06 April 2007

Hannes Coetzee's Spoon Guitar

Slide guitar aficionados may well be acquainted with the work of Hannes Coetzee. Me, I just heard about him because he's coming to Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington, for a performance on June 28; it's his first-ever trip outside his native South Africa.

Born on a farm in the Western Cape region, Coetzee taught himself to play guitar on a three-string homemade oil-can guitar with cat-gut strings (as an animal lover, I hesitate to ask the obvious question...). He uses a teaspoon as a slide to pick out the melody. Oh, and did I mention that he holds said teaspoon in his mouth? This style is apparently called optel and knyp, and Coetzee found some fame following the release of the 2003 film Karoo Kitaar Blues. You can read more about the film and at filmmaker David Kramer's website.

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