BK & The Twang Bar Kings



From left to right: Roy Hanssen, Stein Tumert, Berdon Kirksaether, Erik Gabrielsen

Berdon Kirksaether is a Norwegian composer, guitarist, singer and music producer. He is a veteran on the Norwegian blues scene, most notably through his work in CIA, arguably one of the finest bluesbands in the country in their prime. They toured Norway extensively during the nineties and released two critically acclaimed records.

Berdon Kirksaether & The Twang Bar Kings brings together 3 of the 4 founding members of CIA. Roy Hanssen and Stein Tumert is joining forces with Berdon to bring back the energy and groove that made CIA one of the most popular blues acts in Norway in the nineties.

Press "Latenighters Under A Full Moon"

Along with drummer Olaf Olsen (drummer with renowned Norwegian rock band Bigbang) and his old pal from CIA, bass player Stein Tumert, Berdon Kirksaether & The Twang Bar Kings raises the bar with an electric instrumental album taking us to places that no Norwegian has visited since Terje Rypdal. It is really quite an achievement! Commercial considerations are completely put aside.
The blues-rock band CIA was an exciting outfit in the 90s. I remember going with the band for a concert in a prison in Oslo, the same prison known from the Norwegian comedy films about the “Olsen gang”. Behind the very same gate that Egon Olsen never escaped for long, in the days he always had a waterproof plan. I’ll never forget that experience. Not necessarily because CIA was the greatest blues-rock act ever in Norway, but because of the serious way they approached the concert, the way they made contact with their audience and a couple of moments, where guitarist Jonny Aasgaard delivered solos that only Knut Reiersrud in Buddy Guy-mood comes close to in this country.
Berdon Kirksaether was the bandleader back then, the man in charge. He is definitively in charge on the “Latenighters Under A Full Moon” album too. A many headed troll of an instrumental blues album. 
Some of the tunes appear in a jazzy blues landscape where you find Robben Ford six out of seven days a week. Other songs are in a more timeless r&b style, similar to Duke Robillard in his most jazzy blues workouts. The pendulum also swings into Latino drenched blues with a strong feeling. Almost like a Chick Corea of the blues. The basis is definitely blues here, but with a strong jazzy rhythm sub current. Groovy as a Charles Earland entering the territory of The Real Thing (Palle Wagnberg on B3 and Staffan William Olsson doing playful jazzy guitar lines) on the album opener “Go Cat Go” where the German Leo Volskiy takes Palle Wagnberg’s place on the keys. Leo joins the roster of additional accomplished musicians, alongside well-known Norwegian bass player Finn Tore Tokle (Green Cortinas, Jonas Fjeld Band, Somebody’s Darling) and Øyvind Sørby on Clarinet and Sax. These players fill in as guest musicians, behind the above-mentioned trio that are the core of Berdon Kirksaether & The Twang Bar Kings.
It is extraordinary that an instrumental album with such diversity and musical qualities can be released in this age of commercialization. There is no doubt that Berdon and his fellow musicians have developed their expression since CIAʼs heyday. On a tune like “Cool Cats On The Move” there is several things going on at the same time, in a very attractive and exciting way musically that a film producer should grab, sooner than later. This album is about blues guitar, about jazzy blues and about r&b with exotic Latino and soul-jazz grooves. 
An exciting, lyrical and beautiful album, played in a relaxing manner, and with a feeling at times like a journey through three-dimensional “pictures”.
Johnny Andreassen
www.bluesnews.no

"Mit „Conrad’s Bar Bounty“ einen prima Blues mit Hammond und auch beim stimmungsvollen „Rendezvous“ geht der Daumen durchaus nach oben."
bluesnews.de (DE)

"Conrad's Bar Bounty" swings along beautifully, with guitar and B3 swapping melodic leads. "Rendezvous" slips into a Latin groove with spare melodic lead lines. Kirksaether is very tasteful.....Over all, this is an imaginative album, with some very fine musicianship and arrangements." Read the full review here: http://www.blues.co.nz/features/article.php?id=339

