Genres You Will Love
Folk: Folk Blues Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Acoustic Moods: Featuring Guitar

By Location
SWEDEN

Links
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A. P. Meister

"As the crow flies it's not that far, from eternity to where you are."

After falling in love with the guitar and the blues at an early age – and then detouring into some very heavy rock-territory for a few years – A. P. Meister spent well over a decade playing electric lead guitar with roots music veterans Fat City Blues, releasing two albums and performing live constantly. After his departure from FCB, he came to reconsider his musical priorities, which led to a shift towards acoustic music and a rekindled love for the acoustic guitar. Having focused solely on the guitar in the past, he also felt the time had come to write and sing his own material. The result was Mindflower, Thorn (2009), an album featuring A. P. Meister’s own brand of laid-back but darkly evocative acoustic music. Since the release of his solo album he has been performing – mostly solo & acoustic - in clubs, pubs and coffeehouses, while continuously working on his second album Above & Below, released on May 3rd, 2013.



SOME REVIEWS:


Waitsian vocals and melodious guitar

“Harvester” opens A. P. Meister'S latest offering, “Above and Below”. It is a melodic, guitar picking number with drawling, deep vocals which set up the tone of the whole album. Meister is a singer/songwriter who has previously explored a myriad of musical styles but has settled on this bluesy/folk genre which was a love of his from his early years. Lyrically dark and mysterious, he explores his music through guitar, picking and strumming and creating a gentle, restrained sometimes sombre, atmosphere of the smoky bar room of yesteryear.

He is a talented exponent of the guitar, both acoustic and electric, but a cursory search for him on the net proves tantalisingly difficult. His history, other than on his own site, is sparse. I’m guessing he is Swedish, but this is not evident in his vocals. He gives the impression of a Southern guitar-picking bluesman. And a very good impression it is too. “How the Story Goes” is a beautifully crafted number with languorous, dreamy vocals. “High and Low” is a sensitively performed tune with undertones of a John Martyn vocal slur. There are some extended pieces on here - “Stray” is a nine minute offering, whilst “How the Story Goes” and “Levitation” clock up over seven minutes apiece. “Stray” meanders into a guitar solo that wanders and weaves. All of them are unobtrusive, melodic pieces. The whole collection is exactly that; though don’t take that as a negative. Subtlety has its place. Sometimes you just want to lie back, relax and listen to something tuneful. This is it.

Paula Cooke, AmericanaUK

"That this man is into literature and himself writes poetry is obvious from his imaginative and often darkly poetic lyrics. This sets the tone of the album. "Mindflower, Thorn" is an aptly named album and its melancholy atmosphere lingers for a long time after you've played it.

A. P. Meister doesn't need much more than his rough deep voice and an acoustic guitar to convince us. Few people come so close to the sombre greatness of Tom Waits when it comes to composition and atmosphere. But he is more than that. You'll get great pleasure from this album in front of the fireplace these chilly autumn days, in fact, the whole album is like a warm bluesy rootsy embrace. Like J. J. Cale, Meister knows how to embed you in a laid-back atmosphere and pull you into his world with his warm, deep, rugged voice. On top of that he is an excellent fingerpicker and slide guitarist, who knows how to give each song the right subtle touch.

The fine voice of backup-singer Ebba Dagdotter appears in just the right places in the choruses to keep things as uncluttered as possible, and when she steps more to the forefront it reminds us of the fragility of Chris & Carla, as in the dreamy "Sycamore Street"…

Several songs display great storytelling in the vein of Randy Newman, like the first song "Beggars and Kings", the wonderful fingerpicking blues of "The Company of Snakes" - with a healthy dose of slide-guitar - and "Great Illusion Rag", that points in the direction of "You've Got A Friend in Me".

Sometimes Meister picks up his electric guitar again, like in the wonderful "Stairway to Heaven"-like intro to "Nightsong", which surprisingly turns into something like a dark Gutter-Twins-meet-Calvin-Russell-song. In the closing number 'All That Remains' we are once more treated to a dose of despair à la Calvin Russell…

The cream of the crop, however, is the nine-minute, but never boring, "Slow Burn", that starts off cinematically with a solo electric guitar growling with vintage rootsy distortion, only to shift into a leisurely J. J. Cale-style tempo. It's a sad tale of the frustrating search for solid ground and something to hold on to, interspersed with wonderful contemplative moments in the guitar solos.

