Lucky Lips are a Norwegian bluegrass band consisting of five excellent musicians. Each of them are really competent on their instruments, but together they shine. Wednesday night they played a release concert for their new CD Mountain Dust.
Lucky Lips have existed for a few years, and since last autumn they have worked hard with their third CD at Snaxville Studios in Oslo with Henrik Maarud as a producer. He was also the sound man at Parkteatret, and did a good job for the band. Bluegrass is a very transparent concert genre, where the band has to sound amplified acoustic, and not electric. That was no problem at the concert.
I have never been a purist when it comes to musical styles. If you play bluegrass, you should definitely play by the bluegrass rules, but for me it is ok if they play pop songs, as long as thew function in the bluegrass environment. Alison Krauss and Union Station have proved this before, and Lucky Lips conmtinues this tradition in a fine way.
There are other similarities betwen Lucky Lips and Alison Kraiss and her band. Most of all that Lucky Lips have a female singer, Malin Pettersen, and also that the band does some really beautiful vocal harmonies. But it isn’t fair to compare the two bands on other aspects. Lucky Lips stand perfectly well on their own feet. They have good songs, they play well, and Malin Pettersen is the perfect front person.
It is always refreshing to see artists like Malin Pettersen. She has that natural, unpretentious charm that transcends the band to another level. She is also a great singer, with a clean voice with a slight smoky sound. When both the guitarist, Stian Jørgen Steen and the bassist Erlend Støylen Hølland also do lead vocals, it makes the band’s sound more interesting.
Lucky Lips’ songs are written by Malin Pettersen, Stian Jørgen Steen and Erlend Støylen Hølland. The majority by Pettersen. All of them are good songwriters. I specially noticed Daddy’s Lament by Sveen and several of Pettersens songs, with I’ve Heard as my favourite. The rest of the band consists of Pal Emil Berg on drums and percussion, and Even Reinsfelt Krogh on banjo and ukulele. They are an important part of the band’s sound.
Lucky Lips was voted the best European bluegrass band in 2011, and Mountain Dust and their release concert proves that this prize is well deserved. The venue was full for the concert, and they had an enthusiastic audience for the show.