Illuminating Headlight Dreams

by Brian Currin, June 2021

Back in early April 2021, I read a press release announcing a new album coming from Steve Louw and it included the video of a song called “Crazy River”. I loved the big open spaces this song evoked (and enhanced by the video) and the subtle African guitar sounds reminded me of early Johnny Clegg.

I first heard of Steve Louw in 1990 when the cassette version of the “Pop Shop 48” album featured the song “Waiting For The Dawn” by Big Sky as a bonus track. There is actually no real band called Big Sky, it is the name Steve Louw has used when he surrounds himself with the cream of the crop of American and South African musicians.

I first met Steve in March 1998, backstage at the first Rodriguez concert at the Bellville Velodrome, outside Cape Town. Steve and that year’s incarnation of Big Sky were a worthy support act. The rest of Big Sky (led by Steve’s old buddy since the seventies, Willem Möller) also backed Rodriguez for his set. That sold-out tour of South Africa is featured in the Oscar-winning film, “Searching For Sugar Man“.

Steve recorded two albums in the 80’s with his band All Night Radio, and then four albums as Big Sky between 1990 and 2008, as well as a compilation album, “Best Of The Decade” (in 1999), and a live concert DVD recorded over two nights in 2008.

And now he comes blasting back with his first solo album (well, technically) in 13 years. As in his Big Sky days, he has surrounded himself with some top players in their fields. So let’s drop a few names; “Headlight Dreams” was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, produced by Kevin Shirley, mastered by Bob Ludwig, liner notes by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (from AllMusic), and a guitar solo on “Wind In Your Hair” by one of my favourite guys from the more recent crop of Blues guitar-slingers, Joe Bonamassa.

Louw also brought in some of the best musos in Nashville, namely Kevin McKendree (keyboards), Alison Prestwood (bass), Rob McNelly (guitars) and Greg Morrow (drums). Steve Louw wrote all the songs and sings and plays acoustic guitar.

This album is filled with great songs, from the bluesy, lyrically hard-hitting “Get Out Of My Heart” to the bouncy “Queen Bee Maybe” with its delightful Hammond organ solo from Kevin McKendree, however my favourite track on this album is the almost proggish “Train Don’t Run”. Clocking in at seven and half minutes this is an epic tune that you hope never finishes. There is a soaring guitar solo by Rob McNelly that David Gilmour fans will love. No surprise to discover that this track was mixed on the same console as the classic “Dark Side Of The Moon“.

If you immerse yourself in the Steve Louw back-catalogue you will find recurring themes and reappearing characters, in a similar vein to Rodriguez, Piet Botha and many others. It is one of the things I love about listening to music, that there are rewards for paying extra attention.

This album can be played in the background, but if you give it your full awareness and dive into its depths you will be rewarded with poetic lyrics melded with great tunes, recorded by superb musicians.

Steve’s enthusiasm for life and love is expressed in every note in this superb creation. “Headlight Dreams” deserves to be listened to over and over again, and if you do, you will get something new every time.

Steve Louw on Social

HAU! #1 feat John Kongos, Jack Hammer, Ramsay MacKay, Tribe After Tribe, Falling Mirror, Rabbitt

HAU!

“Hau!” is a Zulu expression of astonishment.

If you are not from South Africa, I hope you will be astonished at what great music you might have missed.

Hopefully this series of mixes will help to rectify that.

More information about most of these artists can be found at www.Rock.co.za

ARCHIVE:
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/playlists/hau-series/

1. Riff Valley – Off The Edge
2. Sex – Pressure Cookies feat Willem Moller
3. Mumbo Jumbo – Ramsay MacKay feat Trevor Rabin
4. Tokoloshe Man – John Kongos
5. Tribal Fence – Rabbitt feat Margaret Singana
6. Russian & Chips – Jack Hammer
7. Judas – David’s Confession
8. Johnny Calls The Chemist – Falling Mirror
9. Riders On The Storm – Gordon’s Suitcase feat Piet Botha
10. Sittin’ (Take Me Home) – Toxic Shame
11. Pharaoh’s Tomb – Titus
12. Wild Warrior – Arapaho
13. Swans – Tribe After Tribe
14. Who Killed Kurt Cobain – Koos Kombuis

Colours To My Dreams

This mix opens with a recent cover version of “Sugar Man” by South African singer Rebekah Thompson.

