Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hannes Coetzee and Spoon Slide Guitar

(See video)

I thought I have ssen it all. I love blues guitar but this is the first time I have seen this style. Below is the article that i found in the net about Hannes.

During the year 2000, David Kramer, one of South Africa’s most well-known and beloved musicians, heard of the Coetzee legend—that there was a man in the Karoo who played the guitar with a teaspoon. Kramer’s own music features gritty, realistic songs about small-town South Africa. His first album, Bakgat!, was banned by the South African Broadcasting Company for its political satire, its use of coarse language, and its mixing of languages. Although it was the apartheid era, Kramer refused to change his style. He had several hits throughout the nineteen-eighties and nineteen-nineties, including the hugely popular “So Long Skipskop,” which tells the story of forced removal of black fishermen from a village in the Cape.
Most of Kramer’s releases have gone gold. So when he saw video footage of Hannes Coetzee playing guitar with the teaspoon slide technique, he was in a position to give Coetzee a national platform. “[The music] was absolutely fascinating,” Kramer says. “The footage made such an impression on me that I went to meet him, and invited him onto the stage with me to present him to the audiences that I performed to.”

The concerts that Coetzee played were part of Kramer’s Karoo Kitaar Blues project, which often included at least four other traditional musicians from the Karoo. Through these shows, Hannes Coetzee was able to play for audiences in all of South Africa’s major cities.
His style of guitar made him a sensation almost overnight. Coetzee performed to sold-out crowds, appeared on television and radio, and released CDs of his music. His songs got covered by other musicians. He was able to buy a car and enlarge his house in Herbertsdale. Video footage of his playing became a phenomenon on the YouTube website, getting hundreds of thousands of views.

South African youth hear the work of Hannes Coetzee and other Karoo players on television, in record stores, and on the radio. Traditional music has been elevated within the community and given much higher status. In a country where the remnants of the apartheid framework are still in existence it is Coetzee, a soft-spoken black man in his sixties, who has fired a passion for traditional music. “Interest has been rekindled in what we perhaps almost lost,” Kramer says

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