Jan Blohm - Groen Trui
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.
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.
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