Peter Nande in English
Peter Nande: The Man In The Middle
By Johnny Petersen
When one gets into the Danish Blues scene it’s quite impossible not to encounter talented harp player Peter Nande. He pops up everywhere, even in non-blues projects. He’s a man with many pots on the stove and he has become the fixer in the Danish blues circles.
It began already in he’s teens with a mouth harp. He borrowed books on Sonny Boy Williamson and Sonny Terry and tried desperately get something out of his harmonica but it took several years before he finally understood how to do it. He realized that he needed better role models so as a 20-year old he moved to Copenhagen in order to learn more about the blues. He has stayed for more than 30 years so far.
Besides his day job as an engineer (constructing wind mills), he has toured and recorded with his own band, participated in more than ten CD’s as well as jammed with most of the artists on the Danish blues scene. Back in 2007 he received the award “Blues Artist Of The Year” at the annual Copenhagen Blues Festival. Over the years he has developed to be a lot more than just a musician. Today he is a songwriter, concert arranger, band booker och record producer. He is well known for taking new upcoming talents under his wings.
Through his engagement he has managed to gather a gang of talented musicians around him such as Tim Lothar, Svante Sjöblom (SE), Big Creek Slim, Paul Banks (US), Copenhagen Slim, H.P. Lange, singer Miriam Mandipira (TA) as well as the old maestro Troels Jensen. To all these, and more, he makes promotion, arranges concerts and makes recordings. He admits that it gets a little too much at times. Sometimes he is so occupied promoting others that he forgets himself.
At the same he has reason to be a little proud. Several of the records he has produced has received the award “Best blues production of the year”. Some of these records had also received top critics abroad.
The most popular of his projects was the Blues Jamboree, featuring all the names mentioned above, including others. It was a loosely formation of those who had the possibility to meet up at a certain venue a certain date. Everybody was equally responsible for fixing bookings, sleep overs, transports and equipment. Age didn’t matter, it differed from 33 to 75 (the oldest were bassist Hugo Rasmussen). He often plays both wash-tub bass and jug besides his harmonica.
In order to develop his own music making and song writing he has made a number of visits on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In California he collaborated with some musicians such as James Harman and Nathan James, resulting in two CD’s. They had the idea to work with really old instruments, microphones and amplifiers.
But his fascination is not just on old amps. On stage he usually brings some toys like a life size goose, a small fun sounding piglet and more. I had to ask him what gave him that idea. Nande explains that he first got a plastic chicken from his friends that sounded fun and when he later got the piglet, he had to create a joke about the chicken and the pig. That evolved into a solo number. Soon the audience asked for them so they became included in the show. The goose became a mascot for the Jamboree and Nande says that it symbolizes the way the band functions – when geese flies there are always a leader goose in the front and the rest glides on the air streams from its wings. After a while they change place so everyone is helping out. Goose philosophy turns into quality blues music!
Even if it’s a lot of work, Nande is glad that he hasn’t put the harmonica on the shelf because of family and work. There are many others who are equally happy about it!
NANDE & THE BIG DIFFERENCE – 2000
BIG BOY BOOGIE California Sessions Vol. I – 2006
JELLY BEAN BABY California Sessions Vol. II – 2009
Rootin’ Around California Sessions Vol. III – 2015
Blues Jamboree 2014 (2)
With Big Creek Slim 2015 och 2016
With Tim Lothar 2016.
Catawampus 2019, his latest project with bass player Laust Krudtmeyer Nielsen with the aim to modernize the expression of blues music.
- Those who would like to get familiar with the Blues Jamboree can download a five-part series TV-concerts from 2014 on https://youtu.be/9CM-gX3UJ50.