Jazz Radio

Dirk Ace and Brian Currin September 2013
Dirk Ace and Brian Currin September 2013

On the 4th of October 2012, at age 53, I started something new in my life, presenting a two-hour blues show on the then brand new internet radio station, All Jazz Radio. Despite my reluctance founder Eric Alan encouraged me to give it a go, and here we are a year later!

As my father said recently; “you are just making mixtapes like you always did when you were a teenager, except now the technology has changed, and you are getting to share you love and passion for music with other people.”

I play an eclectic mix of old, new, borrowed and blues, with a special focus on blues by South African artists.

I call the show “Vagabond Blues” because I wander around the world of music picking up scraps of information from all over and everywhere.

My very first website I created in 1997 was called Vagabond’s World and it is still on the internet.

The Vagabond Blues show can be heard every Tuesday and Thursday between 4pm and 6pm South African time on All Jazz Radio.

Podcast from 13 June 2013 featuring interview with Piet Botha & Akkedis

 

You need a website

People need to Find You and Talk To You.

Finding you is called Marketing and talking to you is called Sales.

I have now just saved you 3 years of study at University.

Yes, it is that simple.

For this you need not just a website, but a web presence … but a website is a very good place to start.

I love building websites and have been doing it since 1997.

Let me help you with yours.

See more at: http://blog.briancurrin.com/portfolio/

Vagabond Blues Show on All Jazz Radio every Thursday afternoon

Join me on my Vagabond Blues show on www.AllJazzRadio.co.za every Thursday afternoon from 4pm to 6pm (SA time). I play a broad spectrum of music in the blues genre, with a special focus on South African blues. – Brian Currin

Extract from an article I wrote in February 2007

I was born in South Africa 4 days after “The Day The Music Died” according to Don McLean (you work it out!). I was born and bred in a home filled with music (mainly Church Hymns and Showtunes) but soon discovered in my pre-teen years that I had absolutely no talent for singing or playing an instrument. I do play a mean air guitar solo though – I usually play a Black Fender Stratocaster Original Air Guitar. I also play Air Organ – a Hammond B3 of course – and recently I’ve started learning to play Air Harmonica.

Since I had this overwhelming passion for music, but not the skills to perform it, I started collecting music as well as information about music and also statistics and lists. Finding musical information in Apartheid-era South Africa was difficult to say the least, but my passion knew no bounds and I persevered.

In 1973 I heard the ‘Made in Japan’ version of ‘Smoke Of The Water’ by Deep Purple and my fate as a Rock Fan was sealed. I always thought that when I grew up I would lose my love of Rock and get into Classical and Jazz as “older” people did. Never happened! What did happen is that I just added and added more styles, types and genres to my musical tastes, though Classic Rock is still my first love and Deep Purple is still my favourite group. After listening to Purple and Zeppelin and Tull and Clapton and such-like I wanted to hear the original blues that inspired them … and a whole new world of discovering the Blues masters opened up for me.

Blues From The Deep South (Of Africa)

Because of South Africa’s unique geographical position and cosmopolitan population, there is really no such thing as a single defining style of “South African Music”. We seem to have everything here on the Southern Tip of Africa including African Tribal music, Zulu Township Jazz, Country and Western, Death Metal, Electronica and so much more, all with their own clearly-defined (and sometimes overlapping) niche markets. However the blues seems to be very popular in South Africa amongst most population groups, though I’ve never seen any research to support this theory of mine.

Blues in South Africa includes a wide variety of genres including Jazz Blues, Folk Blues, Traditional Blues, Blues Rock, Acoustic Blues and even blues sung in the language of Afrikaans which for want of a better name we will call Afrikaans Blues. So really South African Blues is just a term to mean Blues played by South African musicians. Cover versions of old blues classics abound, but there are also a large number of original compositions written in a variety of blues styles. Very few South African Blues musicians actually concentrate on playing the Blues exclusively, but rather play a mix of Blues, Rock, Blues-Rock and Country Rock.

Join me on my Vagabond Blues show on www.AllJazzRadio.co.za every Thursday afternoon from 4pm to 6pm (SA time). I play a broad spectrum of music in the blues genre, with a special focus on South African blues. – Brian Currin

Martin Raphael and Ramases are not the same person | Space Hymns

Ramases and Sel on Felixstowe beach, 1975
Ramases and Sel, 1975. Photo: Pennie Smith (NME)

It was reported by many reviewers and re-issue liner note writers that the real name of the artist known as Ramases (who recorded the cult classic album Space Hymns in 1971) was Martin Raphael.

