Live recording from 1994 is back – as an album!
Lillebjørn Nilsen and Andy Irvine had known each other for about 17 years when they met at the Telemark Festival back in 1994 and what they both had dreamt about became a reality. Their collaboration resulted in an exhilarating concert. The live recording is finally released as an album in June 2021.
If it hadn’t been for the invitation from the Telemark Festival, 17 more years might have gone by but as Lillebjørn says at the concert “We got together this summer when I visited Dublin, but decided that there was no rush to practise since we had so much to talk about. Today was the first time we really sat down and went through our material.” before starting with one of his own songs, “Danse, ikke gråte nå”.
The album is filled with a superb variety of songs, both serious and humorous, characterised by two performers in top form. Norwegian and Irish folk music suit each other admirably. “We were on the same wavelength from the moment we met.” Andy Irvine also said back then. And that Saturday this common wavelength gave the audience an unforgettable experience.
The first single out was “Jenta i Chicago” on April 30 where Lillebjørn Nilsen sings about a girl that showed up at Nevin´s pub in Chicago. Andy Irvine now counters with the song “A prince Among Men” – a song about the homesick Irish emigrant in Indiana. The two troubadours complement each other perfectly, musically as well as thematically.
“I have met a number of sons and daughters of coal miners who told me this story. A coal miner never received a decent living wage and when his sons would come of an age where they could be of some at the pit head, they would be taken out of school and given a small job with a small, but essential pay packet at the end of the week. Their education, peremptorily finished, they would, in time, follow their fathers down into the mine. The miner in this song is determined that this will not happen to his son.” – Andy Irvine
Lillebjørn Nilsen is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and folk musician. In total he has five Spellemannspriser (Norwegian Grammy´s) both as a solo artist and as a part of bigger groups. He is often mentioned as Norway’s “Folk King”.
Andy Irvine is known as one of the greatest Irish singers and songwriters and is referred to as “a tradition in himself”. He is also well known for being at the helm of such legendary bands as Planxty and Sweeney’s Men.
Lillebjørn Nilsen: vocal, guitar, willow flute and hardanger fiddle
Andy Irvine: vocal, mandola, bouzouki and harmonica