Is your music only about having a good time?
”My music is both for partying and moments of deep emotion.
In fact, sometimes when I play and the blues hit the audience, people
start dancing and a warm feeling spreads through the room. I can
feel it on the stage, too. You don’t have to drink a lot to
feel the blues; just open your mind and soul, and let the blues
do the rest.”
Do you earn enough money from your music to live on?
“It is hard to make a living out of it but it’s impossible
for me to imagine a life without the blues. I realized that I have
a need to play blues. It makes me feel good, free and emotionally
balanced. I have been very happy ever since my family and I moved
to Odense. There is a good audience and a great blues festival in
Why are you recording a live concert?
“I have been asked to consider making a live album and it
seems to be a good idea.
I decided on this live project with eight musicians, two sound engineers,
two video cameramen and aphotographer. I am proud of the result
and here it is - The Live Recording Session: Blues at Dexter.”
What inspired you to add these songs to your live repertoire?
“ Well, some of the songs are classics recorded by great bluesmen
like T-bone Walker, Louis Jordan, Joe Turner & Johnny Taylor.
They’re all gone now and I’m trying to keep the blues
alive by playing these songs, which I love so much, at live concerts.
Almost every rhythm & horn section arrangement is composed by
me, which is my way of giving the songs my own sound and touch.
Anders Gaardmand, Hugo Rasmussen and Hans Nielsen (sound engineer)
told me not to play too loud on the guitar because we needed to
hear everybody on stage and maybe that’s why I feel that the
playing generated a strong ensemble feel and a lot of love.”
Speaking of sound, what kind of gear did you use?
“I like a clear and dynamic sound on my guitar so I use thick
strings like 0.12s on my Fender Stratocaster from1971, no pedals,
just directly into my Fender Vibro King amplifier. My pick-ups are
almost level with the guitar body to make the guitar sound as dynamic
as possible to me.”
You served your own New Orleans Gumbo to the musicians and crew?
“That’s right, the Gumbo
was my own creation. I’ve put together some traditional Asian
and New Orleans foods in this stew. The musicians and crew told
me they liked the Gumbo very much. Musicians are just like sailors
when it comes to food. It’s one of the day’s high points.
In my experience, a nice dinner between us musicians generates a
good mood on stage which affects the music as well.”
You worked as
a DJ and
sound engineer on
a blues radio
show for 10
years. How was
“First of all it was very exciting for me and it opened my
eyes to the wide variety of this great musical tradition. It has
been like a study for me, old stuff and new stuff. I owe a lot to
my editor Niels With-Seidelin and “blues professor”
Troels Norup Panild. When I gotmy own blues program I learned a
lot from having guests in the studio and being forced to think as
a journalist and consider the best questions to ask in terms of
Who inspired you?
“The list of musicians is very long. To me, some of the most
important recordings are Aron “T-Bone” Walker from the
1940s where he revolutionized the way of playing the guitar. Buddy
Goy’s “DJ Play My Blues” (1979) and “A Man
and His Blues” (1968). Otis Rush’s “Any Place
I’m Going” (1998). The Swedish musician Svend Zetterberg
is definitely worth listening to, as well. In fact, he’s my
European favorite. The list of Danish musicians is very long, too,
but Troels Jensen, Kenn Lending, Hans Knudsen, Anders Gaardmand,
Benny Holst, Ole Frimer, Esben Just and Paul Banks are some of the
most important names for me. The old, seasoned musicians have always
been a strong support and encouraged me to hang on to my music.
This recording thoroughly demonstrates what I’m talking about
here. I hope that one day I can do the same for the next generation
of Danish blues musicians.”
Does your music have a purpose?
“Yes, I want my music to thrill, to entertain and to touch
the feelings of the audience. If then, sometime in the future, I
can be recognized as sounding just like Dan Klarskov, if you know
what I mean, I would be more than happy.”