However in May 2012, Dorothy, better known to Ramases fans as Sel (or Selket), advised that her late husband, Ramases (real name Barrington Frost) and Martin Raphael were not the same person.

I would like to clear up the confusion between Ramases (Barrington Frost), born in Sheffield, and Martin Raphael who played the sitar on Space Hymns. I do not know where he was born or where he lived. I wish to confirm that Ramases and Martin Raphael were not the same person. I do not know how this misunderstanding has come about. I would be interested to hear any comments. Love and light from Selket. (Dorothy Frost, wife of Ramases)

Dorothy’s message was posted on the Space Hymns website and Facebook Page, and actor and musician, Peter Stormare responded with some information after listening to the studio out-take tapes.

Martin Raphael’s nickname was Ralph to start with….
On one of the out-takes the engineer… (Gouldman, I think) talks over the intercom to the guy on the floor … you think it’s to Ram but actually Ram isn’t even there … it’s an overdub… (track is obviously Molecular Delusion, Mr Raphael’s only contribution).

“Hey Ralph” And it sounds as if Ram is replying, but that’s a previous take…
It’s very clear on our out-take…
“Ralph” Martin Raphael is then the only one talking…
Ram did show and sing him the chord-changes, but when the sitar is laid down on the next take Ram has left.

Also the famous “Fuck” heard on Molecular Delusions is clearly not Ram but Martin Raphael … he thought the chorus was coming and plays that note but there is still 8 bars of verse to go … he goes back to the verse after a bar.

‘Searching For Sugar Man’ Wins Two Awards At Sundance Film Festival | PT Music

Press release for PT Music

Searching For Sugarman
Searching For Sugarman

In 2006 Swedish film producer Malik Bendjelloul visited Cape Town, South Africa as part of a world-spanning journey searching for inspiration for a new film. What he found was a story that was so unbelievable that if a scriptwriter had written it as a piece of fiction, it would have been rejected as being too far-fetched.

‘Searching For Sugar Man’ took three years to complete and was filmed in Cape Town and Detroit, and other South African and US locations. The film had its international premiere on Thursday 19th January 2012, at the Sundance Film Festival held in Park City, Utah, USA as a representative of the World Documentary section.

Synopsis from Sundance Filmguide:

“Rodriguez was the greatest ’70s U.S. rock icon who never was. His albums [Cold Fact and Coming From Reality] were critically well-received, but sales bombed, and he faded away into obscurity among rumors of a gruesome death. However, as fate would have it, a bootleg copy of his record made its way to South Africa, where his music became a phenomenal success. In a country suppressed by apartheid, his anti-establishment message connected with the people.

When his second album finally gets released on CD in South Africa, two fans take it as a sign, deciding to look into the mystery of how Rodriguez died and what happened to all of the profits from his album sales. Since very little information about the singer exists, they meet many obstacles until they uncover a shocking revelation that sets off a wild chain of events that has to be seen to be believed. ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ is a story of hope, inspiration, and the resonating power of music”.

After the initial screening, Chris Lee from the Daily Beast wrote: “Following the rise, seeming demise, and re-emergence of an obscure but influential Mexican-American folk singer named Rodriguez, the movie premiered Thursday to tears, cheers, and a standing ovation from festival attendees”.

‘Searching For Sugar Man’ garnered two awards, The ‘World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary’ and ‘World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize for its Celebration of the Artistic Spirit’. To receive both an audience award and a critics award is a very rare occurrence indeed and had only happened once before since Sundance was founded in 1981 by Robert Redford. It was also one the first films sold at the Festival, being snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics.

Rodriguez (who turns 70 this year in July) attended the festival and appeared with Malik Bendjelloul and Sugarman.org’s Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, after every screening. He also performed at the packed-out Sundance ASCAP Music Café. (see video below)

The Sundance Film Festival success of ‘Searching For Sugarman’ is another milestone in the strange and wonderful story of the man known, to his ever increasing fan base around the world, simply as Rodriguez.

Brian Currin
Sugarman.org

Sundance Press Release
http://press.sundance.org/38362?format=pdf&press=1

Sundance Filmguide
http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/120073/searching_for_sugar_man

Sundance ASCAP Music Café