ROLLING Stones legend, Keith Richards, once said: “If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.”
It’s a comment that could have been penned for South African blues maestro, Dan Patlansky, who will be showcasing his incredible guitar skills and lyrical songwriting in four concerts in KwaZulu-Natal this week, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.
Fans will be treated to tracks from his latest album, Introvertigo, at the Royal Rock Concert at the Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, May 27, a set which he says is going to be all out, red-blooded blues rock.
Before that, however, he’ll be showed his acoustic side with two shows at the Caversham Mill Restaurant in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26. He will also be performing at Butler’s Restaurant in Hilcrest on Sunday, May 28.
“For the acoustic sets I’ll be playing the music that I loved when I was growing up,” Patlansky said. “There will be a lot of covers, some of them quite obscure, but for the Royal Show we’re going to deliver a full electric set.
“We’ll be playing tracks from Introvertigo and all my other albums … Acoustic shows are fun, but my passion is playing electric guitar, so it’s going to be special. I’m really looking forward to playing at the Royal.”
Introvertigo is the second album by the blues legend to be recognised by the internationally respected Blues Rock Review, which named the album its number one choice in 2016. The same honour was bestowed on Dear Silence Thieves in 2014.
“It’s a fantastic thing,” says Patlansky. “When you record an album you don’t do so with the idea of getting accolades, but this really was an amazing pat on the back for the months of hard work, touring the album, recording it in the studio and writing the material.”
Written over two years, Introvertigo was produced by Theo Crous and recorded at the Bellville Studios in Cape Town.
Speaking about the album, Patlansky said: “Introvertigo describes a feeling I very often experience being an introvert. The concept behind the album is very much about my own insecurities. It’s about being an introvert in the music industry, my experiences in the industry and life in general.
“Even though the songs on the album have different topics, and are not directly about being an introvert, it comes from an introvert’s point of view.”
Asked what his favourite tracks were, the singer-songwriter says he really loved recording and enjoys listening to Heartbeat, a song about the view of a homeless man begging on a corner. When he performs, however, it is Still Wanna Be Your Man which really makes him smile. The song, which tells the story of a musician trying to find balance between a life on the road and having a family, is the slowest blues track on the album.
Considered one of the finest blues storytellers of his generation Patlansky has been thrilling fans since he released his debut album, Standing At The Station. He followed that with True Blues (recorded on EMI’s prestigious Blue Note label) in 2004, Real (2006), Move My Soul (2009), 20 Stones (2012), the unplugged Wooden Thoughts (2013) and Dear Silence Thieves in 2014.
Fresh from performing in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Germany, Patlansky will be heading back into the studio to record material for an album due out in early 2018.
“I’m really excited about the new songs and all the great ideas that we will be working on,” he says.
In the meantime Patlansky – who opened for Bruce Springsteen when he toured South Africa and headlined the Fjord Blues Festival in Norway and the Horsens Blues Festival in Denmark – is looking forward to wowing his fans in his live shows.
“I love playing live, interacting with the audience,” he says. “If you get a good audience it really can drive you to a greater level.”
NEED TO KNOW
- Dan Patlansky – full band show: Royal Show, Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, May 27 at 3.30pm. The Royal Rock Concert also features Locnville and Durban acts, Ard Matthews and the Black Lapels. Entry to the Royal Show costs R65 per adult, R40 for children under 12 and pensioners, R40 for everyone on Wednesday, May 31 and R50 on Friday, June 2. Tagged as Super Friday, the halls will remain open until 8.30pm and the funfair will provide unlimited rides between 5pm and 7pm for R150.
- Dan Patlansky – solo acoustic show: Butler’s Restaurant, Hillcrest, Durban on Sunday, May 28 at 2pm. Entrance: R285 (includes meal). Bookings:firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 032 765 3850.