Jack Hammer – Handful Of Rain

Jack Hammer - Handful Of Rain

Jack Hammer – Handful Of Rain

The Jack Hammer line-up featuring on Handful of Rain has endured over the years, with Piet Botha (guitars, keys, harmonica, vocals), Johnathan Martin (guitars, vocals), Tertius du Plessis (bass) and Paul van de Waal (drums). The album also features guest artists Arthur Dennis (guitars, vocals) and Rudolph Dennis (drums, guest vocals) from Akkedis/Lyzyrd Kyngs. Piet Botha’s harmonica is present throughout the album, and the style is familiar, lingering long after, like a renegade’s signature tune in an old western. The timbre in Piet Botha’s singing is full of longing and resistance. In the title track, he sings “Here I go again on a lonesome highway / A handful of rain and empty heart”, with Johnathan Martin, ‘The Kid’, by his side, harmonising, singing the same words. Cut from the same cloth. “That’s How We Roll” echoes Neil Young, “me, I got nothing / just this old guitar”; a song about this brotherhood of musicians defying the Man, choosing the road over the rat race with its fitting rock ‘n roll chorus.The haunting cover of Four Jacks and Jill’s “Master Jack”, a song about choosing solitude over society, flows into the album’s theme: “no hard feelings if I never come back.” Delving into the songwriting is a melancholy joy, and each listen reveals new meanings and interpretations. Is a song like “When the Moon Was Young” a love song first, a protest song second? Piet Botha gently contends,“They think they can own her / but even a fool knows / the moon belongs to lovers…” The hair-raising harmonies of “Emily” and “Where Is the Clown” remind us why Jack Hammer are at their best when Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin come together. Not only do they whistle the same tune when it comes to existing and creating outside of the mainstream, but their musical accord completes Jack Hammer. Handful of Rain can best be summed up in “Sweet Soul Music”, Piet Botha’s collaboration with the Soweto String Quartet: violins, harmonica and electric guitars join on a song about rivers turning into seas, about songs turning our solitude into a universe of connected souls: “Keep the music in your heart / You will never walk alone.”

Released January 2016

Track Listing:

  1. Where is the Clown
  2. Handful of Rain
  3. That’s how We Roll
  4. Emily
  5. When the Moon was Young
  6. Deep Blue Sea
  7. Master Jack
  8. Sweet Soul Music
  9. When The Morning Comes

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