This version plays under the closing credits of the 2019 film “Moffie” which is about a young man drafted into South Africa’s military, but he knows he is different and must keep himself hidden.

1. Sugar Man (from Moffie) – Rebekah Thompson
2. Heart Of Glass (Crabtree remix) – Blondie & Philip Glass
3. Adagio In G Minor – The Doors
4. Oblivion – M83 feat Susanne Sundfør
5. The Black Page #1 (piano version) – Ruth Underwood
6. Love Scene (from Zabriskie Point) – Richard Wright
7. The Rains Of Castamere (from Game Of Thrones) – Ramin Djawadi & Serj Tankian
8. Skyrim (Dragonborn) – Tina Guo
9. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Emily Browning
10. Chasing The Dragon – Epica
11. Nymphetamine (Fix) – Cradle Of Filth feat Liv Kristine
12. Crazy In Love (2014 version) from Fifty Shades Of Grey – Beyoncé
13. Tomorrow Never Knows (from Sucker Punch) – Alison Mosshart & Carla Azar
14. Oh! Darling – Peachy Keen
15. Sugar Man – Barbara Moleko

Jive Talking and Eyeballing #14 [25 September 2020] feat Jack Hammer, Falling Mirror, The Awakening

A series of one hour All-South African mixes to enhance the Public Facebook Group “Jive Talking and Eyeballing”, which is an interview showcase of both South African and International artists.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/623022481618491

1. Bus Station – Fly Paper Jet
2. Morrison Hotel – Jack Hammer
3. Judas – David’s Confession
4. The Boogie Mansion – Martin Rocka And The Sick Shop
5. Vampyre Girl – The Awakening
6. Hammerhead Hotel – Falling Mirror
7. Shade Of A Ghost – Fetish
8. Hello (I Am Ghost Town) – Dance You’re On Fire
9. Gypsy Toy – Ann Jangle
10. Van Tonder – Piet Botha
11. Werewolf In The House – Falling Mirror
12. Ghost Riders In The Sky – Brian Finch & Ken E Henson
13. The Fisherman – Jack Hammer
14. Farewell To Gypsy – Bonekey

More info on most of these artists at http://www.rock.co.za/

ARCHIVES
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/playlists/jive-talking-series/

Hammerhead Hotel, feat Falling Mirror, Jack Hammer, The Dolly Rockers, McCully Workshop, Radio Rats

Hammerhead Hotel | photo: Michael Currin
Hammerhead Hotel | photo: Michael Currin


Track List

1. Bus Station – Fly Paper Jet
2. Hammerhead Hotel – Falling Mirror
3. Alison – Dolly Rockers
4. Getting Better – Scabby Annie
5. Shock Time For Rock – The Popguns
6. Morrison Hotel – Jack Hammer
7. Werewolf In The House – Falling Mirror
8. Kamikasi – McCully Workshop
9. Mucking About In The Dungeons All Day – Radio Rats
10. Monster From The Bog – Psycho Reptiles
11. Bellville Rock City – New World Inside
12. Psycho Bitch – Toxic Shame
13. Boxstar Kitty – Three Bored White Guys
14. Blue Eyed Devil – Th’ Damned Crows
15. Psycho-Babble – Lancaster Band
16. Britney Spears – Tweak
17. Babydoll Blues – The Ragdolls
18. Psycho – Them Tornados
19. Woo Hoo! – Fire Through The Window
20. Baby Girl You’re Gonna Burn! – Peachy Keen
21. Drakilla – The Psykotix
22. Surfin’ With The Goth Gang – Martin Rocka And The Sick Shop
23. Krokodil – Retro Dizzy
24. Buccaneer – Moyawetu
25. Beethoven Is Dying – Koos Kombuis En Die Warmblankes
26. Only Yesterday – Sharkbrother
27. Boomtown Hotel – Valiant Swart
28. Kitchener – Piet Botha
29. Praha Paradise (2007 version) – Ernestine Deane feat Tim Parr
30. Die Gipsy In Jou Oë – Anna Davel
31. Farewell To Gypsy – Bonekey

