Sweden may not be known as the mecca for writers and
performers of the classic sounds of big band and swing, but
when a young rocking piano man named Carl Beluga, who hails
from this working class town, came to terms with the fact that
he could no longer turn his back on the music that TRULY moved
him... the determination to write, arrange, produce AND record
an honest-to-goodness big band record became the mission of
this blue-eyed Swede.
CARL BELUGA & HIS
ORCHESTRA AND "STARSWINGER" WAS BORN
"I spent some
years touring with rock bands and enjoying some success in
both making records and touring all over Europe, as well as a
few trips to New York City, where I lived on and off for a
couple of years. I remember seeing a Tony Bennett show
at Carnegie Hall and experiencing a great sensation that THIS
was what I wanted to do!"
Beluga has spent
the past few years working as a pianoman in various lounges,
hotels and glitzy nightspots throughout Sweden, working the
graveyard shift and weekends. Long nights of serving up
requested tunes and singing the timeless standards penned by
his heroes always sound fresh, fueled by sentiment and
nostalgic energy that Carl Beluga thrives on.
inspirations are many, but the old songwriters like Cole
Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer are
closest to his heart he says. He also finds inspiration in the
famed collaborators such as Burt Bacharach & Hal David along
with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. "I also find the
work of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Xavier Cugat, with their
sensual Latin rhythms, extra brilliant. The
European in me tends to find the styles of Jaques Brel, Rod
McKuen and Edith Piaf, VERY appealing as well."
grew up in a home full of music and old time classics,
especially singers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry
Como, Elvis Presley and many other crooners. At the end of the
day these were the voices that spoke to my soul and touched
me. I also found the ingenious arrangements of Count
Basie, Hugo Montenegro, Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins.. just
to name a few... VERY inspiring. The way the writers put
words and music together seemed like magic to me, and when you
add the arrangers, the musicians and the singers - well that's
just heaven. I wanted to live and breath in that elusive, I
guess what some folks would consider corny, but to ME
always a beautiful dreamland of romance & evergreens. Deep
down I knew this was the music I wanted to devote to."
The "STARSWINGER" recording
sessions took place at Nacksving Studio 1 in Gothenburg
throughout 2007 and 2008, off and on, and features many of
Sweden's finest musicians such as Magnus Johansson, Stefan
Sandberg, Lars Kallfelt, Stefan Wingefors and Peter Johansson.
The classic studio approach of old school analog recording
engineered by Kasper Hard indeed shines throughout "STARSWINGER"...
a sound reminiscent of the unforgettable Capitol Records
Studio A that is known and loved!
Being without the
assistance of a supportive record label that would truly
believe in Beluga's work, while striving to create a quality
recording, made him realize that it would simply be best to
launch his own record label... Carbel Records. He feels
this to be a good move, especially with the marketing power of
become a reality was an uphill climb for me, very time
consuming and very costly, but I felt it had to be done.
I was excited and very concerned all at once! Writing
the scores, finding great musicians and coordinating with the
studio and engineers is really taxing... it was ALL on my
shoulders! But at some point I realized it WAS becoming a
fact... everything was falling into place! And the
result is a recording that I am extremely proud of. "
But what about
the songs?? Listen for yourself! Beluga's smoky
vocals evoke an enjoyable "seasoned" tone that convey
character, longing and worldliness . Closing your eyes
and listening takes you on a journey from town to town
visualized by the singer.
is indeed a perfect combination of Carl Beluga's classic vocal
style, catchy hooks, thoughtful arrangements, well crafted
lyrics and the stellar musicianship of an incredible
orchestra! As a fellow performer and lover of great
music, I HIGHLY recommend that you order your copy today!!
Written By John-Eric Booth -
Performer, Friend and Fan