J o e   B l o g

Johannesburg Events Weblog

Runaway Train Cult

Runaway Train Cult

The Runaway Train Cult began as an offshoot of Afrikaans Roots band, Radio Kalahari Orkes and is part of a broader collective of musicians who Session at Dan Roberts’ StoepStudios – they also share a love for acoustic folk and roots music.

The band’s original influence stems from their interest in Gypsy jazz/Appalachian/Americana/New Orleans swing and the instruments associated to those genres: Violin, guitars, upright bass, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, accordion, brass and percussion.

The various styles have become so integrated that it’s hard to hear where one genre starts and another stops. Recently Hip Hop and soul have got into the mix, so the journey continues. Besides original material we, not so much cover songs as uncover them, songs that have been buried, going back to the early 1900’s through the rich picking ground of the 20’s 30’s and 40’s. We also re-compose or, de-compose contemporary songs converting them to Gypsy, Appalachian or swing – or whatever else is handy.

The band consists of full time professional musicians: On vocals and ukulele, Miss Christine’s clear tone is in the plains tradition of Alison Krauss and Gillian Welsh while Wynand ‘Gypsy’ Dawel (violin) and Friso Woudstra (guitars) both feature in the well known Afrikaans roots group, Radio Kalahari Orkes.

Brendan Ou Tim is a widely experienced upright bass player who has played with a variety of artists including Arno Carstens & Karma. Ruben Samuels is the drummer for artists such as Rodrigues when touring South Africa and Dan Roberts (banjo, mandolin, guitars) is a often SAMA nominated Music Producer and winner of a SAMA award in that category.