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Grappa Musikkforlag HCD7366 

With Lillebjørn on vocals, willow flute, guitar and hardanger fiddle, and Andy on vocals, harmonica, mandola and bouzouki, this was recorded live at Telemark Festival on 13 August 1994, and is a snapshot of two performers in great form. There are some solo performances from each artist plus some nice duos, especially where Andy fills in behind Lillebjørn's songs.

Lillebjørn met Andy on tour in Switzerland some 17 years before this gig, but this was their first time performing together in concert, having had minimal rehearsal for the gig. Considering that, they put on a fine show and you can hear the pair growing in confidence as the evening goes on. It's a 'warts and all' recording with a few wee performance blips here and there, which all adds to the sense of a live but very enjoyable event. The audience certainly sounds like it had a ball!

Lillebjørn is a native of Oslo, Norway. A talented and popular songwriter/folk singer with many albums under his belt, he has a nice soft folky voice and uses great guitar styles ranging from intricate ragtime settings (Fort Gjort Å Glemme) to flatpicking tunes along with Andy. His songs are all sung in Norwegian – the themes are explained in English in the notes. The melodic settings for the songs are in the folk genre and you can easily find yourself singing along to a chorus, even without any Norwegian – the opening track, Jenta I Chicago, being a good example. He also does an unaccompanied version (translated into Norwegian) of Grit Laskin's The Photographers which is a great double entendre song based around camera equipment (you get the drift – apertures, exposures, open shutters etc); a song that went down particularly well with the audience.

Andy, I presume, needs no introduction to this readership! As ever, his intricate playing underpins all the pieces and he delivers a 'greatest hits' selection of his songs including Patrick Street, A Prince Among Men, My Heart's Tonight In Ireland and Martinmas Time where Lillebjørn joins in The Little Stack Of Wheat on hardanger to nice effect. Andy is in particularly fine voice for the concert.

The material presented by both performers fits together extraordinarily well, and makes this a very pleasant album.

Jim Byrne


This review appeared in Issue 140 of The Living Tradition magazine