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Having been with the legendary Zinkplaat for years as well as a being a session guitarist for some big names in rock, Basson Laubscher (pictured) has finally released his debut solo album with the intriguingly called Basson Laubscher and the Violent Free Peace.
“It was initially to be called Wrede Vrede because we are three. Then we changed it to a direct English translation,” smiled the jovial man.
“That’s about it. Most bands have uninteresting stories about their names. There may be something subconsciously pertinent about the name, though.”
Basson said in the beginning he felt self-conscious going it alone, but knew he had to.
The Stellenbosch musician said he wrote the album’s first song about four years ago.
“It kept playing on my mind and was killing me. Like many first songs, it was about girls. Boy falls in love with girl and the love is unrequited. Those kind of things happen a lot more than people admit.”
He eventually took the leap and recorded at Sunset Studios just outside Stellenbosch where owner, Jurgen von Wechmar, produced the album.
“I still like the idea of being in a band and not doing it solo. Initially, this was a passion project just for fun. I didn’t want to force anything. It’s still very new territory for me, but I am an honest writer. I have to feel the music and the lyrics. Sometimes I write in the third person and only afterwards I realise it’s about me.”
He becomes philosophical as he delves into the album: “Bob Dylan said it best: as long as you tell the truth it’s okay. And as Stevie Ray said: music is an emotion. Most people who do well let music speak through them.”
The album, called Shakedown, comes in the form of seven songs. There are hard-rocking blues, country ballads and upbeat folk songs. He worked with pianist Riaan Niewenhuis, Marise Landman as a vocalist, Johnathan Veldhuysen on mandolin and The Blues Broers’ Rob Nagel on harmonica.
What is outstanding about the album is Laubscher’s understanding of the blues in its most basic and rawest form. The music is indeed honest and perfect for purist rockers.
Like all musicians, Laubscher is proud of his newborn and also gives credit to producer Von Wechmar.
“I chose to work with Jurgen because we worked with him for so many years with Zinkplaat. I knew what I wanted and he knew, too.”
To add pedigree to his status as a fine blues guitarist, Laubscher has shared the stage with Albert Frost, Dan Patlansky, Gerald Clark and did session work with Valiant Swart.