Riders from the Storm is an initiative undertaken by rock guitarist Mel Botes, (wearing his producers cap,) renowned for his craftsmanship on the electric guitar, his interpretations of legendary rock classics, his original compositions and more recently his classical repertoire. It is directed by his collaborator on numerous other productions, Richard H Nosworthy.
Says Botes: The concept was born out of similar projects undertaken by international rock legends such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Locally, we have also had unprecedented success with the acoustic band 6 Snare, in which we have combined six of the most popular Afrikaans folk musicians into one group, roughly following the same recipe used by the international super-group The Travelling Wilburys. Joining six of the most prolific electric guitar players into one rock super group was a logical next step.
The band members for the first time ever, shared a stage at their debut performance on 20 February 2012 at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria. The band members were: Mel Botes, Piet Botha, Albert Frost, Mauritz Lotz and and Valiant Swart. Nathan Smith was the mystery guest and sixth member. This has set the precedent, where every show will feature a sixth mystery guest recruited from guitarists who play in popular rock bands, session musicians and solo artists.
The current line-up needs little introduction.
Botes himself is an accomplished guitarist, and popular shows featuring his talents have included the sell-out Crazy Diamond - A tribute to PINK FLOYD, Sultans of Swing - A tribute to DIRE STRAITS and his own original masterpiece, Davids Confession - About Time, Chapter II. Piet Botha is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of South African rock and has become a legend in his own time as front man of the everlasting rock outfit Jack Hammer as well as recording a host of solo Afrikaans and English rock works. Mauritz Lotz is recognised as the top session guitarist in South Africa and has been the most productive guitarist in South African rock music for years, playing with all of the great musicians of our time. Both Frost and Swart are legendary blues players who have built up fan bases that follow them religiously.
The brief to these musicians was simple: Each should contribute three compositions to the group's performance in which that particular musician plays the lead guitar to accompaniment from the band, (and sometimes other members of the line-up). They were given a choice of doing two original or two classic rock tune. Furthermore, all the guitarists contribute to four or five numbers where they all play together!
The show is something not seen before on South African stages. A super-group of earth-shattering proportions!!
Previous Mystery Members: Terence Reis (new frontman for The Straits, previously Dire Straits), Jan Blohm, Francois van Coke, Robin Auld, Dozi.