As well as being an accomplished composer and guitarist, Peer Gynt's unique style originates from his combination of Norwegian folk tones, peppered with the raw power of his fat-toned blues sound. Focused on a broad audience, he weaves the age old wisdom of his mountain culture, within the context of upbeat and heartfelt rocking blues songs. This interesting combination of musical styles, is the main reason he is called "King of the mountain Blues," and he delivers on that reputation.
Peer has been passionately occupied with music almost his entire life. He is no new comer, he has cut 2 CDs on his own Shuffle Max label, and 2 with Tilden & Co. / Pollygram. These previous four releases resulted in two collectors CDs, "Sounds of the Underground," on Rodell Records and "All that Blues from Norway," with Jefferson Records. Currently with the German label Ruff Records he is prepared to release his 7th CD STEP and embark on a European tour with Walter Trout and Canned Heat.
Per Helge Taralsen, sits dressed in black and smiling at a café table in Trondheim, Norway.
Paul: Where did it all start for you?
Peer: When my parents bought me that electric guitar , my lifešs dream was
fulfilled. I was so happy . I slept every night with that guitar in my bed. Both of them have been really great the whole way. I had an unbelievably safe adolescence.
Paul: How old were you when you got that guitar?
Peer: It was the very same day Bob Marley died.
In Peer's world not everything is measured in years, but in a musical march of events.
Peer: That whole thing really had a big influence on me. I tried to steal my big sisters Bob Marley cassettes. I've always been a big fan of his since that period in my life.
Peer grew up in a small village in the central part of Norway, with one older brother and two sisters.
Peer: The age difference was so great, I sometimes felt like an after thought. I was a curious kid though. I thought I was kind of nice, but I didnšt care much for school. I just wanted to play music.
In grade school he started his first band, Black Rose, and by his account, was one of the toughest 11-year olds in Skogn at that time.
Peer: Black Rose held a lot of concerts in my parent's basement and we played pretty hard back in those days. Later came the band Pestilence, and at that
point in time, I had the black clothes and the long hair and painted my fingernails black. We got to warm up an international act at Steinskjer Hall - that was a big event for some kids from Skogn. We had sky-high ambitions after that.
Paul: Did you have a great deal of self-confidence?
Peer: Don't think so. I remember being real depressed because I had pimples. It really wasnšt a problem, but at that time it seemed like that was the biggest problem in the world for me. After all, I was an entertainer.
Peer fishes a Prince from a cigarette pack lying on the table, he cocks his head a little to the side and lights it. Taking a healthy drag on it he blows the smoke out of the corner of his mouth. Hešs 29 years old, his smile somewhat boyish and profoundly charming. His jet black hair stands up in points on his head.
Peer: I moved to Trondheim at the age of sixteen, an extremely happy young adolescent who finally got out of the woods and into a larger city, where there was action. Those first couple of years in Trondheim I was completely broke. I had a little money coming in from the welfare office, but over half of that went towards the loan I took out to buy a new guitar. Then there was the rent and almost nothing left after that.
But times got better for Peer. By the time he started the band Boy Toy, which played raw blues rock, there was money to get a hold of things got even better when he began as a solo artist under the pseudonym Peer Gynt. (For his stage name, he chose the name of one of Henrik Ibsen's restless and adventurous characters).
Peer has lived off his music for over 13 years and has toured throughout Europe and the USA. He is working now with his seventh release.
Peer: The recording is finished, and therešs an extensive European tour planned for the beginning of this year.
Extensive touring proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Peer Gynt is among the up and coming performers of his time, within his field of music. His last tour to the USA resulted in success, with rave reviews from the international music tabloids and press.
His fiery live performances are a musical treat for blues lovers everywhere, presenting excellent guitar-man-ship, and visual sensations that can move every audience. He is a performer you can always count on to deliver the goods. Peer Gynt is a blues artist who is deserving of much wider attention. Check him out next time he comes to town. You won't be sorry!
Peer Gynt CD Review - Fairytale
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