Raoul Björkenheim solo guitar
Björkenheim’s guitar playing with the groups Krakatau, Scorch Trio and most recently Blixt have earned him the reputation of a smolderingly intense instrumentalist, more at home in the rock/noise area than in what would generally be considered jazz. The truth is that there is a side to his musicianship which isn’t so well known, that most intimate and delicate forum of solo guitar.
While living in New York between 2001-2008, Björkenheim busked on Union Square, playing solo delta blues on dobro slide guitar and a bass drum to accompany his singing. The material consisted mainly of Robert Johnson’s immortal songs, along with those of Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson and John Lee Hooker. These inspired him to work on his own electric guitar material, many of which turned up on a self-produced CDR, 14 Days, a hundred of which were distributed through Downtown Music Gallery.
Ever since, Björkenheim has been developing his solo guitar repertory, which is a natural consequence of his many hours of daily work on the instrument. In pieces constantly in the process of being invented, he brings extended dynamics and use of the guitar’s many assets to the front, acknowledging the impact of African, Korean and Indian music.
On a coming cd titled ”Cabin Fever”, Björkenheim plays both acoustic and electric guitars, in music recorded at home and his studio at the Cable Factory. For his solo shows, he is offering a choice of one or the other, depending on the venue, and also offers to perform the blues he integrated into his blood on hot summer days on Union Square.