In 2014 I released an album of Norwegian archivist and singer-songwriter C.Strøm.
The title track I Have Heard of a Land, written by James Moore in 1914 and recorded by Smith’s Sacred Singers from northern Georgia in the 1920s, is said to be the first ever “country gospel” record.
For the video I used the video portrait of a town in South Dakota by Ivan Besse. It’s just random snippets glued together. I think it accompanies the music very well.
Little is known about Christian Strøm from Ålesund, Norway. He’s maybe showing up at a local Open-Mic session in his hometown. His favorite place is at home, where he learns old folk songs in his own way and plays his pump organ. Sometimes he records them in one take onto his Craig portable tape-recorder from late sixites. Strøm is influenced by John A. Lomax, The Carter Family, Pre-War-Blues, traditional folk songs and everything else that got pressed onto 78s back in the days. On roughly tuned instruments, Strøm stomps, strums and sings himself through an extensive catalog of titles that also include own songs (“Letters from Earth”). He is passioned about learning and playing these songs and in the best folk traditions he’s all self-taught.
Two years later, I released some sort of anthology of C.Strøm’s music and made another video that featured some old footage of the Appalachian Mountains and more home-video material.
These days, Christian is still playing and recording folk songs and restoring historic 78s.