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Flying Norwegians — New Day
(Apollon Records Sunnyside SSC 1430, 1974/2021, CD / DL)
Flying Norwegians — Wounded Bird
(Apollon Records no#, 1975/2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2021-10-23
The thought of a country-rock band from Norway may at first thought seem like an oddity, but other flavors of rock have spread around the world, so why not this one? Their name is of course a call-out to Flying Burrito Brothers, and the same spirit is on display, with twangy guitars, banjos, pedal steel, catchy melodies, and skillful vocal harmonies. It was the mid-70s, so there’s a loose attitude with a few remnants of 60s psychedelic rock, particularly in the active bass parts. But what really stands out is the quality of the songwriting. The English lyrics are well-written, and the songs balance familiarity with originality. A listener familiar with progressive rock might find it a bit pedestrian, though some hints of Hudson /Ford Strawbs songs can be detected. Early Eagles is probably a much more relevant comparison, along with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the vocal harmonies. They touch on some of the adjacent styles as well, with the occasional South-of-the-Border touch of Mexico, or bits of soulful blues, and even a few that bring in a European folk flavor. The guitar work is outstanding as well, with tasty picking on the rhythm parts and flashy leads that can stand with Nashville’s finest. While the members were young at the time of the band’s formation, they were already veterans of Scandinavian studios with valuable experience to draw upon, and they were quite successful in their day, though they never broke into the North American market.
Both albums are quite enjoyable, though I might give a slight edge to the first. It’s great to have this odd little corner of music history available for discovery to the wider world.
Related artist(s): Flying Norwegians
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