Lillebjørn’s Grit Laskin ´God Natt Oslo´guitar in Toronto

Lillebjørn picked big new Grit Laskin guitar

Lillebjørn Nilsen and Grit Laskin 1
Master luthier Grit William Laskin and Lillebjørn Nilsen. Photo: Inger MacKenzie

How a song brought a guitar

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.
‘A guitar?’

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!’

Grit Laskin – Guitar Maker