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Rooibaardt is a South African rock (Mmmm...we still wonder about that) band formed in May 2004 with Hensi Van Staden, Denzl Keenan, Louis Esterhuizen and André du Plessis.
They played their first gig in June 2004 at Konkakol Bloemfontein Arts festival and a string of festivals like OppiKoppi, KKNK, Aardklop, Macufe, Splashy Fen, etc. followed. They all lived in Bethlehem in the Free State. The name of the band came to them in their "pirate ship", a Volkswagen Combi, on the way to a gig. Redbeard was a great pirate of times gone bye.
Rooibaardt uses a wide variety of sounds and instruments: classical, electric and bass guitars, violin, mbira, pan pipes, pennywhistle, harmonica, concertina, melodium, trumpet, keyboard, jaw harp, didgeridoo, saw, samplers.
Their style is therefore hard to define, but has been described as Milkshake Jazz, Boere reggae and Gipsy cowboy rock. Their message - often serious, sometimes political, sometimes satirical in English, Afrikaans, Sotho and Zulu. Rooibaardt spends most of the time pirate style. Increase da Peace, Rooibaardt's debut album was recorded and engineered by the band themselves in their makeshift studio build from hay bales.
The album was released in May 2005 and is distributed by Bowline. Previously in 2000, while Van Staden and Du Plessis went traveling the Europe, Keenan met Louis Esterhuizen and together they were involved in projects like Baraka, Spin Nasi and Shamanzi. Mario van Vuuren - pub owner and music lover from Bethlehem promoted their music.
Returning from their travels, André du Pessis became a school teacher in Qwa Qwa, playing drums for local bands in his spare time. Van Staden passed through town one day, met his old friends and started jamming in the Game Cock Inn. Since then they have been on the road mostly using Bethlehem as their base. In May 2006 another local talent, OB (Louis-II) Swart (previously from the Pretoria band Mrs B) joined the group on base and Esterhuizen moved to electric guitar.
But In January 2007, after losing their equipment and van they scaled down playing mostly in the small town Clarens. Esterhuizen relocated to Western Cape.
Hensi and Denzl went on playing under the name Rooibaardt Light and OB and Andre together with Riaan de Jager (Pirhanna) formed the group BenDover.
In August 2010 after getting the necessary gear together Rooibaardt is gigging again. Hensi, Denzl, Andre, OB, and Pirhanna who joined in 2012.
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