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Jan Blohm - Groen Trui

2008-04-04 16:11
Video: "Groentrui" - get it now

A 24.com reader recently complained that the majority of young, upcoming bands in SA sound too similar. According to the reader, there aren’t any new talents that can compete with the likes of SA legends Koos Kombuis, Anton Goosen and Johannes Kerkorrel.

Well, Jan Blohm might have something to offer Afrikaans music lovers. He has a growwe stem, poetic lyrics and uses just the right balance of acoustic and electric guitars. Curious to know more?

Jan Blohm is for many a new name on the Afrikaans music scene but he has been around longer than you’d think - Groen Trui is his third album. And those who have been following him for a while have praised the latest album as another Jan Blohm success.

Don’t let the name “Blohm” fool you into thinking he’s a softie, this muso’s preferred genre is rock and blues, even though he also sings Afrikaans ballads. Because of that it’s difficult to put Jan Blohm in a box. He’s not Fokofpolisiekar but he is also not Steve Hofmeyr; what Jan Blohm offers is a sound that is mainstream but in a cool way.

The first song on his album, “Laaste Wals” is a fine example of his ‘cool’ mainstream compositions, which caters to both young and old. An acoustic guitar leads you into the song, but his raspy voice, fast drums and an electric guitar soon change the melody and by the time the refrain starts you are listening to a rock song. “Laaste Wals” gives you a good idea of what to expect from the rest of the album. Rock music is his forte but Jan Blohm is more than just a rock musician. He is strong on vocals and Groen Trui brags with a few appealing ballads. “Maria Magdalena” is an Afrikaans ballade at its best. Here, his voice and even the tune reminds of a Leonard Cohen classic. It’s soothing and even sounds like he’s roped in Cohen’s background singers and musicians to accompany him.

Other ballads on Groen Trui, often accompanied by little else than an acoustic guitar, include “Opgedra aan Dinsdag” en “Harlekyne en Treine”.

The blues is one of Jan Blohm’s other delights in life. On his website he says he listened to B.B. King and Muddy Waters from a young age. Today Ben Harper and Stevie Ray Vaughn are two of his favourite artists. Blohm is devoted to the genre and is strongly influenced by it. The majority of his latest songs “Jane, Jane”, “Sondaglover”, “Watchout” and “Disa” all have a distinctive blues feeling, a direct result of his love for the blues.

The most popular song on the album is the hit song “Groentrui”, which has the same name as the CD; only it’s spelled correctly this time as one word and not two. The hit starts out as a ballad, but has a powerful and catchy rock ‘n roll refrain.

The song also shows off Blohm’s vocal talent. When you listen to him strain his voice in a Kurt-Cobain-like manner at the end of each stanza, you know he is passionate about performing music.

Another gem on the album is the song “Johnny K”, Blohm’s tribute to Johannes Kerkorrel and Jimi Hendrix. To honour Hendrix the song has strong, psychedelic electric guitar riffs. At the end of the song Blohm pays homage to Kerkorrel, in his characteristic raspy voice, he almost whispers the words, “Al lê jou berge nog so blou, jou woorde sal ek altyd onthou”. Blohm’s been performing the song for some time but this is the first time it’s been recorded.

Groen Trui also has a newly recorded rock version of the song, “Sondaglover”. It’s a classic Afrikaans rock version with harmonica and all. Dedicated fans will appreciate this addition to an album that’s already well worth owning without it.

- Annel Malan

With a voice that reminds of musical greats such as Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave and Kurt Cobain and a knack for poetic lyrics, Jan Blohm’s latest album, Groen Trui is definitely worth a listen. He might even be the hero Afrikaans music fans are looking for.

