Friday, February 17, 2012

The Scandinavian Series #14 - Reidar Larsen

In his home country, blues pianist, vocalist and songwriter Reidar Larsen, with a musical career going back to the mid 1970s, has long been known as ‘Mr Blues’. With a voice and style that defy his Nordic roots - more New Orleans than Norway – Reidar has recorded 12 albums (with 3 Gold awards) since his 1982 debut ‘I’m A Bluesman’ and since the mid 1980s has also built up a solid repertoire of original material with his long-time lyric partner Tony Burton. 
Born in Oslo in 1955, the son of a piano builder/tuner, it was fairly natural that Reidar’s fascination with the instrument began at an early age with lessons from age 7, and an early diet of albums by the British blues exponents of the 1960s, The Animals, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac and Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack. 
A collaboration between Fleetwood Mac and pianist Otis Spann particularly appealed to the nimble fingered young Larsen who was soon checking out the likes of Eddie Boyd, Champion Jack Dupree, Memphis Slim and Professor Longhair.
Reidar is a highly respected musician working with numerous Norwegian artists, and a much in demand Piano Man for touring blues stars supporting such names as Lowell Fulson and Peter Green. In addition to his 10 studio albums, Reidar has also recorded 2 live sets at New York’s legendary Cotton Club with the venue’s own gospel sensation, Anne Sinclair and The Spirit Of Love Singers with whom Reidar and the band have also toured Scandinavia on several occasions. He often makes guest appearances on other acts albums and features on 4 tracks on the latest set by Louisiana Red. 
Long recognized as one of the finest Blues acts in Scandinavia, Reidar & The Storytellers, his regular band since 1997, are in big demand and play over 100 gigs a year.

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