For years, Bjørn Berge has proven himself as a unique guitarist, an acoustic genius, and an impressive live performer. With his acoustic guitars, he moves mountains and blows listeners away with his powerful arrangements. Berge’s intense and dynamic guitar playing on the acoustic guitar spans blues, rock, funk, and ballads. The guitarist from Haugesund has previously released 12 studio albums and a live album. In 2001 and 2002, he received the Spellemann Award in the Blues category and the Notodden Blues Festival Blues Prize in 2001.
Berge’s eagerly awaited 13th studio album will be released on January 26th, once again impressing with his guitar skills. With cover versions of songs like T-Rex’s “Get it on” from 1971 and Deep Purple’s “Black Night” from 1972, Berge takes rock classics into a dark acoustic blues landscape. He is a fantastic storyteller, with a deep and distinctive voice and astonishingly fast steel fingers. He lives up to the album’s title: “Introducing SteelFinger Slim.” Berge explains:
“I choose cover songs from songs I already love, and I always test each song I want to cover live in front of an audience. It’s important that the song hasn’t been covered too much already and that the songs have elements that are easy to recognize. Then I have the freedom to play with the arrangements without the song losing its identity.”
A song that has become one of the first and biggest glam rock/boogie rock songs for many is T-Rex’s “Get It On.” This also works excellently in Berge’s one-man orchestra. His dark and powerful voice takes the song into a rougher, more naked musical landscape.
“I’ve always liked T. Rex and Marc Bolan. One day, I heard the song on the radio, sat down, and started figuring out a way to do something. Tuning down the guitar to a low A, which worked well, and I got a somewhat heavier sound than the original, I think,” says Bjørn Berge.
The arrangements come together spontaneously both backstage and during concerts, but the final arrangements are still set by testing them in front of a live audience. This is natural as Bjørn Berge has built a solid live reputation throughout his career as a guitarist at the top of the world, regularly visiting major jazz, blues, and rock festivals and clubs across Europe and North America. He has previously played at festivals such as Roskilde Festival (DK), Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest (CAN), Versailles Jazzfestival (FR), Nice Guitarfestival (FR), Basel Guitarfestival (CH), Arezzo Wave Love Festival (IT), Koktebel Jazzfestival (UKR), Creation of Peace Festival (RUS), Burg Hertzberg Festival (DE), Notodden Blues Festival (NO), Molde Jazz Festival (NO), Skanderborg Festival (DK), Nibe Festival (DK), and many, many more.
The album was recorded at ABC Studio in Etne by Kjetil Ulland.