One silver lining to losing all access to live, in-person music performance this past few months is the abundance of recorded bluegrass that has been coming out in the same time frame. We hear almost every day about new singles being released, and are happy to be able to share this with our readers.
We have one today from Norway’s Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra, a prolific group from Oslo that has been performing together since 2013. The band is centered around mandolinist and songwriter Joakim Borgen, and singer Rebekka Nilsson, who met in as drama students in college and dropped their studies to pursue music. Like so many fans worldwide, their love for bluegrass was cemented by a film experience, in this case The Broken Circle Breakdown, a 2012 movie made in Belgium which used an all-bluegrass soundtrack, and built its story arc around the experiences of a bluegrass band in Europe.
Joakim and Rebecca have assembled a strong group around their style of grass, which uses influences from Nordic folk music mixed with its American cousins. In fact, they like to lay claim to the fact that the actual Kentucky Bluegrass – also known by its scientific name, Poa pratensis – for which Bill Monroe named his band, was first introduced to the state by a fellow Norwegian, Thomas Goff, some years ago.
Ole Engrav is on guitar, Magnus Eriksrud on banjo, Moa Meinich on fiddle, Jonas Olsen on bass, Emil Brattested on reso-guitar, and Sjur Marqvardsen on accordion.
Yesterday they released a new single from their upcoming Migrants album called Take Me Away. It was written by Borgen with Jeff Wasserman, a lovely ballad of farewell which uses the familiar bluegrass instruments to create an airy arrangement behind Nilsson’s powerful vocal.
Take Me Away is available now wherever you stream or download music online.
Be on the lookout for Migrants later this year.