Crimson House was founded in Namibia in 2010 by Arno Van Zyl & Riaan Smit
Their mission was to find within themselves a sound that would give them the feeling of bliss they sought in their music.
They recruited Christoph de Chevonnes Vrugt on drums and Jacques Jansen Van Rensburg on bass. This rhythm section was completely different from other blues bands as they were more familiar with punk and metal.
The music then took a direction no-one saw coming. It went from blues, to bluegrass western punk with a Tom Waits/Joe cocker styled vocals soaked in gypsy undertones. This unique factor and a relentless gig schedule moulded them into a live musical act that could not be contained.
After coming together they wrote an albums worth of songs that would become “smoke, dust & Whiskey’
The Album received rave reviews from media and radio though it was recorded in their friend Alan Simmonds lounge with nothing but some borrowed microphones, a PC with Cubase and whole lot of determination. Though having it mastered by Cape town top mastering engineer Simon “Fuzzy’ Ratcliffe’ (LARK) at sound & motion studios definitely helped
The single from the album “Breaking down low’ became a college radio hit and they created a music video with the help of a friend at the Armchair theatre.
Soon they found themselves booked at all major festivals and even scoring a publishing deal from Sheer music.
During the course of 2013 they established themselves in South Africa through relentless touring and performing major festivals such as Synergy, Up the Creek, Splashy Fen, Flam Jangled tea party, Namrock, Rock the River, Table Mountain Blues Summit, Kleinmond Blues festival and venues big and small across the country.
As luck would have it their bassist Jacques entered the band into a battle of the bands type competition hosted by AFM radio, and by surprise the band won the competition. This enabled the band o record their second full length album “Red Shack Rock”
The album was record by Wouter De Venter at VHmusic& Publishing
The album also received top reviews and is now playlisted on various radio stations including mattie fm, tuks fm, and DMX radio on DSTV.
While recording the album they enlisted the help of Nick Becker to add horn sections to songs like ‘Pindrop circle‘ which also featured Mr Cat & the jackal on Accordion and the saw.
After the collaboration with Becker and his Alto saxophone skills had grown to a point where he was performing all major dates for a number of months the band decided to make him an honorary member of Crimson House.
The bands music now took a different turn with all the new experiences and inspiration brought by this new tone brought by Becker. They found themselves back in studio, this time however they had a new plan on how to execute the recording process.
They heard of a producer who lives in the Karoo who could record the band the way they wanted to be recorded, live. Jo Ellis was a name they heard around and he had previously recorded all of Willim Welsyn’s (Riaan’s cousin) albums.
After securing a recording date with Jo Ellis the band made their way to Ladismith and began recording what the future sound of Crimson House was and is to be.
They are now busy with their 3rd album (and the bands opinion its really their 1st)
The first single of this album is ‘Come Alive’ ad it showcases the bands new direction
Crimson House Logo
In 2014 the band received multiple invitations to perform in the USA. After much planning and selling of assets only two out of the five members could make it to the states (due to budget constraints)
The two members were Riaan and Nick who embarked on a 3 month journey where they performed festivals in Arizona, the Casbuh in San diego, L.A, San francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, and multiple dates in New York City.
Nick & Riaan Crimson House DUO
Whilst in the states they were invited to record with Alan Sanderson, who had previously produced hit albums for Rollings Stones, Fleetwood Mac, BBKing, and Elton John.
They had one studio day and no band but in the end they recorded 2 works. one original and one version of a 400 year british drinking song St James Infirmary
Crimson House was previously known as “Crimson House Blues’ but they dropped the blues in the name as they felt they didn’t want to limit themselves to a genre. They are known for jumping between genres with ease. In one set you can expect Latin, Gypsy, Folk, Blues, Rock, Punk, Metal, Grunge, Funk, Jazz, Country and Bluegrass.
While the meaning of the bands name can be attributed to Red House by Jimi Henrix is wasnt actually intended to be. It means a house of solace, where are all are welcome in. In the Crimson House all cultures, creeds, colours, breeds and seeds are welcome. We do not discriminate here, just leave your baggage at the door.