Apple blossom in February.
RUSK is made up of three versatile musicians who came together in their mutual love of folk music and tragedy ballads: Unni Løvlid on vocal, Vegar Vårdal on fiddle and Frode Haltli on accordion. They find their inspiration in music old and new, and through improvisations with their chosen material they charm their audiences with vitality, humour and unexpected turns.
The group began by specializing in folk music from Solør and Finnskogen on their 2002 debut album. This music formed the basis of RUSK’S repertoire, which today is considerably expanded. On their new disc there are Norwegian ballads which frequently recount tragic tales -, Swedish ballads, self-composed material, and even a version of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt which was immortalized by the legendary Johnny Cash. This particular song has already featured in RUSK’s recent concerts:
“The highlight of the concert came from quite another source than Rusk’s core repertoire. It was without a doubt Johnny Cash’s solemn song ‘Hurt’. In this item Rusk managed something which is difficult in any music to infuse it with a spine-tingling intensity that makes you forget time and place.” Spelemannsbladet 8/2005
RUSK’s three members have been making music in Norway and internationally for some time. Accordion virtuoso Frode Haltli has received several awards, including a Norwegian Spellemann Prize in 2002, and he was named ‘Young Soloist of the Year’ by the Norwegian Concert Institute in 2001. Haltli was one of the featured artists at the Gloger Festival in Kongsberg last year; he has contributed to a long line of productions, including recordings for the prestigious German label ECM.
Unni Løvlid comes from Hornindal in Nordfjord and has been an active performer of folk music for several years. She has made a number of solo recordings and contributed to many others both in Norway and abroad. Unni embraces a wide range of art forms on stage and in the studio and has built up an exciting and varied musical background.
Vegar Vårdal is a folk dancer as well as a musician and he is frequently engaged as a session musician, composer, arranger and producer on a variety of projects. Vegar also has considerable teaching experience in different branches of folk music.