Blues News New Zealand (Mike Garner - www.blues.co.nz)

"the "Latenighters" CD is great... excellent..." - mwe3.com (US)

Norway’s Berdon Kirksaether is one of those rare breed of guitarists that can do it all. Earlier releases, including Ray Of Light from 2011, bordered on meditative guitar centric New Age and atmospheric rock instrumental while 2012’s Blues was straight up rock with a nod to ZZ Top / Rory Gallagher sounds with Berdon taking lead vocals. 2014’s Latenighters Under A Full Moon is another kettle of fish completely. Describing the musical mission on his latest release, Berdon explains, “It struck me one day, what if I set out to make some kind of a "concept" album, mainly in the blues/swing territory, bringing in traces of agent/surf guitar and a little bit of Tom Waits, Freddie King and some Latin, for good measure? Once I started thinking about it, it all came together real quick.” Sounding as if he's channeling the spirit of Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton and Jimi Hendrix rolled into one, the 11 track album, credited to Berdon Kirksaether & The Twang Bar Kings, is an all instrumental feast of jazz/blues packed with some nice surprises. Backed up by the Twang Bar Kings, including Olaf Olsen (drums) and Stein Tumert (bass) (along with range of guest musicians), Berdon Kirksaether really swings the blues for instrumental rock. Fans of Freddie King, Ry Cooder, late 1960’s Fleetwood Mac and even Booker T. & The MG's will enjoy the soulful, bluesy guitar instrumental sounds of Latenighters Under A Full Moon.

Robert Silverstein - mwe3.com (US)

"...you soon lean back with a relaxed club feeling" - rootstime.be (BE)

Press "Blues"

"Thrill and groovesome CD that'll come over you, hard."

"No wonder it got the Bluestrain FM Premium Quality approvement!" - Rob DeFries, BluesTrain FM (www.facebook.com/BluestrainFMsessions) (NL)

"RECOMENDADO" - Jasa & Blues (ES)

"...eine solide Scheibe (...a solid album)" - Bluesnews.de (DE)

"Great blues feeling, impressive guitar playing" - dt.no

"Berdon Kirksaether is playing the blues again, more than 15 years after CIAs heyday. Many people considered CIA among the best bluesbands in Norway in the 90s. With the title "Blues", Berdon is celebrating the various artists and guitarsounds that made him pick up the guitar in the first place. A kind of "Thank you for the music" featuring the great drummer Per Eriksen and bass player Stein Tumert.

Most of the songs on the album is written by Berdon himself including one song co-written with bassplayer Stein Tumert. The exception being three covers from the catalog of the blues legends Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee. Strangely enough these covers do not come across as strong as Berdon's own songs.

The album contains impressive guitar playing, reminiscent of Freddie King on the opening track "Reconsider Boogie", a fragile and sensitive Peter Green (during his Fleetwood Mac days) on "I Ain't Got Nobody", or a more complex Robben Ford on the Dr. John influenced "Dealing Hand". On the inspired instrumental "Conrad's B", Berdon crosses the path of Dylan's favorite guitarist Duke Robillard.

The blues feeling of Berdon's guitar is great! Throughout the album you will find plenty of stunning and expressive moments, reminding me of Cris Rea and Eric Clapton on a good day."

Johnny Andreassen, Music journalist DT and Blues News (www.bluesnews.no - Norway's premier blues magazine)

"Let yourself be surprised by this Norwegian" - bluesmagazine.nl

"He may come from the deep Norwegian woods, but his spirit is certainly influenced by bands like The Hoax, The Davey Brothers and John Amor. What also can be heard are the sounds of Roy Buchanan. Wild guitars!

On this album you will be treated to a nice variation of music styles. The element of surprise is so great, you never guess what the next song will be like.