Jive Talking and Eyeballing #3 [10 July 2020] feat Ballyhoo, Rabbitt, Stingray, McCully Workshop

A series of one hour All-South African mixes to enhance the Public Facebook Group “Jive Talking and Eyeballing”, which is an interview showcase of both South African and International artists.
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=623022481618491/

A 70’s mix with the spotlight on Rabbitt and Trevor Rabin.

ARCHIVES
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/playlists/jive-talking-series/

More information on most of these artists at www.Rock.co.za

1. Rock ‘n Roll Party – Ballyhoo
2. The Boy & The Bee – Omega Limited
3. The Eagle Has Landed – Dickie Loader & Freedoms Children
4. The San Diego Sniping Event – Falling Mirror
5. Charlie – Rabbitt
6. Substitute – Clout
7. Guinevere – McCully Workshop
8. What’s Going On – The Third Eye
9. Telephone Girl – Assagai
10. Hard Ride – Rabbitt
11. Candlelight – Richard Jon Smith
12. Astral III – The Invaders
13. Black Night – Omega Limited
14. Evil Ways – The Attraction
15. Better The Devil You Know – Stingray
16. Jo Bangles – Baxtop
17. Fantasy – Trevor Rabin
18. Born To Be Wild – Buffalo feat Peter Vee
19. The Journey – The Staccatos

Jive Talking & Eyeballing #1 [26 June 2020] feat éVoid, Albert Frost, Roger Lucey, Wonderboom, Peach

A series of one hour All-South African mixes to enhance the Public Facebook Group “Jive Talking and Eyeballing“, which is an interview showcase of both South African and International artists.

This week’s spotlight is on éVoid, read the interview at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/623022481618491/permalink/677305066190232/

Track List

1. Jiving To The Weekend Beat – éVoid
2. Orang Otang – Brian Finch
3. Warlord – Bill Knight with Roger Lucey
4. Lungile Tabalaza – Roger Lucey feat Ken E Henson
5. My Sharona – Void
6. Taximan – éVoid
7. Shadows – Wonderboom
8. A Lot Of Things – Peach
9. Corrugated Iron – Die Lemme
10. ZX Dan – Radio Rats
11. Catfish Blues (live 2003) – Albert Frost
12. Hot Tin Roof – Famous Curtain Trick
13. Harmonijah – Tidal Waves
14. Kudu Junction – Amampondo
15. Jeffreysbaai – Piet Botha

South African Rock Digest Charts #1 [2000 to 2004]

SARD logo

The first in a series of mixes inspired by the charts from the The South African Rock Music Digest (fondly referred to as “The SA Rock Digest” or simply “The Digest”) which was a weekly, free subscription e-mag about South African rock and pop music published digitally from 1999 to 2004.

Founded on 27th January 1999 by Brian Currin and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman.

Re-established in 2009, as part of Sugar Music, embracing social media tools and platforms.

