Young and promising blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Marius Lien releases his debut album, proving why he’s already considered part of the elite in the blues community.
Marius Lien from Vormsund has already gained recognition as a rising star in the Norwegian blues scene, and for good reason. On August 4th, he releases his debut album “The Woodland Songbook Part 1,” which he has also produced and recorded himself. The album was recorded in Vormsund, inside a studio located in Lien’s grandparents’ barn. The name “Woodland Songbook” comes from the studio’s location amidst a smallholding surrounded by forests and nature. Living just 100 meters away, Marius can easily stroll across the field to get there, and the serene natural surroundings have influenced the recording process, infusing an overall sense of tranquility.
“The Woodland Songbook Part 1” serves as an introduction to Marius’ creative universe. The name is a tribute to the place where Lien hails from and where his artistic inspiration takes shape. The album is innovative and contemporary, yet deeply rooted in traditional and timeless blues. Being his own producer and technician, he hasn’t limited his personal expression. By learning to record on his own and experimenting with sounds, Marius showcases a diverse debut album that encompasses everything from classic blues-driven tracks to psychedelic rock gems.
The guitar plays a central role in his songwriting, a passion that began at a young age. Growing up in a family with a deep love for the blues, it has been an essential part of his upbringing. Marius Lien’s fascination with guitar playing started early on:
“I received a guitar just before I was born, and I played air guitar when I was 2 years old. I began learning chords when I turned 9. Blues music has been there all along, and I already loved it at 2 or 3 years old, and I became really obsessed with it again at 10. I started writing songs almost as soon as I began learning the guitar. I don’t know why I started doing it, but it just felt natural for some reason.”
The arrangements bear the mark of Marius Lien’s extensive live performances, as many of the songs gradually took shape through numerous concerts across the country.
With strong supporters and sources of inspiration close by, Marius has family and colleagues who greatly influenced his musical style and journey. Blues has always been a significant part of his daily life, thanks to his musically inclined father who introduced him to the genre and took him to various blues festivals. Additionally, local musicians like Amund Maarud served as role models, and Vidar Busk acted as a mentor and advisor, playing a pivotal role in Marius’ development:
“Vidar Busk has been a hero of mine since I was little and has later become a colleague, mentor, and friend. We have spent a lot of time together, both on stage and in the studio, and I have learned so much.”
In addition to offering support, several friends and relatives also joined as musicians on the album:
“My father, Rune Lien, on harmonica, and my grandmother, Bjørg Sannerud, on accordion!”
The rest of the lineup includes Martin Morland on bass, Ola Øverby on drums, Vidar Busk on backing vocals, Bill Troiani on bass, and Marius Elfstedt on keys. Bassist Kim André Tønnesen and drummer Knærten Simonsen also contributed to two tracks. Mixing was done by the talented Marius Elfstedt, with mastering by Espen Høydalsvik at Oslo Fuzz.