Sep 3, 2010

A Tall Man Conquers the World

The Tallest Man On Earth hits the big time

..and we knew it would happen

Folk star's early climb has local roots

Time for a right here plaque at the Parting Glass?

Saratoga Springs --- Being cursed as the new Dylan has buried many a rising star over the years: the names Willie Nile and Steve Forbert come to mind as two examples.

But Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man On Earth, seems to have weathered that storm to the point of his now being deemed as the single handed saviour of American folk music. Not bad for a young guy from Sweden.

Nothing could make us prouder here at Nanoburgh, having played an early role in that rare and rapid ascension.

After having been intro'd to the earliest recording of this faraway coffee house hero by one of our indie-cred pals, it was immediately time for an email to figure out just what the hell this was all about. So began our across-the-pond planning to get this guy to the USA and see if lightning could be caught in a bottle. Just for kicks. After all, what the hell else do I have in my life to keep me occupied?

Advanced by little more than a quirky, low budget video to set the stage, we did just that: lining up a short east coast tour in the summer of '08 as a means of introducing him to both the US audience and the US music industry.

Part of that mix was an appearance at the Lobsterpalooza Festival in Albany and at the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs; which was easy to accomplish, given that we produced both events!

Fast forward to now. TTMOE has toured worldwide, has bagged more "OMG!" reviews than can be counted, is the proverbial critics' darling and is treated as a conquering hero in every town in which he appears.

To think; it all launched right here! It seems like 1,000 people now claim they were at that Parting Glass show. That's funny, because I only counted about 85 that night! Our dwindling inventory of show posters from it are even fetching $30. Who'd a thunk?

We'll get him back in the area soon, maybe as early as spring. But we'll sure need a bigger room.

The Tallest Man On Earth, taking us into the weekend...



Moe.Ron Ron said...

WTF, bro? This guy's sick. Insanely good flat pickin'. Sweden? WTF?

PETE said...

This guy is major, I did not know he played here.I'm catching him this month in Mass. I hope you do get him back in the albany area for a show. Good work as usual.

Phil the Thrill said...

The Pitchfork review surely helped put him into the scene. Granted, we're in a niche music world today and he'll never be a universal type superstar, but who cares. He'll do fine. My bothgerrout in Wisconsin has been into him for 1 year now. He thinks of himself as being one of the early fan club members. Looks like you and some others around here beat him to it by a year of so.

Anonymous said...

I can play like that. NOT.

Anonymous said...

Not my style but yes the press seems to be smitten with the lad from what I read. Get him to move here to perk up the local scene.

Anonymous said...

He sings like a hillbilly cartoon character. But I kinda like it.

Kim K said...

This truly is a beautiful song. Such emotion. Which of his releases would you recommend?

And he does nt look that tall! lol

Nanoburgh? said...

Shallow Grave.

I've got a few CD copies kicking around, I'll put your name on one til we next meet up.

He's not; about 5'6", with his Euro boots on.


Puddie said...

I don't get it

Elaine said...

That's because your an idiot.

Toga Lad said...

The Bob Dylan comparisons are obvious: a young solo acoustic gutarist singing energetically thur his nose.

The differences can easily be noted, too. This guy is a much better guitarist (supremely good)and his songs are more interpersonal, without Dylan's weighty political observations. It's equally energtic, but from a different angle.

Timing is everything, though. He doesn't have the perfect setting that Dylan did in the early 60's, where the base of a relatively popular folk movement was already established (Weavers, Seeger, Kingston Trio, etc.) for him to extend and his political rants filled a hude and burgeoning demand.

And this Tallest Man may have also mis-timed a smaller wave; the alternative country movement of the late 90's would have adapted him easily and boosted his chances even more. Of course, he was only about 15 at the time.

So, what do we really have here, then? My read is that of a heavyweight contender in a sepcialized and somewhat narrowe musical style just like Phil Thrill said above. And as he notes aren't they all niche genres today?

I was not fortunate enough to be at either the Albany or Saratoga shows. But if you get him back in this area , I'll be the first in line for tickets. Might I recommend the Linda Auditorium in Albany (the WAMC building) as a spot for it?

HERBIE said...

Singing = 6
Guitar Skills = 9
Songwriting = 7
Presentation = 6

Overall Herbie Rating = 7

He is getting radio play on the few remaining indies out there I think I heard him on-air in Austin and maybe NYC. I would bet the college stations are picking him up as well.

The Bon Iver tour was a good move. A similar short support tour with someone like that again might be logical. Maybe the Avett Bros or even some jam band or a John Hiatt type big gun.

Puddie said...

It's me again I still don't get it despite what all you flea bags and hose bags say.

CAV said...

Music is my single greatest passion. But I was never able to pick up the skills to perform it myself. I cannot sing. I cannot play instruments. That has been my lifelong frustration. So when I see someone like this young gentlemen, sitting all alone on a stool, making this kind of magic happen so naturally and effortlessly, I don't know whether to cry in joy at his ability or jump off a cliff because of my own inability.

The woman's reaction at the end sums it so well.

Red Head Fred said...

Boring. Unless you plug it in and crank it up to 11, it don't count.

Anonymous said...


jimbo said...

I think he might have missed the 845th note on the gitbox. But maybe not.

You should to clean up the audio of the Parting Glass clip thru some music software to bring it up front and center. It looks like this was done with a mic on the camera underneath the PA, so it is missing a good hit of the vocals. It can be fixed, and doing it would be good for the record.

Oh yeah, I think he is very good too. Get him up here soon. I know a good band that can warm up!!!