Son of a Thousand Blues
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Son of a Thousand Blues

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The best kept secret in music


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Son of a Thousand Blues by Son of a Thousand Blues released in 2009 under Universal Music.
The single "Real" reached #1 on UJFM



ne of Johannesburg’s most arousing rock bands, the multi-genre Son of a 1000 Blues, is set to reach a far wider audience with the release this month (August 2009) of its eponymous debut album in conjunction with Universal Music. Recorded in stages by the band in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg between April 2007 and November 2008, the Son of a 1000 Blues album features 15 original songs written by guitarist Federico Fernandez, who also produced the album with various engineers.

In era when so many pop artists and rock bands are too preoccupied with pursuing one musical genre or style, whether it is pop ballads, indie rock, hip-hop or metal, Son of a 1000 Blues’ maverick and adventurous spirit has spawned almost 70 minutes of fusionist delight. From the imploring and emotive opening words of the first song, “Real”, underscored by a driving, rock-steady funk-guitar motif and a plaintive bass line, to the guitar’s final anguished squeal at the end of “Soñe (I Dreamt)”, this four-piece band has created an inspired and frequently uplifting kaleidoscope of musical idioms and lyrical themes. They have made their deft fusionist sound all the more delightful by using a liberal mix of English, Spanish and Zulu for their lyrics.

All four members  Argentinean guitarist Federico, Mauritian drummer-percussionist Nicolas Rochecouste, South African singer Nhlanhla “Lucky” Mwelase and South African bassist Mzwandile Kunene  admit enthusiastically to enjoying such a diverse spectrum of musical idioms, it is hard to define them in the context of today’s mainstream rock trends. While they adhere largely to a soulful, blues-inflected rock base, they shape-shift skilfully and cohesively, moving through funk, dub, soul, R&B, pop balladeering, Latin American, jazz, trip-hop, reggae and mbaqanga. Not since the spectacular emergence of Santana 40 years ago has any rock band’s rich blend of musical idioms sounded so fresh, strong and alluring on record. Unsurprisingly, Federico and Nicolas cite this landmark, San Francisco-based band as one of their major influences, along with many renowned American and British bluesmen, hence their distinctive name.

Since guitarist Federico and percussionist Nicolas formed the band in July 2004 in Cape Town, where they played their debut live gig at the Mercury Lounge two months later, Son of a 1000 Blues has undergone several line-up changes. Since relocating to Johannesburg later in 2007, the current line-up has been intact because Federico believes this four-piece has “the perfect chemistry  a wonderful musical understanding and interplay driven by intuition, a sense of adventure and a shared love of so many great musical styles”. Destined for better things, the band hopes soon to announce dates for a South African tour to promote Son of a 1000 Blues.