What to read next: Kalahari

Sonja 2007-03-05 08:55 AM
Jan Blohm Ek is 'n GROOT Jan Blohm "Fan" en glo hy is een van die MIN afrikaanse sangers wat uniek is. Hy doen nie iets vir die massa en geld nie, hy doen dit vir die liefde en oorspronklikheid. Om 'n show van hom te sien is 'n belewenis!!! Hy haal alles uit op stage en hy doen wat nog niemand ooit in Suid Afrika gedoen het nie. Hy is ook 'n nederige persoon, sonder 'n "air" om hom! (Nie soos baie ander kunstenaars in die land wat dink hulle is verhewe bo ander mense nie). Dit is JAN BLOHM!!!
theresa vd westhuizen 2007-03-05 09:57 AM
Jan Blohm Great Great Great. Selfs Jan Blohm weet nie hoe talentvol hy is nie. Soos 'n rots is my TAAL.
Anton 2007-03-05 01:43 PM
Jan Blohm Ons gaan sien alle Jan Blohm vertonings en ek moet sê daardie ou is enig in sy soort!!! Hy bied 'n vertoning waarvan ander maar net kan droom om nie van sy "band" te praat nie, hy het van die talentvolste ouens op stage!!! Jy mis uit, GROOT uit, as jy nognie die man LIVE gesien het nie!!!! Hy is hierdie week in DORPSTRAAT, STELLENBOSCH en ek is daar!!!!
Ariel from Hemingway 2007-03-05 05:54 PM
Listen to Jan Blohm and let go of de la rey! Jan Blohm is one of those unique artists who touches the spirit of all due to his sincere passion. Not only afrikaans audiences but everybody with an interest in art and unique beautiful music should go and experience one of his live shows:pure magic; his latest cd Groentrui is a fantastic mix of genres and of extremely good quality. This is art. This is passion. This is what SA should focus on: Make Love not War. Forget about de la rey. Lets focus on our collective spirit. And you'll find this in Jan Blohm's music.
Renee Bothma 2007-03-07 07:38 AM
Jan Blohm Ek mis nie n show van hom nie, vir my is hy die beste kunstenaar in SA. Die man kan kitaar speel en sy rasper stem doen dit net vir my. Bou so voort Jan ons is mal oor jou.
renee bothma 2007-03-12 12:11 PM
Jan Blohm Hy is n uitstekende musikant, die beste in afrikaans
Juliana 2007-03-12 01:23 PM
Groentrui Absoluut fantasties!!!
Andre 2007-04-25 09:52 AM
Die blues profeet Ek besit elke CD van Jan Blohm. Alowel elke CD onregverdig baie songs bevat om in te neem op een slag, wens ek dat daar elke maand 'n nuwe een mag verskryn. Sy lirieke vloei saaam met die ritme van sy musiek en dit is wizard! Jan maak my trots op die rykheid van Afrikaans, dit neem my terug na die blaaie van Ysterkoei deur Bryetenbach terwyl sy huilende Blues en die ondier in sy reock my laat wonder of SA al so talentvolle kunstenaar opgelewer het.
Tammy Stratford 2007-09-18 02:31 PM
Groentrui I am an English girl so I dont listen to Afrikaans music at all...but this specific song and Breyten se brief...very nice
Persheks 2007-10-24 03:23 PM
Fenominaal... is die beste woord om Jan Blohm mee te beskryf. Hy is die groot meester van afrikaanse musiek en elke liewe song is een wat my aan die hart gryp. Die man is net eenvoudig ongelooflik begaafd en ek kan nie wag vir sy DVD om te verskyn nie. Doen so voort Jan, jy maak mooi!
Henriëtte 2007-11-07 09:53 PM
Breyten Se Brief Vandaag via You Tube kennisgemaakt (via clip van Gert Vlok Nel)met Jan Blohm. Alle nummers die er te beluisteren waren beluisterd. En weer en weer.... Zó prachtig, 't raak de ziel. Kom gauw naar Nederland.
carin 2007-12-19 10:41 AM
Jan Blohm Jan Blohm is die ultimate ultimate in Afrikaanse musiek..
Chelz 2008-01-07 09:40 AM
Rock - Angel Ek is baie "picky" as dit kom by Afrikaanse Musiek... Ek is nie 'n lekker-luister-musiek fan nie. Ek hou van musiek wat met jou terug praat, wat jou laat dink, laat lag, en sou nou en dan laat huil. Jan Blohm se CD is al gaar geluister, maar speel sal ek vir hom speel...... Brilliant...
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