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He’s forever Young

20 January 2014
Louise Liebenberg

WELL-KNOWN Eastern Cape singer and songwriter Anton Calitz is presenting a tribute to the music of Canadian music legend Neil Young in Port Elizabeth this weekend.

Joining Calitz on stage will be fellow local legends Keith Yoko on percussion, Cliffy Francis on bass guitar and accompanying harmony vocals and Alan Godwin on lead guitar.

Tonight’s The Night takes place at 66 Butterfield Road, Kragga Kamma, on Friday and Saturday night.

Calitz’s shows never fail in their attack on acoustic guitar complemented by soaring vocals and harmonica playing, making him and Young a convincing fit.

Calitz said the orchestration of the music for his newest show was intended to convey “the frontier spirit of Young’s lyrical themes, the electric attack of his simple melodies and the power of his ragged, chunky, open-tuned songs”.

Young’s songs are known for their distinctive guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and signature alto or high tenor singing voice.

The artist, who has lived in California in the US since 1966, typically plays several different instruments, including piano and harmonica, but his idiosyncratic electric and clawhammer acoustic guitar playing largely defines his sound.

Young has over the years experimented with differing music styles, including swing and electronic music, but his best known work usually falls into acoustic (folk and country rock) and electric (amplified hard rock).

He has also adopted elements from newer styles such as alternative rock and grunge, prompting some to nickname him the “Godfather of Grunge” owing to his influence on the genre.

Much of the distinguishing signature sounds of Young’s songs, including his simple, downscaled harmonica playing, should be easily carried by Calitz’s performance. Tonight’s the Night will feature selected songs from albums throughout Young’s long songwriting career.

Included in the routine are pieces such as Pocahontas, After the Goldrush and Out on the Weekend, with Calitz performing the banjo solo on Old Man.

Calitz said the show would contain some of Young’s more popular sing-along favourites such as Southern Cross and Teach your Children, from the artist’s work with Crosby, Stills & Nash, whom he joined as a fourth member in 1969.

However, he said the show was not intended simply to be a recreation of Young’s music, but was rather “a veteran muso’s interpretation of the music of one of the giants of rock music”.

Calitz is a National Arts Festival stalwart, having presented 14 original music theatre shows on the Fringe.

He said they were still considering taking Tonight’s the Night to the festival this year.

Ć½Tonight’s the Night is at 8pm on Friday and Saturday. Tickets may be booked with Carol on 082-971-4407.

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TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT: Local legends, from left, Anton Calitz, Alan Godwin, Cliffy Francis and Keith Yoko

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