By Chelsea Haith
He started playing in his father’s band The Blues Broers at the age of 17. Albert Frost has matured in his style since, knocking out a blues riff here, an old school rock solo there and lacing it all with his raw vocal work which harks back to the blues greats.
Frost’s big project for 2015 is his next big album release, currently under the working title The Wake Up. “It’s my life work, so there’s no set schedule, we’re just recording as we go,” Frost said in an interview before his show at the Union Bar in Grahamstown on 23 May. He wasn’t giving away any more details except to say that the album should be ready by the end of the year.
Never one to let the moss grow, Frost has recently collaborated with Toya Delazy and will be performing with her at Oppikoppi, carrying on the strong tradition of artist collaboration that characterises so many of the best releases from the South African music scene. “There’s an infinite amount of possibilities, of collaborations,” Frost said. These kinds of collaborations add flavour to artists’ repertoires. “It’s magic because it keeps the music fresh for musicians and audiences,” he said.
In 2014 Frost and Dan Patlansky collaborated on a blues and rock show in the Guy Butler Theatre during the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which runs concurrently with the National Arts Festival. This year he’ll be playing at Oppikoppi and focusing on the releases coming out later in the year, including a live album from The Blues Broers.
Frost’s show at the Union featured old favourites off the Devils & Gods album including the slow Sunday-afternoon song ‘Television’. Showing off the diversity of his range he included a cover of Jimi Hendrix and amazed the crowd with his loop station skills, switching between guitars mid-song as well as fixing a broken string while on stage, laughing and telling jokes.
Session drummer Kenan Tatt joined him on stage and the evening was a comfortable collection of favourite blues hits and laughter due to Frost’s easy interaction with the crowd. His style is complex and interesting, and his work is often a tribute to those who have gone before him, embellished with his personal tastes. Frost is not done with the blues and the blues are certainly not done with Frost.
Watch the video of the gig and interview here: