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David Kramer - Huistoe

Huistoe is David's 1st new Afrikaans CD in 5 years.
A few years ago I travelled around the country with film-maker Jan Horn, meeting guitar players from different parts of South Africa. On this journey I met musicians in the Karoo and Namaqualand who played what they call "die ou liedjies". It reminded me of my youth in Worcester where I spent many a Saturday morning hanging around Western Furniture, where my father worked as a salesman and listening to the farm-workers who came into the shop to try out the guitars that hung in a row against the one wall of the shop. They sang and played old Afrikaans songs with a raw energy and a pathos that I later recognised in the American blues singers that I heard as a young man at university in England in the early nineteen seventies.
While I was studying at Leeds University I read about the work that the Lomax family did in the Mississippi Delta; searching out and recording the blues singers in the early part of the twentieth century. It gave me the idea that I should do the same with the music of the farm labourers from my region. But unfortunately I never followed through. I was easily distracted and intimated by the political climate that existed at the time. A young white man seen in the company of farm labourers in the mid nineteen seventies was not going to go unnoticed or undisturbed.

But the idea stayed with me and this roots Afrikaans music fascinated me. The more I thought about it the more I realised that it was part of our hidden history – that the origins of Afrikaans and Afrikaans folk music had been erased by the politics of apartheid South Africa. This insight played a large part in the development of my writing and singing style. When I released my first album, Bakgat it was banned by the SABC. I was told: Jy mors met Die Taal. So nearly thirty years later while making a documentary with Jan, I meet with musicians who still play remnants of "die ou musiek" and I am excited and exhilarated to find that it still exists and that there are still people who remember how to play and sing. I invite some of them to join me on stage at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees and the response is overwhelming. The musicians and their music touches people in a way that I have not experienced. I call the concerts Karoo Kitaar Blues we perform to thousands of people around South Africa. The response is emotional. Many people are moved to tears. Large white men sit in the audience with tears streaming down their cheeks listening to the Mouers family singing their songs of hardship and rejection. The next moment they are grinning with pleasure as Tokas Lodewyk plays his guitar with one hand or Hannes Coetzee slides out a tune with a teaspoon in his mouth.

The Karoo Kitaar Blues experience has been the inspiration for this collection of songs. It is essentially about the exploration of roots music that evolved in these dry and isolated regions. It is about the lives and the history of the people and the place. About the forgotten writers, composers and players who remain anonymous because their endeavours were not recorded by historians.

Much of what I write about has been inspired by the people I have met as I travelled through the Kouebokkeveld, The Kamiesberge, Namaqualand, Die Klein Karoo, Sandveld, Moordenaars Karoo. Some of the music has been inspired by musicians such as the late Jan Jaers, some have been collaborations with players like Jan Willems of Kharkams, Hannes Coetzee of Herberstsdale, Dawid van Rooi from Op Die Berg and Siena Mouers and her sister Helena Nuwegeld of the Great karoo. I hope that our work will rekindle an interest and appreciation of this old music and that we will acknowledge the origins of the folk music heritage that is a synthesis and expression of our history. A folk music that evolved out of the contact between the colonists and indigenous people of this part of South Africa.

Kitaar - Gammie Lakay
Baskitaar - Howard Links
Dromme en Perkussie - Danny Petersen
Kitaar, glykitaa en mondfluitjie - David Kramer
Trekklavier - Koos Lof
Klawerborde - Stanton Meiring
Viool - Piet de Beer
Blikviool - Jan Willems
Sangkoor - Ruth Marley, Elsbeth Davids, Heidi Goodman

Production Credits:
Klankingeneur - David Langemann*
Ontwerp - Design Infestation
Fotographie - Hans van der Veen
Gemeng en gemeester deur - Tully McCully by Spaced Out Sound Studios
Opgeneem deur - David Langemann by On The Beach Studios
* Onnerwater - Oorspronklike viool opgeneem deur Keith Davies
Spesiale dank - aan Steve Louw, Akbar Khan and Taliep Petersen
Produksie - David Kramer
Uitgewer - Blik Music

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Afrikaans is 'n ryker musikale taal danksy David Kramer

P Redelinghuys - Insig

Kramer still has what it takes, in spades

C Canavan - This Day

Kramer is in 'n klas van sy eie

E Grundling - LITNET