This is the first solo album from the young folk singer Kim André Rysstad (b. 1981) from Rysstad in Setesdal. Kim André was born into a particularly gifted family in Setesdal, which has produced several well-known culture personalities, e.g. within the art of poetry. One of the tunes on the record is written by his great-grandfather Jon Bjørgulvsson Rysstad (1877– 1966), one of the most respected “stev” writers in Setesdal.

Kim André has had the song within him ever since he was a little boy, and he was early introduced to folk music. But it was a different type of song he first got devoted to and chose to concentrate about. That was pop ballads (Whitney Houston has been a great source of inspiration), musical repertoire and classical song. After upper secondary school, he took a break from studying, and was hired at Agder folk music archive. He listened to old vocal recordings day after day, and instead of getting tired of this, he wanted more. Kim André became very fascinated by this material, and chose to emphasize this expression in his coming music career. What a fortune for the folk music environment!

Of additional education, he has among other things attended the Folk Music study in Rauland the Bachelor study at Ole Bull Akademiet in Voss. With his strong musicality and feeling for style, he has quickly picked up the elements that characterize the traditional folk song which is generally called “kveding”. With teachers like Kirsten Bråten Berg, Ånon Egeland and Ragnhild Furholt, among others, he has perfected himself in the song style from Setesdal/Agder.

Kim André has his own personal expression. His singing is calm and moving, in the folk music terminology we call it “dåmrik”. He calms his listeners, and makes them join him on his journey through the stories in his songs. But if he wants to, he can also come through with ”kraftstevjinga” (powerful singing), which was the expression used by some of the elderly great folk singers in Setesdal (listen to track 8). In the ballad ”Dei frearlause menn” (track 3) it says; ”Dei makta kji brjote dei frosne band..” (“They could not break the frozen bonds..”). After listening through this album, I assume that Kim André has managed to break whatever the listener must have had of frozen bonds.