Episode 130: Christian Smedstrom
Air date: 3.4.2015
Musician Christian Smedstrom is from Sweden, which is a long way from the rural American South - where the style of blues music that is his stock and trade originated in a cultural soup of African music, spirituals, field hollers and folk music. But music truly is the universal language, and when a young Smedstrom heard the blues music playing on his father’s turntable, he was instantly mesmerized by the emotive power of the deceptively complex and elegantly simple art form. Smedstrom picked up the guitar and kept at it long enough to eke out a career playing his songs with his band, the 2120s. Even though he was playing shows relentlessly across Europe he wasn’t quite a full-time performer - but modern musicians have a more egalitarian idea of success, and Smedstrom’s nordic blues found its way into American television programs and advertising campaigns, providing a welcome boost to his profile and affording him the opportunity to begin playing shows in the U.S. Smedstrom’s style ranges from solo acoustic blues to more amped-up, Cream-inspired power trio jams that can be heard on FX’s gritty Sons of Anarchy series. He has two full-length albums, a pair of EPs and a handful of singles available - and he’s always churning out more music. Not bad for a bluesman from Europe’s Great White North.