Al Frost to bring the blues back to Grahamstown

By Chelsea Haith

Al Frost is no stranger to the stages of Grahamstown and this Saturday he’ll be playing alongside Kenan Tatt at the Union on Rhodes University campus. Frost’s sound is a cool blues rock coupled with killer riffs, solos and raw, guttural vocal talent.

Frost is a regular on the National Arts Festival circuit and is one of the best blues and rock guitarists in South Africa. He has played an integral role in igniting the love for the genre in the hearts of South African audiences, alongside his father Frank when the pair played together in The Blues Broers.

“I will always fondly remember the Martell Blues Rock Festival run from 1995 to 1999. It was organised by my dad, Frank and my mom, Maggie. It was also held in the Union, and it is great to be back and see Pete Boshoff still there,” said Frost, looking forward to the show on 23 May.

Al Frost is sponsored by Fender which seems like a good deal for the instrument manufacturers to have so proficient a musician represent their work.  IMAGE: Riehan Bakkes

Al Frost is sponsored by Fender which seems like a good deal for the instrument manufacturers to have so proficient a musician represent their work.
IMAGE: Riehan Bakkes

Frost is joined on this tour of the Eastern Cape by Kenan Tatt. “We have been working together on and off for about 3 years. It is good to have him joining on the loop show, which features the electric and acoustic guitars. Having someone with you on tour is always more fun, which is reflected in the shows as well,” he said.

With a spot at Oppikoppi in August this year and his major collaboration with another blues favourite, Dan Patlansky, at the National Arts Festival in 2014, Frost is not short of a little star dust, adding major names and line-ups to his already impressive discography. “I worked with Toya Delazy for the first time this year, and it has been loads of fun and has introduced me to a very different audience too. We will be collaborating at Oppikoppi later this year,” he said. Frost will also be collaborating with Robin Auld at Oppikoppi this year.

Playing back in Grahamstown is fulfilling for Frost because “each town has a unique audience and I like the personal relationships built up in the smaller towns by returning for over 20 years”. The diversity in his range and his appeal to all audiences means that “audiences are not spoilt for choice, so they seem to appreciate the shows and the music presented to them”.

Frost's vocal work is powerfully gut-wrenching and guttural, he certainly knows his way around the mic too.

Frost’s vocal work is powerfully gut-wrenching and guttural, he certainly knows his way around the mic too.

Frost will likely be playing old favourites as well as new tunes from his upcoming album which is currently in production. “I am busy recording at the moment, but it is a slow process. The Blues Broers will be recording a live album in November, so we are writing songs and preparing for that,” he said.

Click here to join the event
Entrance fees for the public R80, R30 for LMS members and R50 for students.

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