Surfin' USSR

The music of Farmers Market is a mixture of Bulgarian folk music, jazz standards, popular music and humor. Farmers Market has become one of Norway's most popular live bands, playing at all kinds of venues and festivals: jazz, folk and rock. Farmers Market has been releasing music in Norway sporadically over the past decade but their releases have been generally hard to find on U.S. shores. Those who have been lucky enough to hear the outfit have been instantly won over by the unbelievable musicianship and oddball mixture of styles. The group's last release came in 2000 and according to the band the title was never release, a secret amongst them and the label. Jazziz said of the outfit and the secretly-titled release, "Balkan-jazz crossover may be well-established by now, especially on this side of the Atlantic. But seemingly from out of nowhere comes the Norwegian/Bulgarian quintet Farmers Market with a self-titled album that kicks the burgeoning genre sideways a notch or three." The band now releases "Surfin' USSR" on the Ipecac label. We encourage you to reach the charming individual bios below:

Stian Carstensen - multi-instrumentalist
Carstensen started on the accordion when he was about 8 or 9 years old. He was practicing the accordion every minute he had a chance, even in the backseat of the car as his father drove him to school in the morning. When he got to high-school he realized the accordion didn't have the same effect on girls as the guitar... He forced himself to listen to Judas Priest and other heavy metal bands, and within a year he kinda liked it. And by this time he played the guitar better than any of his fellow villagers. He met an older guitarist that was into jazz; Stian was amazed by the chords this guy played... The chords even had numbers in them! Stian decided to pursue this jazz thing, and some years later he was accepted at the Conservatory of Music in Trondheim at the dept. of jazz. Here he met the guys that made him take up the accordion again.

Nils-Olav Johansen - guitar, vocals
Nils-Olav Johansen was born in a very small place, deep inside a fjord near Trondheim. His father was a sailor who exposed Nils-Olav to Hawaiian music at an early age. This fluid string sound has followed him throughout his musical career. His first musical goals were to write popular songs to win the Eurovision Song Contest. He met Stian at the Conservatory of Music in Trondheim.

Jarle Vespestad - drums
Jarle Vespestad was a wild child. His parents actually kept him on a leash to prevent him from running up and down the walls. He only calmed down when he found something to hit so he became a drummer. He, too went to the Conservatory and quickly became the driving force behind many of the most successful bands in Trondheim.

Trifon Trifonov - saxophone
Trifonov hails from Katonitza, Bulgaria. He lives with his family, parents, wife and his son on a small farm where they grow peppermint and peanuts. He is one of Bulgaria's most respected musicians and travels throughout the country year round for weddings. Trifonov auditioned for Farmers Market over the phone and won the job.

Finn Guttormsen - bass, vocals
Finn hails from Mosjoen, a village which lost its status as an official town in the early 80's. He played in the local marching band but his heart was beating for ABBA. He bought a Hofner bass soon after but by high school he was interested in AC/DC & Van Halen. Unfortunately his high school cover band never got past the intros because no one wanted to sing. He met the rest of Farmers Market at the Trondheim Conservatory of Music and found guys that could play more than intros.

Release date: 2/19/08


Cover for Surfin' USSR
Surfin' USSR

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