“I cannot remember
places that I’ve been
I got lost forever
out on Highway 13
but I’m not complaining
by now that road belongs to me”
– Highway 13 (Jack Hammer)
Throughout his 45 years as a musician, Piet Botha (the Hammer) always felt most at home on the road. Along with his long-standing Jack Hammer bandmates – Johnathan Martin (the Kid), Tertius du Plessis (Bean), and Paul van de Waal (Duke) – he toured across the country to play for a range of audiences, performing anywhere from major music festivals to small town theatres.
Between 2017 and 2019, Duke started recording many of these gigs, which led to the idea of releasing a double album recorded ‘live on the road’ to share some of the magic. The nature of the gigs ranged from mellow acoustic sessions to raucous full electric performances. Along with the regular line-up, the band was often joined by Jake Gunn (Jacques Groenewald) from Cape Town, as well as Gerry Robinson – all part of the Jack Hammer family.
During this period, Piet developed “trigger finger” and couldn’t play guitar, resulting in valuable recordings of Piet’s unique style of piano playing. According to Duke: “In all the years that we played together, it was rare for Piet to play the piano at gigs before this happened. The sounds of piano and acoustic guitar, with bass and drums, playing songs originally recorded on electric guitar, give these recordings a special feel.”
It was Piet’s wish to name the album 13 Towns, reflecting both his love of the road and the number 13, which appears in many of his songs. On 18 July, what would have been Piet’s 65th birthday, the Jack Hammer band and his daughters are pleased to share the first 13 songs of this album online, with the release of the physical double album planned for later this year.
Recorded and mixed by Paul van de Waal, and mastered by Lanie van der Walt (Wolmer Records), the album features both Afrikaans and English songs, carefully selected by the band. As Duke explains: “We wanted to include some songs on the album that were never recorded but were often played at gigs – like ‘Me and Paul’ by Willie Nelson – as well as some classic Jack Hammer songs that were last recorded many years ago, like ‘The Fisherman’. 13 Towns is like a gig, a gig played over a few years at many venues, but brought together like a live show.”
We hope 13 Towns will give fans the chance to once again experience a Piet Botha & Jack Hammer gig live.
THE ALBUM WILL BE LAUNCHED ON ALL STREAMING PLATFORMS ON 18 JULY 2020
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More information on 13 Towns.
Jack Hammer stel nuwe album bekend vir Piet Botha se 65ste verjaarsdag
“Hier gaan ons alweer
op daai middernagtrein
kry my in Johannesburg
dan kry ek jou in Bloemfontein”
– Die Middernagtrein (J.P. Botha)
Gedurende sy 45 jaar as musikant, was Piet Botha altyd op sy gelukkigste op die langpad. Saam met die Jack Hammer band – Johnathan Martin (the Kid), Tertius du Plessis (Bean) en Paul van de Waal (Duke) – het hy die land platgetoer, met optredes by groot musiekfeeste sowel as teaters op klein dorpies.
Tussen 2017 en 2019 is baie van hierdie optredes deur Duke opgeneem, van intieme akoestiese aande tot vol elektriese optredes, met verskynings deur die nuutste Jack Hammer lid Jake Gunn (Jacques Groenewald), sowel as ou vriend Gerry Robinson. Die band het mettertyd die idee gekry om hierdie opnames met aanhangers te deel, in die vorm van ‘n dubbel album wat live op die langpad opgeneem is.
Dit was Piet se wens om die album 13 Towns te noem, sy gunsteling nommer wat in vele van sy lirieke opduik. Op 18 Julie, Piet se 65ste verjaarsdag, deel die Jack Hammer band en sy dogters die eerste 13 snitte van hierdie album aanlyn, met die plan om die fisieke dubbel album later die jaar vry te stel.
Die album is opgeneem en gemeng deur Paul van de Waal, en gemeester deur Lanie van der Walt (Wolmer Records). Dit bevat beide Afrikaanse en Engelse liedjies, uitgekies deur die band. Baie van hierdie opnames stel Piet se unieke klavierspel ten toon, aangesien hy vir ‘n ruk lank nie kitaar kon speel nie. Volgens Duke was dit baie skaars vir Piet om klavier te speel by gigs, wat dié opnames ‘n spesiale atmosfeer gee.
Duke som 13 Towns as volg op: “13 Towns is like a gig, a gig played over a few years at many venues, but brought together like a live show.” Ons hoop dit bied aanhangers die geleentheid om weereens ‘n Piet Botha & Jack Hammer gig live te ervaar.
DIE ALBUM WORD OP 18 JULIE BEKENDGESTEL OP ALLE DIGITALE PLATFORMS
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