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COX FOR SPLASHY FEN 2007 (article first published : 2006-12-15)

For the ultimate outdoor experience, don’t miss the 18th annual Splashy Fen Music Festival, which takes place over the Easter weekend from April 5 to 9, 2007.

Held on a farm near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg, Splashy Fen is South Africa’s longest-running and most renowned music festival and goes beyond a line-up of the country’s hottest music acts to include a multitude of fun outdoor activities for the whole family.

World-renowned acoustic finger-style virtuoso Tony Cox has been confirmed as the ‘super-headline’ act for Splashy Fen 2007. Although a veteran of the inaugural Splashy gathering in 1990 and the festival’s early years, it has been a decade since he graced the stage at this picturesque Southern Berg venue.

Speaking from the icy Canadian leg of yet another extensive Northern Hemisphere tour, Cox said that being offered the prestigious Showcase billing was “wonderful … it’s really good to be invited back as the feature act and I’m very much looking forward to the gig …for various reasons I’ve had an enormously long break from Splashy,” he said.

Relentless touring – much of it far beyond South African borders – is the main factor behind this prolonged absence from South Africa’s pioneering and increasingly broad-spectrum ‘ultimate outdoor experience’. The popular Zimbabwe-born and Johannesburg-based guitar wizard has built up an enviable following globally which has led to numerous bookings for next year including the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain and Germany’s famed Open Strings International Guitar Festival.

On a previous visit to Germany, Tony Cox was sequestered in the recording studio by Peter Finger’s genre-defining Acoustic Music Records label. Two selections from the fruits of those sessions are set for release on AMR’s annual Acoustic Sampler CD early next year. The most recent of Cox’s already available locally-issued output is the dual CD/DVD recording of his live performance at the Grahamstown Festival 2005. This album earned him South African Music Awards Best Instrumental nomination number five – a category in which he has taken top honours on two occasions.

The Grahamstown set captured Tony Cox in single spotlight as opposed to ‘and friends’ with which he’s become increasingly associated over time – the Aquarian Guitar Quartet and spin-off World in a Guitar plus Great South African Soiree Circle and duets with almost every other local acoustic guitar luminary form barely a fraction of his non-stop gigging history. But, as Cox said from Canada: “I’ve been tied to ensembles for many years and now the focus is on my solo performance…this is how I intend appearing at Splashy Fen 2007.

“I gave up singing many years ago to concentrate on what the guitar can say with its own voice” he says, promising previously-unheard compositions – “new tunes” – for the Splashy faithful, as well as the festival debut of his new Mervyn Davis guitar. Lauded by music lovers, critics and his peers the world over, Tony Cox is the one ace-full house reason not to miss Splashy Fen 2007.

More information from Pedro Carlo on 082 892 6176 or visit www.splashyfen.co.za




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