Dropped by songwriter, bass and guitar player Tor Stavenes in the studio the other day. Listened to 4 tracks with real sweet punch and melody to it. Tor showed what picks were used on the different tracks and on which solos. Tor has a small collection of picks he has gotten over the past year. He plays a Sønni Ash Brass 2.4m as his main pick, but also plays Coconut, Apple and Oak picks. (Thor M. Renslemo)
The B.B. King Tribute Concert was held on Friday August 31. on the main stage at Notodden Blues Festival. It was such a thrill to see these musicians feel the blues and give their all for B.B. King. (Thor M. Renslemo)
Thanks to Jostein Forsberg and Notodden Blues Festival we will probably be backstage every year from now. This is our second year, but it means so much for us to be able to mingle with the artist and talk picks. We saw many great artist this year, some we spoke to and tested picks with, some we just talked to. We have initiated some endorsements with some of these artists, which can be seen under ARTISTS, and some we have started talking to about the possibility of maybe working together. (Thor M. Renslemo)
Below is a series of photographs we feel represent the mood and vibes from this years festival.
Ken “Willie” Scandlyn. Ken plays axe for Shemekia Copeland. Had some good talks at the artist hotel. He was intrigued by our picks and wanted to explore it further. We will stay in touch and hopefully we can work together.
Magnus Berg. Magnus is a young and very talented guitar player and songwriter. It was such a treat to get to know him during the festival. We have met up several times after Notodden and talked picks, blues and gear. Magnus style of playing is rough and intense. We quickly discovered that a 2.2mm Kebony Maple pick basically lasts one show. Magnus tears them up and really needed wood/metal to beat the crap out of onstage. We think he’s happy now, but we are still experimenting.
Amund Maarud. Excellent guitar player, great songwriter. Had a long talk about picks, guitars, gear. He tried several picks and really liked the idea and the feel of a wood pick or wood/metal pick. We talked about the tonal possibilities of studio work with a set of picks crafted for a set of guitars for an album recording. Really hope to work with Amund in the near future, we’ll set him up with a nice set.
To sum it all up we had another great festival and met some fine artists. We really hope to build our base of artists and get to the point where we can deliver the right tools at the right time. At the moment we still craft one pick at a time and this is very time consuming. We are in the process of setting up a production line and we have great people assisting us in that aspect as well as raising finances to expand the business and reach a greater number of guitar players worldwide.
We truly appreciate all our artists patience and consideration for the challenges we face building a respectable business, and developing a high-end tool for guitar players that does the job it’s meant to do, always.
We will see you backstage at Notodden Blues Festival 2016 !
Thor M. Renslemo
We stopped by our friend Øystein Husemoen at his workshop in Lilyhammer. We are excited that if everything goes according to plans in January, Husemoens Gitarmakeri will build the first custom shop guitar for NorwegianWoodPickers and lefty for Thor. We have talked specs. and design loosely based on a Nick Lucas 1920’s Gibson. (Thor M. Renslemo)
I had the pleasure of sitting down backstage with Keb’ Mo’ for over half an hour and discuss Wood Metal picks. Keb’ had his Epiphone Special II with him and had a chance to try 9 of my deigns. Keb’ took a particular liking to a Olin Copper Apple pick, 21mm x 25mm. It just felt right. I met up with Keb’ on two other occasions and ended up giving him a box with two Oak picks closest to his desired specifications.
Keb’ was such a charming personality and a true gentleman. His interest in my picks was genuine. And what a musician! I will personally handcraft a set of Olin Apple Copper picks for Keb’. (Thor M. Renslemo)
(Photos of Keb’ and Thor by Ole Christian Wold Haavik)
We got the sweet opportunity to introduce our picks to artists at Notodden Blues Festival 2014! We had a chance to really talk tools with the guitarists and the response was overwhelming! Artists came up to us backstage after hearing about it from other artist or discovering our printed teasers in the artist folder. They just had to try it out. It was amazing to meet so much talent and get such a sweet feedback on the picks.
Paul Sherry of Gráinne Duffy Band played three gigs with Ågåt Naturally Curved CocoNut Pick. James Henderson, guitarist for Dorothy Moore and former member of Black Oak Arkansas, played the gig at Notodden Church with a Myrthild Oak pick. What a show! I haven’t felt that emotional at a concert since I photographed Nina Simone back in ’89. (Thor M. Renslemo)