Valiant Swart - Die Mystic Boer

Die Mystic Boer

Released:
1997, Wildebeest Records, SWART001

Website:
Valiant Swart

Tracks:

  1. Eldorado
  2. Ek En Die Vlak
  3. Die Son Se Song
  4. Dis 'n Hondelewe
  5. My Kroon!
  6. Buitenkant
  7. In Die Transvaal
  8. Ware Liefde
  9. Slangdans
  10. Weeskind Van Die Weste
  11. Die Mystic Boer

Musicians:

  • Valiant Swart: Vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel guitar, harmonica
  • Amajuba Joubert: Bass
  • Dapper Jannie: Drums

Review:

My introduction to Valiant Swart was 'Dorpstraat Revisited'. Hearing that work, I thought, "So, that's Valiant's sound. He's a pleasant-sounding folkie."

Then, intrigued by the title and the cover art of a horseback rider toting a guitar to join the Afrikaner Rock Commando, I ordered 'Die Mystic Boer'. "Hey," I thought naively, "Valiant can also rock! Listen to that guitar!"

Subsequent CDs have proved that Valiant Swart is a rocker, not an acoustic troubadour who rocked on one digital outing. Instead, he's an electric troubadour who unplugged on 'Dorpstraat'. I don't pretend to understand all of the words, but in the flashes I do understand and have managed to translate, there is excellent, poetic songwriting.

I have three versions of the title song on as many CDs (one the first Tassenberg CD), which shows how popular is 'Die Mystic Boer'. I suspect the song has deep resonances in the heart of the modern Afrikaner. Perhaps it has been chosen by many Afrikaner people as an unofficial modern anthem. Anyway you hear it, 'Die Mystic Boer' is a rhythmic song, haunting and spiritual.

The other songs rock with plenty of sharp electric guitar. The first track, 'Eldorado' (the lost city of gold) is a modern rock 'n' roll instrumental. 'Dis 'n Hondelewe', ironical to the title, talks about fat cats. 'My Kroon!' is an uplifting rocker. In fact, there's not a weak number on this whole set. The closest Valiant gets to slow dancing is 'In die Transvaal', a song full of longing and evocative of memories, or the bluesy 'Slangdans'. And here in Texas, we can two-step to 'Ware Liefde'.

Mostly though, Valiant Swart rocks. His music satisfies. Who knows what's going to come out of his recent trip to the Louisiana Delta, and Robert Johnson's crossroads? I suspect Valiant wouldn't cut deals, but would shout at the devil and just go on playing his rocking electric blues guitar his own way.

Kurt Shoemaker, SA Rockdigest #154, May 2002

All info supplied by John Samson, June 2002


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