|Wednesday 13 August 2014 @ 09:00pm : -
After the release of his critically acclaimed album “The Pull”, Kreg retreated from touring and recording for four years, during that time relocating permanently in Europe. Then in 2012, he resurfaced at Oslo’s legendary Jazz Club Herr Nilsen for his first publicized gig in Norway, flanked by the trio who performed on his newest record, “If You Lose Your Light”. Several of Norway’s most respected musicians were in the crowd, including Sivert Høyem, who tweeted “Fantastic...I am totally blown away...he pulls most of us up by the roots”!
As before, it is his tremendous voice that first commands the listener’s attention. Yet his new material showcases a greater focus on melodies of brighter color and a warmer delivery. This color and warmth – and the broadening of his range musically and lyrically – is striking proof that those several years of rootlessness and reclusion were not wasted. Highlighted by the accompaniment of three of Norway’s best musicians (Anne Lise Frøkedal sings harmonies, Sondre Meisfjord plays contra and electric bass, and Øystein Hvamen Rasmussen playing drums), “If You Lose Your Light” has been hailed with glittering reviews by the Norwegian press. To experience his live show is to take in not only a master of delivery at work, but to be invited into an intimate and brightly lit space where you are constantly surprised by the subtle detail in his work, painted in earthen tones, but revealing great contrasts. It’s nakedness yet striking completeness have you transfixed from the moment he opens his mouth - “a soul-deep session of primal therapy”, as Mike Butler of “Dyverse Music” described it.
It has been called “soul” and “folk”, for want of better terms, but “spirit music indeed”, as the aforementioned journalist described it, perhaps hits nearer the mark. But whatever one calls it, hearing Kreg Viesselman sing is an intense experience. He deals with humanity in its basic and most instinctive forms, in a style that belies a deep human intelligence and wry wit. His is a narrative voice, at once both brutal and touching, which deserves its place in the canon of Great American Songwriters.