Search results for: Lyzyrd Kyngs

The Lyzyrd Kyngs (Piet Botha & Akkedis)

The Lyzyrd Kyngs
The Lyzyrd Kyngs, 2014

Press Release, 16 March 2012

The friendship and brotherhood between SA music legend Piet Botha and the Akkedis Band, Arthur and Rudolph Dennis and AJ Graham, goes back almost twenty years. Back then Botha was touring a lot with Jack Hammer and used to bump into Arthur and Rudi who were known as The Dennis Brothers in those days. There was always some kind of jamming going on. Through the years the bond remained strong , Akkedis came into being, Botha did some solo Afrikaans albums and kept on recording and touring with Jack Hammer.

A Pub in London Somewhere

Then around 2001 they found themselves in London Town at the back end of a disorganised tour. “Myself and Johnathan Martin, had gone over, thinking it would be acoustic gigs, small pubs or theatres but then we found the venues rather bigger and we were just two but…fortunately Akkedis Band were there and just volunteered to help us on all the gigs, and all the adventures of course!”, said Botha in a recent interview. From there on the bond was stronger than ever.

During the next few years they would share stages across SA and Namibia and Mocambique but about three years ago there was a shift and Piet Botha started to tour the Cape more and more using Akkedis Band as backing band for his repertoire. This soon developed to a new concept i.e. “The Lyzyrd Kyngs”. The name comes from a Jim Morrison poem, “The celebration of the Lizard King”. The weird spelling is a combination of ancient English and a serious reference to Lynyrd Skynyrd, a band that has been a source of inspiration for more than thirty years.

Lyzyrd Kyngs 2014
Lyzyrd Kyngs 2014 (L-to-R): Rudi, Piet, Arthur, AJ

“It was natural for us to share our talents, now we have three vocals and a four piece band that can work any room or big stage, both electric and acoustic. It is also wonderful to share each other’s songs and collaborate.” And so their first album was recorded last winter and mixed in the springtime and has just been released: Piet Botha and Akkedis Band: The Lyzyrd Kyngs. (“One Night Only / Snake Alley Bar and Grill”)

From the outset the idea was to keep it raw, no digital tricks, just the stripped down sound and to rely on the songs .So what we have now are ten songs that can stand by themselves .The songwriting was shared between Arthur Dennis and Piet Botha. The blues carry a lot of the material, but there is also country music and folk music inherent to the album’s feel. “ Obviously this is not a commercial venture, but I’m sure we will still be playing these songs in ten years time”. Botha insists that Arthur got the best songs on this album, but vows to be back. “With us it’s like a family, there are no ego’s, we all do our best…Arthur is the bandleader, I can just play …” and more wisdom ” If the weather’s right we go to the ocean..otherwise we just laze around in the sun”.

And so the Lyzyrd Kyngs were born. And it all happened without any planning. Just like the waves rolling in from the sea. The future is just as unpredictable. Touring extensively for sure, doing another album is a given, but as in their past the plans are best left to the Gods of Rock and Roll.

The Lyzyrd Kyngs
The Lyzyrd Kyngs

Vagabond Show on All Jazz Radio, 13 June 2013 feat live interview with Piet Botha & Akkedis

Two hours of great blues on All Jazz Radio, featuring an interview with South African legends, Piet Botha (from Lyzyrd Kyngs & Jack Hammer) and Arthur & Rudi Dennis (from Akkedis & Lyzyrd Kyngs).

Interview starts at about 43 minutes.

Vagabond Show on All Jazz Radio, 13 June 2013 feat live interview with Piet Botha & Akkedis

Discography

The Lyzyrd Kyngs: One Night Only

Lyzyrd Kyngs: One Night Only
Piet Botha and Akkedis Band – The Lyzyrd Kyngs – One Night Only

Tracks

  1. When You Get to Heaven
  2. The Day the World Lost Its Mind
  3. Rosie
  4. Children of Africa
  5. Kalahari Sands 305
  6. Blues for Robert
  7. Gypsy Boy
  8. Skoor Met Die Dood
  9. Same Damn Blues
  10. Evangeline

Recorded in the winter of 2011 at Barnyard Studios, Gordon’s Bay by Alex Power and Briers Coetzee.

