Albert Frost – it’s a name that is known in the South African music industry as one of THE best blues rock guitar players. I’ve seen him too many times to count but the first time was at Blue Moon. I didn’t know much of Albert nor his music back then but I grew to love it, especially the genre he plays.
Albert has been making music for the past odd 20 years with most of those years playing with The Blues Broers. Back in 2002 he released his first album, “Catfish” and he has worked with other great artists like Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart and Karen Zoid. Multiple tours, festivals and life later he is a man of great wit and charm. His music speaks for itself in both Afrikaans and English, from telling stories to just plain good old blues music.
After shaking the red dust of Oppikoppi off him, he took some time to answer some questions we had. His wit and charm is quite clear and is really a generally ‘down to earth’ kind of person.
STM: Welcome to the Lowveld! I know from old Blue Moon days that this is not your first visit to the Lowveld, what do you enjoy about this area?
Albert: The Lowveld has such a unique African feel, I absolutely love it. Great weather and green!
STM: You are considered as one of the country’s best blues rock guitarist’s, what was your first guitar and when did you start playing it?
Albert: My first guitar was an Aria Diamond that my uncle Jac organized for me from a buddy in Cape Town. My father went to see Eric Clapton play in Swaziland in ’89 the next year I remember playing the intro to “Wonderful Tonight” and just about one week later my enthused uncle Jac pitched with this old thing… It pretty much sucked but it was the only electric in our school so I quickly became involved in the school band. It was a great way to get out of doing cadets…
STM: You’ve played with fantastic artists in the past – is there one musician or band (dead or alive) you would like to play with?
Albert: There’s a span (team)! If it came down to one it would probably be Eric Clapton. He started my love for guitaring and think he would appreciate my influences and taste.
Albert: It was an incredible honour to finally do a proper show with Dan, we kicked serious ass! We’ve been talking about doing a collab for a good couple of years now and finally, our schedules allowed for it to happen. It is half my material and half his, we compliment each other so well. There will be more…
STM: You’ve played at many festivals in and out of South Africa – Oppikoppi, Splashy Fen, STRAB – do you have a favourite? And a favourite show at any of them that sticks out in your memory?
Albert: Oppi is my favourite beyond a doubt. I’ve been playing shows there for 20 years but honestly can only remember the last four (Joking but I quit drinking some years back!)
If I have to single out one show this year it would be the Gert Vlok Nel gig at Koppi bar with Schalk Joubert, I truly felt the Oppikoppi soul shine and that is a very precious thing!
STM: Do you think there is still space for more or new festivals in SA or is the market flooded?
Albert: Definitely more. No way is the market flooded, there can always be more festivals!!
STM: Your last album was ‘Devil & Gods’, when will a new album from your strings see the light of day?
Albert: I just released a bootleg of a trio show from Grahamstown last year with Schalk Joubert (bass) and Kevin Gibson (drums) just to keep things flowing. I am in the studio in November so expect an album in March…
STM: What is your inspiration when you write songs?
Albert: Events that have happened in my life play the biggest role by far.
STM: The last time you were in the Lowveld was for a show at Blue Moon (which had its last show in April), what is your fondest memory from playing at that legendary venue?
Albert: One of the shows I did years back at Blue Moon will stick with me forever. I can’t remember exactly what event it was (I was still drinking at the stage) but Jan Blohm and I played a song together and then smashed our electrics…think there’s even some footage on YouTube somewhere-hahaha!
STM: You are coming to play here in Nelsparta, is there anything you would like to say to us Nelspartans?
Albert: Get ready for a good time…
I want to thank Albert for taking some time out to answer some of our questions. If you want to know more about Albert then you can go to his website, like his page on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.
Here is video “Parchment Song” performed live