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Jonas Fjeld

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    Northwest Passage - Judy Collins, Chatham County Line
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A Spellemann Award-winning singer/songwriter and country-rock artist, Jonas Fjeld expanded his fan base beyond his earliest music-comedy releases with the Jonas Fjeld Rock 'N' Rolf Band and Jonas Fjeld Bing Bang Band upon releasing his first solo album, the singer/songwriter-styled Take Aspirins & Call Me in the Morning (1975).
A series of English-language country-rock albums with the Jonas Fjeld Band in the late '70s and '80s included the Steven Van Zandt-produced Neck 'n' Neck (1985). Collaborations with Eric Andersen and the Band's Rick Danko as Danko Fjeld Andersen followed in the '90s, and beginning with 2007's Amerikabesøk, he recorded several bluegrass-informed releases with North Carolina's Chatham County Line. While Fjeld contined to issue periodic solo albums, many of them Top Ten hits in Norway including 2015's Hustrig, the 2019 LP Winter Stories was a collaboration with Judy Collins featuring Chatham County Line.
Born Terje Lillegård Jensen in Bodø, Norway in 1952, Fjeld was raised primarily in Drammen. The singer, songwriter, and guitarist made his recording debut in 1973 with the Jonas Fjeld Rock 'N' Rolf Band, a group that also included comedian and songwriter Herodes Falsk. They followed up with Pans Fløyte (as Jonas Fjeld Bing Bang Band) and The Best of Jonas Fjeld Rock 'N' Rolf Band, both in 1974, before Fjeld made his solo debut. Inspired by hearing Eric Andersen's Blue River album, 1975's Take Aspirins & Call Me in the Morning focused on songwriter fare, including a pair of Beatles covers and a cover of the 1933 standard "Hold Me" alongside his original songs. Some of the tracks were co-written with producer/songwriter Audun Tylden, who also contributed to Jonas Fjeld Band. Signing with Mercury, that band released their full-length debut, Tennessee Tapes, in 1977, following it with Back in the U.S.A. in 1978 and the Bent Bredesen-produced Make Up in 1979. A second solo album, Living for the Weekend, arrived in 1982 featuring all-original songs. Jonas Fjeld Band produced their fourth album, 1984's Neck 'n' Neck, with Steven Van Zandt. Released in 1986, Time and Motion would prove to be the final release under Fjeld's band moniker, though he continued to work collaboratively, issuing Norwegian-language albums with singers Sidsel Endresen and Ingrid Bjoner in the late '80s.
Fjeld returned with more solo material in the '90s, beginning with Svært Nok for Meg, a 1990 collaboration with songwriter Ole Paus that hit number two in Norway and led to an ongoing partnership between the two artists under the name To Rustne Herrer. Meanwhile, Fjeld formed the country-rock trio Danko Fjeld Andersen with Eric Andersen and Rick Danko; they made their debut with a self-produced eponymous album in 1991. It won Fjeld his third Spellemann award. Another Norwegian-language solo album, Texas Jensen, arrived in 1993 before Danko Fjeld Andersen followed up with the more folk-rock-leaning Ridin' on the Blinds in 1994. A third album from the trio never came to fruition due to Danko's drug arrest and eventual death of heart failure in 1999. Fjeld released a Spellemann-winning live album (Nerven I Min Sang) and greatest-hits collection (Beste) to close out the decade.
The solo albums Voice on the Water (in English) and Tidevann (mostly in Norwegian) arrived in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Working again with producer Asle Karstad, Mårrakvist followed in 2006. He then began a fruitful partnership with North Carolina Americana group Chatham County Line, issuing the live album Amerikabesøk with them in 2007 on RCA. Fjeld and Chatham County Line got back together for 2009's Brother of Song (which hit the Top Ten in Norway) before Fjeld issued the solo Hjemmeseier in 2011. It peaked at number seven on Norway's album chart. A third record with Chatham County Line, Western Harmonies, followed in 2013 and went to number four in Norway. Fjeld returned to the number four spot with the 2015 solo effort Hustrig. Chatham County Line was featured on Fjeld's next release, as well, a duo album with folksinger Judy Collins. Entitled Winter Stories, it arrived on the Wildflower label in 2019. ~ Marcy Donelson, Rovi

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