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7 & 10 written by JP Botha
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8 & 9 written by Arthur Dennis

“Children Of Africa” originally recorded by the Strab Colab in 2010.

“Skoor Met Die Dood” originally recorded by Akkedis in 2001 and released on the Voortvlugtend album.

Musicians

Piet Botha: Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
Arthur Dennis: Vocals, guitar
Rudi Dennis: Drums, percussion, vocals
AJ Graham: Bass

Release information

1 February 2012, Independent, JHCD005

Piet Botha and Akkedis Band – The Lyzyrd Kyngs – One Night Only
Piet Botha and Akkedis Band – The Lyzyrd Kyngs – One Night Only

Discography

Lyzyrd Kings Kaaptoer Julie 2011!!

1) 2 Julie: Plaasteater- Hazendal, Bottelary Pad, Kuilsrivier
21:00
R60 p/p
073 869 0291 of 079 476 3946

2) 6 Julie: Die Bordienghuis- h/v Burger & Malherbestr, Wellington
20:00
R85 p/p
082 812 1112

3) 8 Julie: Berties Mooring- The Boardwalk, Harbour Island, Gordonsbaai
21:00
Free entry
021 856 3343

4) 9 Julie: Die Boer- Chenoweth Straat 6, Durbanville
20:00
R80 p/p
(021) 979-1911

5) 10 Julie: Barts Tavern- Cnr Beach Rd & Main Rd, Strand
15:00
Free entry
Walk-ins

6) 13 Julie: Gatta Patat, Cape Diamond Hotel
20:30
R100 p/p
(021) 461 2519

Lyzyrd Kyngs

Lyzyrd Kyngs

Piet Botha: Die Middernagtrein

Piet Botha - Die Middernagtrein

Piet Botha – Die Middernagtrein

Tracks:

  1. Catharina
  2. Ou Swerwer
  3. Die Middernagtrein
  4. Modjadji
  5. Interlude Zs Lee (Vir Steven)
  6. Eendag Op ‘n Reëndag
  7. Die Brief
  8. Die Goue Strand
  9. Moordenaarskaroo
  10. Interlude Vir Jimbo
  11. Ou Leeu Blues
  12. My Broer

“hier’s ‘n brief
vir al my broers en al die Buddhas
wat daai langpad ry dwarsdeur die nag
wees maar versigtig
want jy weet nooit
wat vir jou wag”

Recorded in January 2018 at Wolmer Studios by Lanie van der Walt.

Musicians:

Piet Botha: Vocals, guitars, piano, organ, harmonica
Paul van de Waal: Drums
Tertius du Plessis: Bass
Leon Van Zweel: Saxophone
Jake Gunn: Guitars, backing vocals
Daniella Hart: Backing vocals
Johnathan Martin: Guitars
Lanie van der Walt: Guitars
Gerry Robinson: Guitars

Release information:

CD: February 2018, VONK410

Review:

Piet Botha is op soek na die “Groot Lied”

Piet Botha, photo: Jessica Botha

Piet Botha, photo: Jessica Botha

Piet Botha is een van Suid-Afrika se grootse rock- en blueslegendes. Sy nuutste album, Die Middernagtrein, is in April bekendgestel en daardie einste middernagtrein dreun nou al vir die afgelope paar weke kliphard deur Suid-Afrika. Piet het ’n tydjie in sy besige skedule afgeknyp om met Lian van Wyk te gesels oor sy nuwe album, Willie Nelson, sosiale media, Eugene Marias en sommer alles tussenin.

In 2011 het Piet Botha sy vierde Afrikaanse album, Spookpsalms, bekendgestel. Sewe jaar later is hy terug met Die Middernagtrein – ouer, maar beslis nog nie kouer nie.

