Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bjørn Berge 2008 Live In Europe (LL)

Genre: Blues
Rate: 217 kbps VBR / 44100 from lossless source!
Time: 01:15:23
Size: 129,10 MB


Bjørn Berge looks like a metal-head. Add that to his Norwegian birth, and one could be forgiven for expecting him to be a death-metal meathead. However, he is one of the most innovative blues musicians around. Berge plays almost exclusively 12-string acoustic guitar, heavy on the slide and fingerpicking, and he usually plays without a band. He is, obviously, a big fan of Leo Kottke, but except for the Kottke cover (Louise) on this live album, he sounds nothing like Kottke. He sounds nothing like anybody. He plays an aggressive form of blues, influenced by metal with some hints of hip-hop rhythm, and his vocal style is, well, as aggressive as his guitar playing. His musical style can best be described with an old cliche-- a bull in a china shop. (Although, I recently learned from an episode of Mythbusters that a bull in a china shop won't actually break things...). This man has a serious attitude problem. Somehow, it works.

This album presents live performances by Berge without a band. The song selection is interesting, including covers of Kottke, Morphine, Motorhead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers... Again, this ain't your grandfather's blues. The music is also interspersed with Berge's amusing stage banter. His attitude comes through in that too. For example, he refers to people who use electric guitars as "sissy boys and girlie men," a phrase that he seems to like. No, he's not politically correct, but the point is to turn stereotypes around and turn the acoustic 12-string into a macho instrument. Berge makes a convincing case that the 12-string can sound bad-a**, and these live performances are the best examples of his recorded output.

Normally, I try to give recommendations for further listening, but in this case, I don't have many. The closest I know of is Ash Grunwald (an Australian, strangely enough). (Nobody important)


01 - Buena 04:18

02 - N. V. 05:08

03 - Introducing Louise 00:47

04 - Louise 03:45

05 - Trains 04:15

06 - Sissy Boys And Girlie Men 00:59

07 - Thursday 05:32

08 - Someday 03:48

09 - The Story Behind Stringmachine 01:25

10 - Stringmachine 05:29

11 - The New Guitar 01:32

12 - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean 05:42

13 - Bring It On Home 04:55

14 - Black Jesus 04:12

15 - Testify - Give It Away 06:02

16 - Angel Band 03:20

17 - Ace Of Spades 05:44

18 - 13 Question Method 05:01

19 - Minutes 03:29

Gamble for more Bjørn Berge

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