Great News! Iconic blues-roots artists Doc MacLean (USA/Canada) and Albert Frost (South Africa) are pleased to announce their joint, CanAfrica Blues Tour, some 50 to 75 duo shows across North America. Launching in September at Toronto, Canada, it’s a playful, yet respectful collaboration by two unique artists: each of whom combines traditional and contemporary blues roots from their own continent.
South African blues fans lobbied to bring these musicians together during Doc MacLean’s 2016 Tour– but the two had never met and each had demanding schedules. Saronsberg Theatre AD Chris Grobler seized an opportunity: MacLean would be sound checking at the Theatre at the same time Frost would be driving by from Cape Town airport. Grobler set up an extra mic and D/I on the side of the stage. Introductions were made moments before curtain. And the rest was magic. The CanAfrica Blues Tour will bring the Doc MacLean – Albert Frost collaboration to North America, serving to introduce new audiences to Albert Frost.
The CanAfrica Blues Tour will be an “old school” road adventure. Self-driving a massive, Lincoln across the North American continent, the Tour will stop in places large and small, from coast to coast and back. “No venue too large, too small, too grand or too humble.” Frost and MacLean will haul “as many guitars as possible,” and their own production gear.
“We’re just starting to confirm stops,” MacLean said, “but it does look like all ten Canadian provinces will be in– and maybe a handful of states.” The Canadian based musician and activist has been working to build ties between the two countries, aimed at developing increased opportunities for South African artists in the North American marketplace. To this end he introduced Albert Frost– in a jaw dropping performance– to the Canadian High Commission of South Africa at a gala reception late last year. Upcoming tour shows will feature Frost and MacLean material in the round, as well as takes on a few of their old favourites. Full CanAfrica Blues Tour schedule and routing to be announced as confirmed.
2017 SAMA (South African Music Association) Album of the Year winner, Albert Frost has performed with international artists such as Ali Farka Toure, Finley Quaye, and Vusi Mahlasela. He has toured with Simple Minds, REM, and has supported the Rolling Stones. As a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer, Frost has been a celebrated figure in the South African folk, blues, roots and rock music scene for over 20 years.
The Fender endorsed artist romps fearlessly and joyfully between electric and acoustic guitars of every description, as well as surfacing occasionally on keyboards or drums. The remarkable pleasure Frost finds, invents, and simply conjures from the music is not to be missed. Have a listen to this acoustic version of “Caroline” below:
During 40 years of touring Doc MacLean has performed with a who’s who of first and second generation blues, roots and gospel artists such as Sam Chatmon, Peg Leg Sam, and Blind John Davis. Among many others, he has supported Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, and BB King.
As a songwriter and storyteller, MacLean has recorded with members of the Canned Heat and Mavis Staples bands. This real deal, old school troubadour lives on the Blues Highway– self driving to hundreds of shows every year, and sometimes busking the places in between. Named as one of the top sets at Africa’s massive, 2017 OppiKoppi festival.
Fact is, these boys are contemporary Blues roots artists. One guy played with Son House, the other with Ali Farka Toure. They are two unique, yet complimentary musicians that are getting together for one special tour. It’s possibly the most significant and interesting National Steel adventure yet. Have a listen to Doc Maclean’s version of “Rooster Blues” below:
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