For more than an hour we have enjoyed the wonderful debut-album of A. P. Meister, whose name very well equals the quality he delivers on "Mindflower, Thorn". This promises much for the future."

Blowfish, Rootstime.be

”A Singer/Songwriter album in the best tradition: All songs are original compositions, played fingerstyle on acoustic guitar and sometimes featuring slide… Musically, A. P. Meister presents himself as a folk musician in ”Beggars and Kings” or ”Sycamore Street”, delivers acoustic blues in ”The Company of Snakes” and conjures up a sometimes desolate, somtimes morbidly dreamlike atmosphere in songs like ”Nightsong” or ”Wonderland. ”Slow Burn”, with its distorted electric guitar and acoustic slide, and also the melancholy ”Lost At Sea” are grandiose, simple and expressive at the same time… The right music for night-time drives through rain and fog, ”idle” Sunday afternoons or staying up all night out on the porch.”

Achim Hennes / Folker - Das Musikmagazin

"...Meisters songs stand in the tradition of fine fingerstyle folk tunes in the vein of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt."

Stephan Woldach, Akustik Gitarre

”A. P. Meister is clearly a gifted songwriter … the intensity which A. P. Meister and his rugged whiskey-tinged voice brings to Mindflower, Thorn gives it a supernatural beauty … a perfect example of pure art.”

Johan Schoenmakers, www.altcountryforum.nl

”For over 60 minutes this man brings us his own version of the blues.
…in my opinion Meister has made an unusual CD that certainly doesn’t follow any well-trodden paths. For those who love dark-edged acoustic music.”

Fred Schmale, Real Roots Café

"This may be the closest you are going to get to hearing Tom Waits singing along to John Fahey. Meister manages to capture the down-and-out abstract lyricism of Waits and Fahey's exploration of the American folk tradition...
Meister is clearly most comfortable with the slow-burning fingerstyle tunes that dominate the album, yet 'Mindflower, Thorn' is actually at its best when he moves into unfamiliar territory. The distinctive electric guitar on 'Nightsong' is welcome but gone too quickly. Elsewhere, the quicker tempo delta blues of 'The Company of Snakes' sees Meister demonstrating his prodigious talent and range as a guitarist...
In stepping forward as a solo artist, Meister has given himself a solid grounding in 'Mindflower, Thorn' and you feel there is plenty more to come. In the meantime, this is the sort of laid back acoustic music that will keep plenty of people warm as Winter approaches.

David Harry, www.americana-uk.com

"An unusually strong debut-cd."

Ray Pieters, "Somewhere between..." Radio Golden Flash

"Singer/songwriter. You can take the easy way, you can take the hard way, or you can just walk straight out into the woods without looking back. That’s what’s so appealing about this former Fat City Blues guitarist’s solo debut: he doesn’t follow any well-trodden paths.
Though the music might be said to straddle the lines between folk-, singer/songwriter and even country influences, the blues is always there like a vibration just beneath the surface. Like a basic tone, not some formal law. And he’s just as likely to head into dreamlike, almost psychedelic landscapes.
It’s evocative and damn beautiful. Even though dark clouds are on the horizon and even though the rough voice - which doesn’t seem to have seen daylight in a while – delivers lyrics saturated with poetry and pessimism. Thankfully things are lightened up by slippery airy slide-parts and a delicate acoustic sound. It’s like getting lost in that dense forest and suddenly seeing the light of a clearing.
There is a lot of guitar, but never just for the sake of it. Never in any equilibristic attempt to ram anything down anybody’s throat. He certainly knows how to pick a box with strings on it – Meister has probably studied the masters – but he uses technique as a tool, as a means to achieve something bigger. I’m glad I got a glimpse of it."

Johan Kronquist, Lira Musikmagasin

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