“Improvisation on blues is where the purity comes from.”
So says Riaan Smit, front man for Crimson House Blues, who know all about improvisation.
Riaan explains that while they do do some of their songs on stage, most of what they do is improvised on the spot.
Even the band’s inception was thanks to a bit of improvisation.
Riaan was doing a solo set and pulled in the band’s current banjo player and lead guitarist, Arno van Zyl.
Later, sitting at the bar after the show, the two discussed the idea of forming a band and so, Crimson House Blues was born.
Originally from Namibia, the band members are now based in Table View, Monte Vista and Durbanville with Jacques Jansen van Rensburg on bass and Christoph De Chavonnes Vrugt on drums.
Music fans may recognise some of the band members from their previous bands, Azrail and The Broken Result.
When asked how a musician makes the shift from metal to blues, Riaan jokes: “You just go backwards.”
Arno describes Crimson House Blues’ music as “feel good music” while Jacques adds that it’s “rugged drinking music”.
“It inspires you to quit your job, leave your wife and start drinking,” Riaan jokes.
Arno says the move from Namibia to Cape Town was inevitable.
The band members studied in Cape Town and say that they made many friends down here.
“Namibia is just too small,” Riaan adds, before pointing out: “This is where the blues scene is.”
Crimson House Blues recently released their single, “Breaking Down Low”, on Facebook.
They recorded the song with Allen Simmons at Sound Surgeon Studios.
Earlier this year they also recorded an EP which is available for free download, or at their shows, because as Riaan says: “We like to give stuff away.”
“Breaking Down Low” will officially be launched at Down South in Long Street on Tuesday 20 December.
Before that though, the band will be heading to Namibia from 4 to 12 December to tour with Charlie King.
Original band members, who currently reside in Namibia, Oliver Reissner and Stefan Steyn will be joining them on tour.
Riaan says: “We don’t lose band members; we just wait for our next jam.”
They will immediately follow up their Namibian tour with their Here, There and Back Again tour, which sees them covering almost every corner of Cape Town.
Some of the venues they will be playing in December include Grand Daddy Hotel, Nameless Pub, Alma Café and &Union to name a few.
Crimson House Blues recently played Synergy and are set to play Big Blues Festival 2012.
For tour dates, more information about the band, or to listen to their music, visit www.facebook.com/CrimsonHouse Blues.
To contact the band, email firstname.lastname@example.org .