Volgens Piet het hy nie aspris so lank gewag om ’n album na Spookpsalms vry te stel nie. “Dit was nooit doelbewus nie. Na Spookpsalms het ek Kaap toe getrek weens persoonlike stuff, jy weet, en
toe vir ’n wyle by Arthur en Rudi Dennis (van die berugte Akkedis Band) gewoon.”

Dit blyk egter asof Piet glad nie stilgesit het in hierdie tyd nie: “Ons het twee albums gedoen. Die laaste een (A Few Grains of Sand deur Lyzyrd Kyngs) was great en ons het getoer tot sover as Duitsland vir meer as ’n maand. Dit was seker so drie of vier jaar terug, maar ek het geweet Jack Hammer moet weer albums maak en toe het ons twee jaar terug Handful of Rain in die Kaap opgeneem en dit het die hele band weer bymekaargebring.”

Piet vertel dat dit altyd sy plan was om Die Middernagtrein tydens die winter van 2017 in Jeffreysbaai op te neem. “Ek wou altyd weer ’n Afrikaanse album uitbring en het aan Die Middernagtrein begin skryf.”

Hy het egter in Margate waar hy en sy band Jack Hammer by die Suidkusmotorfietsfees opgetree het tydens ’n vertoning van die verhoog af geval en twee rugwerwels gebreek. Hy moes noodgedwonge ’n paar weke in die hospitaal deurbring en sy planne moes toe maar effens aangepas word. “Teen Januarie 2018 het ons by Wolmer Studios inbeweeg, waar ons só baie van ons albums gedoen het. Ek het ’n maand gebly. Saam met die Jack Hammer band en Lanie van der Walt het ons iets gemaak waarop ek nogal trots is,” sê Piet in sy noppies.

En hy het reg om te wees. Alhoewel Die Middernagtrein maar kraakvars uit die ateljee is, besing aanhangers en resensente die land vol reeds die lof van die album en sy skepper met uitbundige entoesiasme. Gooi Piet soms sy oë oor die resensies? “O nee,” lag hy, “mens kyk maar, of hoor. Ons was meestal gelukkig die laaste dekade of twee, maar die musiek gebeur op die langpad en jy
gaan speel vir die mense.”

Of hy al ’n negatiewe ervaring met ’n resensie of resensent gehad het kan hy egter nie onthou nie. “Dalk toe ons baie jonk was. Met die heavy bands, soos Raven en Wildebeest, was daar dalk hier en daar iets, maar dit was so lank terug, circa 1979-1981. Party mense het net nie verstaan wat ons gedoen het nie,” vertel hy en raai laggend aan om “Kraaines” van Wildebeest op YouTube te gaan check.

Piet se Wildebeest dae mag ver agter hom wees, maar sedert die aankoms van sy eerste Afrikaanse album, ’n Suitcase Vol Winter, in 1997 het hy as Afrikaanse liedjieskrywer vir homself ’n plek langs die heel bestes uitgekerf. Met sy diep, persoonlike lirieke vang hy die donker en lig van die lewe met soveel fyn, afgemete sorg vas dat mens dikwels nie anders kan as om sy vakmanskap te bewonder nie. En Die Middernagtrein is geen uitsondering nie. As ’n mens jou ore spits, mag jy dalk net die fyn spore van Eugene Marais in ’n paar van Piet se nuwe liedjies raakluister.

Oor die invloed van Marais op sy werk is Piet nie skaam nie en sê dat hy Marais eers waarlik op universiteit ontdek het. “Mens het as kind van “Winternag” en “Die Siel Van Die Mier” geweet,
maar ek het nooit besef watter ongelooflike siel hy gehad het nie. Hy was ver voor sy tyd en daarbenewens die tragedie van sy persoonlike lewe. Hy is destyds so deur sy eie mense misverstaan, maar jare later toe gebruik hulle hom as ’n rolmodel van die intellektuele Afrikaner.”

