On the radar: Dan Patlansky

Blues-guitar whizz singing the songs of a different south

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyL6txiiUnA

South Africa's blazing bluesman Dan Patlansky had his six-string spark lit by David Gilmour when he was 11 years old, before Stevie Ray Vaughan fanned the flames in his teens.

Since then, he has been on a one-man mission to provide his home country with its own bona fide guitar hero. And you have to say it's all going rather well.

"You can't really play the club scene because there isn't a club scene," says Dan of his home country. "So we would hit the road and play around the rest of the country. Nobody knows who you are, nobody comes to the shows and nobody cares, really – that's the reality!

"But we pushed away at it and built our own little circuit, because we did it ourselves. Now we get to play these bigger theatres and it feels fantastic."

He's also supported Bruce Springsteen in front of 64,000 of his countrymen and is lined up to open surfing alien Joe Satriani's UK tour this November. Dan's latest album, Dear Silence Thieves, is a winningly concise combination of hammering blues-rock, tastefully heavy detours and a variety of guitar-based bombast – it will likely appeal to fans in both camps.

The studio is not a live situation

"On previous albums, I had these rambling solos and I was treating the studio like a live situation," explains Dan. "I've gone down the road before where you play a lick or a line just because you can play it, but the older I get, the more I realise that there's no place for that stuff here."

Dan's favoured six-string is a rather lovely beast indeed. It's a battered-but- beautiful 1962 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster (which we shall henceforth dub the 'Pat Strat') that he badgered a Johannesburg dealer into selling him in the early 2000s for around £1,500.

"Deals like that only come around once in a lifetime!" he recalls. "I actually lost the guitar in hurricane Katrina when I was living in New Orleans in 2005. The army guys wouldn't let me take the guitar with me and I had to leave it in my apartment.

"I wrote it off, but one of my band members went back to see what he could salvage and saw my flight case covered in mould. He scraped it off, opened the case and the only thing that was wrong was that the strings had a bit of rust on them! It was a freaking miracle I got that back..."

That, in appropriate bluesman style, is what you call destiny.

  • For Fans of: Marcus Bonfanti, Simon McBride
  • Hear: Backbite

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