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Saturday, July 13, 2013


(Dan Patlansky)

An experience I will cherish for a long time. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Lowlander in Grahamstown is a wonderfully rustic venue. It is situated in the basement of the five star Highlander Guest House on the grounds of St Andrew’s College. It is dimly lit, has bark chips on the floor, unplastered brick walls and mis-matched furniture. There is a bar stretching across one end and the food they serve is basic comfort fare. All is all, it is the perfect setting for the Jazz/Blues Club it was during at this year’s National Arts Festival.

This was the atmospheric venue for Dan Patlansky’s fantastic performances of his Solo Acoustic Set which, along with the concert he performed with Karen Zoid, won him the only Gold Ovation Award granted at this year’s Festival.

I was privileged to attend one of Patlansky’s solo performances and was left overwhelmed and inspired by this rare talent. It was an experience I will cherish for a long time.

In a little over a decade, Patlansky has become one of the most respected blues artists to ever come out of South Africa. He is a phenomenal guitarist who plays with energy, passion and emotion. He has a deep voice with more than enough gravel for blues music. The complete package. Yet he remains unassuming, modest and humble as he chats to his audience about the funny experiences he has had as a musician on the road.

Patlansky’s solo acoustic set consisted of covers of legendary blues numbers such as Sun House’s Preachin’ Blues and Robert Johnson’s Travelling Riverside Blues as some of his own original music which is included on latest CD, Wooden Thoughts.

The critics have said the following about Wooden ThoughtsThis album almost feels like Dan is throwing a concert in your living room: it's personal, filled with emotion and you've got the front row seat.” That is also an apt description of Patlansky’s breathtaking performance at the Lowlander. It was unforgettable.

Dan Patlansky performs in Durban on a fairly regular basis. I for one cannot wait for his next visit. – Keith Millar