Marais is egter nie die inspirasie vir al twaalf van die liedjies op Die Middernagtrein nie. Die tema van reën het ’n sterk teenwoordigheid in die lirieke; soms as ’n lewegewende fors, soms as die somber voorganger van groot hartseer. In “Modjadji” sing Piet: “maar jy/jys my reënkoningin/want jyt altyd geweet/hoe om die reën te bring/dankie my sweetheart.” In “Die Goue Strand” weer: “maar ai my skat/jy moes tog weet/hier kom die winter/hier kom die reën/en die donker man kom my haal.” Vir Piet bly reën iets dubbelsinnig; iets wonderliks, maar ook betwyfelbaar.

Hy sê egter dat die waterkrisis nie ’n direkte invloed op sy woorde gehad het nie: “Hier is die weird ding, dit het al voorheen gebeur met songs wat dan baie later waar word.”

Kan Piet die toekoms voorspel? Hy sê nee. “Dit was nooit so beplan nie, maar skielik was die tema oral in die songs en die droogte is hier. Ek verstaan dit self nie, maar ek is bly as ons ’n boodskap kan oordra, “want as die reën wegbly, moet die kos en water gedeel word”.

Hy kan dalk nie die toekoms voorspel nie, maar met sy lang grys hare en vol grys baard lyk Piet kompleet soos ’n towenaar van ouds; en hy is dit ook. Met kitaar in die hand trap hy deur die jare heen al voetspore waarin ’n eskader gevestigde en opkomende musikante volg. “Ek is bly as ons jong bands kan help,” sê Piet. “Ons doen dit al forever. Mens weet nooit waar jy ’n juweel gaan kry nie en daar is baie jong musikante, digters en skrywers wat baie goed doen.

Van sy eie rolmodelle en invloede bly hy egter baie bewus: “Rolmodelle het ek te veel, ek het in die beste tyd grootgeword, die 60’s. Selfs popmusiek was ongelooflik goed. Vir my gaan dit altyd oor die song, so obviously is dit Dylan, Cohen, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Stones, Beatles, Zeppelin, Purple, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd en al die usual suspects. Daar is wel ’n paar dudes wat my meer gegryp het soos Nick Drake, John Martyn en Warren Zevon.”

Vir die Amerikaanse musikant, sanger, liedjieskrywer, digter, akteur en aktivis, Willie Nelson, het hy egter ’n baie spesiale plek in sy hart: “My grootste hero is Willie Nelson; songwriter, guitarist extraordinaire, road warrior en hy rook die beste weed in die heelal! Watter jong band wie se grootste held Piet dalk is, is sy gunsteling? Hy sê dat hy van hulle almal hou en dat hy hul vordering volg net waar hy kan. Dit was nog altyd opwindend as die nuwe bands kom met nuwe klank en aanslag. Partykeer was dit great en partykeer nie. Vir my is ’n song nie aan ’n genre gebonde nie, kyk byvoorbeeld na “Hurt” wat Johnny Cash so wonderlik gedoen het.

“Dit bekommer my egter dat daar ’n tekort aan songwriters in die industrie is. Alles is mooi en poppy en gaan oor partytjie, maar waar is die mense wat die “groot lied” kan bring?”

As mens egter na al die toekennings kyk wat hy en sy band oor die jare versamel het, bly daar geen twyfel oor dat hy beslis al by verskeie geleenthede die “groot lied” gebring het nie. In Januarie 2002 word hy een van die eerste musikante om in die SA Rock Hall of Fame opgeneem te word en in Augustus 2003 word sy album, Die Mamba, as die beste album van 2003 deur die gesiene e-tydskrif, SA Rock Digest, benoem.

Op 6 Mei 2006, ontvang hy die South African Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award vir sy bydrae tot Suid-Afrikaanse musiek en word in dieselfde jaar nog die ontvanger van die FAK Prestigetoekenning vir sy bydrae tot die Afrikaanse taal.

