Track Premiere: Havly from Strengeplukk

Last summer we introduced our readers to Strengeplukk, a Norwegian bluegrass group based in Stavanger, on the southwestern coast of the Scandinavian nation.

This week they are releasing their second EP in 2020, an all-instrumental project called Nyslått Gras, which translates to “freshly cut grass.” On this project, the band attempts the blending of American bluegrass with Norwegian folk music. The four tracks are compositions from fiddler Nikolai Storevik, who has taken a deep dive into both bluegrass and traditional Norwegian fiddle music, in addition to his jazz studies at the University of Stavanger, where the band members first met in 2015.

Storevik says that the merging of the styles wasn’t a simple thing, and that they worked hard to pull it together.

“The two genres are in some ways very similar, but in other ways very different from one another, and it has taken a lot of experimentation to get to this combination of the two genres. The experimentation and will to find new types of musical expressions has led to the establishment of this new sound, made out of old and new traditions.”

Nikolai is joined by Andreas Barsnes Onarheim on mandolin, Thorbjørn André Bilstad Olsen on banjo, Jakob Folke Ossum on guitar, and Vidar Starheimsæter on bass.

Have a listen…

Earlier this summer the band released Blågras, an EP featuring original traditional bluegrass music with Norwegian lyrics. The contrast between that record and Nyslått Gras is quite striking, and taken together show a group of very talented musicians with some very interesting ideas about where our music is headed as it becomes more of an international phenomenon.

Here’s Unik from Blågras.

Blågras is available now from all the popular streaming and download services, and Nyslått Gras will show up on September 3.

Well done, Strengeplukk!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.