NEWS FOR 2011    •  'A Far Country' Album Launch - 16 June 2011    •  'A Far Country' Released   

Cape Town singer-songwriter Robin Levetan, founder member and vocalist with iconic SA band, Bright Blue, has released his first solo CD of original songs, and will launch the album with a live performance at Marimba on Thursday 16th June at 6pm.

Levetan co-produced "A Far Country" with Roger Bashew, drawing on the versatile instrumental and vocal talents of Willem Möller, Paul Tizzard, Selwyn Schneider, Tonia Selley and Buddy Wells. Ex-Bright Blue comrades Ian Cohen, Tom Fox and Dan Heymann, and Freshly Ground keyboardist Seredeal "Shaggy" Scheepers also guested on the album which was mixed by Keith Farquharson and mastered in New York by internationally-renowned engineer Chris Athens.

The launch will kick off with a short set of songs written and performed by Tonia Selley.

Date / Time: Thursday 16th June at 6pm
Venue: Marimba, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Corner Heerengracht and Coen Steytler, Foreshore. (secure parking available on Level P3)
Featuring: Roger Bashew (bass), Paul Tizzard (drums), Willem Möller (guitar), Selwyn Schneider (guitar and vocals), David Bass (keyboards), Tonia Selley (vocals, guitar and percussion), Jessica Levetan (backing vocals) and Buddy Wells (tenor sax).
Tickets: R100 available from
Contact: Martin Myers (083 448 4475) or Tim Hill (082 888 5945) for further info


© Alex Mason 2011

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'A FAR COUNTRY'5th Jan 2011

Halloween, 2009. The climax of the End Conscription Campaign's 25th Anniversary celebrations beckons under a crystal sky at Spier Amphitheatre.

At 9pm, a reunited Bright Blue - the ECC's clarion call if ever there was one - take the stage to a deep, devotional roar from the thousand-plus party faithful. The band sing, play and jol their way through a songbook bursting with call-to-arms anthems, nagging hooks, and dance-floor grooves - trademarks which 25 years earlier catapulted the band head and shoulders above their peers, and brought a rare bolt of sunshine to a generation standing up to the worst of Apartheid tyranny.

For most present, the once-off reunion gig is a dream realised, a whimsical back-glimpse of where we'd once been, and could never go again. But for founding member and singer-songwriter Robin Levetan, one joyous hour on the wine-lands stage is a creative storm surge.

The perfect wave of musical inspiration which follows, breaks through months later in his beautifully crafted 12- track solo CD titled "A Far Country". Co-produced by Robin and fellow-traveller Roger Bashew, "A Far Country" is an intriguing mix of tones and moods, expertly supported by an A-list of South African musicians including Bright Blue alumni. And while the pap-en-bredie guitar riff which kicks off the album instantly updates the classic Bright Blue groove, "A Far Country" is an absolutely personal statement. Dancing effortlessly between wary optimism ("Perfect Day") confessional love letters ("You and I"), funky Afro-gospel ("Slow Burning"),and Dylanesque snarl ("Revolutions"), the 12 tracks are a sometimes poignant, always compelling song suite about ideas weathered but unbowed, and a soul battling to make sense of a world far removed from the heady days of activism.

It's a tough road from innocence to awareness, and "A Far Country" is the music for that road.

© Alex Mason 2011

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