The latest entry in the Live At The Office concert series features guitarist/vocalist Knut Reiersrud playing a spirited solo show at the Preus Photo Museum in Horten. The blues/roots master literally tears it up in this solo set that spans the gaps from delta blues to Norwegian folk and features tracks such as Barber’s Pulse/Tramp, Mother Himalaya, Willie and the Hand Jive, Blinded by Love/Sometimes it snows in April and Blues Can Be Played In Many Styles – here is one.
Reiersrud’s music is distinguished by mesmerizing guitar playing, extraordinary diversity and not least by a rare understanding of the cultural background and greater context from which distinct musical expressions spring forth. This understanding is always brought into his artistic activities, as well as into his musical expression itself. Therefore, his project as a whole transcends familiar artistic limitations and constitutes a uniquely rich contribution.
Reiersrud’s chief interest and musical identity is, and has always been, the blues. At the age of 18 he impressed his hero Buddy Guy so much that he was instantly invited to Chicago. While there, he was initiated into the essence of the music he had loved for years by some of his favourite performers; a rare experience for a young guitar player from remote Norway.
From that point on, Reiersrud has been a fully-fledged blues man. But he soon also established an approach as a constant explorer of all styles and genres he encountered. Notorious for his insatiable curiosity and desire to learn, he has become an almost unrivalled force of diversity in Norwegian music. From the blues and its related American genres, he has widened his scope to include a spectrum of traditional musical expressions, entailing mastery of numerous instruments. He has engaged in Norwegian folk music by exploring the unique sonority and enchantment of traditional string instruments such as the Hardanger fiddle.
Reiersrud has a unique ability to unearth deep, shared traits of different traditions and genres, and his music often fuses seemingly disparate expressions – leaving the listener marvelling at how well they work together and how the notes from his guitar seem to be floating between traditions and cultures, carrying one into the other. In this trademark manner, most of his records include some such cultural and geographical interplay. Adding to his own records and the projects he is personally involved in, he is also among the most sought-after studio guitarists in the market, thanks again to his ability to animate each and every note.
Key Reiersrud releases includes ‘Roots To Scandinavian Blues’ (1993), ‘Blå koral’ (1991), ‘Footwork’(1994), ‘Klapp’ (1995), ‘Soul of a Man’ (1998), ‘Sweet Showers of Rain’ (2001) and ‘One Drop Is Plenty’ – w/ Mighty Sam McClain (2011).sd
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