grass track spotlight!

Du likar det (You'll like it)

Strengeplukk

Written by: Nikolai Storevik

Andreas Barsnes Onarheim (mandolin / vocals) Jakob Folke Ossum (guitar / vocals) Nikolai Storevik (fiddle / vocals) Thorbjørn André Bilstad Olsen (banjo / vocals) Vidar Starheimsæter (double bass / vocals)

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Strengeplukk – that's 'string picking' in Norwegian. And that's just what these five fabulous guys from Norway are doing – they're picking. Playing together since 2015, touring through Norway and finding their own style and language in bluegrass. Which is a genre that not too many people over here in Europe are listening to. It's more like: two out of a hundred even know what bluegrass is and means, and one of the two considers it to be a less serious hobby. Not a musical style and surely not an art form. So, it's even more considerable these young and able musicians chose this particular way. 

Like the single say: 'You'll Like It'. Maybe these gentlemen didn't choose bluegrass but bluegrass has chosen them. It's a song about how bluegrass music can completely sweep someone off their feet with its raw energy, fast tempos, harmony singing and jaw-dropping solos. The protagonist has a stunning experience and starts telling all his friends about this new type of music he’s discovered. Therefore the song is full of all the bluegrass elements that are needed: a fast tempo, three-part singing and instrumental breaks, all on an amazingly high skill level. 

I've followed Strengeplukk for a while now and these high-class musicians keep evolving and enhancing their style. After an EP in 2016 and a CD in 2018, they released a remarkable vinyl record called 'Nyslått Blågras' in 2020. This closely means 'freshly cut blue grass'. This record to me was the peak of the band's ambitious development so far. The band that in 2022 is: Nikolai Storevik – fiddle & vocals; Andreas Barsnes Onarheim – mandolin; Thorbjørn André Bilstad Olsen – banjo & vocals; Jakob Folke Ossum – guitar; Vidar Starheimsæter – contrabass & vocals. 

This new single is very promising once again and it shows the deep and heartfelt love of the band for bluegrass music. They’ve come so far but still, there is a European flair to be heard, not only because they're singing in their native language, but musically. This leads to an exciting and compelling release. It also boasts quite a self-confidence to combine the cultures. But that's what bluegrass is about, isn't it? Expressing your love for music, your home and family and your love of life – you'll like it!!

Severin Theinert for
Uncut Grass
April  2022