As is often the case with distinctive endeavors, the creative path of Thomas Dybdahl -- the 32-year-old guitarist, singer, songwriter, and native of Sandnes, Norway -- has been, for nearly a decade, all his own.
“I’ve taken an eclectic approach,” Dybdahl says. “I’ve sought to draw influences from the whole spectrum of music -- not only from songwriters and singers but also from contemporary and classical music. I am always trying to infuse my work with all these different influences so that I don’t limit myself, or listeners, to the notion of being just another guy with a guitar.”
As he knows well, several of those strum around, and Dybdahl in one sense is yet another. But on ‘Songs’ -- his U.S. debut, released via Decca Records/Universal on Strange Cargo, an imprint overseen by the renowned musician and producer Larry Klein, whose past close musical associations include Joni Mitchell, Tracey Chapman, Madeleine Peyroux, and others -- Dybdahl distinguishes himself with fire and finesse. The tracks serve as a great introduction for American listeners to the five albums (2002’s ‘...that great October sound’; 2003‘s ‘Stray Dogs’; 2004‘s ‘One Day You’ll Dance for Me, New York City’; 2006’s “Science’; and 2010’s ‘Waiting for that One Clear Moment‘) for which Dybdahl has received steady acclaim internationally and won two Norwegian Grammys.