"Dealing Hand" is an exciting song, quietly built up, with subdued singing, an organ in the background and tasty drums. As the song progresses an increasingly desperate and emotional guitar emerges. Great song to have on full volume. "Reconsider Boogie" is indeed a great boogie that keeps going like a steamroller. And then there is "Roll The Dice", another great song reminiscent of old Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green, driving guitars and rollicking piano/organ. "Black Gal" is an acoustic song with airy harp and Berdon's singing skills on display. "Losing Ground" opens with the rhytm of drums over which an exciting bass line and funky clavinet drives the song, followed by an excellent guitar solo. Great song. "It's a Rough Ride" a little jazzy and a little Peter Green like. Talk about variation.

I think this is a nice CD with great movements, some songs take you back in time to the blues and rock you heard back in the sixties and seventies, interspersed with more modern songs, up tempo and subdued ballads. But that is no obstacle in my eyes, once you give this record a listen. Let yourself be surprised by this Norwegian."

Paul Scholman, Journalist Dutch bluesmagazine.nl (www.bluesmagazine.nl/recensie-berdon-kirksaether-the-twang-bar-kings-blues)

"A rocking affair" - mwe3.com (US)

Over in Germany, Roller Records is releasing some interesting CDs by Norwegian guitarist Berdon Kirksaether. A guitar player on the rise, Berdon’s 2010 CD Ray Of Light is an intriguing, New Age type affair filled with relaxing instrumental sounds. Too laid back to be considered jazz, the 12 track, 37 minute CD just kind of floats along and makes a great soundtrack to some late night, imaginary type of fantasy. The other side of Berdon’s guitar styles can be heard on his late 2011 CD, simply entitled Blues. The 12 track, 48 minute CD is a rocking affair, featuring Berdon’s electric guitar and vocals backed up by his group The Twang Bar Kings. Sounding kind of influenced by Dire Straits and even ZZ Top, Blues makes an interesting contrast especially when compared to the instrumental New Age vibe of Berdon’s 2010 Ray Of Light CD.

Robert Silverstein - mwe3.com (US)

 

 

Berdon Kirksaether & The Twang Bar Kings Albums

"The Voodoo Sessions - Live at Down Under" - released October 7, 2015

Berdon Kirksaether - Guitar, Vocal
Stein Tumert - Bass, Backup Vocal
Erik Gabrielsen - Guitar, Backup Vocal
Roy Hanssen - Drums

"Latenighters Under A Full Moon" - released November 17, 2013

Latenighters single - released September 22, 2013

Berdon Kirksaether - Guitars, Bass Guitars
Stein Tumert - Bass Guitars, Keyboards
Olaf Olsen - Drums, Percussion

Additional musicians:

Øyvind Sørby - Saxophone (2, 3, 8, 9, 10)
Finn Tore Tokle - Bass Guitar (4)
Leo Volskiy - Hammond B3, Yamaha Grand Piano (1, 3, 10)

All the songs on "Latenighters" are composed by Berdon Kirksaether. Arrangements by Berdon Kirksaether and Stein Tumert.

Latenighters was recorded at BK studio and Olaf Olsen studio, both in Vestfossen, Norway, as well as NBNW studio in Hamburg, Germany. The album was produced by Berdon Kirksaether and Stein Tumert. Mastering by Otto Burl at Kaiser Keller Hamburg, Germany.

"Blues" - released December 2011

Berdon Kirksaether - Vocals, Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards
Stein Tumert - Bass Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion
Per Eriksen - Drums, Percussion

Additional musicians:
Ulf Myrvold - harmonica
Erik Gabrielsen - bass
Frank Benz - drums

The songs on Blues are composed by Berdon Kirksaether, except for Losing Ground which is written by Berdon Kirksaether and Stein Tumert and Black Gal, Easy Rider, Walk On written by Terry & McGee. All songs arranged by Berdon Kirksaether and Stein Tumert.

Blues was recorded at BK studio, Vestfossen, Norway, Mable Emily's White Room in Sandefjord, Norway and NorthByNorthWest Studios in Hamburg, Germany. Engineered by Berdon Kirksaether and Stein Tumert. Produced by Berdon Kirksaether, Stein Tumert and Per Eriksen. Mastered by Otto Burl at Kaiser Keller Hamburg, Germany.