January 8 2015 was a great day for Lillebjørn. Two days before he had arrived in Canada. A long night flight from his home town Oslo, Norway. Second day he saw his Laskin guitar for the first time in luthier William Grit Laskin’s wood smelling workshop in Toronto, Canada. Third day Lillebjørn played the instrument at his gig in the fameous Toronto venue Hugh’s Room.
About the Lillebjørn GOD NATT OSLO guitar:
Not knowing anything about the LUTHIER Laskin, Lillebjørn was in a recording session singing a song from his good friend, Pete Seeger’s repertoire. The Photographers. A bowdy parody a cappela ‘folk’ song. Very close to British isles. Set in a traditional style. Lillebjørn couraguesly translated, putting it in his native tongue. This time in Nynorsk, the Norwegian language closest to our inherited old ballads. Strangely the song lost little in translation! The Photographers became Vidvinkel Stev. The record company had to ask for permission. And Lillebjørn found the guitar maker..
Lillebjørn contacted Laskin asking if he could make him a ukulele?
‘No way! To small a canvas.
Master Laskin said: ‘OK. I like your music. Usually my waiting list is 6-8 years, but since I have put myself in the line, I’ll give you my number in the queue.’
Laskin asked Lillebjørn about doing his inlays. Lillebjørn: ‘Our Hardanger fiddles have mother-of-pearl and lots?’
Laskin: ‘Too boring.’
Lillebjørn: ‘Grit, free hands, you are the master!’
«God natt Oslo» («Good night Oslo») was written by Lillebjørn Nilsen. «Barn av regnbuen» («Children of the rainbow») is Lillebjørn’s adaptation of Pete Seeger’s «Rainbow Race» with Norwegian lyrics by Lillebjørn, here arranged by Øivind Westby. With Marius Graff on guitar and vocals, and Kringkastingsorkestret (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) conducted by Christian Eggen. From the National Memorial Concert 22.7.12 in front of the Oslo City Hall
Mandag 27. januar 2014 døde den amerikanske folklegenden Pete Seeger, 94 år gammel. Her rekapitulerer Lillebjørn Nilsen sitt forhold til sin største inspirasjonskilde.
Sommeren 1990, travelt opptatt med NRK TV-opptak med Gitarkameratene, fikk jeg en overraskende telefon. Min skotske venn Rod Sinclair, folkemusiker og organisator, fortalte at Pete Seeger endelig skulle opptre på Tønder-festivalen i Danmark sammen med Woody Guthries sønn, Arlo. Og Pete Seeger insisterte på å få med Lillebjørn Nilsen! Fortsett å lese «Min venn Pete Seeger»