Piet voel egter dat trofees ’n klug is wat deur die musiekindustrie gedryf word en hou nie daarvan om homself as ’n legende te beskou nie: “Ek glo musiek is nie ’n sportsoort nie. Maar myle het ek baie, meer as 5000 gigs. Die legend ding weet ek nie so mooi van nie, ek is net ’n musikant en sonder ’n band is jy niks.”

As Piet en Jack Hammer dan nie legendes is nie, is die musiek wat hulle oor die jare heen gemaak het en steeds maak beslis legendaries. Die tyd stap egter vir almal aan en Piet is geen uitsondering in hierdie geval nie. Hy vertel dat hy nie self byhou met goed soos webtuistes, Facebook, YouTube en blogs nie – die stapel van baie musikante se bemarkingspogings.

“O, maggies nee! Ek kan die internet bewerk, maar die ander goed is moeilik. My dogter Jessica, wat nou my baas is, doen maar hierdie goeters. Ek ken darem van WhatsApp,” sê hy spottend.

Piet se gunsteling tipe gigs is ook so eg aan homself. Dit maak nie saak of dit in donker kroeë waar rook soos mis hang of op goedbeligte, oop verhoë met rasende aanhangers so ver as wat jy kyk is nie. “Die ding met ’n gig is, jy weet nooit nie. Dit kan op ’n groot stage wees, dit kan in ’n klein pub wees, maar die magic kom maar net en as dit kom moet jy gryp. As ek moet eerlik wees, Ponta Malongane in Mozambique is die beste gig in die heelal!”

 

Discography:

Jack Hammer: Handful Of Rain | Press Release

Jack Hammer - Handful Of Rain

Jack Hammer – Handful Of Rain

The Jack Hammer line-up featuring on Handful Of Rain has endured over the years, with Piet Botha (guitars, keys, harmonica, vocals), Johnathan Martin (guitars, vocals), Tertius du Plessis (bass) and Paul van de Waal (drums). The album also features guest artists Arthur Dennis (guitars, vocals) and Rudolph Dennis (drums, guest vocals) from Akkedis/Lyzyrd Kyngs. Piet Botha’s harmonica is present throughout the album, and the style is familiar, lingering long after, like a renegade’s signature tune in an old western.

The timbre in Piet Botha’s singing is full of longing and resistance. In the title track, he sings “Here I go again on a lonesome highway / A handful of rain and empty heart”, with Johnathan Martin, ‘The Kid’, by his side, harmonising, singing the same words. Cut from the same cloth. “That’s How We Roll” echoes Neil Young, “me, I got nothing / just this old guitar”; a song about this brotherhood of musicians defying the Man, choosing the road over the rat race with its fitting rock ‘n roll chorus.The haunting cover of Four Jacks and Jill’s “Master Jack”, a song about choosing solitude over society, flows into the album’s theme: “no hard feelings if I never come back.” Delving into the songwriting is a melancholy joy, and each listen reveals new meanings and interpretations. Is a song like “When the Moon Was Young” a love song first, a protest song second? Piet Botha gently contends,“They think they can own her / but even a fool knows / the moon belongs to lovers…” 

The hair-raising harmonies of “Emily” and “Where Is the Clown” remind us why Jack Hammer are at their best when Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin come together. Not only do they whistle the same tune when it comes to existing and creating outside of the mainstream, but their musical accord completes Jack Hammer. Handful of Rain can best be summed up in “Sweet Soul Music”, Piet Botha’s collaboration with the Soweto String Quartet: violins, harmonica and electric guitars join on a song about rivers turning into seas, about songs turning our solitude into a universe of connected souls: “Keep the music in your heart / You will never walk alone.”

