In end of September 2013, during Copenhagen Blues Festival, Thorbjorn Risager and his band recieved a Danish Music Award “Best Blues CD of the year” for the album "Dust and Scratches". Beside from this award the band was honored in start November with a "Honorable Mention Award 2013" from the Danish Blues Cartel.
One of the persons in the jury for the DMA Blues was Michael Callesen, project leader for “Spot Festival“, ROSA’s big international showcase in Denmark, held since 1995. He said:
“Thorbjørn Risager is able to bring the blues out to a wider audience, and he is an outstanding singer. The blues is in the roots of all rhythmic music, and it’s important that there is somebody who can interpret these basics in his own way, and who can reach the audience.”90 gigs/year in a dozen countries: crossover success for unique combination of talents!
90 gigs/year in a dozen countries: crossover success for unique combination of talents!
Thorbjørn Risager’s exceptional voice has made many US critics – not only one, but a whole bunch of them – refer to Ray Charles and other vocal giants to find something to compare him with. Delbert McClinton, Bob Seger och David Clayton-Thomas have also been mentioned, by journalists who probably couldn’t have imagined that such vocalists existed on this side of the Atlantic.
But it doesn’t end with that powerful voice – actually it starts there! The ability to write music with components from many genres, especially blues, rock och soul but also jazz, funk, New Orleans, singer-songwriter, roots, and fuse it into a richly varied brew, created a new sound, well actually a new genre. The choice of musicians, done more than eight years ago, was very fortunate. Thorbjørn chose persons that he really wanted to work with, and only two members have changed since 2002.
Their energy, tight interplay, and friendliness, is mentioned by everyone who works with the band.
And each musician has his special responsibility: finances, technique, CD sales, web page, transports etc. Thorbjørn himself is a modern democratic leader, at the same time as he is doing most of the songwriting. But the arrangements are always a teamwork, and the band gets together at their rehearsal space every single Thursday, except when on tour.
6 CD’s in 7 years – all of these except the debut containing between 90 and 100 % originals – is also pretty unique.
And with about 95 concerts per year in a dozen countries (and 60 of these abroad – through the years they have performed in 17 countries!) they are one of Denmark’s most successful music exports.
In other words: they are one of the Danish bands which is playing the largest amount of concerts abroad! And this in spite of the fact that they don’t play a typically broad genre such as pop, rock or hiphop, or are signed to a ”major label”. That they are a seven-piece band should make it harder to get booked, but the music itself and the hard, long-term work from the band and their agent/manager has given great results!
They often have a crossover-effekt, playing and getting reviewed also in the rock- and jazzworld, not only in the blues circuit, thanks to the mix of elements from many genres, and of course Thorbjørn’s fantastic voice. So they have become a popular band at many types of festivals and venues.
10 concerts in France – where their two latest CD’s have been released through the French label Dixiefrog – and 20 in Germany only during 2011 is an indication of their growing international success.
”Risager has songwriting skills that match his larger-than-life voice” Kyle M. Palarino, BluesWax (US)
”It’s only a matter of time before the secret’s out on this guy. Bottom line: he’s dynamite. Don’t sleep on this one!” Dylann DeAnna, BluesWax (US)