Photo: Hans Ole Madsen
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Finn Olafsson took up the guitar in 1963, at age 10.
In terms of guitar playing, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who
and The Searchers were his first and primary inspirations.
His fascination with music was overwhelming:
Practising the guitar all of
his time, there was not much time left for tedious school work, and Finn rather
fancied drawing pictures of guitars during classes at school ...
In 1964, joining forces with his elder brother Torsten - a drummer at that
time - Finn & he formed the local Copenhagen beat (Dan.: "barbed wire"!) group
VOCES, one of the most popular bands appearing in youth clubs and at school
parties in their particular area of Southern Copenhagen (the small island of
Amager) where the two brothers grew up.
In 1965 through 1966 VOCES performed regularly at "Dansetten" in
the famous Copenhagen amusement park "Tivoli". Only 13 years of
age, Finn had to obtain a special permit from the police authorities to be
allowed to perform - because of the general restrictions regarding the
public serving of alcohol!
Then, in 1967, Finn formed the blues band McKenzie Set, strongly
influenced by the music of the The
Yardbirds, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Mayall and guitarists like Eric Clapton,
Peter Green, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
One year later, however, Finn made up his mind to leave The Blues when, in
'68, Torsten urged him to join the newly formed beat group Ache,
later to become internationally renowned as "the symphonic rock
band Ache", who - by the way - created the world's very first genuine rock ballet,
"De Homine Urbano",
choreographed by Royal Danish solo dancer Peter Schaufuss.
Ache disbanded in 1971 after three pretty hectic years.
But then, in 1975, Finn
took the initiative for an Ache-revival that should last until 1980.
No doubt that Ache, in its various constellations, provided the most important source of
inspiration for Finn Olafsson in his future double capacity as powerful
guitarist and expert acoustic guitar finger-picker!
Finn Olafsson's fascination with the acoustic guitar (both classical and
steel-stringed Martin Western) was born in 1970. When first hearing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's
Martins in the very front, he was completely sold. The band America, Jeff Beck's version
of "Greensleeves" and Bert Jansch's "Angie" inspired him
Already on Ache's second album "Green Man" (1970) the title track
features a long acoustic guitar intro, and the final step was taken when, in
1972, Finn and Torsten formed the group Acoustic Ache.
In that context the acoustic guitars took the lead for the first time, the
two brothers having jammed on their Western guitars over a couple of years when
they were not performing heavy rock with Ache.
Acoustic Ache, eventually, turned out to become a short-lived
experience so, in 1973-75, Finn put all of his efforts into exploring the acoustic steel-string
guitar and the classical nylon-string guitar, while making his living partly
as a guitar teacher.
He also wrote plenty of instrumental music and numerous songs, some of which
were recorded on his first solo album "Savannah".
During the following 14 years Finn toured and recorded with Ache and with
lots of other prominent Danish artists like f. i. Pia Raug (1978-83), Erik Grip (1985), Helge Damsbo (1978-87),
DK (1984-86), Anne Linnet (1986-88) and Per Wium (1987-88) (see discography).
His un-compromising experiments with alternative music expressions resulted
in many solo concerts - and the two solo albums "Acoustic Guitar"
In 1984 Finn initiated an intensive, creative - and extremely innovative -
team-work with the Danish guitarist and composer Anders Roland.
Together, during the 80's, they kept on delving deep as ever possible into
the potentials of instrumental acoustic finger-picked guitar music, creating
3 remarkable CDs: "Sight-seeing", "Feriedage" ("Holidays") and
"Globetrotter" - besides TV- and film music and frequent TV-appearances,
alongside with countless concert gigs all over, be it in the humblest music
clubs or at the most prestigious Danish music festivals.
In 1990, Finn Olafsson decided to quit touring for a while in order to
concentrate on international music publishing. Establishing his own
recording studio, Olafssongs Studio, during the 90s he produced a number of
significant Danish CD albums while contributing as an electric and acoustic
Then, after an eleven-year break, in 2001 Finn revived his former
collaboration with Anders Roland, with whom he is still performing and recording. Since their re-union 4 albums have been released, the two compilation albums "Tilbage til nutiden" (Danish version") and "Back to the Present" (English version), the studio-album "DUO" and the latest studio-album "Blues".
Since the Millenium Finn has also contributed to a lot of recordings with different artists like Steen Toft Andersen's "Travellers' Tales", Lars Kjædegaards Orkester "Over the Clouds", Henrik Olafsson's "Acoustic Lines", Kasper Søeborg's "GuitarSpheres" and the debut-album of the singer songwriter Tom Frederiksen - all albums also produced by Finn and released on Olafssongs.
In 2004 Olafssongs re-released Finn Olafsson's first 100% acoustic guitar solo-album "Acoustic Guitar" in a re-mastered CD version. The album includes also 4 bonus tracks recorded in 2004. Simultaneously the follow up album, "Acoustic Guitar 2", was released, contending 12 new acoustic guitar tracks written and played solo by Finn in his very unique finger-picking style. All tracks from the CD has been printed in a music book with staff notation and tablature. A re-edited music book for it's predecessor "Acoustic Guitar" has been released as well - also containing staff notation and tablature.
"Acoustic Guitar 2" was exclusively played on the Danish "Kehlet Guitars" and the maxi CD "Finn Olafsson plays Kehlet Guitars", presenting 5 tracks played on Kehlet Guitars, was produced to be enclosed in the Kehlet Guitars catalogue.
In 2007 Finn Olafsson produced and played electric and acoustic guitars on the debut-album with Tom Frederiksen, he produced the second album on the Olafssongs label with the Danish duo "Hvid Bille" and he produced a solo songwriter album with Anders Roland.
To be continued ...
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