Based: Cape Town
Since the launch of their latest album ‘Into the Red’ in 2014 the Blues Broers performed at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, appeared on the major TV networks, produced a sold-out show at Pretoria’s Atterbury Theatre, and featured on the Durban International Blues Festival and the Table Mountain Blues Summit amongst others.
Twenty-five years ago the musical landscape was very different. The Blues Broers started out playing in Cape Town’s seedier clubs and bars. Venues like The Fringe and the appropriately named Smokehouse (some nights you could barely see the stage through the blue haze of cigarette smoke) are long gone, but the band expanded its audience by driving long hours to towns further afield. It was around this time that they added their ‘Skiffle set’ to the show. Skiffle is music played on homemade instruments, such as a tea-chest bass or tin washboard and it’s still an important part of the band’s performance.
Coastal tours, album releases and rock festivals followed, but in 1999 the band lost drummer, manager and Albert Frost’s father, Frank, to cancer. It was a blow they struggled to recover from and eventually the Blues Broers announced that they were calling it a day. In 2006 they held a final show at the Hidden Cellar in Stellenbosch.
The band was brought back together by popular demand for a reunion gig in 2009 and they soon started writing songs that would feature on their 2011 CD release ‘Out of the Blue’.
Basson Laubscher, well known for his guitar work with the Valiant Swart Band, Zinkplaat and many other local acts, joined the Blues Broers in 2016 after Albert Frost, long time guitarist, left the band at the end of 2015 to pursue his solo career.
Says Basson: “I used to sneak out from Paul Roos boarding school on weekends to catch the Blues Broers at the Akker (now the Hidden Cellar). I can’t believe I now play with them!”