Hannes Coetzee is a unique guitarist from the Karoo region of South Africa. He has invented and developed his own pioneering style of guitar playing, which is super entertaining to watch and sounds awesome!
Hannes was born in 1944 in South Africa, he has developed a guitar-playing technique which involves utilising a spoon which he holds in his mouth. He uses the spoon as a guitar slider which results in a very bluesy sound. The technique is called ‘optel and knyp’ which in English roughly translates into “pick and pinch”.
Hannes gained popularity after starring in a documentary released in the Netherlands called “Karoo Kitaar Blues”. The documentary aired in 2003 and followed two musicians around South Africa.
David Kramer and spoon slide guitarist, Hannes Coetzee travelled to remote regions across South Africa. They were trying to discover musicians who still play and perform a nearly extinct genre of music called folk music. As a result of the documentary, nine musicians were invited to record in Cape Town’s Baxster Theatre Centre.
Hannes isn’t just a brilliantly creative musician, according to Wikipedia he is/was also an Aloe Tapper. This ancient trade is slowly dying out as it is a tough trying existence being an aloe tapper.
Hannes also performed on stage at The Baxster Theatre, showcasing his wonderful slide guitaring sounds. Back in 2013, The Rolling Stones shared a video of Hannes playing the guitar using his unique spoon in mouth style. Which started a string of viral videos of the South African to begin circulating social media.
There will always be a new way to play even the oldest of instruments. The Music Man has featured thousands of artists with incredibly unique and creative skills. Hannes is definitely up there as one of the most enjoyable to listen to and watch. We just have to choose the appropriate category to put this post in now, seeing as we haven’t created a “Spoon Guitarists” category…yet.