Blues maestro turns to Latin, Flamenco roots

Lee Meyer

NELSON Mandela Bay musician Rob Thompson will depart from his usual sound in a one-off performance with friends at Memories Pub and Restaurant, Lorraine next Friday.

Better known for his soulful take on blues rockers like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, it’s all Latin and Flamenco this time.

Thompson sees the change as a return to his roots.

“I was listening to Latin and Flamenco before I had ever heard of the blues,” he said.

“The music is free and full of expression, almost trancelike. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing it or just listening – time and space disappear for a while.”

The musicians taking part in the performance include Thompson’s familiar accompaniment, the Rob Thompson Blues Rock Trio.

“I enjoy working with these guys. They’re my friends, but they’re also accomplished musicians,” he said.

In 2011, Thompson joined legendary bluesman Ray Fuller on a tour of the US, playing at some of the country’s premier clubs and festivals.

He was so well-received that he was presented with the key to the city of Canal Winchester, Ohio, by mayor Mike Ebert.

Next Friday’s event will mark the end of an era for Thompson, who plans to relocate soon thereafter.

“I’m moving to Cape Town in February to pursue better career prospects, so it’ll be my last big show in PE for a while,” he said.

The band next Friday is made up of Thompson on guitar and vocals, Justin Horn on guitar, Marcel Scullard on drums, Barry Kilian on bass guitar, Boet Strydom on Hammond organ and keyboard, Gary Udemans on percussion and Dirk Strydom on guitar and vocals. The seven-piece band will perform songs from artists such as Paco De Lucia, Gypsy Kings, Los Lobos, Santana and the Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela.

The performance is scheduled for 8pm on Friday at Memories Pub and Restaurant, Lorraine.

Tickets are R70. Call the venue on (041)368-2884 to book.

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