Second Chapter is the new album from South African rockers the Jack Hammer Band. Founded by musical legend Piet Botha, the band have been captivating audiences across the country for over three decades. After Piet’s untimely passing, the band is continuing with the legacy, with live shows featuring classics from their immense discography as well as new songs that affirm their status as a cornerstone of the South African rock scene.
On guitars and vocals are Johnathan Martin and Jake Gunn. Martin joined the band at just 19-years old in 1997 and became Piet’s right-hand man, playing almost 200 shows a year. A guitarist in a class of his own, he is also a masterful songwriter and one of the country’s most unsung rock vocalists. Jake’s musical journey was heavily influenced by Jack Hammer, and he had been a devoted fan for many years before joining in 2016, with his soulful brand of blues rock being a perfect fit for the band. Together, Martin and Gunn’s guitar skills and vocal harmonies never cease to amaze.
The engine room of music is the rhythm section and Paul van de Waal (Duke) and Tertius du Plessis (Bean) are the soul of the Jack Hammer Band. Duke arrived on the scene in the mid-90s. He had to stand in for Jack Hammer one night when their drummer was double-booked, meeting the band for the first time while setting up. Piet asked him to join that same night and almost 30 years later his solid and open drumming — influenced by 70s rock and 90s grunge music — still drives the Jack Hammer sound. Bean met Piet in the early 90s while working at Mainline Music (Wildebeest Records) when his band opened for Jack Hammer and the rest is history. With his unique sliding style and focus on root notes, he creates the connection between guitar melodies and drum rhythm.
Featuring 11 songs — including a reworked, never-before recorded version of Diana, a song Piet left behind — the signature style of Jack Hammer runs through the album like a golden thread.
“Without any pretences, the album blasts straight into the driving rock sound that has come to define the longest-standing South African rock band. You immediately find yourself at a Jack Hammer gig, with Paul van De Waal (Duke) steady behind the kit, Tertius du Plessis (Bean) towering over his black bass like a watchkeeper, and Johnathan Martin and Jake Gunn wringing rock ’n roll out of their guitars as if their lives depended on it.” – Album review by Jannike Bergh
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