I’ve been marinating on this idea to make a monthly Spotify playlist featuring all the music that was featured on that month. Well, today I finally floated the idea across my Facebook and Twitter feeds and it received and overwhelmingly positive response. So, needless to say, that will become a monthly event but then I decided, “fuck it, I’ll make a year end playlist“.

So I did.

This is a massive playlist that features all the artists that both mentioned in one of the 9b writers lists and were on Spotify. So, enjoy and if you know of somewhere I should be publishing these each month….lemme know.

Play: Best Of 2011 Spotify Playlist


ORBO & The Longshots could very well be the hardest working rock’n’roll band in Norway.From a kick-ass countryband in the early 2000’s, to a full blooded rock’n’roll band mixing Americana, blues, country and rock in to 2011, it’s been one hell of a ride for a band going from strength to strength.

Collaborations with Kevin Welch and Mike Henderson, the first norwegian band to record in legendary Sun Studios, a norwegian Grammy in 2008, duets with Delbert McClinton… everything seems to go their way.

There aren’t too many people driving around the country, playing music as their living in Norway, but this band has cracked the code. And the answer turned out to be hard work. They take after so many of the good american bands of today, and work the road tirelessly.

Several tours of Norway, where they’ve played everywhere and anywhere, and at least one tour of the US each year makes up the recipe of success for this band.

But, no matter how hard you work – it doesn’t matter if the product you deliver isn’t any good. And in that regard, I must say that this is by far my favorite Norwegian band when you exclude bands singing in Norwegian only.

They play as straight forward rock’n’roll as can be, and influences range from Tom Petty, Warren Zevon, The Rolling Stones, to John Mellencamp, Buddy Miller and Bob Dylan.

The name ORBO comes from the initials of frontman Ole Reinert Berg-Olsen, who with his long time bandmantes Ine Tumyr, Stian Tumyr, Reidar Opdal and Paul Inge Vikingstad make up ORBO & The Longshots. ORBO has a unique voice, and sounds more american than most americans…

ORBO is also a emerging record producer, after picking up the craft while producing and co-produced all his own albums. He’s also writing songs for other musicians, among them a fantastic song on Nora Noors soul album “Soul Deep”

You can find most of ORBOs old albums on Spotify, and if you get the chance when they tour the US next – go for it, this band is just bloody awsome live.
They’re touring the US in october.

The album “Genuine Handmade Rock’n’Roll” from 2006 was partly recorded in Sun Studios, and is pumped full of rock’n’roll and blues from the Mississippi delta. The first 5 tracks are among my favorite songs even today.
Check it out on Spotify.

2008 brought “High Roller”, and a more rockin’ sound, where several of my favourite ORBO-songs make up one hell of a album. Check out “Voodoo Lounge”, “High Roller”, “Fireball” and “Mirage”. Not to mention “Sin City” and “Jet Black”.
Check it out on Spotify.

“Masquerade” from 2009 is the only album ORBO hasn’t had last word on the production, and it’s in my opinion the weakest sounding of the lot. Which is a shame as it has the best songs of any album from his back catalog. Check out “High Life Companions”, “Rock & Roll City” and especially “Masquerade” where he totally lets his guard down and writes about the breakup with his girlfriend.
Check it out on Spotify.

The missing qualities from the production is partly rectified in the 2010 release “Live 10”, where we get a lot of the songs in a real live setting. Recorded in hometown Bergen, the album and DVD clearly shows why this band is a killer live-act.
Check it out on Spotify.

I’m reviewing their new album “Prairie Sun” when it gets it US release in November, until then – enjoy their back-catalog.

ORBO & The Longshots Official Site, ORBO & The Longshots on Facebook, ORBO & The Longshots on Spotify, Buy Prairie Moon EP


For years country music was a second rate form of music in Norway. There were a lot of reasons behind this, but mostly it came down to the artists presenting what people assumed was country music. Which it wasn’t.

Some time in the 90s some clever person who had access to music that wasn’t on the big labels decided to play real country music with a touch of what we now know as and americana, and call it “Roots”. As it turned out, people seemed to have been waiting for something like that – and the music released in that time-period sold like never before.

You also have to remember that a lot of Norwegians have a very romanticized relationship with the US, and still long for life like the scenes from the 50’s and 60’s movies we watched and cherished. There are people dedicating their lives to the style from those days, driving old cars and wearing the correct clothes from the era.

A lot of new artists emerged, and a lot of artists jumped on the “Roots wave” to make a quick buck.

But among the usual crap some real gems were released. And now that Spotify is available in the US, I’m planning to present a few albums from that time, and also newer albums that probably wouldn’t have existed hadn’t it been for the change in peoples minds to accept that country music actually can be cool.

The first album is my favourite from that time period.

The band was called Bretteville, and the album In Time came out in 1996.

Bretteville formed in 1995, and disappeared without a trace in 1997. The band consisted of front man Alf Bretteville-Jensen, who wrote all the songs and also played guitar. Hans Graasvold on guitar and banjo, Knut Hem on drums and dobro and Bjørn Holm on bass.

Everyone except Bretteville-Jensen were at the time well known musicians, and have kept very active in the recent years. And after a long period of silence Bretteville-Jensen surfaced a few years back as part of the cast putting on the show “Jailhouse Rock” in the garden at an old derelict prison. Currently he’s even resurrected Bretteville, with a new single out and a new album on the way.

But that’s current events, this being a history lesson I’ll get back to the point.

Bretteville was probably my first meeting with Americana. Remember that this was 1996, before everyone had access to the Internet, and long long before music was available. The first 5-6 years the only thing you could find was porn. Imagine my success when trying to find information on a song I heard on the radio; “Earthquake Song” by the band “Little Girls” some time in the late 90’s.

The only music the general public got from the US was what the big record companies wanted us to hear. So anything outside mainstream country was out of the question. Which would explain the fact that the “Roots” genre took off when bands started mixing it up with parts of rock and blues. The album in question, “In Time” is a gem in my record collection, and thankfully I ripped it to FLAC before I wore it out. Bretteville-Jensens lyrics and his voice is the real key to the albums quality, and even though it’s produced in the late 90’s, and on a big label – it’s not too polished or blemished by the general sound of that era.

He sings with feeling and a presence that brings the songs to life, and the guitarplaying on the album is exquisit. The mood that’s created is perfectly suited for these songs, and you get that “America is the promised land” feeling that we foreigner used to believe in before Internet and commercial television hit our shores. So if you want to check out one of the best albums ever released in our tiny country, this is the album to Spotify!

Bretteville – Big Time

Spotify this album!