Released January 2016

Track Listing:

  1. Where Is The Clown
  2. Handful Of Rain
  3. That’s How We Roll
  4. Emily
  5. When The Moon Was Young
  6. Deep Blue Sea
  7. Master Jack
  8. Sweet Soul Music
  9. When The Morning Comes

Jack Hammer: Handful Of Rain

Jack Hammer - Handful Of Rain
Jack Hammer – Handful Of Rain

Tracks:

  1. Where Is The Clown
  2. Handful Of Rain
  3. That’s How We Roll
  4. Emily
  5. When The Moon Was Young
  6. Deep Blue Sea
  7. Master Jack
  8. Sweet Soul Music
  9. When The Morning Comes
Jack Hammer – Handful Of Rain

Musicians:

Piet Botha (The Hammer): Vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica
Paul van de Waal (Duke): Drums
Tertius du Plessis (Bean): Bass
Johnathan Martin (The Kid): Guitars, vocals
Arthur Dennis: Guest guitars, vocals
Rudolph Dennis: Drums on “Handful Of Rain”, guest vocals
The Joostenberg Tabernacle Choir: Backing vocals

Soweto String Quartet appear on “Sweet Soul Music”.

Release information:

CD / Download: January 2016, VH Music, no catalogue number

Comments:

Recorded at VH Studios, Joostenbergvlakte, Cape Town during September 2015 by Peter Pearlson.

“Sweet Soul Music” recorded with The Soweto String Quartet at Jazzworks in Johannesburg for the Jam Sandwich TV series. Episode 2 of Season 3 premiered 19 December 2012 at 22h00 on SABC 2.

Original cover painting by Vernon Swart

Interview with Peter Pearlson:

I met Piet in 1990 and we interacted a lot over the years and we became really good friends when I moved down here (Strand, Western Cape). We lived in the same hood so we saw a lot of each other. And then he came to me and said he was doing a new Jack Hammer album and would I produce it and I said, I’d would love to. What a privilege! We tracked it at a studio in Kraaifontein called VH studios. They’d never recorded an album live before. That was Handful Of Rain album, the last Jack Hammer album he did before he died. So yes, what a privilege to have worked with Piet. Amazing!

Jive Talking and Eyeballing interview
Ernesto Garcia Marques, 02/07/2020

Press release:

The Jack Hammer line-up featuring on Handful of Rain has endured over the years, with Piet Botha (guitars, keys, harmonica, vocals), Johnathan Martin (guitars, vocals), Tertius du Plessis (bass) and Paul van de Waal (drums). The album also features guest artists Arthur Dennis (guitars, vocals) and Rudolph Dennis (drums, guest vocals) from Akkedis/Lyzyrd Kyngs. Piet Botha’s harmonica is present throughout the album, and the style is familiar, lingering long after, like a renegade’s signature tune in an old western.

The timbre in Piet Botha’s singing is full of longing and resistance. In the title track, he sings “Here I go again on a lonesome highway / A handful of rain and empty heart”, with Johnathan Martin, ‘The Kid’, by his side, harmonising, singing the same words. Cut from the same cloth. “That’s How We Roll” echoes Neil Young, “me, I got nothing / just this old guitar”; a song about this brotherhood of musicians defying the Man, choosing the road over the rat race with its fitting rock ‘n roll chorus. The haunting cover of Four Jacks and Jill’s “Master Jack”, a song about choosing solitude over society, flows into the album’s theme: “no hard feelings if I never come back.” Delving into the songwriting is a melancholy joy, and each listen reveals new meanings and interpretations. Is a song like “When the Moon Was Young” a love song first, a protest song second? Piet Botha gently contends,“They think they can own her / but even a fool knows / the moon belongs to lovers…”

The hair-raising harmonies of “Emily” and “Where Is the Clown” remind us why Jack Hammer are at their best when Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin come together. Not only do they whistle the same tune when it comes to existing and creating outside of the mainstream, but their musical accord completes Jack Hammer. Handful of Rain can best be summed up in “Sweet Soul Music”, Piet Botha’s collaboration with the Soweto String Quartet: violins, harmonica and electric guitars join on a song about rivers turning into seas, about songs turning our solitude into a universe of connected souls: “Keep the music in your heart / You will never walk alone.”

Videos:

Discography: