The Migrant is Denmark musician Bjarke Bendtsen's experimental, folk-inspired pop songs on guitar, ukulele, kick drum and other instruments. In Bendtsen's words, 'This project is my excuse for packing the suitcase, selling all furniture and leaving for parts of the world I haven't seen before. Hopefully the songs and a guitar will make it less expensive. Definitely more fun!'
Bendtsen gave up his residence in Copenhagen in the end of 2008 and went on the road, playing with different people he met on his way. Like this he spent most of 2009 travelling across the United States, playing his songs one night in frosty New York as a solo act, another in hot New Orleans with a horn orchestra and the next in Texas with a mad stomp group.
Back on a visit in Denmark in Juli 2009, Bendtsen gathered some of his folky friends in a summerhouse by the southern Danish coast and recorded the first Migrant album there. The prelude to this session had been a number of 'jam band' concerts where varying musicians tried out Bendtsen's new songs. Not surprisingly, the album that these concerts led to has a somewhat anarchist and 'free' vibe.
It was only half of Bendtsen's new songs, however, that was put down on tracks at that session and so Bendtsen accepted an invitation from Theater Fire's horn- and piano-player James Talambas who invited him to his home studio in Fort Worth, Texas to record another Migrant album in August. Bendtsen had met Talambas on his earlier travels in the US and knew that James' house contained everything from a 1870s saloon piano to old horn instruments and an Indian drum collection. While the thermometer showed 100 degrees F the two young men began a sweaty two-months recording session, sometimes helped by different local musicians.
Back in Denmark by the end of 2009, Bendtsen decided to break with his old band, critically acclaimed The Elephants, and started adding final touches to the two recorded Migrant albums with his Danish friend and co-producer Mads Hartmann. Later, during an unusually cold Danish winter, Bendtsen isolated himself for a month in a cottage on the snowcovered southern Danish coast to mix the two records.
Bendtsen released the first Migrant album Travels in Lowland in autumn 2010 and followed up with tours in the states and in Europe. In the states backed by his band from Austin, Texas and in Europe touring solo. However, at the Danish shows backed by a group of Bendtsen's Copenhagen friends.
You can now listen to all songs from Travels in Lowland at The Migrant's website. The second album Amerika is to be released sometime in 2011.
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