String Commander/MIG, along with Dust on the Track Records
CD: 12 Songs; 47:56 Minutes
Styles: Traditional and Contemporary Electric Blues
Want pure American blues and blues rock? Look no further than Norway; even though that’s far from the U.S., “Papaslide” Nordvik is in The Deepest Pain when he’s not in this genre’s element. When he is, he’s Thor with a slide guitar instead of a hammer. There’s a special reason why his real first name is Rune, in this reviewer’s opinion: Runes are what the pagan Norse, such as the Vikings, used for divination. They’re the Scandinavian equivalent of a mojo hand. The runes Papaslide reveals are those of Gebo, meaning “gift” (of talent); Hagalaz, meaning “hail” (of thunderous drums and electric fretwork), and Tiwaz, meaning “victory” (in playing the blues in their truest form). All these meanings can be found at norse-mythology.org, but for more on Nordvik, check his Facebook page.
Among his influences, Rune numbers Johnny Winter, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Albert Collins, and Joe Louis Walker. In fact, on his newest album, he plays covers by each of these first three blues rock masters. Of twelve selections on The Deepest Pain, seven are originals with interesting titles such as “Don’t Drink with a Drunk” and “Don’t Keep Fightin’ With Your Soul.” His vocal style is slightly reminiscent of Howlin’ Wolf: Rune growls more than he sings.
Performing alongside Papaslide as he plays acoustic and slide guitar are Bjarte Aasmul on electric guitar, Are Stenfeldt-Nilsen on bass, Geir Age Johnsen (Mr. G) on drums and percussion, and Lars Hammersland on organ. The following original songs will please purists:
Track 01: “Ain’t the Same” – This up-tempo Chicago shuffle starts with the sound effect of an engine revving. High-octane energy then propels it onward and upward. Cars can’t fly, except for that Flubber-powered Model-T Ford in The Absent-Minded Professor. However, this tune soars due to the passion of all the musicians. At live shows, it’s sure to burn up the crowd.
Track 05: “Got to Have You” – “Got to have you, baby. Got to have you now. Got to have you, baby. Need I tell you why?” Such a take-no-prisoners track is the essence of blues rock. Everyone who’s ever had the blues knows that they “need to feel that feeling”. Papaslide channels Howlin’ Wolf at his most feral here, and the guitar work will make listeners pay homage to the moon! Lars Hammersland is also great on organ keyboard.
Track 10: “Hurricane” – This might be called “drone” or “trance” blues, but listen closely. Music that seems chaotic at first listen is symbolic of an actual hurricane the second time around. Nordvik shows that he’s just as amazing at acoustic guitar as he is sizzling at slide. His plea to the storm – “Don’t you take my house; don’t you take my car…” will be hauntingly familiar to some fans.
The Deepest Pain lies in Papaslide’s soul, and he pours it out in bona-fide blues!