Full list of charts can be found at:
http://www.rock.co.za/files/sarocklists.html

Track list
1. Rise ‘n Shine – Moodphase5ive
2. Africa’s Not For Sissies – Syd Kitchen
3. Set Of Wheels (Karoo Anthem) – Karen Zoid
4. Nkalakatha – Mandoza
5. Gee Raat – KOBUS!
6. Since I Met You – New World Inside (early Fokofpolisiekar)
7. Crazy Over You (5FM Unearthed version) – Zen Arcade
8. Praha Paradise – Ernestine Deane
9. Kakstraat – Battery 9
10. Donkey Rattle – Felix Laband
11. Dig It – Kalahari Surfers
12. Long Holiday – The Sunshines
13. Fragile – Venessa Nolan
14. Stoute Boude – Anton Goosen & Beeskraal
15. Sestien Jaar Met ‘n Vals Kitaar – Koos Kombuis
16. Sweet Stellenganga – Akkedis
17. Beach Girl – Natalia
18. Lovesong – Dolly Rockers
19. Fokofpolisiekar – Fokofpolisiekar
20. Things To Consider – Skwirmish
21. Paralyzer – Ghetto Muffin
22. Gangsta – The Rudimentals
23. Gasoline – Saron Gas (early Seether)
24. Say Goodbye – Scarlet Host
25. Humanarium – Bed On Bricks
26. Indigo Girl – Watershed
27. Life (Theme From Big Brother TV series 2001) – Semisane
28. Vodka – Mathys Roets
29. Strate Van Pretoria – Beeskraal
30. Mooie Vrou – Kaal
31. When I Get The Blues – Delta Blue
32. Only Yesterday – Sharkbrother
33. Go Fuck Yourself – Janie Jones

Vagabond Show On Mixcloud [24 August 2019] feat Piet Botha, Jack Hammer, Seether, Albert Frost & More

Part of a series of mixes of random tunes, from the past, present and the future, covering a wide range of genres and styles.

Expect the unexpected.

This mix features a bunch of South African Pop, Blues & Rock tunes, released between 2003 and 2019.

Piet Botha passed away on the 2nd June 2019.

Johnny Clegg passed away on the 16th July 2019.

Please also take a listen to:
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/suitcase-vol-blues/

Rock Legends: 5 x 5 [1968 to 1974] A South African Classic Rock Mix

5x5

Five tunes each from The Big Five of South African Classic Rock, from the late 60’s to the early 70’s.

1. African Day – Hawk
2. Blue Wednesday Speaks – Abstract Truth
3. You’re Late Miss Kate – Otis Waygood Blues Band
4. The Whip – Suck
5. 1999 – Freedoms Children
6. Kalahari Dry – Hawk
7. Silver Trees – Abstract Truth
8. Fever – Otis Waygood Blues Band
9. War Pigs – Suck
10. Medals Of Bravery – Freedoms Children
11. Straight Ahead – Otis Waygood
12. Oxford Town – Abstract Truth
13. Tribal Fence – Freedoms Children
14. Aimless Lady – Suck
15. Orang Otang – Hawk
16. A Madman’s Cry – Otis Waygood
17. Season Of The Witch – Suck
18. In The Sun – Otis Waygood
19. Mumbo Jumbo – Hawk
20. In A Space – Abstract Truth
21. 21st Century Schizoid Man – Suck
22. The Eagle Has Landed – Freedoms Children feat Dickie Loader
23. Fat Angel / Work Song – Abstract Truth
24. Miss Wendy’s Dancing Eyes Have Died – Freedoms Children
25. Here Comes The Sun – Hawk

More info on all these artists can be found at http://www.rock.co.za

Please also take a listen to:
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/reflections-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-of-my-life-a-south-african-rock-collection/
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/rock-today-with-the-big-heavies/
https://www.mixcloud.com/mabuvinyl/mabu-mix-south-african-prog-rock-vol-1-1968-to-1982/https://www.mixcloud.com/mabuvinyl/african-daze-2-more-south-african-prog-rock/
https://www.mixcloud.com/briancurrin/rock-legends-hawk-1971-to-1974/
https://www.mixcloud.com/mabuvinyl/mabu-mix-south-african-60s-rock-vol-1/

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